A Few Answers To Questions You Always Wondered About

June 26, 2019 | No Comments » | Topics: Answers, Interesting

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What were Aztec sacrifices ritual actually like?

They were religious events first. The Aztecs believed that their gods got their sustenance from human sacrifice; and one of the basic duties of Religion is caring for your gods. The most important of these sacrifices were carried out during the 18 monthly festivals of the Solar Year. One of these, to give you an example, was the Tlacaxipehualiztli, the Festival of the Flaying of Men, celebrated at spring equinox before the rainy season, one of the most brutal and complex. We know about it thanks to the notes of the Spanish monk Bernardino de Sahagun, who in the 16th century interviewed old Aztec men who were still alive in pre-spanish Mexico and recounted how this festival was held in the Aztec capital:

40 days (or maybe even a year) before the festival, a captive (from war) was designated to impersonate the god Xipe Totec (Our Flayed Lord), and he was celebrated in public as living image of the God until the Festival. He was taught courtly manners, walking about the city playing a flute, smoking tobacco and being praised by the people and the Tlatoani (the leader). He was even wed to four young maidens representing goddesses. There were similar representants for other important gods (Tonatiuh, Huitzilopochtli, Quetzalcoatl, Chililico and so forth). These slaves-gods were to be sacrificed on the main pyramid by cutting out the heart. There were six sacrifice-priests who cut open the slaves breast with an Obsidian knife and then cut out the heart. After that, the corpses were rolled down the pyramids stairs. The corpses were then flayed and their flesh given to important Aztecs. Moteuczuma would have gotten the best part, the femur. The flesh was then eaten.

Other captives would be clothed in the skin of the flayed corpses and adorned with the ornaments those killed earlier wore as “gods”. They were paraded through the city by their captors, and finally, on the next day, fought in mock combat against Eagle- or Jaguar-wariors (they only had a mock sword with feathers instead of obsidian). Once the captive was beaten down, he was sacrificed by a priest wearing the vestments of Xipe Totec. His heart and blood from his chest was then presented to the sun. The captor would take that blood, and walk around the city to the statues of the gods, feeding them by painting their lips with blood.

The captives corpse was then brought to his captors house, flayed, and cut up, his flesh given away and eaten. However, there was a special link between captor and captive, and the captor wouldn’t eat of the flesh of his captive. Poor or sick people would walk through the streets, wearing the skins of the sacrificed, begging. For twenty days, the priests, too, would wear the flayed skins, often adorned with gold and feathers, until the next festival (Tozoztli) approached. The skins were then stored in special containers in a cave in the Xipe-Totec temple.

There were certainly festival-like elements, but the main events were very ritualized and everyone involved hat a part to play and knew what to do. Even the captives were probably not struggling against their fate, but from what I’ve read, walked to the place of their sacrifice willingly, and played their part in the choreography. The religious part was the most important. The gods needed to be fed.

 

 

What Is The Psychology Behind All These Loot Boxes In Video Games?

Surprise mechanics that follow the same mechanics as a unregulated las Vegas slot machine.

The loot boxes are not the only issue here, it’s the way they design the game around these loot boxes that preys on people’s addictive nature. More times than not these games guide a player down a fixed path. That path starts out easy, showering them in free gifts or easy to obtain rewards. As the player progresses, that path gets harder. Finally, that path gets so hard the player must choose to A. Accept the punishment the game gives you by spending an absurd amount of time grinding away at the game, or B. Pay a fee for a loot box that may or may not allow you to progress a short distance to the next paywall.

In a lot of these games the developers only give you the illusion that it’s possible to play without paying. They dangle that carrot in front of you but have no intentions of actually giving it to you without a price. The more time they can keep a player grinding away, the better chance they have that the player will eventually pay. The player starts considering the time they’ve invested, or perhaps they’ve already made a monetary investment and now they feel it would be a waste to quit now and throw away that investment. This goes on and on with the player hoping that one day they’ll reach the end, and all that money or time will all be worth it in the end. Unfortunately developers don’t create an end, it’s rigged from the start to purposely not end or give enough satisfaction for closure.

It’s a vicious cycle that capitalizes and exploits a person’s way of rationalizing things. It’s alarming how similar this system is to gambling, when a player is invested or down, they often rationalize that they need to keep playing in order to justify that investment. In these cases it’s the same deal.

What makes things worse is they have free reign to rig the system however they see fit. At least in Vegas you have the gaming commission, who set strict rules to ensure the games are at least somewhat fair for the player, or prevent the casino from rigging the machines on a fixed path of profits.

