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The year is 2024. You boot up Hearthstone.
Upon entering, you see your new daily quest. -"Win three games with neutral hero tavern heroes." You can't afford to rent one of the new neutral heroes from the Neutral tavern because you already blew through your gold loan for the year. (3000 gold at 15% interest rate though; that's a bargain you couldn't pass up.) Even though the quest reward is 4000 blizzard bux which you could use to trade for 400 exp or 20 gold, you decide it's probably smarter to spend your 10 gold to reroll the quest for something you can complete. -"Invite two NEW friends to Hearthstone and have them complete a purchase" Jackpot! This is the most rewarding quest you could have rolled with an insane 10,000 Blizzard bux payout(That's 1000 xp or even 50 gold!) You glance over at your gold loan balance. You still have to pay back 1000 gold before the next expansion or you'll be hit with interest, and this would go a long way in keeping that from happening. Unfortunately, you can't use existing friends for this quest. Fortunately, thanks to the free trial-turning into a subscription fee a week after download, you can just find two gullible random people to download the game and chances are that a week later you'll receive the quest reward. You exit the Journal tab and go to play some casual. "You have (3) games remaining in the punishment queue. RNG will be affected until you are removed, please be more considerate in your future endorsements." That's right, you had linked your social media and reddit accounts to your battle.net account because of the pack giveaway at the time. Unfortunately, this was part of the new, "Punishment queue" system in which players who spread misinformation about the game have various in-game probabilities reduced so as to properly educate them about the damage their lies have caused. You feel a slight tinge of regret for your post about how "I missed rent this month so I could buy the bundle and didn't recieve legenderies." Blizzard had deemed it "Community harmful" and you had been placed in the punishment queue as a result of your callous and harmful words. Still, the alternative is not playing the game and that isn't an option. You queue with the least RNG based deck you have, Casino mage, to try to mitigate the punishment queue. The card design is really cool, with a lot of the cards in the deck being re-imaginings of the old Scholomance set but with a little more focus on random card generation and RNG. Your opponent is playing KENO Demon Hunter. You hope that they aren't a "Leviathan" class player and could only afford half the guesses allowed. The game starts and the Keno card appears on your screen. It's as you feared, he has 50 of the 68 spaces on his Keno card paid for. He hits 4/5 of his numbers and starts the game with his 4/4 weapon, as usual. You just cut your acidic swamp ooze's too because they put your deck's IGV(Ingame value) below the threshold for being able to queue. Unlucky. Your opponent missed his combo for the OTK, but it still rolled a 5 on his, "Dicey odds" spell card, allowing for 5 additional attacks from his hero this turn. You're thrilled to get a turn so that this game counts against your punishment queue total. If your opponent defeats you before you get a turn, you don't get credit for the game. It's been like this for over a year and people still don't know whether it's intended or a bug, but nobody wants to risk additional Punishment queue games by asking. You're still really looking forward to the next set, "Forwards from Arthas" and know that all of the problems with the metagame will likely be fixed once and for all when it finally arrives. Time to preorder.
It’s Coooolin ! Hey there! Are you new to HUT? About to fire it up for the first time? Here’s a guide for you! ... and tips at the verrryyyy end!!
Knowing the Menus
There’s a bunch of things to do in HUT under different categories they are ... • HUT Central • Solo Play • Online • Auction House - sets • Team Each of these have various things underneath them, so let’s talk about them. HUT CENTRAL First off we have a scroll-through menu on what new content is out. New content; packs, and players gets released every week day at 5pm EST , unless it’s a Holiday - then we’ll get the content a day earlier. You will see when the content is out of packs by the timer and the date on the banner shown - Winterinternational Players released Monday were a week long to pull. We will see new events come into HUT bi-weekly. This event ends soon, so we will see a new Event next Friday at 5pm EST. Team of the Weeks are Wednesdays at 5pm EST. Available for the Week. HUT RUSH What else is there on HUT Central? You can go directly to HUT RUSH game mode by going to the banner using the left stick, highlighting it and clicking “X” or “A”. HUT Rush is 2 game modes , normally one is Traditional Hockey gamestyle, and other is Arcade Hockey gamestyle with “moneypuck” attached. Play games, win, get points, rank up in tiers. Get rewards - instantly. You can net 18.5k in coins, and 2 and a half gold collectables normally — or 100 Gold Players for 3 Gold Collectables, once. — willl talk about later. This is a limited time set, ending Tuesday @5pm EST. Objectives / Milestones You will also be available to see what Objectives / Milestones are close to completion. Click on this, and you will be shown the “Daily” Objectives. If you do all these, you get a Monthly Collectable, and 1,250 coins for the day. Weekly Objectives are the same thing, finish all those up within a weeks time (Friday at 5pm EST - Friday at 5pm EST) and get a cool 5k, plus an Untradable Premium Pack - worth 7,500 coins. Milestones have infinite time, do those for coins, players, packs. Do them all? Get yourself an Icon or Gold Collectable. — I’ll talk about these later.
Under Solo Play there is Squad Battles , and Challenges. What is Squad Battles? Squad Battles is playing your team against the A.I. for points. The higher difficulty; rookie, semi-pro, pro, all-star, superstar - and opponents OVR - i.e., 77 or 88 - the more points you can obtain. To get max points, score 5 goals, and have 20 shots on net. Points will increase as more people play, and get updated weekday, 5pm EST. The more games you play, and win the higher the rank you will get. Aim for at least Pro 2 , which is 4-5 games.** Squad Battles resets on Wednesday - 5pm EST and you will receive your rewards on Thursday at 5pm EST. —- some people still don’t know this, so have that memorized and you’ll know more than some people. Squad Battles affects your win-loss ratio, and Players Stats Squad Battles rewards you in Tradable Packs, Coins, and HUT Sweats CHAMPS points Challenges Challenges are a great way to earn a coin stack, and receive free packs - usually earned at the second last - last challenge in the “Event Challenges”. You will also receive Monthly Collectables throughout doing the Event Challenges.
Whats unique about this event is that by getting 3 stars, you will earn a Winterinternational collectable!! - will talk about later!
If you opt not to do these Event Challenges, there are “offline” challenges to do - Starting at Rookie, and ending in Superstar you can net a free 200k for doing them all!! It is time consuming, but it’s 200k worth! Challenge Coin Tiered
Rivals Mode What is Rivals? Rivals is playing against people online. PS+ or Xbox Membership is required in order to play online. Play your first 5 games, get entered into a Division. Do well - win lots in a row, and you’ll be able to go up in Divisions. This gives yourself better, and bigger rewards. Want to get those rewards in a higher tier, but you’re afraid you’ll lose the division? Hold off, and don’t play. Rivals resets Tuesdays at 5pm EST, Rewards available Wednesday at 5pm EST. Each game gives you points, as well. You get more points winning than losing, duh. More points will net you better rewards for the week. I normally just aim for Gold. You can choose from Tradable packs, Untradable packs (2 times the amount as tradable) or coins. Play a friend You can play your friend in HUT. They will obviously use their HUT team, and you’ll use yours. You can use expired loan players in this. Make up your own rules, and have fun!
Buy players, jerseys, logos, coaches, arenas, cellys, jersey numbers, goalie masks in the Auction House. You can also sell your own, as well. Simply click on the “Auction House” . You can change the category by clicking “X/A” and scroll over to your designated category you want to buy. - Also filter out the things if you want a specific player, or event. You will have the option to click down and sell players, view them in the next tab and see how much time is left, and also see what price they go for at the very end at the “Sell Transactions” - it will show you what you’ve sold, and by clicking “R2/RT” you will have a timestamp, going back a week, month, year, or all-time. Clicking “L2/LT” you will see your sold items, and expired items — if they didnt sell they’ll go here. • Since you are new?? There is a “Market Crash” happening right now. Load yourself up with “Base” 84+ cards for cheap - Mackinnon, Kane, McDavid - best Base player - Hedman, Vasilevskiy, etc., —- Tall goalies are “meta” , as well as “speedy” players. — I would also suggest buying TOTW Players, they will rebound in price. Sets Do your re-rolls what even is a “re-roll” ? A reroll is trading in 8 of a specific “level” to 2 of the “next level” players. For example 8 Bronze Players to 2 Silver Players. 8 Silver Players to 2 Gold Players. Lastly, we have 8 Gold Players to 2 Gold Players with one being an 80+ Player. I would not suggest doing the Gold -> Gold reroll You can also trade in Monthly Collectables you get from the Daily login for a Free Gold Collect / Icon. This costs 30 Monthly Collectables. You can also get packs, or a 80-82 player. You can get 2 per day - Daily Pack you get every 24hrs, plus doing the Daily Challenges. When a player gets 50 Gold Players, you can lock those into a Gold or Icon Collectable. Each will help your team in various ways, lets look at it. There is a set right now under “Winterinternational” where you trade in 100 Gold Players to 3 Gold Collectables, I highly suggest this, especially as a new player - redeemable twice —- The Winterinternational Collectables from the Event Challenges gives you a free Gold Collectable or helps with building a 91/92 random player, or specific player. For the free Gold Collectable you need 21 Winterinternational Collectables. — Icon Collectable - Untradable Master Icons. 1 Icon Collectable is an 85 Master Icon. There’s 84-89 OVR Master Icons available. Each one requires more and more Icon Collectables. —- Master Icons will eventually go to 99 OVR. Will require more Icons. Lower OVR Icons will need more Icons to get to Max OVR - 99. Higher Icons - Gretz / Lem. will require less. To get Lemieux / Gretzy it is 7? Icon Collectables. Gold Collectables - Tradable / Untradable Event Master Set Players (MsPs). Less Gold Collectables will net you an Untradable MSP , More Gold Collectables will net you a Tradable MSP. You can also get yourself specific 92 MsPs this event by doing their tasks. — They are Untradable. — Normally I go Tradable, and sell them for more coins. This allows you to build your favourite team the fastest.
Store Also under this is “Store” . Right now until Tuesday at 5pm EST you can get a free 90 OVR player! What a great way to start! Just pick your favourite one - THERE IS NO WRONG CHOICE!! Seriously grinds my gears seeing a post “what 90 is the best” “who should I choose?” It is YOUR GAME! What works for others , may not work for you. Pick YOUR FAVOURITE! Base & Premium Packs are always there. Base packs are 5k coins, Premium Packs are 7.5k coins. Every other weekday we will see a new pack enter the store. New Events bring more packs, containing specific stuff. One guarantees a Gold Collectable, and a Winterinternational Player. Since Boxing Day is today, there are packs out for it!! These packs end on Monday at 5pm EST. A player can also buy packs by purchasing “points” to purchase points, click the Triangle or Y button in the store. To see how much a pack is in “points” it is the Green Circle “Pucks” besides the coins. Currently the guaranteed Winterinternational and Gold Collectable pack is $25. Team Change your team players, lineups, goalies, coaches, add better players, etc., You can change your strategies by going to “Manage Lineups” and “Strategies”. Also there is the “Settings” to fix your camera, puck size, visual / audio, and controls. —- My Collection — Click on this, see every possible card you will be able to buy, and collect. Click “Triangle” to view all your players, jerseys, arenas, etc.,
Free Beginning Tips
HUT is not a race. Be patient. Better cards will be out every month , OVRs will increase.
