Society and Cell Phones
This morning I am going to talk about something that I have been kicking around in my head for awhile, but haven’t really been able to shape into a full fledged commentary. It feels like each week there is some new alarmist piece of media talking about the degradation of society, and placing the blame squarely on the cell phone. For awhile I have had this working theory, that these articles for the most part are written by extroverts, and I am sure for that group of people the landscape has changed in a very scary way. I use my cell phone as a cloaking device, and what I mean by that is I am fiddling with my phone in order to create just enough social friction to convince you that it isn’t worth the time to engage in small talk while standing in the elevator next to you. For years I’ve been frustrated by the fact that apparently standing in the same vicinity as someone is passive consent to be deluged with a bunch of conversation that I have no interest in. Having my smart phone at the ready has greatly cut down on that unwanted interaction, because they see that I am engaged… or at least LOOK like I am engaged. It is the same cloaking device mentality that I apply at work by wearing headphones every single moment I am sitting at my desk. I may not actually be listening to anything, and honestly often times am not. However the act of wearing the headphones stops a lot of “drive by” conversation.
More so than that I feel like access to the internet and social media allows me to engage people safely. I’ve had to learn how to be “normal” but face to face conversation with someone I am not extremely familiar with is a massive anxiety ridden trap. While talking I am actively trying to be normal, running through a checklist of things and constantly aware of how much or how little eye contact I am making. When I am hanging out with someone I am familiar with most of this goes away, and I can just let my guard down. The thing is… non face to face communication lowers all of these barriers for me. I can be a social butterfly in a text only interaction. When I first stepped foot onto IRC back in 1994, it greatly broadened my horizons and introduced me to a world of new people and new places to learn about. So for me, as an introvert… it allows me a certain measure of extrovertedness because it hacks my brain into thinking it is perfectly okay. However for the Extroverts out there… I have a feeling that this does in fact seem like an epidemic. They no longer have all these passive participants that they can forcibly engage in dialog, and instead have to seek out other Extroverts who are equally hungry for that interaction. What I think is happening is that finally introverts are getting a vehicle where they can express themselves more comfortably. I might be wrong, but this is my working theory.
Return of Thorns
The last couple of days has seen me completing my Invoker set for my Crusader, and gathering up most of the items needed for the build I have been working towards. I am just not a fan of the Akkhan’s set and I lacked a handful of the pieces really needed to make it a viable option. A big part of the Season are the Seasonal rewards, and the last major bottleneck for me was the set dungeon for Akkhan. In spite of having tried it numerous times I simply could not stay alive long enough to complete it. However with the Invoker set I was able to muscle through that dungeon and come damned near close to getting “mastery” on my first attempt. The thorns set just feels better to me and as such I have been testing the limits to which I can push it. I am still missing a handful of items, but last night I managed to solo a level 50 Greater Rift without much issue. Earlier in the evening my friend Grace and I who are similarly geared… managed to complete a Greater Rift 60 together. In theory I could probably do the 60 right now solo, but even as a duo there were some pretty sweaty moments. The big problem for me are still a handful of mob types that can straight up one shot me, or come damned close to it. I think that is the sort of thing that only improves with slightly better gear and more paragon levels.
I am still in a constant search for the goblin that drops pets. Some of my friends have found one but so far neither myself nor grace has seen one. Last night we burned through two of the rings that summon the goblin realm thinking that there are three to four goblins in there. However we still had zero luck, but I did fine a cute easter egg. Notice the name of the boss I am fighting in the above image. Essentially right now I need to spend a significant amount of time running Torment X bounties with the hopes of getting the rest of my gem patterns to drop. I think that would go a long ways into improving my overall survival and output, by upgrading to the highest tier of gems available. I am also still in search of the best in slot main hand, and I need to get a shield to throw in the cube. For optimum performance I also need to get another Aquilla chest, because right now I have those reversed with the Aquilla in the cube and the Heart of Iron on my person… when it really should be in the cube. In any case I am just happy that I am functional at Torment X and above. Now begins the long wait to get just the right items to drop when I need them. I also need to start working on the various conquests if I hope to get the extra bank slot for this season. This honestly is a point of frustration for me… I hate that you can ONLY get the slots through conquests. I think that they should sell the extra stash tabs, but also allow players to do the conquest to get one as well. That means if you are doing conquests you are getting the new cap twice as fast.