people expect the oath to be this dark twisted thing. a brand of thorns scarred into the soul, choking and mutilating until its victims would do anything for relief. people expect it to be painful
but it’s not like that, not at all. the oath is a creation of the greatest of the noldor in the noontide of valinor, and its craftsmanship reflects that. it is elegantly designed, artfully constructed, and accentuated with little creative touches. how easily it fits around the soul, lovingly nurturing the self until its only purpose is violence! how gracefully it channels the mind, deftly adjusting thought patterns until nothing matters beyond the silmarils!
the oath of fëanor is a horrible thing. the worst thing about it is that it is beautiful
A Lamentation, believed to be from the Late Merethic Era.
The most complete Falmeris writing discovered to date, the poem describes a series of increasingly impossible tasks to be accomplished before the poet may see their beloved again. A rare insight into not only Falmer writing, but also the process of grieving; the Ice Elves were not, as Ayleid and Old Nordic accounts describe, without emotion.
An approximate translation is as follows, alongside the poem transcribed to Tamrielic script:
so, a thing that’s been somewhat on my mind lately
the ways in which “narcissistic” and “sociopathic” are typically used in general conversation to describe certain negative character traits, and how that implicitly demonises/stereotypes those who have the corresponding PDs as also having those character traits.
and... similarly to the more broad case of the use of “empathy” in contexts where all that’s lost in a swap to “compassion” would be the effect that those types of usage have on empathyweird people (both low/no and hyper-)? there’s already language to describe those traits- swapping out “narcissistic” for “egocentric”, and swapping out “sociopathic” for “solipsistic”, for example, to me feels like they carry over the informative aspect of describing those character traits, without carrying that aspect of demonization/stereotyping of people who have those PDs.
because, after all, even if there are people with these PDs who have those traits, it’s kind of shitty to judge an entire category of nd people, and thus, marginalised people, by the worst of them. and, if it’s coming from the other direction, it’s also shitty to consider “is an asshole in this particular way” as mental illness or neurodivergence.
"We're living in this time in which you cannot walk down the street in certain ZIP codes of this country without bumping into a plutocrat trying to change the world," Giridharadas said. It seems as though every billionaire in America has at least one nonprofit foundation focusing on one social ill or another.
But aren't these splashy hundred-million-dollar-plus donations a good thing? Aren't these billionaires creating positive change with their charitable donations? Giridharadas argues that the charitable giving is a smokescreen to disguise the fact that the richest humans in the history of world "benefit from a near-monopoly on the fruits of the future" in which they have "essentially rigged the society to function as a casino in which the house — i.e., them — always wins."
"You've got a whole class of people who have cause to be resented," Giridharadas said, "who are, in many cases, manipulating their company books so they don't pay taxes, who are underpaying workers." For those wealthy few, he said, philanthropy is "a relatively cheap, bargain-basement way of changing your name. You can do bad things in the billions and wipe it out with gifts in the millions."
Despite their splashy press releases touting huge donations, the fact is that the super-rich's charitable giving is a drop in the bucket compared to their ever-growing fortunes. Zara Khan points out for Datawrapper, "charitable donations by the richest 20 Americans account for less than 1% of the total wealth of the donors."
If you are an average American taxpayer, the 400 wealthiest families in America now pay a lower tax rate than you. Imagine all the programs and projects we could have built had the tax rate for the wealthiest Americans stayed at 91%, where it was in the US from 1951 to 1964 (PDF), when the economy was growing at its fastest.
That's why "Pitchfork Economics" host Nick Hanauer this week wrote an editorial for the New Republic calling on Congress to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans — including Hanauer.
"It drives me crazy when I hear Democrats say that 'for the sake of the economy' we have to cut back on the $3.5 trillion spending in Biden's Build Back Better legislation, or that we can't possibly raise taxes on the wealthy and huge corporations as much as Biden proposed," Hanauer wrote.
"Those folks have it totally backward," Hanauer continued. "Taxing the rich is the only plan that would increase investment, boost productivity, grow the economy, and create more and better jobs." He's right — raising taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations would pay for the $3.5 trillion in spending over the 10 years of the Build Back Better plan, and the mammoth scope of that legislation, from greening the economy to investing in childcare to increasing educational opportunities for children and adults, would more significantly transform the economy than any plutocratic philanthropy ever could.
That's because there's another benefit to raising taxes on the super-rich: Their money would no longer be hoarded in the kind of offshore accounts that we learned about last week in the bombshell Pandora Papers. Instead, once it was invested in ordinary Americans, that money would circulate through local economies from hand to hand, creating jobs, spurring small business growth, and strengthening local communities through increased consumer demand. It's a much simpler system than elaborately disguising ostentatious wealth through philanthropic giving — and it has the added benefit of being better for everyone in the long haul.
20 - If they had to romance a character from another IF, who do you think they go for?
Tabitha: N from @evertidings. She's very drawn to people who are just as kind and caring as she is and they'd get along extremely well. Prepare from tooth rotting fluff when around them.
Euric: Syfyn from @exilethegame. Game recognises game. He respects how serious she takes her role as Commander, and overall they have similar personalities.
Destery/Dimitri: Roach from @the-passenger-if. Both of them are chaotic neutral and shameless flirts. They'd have a lot of fun together - some might even say too much fun.
Lenora/Leon: Shawnie from @barbwritesstuff. They love being around out going people and going on new adventures, so Shawnie is honestly their dream date. The party wouldn't end with these two together.
Alani/Alfie: Ciaran from @innerdemons-if. Being quite reserved and secretive, they're drawn to people with similar personalities. I doubt they'd hit it off from the get go, but once they get to know each other, it's smooth sailing.