PLAY THE GAME YOUR WAY!! BUILD YOUR OWN TEAM!! Use your favourite players for maximum fun, happiness, and enjoyment. So what if no one else uses “said player” its your team - not theres. What works for you may not work for them, vice versa.
Before hitting into a game, click R3? This pops up what Ping you wanna use. It’ll try and find a game below or at the ping you set. If you dont find an opponent within 30 seconds, you’ll be finding an opponent out of this ping zone range.
Use your 100 Gold Players for the 3 Gold Collectables.
Play up on RUSH to try and get Max Tier for the free 84 for your team. This will give you 18.5k , and the 100 Gold players needed for the 3 Gold Collectables.
If you can, try and do the 100 for 3 Gold Collectables, again. This will give you 6 Gold Collectables.
Play Squad Battles, and Rivals. Take UT (second option) for Rivals. This will ensure lots of Gold Players for Gold Collectables. (I always choose UT, even if my team is stacked. You can’t change my mind on doing anything different.)
DONT go for Lemieux or Gretzky. Yes, it is your HUT Team, but don’t go for it off the bat. I’d suggest a tradable MSP - then you can use the coins to play the market, and buy your Master Icons that you want.
Buy Base Speedy players - Doughty, Duchene, Mackinnon, Kane, etc., whoever floats your boat. All are cheap nown
Buy TOTWs for Profit.
Save on Gold Collectables. Have enough to get your first tradable MSP and sell for your coinage.
Save up coinage. Try and do Daily’s every day.
Spend coinage everywhere, one “Star Player” will not help your team.
World of Chel also gives you HUT items, every 10 items if you feel burned out.
Cross - Creases are so normal way of scoring, its no need to get mad about em now, use em to score if theyre open if you wanna play that way, too.
———————- This is my HUT Guide to you, new HUT player, or Old HUT Player reading this for fun. I hope you enjoy HUT. If you get frustrated or run down? I would suggest playing a different game-mode, game, or simply taking a break from the gaming system in general. That way you will be fired up to play again, and have fun! See you guys when new content gets released for another post! Comment down anything a new player would need to know to get their game started, and tips! • Coolin Killin It (Life is like a puzzle, you just have to find the right piece.)
We're all familiar with the Hotline Miami's, Hollow Knight's, and Celeste's of the world. These are some of the indie games that hit the big time. Of course, for every one of these games, there's 100 other indie games that have been glossed over, relegated to a spot in a digital store few people will ever find themselves in. I wanted to bring attention to some of these lesser known indie games. I'm going to order them according to Metacritic Critic Ratings. Some of the games at the bottom have pretty low critic ratings. I personally disagree with the low scores of these games, but it's only fair that you hear from more than just me. Keep in mind that games with only one or two User Ratings on Metacritic will not show the score. A game needs at least three User Ratings on Metacritic before the score will be shown. This is not the case for Critic Reviews. Price will contain the U.S. PlayStation Store link to the game. 1. Hayfever
Description: Hayfever is a precision platformer that revolves around a mailman propelling himself using a number of different allergens that act as power-ups. A lot of the platforming is aerial and typically has you catching allergens mid-air to perform maneuvers in quick succession. It's not an easy game by any means, but it has oddly relaxing music to accompany the rather intense platforming. There are also letters to collect in each level to steepen the challenge and some secrets to discover too. It takes an hour or so to get used to the aerial platforming, and this is one of the few 2D platformers played better with the analog stick rather than the D-Pad. But letters that seemed unattainable to me at the beginning of the game became much simpler by the end, as I had mastered the controls and physics of the game. I don't expect everyone to love this game, but I have to agree with the one other guy who played it that gave it a 9/10. After putting 25+ hours into it, I am still eager to replay it soon.
Completion Time: ~8 Hours
Extra Content: It'll take another 8 hours or so to collect all the letters and probably about 6 hours or so to beat the Hard World, which features an additional 28 remixed levels. There are also secrets to uncover, but they don't net any in game progress and only work towards your trophy completion. Finding these secrets will probably vary more in time because they are hidden, but expect them to take a few hours to find. Just to clarify, letters are an expanded test of your platforming skills and are all in clear view of the screen, while secrets are a test of your observation skills and take a little more digging to find. The platinum trophy is a fair and rewarding challenge that took me about 25-30 hours to get.
Description: Valfaris is one of the best run & gun games I've ever played. You play as Prince Therion who returns to his home planet of Valfaris on a quest to kill his father. It's themed around a fictional planet and has a gross alien vibe coupled with heavy metal music. The music doesn't override the other audio in the game, and it does a nice job of upping the ante when you're fighting a boss – of which there are many. You're equipped with a primary gun, a more powerful mana-based gun, a sword, and a shield that can block with mana or parry. There are a number of weapons to acquire throughout the game, and the guns in particular do a great job of feeling different. You’re able to upgrade your weapons with Blood Metals. Some Blood Metals are found in plain sight, others are rewarded for defeating a tough enemy, and some are given for going off the beaten path. These upgrades typically just up the firepower but will sometimes introduce a secondary move to your weapon. There are checkpoints every two minutes or so, and most bosses will have a checkpoint just before them (only the weaker bosses come after a gauntlet of enemies). The game is a little hard at points, but overall it strikes a nice balance of feeling accomplished for overcoming the challenges without getting overly frustrating.
Completion Time: ~8 Hours
Extra Content: There are a few secrets to find throughout the game that are off the beaten path, though I was able to find 2/3 of them on my first playthrough. I found all but one weapon as well. The replayability comes from New Game+, which allows you to take all your upgraded weapons into a harder version of the game. Since the weapons all function a bit differently, this can be lots of fun. Getting the platinum trophy is somewhat difficult.
Description: The premise of the game is a fusion of side scrollers and oldschool fixed screens that teleport you to the opposite side of the screen when you pass through one side - think Pac-Man, arcade Mario Bros., or Balloon Fight. You will find obstacles in your path that are impenetrable in a typical side scroller, but can be overcome by holding a button to turn the screen into a fixed screen that allows you to pass through one side and out through the other end. This is a totally unique take on a puzzle platformer I haven't seen before, and all five worlds bring something new to the table. For example, World 2 will flip you upside down when you pass through a screen, allowing new types of challenges as a result. There's more emphasis on the puzzle elements than the platforming.
Completion Time: ~2 Hours
Extra Content: There is a New Game+, but from what I could tell from the beginning it wasn't a whole lot different. Still, there's a trophy for completing New Game+ and some other fun trophies. Unfortunately, like many early generation indie games, this one has no platinum trophy.
Description: This game revolves around using two square characters who fling themselves from one end of the room to the other to reach an exit. You must position yourself in such a way that you use each character's body to get around the level. Each world introduces a new mechanic to keep things fresh. The whole game is played only using the two analog sticks (the d-pad and face buttons work, but the two analog sticks are best, in my opinion). It can also be played in local co-op, however with how often you have to fling yourself around, coordinating the correct movements to the other player would be exhausting, and it is easier to experiment yourself.
Completion Time: ~3.5 Hours
Extra Content: There's really no extra content, but $4 for what's almost a 4 hour game isn't bad. There is an easy platinum trophy however.
Description: This is actually a sequel to the Steam exclusive Horizon Shift, which sports a different aesthetic and isn’t quite as good from what I’ve read. Horizon Shift ’81 mimics the look of a fixed screen shoot ‘em up from the early 1980s but comes with a few twists of its own. Your ship is positioned in the middle of the screen on a horizontal line rather than the bottom, and you have to flip between sides to deal with enemies coming from both the top and the bottom. The line can be broken in different places – leaving a gap where you can fall to your death – by asteroids and certain projectiles. This is where the expanded moveset comes into play: you can jump between gaps and also over enemies who attach themselves to the line. Enemies on the line can also be taken out with a horizontal shield bash that regenerates after a few seconds. There is a boss after every five stages, some of which will actually bring the line down to the bottom of the screen, while others retain it in the middle. Horizon Shift ’81 has a number of customizable settings that change everything from the aesthetics, to the difficulty, to the checkpoint/lives system, to the speed of the game, and more. The two main modes are a choice between three lives with a checkpoint before and after every boss, or a checkpoint at the beginning of every level but only one life.
Completion Time: ~3.5 Hours (Normal Mode on Arcade Style)
Extra Content: There are a number of ways to customize your future playthroughs, and there’s an unlockable boss rush mode after finishing the game. The few trophies are relatively easy to obtain. There is no platinum trophy for this game.
Description: Daggerhood's main hook is the use of its sword teleportation mechanic. You throw your sword with a button, and you press the same button again to teleport to where the sword is. While this is a mechanic that has been seen in some Metroidvanias, I haven't seen a tight, linear 2D platformer make use of this mechanic before. Each level has a number of collectibles and some small side sections as well, but for the most part the path to the finish is clear - it's just the execution that's the tricky part. Add in teleportation portals to make things even trickier.
Completion Time: ~2.5 Hours
Extra Content: As this is a Ratalaika Games published game, the platinum trophy only takes about 1-1.5 hours to achieve. You can get it well before you even finish the game, which is a shame because the game had all the makings for a fun platinum trophy. There are tons of collectibles in each level, and each level records your time. So there is a lot here to extend to the playtime.
Description: Usually with Metroidvanias, I expect a long, difficult game that's difficult to navigate. Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight is a counter to those ideas while still maintaining the exploratory nature of the sub-genre. The plot is pretty simple and doesn't feature a ton of story, but there are a few NPCs you talk to throughout your quest. The combat is also fairly simple, but the boss fights you engage in are all great. Without much weapon customization, it's stripped to the basics of dodging enemy attacks while trying to get a hit in. It makes for a game that's easy to get into and instantly start enjoying. All of the areas are visually appealing, some more than others, and each of them lasts shorter than you'd expect. The game is only around 3-5 hours, but it feels like you've played so much more in that time. Some games only really start to take off by the time this game finishes.
