Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Violence: A necessary evil for a safe society.

For those of you who say "Violence is not the answer", I say bullshit. I wrote something earlier, in response to a friends post that "Violence against women should not be tolerated". I agree wholeheartedly, and that it should be extended to all innocents.

The issue is that many are intent on violence, whether we like it, or there's a law against it, they will do it anyway. The only way to combat this violence is with violence. A righteous violence. The following is my comment:

 "Violence is a part of our lives, from friendly competition to mortal danger. If you have the capacity for violence, you must choose how you will use it: Senseless, or righteous.

I would protect even my worst enemy from injustice. I live for the moment I might be able to protect someone... and I am prepared to do so with lethality if necessary.

The violence that I abhor is the very reason that I am capable of the exact same violence... and I guaran-damn-tee that my shot will be more accurate than any robber or rapists."

You must choose, whether to bury your head in the sand, pretending that bad things cannot happen, or to live with your eyes open, realizing that THERE ARE people out to cause harm, for whatever reason, and they choose to do it to innocent people, who want nothing more than to live their lives, go home to their families every night, and do right by everyone. It's not fair. The strong prey upon the weak, cowardly as it is.

So who stands in the balance? Who protects the innocent?

Those of you who know me know about my fascination with a particular essay, On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs, by LTC(r) Dave Grossman. If you haven't read it yet, please do so.

The Sheep, according to Grossman, are the innocents. This is not a slight, as we've seen used as an insult before. It is simply a description of peaceful people, simply living their lives. Most of them do not have the heart or stomach to harm another human being. This is a good thing. 

Then, you have the Wolves. Obvious members of this category would include Ted Bundy, Timothy McVeigh and others, who could give a shit about hurting innocent people, and many do for fun. Some that are not so obvious petty criminals, politicians who oppose self defense law, rapists and robbers. All of these fit the description of the wolf.

The Sheepdogs, then, are those who stand in the balance. Again, the obvious ones: Police, Military and Firefighters who will, without hesitation, go into harms way to save someone else. Not so obvious here are law-abiding gun owners, specifically those of us, myself included, who carry a concealed weapon on a daily basis. There are millions of us, at the grocery store, the movie theater, the zoo and theme parks. Every day, I guarantee you, in the USA, someone near you has a gun... be it police or Concealed Carry.

We take this responsibility very seriously, and train constantly. We use the very best equipment, in most cases. I'm not fond of Glocks, or recently in the press, the Kel-Tec PF9. I carry a full frame 1911, shown here. It is more difficult to conceal, but I am far more accurate with it than with the other two I mentioned, and mine's prettier. We are ready, at a moments notice, to drop everything and draw our guns if necessary, and in one swift, fluid motion, my pistol is ready to fire. We are far more commonly around than police, and usually the first and best line of defense before things get out of hand.

I don't carry because I am scared. I carry because if I have to defend my family, my home, any other innocent life or even my own, I want to do so effectively.

Violence is not only a tool of the evil, it is a tool of the good. In order for there to be balance, both must exist. If there ever comes a day where violence is completely eradicated from our society, I will lay down my arms with gladness, and set aside my violent nature. Until then, I remain prepared, and willing to pay the ultimate price to protect those who cannot defend themselves.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

TEST Alliance Please Ignore's last stand: The Battle for 6VDT-H

This battle has been touted as the largest in Eve Online history, and I get to say that I was there... through soul-crushing lag to eventual victory. I will not bore you with a write-up of the battle when there are several accounts that you can read, this will be my account, and why it was lots of fun and shitty at the same time.


I was unable to show up when the fleet started, so I was in the first reinforcement fleet. I was flying a Megathron-class Battleship, ready to go kill some Testies (say that with a straight face) I showed up to fleet, sat on a Titan, which is a ship that allows you, among other things, to bridge an entire fleet from one system to another in an instant, allowing for massive force projection and quick reinforcement. As we are sitting on the Titan, we are doing final preparations to jump in.

Then the Fleet Commander (FC) gives the order to jump.

Lag from Hell

Many Call of Duty players will tell you about lag of a few milliseconds making the huge difference in a fight. They can only hope to grasp what happens in Eve Online.

