What Is The Over/Under In Sports Betting? | How To Bet The
NFL Over Under Betting - What is Over Under Betting?
Over/Under Betting: A Beginner’s Guide on How to Bet on
Understanding Over/Under Bets - A Beginner's Guide to
What happens when you bet on an over or under, but the score ends up being the exact figure you're betting over/under on? Do you win, lose or get your money back? Refer to the image for an example of what I'm talking about
Taproot! Everybody wants to have it, somebody wants to make it, nobody knows how to get it! (If you are asking why everybody wants it, see: Technical: Taproot: Why Activate?) (Pedants: I mostly elide over lockin times) Briefly, Taproot is that neat new thing that gets us:
Multisignatures (n-of-n, k-of-n) that are just 1 signature (1-of-1) in length!! (MuSig/Schnorr)
Better privacy!! If all contract participants can agree, just use a multisignature. If there is a dispute, show the contract publicly and have the Bitcoin network resolve it (Taproot/MAST).
Activation lets devs work get back to work on the even newer stuff like!!!
Cross-input signature aggregation!! (transaction with multiple inputs can have a single signature for all inputs) --- needs Schnorr, but some more work needed to ensure that the interactions with SCRIPT are okay.
Block validation - Schnorr signatures for all taproot spends in a block can be validated in a single operation instead of for each transaction!! Speed up validation and maybe we can actually afford to increase block sizes (maybe)!!
SIGHASH_ANYPREVOUT - you know, for Decker-Russell-Osuntokun ("eltoo") magic!!!
OP_CHECKTEMPLATEVERIFY - vaulty vaults without requiring storing signatures, just transaction details!!
So yes, let's activate taproot!
The SegWit Wars
The biggest problem with activating Taproot is PTSD from the previous softfork, SegWit. Pieter Wuille, one of the authors of the current Taproot proposal, has consistently held the position that he will not discuss activation, and will accept whatever activation process is imposed on Taproot. Other developers have expressed similar opinions. So what happened with SegWit activation that was so traumatic? SegWit used the BIP9 activation method. Let's dive into BIP9!
bit - A field in the block header, the nVersion, has a number of bits. By setting a particular bit, the miner making the block indicates that it has upgraded its software to support a particular soft fork. The bit parameter for a BIP9 activation is which bit in this nVersion is used to indicate that the miner has upgraded software for a particular soft fork.
timeout - a time limit, expressed as an end date. If this timeout is reached without sufficient number of miners signaling that they upgraded, then the activation fails and Bitcoin Core goes back to the drawing board.
Now there are other parameters (name, starttime) but they are not anywhere near as important as the above two. A number that is not a parameter, is 95%. Basically, activation of a BIP9 softfork is considered as actually succeeding if at least 95% of blocks in the last 2 weeks had the specified bit in the nVersion set. If less than 95% had this bit set before the timeout, then the upgrade fails and never goes into the network. This is not a parameter: it is a constant defined by BIP9, and developers using BIP9 activation cannot change this. So, first some simple questions and their answers:
Why not just set a day when everyone starts imposing the new rules of the softfork?
This was done classically (in the days when Satoshi was still among us). But this might argued to put too much power to developers, since there would be no way to reject an upgrade without possible bad consequences. For example, developers might package an upgrade that the users do not want, together with vital security bugfixes. Either you live without vital security bugfixes and hire some other developers to fix it for you (which can be difficult, presumably the best developers are already the ones working on the codebase) or you get the vital security bugfixes and implicitly support the upgrade you might not want.
Sure, you could fork the code yourself (the ultimate threat in the FOSS world) and hire another set of developers who aren't assholes to do the dreary maintenance work of fixing security bugs, but Bitcoin needs strong bug-for-bug compatibility so everyone should really congregate around a single codebase.
Basically: even the devs do not want this power, because they fear being coerced into putting "upgrades" that are detrimental to users. Satoshi got a pass because nobody knew who he was and how to coerce him.
Suppose the threshold were lower, like 51%. If so, after activation, somebody can disrupt the Bitcoin network by creating a transaction that is valid under the pre-softfork rules, but are invalid under the post-softfork rules. Upgraded nodes would reject it, but 49% of miners would accept it and include it in a block (which makes the block invalid) And then the same 49% would accept the invalid block and build on top of that, possibly creating a short chain of doomed invalid blocks that confirm an invalid spend. This can confuse SPV wallets, who might see multiple confirmations of a transaction and accept the funds, but later find that in fact it is invalid under the now-activated softfork rules.
Thus, a very high threshold was imposed. 95% is considered safe. 50% is definitely not safe. Due to variance in the mining process, 80% could also be potentially unsafe (i.e. 80% of blocks signaling might have a good chance of coming from only 60% of miners), so a threshold of 95% was considered "safe enough for Bitcoin work".
Why have a timeout that disables the upgrade?
Before BIP9, what was used was either flag day or BIP34. BIP34 had no flag day of activation or a bit, instead, it was just a 95% threshold to signal an nVersion value greater than a specific value. Actually, it was two thresholds: at 75%, blocks with the new nVersion would have the new softfork rules imposed, but at 95% blocks with the old nVersion would be rejected (and only the new blocks, with the new softfork rules, were accepted). For one, between 75% and 95%, there was a situation where the softfork was only "partially imposed", only blocks signaling the new rules would actually have those rules, but blocks with the old rules were still valid. This was fine for BIP34, which only added rules for miners with negligible use for non-miners.
The reasons miners signalled support was because they felt they were being pressured to signal support. So they signalled support, with plans to actually upgrade later, but because of the widespread signalling, the new BIP66 version locked in before upgrade plans were finished. Thus, the timeout that disables the upgrade was added in BIP9 to allow miners an escape hatch.
The Great Battles of the SegWit Wars
SegWit not only fixed transaction malleability, it also created a practical softforkable blocksize increase that also rebalanced weights so that the cost of spending a UTXO is about the same as the cost of creating UTXOs (and spending UTXOs is "better" since it limits the size of the UTXO set that every fullnode has to maintain). So SegWit was written, the activation was decided to be BIP9, and then.... miner signalling stalled at below 75%. Thus were the Great SegWit Wars started.
BIP9 Feature Hostage
If you are a miner with at least 5% global hashpower, you can hold a BIP9-activated softfork hostage. You might even secretly want the softfork to actually push through. But you might want to extract concession from the users and the developers. Like removing the halvening. Or raising or even removing the block size caps (which helps larger miners more than smaller miners, making it easier to become a bigger fish that eats all the smaller fishes). Or whatever. With BIP9, you can hold the softfork hostage. You just hold out and refuse to signal. You tell everyone you will signal, if and only if certain concessions are given to you. This ability by miners to hold a feature hostage was enabled because of the miner-exit allowed by the timeout on BIP9. Prior to that, miners were considered little more than expendable security guards, paid for the risk they take to secure the network, but not special in the grand scheme of Bitcoin.
ASICBoost was a novel way of optimizing SHA256 mining, by taking advantage of the structure of the 80-byte header that is hashed in order to perform proof-of-work. The details of ASICBoost are out-of-scope here but you can read about it elsewhere Here is a short summary of the two types of ASICBoost, relevant to the activation discussion.
Overt ASICBoost - Manipulates the unused bits in nVersion to reduce power consumption in mining.
Covert ASICBoost - Manipulates the order of transactions in the block to reduce power consumption in mining.
Now, "overt" means "obvious", while "covert" means hidden. Overt ASICBoost is obvious because nVersion bits that are not currently in use for BIP9 activations are usually 0 by default, so setting those bits to 1 makes it obvious that you are doing something weird (namely, Overt ASICBoost). Covert ASICBoost is non-obvious because the order of transactions in a block are up to the miner anyway, so the miner rearranging the transactions in order to get lower power consumption is not going to be detected. Unfortunately, while Overt ASICBoost was compatible with SegWit, Covert ASICBoost was not. This is because, pre-SegWit, only the block header Merkle tree committed to the transaction ordering. However, with SegWit, another Merkle tree exists, which commits to transaction ordering as well. Covert ASICBoost would require more computation to manipulate two Merkle trees, obviating the power benefits of Covert ASICBoost anyway. Now, miners want to use ASICBoost (indeed, about 60->70% of current miners probably use the Overt ASICBoost nowadays; if you have a Bitcoin fullnode running you will see the logs with lots of "60 of last 100 blocks had unexpected versions" which is exactly what you would see with the nVersion manipulation that Overt ASICBoost does). But remember: ASICBoost was, at around the time, a novel improvement. Not all miners had ASICBoost hardware. Those who did, did not want it known that they had ASICBoost hardware, and wanted to do Covert ASICBoost! But Covert ASICBoost is incompatible with SegWit, because SegWit actually has two Merkle trees of transaction data, and Covert ASICBoost works by fudging around with transaction ordering in a block, and recomputing two Merkle Trees is more expensive than recomputing just one (and loses the ASICBoost advantage). Of course, those miners that wanted Covert ASICBoost did not want to openly admit that they had ASICBoost hardware, they wanted to keep their advantage secret because miners are strongly competitive in a very tight market. And doing ASICBoost Covertly was just the ticket, but they could not work post-SegWit. Fortunately, due to the BIP9 activation process, they could hold SegWit hostage while covertly taking advantage of Covert ASICBoost!
UASF: BIP148 and BIP8
When the incompatibility between Covert ASICBoost and SegWit was realized, still, activation of SegWit stalled, and miners were still not openly claiming that ASICBoost was related to non-activation of SegWit. Eventually, a new proposal was created: BIP148. With this rule, 3 months before the end of the SegWit timeout, nodes would reject blocks that did not signal SegWit. Thus, 3 months before SegWit timeout, BIP148 would force activation of SegWit. This proposal was not accepted by Bitcoin Core, due to the shortening of the timeout (it effectively times out 3 months before the initial SegWit timeout). Instead, a fork of Bitcoin Core was created which added the patch to comply with BIP148. This was claimed as a User Activated Soft Fork, UASF, since users could freely download the alternate fork rather than sticking with the developers of Bitcoin Core. Now, BIP148 effectively is just a BIP9 activation, except at its (earlier) timeout, the new rules would be activated anyway (instead of the BIP9-mandated behavior that the upgrade is cancelled at the end of the timeout). BIP148 was actually inspired by the BIP8 proposal (the link here is a historical version; BIP8 has been updated recently, precisely in preparation for Taproot activation). BIP8 is basically BIP9, but at the end of timeout, the softfork is activated anyway rather than cancelled. This removed the ability of miners to hold the softfork hostage. At best, they can delay the activation, but not stop it entirely by holding out as in BIP9. Of course, this implies risk that not all miners have upgraded before activation, leading to possible losses for SPV users, as well as again re-pressuring miners to signal activation, possibly without the miners actually upgrading their software to properly impose the new softfork rules.
BIP91, SegWit2X, and The Aftermath
BIP148 inspired countermeasures, possibly from the Covert ASiCBoost miners, possibly from concerned users who wanted to offer concessions to miners. To this day, the common name for BIP148 - UASF - remains an emotionally-charged rallying cry for parts of the Bitcoin community. One of these was SegWit2X. This was brokered in a deal between some Bitcoin personalities at a conference in New York, and thus part of the so-called "New York Agreement" or NYA, another emotionally-charged acronym. The text of the NYA was basically:
Set up a new activation threshold at 80% signalled at bit 4 (vs bit 1 for SegWit).
When this 80% signalling was reached, miners would require that bit 1 for SegWit be signalled to achive the 95% activation needed for SegWit.
If the bit 4 signalling reached 80%, increase the block weight limit from the SegWit 4000000 to the SegWit2X 8000000, 6 months after bit 1 activation.