Completion Time: ~4 Hours
Extra Content: Getting 100% map completion should only take an hour or two of cleanup. I did miss an optional boss on my first playthrough. There are also items to discover, and the trophies give fun challenges to extend the life of the game. Unfortunately there is no platinum trophy for this game. One cool thing I liked was that beating a boss without getting hit at all gives you a useful item. It also features New Game+, allowing you to carry over most of your items, making the game more difficult, and changing up enemy placement.
Description: Ultra Hat Dimension follows Bea through a series of rooms in a palace on a quest to undo the magical spell that has made the mythical Spluff creatures want to attack one another. There is a little bit of backstory via one sentence thoughts from Bea in between levels, but nothing major here. The gameplay revolves equipping four different types of hats and using them to evade or push Spluffs around to retrieve the key and reach the door. Each Spluff dons one of four different hats which effects their behavior towards other Spluffs and you. You will be punched one tile back by every Spluff unless you’re wearing the same hat as the Spluff. Spluffs interact with one another differently depending on what hat they’re wearing in a rock, paper, scissors kind of way – they may punch a Spluff back one space, get into a scuffle that allows you to get close to them without wearing a hat, or they may temporarily disable them in a way that allows you to access the space the Spluff consumes within eight moves. There are undo and reset buttons included that allow you to quickly rewind mistakes. There are some clever puzzles accompanied by catchy tunes and a charming pixel art aesthetic. The difficulty is about average.
Completion Time: ~3 Hours
Extra Content: Since this is published by Ratalaika Games, getting the platinum trophy can be obtained after only clearing 2/3 of the levels. There are a few custom maps on the PC version of the game but no additional content on consoles.
Description: Remothered: Tormented Fathers feels very old school in its design philosophy - no weapons outside a few self defense items and distraction items. You go back and forth in the mansion and have to learn the layout and where things are to proceed. You have to manually select the key item from your inventory to use on triggers (but a key icon is still shown to guide you a little). The sounds in this game do a great job of evoking tension, and I appreciate that the stalkers don’t seem to teleport, so if you can get away from them, you’ve earned your freedom for awhile. This is the first game in a loosely connected trilogy, with the second one due later this year.
Completion Time: ~6 Hours
Extra Content: There are some collectibles you can go back for, but not a whole beyond that. Unfortunately there is no platinum trophy for this game, and you'll probably get most of the trophies - if not all, except the collectibles one - on your first playthrough.
Description: Reverie is a mix between Zelda’s gameplay, Earthbound’s aesthetic and humor, and a New Zealand folktale – the legend of Maui and the Giant Fish. Instead of the more traditional sword and shield style fantasy, Reverie instead opts for items and tools a modern boy is more likely to find in his possession, like a cricket bat, a yoyo, and a nerf gun. Similarly, the first dungeon is grandpa’s basement, where you’ll square off against a giant hedgehog and a tumble dryer. That said, the game does get more fantastical with the last two locations, particularly the last one. It’s a relatively easy game overall, though the fourth and especially fifth dungeon offer up a moderate challenge. The indie scene has produced a lot of Zelda-like games in recent years, but this is the only one I know of that isn’t your standard medieval fantasy.
Completion Time: ~5 Hours
Extra Content: There are feathers to collect, mini games to play, and a combat focused bonus dungeon to beat. That said, a lot of this stuff is easy to stumble upon in the main quest, so you’re probably looking at about two or three hours’ worth of content after beating the game to complete everything and get the platinum trophy.
Description: Inertial Drift's distinguishing characteristic is its employment of the right analog stick for drifting. This takes a little getting used to, but it feels great once you get the hang of it, creating some exhilarating moments when perfecting corner turns. The game has 10 unique tracks + 10 reversed tracks, 16 vehicles, and four separate story arcs. Each story arc is only a couple of hours long and features a different protagonist with a different vehicle. Since you’ll be racing on the same track a few times, there are a few gameplay variations that differ from just reaching the finish line at the end, such as racking up a certain number of points that are acquired through longer drift times and other means. There's quite a bit of dialogue between races, and in the races themselves characters will frequently dish out positive commentary on your performance in the form of text in the top left hand corner of the screen. The game's aesthetics are a fusion of anime and synthwave. I've heard many fans liken the game to the manga Initial D, though I'm unfamiliar with that series myself.
Completion Time: ~3 Hours (for 1/4 Story Arcs)
Extra Content: There are a number of different modes including a Story Mode, Challenge Mode, Grand Prix Mode, Arcade Mode, two player Split-Screen, and Online, as well as a Tutorial. Completion of challenges in Challenge Mode allows you to unlock new vehicles for the other non-Story Modes. Grand Prix Mode allows you to race using different characters/vehicles through a connected set of challenges, while Arcade Mode is for one-off races. I wouldn't recommend this game for online play as the user-base is pretty small (hence it being overlooked) and you're unlikely to find a match. Getting the platinum trophy is fairly difficult.
Description: This is an action platformer that emulates arcade games from the latter half of the 1980s, but it is probably most reminiscent of Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts. The creator, Locomalito, states that the soundtrack uses the true arcade sound of the YM2203 chip. The game is hard, but the checkpoints are never more than a minute or two apart, and the lives' system/continue system has no penalties outside of locking you out of trophies. This is a very boss dense game - in the ~4 hour run-time it takes to complete the game, you fight 19 bosses. The handful of weapons and items you pick up helps lend variety to the combat, and no two boss fights feel the same.
Completion Time: ~4 Hours
Extra Content: The game has two endings. Most players will get the bad ending the first time around and be locked out of the final stage (which is the longest stage in the game). You do have to play through the game again to get the good ending, but you'll likely do it in half the time. If you want to see all the major content on your first go around, I recommend looking up how to get the good ending before you play the game. As far as trophies are concerned, the platinum trophy is very difficult to obtain. If you like an extreme challenge, this one's for you.
Description: Pato Box follows an anthropomorphic duck boxer on an adventure through a stylistic noir comic book world. “Pato” is a Spanish word that translates to “Duck” in English (the game was developed by a Mexican studio). The boss fights are heavily inspired by Punch-Out’s gameplay, but there are levels outside of these fights to help differentiate it. Most of the levels can be selected in any order you choose and typically serve as a leadup to the boss fight. Bosses are usually introduced by a cutscene followed by some dialogue taunting Pato Box. The levels play entirely differently from the fights, but the themes of the level match those of the bosses. The levels will employ various elements of evasion, stealth, exploration, and a few time-based mini-games. The casino level, for example, will have you walk around the casino looking for chips and punching the slot machines to earn enough to pay entrance to the fight, while the food factory has you evading stompers, sawblades, and butcher knives as you work your way through the level. There are variety of things to find throughout the levels: tokens for decorations in Pato Box’s room, backstory on the boss of the level and the world, and tips on how to win the upcoming fight. The fights themselves lock Pato Box in the middle of the screen, allowing you to block, juke left or right, and perform a low or high jab to the left or right. The game foregoes a HUD in favor of a visual representation of your health via scars on your body, which I thought was a nice touch. While the levels and bosses play pretty differently from each other, they’re weaved together by a dark and intriguing story that follows Pato Box’s quest for retribution against an evil corporation.
Completion Time: ~7 Hours
Extra Content: There’s an Arcade Mode that lets you replay boss fights and some collectibles to find in the main campaign. The trophies are very difficult, and many ask you to beat a boss without taking a single hit.
Description: The Count Lucanor’s story is very fairy tale-esque – more like a classic fairy tale as it can be pretty dark and grotesque at times. On his 10th birthday, Hans chooses to leave his mother in a quest for wealth. After some walking and conversation with NPCs you find along the way, you stumble upon a large mansion and find that the count of this mansion is looking to pass his wealth onto an heir who can prove himself worthy – “worthy” in this case being the one who can figure out the count’s name. From here, you are tasked with adventuring through the mansion and solving environmental puzzles in a nonlinear way to acquire the letters that spell the count’s name. There is a survival horror element to the game, as you are unable to attack the enemies in the mansion and instead must crawl under tables and find other ways around them. You can place candles around the mansion to light it up to help you better evade enemies, but your usage is limited (though you can find more).
Completion Time: ~4 Hours
Extra Content: There are five different endings and some puzzles/rooms you don’t even have to do. This could double your playtime – maybe even more if you don’t use a guide. The platinum trophy requires every ending and a few other things but is pretty easy to get if you use a guide.
Description: The Bunker is an FMV point & click adventure, meaning it features real actors and environments just like a live action movie. Many of the actors involved have been in high profile movies/TV shows as well, including The Hobbit, Game of Thrones, Star Wars, and Penny Dreadful. The game takes place in a fallout shelter and follows the last survivor as he tries to find a way outside following the death of his mother, after living 30+ years in the bunker. The gameplay has you solving puzzles and finding ways to proceed to the next area. The story is the focal point of the game though, and it frequently switches between the past and the present to tell its story. There’s a good juxtaposition between the lively past and the lonely present that makes you question how the protagonist ended up as the last survivor. There’s only one narrative choice to make in the game, and it comes at the very end. The game also works in handheld mode with touchscreen functionality if you'd prefer to play it that way.
Completion Time: ~2. Hour Completion Time*
Extra Content: You can replay the game and try to find all the collectibles. Most of them give more background on the story. You can trigger the ending you did not choose the first time around by simply reloading the last checkpoint, so there is no need to play through the whole game again to unlock it. Getting the platinum trophy is fairly easy.
Description: A Tale of Paper takes direct inspiration from Little Nightmares, sporting the same sideview camera angle and minimalist narrative. It’s a little less creepy and has the interesting twist of transforming into a variety of different origamis on the fly: from a little alien creature, to a frog, to a ball, to a paper airplane, etc., all with the push of a button. You’ll use a combination of different origami shapes to overcome the obstacles in the area, and you’ll be accompanied by some gorgeous sceneries in the process. The gameplay is pretty easy in both its platforming and puzzles, making it an easygoing, movie-esque kind of game. While the story is minimalist, it results in a satisfying conclusion, and it really feels like you’ve been through quite a journey even with the short runtime. The game evokes the feeling of being a tiny specimen in a larger-than-life world – Toy Story 2 is probably the most apt comparison I can make. Outside of Little Nightmares, I haven’t played another game quite like this.
Completion Time: ~1.5 Hours
Extra Content: I got seven of the eight origami collectibles in my first run-through. The trophies also only offer a few extra things to do, but I’d recommend reading the list of trophies before you play the game if you want to get the relatively easy platinum trophy.
Description: If you liked Detroit: Become Human or Until Dawn, Late Shift will be right up your alley. This game is a bit different from both those titles in that it's an FMV, with the gameplay solely consisting of the choices you make. You receive prompts at key moments in the story on what you want your character to do next, and this effects the outcome of the game. It plays more like Black Mirror's Bandersnatch, though this game came before it. The story follows an everyman who gets tangled up in London's criminal underground just as a result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Completion Time: ~1.5 Hour Completion Time*
Extra Content: There are 180 choice points and 7 different endings. There is a platinum trophy, and I only got 4 out of 21 of the trophies on my first playthrough. There are a number of different routes to take with the game.