For those of you who don't know, Eve has only one server. If you've played any MMO, you can understand the infrastructure it takes to have 50,000+ players on a server at the same time, spread across 5k+ solar systems. Several systems have their own server node, most notably Jita, Eve's main trade hub. At any given time, Jita has 1500+ pilots in system, managing buy/sell orders, contracts, and local scams.

For large fleet fights, the organizers of the fight can request that the system's server node be reinforced, basically the system is moved to a dedicated server. Only two systems have that at all times, and those are Jita and Amarr. For this fight, in which more than 4000 pilots were in system at the same time, CCP set the system up on Jita's dedicated supercomputer.

It didn't help much.

Historically in Eve, lag in fleets battles has been famous. It was not uncommon for pilots to be unable to click modules to fire or repair their comrades. This caused CCP to develop Time Dilation to slow down time to ensure that every command given to a ship is carried out. This fight, with CCP's most powerful supercomputer, still managed to cap TiDi out, slowing the entire system to 10% of normal speed, is lag.

It took me one hour to get into the system after jumping in. After several client restarts, the grid finally loaded, and I began to experience the lag from hell. I don't want to hear from CoD players that their ping is over 100ms, because it took MINUTES for my modules to activate, after taking 5 minutes to lock my cruiser sized target. It got to the point, after 3 hours, that my Eve client's clock was no longer running, and I got this error, stating the the server was not even receiving commands from my computer any more. Many laughs were had on coalition comms about the errors, and the FC just saying "fuck it, if you can target it, shoot it" made it for one of the most fun gaming experiences I have ever had.

As TEST retreated, it was not only a feeling of accomplishment removing them from their ancestral system,but a feeling of relief getting to the Titan, and jumping back into the CFC staging system, where there is no lag, and no one trying to shoot at me after 6 hours of sitting on that battlefield taking one shot every five minutes, killing a few ships, when I could lock them and get a shot off.

And I would do it again... but for now, I'm glad the war is all but over.

If you are interested in checking out this awesome game, please click here for a trial, and contact me here or in-game.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Beginnings of an Experiment

I've never been much of a writer. I've never considered myself incredibly creative, either. So in an effort to expand my horizons, I'm starting this blog. Here goes.

First, an introduction may be necessary. My name is Jon Stripes. I'm a US Army veteran. I joined the Army while I was still in high school and went to Basic Training between my junior and senior year. In retrospect, I kinda feel bad for that... my father was deployed to Iraq when I joined and while I was gone, and my mom didn't have either one of us around to help with my younger brother and sister. What I did gain from it was the experience of a lifetime that forever changed my outlook on the world. I was always fond of soldiering movies... The Patriot, We Were Soldiers, what have you (and if you can't tell I like Mel Gibson's movies.....) but I never understood what it was to truly be dedicated to your country, and lay your life on the line. Basic gave me a taste of that. From there, I made my life goal to be an honorable and loyal man to my family, my God, and my country.

I recently (Dec 2012) graduated from ITT Tech, with an Associates Degree in Computer Network Systems. It's safe to say I'm a geek... Video games are my chief form of entertainment. My main games currently are Eve Online and Kerbal Space Program. As far as Eve is concerned, I've been playing for nearly four years at this point, under the name Cecil Arongo. I started out as a carebear, dabbled in hi-sec wardec shenanigans for a while, and then went full lowsec pirate. I now live out in nullsec with Gentlemen's Agreement, an alliance within the ClusterFuck Coalition, or CFC. Among my other gaming is a space program simulator called Kerbal Space Program. In fitting with my love of sandbox-type games, this is a build-your-own-NASA game. It has a great community, both on Google+ and on Reddit, and it's truly fun seeing the often horrified look as they plummet to their death explore the Kerbin (earth) and Kerbol (sun) systems. If you thought Eve's learning cliff curve was difficult, try landing on the Mun or building a base on another planet from scratch!

The other thing I may do here, in addition to the occasional RL post, is dive into controversial firearms and self-defense law. You may not like what I have to say, but I enjoy a good debate and I look forward to chatting with you regardless.