The first item above was coded in BIP91. Unfortunately, if you read the BIP91, independently of NYA, you might come to the conclusion that BIP91 was only about lowering the threshold to 80%. In particular, BIP91 never mentions anything about the second point above, it never mentions that bit 4 80% threshold would also signal for a later hardfork increase in weight limit. Because of this, even though there are claims that NYA (SegWit2X) reached 80% dominance, a close reading of BIP91 shows that the 80% dominance was only for SegWit activation, without necessarily a later 2x capacity hardfork (SegWit2X). This ambiguity of bit 4 (NYA says it includes a 2x capacity hardfork, BIP91 says it does not) has continued to be a thorn in blocksize debates later. Economically speaking, Bitcoin futures between SegWit and SegWit2X showed strong economic dominance in favor of SegWit (SegWit2X futures were traded at a fraction in value of SegWit futures: I personally made a tidy but small amount of money betting against SegWit2X in the futures market), so suggesting that NYA achieved 80% dominance even in mining is laughable, but the NYA text that ties bit 4 to SegWit2X still exists. Historically, BIP91 triggered which caused SegWit to activate before the BIP148 shorter timeout. BIP148 proponents continue to hold this day that it was the BIP148 shorter timeout and no-compromises-activate-on-August-1 that made miners flock to BIP91 as a face-saving tactic that actually removed the second clause of NYA. NYA supporters keep pointing to the bit 4 text in the NYA and the historical activation of BIP91 as a failed promise by Bitcoin developers.
We have discussed BIP8: roughly, it has bit and timeout, if 95% of miners signal bit it activates, at the end of timeout it activates. (EDIT: BIP8 has had recent updates: at the end of timeout it can now activate or fail. For the most part, in the below text "BIP8", means BIP8-and-activate-at-timeout, and "BIP9" means BIP8-and-fail-at-timeout) So let's take a look at Modern Softfork Activation!
Modern Softfork Activation
This is a more complex activation method, composed of BIP9 and BIP8 as supcomponents.
First have a 12-month BIP9 (fail at timeout).
If the above fails to activate, have a 6-month discussion period during which users and developers and miners discuss whether to continue to step 3.
Have a 24-month BIP8 (activate at timeout).
The total above is 42 months, if you are counting: 3.5 years worst-case activation. The logic here is that if there are no problems, BIP9 will work just fine anyway. And if there are problems, the 6-month period should weed it out. Finally, miners cannot hold the feature hostage since the 24-month BIP8 period will exist anyway.
PSA: Being Resilient to Upgrades
Software is very birttle. Anyone who has been using software for a long time has experienced something like this:
You hear a new version of your favorite software has a nice new feature.
Excited, you install the new version.
You find that the new version has subtle incompatibilities with your current workflow.
You are sad and downgrade to the older version.
You find out that the new version has changed your files in incompatible ways that the old version cannot work with anymore.
You tearfully reinstall the newer version and figure out how to get your lost productivity now that you have to adapt to a new workflow
If you are a technically-competent user, you might codify your workflow into a bunch of programs. And then you upgrade one of the external pieces of software you are using, and find that it has a subtle incompatibility with your current workflow which is based on a bunch of simple programs you wrote yourself. And if those simple programs are used as the basis of some important production system, you hve just screwed up because you upgraded software on an important production system. And well, one of the issues with new softfork activation is that if not enough people (users and miners) upgrade to the newest Bitcoin software, the security of the new softfork rules are at risk. Upgrading software of any kind is always a risk, and the more software you build on top of the software-being-upgraded, the greater you risk your tower of software collapsing while you change its foundations. So if you have some complex Bitcoin-manipulating system with Bitcoin somewhere at the foundations, consider running two Bitcoin nodes:
One is a "stable-version" Bitcoin node. Once it has synced, set it up to connect=x.x.x.x to the second node below (so that your ISP bandwidth is only spent on the second node). Use this node to run all your software: it's a stable version that you don't change for long periods of time. Enable txiindex, disable pruning, whatever your software needs.
The other is an "always-up-to-date" Bitcoin Node. Keep its stoarge down with pruning (initially sync it off the "stable-version" node). You can't use blocksonly if your "stable-version" node needs to send transactions, but otherwise this "always-up-to-date" Bitcoin node can be kept as a low-resource node, so you can run both nodes in the same machine.
When a new Bitcoin version comes up, you just upgrade the "always-up-to-date" Bitcoin node. This protects you if a future softfork activates, you will only receive valid Bitcoin blocks and transactions. Since this node has nothing running on top of it, it is just a special peer of the "stable-version" node, any software incompatibilities with your system software do not exist. Your "stable-version" Bitcoin node remains the same version until you are ready to actually upgrade this node and are prepared to rewrite most of the software you have running on top of it due to version compatibility problems. When upgrading the "always-up-to-date", you can bring it down safely and then start it later. Your "stable-version" wil keep running, disconnected from the network, but otherwise still available for whatever queries. You do need some system to stop the "always-up-to-date" node if for any reason the "stable-version" goes down (otherwisee if the "always-up-to-date" advances its pruning window past what your "stable-version" has, the "stable-version" cannot sync afterwards), but if you are technically competent enough that you need to do this, you are technically competent enough to write such a trivial monitor program (EDIT: gmax notes you can adjust the pruning window by RPC commands to help with this as well). This recommendation is from gmaxwell on IRC, by the way.
Script for "History of the entire world I guess" by Bill wurtz
hi, you're on a rock floating in space. pretty cool, huh? some of it's water. fuck it. actually, most of it's water. i can't even get from here to there without buying a boat. it's sad. i'm sad. i miss you. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? a long time ago... actually, never. and also now. nothing is nowhere. when? never. makes sense, right? like i said, it didn't happen. nothing was never anywhere. that's why it's been everywhere. it's been so "everywhere," you don't need a "where." you don't even need a "when." that's how "every" it gets. forget this. i wanna be something. go somewhere. do something. i want things to change. i want to invent time and space. and i know it's possible because everything is here, and it probably already happened. i just don't know when to start. and that's exactly where it started. big bang— pause woah. i paused it. i think there's a universe now. what's it made of? quarks and stuff. ah, that's a thing! in a place! don't like it? try a new place, at a different Time™. try to stick together, because the world is gonna get bigger and emptier. but it's not empty yet! it's still very full, and about a kjghpillion degrees. about no seconds later great news! the quarks are now happily married in groups of three, called a "proton" and a "neutron." and there's something else flying around that wants to join in, but can't cause it's too HOT. ten minutes later great news! the protons and neutrons are now happily married to each other! some of them even doubled up. about 380,000 years later great news! the electrons have now joined in. congratulations! the world is now... a bunch of gas in space. but it's getting closer together... ten million years later and it's getting closer together... 500 million years later and it's getting closer togeth—star is born it's a star new shit just got made! some stars burn out and die. bigger stars burn out and die with passion! and make some brand new way crazier shit. space dust! which allows for newer and more interesting stars to be made, and then die and explode into even crazier space dust! so now, stars have cool stuff around them, like rocks, ice, and funny clouds, which can make some very interesting things. like this ball of flaming rocks, for example. meteor hits earth holy shit, we just got hit by another ball of flaming rocks. and it kind of... made a mess. which is now the moon weather update: it's raining rocks from outer space. weather update: those rocks might've had water inside of them and now there's hot steam in the sky. weather update: cooler temperatures today and the floor is no longer lava. weather update... it's raining. severe flooding alert, the entire world is now an ocean. volcano alert. that's land! there'slifeintheocean what? something's alive in the ocean oh, cool. like a plant, or an animal? no! a microscopic speck. it lives in the bottom of the ocean and eats chemical soup, which is being served hot and fresh, made from gnarly space ingredients left over from when it was raining rocks or whatever. microscopic speck asexually reproduces oh yeah, and it can do that. reproduces three more times it has secret instructions written inside itself telling it how to build another one of itself. so that's pretty nifty, i would say. tired of living at the bottom of the ocean? now you can eat sunlight! using a revolutionary technique, you can convert sunlight into food. taste the sun! side effect, now there's oxygen everywhere and the sky is blue. then the earth might've been a snowball for a while. maybe even a couple of times. it's a sponge... it's a plant... it's a worm, and some other types of weird strange water bugs and strange fish. it's the Cambrian explosion: "wow, that's animals and stuff" but we're still in the ocean. hey, can we go on land? NO why? the sun is a deadly laser oh okay. not anymore, there's a blanket now the animals can go on land. come on, animals, let's go on land! "nope, can't walk yet." "and there's no food yet, so i don't care." 100 million years later okay, will you learn to walk if there's plants up here? "maybe," said some bugs. and fish. fish gasps for air five million years later okay, so i can go on land, but i have to go back in the water to have babies! idea: learn to use an egg. "i was already doing that" use a stronger egg. put water in it. have a baby, on land, in an egg. water is in the egg. baby, in the egg, in the water, in the egg. works for me. bye bye ocean 50 million years later and now everything's huge. including bugs. wanna see a map of the land? sure. Permian extinction oh, fuck, now everything's dead. just kidding, here are the survivors. keep your eye on this one, because it's about to become 75 million years later the dinosaurs. here's another map of the land. yeah, it broke apart. don't worry about it, it does that all the time. here comes a meteor. meteor strikes and the dinosaurs are gone it's mammal time, here come the mammals. look at those breasts. now they're gonna dominate the world, but one of them just learned how to grab stuff. and walk. no, like, walk like that. and grab stuff at the same time. and bang rocks together to make pointed rocks. "ouch" and set things on fire. "yeouch" and make crazy sounds with their voice: "gneurshk" which can mean different things. that's a human person! and now they're everywhere. almost. ice age! what? you can walk over here? cool. not anymore well i guess we're stuck here now. let's review: there's people on the planet. and they're chasing their food. fuck it. time to plant some grass. look at this. i get to control the food now. now everyone will want to be my friend and live near me. let's all build houses, except mine is bigger because i own the food. this is great! i wonder if anyone else is doing this. tired of using rocks for everything? use metal. it's underground. better farming was just invented in a sweet dank valley right in between these two rivers, and the animals are helping. guess what happens next? more food. and more people, who came to buy the food. now you need people to help make the food and keep track of the sales. and now you need houses for people to live in and people to make the houses and now there's more people and they invent things which makes things better and more people come and there's more farming and more people to make more things for more people and now there's business, money, writing, laws, power, Society coming soon to a dank river valley near you. meanwhile, out in the middle of nowhere, the horse is probably being tamed. why is all my metal so lame and lumpy? tired of using lame, sad metal? introducing: bronze. made from special ingredient tin from the far lands of Tin Land. i dunno, my dealer won't tell me where he gets it. also, guess what? egypt meanwhile, out in the middle of nowhere, they figured out how to put wheels on a horse. now we're getting somewhere. also, china and did i mention indus river valley civilization society count: 5 ... norte chico the middle east is getting more complicated. maybe because it's in the middle of the east. knock knock, er, clop clop. it's the... people with the horses? and they made an empire. and then everyone else copied their horses. greeks! ah look, it must be the greeks! er, a beta version of the greeks. let's check in with the indus river valley civilization: they're gone. guess who's not gone? china. new arrivals from india... maybe it's those horse people i was talking about... or their cousins or something... and they wrote some hymns and mantras and stuff... you could make a religion out of this. there's the bronze age collapse. now the phoenicians can get down to business also, can we switch to a metal that's a little easier to find? thanks. look who came back to israel, it's the twelve tribes of israel. and they believe in God just one though, and he's got like a ten-step program. here's some huge heads. must be the olmecs. the phoenicians make some colonies. the greeks copy their idea and make some colonies. the phoenicians made a colony so big it makes colonies. here comes the assyrian empire. never mind, it's the babyloni— media—it's the Persian Empire: "wow, that's big" enlightenment ah, the buddha was just enlightened. who's the buddha? this guy, who sat under a tree for so long that he figured out how to ignore the fact that we're all dying. you could make a religion out of this. oops, china just broke. but while it was breaking, confucius was figuring out how to have good morals. enlightenment ah, the greeks just had the idea of thinking about stuff. and right over here, alexander just had the idea of conquering the entire persian empire. it's a great idea. he was... great. and now he's dead. hopefully, the rest of the gang will be able to share the