Description: SINNER: Sacrifice for Redemption is a Soulslike boss rush - there are no levels and only small area before each boss to practice your moves. There are eight bosses, the first seven allowing you to fight in any order, each representing the seven deadly sins. You are equipped with everything the game has to offer from the beginning (except for the New Game+ weapon they give you), and instead of becoming more powerful, you gradually lose things with each boss you defeat, hence the “sacrifice” in the title. It’s like a reverse RPG. Each boss has a different sacrifice associated to it – one may deplete your throwing items’ usage, while another will deplete your health and stamina. Picking the best order to fight them in adds a little strategic thinking to the game, as you may be more dependent on your large health and stamina bar more than your throwing items’ usage, for example. The game is fairly difficult, so your victories over each boss feel very gratifying when they do come.
Completion Time: ~5 Hours
Extra Content: There is New Game+ that offers you an additional weapon. The trophies task you with a few things you have to pull off in battles, and the platinum trophy is pretty easy to obtain.
Description: Verlet Swing’s aesthetic is as intriguing as its gameplay: you are tasked with grappling and swinging yourself across these vaporwave styled levels without hitting anything. The levels are all very short, but you’re likely to play many levels dozens of times before even finishing it… just to get a 1/4 rank. The ranking system is actually very cool, in that it encourages you to find alternative paths or sometimes just building up more momentum to get to the end faster. Most levels do seem to have a set path, but at the same time, with the proper grappling of the mechanics, you can forge your own, which is a game in itself.
Completion Time: ~7 Hours
Extra Content: There’s an in game challenge menu that mostly recycles a lot of the base game content – though there’s a particularly funny one that switches the perspective to third person to play as a knockoff Spiderman. You can also go back and try to get the best possible time for each level. Getting the platinum trophy is extremely hard and I believe is at 0.1% completion.
Description: Neon Drive is a challenging rhythm game with a synthwave aesthetic and appropriately matching music. The objective of the game is to evade the obstacles coming at you by transitioning between four lanes at the right moment using either two of the face buttons, D-Pad, or shoulder buttons. Personally I found the shoulder buttons worked best. The game will occasionally transform you into other vehicles that mix the gameplay up a bit - one notable example is when you turn into a plane and transition between eight lanes in a 360 degree orientation. There are only eight levels that are all about three minutes in length if you were to beat them with no deaths, with two checkpoints and two health points that regenerate between checkpoints. While this all sounds very generous, most of these levels will still take you dozens of tries, though the life reset is almost immediate so you can get back into the action right away.
Completion Time: ~3 Hours
Extra Content: There are two harder difficulties, an endurance mode that sees how long you can go without dying, a free run mode that allows you to play through the game without reset (only unlocked after beating each level), and online leaderboards. The trophies are very hard to get, and there is no platinum trophy.
Conclusion My top 5 on the list in order would be the following: (1.) Hayfever, (2.) Valfaris, (3.) Cursed Castilla: (Maldita Castilla EX), (4.) Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight, and (5.) Bleep Bloop. Have you played any of these games? What are some other overlooked single player indie games? If you’re looking for more indie games to play, see my post here:
Overnight News Heading into Tuesday December 15th 2020
(News Yet to be Traded 8:00 PM - 4:00 AM EST) It is up to you to judge the accuracy and veracity of the below before trading. I take no responsibility for the accuracy of the information in this thread.
TSLA Tesla To See $1.1B In 'Deferred Software Revenue' In 2021, Munster Estimates
TSLA Elon Musk's SpaceX Seeks To Double Valuation At $92B In New Funding Round: Report
TSEM Tower Semiconductor and OPIX Announce the Successful Development of a World Class iToF Technology Platform for 3D Imaging and Face Recognition Applications
AAPL Apple Supplier's iPhone Factory Suffers $7M In Damages During Violent Worker Protests
EAF GrafTech Announces Upsizing and Pricing of Secondary Offering of Common Stock by Existing Stockholders
ATA.U Americas Technology Acquisition CORP. Announces Pricing of $100 M IPO
UBER Uber Fined $59M In California Over Refusal To Share Information On Sexual Assaults
BNR Burning Rock Announces an Exclusive in-Licensing of a Risk Stratification Test for Early Stage Lung-Cancer Patients from Oncocyte in China
BCDA ($4.48) BioCardia, Inc. Announces $8.5 Million Registered Direct Offering Priced At-The-Market Under Nasdaq Rules [Revised]
UBER DASH LYFT GRUB Uber and DoorDash are hiking food delivery and rideshare prices for Californians to pay for new driver benefits
----------------------------------------------- Subscribe to This Brief and the daily 4:00 AM Pre Market Brief on The Twitter Link Here . Alerts in the tweets will direct you to the daily brief in this sub Other Useful Resources:Stock Market Tools, Resources, Advice, & Tutorials WARNING: It is up to you to judge the accuracy and veracity of the above before trading. I take no responsibility for the accuracy of the information in this thread.
I haven't played GTA V/Online since 2014, so things have changed a bit. It's all quite overwhelming for newcomers or returning players, especially if you get the Criminal Enterprise Starter Pack like I did. I snagged my Motorcycle Club, my Bunker, and free vehicles, and proceeded to follow guides for making money with those businesses. I sank too much into them, to the tune of getting down to $500,000 with no profit coming in because I was getting skunked as a solo player, even in a solo public session. The most difficult part of it all is dealing with the sharpshooter NPC's. These guys are ridiculous! So, we're aiming for non-combat jobs. That said, here's what I recommend folks do: - Snag the Criminal Enterprise Starter Pack for the $1,000,000. - Link your Amazon/Twitch Prime account with your Rockstar Social Club account to snag another $200,000 (and another $200,000 after 4 weeks consecutive play, supposedly). - Grab a bulletproof helmet ($20,000) from a clothing store, and ensure it's always equipped. (You may skip this, as it's really not necessary, but will help if you get pinned somewhere.) - Purchase a Mini SMG ($8,900). - Purchase a Pegassi Bati 801 motorcycle ($15,000). - Play Mission Repo - Simeonics until Rank 16 (Pause Menu > Online > Jobs > Rockstar Created > Missions > Repo - Simeonics). Profit $16,170. - Once Rank 16, play the Chasers II mission (Pause Menu > Online > Jobs > Rockstar Created > Missions > Chasers II). Queue into it, select Hard, and on the next screen, select Closed so no one else joins so you don't have to wait for them. Start a timer once you load in, go grab the car, ignoring people shooting at you (they'll stop once you get close enough to the destination), and turn in the vehicle once you pass 4:00. Profit $9,480. - Repeat - Once you get to $1,500,000, see this post or watch this video to start making $240,000/hr until you reach $2,200,000.
Notes for fellow noobs
Snacks are how you regain health. Your free CEO office has an executive assistant that provides snacks for free. These can be consumed on-the-fly via the Interaction Menu at Inventory > Snacks. Ammo can be purchased for your currently-held weapons via the Interaction menu at Inventory > Ammo. Visit the casino once per day (real time). No matter what, it's worth the drive, even if just for a few thousand RP. At this point in the GTA Online lifespan, your goal should be to obtain a submarine ($2,200,000) in order to do the Perico Heist. So, after grabbing your free cash, and spending some dough on the aforementioned items, you should be sitting at $1,156,100 before even starting any jobs. You're practically halfway to the submarine already... The reason we wait for 4:00 is due to the way payout is calculated. Further reading here.
I tried a bunch of things, but what boiled down to being most profitable-to-ease of completion, in order of best to okay, were: 1. Chasers II 2. Repo - Simeonics 3. San Andreas Seoul 4. Warehouse 1x Crate Pickup & Delivery ``` | Job | Avg Time to Complete | Net Profit | Avg Profit per Minute | Profit per Hour | | ------------------ | -------------------- | ---------- | --------------------- | --------------- | | Repo - Simeonics | 10:00 | $16,170.00 | $1,617.00 | $97,020.00 | | Chasers II | 6:45 | $9,480.00 | $1,404.44 | $84,266.67 | | San Andreas Seoul | 9:00 | $11,380.00 | $1,264.44 | $75,866.67 | | Warehouse 1x Crate | 8:00 | $9,000.00 | $1,125.00 | $67,500.00 | Sample Size for each: 10 ```
Taking into account the costs for each warehouse, we'd have to do roughly 9 hours of solo 1x crate jobs before breaking even. However, these will come in handy with vehicle cargo if I decide to do that in the future. While Repo - Simeonics is more profitable, it's also slightly more difficult. Taking your Bati 801 to the airport twice to grab two cars takes some time, and has more room for error, especially considering the wanted level at the beginning. That said, the only choke point is at the entrance/exit of the airport, and really isn't an issue. But it is worth noting. Chasers II can be done in around 2:00, with 2:00 of waiting in Simeon's parking lot to turn in. This can definitely be more boring, so I am currently switching it up between Chasers II and Simeonics. Once you're ~ Rank 40, you should be able to do some better missions, as mentioned in this post, but you should have already done the Perico Heist by then, and at that point the missions will be less than what you can make with Perico.
Each mission was timed from the beginning of loading into the queue to loading back into free roam. Crate jobs were timed from leaving the CEO laptop, picking up, taking to warehouse, selling and dropping off, to returning to the CEO office. Office used was Maze Bank West, while warehouses used were White Widow Garage ($360,000) and Convenience Store Lockup ($250,000). All tests performed using PlayStation 5 with MTU set to 750. With default MTU setting, queuing into missions may be quicker, and therefore even more profitable.
Why not Sightseer? Sightseer, the CEO/VIP Work, is definitely non-combat. However, there are so many variables here, that it's just not worth it. You're usually taken on a wild goose chase throughout the northern section of the map. You need a fast airborne vehicle for Sightseer to be worth it. But even then, you probably already have better means of income. That said, give it a shot! Even if it takes you all 15:00 to complete, it's still $20,000 ($25,000 if completed in under 5:00, but let's not kid ourselves). This comes out to $1,333/min if done in 15:00, or $2,000/min if done in 10:00.
12/30/2020 - Added Questions section - Added information regarding Sightseer. - Added information regarding CEO Vehicle Cargo.
I am 36 years old, make $66,900, live in Portland OR and work as a Data Coordinator.
