Digital Debate Wednesdays: Hope for a Dark Future

Welcome back to Digital Debate Wednesdays! Every Wednesday, the staff of The Ace of Geeks will get our keyboards ready for a good, old fashioned nerd argument, and you get to hang out with us! Feel free to email us any ideas you might have for future debates, or let us know in the comments! Until then, here’s this weeks topic:

Last week sucked. So bad that we didn’t even DO a Digital Debate. But now we have to look towards the future, now. Which means I’ve got two questions, depending on how we think this is going to go. Answer either or both.

1) What geek media gives you hope for the future, inspires you to step forward and fight the darkness around you and to stand up for your friends?

2) What is your post-apocalypse survival plan?

Justin Rhodes: Joe Biden memes, both questions.

  • Ellie Collins: Agreed.
  • Jarys Maragopoulos: *snort*
  • Lauren Harrington: Solidarity.

Malkontent Blizzard:

1) The Foreign Policy Editor’s Roundtable (I’m a wonk)
2) I’m thinking about a video diary starting on January 20th

Tyler Dent Hayes: Man, we are getting real in here aren’t we?

1) Steven Universe. Yes, the world and its people can be terrible and hurtful and short-sighted and even just selfish, but it can also be loving and sweet and wondrous even at its darkest, weirdest moments. I keep a Garnet POP! figure at my desk at work that is basically how I hold it together on the worst days.

2) Trying to avoid being too darkly facetious here…for the time being, keep calling my elected reps, keep signing petitions, keep being here to hold my friends up and remind them of the good in the world. And if it truly goes to hell in a basket of deplorables, I’m learning self-defense and first aid, I’m going to stock up on durable/at least mostly healthy canned foods, and if it’s time to retreat I know where I can go to find farmers who will teach me the trade.

Rowan Hansen:

1) The music of Miracle of Sound. Specifically, Calamity is really on point right now.
2) Be as prepared as possible, and still be underprepared.

Raven Knighte:

1) – Escapism.

2) – see 1.

  • Malkontent Blizzard: Let’s escape to Nightvale.
  • Raven Knighte: Yes, please! Let’s do!

Joe Hadsall: I’m answering the first one: For me, it’s how fake news on social networks is getting so much coverage. A slow transformation in the media landscape has culminated in a news economy where feelings are valued over facts. People consume the news they WANT to hear, not what they NEED to hear, and a cottage industry of political-based clickbait producers is taking advantage of that.

Hopefully, this will start sanitizing the pool of news available. Or hopefully it will increase the quality of people’s baloney detectors, making accuracy and objectivity values worthy of raising our ire.

Lauren Harrington:

1) Agree with Justin–Joe Biden memes get me through the day and give me hope. Also, blasting La Plebe (band) out my windows on my commute home with the windows down. Not nerdy, just gives me life energy.
2) Fight. Fight like hell. Fight for basic human rights, fight for equality, fight to protect the ones I love, fight to protect myself, fight to educate those who don’t understand why I’m fighting. I will not back down, and I will likely be dragged out kicking and screaming from the fight when the fight becomes a losing one.

For reference: La Plebe is a punk band that my friends agree sounds like a combination of ranchera, ska, and punk. Their lyrics are very anti-establishment and socialist.

Alexis George:

1) Anything with a positive message being taken in by the younger generation with enthusiasm.
2) Dystopia Rising.

  • Tyler Dent Hayes: Younger generations: Millennials roundly rejected the bullshit that just ascended to the highest office. I view my job right now as trying to make sure that continues for them and the generations after them and try to leave them a world worthy of them — or at least one they don’t have to do all the work to save.

Nick Bailey Jr: I’m still playing Fallout 4. I’ve been taking notes.

Mary Anne Butler: Ready Player One and Wonder Woman films.

Saw Fantastic Beasts last night in IMAX, and they showed one trailer ahead of it, which was WW. There were cheers as soon as it started, and the two dudebro jackasses who were sitting next to me who were complaining about “her” getting a movie” and “not being important to comics” got shushed by about 15 ladies who didn’t give A FUCK about what they thought. That gives me goddamn hope; that both the future of movie theater goings won’t be so bad anymore (people shushing the assholes, so it’s not just me embarrassing Bill) and that something as simple as a super hero film may unite peoples.

Ready Player One for the escapism, for the bleak look at the future, but also for the spirit of the quest. Whatever you think of him as a businessman, Steve Jobs knew how to inspire people. The Halladay character does that and more, in a bigger way. I’m REALLY hoping it’s not fucked up, I’m really hoping Spielberg does right by Ernie.

  • Patrick Lowry: I hope he will. If there’s one guy I believe in for this its Spielberg.
  • Nick Bailey Jr: It’s one of my favorite books, and I hope it doesn’t end up like one of my other favorites, World War Z.

Chris Brecheen:


Jarys Maragopoulos: For our first question, the Mythos of Star Wars is providing me with a lot of emotional comfort and bearings. The theme of hope blossoming eternal in the struggle against anti-diversity, militant Autocracy is inspiring and also animating. The sanctity and mundanity of The Force focus the motifs of appreciation for the natural world and the joyous victory of compassion over hatred into a powerful symbol for the benevolent power of everyday people. If any time needed a worthy Star Wars Sequel, it is this time. I hold on to my excitement for the new movies closely, and I try to embody the virtues of my favorite characters.

Discworld’s wisdom has also helped, as has the perspective of Deus Ex. I started continuing my first playthrough of the new DE game last night, after months of depression. I was immediately rewarded by discovering a side mission where you overcome autocratic control of the press. I totally asked for this.

As for the second question; resist, protect, and keep vigilance every day until our world is kinder, stabler, and more just. Leia never gave up and neither do we.