empire evenly between them. knock knock, it's chandragupta. he says "get the hell out of here. will you get the hell out of here if i give you 500 elephants? okay, thanks, bye" time to conquer all of india er most of india but what about this part? that's the tamil kings. no one conquers the tamil kings. who are the tamil kings? merchants, probably. and they've got spices! who would like to buy the spices? "me!" said the arabians, swiftly buying it and selling it to the rest of the world. hey, china put itself back together again, with good morals as their main philosophy. actually, they have three main philosophies: confucianism: have good morals taoism: go with the flow legalism: fuck you, obey the law out here, the horse nomads run wild and free, and they would like to ransack your city. nomads ransack china let's check the greekification levels of the greekified kingdoms: greekification overload. bye, said the parthians. bye, said the jews. hi, said the parthians, taking over the entire place. heyyyyy, said the romans, eating the entire mediterranean for breakfast. "thanks for invading our homeland," said the jews, who were starting to get tired of people invading their homeland. "hi, everything's great," said some guy who seems to be getting very popular and is then arrested and killed for being too popular, which actually makes him more popular. you could make a religion out of this. want silk? now you can buy it from china. they just made a brand new road to the world. conquers vietnam or you can get there on water "sick! new trade routes!" said india, accidentally spreading their religion to the entire southeast. hmm, that's a good place for an epic trading kingdom. there goes buddhism, travelling up the silk road. i wonder if it'll reach china before it collapses again. remember the persian empire? yep, said the persians, making a new one. axum is getting so powerful, they would like to build a long stick. has anyone populated madagascar yet? let's do it together. china is whole again... ...then it broke again still can't cross the sahara desert? try camels. "hell yeah! now we've got business," said the ghana empire, selling lots of gold. and slaves. "hi, i'm a member of the roman empire, and i was wondering is loving jesus legal yet?" "no" "actually, okay sure," said constantine, moving the capital way over here to be closer to his main rival. don't worry about rome, it won't fall. it's the golden age of india there's the gupta empire, not chandragupta, just gupta. first name chandra. the first. guess who's in rome? barbarians. what's a barbarian? "non-romans," said the romans, being invaded by non-romans. r.i.p. roman empire. actually just half of it, the other half is just fine, but it's not in rome anymore, so let's give it a new name. the mayans have figured out the stars oh, and here's a huge city, population: everyone. the göktürks have taken over the entire eurasian steppe. great job, göktürks. how's india? broken. how's china? back together. how's those trading kingdoms? bigger, and there's more of them. korea has three kingdoms. japan has a kingdom, it's the sunrise kingdom. intermission deep in the arabian desert, on the top of a mountain, the real god whispers in muhammad's ear. so, he goes down to the cube where everyone worships gods and he tells them their gods are all fake. and everyone got so mad at him that he had to leave town and go to a different town. you could make a religion out of this, and maybe conquer the world as well. the roman empire is long gone, but somehow the pope is still the pope. plus, there's new kingdoms all over europe. i wonder if there's room for moors. here's all the wisdom. in a house. it's the baghdad house of wisdom! just in time for the islamic golden age! "let's bring stuff to the coast and sell it, and become the swahili on the swahili coast," said the swahili on the swahili coast. remember this tiny space you have to go through to get from here to there? someone owns that now. wanna get enlightened in the middle of nowhere? the franks have the biggest kingdom in europe, and the pope is so proud that he invites the king over for christmas. "surprise! you're the new roman emporer!" said the pope, pretending to still be part of the roman empire. then the franks broke their kingdom into what will later be called france and not-france. the northerners, er, just "norse" if you don't have much time, are exploring. they go north, from the north to the northern north. and they find some land— two types of land!— and they name them accordingly. prankd they also invade some other places and get called many names, such as "vikings." there's the rus! the kievan rus! are they vikings? "i don't think so," said the kievan rus. okay, fair enough. the pope is ready to make some more emperors of the roman empire. the holy roman empire! it's actually germany, but don't worry about it. new kingdoms—CRISTIANIZE ALL THE KINGDOMS!! which brand would you like? "mine's better" "mine's better" "mine's better" "time to conquer england," said william. it's a bird! it's a plane! it's the seljuk turks! "aah!" said the byzantine empire, who's getting so small and almost doesn't exist anymore. "we need help!" they need help! so they call the pope. "hey pope, can you help us get rid of the seljuks? maybe take back the holy land on the way? come on, i know you want to take back the holy land." "yes, i do actually want to do that. let's do a crusade." crusade! they did many crusades. some of which almost didn't fail. but at least the italians got some sweet trade deals. goodbye mayans. hello toltecs! goodbye toltecs. hello mississippi! look at those mounds. there's the pueblo. i always wondered how to build a town in a cliff. guess who's here? khmer. where? here! and pagan is there. vietnam unconquered itself, korea just became itself, and japan is so addicted to art that the military might have to take over the government. china just invented bombs, and typing. and the mongols just invaded most of the universe. nice going, genghis! i bet that will last a long time. some of the islamic turks were unaffected by the mongol invasions because they were busy invading india. is it tonga time? i think it's tonga time. i just figured out where the swahili gets all of their gold. look at this chad! it means "lake." there's an empire there! right in the middle of africa! the king of mali is so rich, he's going on tour to let everyone know. "wow, that guy's rich," everyone said. the christians are doing a great job reconquering iberia, which will soon be called spain and not-spain. please remain christian. we will check in later to see if you're still christian when you least expect. whoops, half of europe just died. ming! china's back, yay! hey, khmer. time to share. new kingdoms, here and there. oh, look who controls all of the islands. it's the mahajapit. majahapit. mapajahit. mahapajit. mapajahit. ma-ja-pa-hit? oh, italy's real rich. time for them to care a lot about art and the ancient classics. it's kinda like a rebirth. here's a printer. let's make books! so you think you can conquer the byzantine empire? yep, said the ottoman turks. nice job, ottoman turks. oops, you missed a spot. don't forget to ban europe from the indian spice trade. "what? that's bullshit," said portugal, spiceless. "well i guess we'll have to find another way to india" "wait!" said christopher columbus, probably smoking crack. "if the world is round, let's go this way to india." "nah, don't worry, we already got this," said portugal. so chris goes to spain. "hey spain, wanna hire me to find india by going around back of the world?" "no" "please?" "no" "please?" "wtf" "no" "please?" "...okay" so he sails into the ocean, and discovers... more ocean. and then discovers the indies, and japan! let's draw a line to decide who gets which half of the world. the aztec and the inca empires are off to a great start. i wonder if they know that europe just discovered their continent. the hapsburgs are marrying into so many royal families, they might have to start marrying each other. move over, lithuania, here comes moscow. ivan wants to make russia great again. move over, timurids, maybe go invade india or something. persia just made persia persian again. let's make it the other kind of islam. the one where we thought the first guy should've been the other guy. hey, christians! do you sin? now you can buy your way out of hell! "that's bullshit. this whole thing is bullshit. that's a scam. fuck the church. here's 95 reasons why," said martin luther, in his new book which might have accidentally started the protestant reformation. "you know what would be magnificent?" said suleiman wearing an onion hat. "what if the ottoman empire was... really big?" which it is now. "what if russia was big?" said ivan, trying not to be terrible. portugal had a dream that they controlled the entire indian ocean, including the spice trade. and then that dream was real. and spain realized that this is not india, but they pillaged it anyway. "damn," said england and france. "we gotta start pillaging some stuff." then the dutch revolt, and all the hipsters moved to amsterdam. "damn," said amsterdam. "we gotta start pillaging some stuff." question one: can you get to india from north america? no, but at least there's beaver. question two: steal the spice trade. that's not a question, but the dutch did it anyway. and sugar... guess where all of the sugar is made? in brazil! stolen! in the caribbean! and it's so goddamn profitable, you might forget to not do slavery. the next thing on russia's to-do list is to get bigger. britain and france are having a friendly discussion about who should control the entire world. more specifically, ohio. then it escalates into a seven-year discussion, giving prussia a chance to show austria who's boss. but what about britain and france, did they figure out who's boss? yes they did! it's britain. guess who's broke? also britain! so they start taxing the hell out of america. "fuck you!" says america, declaring their independence and fighting for it, and france helps them win. now france is broke, and britain will have to send their prisoners to a different continent. wait, if france is broke, why do the king and queen still wear such fancy dresses? "let's overthrow the palace and cut all their heads off!" said robespierre, cutting everybody's heads off until someone eventually got mad and cut his head off. you could make a rel— no, don't. haiti is starting to like the idea of a revolution, especially the slaves, who free themselves by killing their masters. "why didn't we think of this before?" wait, who's in charge of france now? "me," said napoleon, trying to take over europe. luckily, they banished him to an island. but he came back! luckily, they banished him to another island. there goes latin america, becoming independent in the latin american wars of independence. britain just figured out how to turn steam into power, so now they can make many different types of machines and factories with machines in them so they can make a lot of products real fast. then they invent some trains. and conquer india and maybe put some trains there. "hey, china!" said britain. "buy stuff from us!" "nah, dude, we already got everything," says china. so britain tried to get them addicted to opium, which worked, actually. but then china made it illegal and dumped it all into the sea. so britain threw a hissy fit and made them open up five cities and give them an island. britain and russia are playing a game where they try to stop the other person from conquering afghanistan. also, the sultan of oman lives in zanzibar now: "that's just where he lives." india just had a revolution, and they would like to govern themselves now. "nope," said britain, governing them even harder than before. incoming telegram: HI I JUST SENT YOU A MESSAGE THRU A WIRE technology is about to go crazy! the united states finally figured out whether slavery is good or bad. it's bad, they decided, and then they continued manifesting their destiny, which is to kill the rest of the natives and take their land and maybe kick out the mexicans too. "i know! let's rape africa!" said europe, scrambling to see who could rape it the fastest. they never got ethiopia... britain and france are still hungry. they never got thailand... the united states ran out of destiny to manifest, so they're looking for more: hawaii! cuba! wait, spain controls cuba. well, blame something on them and go to war! what should we blame on spain? u.s.s. maine sinks "let's blame the maine on spain." so they blame the maine on spain. now we're in business. to celebrate, they kick panama out of panama and make a canal, connecting the two oceans. britain just found oil in the middle east. it makes cars go... china is so tired of being bossed around that they delete their old government and make a new, stronger government, which is accidentally weaker and is controlled by a guy from the previous government. europe hasn't had a war since the last war, so they start world war one. look at those guns! it's gonna be a great war, so great we won't need a second one. after it's over, they blame germany. russia went on strike, and the workers overthrew the government. now, everyone's paycheck is the same. communism in the soviet union... the arabs revolt and britain helps. now the ottoman empire is gone, so we can give the jewish people a place to live. hopefully the arabs won't mind. "let's cut the cake!" said sykes and picot, carving up the remains of the not-so-ottoman-anymore-empire. except turkey! turkey makes a brand new turkey! and then the saudis conquer arabia. it just seemed like the right thing to do. phone rings hello? yes, it's the 1920's calling. let's get to a car and drive to a party and listen to jazz on the radio and go to the movies. the economy is great and it will probably be great forever. just kidding. germany's back, featuring hitler, the angry mustache model, and he's mad at the jews for existing. japan is finally conquering the east, and they're so excited, they rape nanking way too hard. they should probably just deny it. hitler's out of control, so the international community tackles him and tries to explain to him why killing all of the jews is a bad idea. but he kills himself because they could explain it to him. that's world war two! bonus round! pacific showdown united states vs. japan FIGHT!! united states drops two extinction balls on japan FINISH HIM! let's unite all the nations and have some world peace! seems legit. "hi, im gandhi, and if britain doesn't get the hell out of india, i'm going to starve myself in public." britain leaves "wow, that worked?" bonus! now there's pakistan. actually two pakistans, one of them can be bangladesh later. the jews and the arabs finally figured out which one of them should live in the holy land. "me!" they both said at the same time. let's divide up the lands so we're both happy. SIKE! they both get angrier! look out, china! there's a new china in china. what's on the menu? communism! no thanks, said the other china, escaping to an island. i wonder which one is the real china...? there's the korean war. korea versus korea! nobody wins, then its on pause forever. let's meet the sponsors. oh, it's the two global superpowers. they're having a friendly debate over which economic system is good and which one is an evil virus of satan. and they both have atom bombs. FIGHT!! wait, no, that would be the end of the world. let's just keep it cool and spy on each other instead. and make sure we have enough atom bombs. "i'll race you to space." united states plants a flag on the moon now let's make more countries fight themselves. europe is tired of pillaging other continents, and the continents they were pillaging are tired of being pillaged. so here's a new map with new countries. now you can't tell who they're being pillaged by. the united states finally decided whether racism is good or bad. they decided it's bad, and the world agrees. south africa might need another minute to think about it. let's check the world population! woah. okay. technology is better too, that might keep happening. the soviet union decides to relax a little, and accidentally falls apart. europe makes a union, so now they can all use the same money. except britain, because they don't feel like it. let's check the mail... surprise! it's on the computer! whoops, someone just attacked america. i bet they'll remember that. phone call! surprise! it's in your pocket! wanna learn everything? surprise! it's on the computer! now your phone's a computer, which is in your pocket! whoops, the economy just crashed. don't worry, the big banks won't fail, because they're not supposed to. surprise!... flying robots. with bombs. wanna print a brain? some people have no friends. some people have no food. the globe is warming, and the ocean is full of plastic! "let's save the planet!" said everybody, not knowing how. "let's invent a thing inventor," said the thing inventor inventor after being invented by a thing inventor. that's pretty cool. by the way, where the hell are we? thanks for watching history i hope i mentioned everything