Section Zero: Background Hello all, happy hoildays! I stumbled upon this subreddit not long ago and have enjoyed the commentary and experiences everyone's shared. Wanted to add another perspective from a mid-30s first-gen American. I've had some missteps regarding careers and finances, but I feel like I'm in a slightly better place now. I tried YNAB in the past but I wasn't consistent enough with it. These days I use Mint to monitor my finances and have a "Finance Friday" each month to review all my accounts and spending. I currently live with my partner TJ and his dog RR. We do not combine finances, but he has been unemployed since March. I have helped him with some bills and basic necessities here and there until he finds his next job or career. My current financial goals are to just maintain a status quo and not get any debt until pandemic times are over. Then I will focus on a house remodeling fund and savings for taking care of my parents. Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent/guardian(s) educate you about finances? My parents taught us about money from a frugal perspective. They are immigrants who worked in food service/factories. There was always this “save save save” mentality. Even when they started their own small business, we saved like there was no tomorrow. In high school, my calculus teacher bought us all “The Millionaire Next Door” book and had us read it as an assignment - that was my first structured introduction to finances. Did you worry about money growing up? No, there was always food on the table and a roof over our heads. I knew that our extended family would support us if needed. Was there an expectation for you to attend higher education? Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it? Yes. My dad didn’t finish the high school-equivalent in their country, while my mom did finish high school, but no college. My older and younger siblings took a different path in life after high school. I am the first and only in my family to graduate from college. My parents covered all tuition for my two bachelor degrees with the agreement that I support them fully during their retirement and send them gifts/extra money whenever I can. I feel very lucky and privileged that they were able to provide that education for me. At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net? 24 when I went on a work holiday abroad. My family was always available to help when needed, but the experience abroad helped me stand on my own feet. As an adult, I also inherited that “save” mentality and put a lot of my earnings towards savings. I didn’t date until my 30s, lived frugally, didn’t go out to eat/hangout with people, shopped thrift stores, and had very few hobbies. I am starting to “live a little” now though. Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? Aside from the tuition, my parents have helped with a down payment for my first house and living costs during periods of unemployment. Section One: Assets and Debt Retirement Balance If the place I was working at offered a 401k, I would always contribute up to the company match. I started my IRA in my mid-20s and would try to contribute the yearly max. I've stopped that the past 2-3 years though. My Other Brokerage is some play money, but I got tired of staring it and switched to index funds. I haven't contributed anything to it in a few years.
401k: $34,127 (5% company match on contributions)
Brokerage: $22,421 ESPP
Roth IRA: $40,615 VTIVX
Rollover IRA: $15,760 VTTHX
Other Brokerage: $7,235 VTI
Coinbase: $1,286 ETH (mostly just playing around with it)
Equity if you're a homeowner Purchased my first home for $382,000 with 20% down, right before lockdown earlier this year. Perfect timing, right?? I plan to live here until my retirement. My parents contributed $15k while I used most of my savings for the rest.
Current Equity: $80,371
Savings account balance: $3,073 Checking account balance: $7,800 Credit card debt: I charge everything on my credit card for the points, then pay it off each month using my checking account balance. Student loan debt: Traditionally no student loan debt as mentioned in Section Zero. Section Two: Income Income Progression (listed as gross income with cost of living area): High School
$11/hourMCOL - Helped with small family business.
College and first “career” job
$12-19/hour MCOL - I did events/banquet serving after classes and had an internship doing software administration.
$22/hour MCOL - Junior web developer. I realized after a year that programming was not my calling.
Mental health break
$12/hour LCOL - Work holiday abroad. I got a steady banquet server job for that whole time. It was enough to live minimally in a hostel, do weekend trips, WOOF and figure my life out.
College (again) and second “career” job
$12-15/hour LCOL - Decided to go back to school for a different bachelor's degree. While pursuing that degree, I worked at hotels and events as a banquet server again. I also did “search engine evaluation” whenever there were tasks available.
$36,000/year salary LCOL - Software administrator at a casino after graduation.
$39,000/year salary LCOL - Systemsanalyst at same casino. I left after 2 years, feeling disillusioned with the casino industry. I moved back home with my parents until I could get back on my feet again.
Third “career” jobs
$20/hour HCOL - Entry level advertising role. I was applying to all types of office jobs and that was my only bite.
$45/hour MCOL - Cold-called from a global company who needed someone with my software administrator experience from the casino job. It was an 8 month contract. Although I was starting to love my advertising job, the increase in pay was no question.
$65,000/year salary MCOL - After the contract ended and a few months of unemployment, I landed my current job at the same company. It is an “early career” role according to their job levels.
$66,900/year salary MCOL - Cost of living and merit increases after 2 years on the job. Pre-COVID we got a $5000 bonus each year. They have now stopped bonuses as well as all COL and merit increases.
Main Job Monthly Take Home: Monthly Net (paid bi-weekly): $2,758 Deductions:
Side Gig Monthly Take Home: No side gigs at the moment, but I am thinking of signing up on Upwork.com and doing Excel/data entry projects to help pay the mortgage. Other Income: TJ’s friend will be staying with us for a month in January, who will pay rent of $800 including utilities. Depending on how that goes, we may take on a roommate in the spare bedroom long-term. Section Three: Expenses Mortgage - when I bought the house, the plan was that I would charge TJ a portion of the mortgage costs as “rent”, but since his unemployment I am now covering it all myself. Regular Monthly Payment: $1677.57
Taxes & Home Insurance: $326.52
HOA: $30/year Retirement contribution: Nothing additional than what's been mentioned. Savings contribution: I used to do $50-100/month, but since COVID I’ve stopped contributing to my savings account. Investment contribution: None at this time. Debt payments: $100/month towards TJ's credit card balance of $2,307. Donations: $10-20/month, usually towards Omaze or Planned Parenthood. Utilities:
Natural Gas: $30-80/month
Xfinity internet: $60/month
Cellphone: On my parents plan. Subscriptions:
LinkedIn: $29.99/month for TJ’s job search - he’s found it very useful.
Amazon/Netflix/Hulu: We piggyback off family and friends’ accounts.
Nintendo Switch Online: 19.99/year
Gym membership: Pre-COVID I did Orangetheory for a year. I started to pick up free exercise equipment from Craigslist this year, so we have a small garage gym now and utilize YouTube exercise videos instead. Pet expenses: $10/month. TJ has stockpiled some Costco canned dog food before unemployment, but once that runs out I will likely cover the costs. We also started to make homemade dog food to help supplement. Car insurance: $460 every 6 months. Car is paid off. Regular therapy: I will start in the new year. Not sure what the costs are yet, but I will use my HSA to pay. Vitamins/Medications: $20/month Groceries & household items: $75/month Miscellaneous (eating out, house purchases, gifts, etc): $100/month Section Four: Money Diary Monday 6:30am Neighbor starts up their truck. We joke that it's our natural alarm clock. They idle for about 15 minutes before heading off. I go back to bed. 9am My real alarm goes off. I put the electric kettle on for some morning tea. While it's boiling, I do my morning routine: drink glass of water, take synthroid, use bathroom, brush teeth, quick shower. I then make tea - Jasmine Pearl English Breakfast with dark forest mix. I started ordering loose leaf tea in large amounts back in March instead of small bags or single serving packets. Seems more economical since I drink it daily. I let the dog out into the backyard so he can do his morning routine. 9:30am I go through my daily tasks for work. They entail checking processes and reports to make sure they ran successfully overnight. I then answer some emails and catch-up on Slack channels. 12pm Lunch is leftover roast chicken and quinoa from Saturday. I heat it up in the instant pot. Love that thing! Almost every meal of ours involves the instant pot. We hardly use the stovetop. We then walk the dog to the business park across from our neighborhood. There's a very short trail that runs along a drainage creek by the business park. It's quite muddy, but has a nice woodsy feeling. Over the summer, we saw sumac trees there as well. Free sumac spice! 1:30pm Department meeting on Zoom. Our director announces his resignation on the call. Everyone is shocked! Layoffs were announced for next year but this was not a part of it. I think it's a good move for him and he doesn't have to have this worry of layoffs over his head. 3pm I meet with an engineer from another team and talk about a data source they are in charge of. He helps me out in understanding it and we identify most of the fields that I need for a project I’m starting. 5:30pm I check in with my partner. He's been watching LinkedIn tutorials on internal recruiting, job coaching and general computeoffice skills. It's a career change that he wants to make - something where he can talk to and help people. He doesn't have a bachelor's, only an associates, and hopes these tutorials will get him a leg up in the job search. I sent him some entry level HR admin roles the other day and remind him to apply. I then heat up leftovers: homemade chana masala and rice. I add some butter and coconut milk to thin it out, so there's enough for both of us. 10:30pm I take some magnesium, vitamin D and Airborne. I say goodnight to the dog who sleeps in the office. Then I say goodnight to TJ. He sleeps in the spare bedroom on weeknights due to his snoring keeping me up. I'm a light sleeper while he is a pretty deep sleeper. Daily total: $0 Tuesday 9am I check Reddit Secret Santa. My match seems like a really good person. Not sure what to get, but most likely will purchase something off their wishlist. I wish I was more creative with my gift giving. 