This also unfortunately also gives these developers full access to their target audience…users in the age range of 7-18 years old, who are by far the most profitable.I recently did a paper on this subject, primarily focusing on how these developers target this age group, and how unethical it is to be attacking such a group when we’ve already determined them to be unfit to gamble.

It comes down to ethical relativism, if people witnessed a casino full of 7-18 year olds begging their parents for money or blowing their own money on slot machines and black Jack, most people would probably lose their shit and call for action. But the developers have hid this inside of a video game, a thing that most people would consider is appropriate for children and teenagers.

The battle now is to change that relativism. Call these developers out for their practices. Help people realize that under the guise of colorful cartoon graphics and in game currency is actually straight up gambling designed to exploit people as much as it can.

– MTA427

 

 

In Baseball, Are they simply trying to hit a home run every time? Is there more to it than that?

The most exciting thing in a baseball game to me is not necessarily the outcome, but the process of watching a pitcher duel with a hitter.

There’s so much more going on at the plate that a casual fan may not be aware of. All of the three main players in an at bat – the pitcher, catcher, and batter – have all studied each other. This leads to an intricate mind game that enhances the pure physical battle of trying to make bat meet ball.

The pitcher and catcher know the batter’s tendencies in (1) what pitch counts he likes to swing, (2) where he favors the ball, (3) what types of pitches he tends to hit, and (4) his timing/swing/posture at the plate.

Likewise, the batter has studied them in the same ways, knowing (1) what pitches the pitcher has at his command, (2) when he likes to throw certain types of pitches, (3) where he likes to locate those pitches, and (4) his rhythm/motion/pace of pitching.

And – to add to the complexity – the guys know the other has studied them. So each has to be self-aware of their vulnerabilities and how they match up with the player they’re facing. If the pitcher is a guy who likes to be a flame thrower and wants to get outs based on his fastball speed and location, but the hitter is superb at hitting fastballs, he needs to adjust. Conversely, if the hitter isn’t a guy who is likely to catch up to a good heater, he needs to know when and where this pitcher might throw a secondary pitch, a change up or type of breaking ball, to have a chance to hit it.

The batter’s base line strategy is to not make an out. Depending on the game situation that can be modified in any number of ways, but the battle between pitcher and batter always remains. The pitcher is trying to maximize his strengths and pitch against the batter’s vulnerabilities, while the batter is trying to capitalize on his knowledge of the pitcher to wait for a pitch he believes he can be successful at hitting safely.

This leads to many batters going to the plate looking for “their pitch.” Like in the previous example, a batter who isn’t adept at hitting A+ fastballs against a power pitcher will go to the plate knowing that in certain pitch counts – let’s say with one strike – the pitcher likes to throw a low breaking ball. The batter will key in on that particular pitch and hope that its in a good spot for him as he’ll be ready to pounce on it. The batter also knows he’s weak at fastballs above the belt so he needs to either be ready to take his best swing at one during the at bat or be OK with letting it go and waiting for a different pitch. Of course with two strikes he’s got to be mentally ready for it either way and needs to adjust physically – choking up on the bat, shortening his swinging motion – to have a chance.

The battles between pitcher and hitter are different every time, and a lot of starting pitchers will save one of their pitches for the second or third time they are going through a line-up in a game so that they can keep the batters off-balance and not let them feel comfortable at the plate. The batters, knowing their own tendencies, will at times change their approach at the plate – ie, a guy who never swings at the first pitch will pounce on the first throw hoping to surprise the pitcher who might be throwing a “get over” pitch early in the count. So, history between two players is as important to them and relevant as the current at-bat, each trying to build upon what they’ve learned from previous encounters to gain the advantage.

There are few things more intense in sports than watching a great hitter and a great pitcher square off in a high pressure moment in a game. There’s so much more going on that simply “I want to get a hit.”

 

 

How do you spot a pyramid scheme recruiter?

— Did a friend, family member, classmate, co-worker, acquaintance, nice guy from the gym, customer or total stranger ask you out to coffee in order to discuss a *unique business opportunity*? Is it a time sensitive offer? Is the opportunity only open to a select number of investors? It’s probably a pyramid scheme.

— Or, they might ask you if you ever wanted to own your own business. Or what you would do if you didn’t have to worry about money. If you’d like to retire by the time you’re XX years old… because they just so happen to know someone who actually *DID* retire young and is now sitting on their ass rolling in “passive/residual income”!

— The most dedicated of pyramid scheme recruiters are typically well dressed and well groomed. We’re talking flashy business suits and wing tips for men, and cocktail dresses and heels for women. You’d think they were hitting an upscale lounge for a New Year’s Eve party or something. **THEY ARE TRYING TO CONVEY SUCCESS.** Of course, you’ll also get some that are dressed in smart/business casual. You’ll easily recognize a pyramid scheme recruiter when you see them, because they look completely out of place at Starbucks.