Well, here it goes. Before you start reading, I'll give you a warning: this post is so damn big. So, if you don't want to waste your precious time reading a lot of text, you are free. But I would like it if you stayed and wasted your time reading this. If you find any flaws and failed sentences, know that English is not my first language. I decided to make this post because I saw this theory on a Facebook page. A guy named José Ignacio deserves all congratulations for dedicating his time to write this theory. I hope you like it. So, let's start! Chapter 122 was one of the most important chapters in the entire Attack on Titan manga. This chapter reveals the past of the Founder Ymir. On the other hand, this chapter puts on the debate what the aforementioned “pact with the Devil of All Earth” really meant… The pact that is mentioned for the first time by Grisha's father in chapter 86. When later, in chapter 88, Krueger comments that in reality there is no correct version of things, it all falls to whoever is disseminating his version of the truth. Even so, these comments indicate an option that seems to be the one that most coincides with the “idea” of origin that chapter 122 leaves us. I refer to the contact with the origin of all organic matter. Although this chapter maintains the enigma of what was that spinal creature which gave the powers to Ymir, it agrees quite well with Krueger's words. Now the interesting thing is that even with that said, Krueger tells Grisha that what Gross said about the past of the Eldian empire was a FACT. Therefore, it is implied that the story that is transmitted in Marley's book (that book with which Grisha was instructed) told the most reliable truth. What happens with the "pact" then? While there is a clear intention to “demonize” the history of Eldia, which could end up misrepresenting the history, the said pact may be metaphorical if it has the truth of a key moment of said empire. Rather than talking about the origin of the Titans, we could talk about a version of the origin of the Subjects of Ymir, two radically different things. If we look closely at the composition of the well-known image that represents this pact, it may be a clear metaphor for the moment we see in chapter 122, where the first king of Eldia says that the “prize” Ymir will receive for her great accomplishments in the war is that he would be the father of her children. Let us understand then, logically, the origin of the Subjects of Ymir is related to the first generation of children with Ymir's blood. That is the origin. The characteristics that indicate that is the representation of the "Devil" as a horned figure, consistent with the helmet worn by the Eldians of that time, including the king and that like him, his eyes can be seen completely in the dark. The representation of Ymir as a girl receiving an apple (it's him who gives the apple). The apple is a symbol of sexuality, love, fertility, among other things, therefore, it is understood that Ymir is physically giving herself to the king (her "virginity"). Furthermore, we can see how the devil looks at the girl smiling and the position of the claws indicate a kind of depredation, understood as sexual depravity, very typical also for almost all demonic figures. We can even say that Ymir was basically raped by the king since the abuse of power is applied towards the one who was a servant to him until her death, his slave. Hence, we understand that pact as a pact of slavery, where Ymir sooner or later would end up locked in the Paths, slave for the royal bloodline. Let's also say that Ymir looks very indifferently at her daughters; even when they are born, she does not seem to form a bond of attachment to them, and even when they are crying when Ymir is pierced by a spear, she simply lets herself die. I mention it because it reinforces the idea that her daughters were basically an imposition because of her status as a slave. So this is where the “new version” of said pact appears, the one that appears along with the changes created by Karl Fritz after his escape to Paradis. After lifting the Walls, abandoning the history of the Fritz and beginning the history of the Reiss, a book appears among the royalty's belongings. A book that appears to tell the same story that Grandfather Jaeger's book told, but with different characters. The first time we see this book is in chapter 54. This book was one with which Frieda taught Historia read. Chapters before, the name of the new protagonists to this new version of the pact had already been showing to us. This time, the devil is replaced by a figure with a face similar to Eren's Attack Titan, wearing a hood such as the one that Eren has, and this one now has his hands full... In particular, he is holding a lantern. Consequently, it is understood that this time the apple is not delivered by him, this time the apple is being offered by the figure that replaces Ymir, who, although remaining as a female figure, the name is changed by Krista. Although the manga has not provided a specific reason to justify the change in this "new pact", it has differences that distance it almost radically from the "original", especially the context in which it occurs. One as a symbol of slavery, and the other as a symbol... of freedom. Everything about it falls on the female figure and how she seems to have power over the apple and she voluntarily decides to hand it over. Consider the similarity of how the figure holding the lamp is composed with Eren and that Krista, who holds the apple, is something with which we would relate to Historia, we can almost understand this book as a "vision of the future", of a pact that's yet to happen. The one who started everything represented by slavery and the one who would end everything represented by freedom. Something that adds to this comparison is to answer the following question: Why would Eren be represented with the Attack Titan and Historia simply with a woman? The answer to this could be found in a smartpass, specifically in the "Good Night, Dear and Sweet Dreams”(canon content), from Eren and Historia. These smartpass present dreams of the characters, and in the particular case of those mentioned, they are presented as nightmares. I leave the most important parts of each one, but I would still recommend that you read them all if you have the opportunity.
Historia: Before her, stood a familiar figure wearing an expression so hideous that she couldn’t bear to look directly at it. “…! You are…me?” The figure curled its lips effortlessly into a twisted smile. “No, I’m not Krista. The real you…is an empty shell; she has nothing but—” “Stop!” Krista screamed. She couldn’t bear to listen on. She struggled, trying to stand up and escape. “Running away now? I bet you are. You enjoyed being 'Krista’, didn’t you?” “No. You’re wrong! I’m just…” “If you’re a good girl, everyone will be kind to you, won’t they?” 'Krista’ couldn’t get away from the figure showering her with words she didn’t want to hear. The girl trembled, and tears formed in her eyes. The figure continued. Eren: When he looked up, he noticed the shadow of what must have been a 15-meter-tall Titan above him. “…You’re–!!” He realized that it was his own form after transforming into a Titan, as was seen in the records. The seated boy reached for his Vertical Maneuvering Equipment, then froze. “You, too, must disappear from this world.” “Stop it! I, I…!!” Eren couldn’t stop himself from closing his eyes when he saw the gigantic fist that he held out, and– “Huh?!” Eren woke up in a dim underground room. He had been ordered to sleep there out of fear of his powers… He was alone and isolated.
If we take into account these nightmares, where we witness which are the figures that terrify the characters, we would understand why the pact is represented by a figure similar to the Attack Titan and a female figure similar to Historia. In addition to everything, they would be representing both characters taming their fears and accepting themselves as they are. Now, going more to how this moment is "cultivated", we must elucidate the question of what the lamp and the apple mean, specifically within this version of the pact, and expose how these objects are related to the history and development of the characters. Let's start with the lamp, which is held by the character representing Eren Yeager. This object is perhaps what most marks the difference between the two events since it is unique from the one we see in Frieda's book. What does it symbolize? No concrete answer can be given, but I interpret it as the "light" that comes into the characters' lives, that illuminates them, that one that allows them to see their own path and protects them from sinking back into darkness. This already marks something interesting, since this "lack of light" in the Fritz pact explains in a certain way why the characters of that time were with their eyes in the dark (it doesn't mean that they didn't have eyes as many interpret). Following the same thread, how that light is reflected in history is through a kind of acceptance, of recognition. Where through accepting another person for what she is, you can "rescue" her and illuminate her life. More explicit case of that is Eren and Ymir Fritz, who after he recognized her as a "simple human" without chains, and free, we could appreciate her eyes for the first time, very detailed and illuminated. It should be remembered at this point that within the original pact as well as the new one there is a pregnancy represented by the apple, therefore, it is not valid to conclude that Ymir, in this new pact, continues to participate. That said, if we go further back, we have to identify this “rescue” in the characters of Eren and Historia, where Eren is the one who carries the lantern since it is he the first to bring that light to the link between them. More specifically, everything we see during chapter 54 so that later it is Historia that would do the same with Eren in chapters 65 and 66. It is necessary to do a little review of the history of the characters and how this need to be "saved" is developing. Both characters grow up with the same problems... the feeling that they are not enough for us, the hatred of their true nature (the fears represented in their nightmares), and perhaps the most important of all, loneliness. Historia in chapter 52 tells that the first stage of her childhood was lived with normality justified in her ignorance and innocence. As time went on, she learned to read and recognized her own misery. She identified herself as an abandoned, isolated girl... a girl who was denied receiving any kind of love and also the opportunity to give it. Both the first time she spoke to her mother and the last time, she received the idea that her life, her birth, was a mistake, a mistake that condemned her mother's life. Which in turn had made her believe that her existence was what caused the disgrace of everyone where she lived. That was the perception that Historia was creating about herself. Having said that, if she was to act like her true self, she would never be accepted. Therefore, when Rod spared her life and gave her a new name, "Krista", Historia believed that she should act as another person to be accepted. We understand then that the fear of Historia is embodied in "being herself", and that is why in the nightmare we practically see a mirror of Historia which was effectively what we see throughout the manga until we see everything that happens in the Utgard Castle. In this particular arc, it was revealed to us about Ymir, the Jaw Titan and the real name of Krista... Historia. What we assume to be Historia as that apathetic girl has no relation to reality since a key point that helps us understand that facet that we see in Historia is that as she herself says in chapter 51, after all the reveal of Historia to Ymir and the promise to live by themselves together, Ymir decided to abandon her and choose to go with Bertolt and Reiner completely devastated her. Historia finishes confirming that nobody "prefers" her free, that nobody prefers her being herself. Therefore, what we see in this apathetic attitude is not the true story... it is depression. This is where Eren begins to have a bigger role in Historia's life as if it were a coincidence that he appeared at the moment when she needed him the most. We enter the moment when Eren brings the “bluff”, during chapter 54. Historia during her conversation with Eren tries to justify the prejudice that he would also despise her for having stopped being “the good girl” with the idea that nobody really loved her.
“But Historia Reiss… Historia's parents never loved her. Nobody did. Quite the opposite. No one wanted her to be born. Her story isn't even especially unusual. There are lots of kids like her in the underground… So? They are all disappointed, aren't they? ”
Eren answers something directly opposite to what Historia was saying... For the first time, in her eyes, someone liked to see her being free, being her true self. Someone was embracing Historia's fears.
"No, that's not true. I don't know about the others... but I didn't really like the old you. It felt like you always had a forced expression on your face… It was unnatural. A little creepy, honestly. But... there is something I like about you now. You're just normal. Just a normal girl who is absurdly honest."