11am Meeting with business stakeholder. She submitted a few changes to an existing data process about a month ago. I make the change while on the call and have her test. Success! Marking it off the todo list. I love when we can finish things directly on a call. 12:30pm I come out of my office to make lunch. I notice my partner is not home. I check my messages and see that he's stepped out to pick up a few things. I ask for celery, carrots, and kombucha. $17. I make a quick charcuterie board for lunch: Costco salami, cheese, homemade hummus and Triscuits. It's a simple, fast meal that’s always in our rotation. 2pm My partner is back and we take the dog out for a walk and quick round of disc golf at a nearby park. We mask up and play only a few holes. Disc golf is a pretty frugal activity, you only need 2-3 discs to get started. TJ remarks that my throws are getting better, but then again they weren't great to start with. We talk about Christmas/Birthday gifts on the way back home since he was born on New Years Day. He mentioned snowshoeing but asked to not spend that much. I'll do some research! 5pm I think about personal career projects. Should I put up a portfolio of projects somewhere? I decide to try and pull some Yelp data. There’s not a lot of data points that I was interested in. Regardless, I tinker with it for an hour. TJ asks if I'm hungry. I said not so much, but felt thirsty. Maybe some ginger soup tonight? 7:30pm Dinner is served - ginger carrot soup made in the instant pot. We eat some rice crackers with it. Lately I feel like we've been eating more vegetarian dinners. It definitely helps stretch our food budget. We end the evening by finishing Fargo season 3 on Hulu. Daily total: $17 Wednesday 1:30am I'm woken up by the dog. He's been sneezing a lot and wheezes at random intervals. TJ doesn't have the money for a vet visit but I've offered to pay as long as he calls to make the appointment. I give the dog some coconut oil, rub his belly until he seems better and go back to bed. 7am Garbage day. We usually put it out the night before but I forgot. I get up to go, but TJ handles it. I think, at least. I'm too sleepy to pay attention and go back to bed. 9am I wake up and rinse some dishes that have piled up and put them into the dishwasher. We both grew up in households that had a home dishwasher, but forbade from using it. It was drilled into us that hand washing saves more water, unless you had a restaurant/industrial dishwasher. I think with modern home dishwashers, that's changed, so I wanted to try it out with our dishwasher and monitor the water bill. Don't have any dishwashing pods or powder, so I put some OxiClean in it. 12:30pm I overhear TJ on a call with a recruiting agency. It seems to be going well, lots of laughing. I heat up some taco lasagna that I freezer meal-prepped last month. 2pm Collaborate on a project at work with an engineer. My manager put me on this project since I was asking for an assignment on a more technical team. I'm learning tidbits here and there, but I don't feel like it's structured enough. 5pm I do an Orangetheory-At-Home workout and try to break a sweat. It's not the same as going to their studio. 6pm Charcuterie for dinner. Our fridge is full of store-bought and homemade pickles that go super well on a charcuterie board. Daily total: $0 Thursday 7am I wake up tired. The house has been feeling more cold, which woke me up a few times. We keep the temp at 72F during the day, at night around 68F since we thought the bedrooms keep the heat in pretty well. My mistake! 9am I do my usual morning routine and login to work. My team mostly spends the morning sending each other emojis. 11:30am Lunch today is mini quiche, frozen chicken and veggie entree, and hot dogs. Not the most cohesive meal, but it fills the belly. 12:30pm TJ heads out to his mailbox that's 30 minutes away. He is still waiting on his tax return and a 401k withdrawal. His taxes had to be filed by mail for some reason, then the IRS office shut down due to COVID. So he wanted to see if it arrived yet at the mailbox. He also takes the dog to the vet's urgent care on his way. They didn't have any regular openings available until the end of the year, and the dog seemed to be getting worse. I give TJ $40 to mail a gift package to a friend in France and also reiterate that I'll cover the vet bill when he gets it. 4:30pm I pay some bills, my favorite activity (not)! Sewer bill: $59.44 (billed every 2 months). Geico bill: $459.60 billed every 6 months. Then I follow up with my mortgage officer over email. I had sent her some documents for a refinance quote last week, but haven't heard back. Rates keep dropping, so I'm told, but what does that really mean? I do some research on realestate. 5pm TJ messages me and says he'll be back for dinner. I ask him to pick up some Popeyes via drive thru since we both don't feel like cooking today. Popeyes is currently our fancy “going out to eat” food. $24.17 for a 4pc dinner meal and a 2pc dinner meal. Daily total: $583.21 Friday 8:30am Busy morning at work. My phone is buzzing with emails and Slack messages. I try to answer them while I make tea. 10am Zoom Department happy hour. We reminisce about our director and then play those Jackbox party games. Some of them are hard! 11am TJ asks if he can make me anything for lunch. He suggests savory oatmeal, quick and easy. I tell him that I really appreciate him making meals/doing chores/etc without me prompting. We've been having conversations about "house project management" and mental load because I did most of the chores or I had to continually remind/tell him to do it. I'm really happy to see us progress on this front. I decide to work through my lunch break so I can end the day early. I don't often do that, but I'm ready to get the weekend started. 2pm I check on TJ in the spare bedroom and ask if the dog has been fed yet, since he was nipping at my feet. I notice something off about TJ and ask how he is doing. TJ is depressed about his personal life, career, finances. He doesn't know what to do, spends half the day meditating and reflecting on past trauma. I've been prodding him to get a therapist but he is confused about his insurance. He makes an appointment with a primary care doctor first. I feed the dog some homemade dog-friendly beef stew. 4pm My mom swings by the house (but doesn't enter). She currently works at a school who distributes free USDA food boxes since March. There's often many boxes leftover that would go to waste, so she will grab a box for us. Onions, potatoes, beets, turnips, eggs, cheese, butter, frozen veggies and frozen chicken. She also brought her vintage pasta maker. I asked last week if she ever used it these days and her reply was “no, feel free to have it”. I love pasta and noodles and figure it would be great to make it ourselves as a frugal hobby. 8pm We catch up on Mandalorian and watch silly Youtube videos before heading off to bed. Daily total: $0 Saturday 9am I open up my web browser and look at Craigslist and NextDoor for free stuff. I've been scouring for free landscape rocks, pegboards, and wood for house projects. I had this grand ambition to redesign our backyard. It faces our neighbor and currently the fence is pretty low. They can see into our kitchen and bedroom and we can see them. But y'know, COVID and going from dual income house to single income means it all has to be put on hold. So I've been looking for free items in the meantime. Over the past months, I've gotten planter pots, plant cuttings, a raised bed, stepping stones, all from free listings. I don't see anything worthwhile so I go and make some tea. 11am I look at Amazon and make some purchases for Reddit Secret Santa. A foodie kit, DVD of their favorite movie, and some cute pens for their writing hobby. $54. I hope they like it! 12pm TJ heats up leftover stir-fry for lunch for us. I put on some Binging with Babish and we watch how to make pasta. We have a plan - TJ makes the pasta, I make the sauce. Perfect date night activity at home. We watch some more videos on pasta and noodles to educate ourselves. 4pm I start prepping veggies. Big batch of onions, canned tomatoes, ground beef and butter in the instant pot. Meanwhile, TJ works on the pasta by following Babish's instructions. 7pm We gorge on fresh made pasta and bolognese sauce. It's so good! We end up watching Fargo. 11pm Usually I'll be in bed by now, but it's a Saturday and not tired yet (probably because of all that pasta). We play some Kirby's Dream Course on the Switch. Daily total: $54 Sunday 10am Quick walk around the neighborhood with the dog. He's on a new routine now with the medicine he's taking. It seems to be helping his breathing issues. 11am The pasta maker and flour is still out since we didn't clean up yesterday. There's some old pie crust in the fridge so I roll it out with the pasta machine for mini quiches. (Sally's Baking Addiction blog is my go-to place for her all-butter crust and quiche recipes btw). TJ helps by mixing up the eggs. 3pm I play some Genshin Impact (GI) on my phone while TJ plays Starcraft in the office. I don't usually play gacha games, but the Zelda BotW-style of GI appealed to me. A gacha game is a game with randomized characteitem boxes that you use real-money to purchase a “pull” or to spin the wheel. I know the gacha parts of the game can be a real money sink if you get addicted to them, it’s almost like gambling. My main team is Fischl, Bennett, Barbara and Noelle. I level up to AR 22 and look up free-to-play tutorials for the game. 6pm There's some leftover pasta from yesterday, enough for both of us. I throw in some roasted beets to round out the meal. We watch more Fargo while eating. Almost done with Season 3! 10pm I find a tour operator who offers a small, socially-distant snowshoeing tour up on the mountain. I reserve for two people - this will be TJ's Christmas/birthday gift. $75. Off to bed for another workday. Daily total: $75 Weekly Total: $689.79
Food + Drink: $41.17
Fun / Entertainment: $75
Home + Health: $59.44
Clothes + Beauty: $0
Section Five: Reflections Aside from the car insurance bill, this was a typical week for me, COVID or not. We make the majority of our meals at home and usually splurge on drive-thru/delivery once every other week. I may have overspent on the Secret Santa gift, but I don't often give gifts out to friends. It's not something our family does either. For TJ’s Christmas/birthday gift, we usually talk upfront about costs. I’ve gifted him fancy restaurant experiences the past 2 years, since we can share that experience, but obviously can’t do that now. Snowshoeing is a nice change of pace. The conversations with TJ this week have given me thought on how to approach him differently about finances and working together in a relationship. I’m still unsure about the future financially, particularly as my parents near retirement age and that TJ has pulled out his 401k to pay his debts. I don't know if I can support both my parents and TJ together, so I am finding ways to upskill and/or side hustles without becoming a workaholic or bogged down by stress. Writing this money diary was also the first time where I really paid attention to my past income and current income. I might be contributing too much into ESPP that could go towards the 401k or mortgage instead? I also seem to have been underpaid for what I did in past jobs, even in a LCOL area.
Do you really like your beer, or are you just a victim of Capitalist Propaganda? How you can learn how the free market works while you guzzle some suds, and how beer can help you to understand the vast conspiracy that is slowly degrading America.