Scott Woodbury: Return of the King, I know the story takes place in a fantastical world, the idea that good always prevails despite the odds rings very true to me.

I’ll survive the apocalypse with my Zombie Survival Guide and Wildwood Wisdom by Ellsworth Jaeger.

Melissa Devlin

1) Less media and more growing up on world war II stories and the sheer poverty it left Britain in. I found a world war II bomb in the river we used to play in. The shadow of the war still loomed in the eighties. And then traveling to West Germany when that was a thing, and hearing how my Dad would smuggle papers to a mathematician in East Germany (He would have to hop the fence to the asylum the mathematician was hiding in). I saw the famous village that rescued stranded soldiers by sending out all their fishing boats. I was reminded of the significance every Poppy Day. One of our family friends died of complications to having to hide out from the Nazi’s and never getting enough light. History is my teacher.

2) The wars that Trump could start could feel like the apocalypse, but this world has seen it before. It could experience another cold war. We are still dangerously close to midnight on the atomic war predictions and if Trump isn’t refused by officials he could bring us nuclear winter. But he is now being coached on what it means to be president by President Obama. So I choose hope over fear. I do not like Trump one bit. But I do not want him to fail, because if he does there will be war. Lots of it. And I will save as many people as I can.

  • Lauren Harrington: And, honestly, we are about to go into war, regardless of who our country is run by. It’s just a matter of how our country goes into it.
  • Melissa Devlin: Quite likely.

Mary Anne Butler: Thought of two more. Hedwig, and this concert (although it’s to remember a horror, sometimes the greatest beautiful art comes after horror.)

R Steele Earl: Chop wood. Carry water. Distrust mainstream media.

John Garcia: I think DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, despite how goofy it can get sometimes, does both 1) and 2).

It’s a time traveling show, and having a very diverse cast, they are able to (I think) respectfully handle social issues like racism, homophobia, and sexismand still make it seamless given the show’s premise.

Post-apocalyptic survival plan? …again, taking a book out of the crew of the Waverider: DO YOUR HOMEWORK! The thing that saved them most is not superpowers, or abilities, but cunning and just knowledge of things that happened. I mean their newest member is a historian even

Seth Oakley:

1) EVE Online just released a new patch (like, today, Tuesday the 15th of November, just released) and they added two new features. The first is Alpha Clones, who are able to log in without paying a subscription fee or purchasing time card on the in-game market. They can train their skill up to a certain level, and can’t use anything higher (those are not redundant statements, see below). That level was the level that I tended to have a lot of fun, they ships get interesting without getting strange and specific. They are actually cheap enough that you can throw them away making mistakes and it’s not a huge loss, but it’s enough of a loss to keep things interesting. You also have all of the other benefits of EVE without flying a ship (what are those? you ask; create an account and find out). Along with this, probably more importantly, you can transition from an Omega clone (a normal clone) to an Alpha clone. This means that if you want to take a break for a bit, you can still log in from time to time without any financial commitment. You can hang out with your friends, fly some goofy ships, and generally have fun. (That’s what an EVE player would consider a break from EVE).

The second new feature is new player owned structures that allow players to build stuff. This is not exactly new to the game, similar things existed before, but it’s new to me an my corporation, so we are enjoying it.

TL;DR: EVE went free to play, and has new bases.

2) Marry into the family with 10 aircraft carriers.

Stephanie Cala:

1) Steven Universe, Overwatch, and Skyrim
– Steven Universe has always been about love and empathy for others. That’s what makes it so great. From a larger point of view it also does a great job of demonstrating topics pertaining to sexuality, and mental health, and relationships.
– Overwatch’s newest champ Sombra was released officially (although we’ve been derping it up on PTR for a bit already). It’s no small thing to me that the two champs that have been added to the game since the original release were women of color and one of them is an older woman. It’s a good foot forward, even if the ARG was kinda meh.
– Skyrim dropped their Special Edition not too long ago and I’m enjoying my return to Tamriel (even though I was still pretty consistently playing the original version still nowadays). It seemed oddly poignant that at the beginning of the game your character is dropped into the middle of a civil war between nationalists and the empire. Escapism right? Although it is inspiring that the action of one person sets larger wheels in motion.

2) I have a few plans. My first, back when I lived on the peninsula, was to run to work and then we could barricade off the pier. We have a restaurant on site, and we could fish off the back end for food and get shipments to/from other settlements. We also have a machine shop so we could rig up some Mad Max style weapons and defenses. This is still Plan A if the outbreak happens and I happen to be in San Francisco.
My at-home plan is steal a boat and then find other people with boats and create a floating fishing village. I live across the street from a river where a lot of people have houseboats, so snagging one wouldn’t be too difficult I hope.

Joe Hadsall: You know what’s cool about Skyrim? Your character can marry whomever you want, whether it’s a dude, chick, cat, lizard or orc — AND NO ONE FREAKS THE FUCK OUT.

Stephanie Cala: Yeah my first play-through I was playing an imperial woman who ended up marrying Lydia because nobody else was gonna put up with my shit like her.

Although I’m still low-key mad that I couldn’t marry Serana from the DLC. Come onnnnnnnn.

Joe Hadsall: I wanted to marry Lydia, but she ran out on me. Completely disappeared. Couldn’t find a gravestone. Couldn’t find her ANYWHERE. I’m the one Nord Lydia didn’t stick to like glue. Womp wooooooommmp

Stephanie Cala: WHAAAAAT oh noooooooooo D: I’m so sorry. She makes good home cooked meals.

Patrick Lowry: She’s probably stuck on a staircase somewhere, trying so hard to get back to you, Joe.

Patrick Lowry

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