Something that, if we think about it thoroughly, it is curious because it implies that Eren didn't hate what Historia was before, it is not that he hated the facet of "good girl". In fact, on the contrary, Eren was the only character that observed her so much that he managed to identify that she was lying. Neither Ymir, who knew it because she heard some people saying it, nor Armin (who is super perceptive), Jean and Reiner, who had explicitly expressed interest in her. What Eren didn't like was the “little naturalness” that he saw in Historia. So, in Isayama's words "Eren was happy to be able to understand Historia." It's not that Eren likes apathetic people (something that doesn't represent the true Historia either), but Eren could now identify behavior that expressed the true feeling of Historia, a transparent behavior. Regardless of what that behavior was, that was what Eren meant by "Absurdly honest". Eren saw her free. Those words meant a lot to her. She herself in chapter 65 says so that Eren said that she liked that now she was just normal made her happy at a time when she was surely sinking into darkness. Those words of Eren were the light that Historia needed. But... sometimes the person you need may need you even more. On Eren's side, we understand the level of reciprocity that exists in this bond when in chapter 130 he expresses that Historia was the girl who saved him, and that's why he was entrusting his plan to her... a plan that will leave him as the one who destroyed all of humanity outside the Walls. We know that the phrase "the worst girl in the world" is referring to what happened in the cave, more specifically, what happens in chapter 66. But just as we did with Eren, we must review how we got to that point where Eren needs to be rescued by Historia. From the beginning of the manga, we are specified that Eren has always been someone with a difficult personality, one that according to Grisha prevented him from having more friends than Armin. It is understood that before this, Eren had no one but his parents. In fact, when Grisha tells him that it would be good if he became friends with Mikasa, he does not go with the best disposition. Eren since childhood was a person who was not taken seriously and was quite ignored by the other children, especially after Mikasa became part of the group since it overshadowed the little presence that Eren had. After Carla's death, this feeling became much more radical, since he lived firsthand what Hannes faced shortly after... his weakness. During his days as a cadet, although Eren remained as someone in Shadis's words, he did not excel at anything. In fact, he was still ignored by Mikasa's performance in training during that time. Still, he remained determined to achieve his goals. The character's greatest psychological blows begin when his facet as a Titan Shifter appears, the one that we would later see representing his fear in his nightmares. After they found out that Eren is a Titan, they begin to look at him with contempt, like a monster, as we see for example in the scene of the cannon, and unfortunately, this is how he begins to see himself as he mentioned during his first trial. It is during this period also where we begin to see these constant internal conversations of Eren, where he begins to question basically everything about him. Is a kind of indication that a distance was beginning to be marked between him and the other people, Eren was being himself, alone with his thoughts, and outwardly he was practically acting as an object or as he was more widely known within the military... as a weapon. A weapon that little by little began to feel more and more isolated, more lonely, and more feared by his companions, as we saw in the period when he was into Levi's squad. A weapon that, as much as it was considered to be, was still a 15-year-old boy. A child prone to making mistakes, and that it was being, as we see in the Female Titan arc, leaving him the responsibility of making decisions that put other people's lives on his shoulders. Eren was blamed for his decision to kill all the other members of Levi's squad. As a weapon, as a titan, he was still useless. So we can interpret that the weight that Eren had as a Titan Shifter was the one that was consuming him. Even if we are already going to the point where he has that conversation with Historia in 54 and generates all the impact that we had already mentioned before, he apologizes to her for failing as a Titan by not being able to bring Ymir back. So curiously, at the moment when Historia was being rescued, Eren was inadvertently proving that he needed it too. Later, during Chapter 65, having recovered some memories of his father's past and what happened with Frieda, we see Eren at his worst. Where all the points that were seen were damaging Eren, they reach their climax in a scene, a scene where Eren tearfully expresses his desire to die.
"...Never needed to happen... Me... My dad... If my dad hadn't done what he did here five years ago... your sister would have been able to take care of everything, right? Just because my father and I stole the power of the Titans from its rightful place... so many people died... Armin's granddad... Thomas... Mina... Mylius... Nac... Marco... Everyone in Levi's squad... The residents of Stohess District... The soldiers who tried to rescue me... Mr. Hannes. And so many more I don't know... I... could never atone for all of that... It never needed to happen... All of those days we spent training... All those dreams about what could be... past the Walls. I... never needed to happen. Do it... at the very least... I want you to end it all for me. Historia… eat me… and save humanity .”
Historia connects so well with Eren's sentiment that she cries alongside him shortly before questioning Rod Reiss' words, destroying the syringe, and going to free him from his chains. This is where he, through stripping himself of the responsibility to save humanity, begins by saying one way or another that he is no more worthy of power than that of the Founder. To assign this responsibility to Eren by the one who has the royal blood is basically to completely deny that his existence should never have happened. When Eren asks for reasons for the actions of Historia, she responds with that regardless of whether she is the enemy of humanity, she continues being his ally. Breaking also the feeling of abandonment that he had... All the impact that the words of Historia have on Eren's feelings is summarized in the last dialogue of the chapter before he jumps to become the Titan that would crystallize the place in order to save everyone. "Let me believe in myself." In fact, it is very interesting that it's Historia that finishes explaining to everyone in Eren's presence that his existence and that he is the one who bears the Founding Titan has a radical reason for being. Eren's existence is the key to saving humanity from Karl Fritz's ideology. Historia gives Eren a reason to appreciate his own existence and to find his way. Historia now became Eren's light. We understand this resurgence of both characters as something that relates them intimately, also coincides with Isayama's own statements within one of the guidebooks.
So, the only one who really came out of an endless abyss was Historia? Isayama: “My entire existence, from beginning to now, completely depended on my father’s decisions.” Within this despair, when Eren witnessed the very similar Historia releasing herself from the Reiss curse, he decided that he must do the same. Everything must be done for his own good - when you think about things this way, it’s easier to understand Eren.
With all this said, we understand Eren's words in 130 differently during his conversation with Historia. That was misinterpreted as a form of manipulation. The Eren we see in that situation is no longer the same as before, but it is one that is once again sunk in an abyss, perhaps that is why it remembers so exactly what happened in the cave because it is a similar situation... And now that abyss has a more terrifying name than anything else, and it's the consciousness of predestination. This is the Eren we see there. The Eren who reveals his plan to Historia without any potentially necessary reason, and tells her that his only options to prevent the Military Police from getting their mission done are to face them or flee... together. Having said that, we as readers already knew that Historia's forced pregnancy would not really happen because Yelena had already covered everything with the wine plan. Not for helping the queen, but for saving Zeke, which is her priority. So it's time to ask why Eren would look for Historia... and the answer is as simple as humanly irrational considering predestination, and that is that Eren simply seeks to have Historia on his side. If we remember something from Chapter 70, perhaps what I am saying will make more sense to you. While Eren and Historia walked, she asks him what he wants to do regarding the situation of Bertolt and Reiner, to which Eren responds with a very empty expression of feelings that he must kill them. We understand that Eren is actually assuming a responsibility... a duty. Historia insists, asks if that is what he wants, to which Eren replies that he must do it. Eren's expression drastically changes when Historia mentions that underground children have begun to smile, and that indicates that what they are doing cannot be wrong. Historia without realizing it's giving Eren a reason to do things, a reason to want to do them. Historia transforms your duty... into a wish. And it is something that we see almost confirmed in chapter 82 when Armin, during the battle to retake Wall Maria tries to revive Eren, and the memory of Historia appears on the farm. Perhaps the Eren we see talking to Historia in 130 is an Eren who knows that everything he has to do he will do because that is how it should happen, and that is how he saw it in his memoirs. That is the future... But perhaps it is also an Eren that seeks in the person that he surely trusts the most, to receive a reason for doing what he will do, a reason that once again turns his duty into a desire. It's at this point that we leave behind the meaning of the lamp within the new pact and we begin to explain the meaning of the apple. Hoping to give context to three things: the phrase "make a family", the pregnancy of Historia, and... the true meaning of Krista. As we all already intuit, this pact must include pregnancy as the first because, although the first does not include the lamp, if we see a common object, the apple, which we have explained that symbolizes fertility and on the other way "sexual meaning". Now, this time this pact must have a different tint than the first, you can't continue making the same mistake that would end up condemning millennia of slavery to humanity. This difference is referenced in the chapter mentioned at the beginning of this analysis, chapter 122. The chapter is introduced with that conversation between Historia and his older sister Frieda, the one we had originally seen in chapter 54. Mainly because this is where the meaning of Krista's "character" is discussed. We are told that this girl is someone happy who always helps others and that she is also happy to receive help from the rest, she is said to represent “femininity”. But... what really makes it such an imitable ideal? That's where the big explanation comes in, and it's the contrast it makes as the introduction to Ymir's life, who supposedly precedes Krista. Ymir, as a character that seems to be the antithesis of Krista. If we see it that way, what most represents her story is the null freedom that she lives throughout her physical life, and also during the millennia in which she is within the Paths available to the following bearers of the Founding Titan. We would be saying that basically we had been misinterpreting what "Krista" means, since more than being a stereotype of a good girl, what it really means is... an ideal of freedom. That if you want to be a good girl or a bad girl, you do it because you want to be. Although up to this point nothing confirms that Krista in the book was free... but there is a key point that would confirm it, since during chapter 54, in the memory of Historia with Frieda, after the talk about being female, Historia links these words with what she sees in her older sister. Historia believes that Frieda is a "Krista", and tells her that then she wants to be like her sister, to which Frieda is surprised and says of course, that she can be. But after the laughter, we see how Frieda's gaze turns sad, to later erase the memories of Historia. This basically means that Frieda does not really fulfill what it is to be Krista, not because she is not "a feminine woman", but because she is not free. And that means being Krista. Within the same arc, we are revealed that Frieda had a dream that she could never fulfill having carried the power of the Founder and being dominated by Karl's ideology, which we also saw caused her depression and panic attacks. That is why when we see Historia in chapter 70, in its freest version... without realizing it, Historia was being more Krista than ever and that is why the chapter takes its name, in reference to Frieda. "The dream I once had" In fact, few consider that it is confirmed again that what made Eren reject Historia before was her lack of freedom, of the desire to do things. She did not reject the idea of being a good girl because this Historia, the free Historia, is basically fulfilling the same characteristics that it previously repudiated from its previous facet. Live to help the rest. And it's one thing that Eren now recognizes... to the point of praising Historia for what she's doing. Because if she is doing it now, it is because she is like that... she wants it.
“One of the reasons Historia made the decision to become queen... was to do this. She looked everywhere, from the underground to every corner of the Walls... She gathered the orphans and the people in need she found there, brought them to this farm, and started taking care of them. She's using the royal family's budget and the assets seized from politicians to run this place and help the poor. (...) I don't think she'd thought it out quite this far... but she said he was going to find people in trouble, no matter where they were, and go save them. This is what Historia wanted to do..."
It's that freedom that Eren sees in Historia, the one we see constantly protected by her. And I reiterate, his concern is in freedom, not in the actions she takes. Many people, through Eren's dialogues, come to think that he flatly refuses to let Historia have children as if the birth itself was synonymous with freedom when it has nothing to do with it.
"If it means paying for our lives... with broken walls, trampled land, and children bred and killed like livestock... I will absolutely not accept Zeke Yeager's plan."
This is an indirect response to Historia accepting to get pregnant. Eren is against a forced pregnancy and therefore this should be considered a way to violate her freedom. When we are really ignoring the fact that it is a response to Historia accepting a request/imposition of pregnancy.
“They want you to… give birth to a child whose only purpose in life is to become a sacrifice for this island. They want to keep forcing parent and child to eat one another. I won't let them. "
In fact, it is curious because from what Eren declared, in chapter 107, the only thing that he really protected until the end was the freedom of Historia. Because if we talk about broken walls and trampled earth... well, there's not much to say today. Going back to chapter 130, what does it mean? Historia's pregnancy? From the beginning, it already coincides with the pact as such because it is Historia itself that brings the topic of pregnancy to the conversation, be it a warning or a proposal (since there are still doubts if this is a dialogue that occurs later). Since it symbolizes that Historia is Krista, she is offering the apple, she is now sovereign of her own body... she is acting in freedom. That, if we think about it realistically, Eren could only agree with those conditions. Let's say that believing that the farmer is the father interferes with the construction of the pact, which includes Eren with Historia doing it for freedom because it is known from the past and the way she currently looks at him that she does not love the farmer. Finally, there is no real strategic reason for it to occur. Is it born out of love? It is risky to say it, but I dare to say yes. On the one hand, it is consistent with what they mean to each other, and with the intentions with which Eren talks with Historia, seeking to create a reason to want to do what he is doing. What would that reason be… basically the one that Krueger started with as a condition to prevent the same error from happening over and over again… “to form a family” to protect. The thing that has a lot of conceptual strength, about what it means to fulfill a mission being a Yeager. Bringing on his shoulders the sins of his family, both his grandfather and Grisha... who, in their eagerness to fulfill their role, ended up betraying their own children. Eren with the rumble, under the idea of family, is the first Yeager to fulfill his mission, not sacrificing, but protecting his family. If we think about it from that point of view, certain things are explained... Eren's change of mood is explained from how we see him in Paradis to how he arrives at Marley, with a much more melancholic facet, it is explained because Eren becomes so sensitive with the family from the Middle East and why he gives his father the last smile, explains why he sought to psychologically harm, for no apparent reason, his grandfather by mentioning his regrets regarding his family... and also why Eren in his conversation with Zeke changes his expression from false apathy to sadness after remembering the subject of pregnancy and mentioning the few years he has left. Which, if we remember correctly, makes sense when we see Reiner in chapter 117 telling him that, for those same reasons that he has four years left, that there is no point in continuing to fight, that he must rest, that he has nothing to keep fighting, that he has nothing left, that there is no real purpose in living a little longer... Now, Eren has a reason for wanting to do things because... although the intention of doing everything for the well-being of his friends, this falls on the duty, Eren is not within the end of his actions... that's why it is Historia that once again changes his duty for a desire. In fact, as a curiosity, and to finish, it is very interesting that it is Historia back in the training days who tells Sasha that she is the only owner of her life and that she does not have to feel ashamed of being who she is, which that she remembers when she returns to her homeland. It's interesting to see, since we see Sasha in her maximum naturalness, falling in love with Nicolo. Sasha is impressed with Nicolo and his dishes. This only showed that the relationship between Sasha and Nicolo was responsible for exposing the prejudices that exist between both nations. On the one hand, we have a Marleyan who falls in love with an Eldian from Paradis, and he even reiterates that love in chapter 111, and on the other hand, we have an ethnic conflict between two nations. How ironic... their relationship is basically an antithesis to the prejudice that exists between Marley and Eldia... they use the most taboo theme in AoT... Love. Something that saved him from this "stupid worthless war". Consider the pact that will end everything in AoT... as one that represents freedom, one that occurs between characters who, for better or for worse, have always been in that discussion... and whose development is closely linked to it. The enemies of humanity, ending it, giving them the opportunity of a new dawn, where now... they are free. If you manage to get here... CONGRATULATIONS! I hope you have enjoyed it. It really took a long time to finish this. Original text by José Ignacio. Thank you for reading.