TL;DR - I use the craft beer industry as a way to understand Capitalist Propaganda, how Capitalism and Socialism are inextricably linked to each other, and how through the use of propaganda, companies use the "illusion of choice" to coerce you into believing that you prefer the products that are most favorable to them. In order to change this into the consumer's favor, you need to be an informed consumer in the free market, and raise class consciousness to overthrow the tyranny of Capitalist Propaganda, that is called "Marketing". *************************************************************************************** You can't understand Capitalist Propaganda unless you have a solid understanding of what Capitalism is beyond the literal definition of the word, which is just an abstract ideal. Propaganda plays off of the discrepancies between the ideals of Capitalism, like the free market, which is another abstract ideal, and the reality of Capitalism in practice in America, which can be characterized as Trickle Down Economics. Capitalism sought to be a pragmatic alternative to its economic predecessors, a fact which drives Capitalist Propaganda. However, through layers of abstraction throughout the years, it has become more of a religion, as critics refer to the increasingly ideological concept as "Supply Side Jesus", meaning you give all the money to the rich, it'll trickle down to the poor, and they can "vote" on the actions of the capitalists through monetary interactions in the free market. Capitalist Propaganda is engrained in America, because at the time of our founding, Adam Smith wrote "Wealth of Nations", which is considered the Bible of the Free Market. This groundbreaking work utilized Newton's Laws of Physics, which were en vogue at the time, to describe how interactions in the marketplace would balance each other out, just as the laws of Newtonian Physics do. The very noble purpose of Wealth of Nations was not create the oligarchy we have today, but to do the opposite. He wanted to describe a system that would protect individual freedoms and be truly democratic. Just as Lenin and Stalin bastardized the works of Marx, so too have capitalists in America bastardized the intentions of Adam Smith. Capitalism and Socialism are best learned side by side, in my opinion, to avoid falling into the trappings of either ideology that our brains like to do. Which one is better? It depends on the market, but the answer is almost always somewhere in between. Through learning how Socialist concepts can be applied to problems in Capitalism, you can cut through the propaganda and will see for yourself that these problems can be solved if we just drop the labels and do what's best for society and the individual. The problem is always finding the proper balance. *************************************************************************************** *************************************************************************************** WHAT? CAPITALISM AND SOCIALISM ARE JOINED AT THE HIP? Yep. You can never live in a pure economic system. Purity is always an illusion. If you want something to be pure, you have to put a lot of energy into making it that way. Nature likes to mix stuff up. This is why ideologies around racial purity and fascism always fail. There are people who want a "pure" economic system, but they are usually the people at the top and would only get richer from more purity while the rest of society loses freedom and slowly starves. In a nutshell, Capitalism promotes laws that benefit those with money, while Socialism promotes a safety net that benefits everyone. Every single human is born into Socialism. As a baby, you need food, someone else works for it and gives it to you, but then at some point, you are expected to exchange labor for capital, and buy your own food. See? The two are forever bound as the yin and yang. You can also grow your own food, but for that you need land, which is capital. These interactions are very tricky. I only want to tell you enough so that you can start to see Capitalist Propaganda, because right now, you're like a fish in water that can't see water. I often use this line to describe a person who can't see their own homegrown propaganda. The best way I found to study Capitalism is by relating it Socialism, the "air" above the "water" of Capitalism, if that makes sense. I always find it best to look at a microcosm to understand these concepts. And today, that microcosm is beer. Mmmm....Beeeeeeeeeerrrrrrr..... *************************************************************************************** *************************************************************************************** CONFLICT OF INTEREST AND THE ILLUSION OF CHOICE Before I poison your mind with my own propaganda, picture you're on vacation and you walk into a bar and want to order a beer. If you really want to understand the power of propaganda in your own life, really think of this before we break this all down. Really think, what makes you decide which beer to order? Do you like to look at the labels on the tap or bottle? That's obvious propaganda. It has absolutely nothing to do with the taste or quality of the beer itself, but sways your opinion toward logos you've seen before, which is why you see so many beer advertisements, which means that money that could've gone into quality is instead going into propaganda, and you're already biased towards an inferior product. Interesting. You really can't help being swayed by marketing, but at least you can be conscious of that fact, and that's important in order to be an informed consumer. Do you ask the bartender for a recommendation? Why would you do that? You don't know the bartender any better than the beers in front of you. How do you know they aren't paid more to offer you a beer that sucks and is 12 years old and the owner wants to get rid of it? Do you ask for a certain style of beer? Do you ask for a local beer? And once you finally narrow it down to a few choices, do you ask for samples so you can make up your own mind? You should always do this. Then we get into "flavor propaganda", which we'll discuss later. Jeez. Did you every realize there was so much complexity behind being an informed consumer and just ordering a simple beer? Maybe you'll give in and just tell the bartender to pour whatever. Choice is difficult sometimes. If you really visualize this and take a minute to let this sink in, you'll start to understand how external forces hijack the processor in your mind to manufacture desire through the illusion of choice. However, your health and enjoyment of the beer is not the goal for these external forces, they only want you to purchase. The perfect example is fast food. They know their product sucks, but they know you'll keep buying it, but that doesn't keep them from lying about how delicious it is in their ads. There is far more at play behind the curtain. There is a science behind addicting you to things, this is reinforced by a corporate tax and subsidy system that contorts the free market pushing centralization of production through homogenization and use of chemicals to hide the homogenization, and simply because there is more than one option, they make you feel like you have choice. This, in a nutshell, is how the illusion of choice works in the free market. It's not about what YOU want. The producer manipulates you to think you want what they have. Through this, they deceive Americans into buying products with a list of ingredients that a person would never freely choose to consume. So if you want to order a beer with no shit in it, then you're shit out of luck in America. You could in Germany, but we'll discuss that later. While you're standing at that bar, you aren't conscious of the fact that your interests are in direct opposition to those of the bar owner's. Capitalists hide this fact with their perfect smiles, but Marx described this in detail. You want the best beer for the cheapest price, and the bar owner wants to sell you the cheapest beer at the highest price you'll pay. It doesn't stop there. The bar owner flips roles in the same situation with the beer distributor, who does the same with maybe another level of distribution, and continues to the brewer, then goes to the brewer versus supplier, supplier to farmer, and even though you'd think it stops there, the farmer has to deal with suppliers of equipment and seeds, and on and on. Add to this list their auxiliary staff of HR, drivers, managers, brewers, bottle/keg makers, and of course owners, none of them care whether you actually like the beer you're drinking as long as you keep buying more. That's the big driver here. Did you ever realize that every time you buy a beer, your own capital is partially responsible for creating and sustaining all of these jobs involved? You, my dear beer drinker, are the true job creator. Budweiser can brew all they want, it means nothing without buyers, who are the true engines of capitalism. Instead, you're treated as a rube by suits in a boardroom somewhere. Capitalist Propaganda tells us the billionaires are job creators, but this is a lie. Jeff Bezos can't drink enough beer to sustain all these jobs. So why do we let him hoard all the money? Wouldn't the economy do better if we spread out Jeff's money so more people could buy more beers and more jobs would be created? According to Socialist Economics, yes. That's actually, quite simply, a Socialist Free Market. Did you even know that existed? The power hungry greedy people who are too lazy for manual labor go to such great lengths to make sure you don't learn it. They want you to think that only Capitalism allows you choice in the market. I'm sure you can guess why they say that. Capitalism maintains itself by exulting the wealthy who use their economic power to punch down. The only way this system won't fall into fascism and fail is if the consumers start to punch back. Where Marx envisioned the Dictatorship of the Proletariat as they usurped power from the Bourgeoisie, a modern alternative is just teaching people to understand the system we live in, so that we can just start making changes in the way we live and to whom we give our money. See that? Capitalism and Socialism can get along nicely, so long as the consumers are informed. *************************************************************************************** *************************************************************************************** CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS AND THE ALIENATION OF LABOR CAUSING LONELINESS IN SOCIETY What I described within the previous section is what Marx called "Alienation of Labor". Each step in the process of making your beer is isolated from the others, so no one feels ownership over the end product or a true connection to the consumer, or job creator. Even the bartender selling it is alienated from the profit of their labor in serving the beer, so they only focus on the service aspect of giving you the beer, because that is where they earn their tip. They can't really fix anything about a shitty beer other than to offer you a different brand. The capitalist owner is usually not there. Their only interaction is setting the rules for everyone in the bar to follow, and pay themselves more than everyone who has to follow those rules. This is part of the conflict between the classes. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, I'm just pointing it out. The bar owner themself has to spend money on propaganda to attract customers that could be spent in other places, so has to find ways to cut costs. Unfortunately, they buy cheaper beer...and this is why you end up with IPAs. No one is connected to the products, so they only look at prices and find the cheapest, passable product. This is the race to the bottom of Capitalism. Compare this to when brewpubs were a new thing. The brewer would come out and talk to you about the beer, you would give feedback that could effect future batches and it connected everyone to each other through commerce. It makes business "social" and I think nearly everyone enjoys that, but it is losing out in competition with chain breweries that enforce isolation and make cookie cutter propaganda and cookie cutter business models so they can turn owners into managers and suck all the profit back their corporate headquarters and offshore accounts. They kill the experience and make everything transactional. And all the kitsch they hang around their cookie cutter chain bar is just to hide the fact that no one in that place cares about anything other than not getting fired. Everyone is effectually alienated from everyone else. It's worth a read to check out this page on Marx's Theory of Alienation. This alienation is the root of a lot of misery in society. Humans are communal animals forced to live in a society of individuality and alienation. As they mope around, they seek an escape. And that is why advertising is so nefarious. It seeks to manipulate you in that state. Imagine driving home from your alienating job to you empty home, but looking up and see a billboard with bunch of actors laughing and drinking beer. They take pictures that make these actors look like friends. It's just for show. They aren't selling beer to those laughing people in the picture. They're tempting lonely people to drown their sorrows. Capitalist Propaganda is used so your brain doesn't understand what it wants. It wants friends, then sees the words Bud Light. So when the bartenders asks...Make it a Bud Light. Look at how much money they spend to manipulate and capitalize on people's suffering. Propaganda in Communist countries is controlled by the government, so it's clear who the enemy of your freedom is. Capitalist Propaganda hides behind the layers of complexity of the same economy you rely on to survive, so you never know what's propaganda or where it's coming from. Marketers find every way imaginable to get their disinformation in front of your eyes, even enlisting your friends on Facebook in annoying MLM schemes. Propaganda invaded everything that can be legally monetized. It's in the media, and not just commercials anymore. There's product placement, stories injected into the news, and even movies and social media created an entire industry of "lifestyle propaganda", telling you how to live your life and indulge in overconsumption. It's REALLY hard to get away from Capitalist Propaganda. There is so much money and research behind it and so much depth, even this long post is only barely scratching the surface. I just want to open your eyes to it. I can't make you see all this. No one can. I can only describe it as best as I can. What you will experience when you understand this is what I call "Economic Enlightenment", similar to what Marx called "Class Consciousness". Once it happened to me, the world looked amazing, and the shitty propagandists selling us false hope all look like clowns in a very odd circus of vanity, despair and mediocrity. Once I understood this, I saw clearly how we are increasingly trapped in a form of Corporate Slavery, led by seriously ridiculous oligarchs like Mark Zuckerberg, who thinks he's the reincarnation of Augustus Caesar or something. That's why he has that haircut! This is a guy who stole a company and hired "screen psychologists" from Las Vegas to get you hooked on Facebook the same as casinos do with slot machines. He wants to be the funnel for propaganda throughout the world. He wants to be the kingmaker, decide what people buy, who they like, what views they hold. He can only do this because so many companies spend so much money to put their propaganda on that platform. They can only have this much money because the free market is not actually free. It's bought and paid for on platforms like Facebook and Amazon. The money that was supposed to "trickle down" is instead being spent on Capitalist Propaganda