— If you do go for coffee with them, try to make them pay for your coffee. They won’t, but force the issue (“C’mon, *you’re* the one who wanted me to meet with you!”) and watch them try and weasel their way out of it. They probably have a half dozen meetings lined up for the day, so they can’t afford to pay for so many expensive venti lattes. Or, they might pay because they want to keep you happy and more receptive to their scam.

— The recruiters will often “work” in pairs, as a married/engaged/dating couple. This helps make them appear more trustworthy to you. They’ll want you to bring your significant other along to the meeting if you’ve got one. They act VERY, VERY nice and charming and seem like they really want to get to know you and be friends. They’ll pay you inane compliments, like how you seem to them like you’ve got a good head on your shoulders and you’re smart and shit. When you arrive for your meeting with them, they’ll greet you with a hug; and another one at the end of the meeting before you leave. It’s a cheap way for them to further build rapport with you. A hug conveys a higher level of personal intimacy and friendship than a mere handshake.

— They will say that they work as mentors, life coaches, entrepreneurs, or business owners. They initially won’t be very specific as to what type of business they run. They will dodge any probing questions you might have.

— They’ll tell you all about *their* mentors and life coaches, about how successful they are in life (“My mentor owns the most expensive apartment in Seattle!” — an actual quote I heard) and how grateful they are to have been taken under their wings.

— In their first meeting with you, they WILL NOT discuss business. Instead, they will tell you all about themselves — where they grew up, things that they’ve done, and how they’ve become the shining beacon of success sitting before you today. Then, they will try to get to know you and “evaluate” if you’re a good fit for the business — this is pure bullshit, but it makes you believe you have a chance of being qualified enough to join their exclusive club. They are propping up your ego and trying to make you feel special.

— They won’t tell you *how* they make money. They will never outright say the names of the companies they work for, because they know the negative connotations associated with Amway/World Wide Dream Builders, ACN, World Financial Group, Primerica, Mary Kay, Herbalife, Vector Marketing, etc. They want to get you curious and hooked first.

— They will ask if you’ve ever read any of Robert Kiyosaki’s books –[ *RICH DAD POOR DAD*] [*THE BUSINESS OF THE 21ST CENTURY*] These books have dark purple covers and are easily recognizable. Another book that’s gaining popularity is [*THE GO-GIVER*]. In general, be weary of any self-help/financial advice book they try to assign you as homework to read. Reading one single book ≠ a business degree.

— They may try to wow you and tell you about all the conventions they get to fly out to and attend in pseudo-exotic locations… like say, St. Louis! WOW, indeed!

— Do you work a crappy retail job? Are you a server at a restaurant? Are you university-aged (20’s)? Are you in debt? Pyramid scheme recruiters know you’re unsatisfied with your minimum wage job/life (especially in *this* economy!) and try to exploit your burning desire to “get ahead in life” by acting as a life line.

— Most recruiters are *usually* Caucasian and in their 20’s or 30’s. I’ve seen them begin to target immigrants from the Philippines  and the Afro-Caribbean islands, who presumably have no reason to believe that the well dressed, rich-looking white person offering to share the secrets of wealth with them is actually trying to scam them.

— “It’s not a pyramid scheme!” Instead, they’ll call it multi level marketing (MLM), network marketing, direct selling, referral marketing, etc. They’ll resort to saying all the bad things you’ve read online/heard about Amway are rumors and lies, or were from bitter people who didn’t have what it took to make it in the business.

— They will usually have their coffee shop meetings on weekends and after dinner (~7 PM) on weekdays. That’s because they have day jobs (like pretty much everyone else.) The ironic thing is they won’t hesitate to talk shit about day jobs and how MLM will supposedly free you from the shackles of the 9-5 grind.

— That one friend you have on social media who only ever seems to post motivational quotes and status updates about how hard they’re “killing it”? Odds are pretty decent that they’re involved in a pyramid scheme. Motivational quotes are like scripture to pyramid scheme recruiters.

— When in doubt, use Google and common sense. If someone knew the secrets to financial success, why would they ever share that knowledge with pretty much anyone who crosses their path? Why are they doing YOU such a huge favor? Why is this sharkskin suited yuppie conducting high powered business meetings at the Second Cup if he’s already got it allllllllll figured out? Why won’t he pay for your coffee? Do not for a second believe when they say they want to “pay it forward” or “give back”. Nobody ever offers something in exchange for nothing. Be vigilant and skeptical.