Let's talk about the mind tricks and psychological warfare being waged by cheaters, hackers, and RMT vendors in Tarkov, and what we can do about it. This is a long post, but Tarkov is worth it, and a TL;DR is provided at the top.
Edit: There's obviously big money at stake as I started receiving death threats the moment this post hit the front page on hot. Be careful with your personal info and probably best to avoid commenting here if you have doxxable details on your reddit account. Stay safe, it's just a game and not worth it. TL;DR:
Tarkov is a crazy wild game with a bunch of people running around trying to do weird things. Remember that bizarre outcomes are just as likely (if not more) to be happenstance than suspicious behavior. Don't let others gaslight you into thinking every encounter is a hacker or cheater.
Cheat sellers, RMT vendors, and their customers, all want to push the narrative that rule-breaking is far more common than it actually is, and that the game developers are ruining the game so you may as well just hack/cheat yourself to level the playing field. It's great for business as a seller, and it helps rationalize malicious actions as a customer. Spreading paranoia, mass outrage, and undermining the developers are CIA-level tactics to sow chaos and anarchy that benefits bad actors at the cost of everyone else.
The best thing we can do is silence attempts by bad actors and focus on productive, positive discussions in Tarkov and let BSG (who are the only people who can do anything) do their jobs. They spend 65% of their resources on crushing bad actors and their profit margins, so this isn't an issue that's flying under their radar. As a community, the best voice we have against malicious behavior is deafening silence to starve it of attention and free publicity, minimizing the chances that they can sow enough fear and angst to radicalize players to get more customers.
--- First off, the point of this discussion is not to debate how prevalent cheating in Tarkov is. This sub already has more than enough speculation on that topic and as you read further along you'll see that letting fear and paranoia fester is exactly what bad faith agents in Tarkov want. Wherever you have competition, you're going to have cheating. Whether it's Tarkov, Olympic sports, or the stock market. As long as there is competition, there will always be someone who looks to gain an unfair edge, and it doesn't even matter if it's something as mundane and trivial as online chess, there's always going to be that guy who runs their opponents moves into a grandmaster-level AI because their enjoyment comes from that win at any cost. However, despite the fact that bad faith competition exists in nearly every facet of life, it seems like the Tarkov community is far more paralyzed by fear, anger, and suspicion than any other competitive forum. Why is this?
The game design makes it exceedingly difficult to discern bad faith actions from legitimate play. A naked level 1 with a TT pistol can accidentally get a lucky hipfire shot that instantly kills a fully kitted veteran who is highly skilled in the game. The incredibly punishing nature of the game also makes it so that deaths are highly impactful, which makes it difficult to "let go" of trying to figure out what went wrong. All put together, it means that players are forced to simply accept highly punishing deaths without being given any insight or explanation on how they were killed. 20 headshots with an R99 SMG in Apex Legends is incredibly obvious aimbotting. But in Tarkov, the fight is over with just 1, which leaves a lot of unanswered questions with no satisfying answers.
Because the shared raid map system that Tarkov uses, players have a wide variety of objectives that lead to very differing goals, resulting in bizarre interactions where the original intentions of other other players is unclear. Someone who's hiding in a raid to wait for the violence to die down could be stumbled upon by some other person who is completely lost trying to find a quest objective, or wandering around exploring an obscure area trying to find easter eggs. From the vantage point of the hider, it seems suspicious they were hunted down by someone who had no reason to legitimately to hunt in the location that they were. In other words, players will frequently run into other players acting in inexplicable ways that can be easily misattributed to malice when it was just as likely to be happenstance.
The lack of SBMM (skills-based matchmaking) means that all players are drawn from the same pool when forming raids. This means a complete new player to FPS genre entirely could be running face first into the most skilled players in the entire game. When the competition spans the entirety of the skill curve, it's incredibly difficult to know what is going on because player actions are often contrary to expectations of others. Chaos makes it easy to be suspicious about bad faith play because nobody is acting "logically" from each perspective. Naive players may charge in aggressively in silly ways that end up working by sheer luck that more experienced players will assume would only be as a result of unfair information. A very high skill player can take fights that they win with superior mechanics that most would assume you would only engage because of unfair aim.
The point is, this game is designed to breed suspicion, paranoia, and fear. Which is great in one way, because it's what makes it so exciting and fun to play. However, when channeled in the wrong way, is a serious problem because it's exactly what bad faith actors want. Let's think about various actors in Tarkov, and ask the question, "do they want people to believe that rule breaking is more or less prevalent than it actually is?"
CHEAT SELLERS: MORE
Because the narrative is, everyone is cheating, the game is unfair no matter what, every raid you load into has someone that is map-hacking, every fight you take is against someone who is aim-botting. Therefore, you should consider picking up some little helpers yourself to make it fair again, or be a naive idiot that willingly plays at a disadvantage while everyone else is using hacks. The idea that literally cheaters and hackers are infesting every single raid is probably the best possible sales pitch a cheat seller could have. The few instances of cheating leads to fear and paranoia festering, prompting more people on the fringe to consider cheating themselves, leading to more cheating, more fear, more paranoia, more business.
RMT VENDORS: MORE
Because the narrative is, this game is filled with cheaters anyway, half the lobby is people who bought stuff with mom's credit card, and Nikita is setting out to personally reduce your happiness in life and the game is unrewarding and unplayable for a normal legitimate player that doesn't hack or make a full-time job out of Tarkov. Why bother doing all the pointless stupid grinds while you're dying 50 raids in a row to hackers or someone who bought all their gear with their credit card, when you can just buy a few little cheeki Roubles from the side and get to having fun in the game? Negativity and toxicity toward both the existence of other bad faith players, as well as toward the game design itself, is inherently the best possible environment for a thriving RMT system. This is especially perfect for Tarkov because unlike other MMORPGs, it's much more likely that incremental changes will be more brutal rather than having power creep / loot creep / money creep, which fuels despair and more interest in RMT.
CHEAT/RMT USERS: MORE
This one is simple. If they can convince everyone that it's more common than it actually is, the more they can rationalize their own behavior. It's not that bad, everyone else is doing it anyway! Besides, it's not even that big of an advantage, some other cheaters cheat even harder! Some of you may have seen a recent thread where one individual texted "lmao I'm gonna turn off cheats for this group though, cuz these guys play legit." As if playing legit was actually the minority situation for a massively mainstream FPS game. Zzz.
THE AVERAGE PLAYER LIKE YOU AND ME: ?
It is human nature to rationalize defeat. When you face down failure with no explanation on why like in Tarkov, it's tempting to blame cheaters, hackers, etc. Different games often have different ways of rationalizing defeat. In team games like Overwatch or League of Legends, teammate-blaming is common to offload the burden onto random strangers. In solo matchup games like Starcraft II, race balance is often used by players who are frustrated that they lost. What's even more, these other games do an excellent job of explaining where you could have done better, but players will still look for ways to blame someone other than themselves. It's no surprise that in Tarkov, fear and suspicion of bad faith gameplay exists. The problem is, if we allow ourselves to be tempted to err toward the side of suspicion, to blame negative outcomes on the belief in rampant cheaters, hackers, etc., then we are aligning ourselves to the same narrative that bad faith actors like cheat sellers and RMT vendors want to push. We allow ourselves to be corrupted with the idea of "this game is bullshit, everyone else in the game is not playing fairly, why do I even bother trying?" This is a dangerous mindset because it fuels a toxic narrative that "this game is never going to be fair to me, the devs don't care, the game is becoming less and less fun for me, I should just quit if I'm not going to cheat myself." Let me be clear, I'm not saying that toxicity itself will convert an entire playerbase into cheaters. In fact, I think it has a minimal impact at a high level perspective because there just aren't that many people that are willing to traverse to the disreputable ends of the internet and take risks just to gain some internet points. However, even a 1% cheating rate to 3% cheating rate is a 300% proportional magnitude in the profitability of selling cheats or RMT vending. And more importantly, it significantly damages the enjoyment and integrity of the community at large. You can see clear evidence of bad faith actors in this subreddit. There have been several threads in this subreddit just in the past few days that have reached the front page claiming 1) false bans are rampant, Nikita should just let RMT be 2) hello I am bob, I am hacker all day, you should hack too because literally it's everywhere you don't even KNOW, btw PM me for cheap hacks 3) xyz devs are ruining the game, why stop RMT/hacks, just let it go, you're DESTROYING THE GAME, STOP DOING THAT BSG!. I'm not going to say any individual thread (even though many examples have been debunked) are complete bullshit. I'm just going to say that the narrative of these threads is completely aligned with individuals who are lobbying to protect their interests in making a profit out of bad faith play.
What can you do to stop this?
It starts with the self.
When you get an incredibly lucky clutch/kill, remember it for yourself, and use it as a reminder as to how fickle this game can be. Think about how your opponent must be so confused/suspicious about what you got away with.
When you yourself are on the receiving end of that ridiculous death, remind yourself of all the times where you were on the other side. Make your default reaction be "damn, Tarkov is crazy" rather than "I bet that was hacking 100%." Remember how easily flukes can occur, and how easily luck could be conflated with cheating.
Focus on learning and improving in a game where there is endless room to get better, something that is irrelevant to whether some minority of players chooses to play unfairly.
Encourage productive discussions, positive mentalities, and discourageDESTRUCTIVE SPECULATIONand toxic attitudes.
Upvote threads that discuss legitimate aspects of the game, whether it's discussions on strategies, advice on how to get better, or general productive discussions that are within our control as regular players.
Downvote threads that revolve around discussing cheating, hacking, or a bullshit "Reddit expert panel" of trying to speculate whether gameplay footage was legitimate or not, especially when there is a lack of context on user lag/latency, frames, system specs, server issues, date stamps, etc.
Upvote threads that explain technical nuances known to impact Tarkov gameplay, e.g. desync bullets resulting in apparently unkillable players, etc.
Downvote threads that attempt to sow paranoia in masses of players that have nothing to do with anti-cheating efforts. At best, they are attention-seeking threads made by users to profit infamy at the cost of community integrity. At worst, they are propagandized pieces designed to undermine faith in the developers and increase the temptation to use black market cheats/services and perpetuate a death spiral.
Downvote threads that attempt to induct mass outrage against developers. When someone says "they nerfed X, this is bullshit, we should all just RMT now," it could be from legitimate upset players, but keep in mind that it's also perfectly aligned with exactly the type of agenda that bad faith actors have. Remember that the best thing that malicious actors can do is to pit the player base against the developers so they can create a lawless wasteland to do business undisturbed.
BSG has shown an exemplary degree of interaction with this community. Always wait for an official response before jumping to conclusions.
Go try making a thread about cheating/hacking/boosting in Overwatch or Apex Legends and see how much official response you ever get from developers. This subreddit has been gifted with probably one of the best levels of community engagement from devs you could ask for.
When someone tries to hit the front page with a thread like "I've been falsely banned," track that thread carefully and wait 3-4 days for the official response. If it's anything like 90% of the threads we've seen in the past few days, you're going to see the truth hammer get dropped, providing the poster doesn't delete their own threads/accounts when they're exposed to be full of lies.