on these platforms, to get the proletariate to trickle their money up through endless, nonsensical online purchasing and local businesses who send the town's money to people who can't do anything with it but buy up properties that increase your rent and cost of living. When people get drunk on the power of propaganda, they forget the lessons of the past. Propagandists always fall prey to their own delusions over time. In reality, your life is better without Facebook. There isn't anything on there that is healthy. Even if you just want to talk to a few friends, you are going to fall for the propaganda there. You can't help it. And if your bar advertises on Facebook, just think, that money could've gone into purchasing higher quality beer then sold at the same price, instead of going to Mark Zuckerberg so he can drop $30 million to buy the houses around him so no one can spy on him while he spies on you. You really gotta watch out for a guy who combines spying and propaganda all into a single app and thinks he's going to bring 200 years of peace to America. History is littered with knuckleheads like that. It's best to get off Facebook and encourage everyone else to do the same. Zuck only wants to lead himself to the Promised Land, and he's using your ignorance to fuel his own delusions by deluding you into thinking you want what he has to offer. Let's get back to beer. *************************************************************************************** *************************************************************************************** IPAs AND THE FREE MARKET VS THE RACE TO THE BOTTOM I like beer. When I worked in Germany, it was easy to walk into a bar and, like Farva, just order a liter o' beer. Often, there would only be two choices, light color or dark. As a matter of fact, even at the most famous beer festival in the world, Oktoberfest, people mostly drink the same standard type of beer, and no one complains about the lack of choice. It's quite easy. You can order with one finger. No need to see a menu or ask what's in it. It's simply beer. This worked for centuries. Consumers are fine with it. Prost! Have you ever shared a story like this and people say, "Oh, that would never work in America. Americans want choice." Yeah. Because we are flooded with Capitalist Propaganda. So if consumer choice isn't pushing for a selection, why would a free market call for it? Imagine there are two bars and one of those bars says "30 beers on tap" and the other doesn't. You're more likely to choose it, and the other bar will have to compete in some way, often by copying. This forms trends, and people mistake this for something customers wanted. Trends are always marketing. Don't believe me? What happened to fidget spinners? So now you have a bunch of beers that no one asked for, yet will now demand. Competition creates more Capitalist Propaganda to create demand for something you never even wanted, but makes you think you do. And that's the best propaganda. You think you are thinking for yourself. This is the fallacy of consumer choice. If you want to understand just how important that last paragraph is, consider this, "consumer choice" is the same propaganda they used to get you to carry around a device that spies on you 24/7 and sends that data to people you don't know, and you can't stop it, can you? You chose that. You wanted it. Not only that, but you paid $1,000 for the device to opt into their spying program, for the privilege of being mind controlled by the propaganda their AI selects for you. Did you read the Terms of Service? As bad as you may have thought Communist Propaganda was, Capitalist Propaganda is far better, and far stealthier. You believe you have freedom of choice. But your only choice is usually take it, or leave it. Oh, you need it for work? Maybe find a different job. Or just succumb to mass surveillance, and next year, you can drop another grand on a device with a marginally better camera. There is a way to free yourself. You just have to understand the nature of propaganda. It took me a while, but I eventually broke free. Under Socialism, there would be laws against the exploitation of consumers. Capitalist Propaganda tells you that this takes away your freedom. This is a lie. Regulations give you the freedom to not have to worry whether the beer you're drinking has poison in it. Germany has a lot of regulations on beer. It has the Reinheitsgebot (purity order), a law passed in 1516 that states that beer can only consist of water, hops and barley. Note, this is a different use of the word "purity" from earlier, as beer is itself a mixture of things. Historically there have also been regulations where beer could only be sold regionally, so no matter what part of Germany you were in, you only got a certain brand of beer at the bar, but it didn't matter because they all had the same ingredients. They could make wheat beers or unfiltered, but they were generally variations of pilsners and lagers. One meaning of the word "Lager" in German is "storage", meaning the beer was brewed in a way that it could be stored, allowing them to brew in bigger batches and store it. Lagers use a more complex brewing process, so only larger breweries would make them, but this worked because of protected territories. America has a similar system, because each state has its own regulations on alcohol, but this is changing as corporate lawyers fight to homogenize the rules favorable to them, but the consumer loses control. Big brands tend to be lagers as they have general appeal to a wide audience. Did you notice this is the second time I pointed out that corporations create homogeneity? Without regulations, corporations create Fascism. That is why I tell people that we already live in the NWO but corporations rule the world instead of governments. Why do you think so few conspiracy theorists make this connection? Propagandists are paid a lot of money to keep even our small community confused about the reality of what's happening. Now, check out conspiracy and you'll see what I mean. They are spreading propaganda for the NWO over there and don't even know it. I tried to point that out and they finally banned me. Oh well. They'll figure it out in their own time. In America, in 1978 it became legal to brew beer at home. This is what led to the explosion of new beers in the US decades later. Americans don't have purity laws, so could test new recipes. But people didn't generally like IPAs before, so how did they become so popular that they control 30% of the market? Marketing, of course. Create the market and tell people what they want. IPA stands for India Pale Ale. It was invented by the British as an easy way to make a beer that they could drink in India. People only drank it out of necessity, as the other beers couldn't make the trip. IPAs are very easy to make and very forgiving, because if you mess it up, it already tasted bad anyway. As people started trying to get into microbrews, they often didn't have the capital to make lagers at small scale, and also wanted a simpler process so they didn't have to hire or train expert brewers, IPAs are cheap and easy to make at smaller scale. In order to make it drinkable, brewers experimented with many different flavorings. This created a cult following of craft IPAs, where people would drive hours to stand in line for hours to try the newest concoction. The trendy nature of the craft beer world kept people training their palate to adapt to the taste of an IPA, making people start to actually like them. The flavorings made people think they were different, so even if they didn't like it, marketing tactics kept people coming back to try the latest blend. Your palate can adapt A LOT. Swedish people love Surströmming, but watch this video of Americans trying it for the first time. They tried to get me to eat it several times, but I would rather sit in a sauna until Tuesday to avoid smelling it while watching them eat it. It really smells that bad. IPAs enticed people with popular, aromatic ingredients like bananas and pineapple. This is what I call "flavor propaganda". It's not bad in and of itself, but it can be easily misused to cover issues with quality or hide the taste of preservatives. Since we don'e have laws like Germany, you're left to rely on the knowledge and honesty of the bartender to find out. They don't make this info readily available, which is another form of Disinformation. So if you think you actually like IPAs, just remember, you are just like a Swede eating rotten fish. A lot of propaganda went in to making IPAs popular, but it's the cheapest, easiest product to make that can be sold at the highest price, so they become popular. This is what business students call a business plan. To overcome the bad taste, IPAs were marketed as "classy" to shame you if you choose the more expensive to produce and more appealing pilsners and lagers, which were given a bad name due to being associated with major brands like Bud Light. This makes it harder to market microbrew lagers, which can only fetch a certain price due to association. And this is what is referred to as the "race to the bottom" in Capitalism. Instead of trying to innovate ways to produce the beers you want, they just figure out how to get you to pay more for an inferior product, just like they do with BBQ. They make you think you want it. From this you can understand why "food" is full of junk that you wouldn't feed your dog. Whatever legal poison helps cheapen the product is considered "smart business", another propaganda term designed to hide the reality of doing immoral and harmful things to other humans for profit. If you make money on it, it's good. As if there aren't better choices we could come up with if there truly were a free market with an informed consumer. *************************************************************************************** *************************************************************************************** STRENGTHEN THE FREE MARKET BY BEING AN INFORMED CONSUMER We don't need a Communist Revolution to make positive changes, so take off your ski masks and put your Antifa flags down. I like microbrew culture and still enjoy IPAs, but understanding the marketplace is how I do my part as an informed consumer and job creator to help create the world that I want to live in. I encourage you to do the same. Vote with your dollars. Don't let the Zuck-type sociopathic, corporate people in a distant land decide what you consume by looking at ads on his platform. Visit local breweries and talk to the brewmaster. Don't reinforce alienation from labor. Connect with the people who make the things you buy. Support independent entrepreneurship. These are the paths to a brighter future where we share in the abundance of wealth. Discover Economic Enlightenment for yourself and realize that We The People are ultimately in control. Wealth inequality is greater than it was in France before the French Revolution. Don't let this train take us into the depths where another Lenin will arise and spend the night shooting people. How you choose to spend your money today is what decides what will become the society of tomorrow. And remember, you always have the choice to buy nothing at all. I never saw a billboard that said that. *************************************************************************************** *************************************************************************************** LET THEM DRINK BEER! I hope this gave you a glimpse behind the curtain of Capitalist Propaganda. Propaganda isn't just political, it has invaded everything and it's at full blast right now. I hope you can piece together how Capitalist Propaganda is actually designed to make you subservient by controlling what you want so they can maximize their own profit and teach you to accept whatever they offer, the homogenization of choice. However, your life is your own and you should remain in control of all aspects of it, including your desires. Richard Wolff is an economist who studied at three elite universities in America and discusses how he was not able to even learn about Socialist Economics in the ivory tower, even though Capitalist Propaganda calls universities leftist. He found no department in America that is even willing to teach it or study it. Capitalist Propaganda censors these ideas, especially at the university. People in power don't want the serfs to learn about themselves. Check him out on YouTube. You'll realize that unchecked Capitalism leads to Fascism and Slavery, which is why they want to get rid of the minimum wage, so that we can return to sharecropping which is already increasingly happening in America under different names, like "student debt", "mortgages" and "insurance". Don't you think it's odd that a person has to go into debt so they can generate profits for corporations who really ought to be paying for this education themselves? If you have to go into debt before they'll hire you, it's much easier to negotiate against you. If you want to see other examples of propaganda, check out this random tweet from one of America's Top Capitalist Propagandists. These are very odd pictures, and the only thing I can see in them is that they must be promoting those outfits, likely the blue dress, maybe those men's outfits as well. One thing you know is that she didn't become a billionaire by letting any single opportunity to enrich herself at the expense of others pass her by. I didn't look it up, but I am certain they sell that blue dress, or whoever does paid her to post this. That's the main reason celebrities use social media. It's marketing. Their whole schtick is to sell garments made in a sweatshop in a foreign country by people who can't even afford a beer to Americans who are facing bankruptcy and homelessness themselves. Read the replies of the tweet. These people have influence that vastly outsizes their understanding of their impact on the world. There are guillotines in the comments. There usually are. I'm seeing them a lot lately. This type of propaganda is everywhere. And it's destroying America. Just like propaganda led to the demise of Nazi Germany, we could be looking at the same thing, but worse. It could start off as famine. If you're having trouble deciding between the beers you are being offered, it's probably because you don't want anything at all, in which case the proper choice is: nothing. Or, try tap water. Maybe you're just thirsty. Now ask yourself, when you envisioned yourself at a bar, did you ever think to order water instead? Did you entertain the idea that you didn't even want a beer. That's the power of suggestion. What if the rest of the world just cut America off from the means of production outsourced to areas with cheap labor? We would have our own famine and likely war. And if we have a revolution here, with the masses in the country being so disinformed about everything and not having any sort of class consciousness at the moment and instead stuck in alienation, the leader that rises here will likely lead to something horrifying. And we censor ourselves from pointing out the simple fact, that the only way America will survive is to tax the deluded royalty like Kim and Mark back to reality, so they can't indulge their reckless, childish delusions by selling off the very fabric of our nation to the highest bidder. That doesn't make me a Socialist, that just makes me honest. Enjoy your beer! *************************************************************************************** *************************************************************************************** Thanks for reading and I hope I helped you understand how you can empower yourself. I'm excited about the one I wrote for Election Day tomorrow to keep our NOPOL spirits up while all the politics clouds the airwaves. Cheers!
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