Upvote threads that make grandiose claims that are worthwhile for an official response. Then mercilessly scrutinize how events unfold, because 99% of the time, it's always liars that are hoping they can incite a riot as "punishment" for the developers interfering with them than anything else. This is a common occurrence in other communities that have high developer interaction like Old School Runescape, where banned players are known to make top-page threads about being falsely banned, before evidence is provided showing that they are completely full of shit and memes ensue when the truth hammer is dropped.
-- BSG spends 65% of its resources fighting cheaters and RMT and is a developer that has shown endless passion and commitment to its install base. As beta players that are trying to help them develop the best possible game, the best voice we have against bad faith actors in the Tarkov community is deafening silence. Starve them of attention, free marketing, free publicity. Demonstrate that just because they can infect one player, that will not tilt the hundreds of legitimate players into letting themselves surrender and be infected themselves.
A PC-User's Purchase "Guide" (it's not...just the ramblings of an idiot) to High Quality Audio on your system.
Hello friends, today I'd like to talk about an aspect of our glorious systems that get overlooked a lot: our audio experience on our battlestations. Thanks to paoper for formatting. Again disclaimer that I am an idiot, so take this post with a grain of salt. Better info and more accurate info from people way more knowledgeable than I am is readily available from /audiophile/budgetaudiophile and /headphones, this is just a start-up guide for the beginner. NOTE: The monster I gave birth to has become too long. I felt that instead of a short list of things to order, I needed to give context as high fidelity is really all about what sound is like in your experience. Also a fun read if you are interested. Feel free to skip to the actual list (ctrl+f active speakers, passive speakers, headphones, subwoofer, amplifier)! I have limited the price range of the products, because this is after all just food for thought and not even a proper guide; real audio purchases will require elbow-grease and research from your end to see if the product's sound signature will match your preferences in music and sound. If your product is not here, do not worry. I have put in products that I have had experience with and those that were recommended by multiple reviewers I hold in high regard (with the exception of a 2.1 system you will see later), and I had to consider the endless number of headphones/speakers vs the ones that are worth your hard-earned cash (and products vs how they compare to my current setup which includes both "high-end" and budget options).
I've been building systems for myself and others since I randomly took a buildapc course in middle school (currently 28) and enjoy music very much (I grew up on linkin park, dre, biggie smalls, 3 6 mafia, tupac, ac/dc, red hot chilli peppers am fond of electro and dubstep and various genres of music). I have 2 decades of experience playing saxophone, clarinet, and the electric guitar, and have performed in jazz bands, rock bands, and an orchestra. My ear is highly trained from raw musical performance and not just listening to speakers from home, as well as having the nuance to differentiate between good speakers. I have owned many many forms of audio gear (instruments, speakers, headphones, studio monitors).
So wtf is this?
So occasionally while answering questions on this subreddit (mainly on why new builder's systems aren't posting, or what components they should get, or just mourning with fellow builders for systems that have passed on as well as celebrating the birth of new systems and fellow pc builders who take their rite of passage of building their own system with their own two hands) I would come across the occasional "what speakers/headphones are best under $xx" and with the state of pc products being "gaming rgb ultimate series XLR" or w/e, it's hard to discern what audio products are actually worth your money. Note that if you are using just "good enough" cheap speakers, any of the speakers/headphones on this list will blow your mind away. Get ready to enter a new world of audio.
Why should I bother getting better speakers/headphones?
I have owned $20 logitech speakers, I currently own $1500 speakers. I have owned varying levels of headphones. The first half-decent (to my standards) speakers I had was a hand me down stereo set from an uncle. This thing was massive, but this thing was good. It's difficult to explain to you the sensation of music enveloping you with great speakers. Speakers are meant to reproduce sound, as in the sound of the instruments in the song. So great speakers and headphones can literally make you FEEL the music like at a rave or a concert or performance in the comfort of your home. This is why Home Theaters were so popular in the 80s/90s. Upgrading will GREATLY enhance your music, netflix and gaming experience. In fact with passive bookshelf speakers, you can not only use them for your desktop setup, but also chuck them together with a tv and you've got a fine starter home theater system in your hands. You can even upgrade down the line incrementally, one speaker at a time, to a 2.1, 3.1, 5.1, 5.2, 7.2 Dolby Atmos Home Theater Setup where your movies make you feel like your in SPARTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. I currently live in a small apartment with my TV right next to my battlestation, and when i want to sit down on my couch and watch TV, I simply move 1 speaker from my desk to next to my TV, turn my AVR on and I have an easy 5.1 home theater in my tiny apartment. Move the speaker, revert back to 2.1 (or 5.1 if i choose to but i dont because of badspeaker placement when I'm sitting at my desk) amazingness at my battlestation. Consider this an investment into massively improving your experience of playing video games, watching netflix, or listening to music. You think those 4k graphics and ULTRAWIDE monitor is giving you more immersion in your game? Shit...having great speakers or headphones can make you feel like you're IN NORMANDY BEACH DURING THE FUCKING LANDINGS
General considerations (or feel free to just skip ahead to the list)
Now, I totally understand using simple logitech speakers due to budget/space/easy-access from best buy or not knowing about the wider audio world. So I am here today to give you a perspective on what audio components are TRULY worth your hard-earned cash. I have owned $20 logitech speakers in college, I have owned guitar amps as well as studio monitors/other speakers ranging from $100-$1500. Do know that all of this information is readily available in /BudgetAudiophile/audiophile and /headphones . I am merely condensing all of it into a single list, and attempt to sort of explain it to the pc builders, or just an idiot rambling. If you would like more information on specific speakers, I would check out reviewers on youtube like zerofidelity, steve guttenberg, nextbigthing (nbt) studios, and thomas and stereo. For headphones, metal751, innerfidelity, Ishca's written reviews, DMS. Z reviews is okay and he reviews everything from amps and dacs to speakers and headphones, but he gives 90% of his products good reviews, and has affiliate links to every single product he reviews....so you see where my dislike of him as a reviewer comes from. He is still an expert audiophile , he just chooses to not use his knowledge and ramble on in his videos, plus the shilling. Great place to start for audiophiles, as he is still a professional. I just think many move on to other reviewers. Also with speakers, speaker placement is extremely important. Get those speakers off your desk and the woofers/tweeters to your ear level NO MATTER THE COST. Stack boxes/books, buy speaker stands/isolation pads from amazon, at worst buy yoga blocks from amazon. Put your speakers on them, get ready for even better audio. General rule of thumb: dont buy HiFi at msrp. There are ALWAYS deals on speakers/headphones to take advantage of at any given time (massdrop for headphones, parts-express, accessories4less, crutchfield, adorama, Sweetwater, guitar center, etc). Speakers will get cheaper over time as manufacturers have to make room for new products/refreshes of the same models just as with headphones. If theres a particular headphone model you want, check to see if massdrop has it (website where users of the website decide what niche products the website will mass order, and both the website and you the users get reduced pricing). Now this list is just simple guide. Obviously for $150 budget, theres probably like 10 different speakers to choose from. You will catch me repeat this many many times but sound is subjective, I don't know what genres of music you enjoy and what sound signatures in headphones/speakers you would prefer (warm sounds? bright? aggressively forward? laid back sound signature? importance of clarity vs bass?) So consider this list with a grain of salt, as this is after all, the ramblings of an idiot on reddit.
So I will be splitting this list into 4 categories:
And before I start, bass depth and low end does not fucking equal bad boomy bass. I absolutely detest low quality boomy bass like in Beats headphones and general "gaming speakers" or w/e. Also the budetaudiophile starter package is the dayton audio b652 + mini amp combo from parts-express. All the speakers that were considered were basically compared to the b652 before making it on here (and whether they justified the price bump over the b652)
Active vs. Passive (crude explanation)
So when a speaker plays music from your pc, the audio is processed by the audio card on your motherboard, which is then sent to the amplifier where the signal is amplified, and then finally is sent to be played on your speakers. Active speakers like logitech speakers that have a power cable running from the speakers directly to the wall socket have built-in amplifiers to power the speakers, whereas passive speakers require a separate amplifier to amplify the audio signal and feed the speakers power. Active vs passive, no real difference as both types of speakers will have good audio quality depending on how they are made and which ones you buy, but in the ultra budget section of speakers (under $300) actives tend to be cheaper than their passive counter parts. This is due to the manufacturer cutting corners elsewhere. Take for instance the Micca MB42X passive speakers($90) which also have a brother, the Micca PB42X ($120) powered speakers. Same exact speaker, but built in amp vs the amp you buy. Obviously the mb42x will sound marginally better purely from the virtue that the amplifier is not inside the goddamn box. But the mb42x + amp + speaker wire will probably cost you anywhere from basic $130 to $200 with difference in amplifier and whether you use bare speaker wire or banana plugs/cables. Cabling aesthetics and management will be greatly affected, with sound quality affected to a lesser degree, or more (but at what cost?). Amp choice to be explained later. Now generally speakers should be recommended based on your music/audio preferences and tastes as speakers and in a larger part, speaker brands will have their own unique sound signatures that some will love and others will hate as sound is such a subjective experience. But since this is meant to cater to a wide audience, note that my list is not the ALL inclusive, and again is only the ramblings of an idiot.
If you want to add bluetooth capabilities to your wires active or passive speakers, simply buy the esinkin W29 wireless bluetooth module, plug your speakers in, connect to your bluetooth on pc/phone/w/e, enjoy.
Simply connect to your PC or TV via 3.5mm (or the occasional usb). Note: you may experience a hissing with active speakers that may annoy you to no end even up to the $400 mark. This is a result of the amplifier being built in to the speaker in close proximity, as well as sometimes the manufacturer cutting corners elsewhere. Passive speakers do not have this unless you buy a really shitty amp. Note that while bigger woofer size does not necessarily indicate better quality/bass, this does more often than not seem to be the case as manufacturers put bigger woofers on the higher stepup model. Note that while I have included 2.1 systems here, I would always recommend you get good bookshelves first, save up money and buy a subwoofer separate.
Cyber Acoustics CA-3602FFP 2.1 $40. This is the I'm broke af but I need speakers route. 2.1 setup for 40 bucks. We do not have the luxury of options here. Enough said. Amazon
Okay, for under $100 for good quality active speakers, there really is no other choice here besides Edifier speakers on amazon. In fact, their entire lineup is pretty solid all around ranging from the 980T for $70 to the S350DB which is a 2.1 system with 2 bookshelves and a sub for $300. Differences in the models are basically bigger woofers/tweeters as you go up in price, resulting in better bass performance and clarity (again crude explanation). If you don't want to research much and want simplicity, any of the edifiers are the way to go, with the 1700BT being the goto 2.0, or the 1850db which as a sub-out so you can add in a subwoofer into your setup later.
Micca PB42X: $120- The active version of the popular MB42X passive speakers. Very good performance for price.
Mackie CR3/4 $90/$140- Now normally I don't recommend these, but they are okay/meh speakers and have that razer aesthetic going on, and aesthetics are big part of speaker choice, so if you like the black/green color scheme, I guess these are passable.
Klipsch Pro Media 2.1: $150- the only 2.1 system I'd recommend under $200. The thing about adding in a subwoofer to a 2.1 system under $200 means they have to cut corners elsewhere. This is the main difference of 2.1 systems vs bookshelves. While the subwoofer will allow your music to hit the lower notes in frequency resulting in deeper and more bass, this will usually come at a cost of audio quality in the mid and upper ranges in the music. If you are a BASSHEAD then yeah you probably want a subwoofer, though bookshelves under $200 also have decent bass. Note, ALWAYS BETTER TO BUY BOOKSHELVES AND SUBWOOFER SEPARATELY, but this will be pricier. Klipsch Website Direct or amazon.
Fluance ai40/ai60: $200/$300- nice looking speakers that come in white and walnut and black that also have good clarity and quality. Their bass is surprisingly okay as they are rated to go a little bit below in the lower frequencies than speakers in similar price. I have listened to these before shortly for 2 hours, and would recommend. IIRC the ai60 has a subwoofer out. Mind the size of the 60s, quite big. Fluance direct or amazon.
Kanto YU4: $270 Direct competitor to fluance ai series. Comes in white as well.
Audioengine A2+/A5+ :$270/$400. I have no experience with this lineup, but lots of love/hate dynamic with this brand over on budgetaudiophile. Good and bad thing.
JBL 305P: $300 - maybe the endgame speakers of this list. These are very famous and respected studio monitors that music artists and producers use often. They are sold $150 per speaker, and you will need to get 2. Hooking them up requires separate cables, as these are standalone speakers with it's own volume control on each speaker. Simplest way is to buy a 3.5mm to dual TS Cable. Set both speakers to same physical volume level via knob, and adjust volume using windows settings (having a volume knob on your keyboard helps immensely here). Or buy a separate in line volume control from amazon ($20 bucks or under) and connect via 3.5mm to rca. Being studio monitors, these are meant to reproduce sound neutrally (they will have no external flavoring like how Beats adds muddy boomy bass to its headphones to use as a bad example) and may not sound alive or bright or to your tastes. They can be demo-ed/tested out at guitar center if you have access to one in this pandemic.
Logitech G560 RGB Gaming Speakers: $200 (yes, you read that right): Okay, now normally I'd be crucified for recommending a logitech speaker in the other audio forums. But I have used these speakers briefly for about 3 months when I got them cheap from a friend. The sound quality of these satellite speakers are....surprisingly not bad? Might I dare to say that these are even....decent for it's price? Now these are $200 speakers for a 2.1 system. This means that it's either this or Klipsch 2.1. Honestly my vote here goes to the logitechs. I owned the Klipsch promedia 2.1 for about half a year. I can definitely say I prefer the clarity of the logitechs vs the boomy bass of the Klipsch. The subwoofer on the 560 does NOT have its own control knob, so you would need to adjust bass settings through logitech eq. Note, these speakers will not sound good out of the box. You will need to go into the eq settings via logitech software, and change the settings to match your tastes. Honestly the fact that you have to tweak the eq through shitty logitech software to make these sound good is pretty bullshit. Note that I am not recommending the z623/625. Don't get those. I used these in college in my apt in brooklyn, and while boomy bass, I'd definitely go with the B652 + mini amp, klipsch 2.1, or the g560 over the z623/625 FOR SURE.
Second-hand market: okay, let's say you are determined to get quality speakers but you do not have the budget. Look around on the second hand market for stuff from KRK, Emotiva, Ascend, HSU. Make sure to demo them out for as long as you can until the seller gets pissed (please don't), so that you can test to see if you like the sound.
These speakers will require you to buy a separate amplifier, as well as separate cables. But the passive route allows you to have a modular audio system that allows you to upgrade parts as you go along in your life (yes I said life for once you dip your toes into high fidelity, you will get hooked onto a great lifelong journey searching for the perfect setup), or even just add parts in altogether (like having a miniamp on your desk for your passive speakers, having a separate dac or bluetooth module for your speakers so you can connect the passive speakers via USB or bluetooth wirelessly, stacked on top of a headphone dac/amp combo, stacked on top of a preamp, etc). Amplifier list to follow later. Passive speaker specs to pay attention to will be their impedance (measured in ohms) and their sensitivity (measured in xx db/1w/1m). Speaker ratings in wattage are measurements of how much power can be driven to them (higher watts, higher volume...once again crude explanation). A 20 watt x 2 channel amp (measured in 4 ohms) is enough to power 4 and 6 ohm speakers rated at 100 watts to moderate/decently loud listening levels on your desktop. Now the sensitivity thing. A speaker with a rating of 85db/1m/1w means it will produce 85 decibels of noise at 1 meter with 1 watt of power. Now this not linear....to make the same speaker go up to 90 decibels may require 10 or 15 watts of power depending on other variables. Depending on how loudly you play your music and what impedance/sensitivity your speakers have will result in your choice of amplifiers. More on this later. The thing about passive bookshelf speakers are that you can use them in your desktop setup, AND with your TV as a legitimate starter 2.1 home theater setup (which you can upgrade to 3.1, and then 5.1/5.2, just buy a used receiver from craigslist for 50 bucks, ez)
What you will need for passive setup:
Note that passive speakers and amp require you to purchase speaker wire separately (fairly cheap) and strip them (youtube video will guide you, very easy). Or if you like clean cable management and easy setups, banana plug cables from amazon will set you straight, and while these banana plugs and cable are nice and PURELY OPTIONAL, they will add up in cost as your buy more of them for frankenstein 2.1 cabling. Also a 3.5mm to rca cable will be required. The connection will be your pc -> 3.5mm->rca->amp->speaker wire-> speaker wire->speaker. (replace speaker wire with banana plug if going that route). Subwoofer connection will be explained in subwoofer section.
Dayton audio b652+ mini amp combo on parts-express for $60/70. Two combos, two separate mini amps, one from lepai (china) and one from dayton. Same shit. It LITERALLY does not get better than this for under $100, maybe even $150. CHIEF THIS IS IT, i cannot stress this enough. This is the budgetaudiophile 101 starter pack. I'd recommend these over the active Mackies, Edifiers (up to the 1700), and any and all logitech/creative pebble/cyber w/e EVERYTHING systems (except for the g560). These are very BIG speakers and hence will deliver good sound and good bass due to its big woofers. If you have less than $100 to spend on the ENTIRE audio setup, go get these and speaker wire/banana plugs no questions asked. gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
Dayton Audio B652 AIR $70- The difference between the AIR and the normal 652 is in the tweeter. The AIR tweeter on this speaker costs as much as the entire b652 speaker. This tweeter upgrade gives even more clarity and quality in the treble range (middle upper sound frequency). The next best thing for under $100, though doesn't come with the mini amp combo.
Sony SSCS5 Bookshelf Speakers. $150 msrp, $120 on amazon/bestbuy until recently, and sometimes goes on sale for $75. These are 3 way speakers with woofer, tweeter and supertweeter. The strength of these speakers lie in its unmatched clarity in the highs and upper mids. I still have these in my collection, and VERY WORTH though my opinion of these is skewed as I got them for $75/pair. If you appreciate bass, you will need to add a subwoofer with these (or generally any speaker below $500....some people would say you cant listen to music on bookshelves without subwoofer) as they sound a bit thin compare to the b652s (a bit less bass because smaller woofer) but better sound quality (though this is just my SUBJECTIVE thought after listening to the cs5s and b652s). These have 5 in woofers and have okayish small form factor.
Micca MB42X $90- the passive version of the powered PB42X in the active list. The difference is between the amplifier built into the PB42X vs the one you're going to buy separately to power the MB42X. Obv the MB42X route is going to be better because the amplifier in the PB42X will be shit compared to the one you're going to buy ($30/50/75/150 options to follow later)
Micca RB42X $150 - Amazing small size speakers. For under $200, either this or the cs5s. The rb42s have a bit more bass.
Elac Debut 5.2/6.2 ON SALE NOW FOR $230/250. GET EM WHILE IT LASTS. Normally $280/350. These are speakers highly acclaimed by many of the speaker reviewers I consider the best (imo zerofidelity, steve guttenberg, nextbigthing (nbt) studio, thomas and stereo). Great bass, warm sound signature. Just go, what are you waiting for. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Q Acoustics 3020/3030i $230/400. Highly acclaimed by reviewers, look VERY NICE in white, and have a warm sound signature with lots of bass clarity and bass depth. These speakers are big, which is why they have great bass. Check the dimensions. Their size is the only downside to these fantastic speakers.
PSB Alpha P5 $400: Great speakers for nearfield listening, aka at your desk, excels in this department more so than the other speakers (better at low volume, etc). Just all around amazing. Get these if the Q Acoustics ones are too big.
Triangle BR02/03 $450/550. Coming from across the atlantic, these french speakers made a splash last year destroying its competition in the below $1000 range. Highly acclaimed to the point where some see them as overrated (too much hype out of nowhere in such little time). If you have the space in your setup as well as in your wallet for these, they are the way to go. Comes in black, walnut, white.
Obligatory Klipsch R15/R51/RP600 post: you've heard of klipsch. They're widely available audiophile speakers, and so sometimes get the "overrated" hyped up treatment. They are good speakers but their have their own unique aggressively forward sound signature with the horn style tweeter. These were designed to make you feel like you're at the rock concert direct, may not be for everyone (much so not for me).
Okay here is where we need to get into specific numbers. Active speakers have built-in amplifiers so they are exempt. But passive speakers will require separate amps and so you will need to pay attention to certain specs. In speakers you will need to pay attention to their impedance (measured in ohms) and their sensitivity (measured in xx db/1m/1w). The typical mini amplifier will be class D (small form factor amps for desktop use) and their wattage per channel will be usually expressed in 4ohms. Take for instance the popular SMSL SA50. This is an amp that delivers 50 watts to its 2 channels, rated at 4 ohms. Speakers will have impedance of 4, 6, or 8 ohms usually. 50 watts at 4 ohms can be 25 watts at 8 ohms, but is probably more like 20 watts at 8 ohms, refer to product specs for specific wattage ratings at specific ohms. Speakers with high sensitivity (85-95 db/1w/1m) that have 6 ohm impedance are easier to drive with lower wattage. But here's the thing, an the smsl sa50 will not deliver 50 CLEAN watts. Somewhere in the 30-40w range distortion will start to appear. But for reference, 30 clean watts is enough to drive sony cs5s to uncomfortably loud levels in an apartment (the whole apt, not just your room) so listening on your desktop, you only really need 10-15 clean watts (only after turning up your preamp input to maximum volume, which in this case is your youtube/windows10 volume level). Do note that if you have the space, a used $60 AV Receiver that will just shit out watts and have 5.1 surround will be the best, but these things are massive.
Lepai 2020ti (LEPAI and not Lepy be wary) $25. 20 watts in 2 channels. Budget
SMSL SA36 $62: SMSL's 2x20w.
SMSL SA50 $72: The most bang for buck amp that's also decent. 2x50watts.
Topping MX3 $130: Speaker amp, headphone amp, dac rolled into one. Allows for your speakers and headphones to be connected via USB and Bluetooth.
SMSL AD18 $150: SMSL's answer to the MX3. This one is probably the goto. It's got 2x80w at 4ohms, has USB connection, has subwoofer out, has bluetooth connection, headphone amp, coaxial and optical connection.
If you need more watts than the AD18, you're gonna need to get a class a/b amp that just shits out watts for cheap, or get a used av receiver. If you want a new one, the best budget option is the DENON AVR-S540BT 5.2 channel AVR from accessories4less.
Good subwoofers are expensive, and cheap subwoofers will hurt your listening experience rather than improve it (muddy boomy shitty bass). Your best bet may be to simply find a used subwoofer from craigslist or offerup, just dont get the polk audio PSW10, this is a very common sub you see on the 2nd hand market, because it is a shitty sub and so people get rid of it. Now as to whether you need a subwoofer. If you are in a dorm, don't get a subwoofer. Because.... if you live in a dorm, do not get a fucking subwoofer. Now if you live in a small apartment, fear not, proper subwoofer management will save you noise complaints. A good subwoofer will produce good quality low end you can hear and feel without having to turn up the volume. You want to look at the subwoofer's lowest frequency it can go to. That will show you how "tight" the bass will be. Now, low volume levels on a good sub will produce that bass for you without vibrating your walls (though subwoofer and speaker isolation as well as PLACEMENT (refer to the sub-crawl) will do more for getting the most sound out of your speakers without having to turn up the volume....and just turn off the sub after a reasonable time) Now as to how to add a subwoofer to your system will depend on what setup you have and the available connections. If your speakers or amplifier has a subwoofer output, simply connect that to your subwoofer, set the crossover freuency (the frequency at which the subwoofer will start making sound) to 80hz, or lower depending on how low of a frequency our bookshelves can go down to. If your speakers/amp do not have a subwoofer out, you will need to find a subwoofer that has high level speaker inputs. You will need to connect your bookshelves to the speaker outputs on the subwoofer via speaker wire/banana plugs, and then run speaker wire/banana plugs from the subwoofer input to your amplifier, ending with rca to 3.5mm connection to your pc.
Dayton Audio SUB-800 $100: The cheapest one, don't go any cheaper. Enough said. Get from parts-express. If you need cheaper, 2nd hand market.
Dayton Sub-1000 $120: The bigger brother. This thing is 10 inches, be prepared for a BIG box sitting in your room.
Bic Acoustech PL-200 $300: Has good bass, goes down to 22hz. Very good bang for buck "good" subwoofer. A BIG step up from the daytons.
Okay, I keep saying headphones and not headsets right. But you ask, Kilroy, you're an idiot. You're posting on buildapc for PC gamers and builders but you're talking headphones and not headsets. How idiotic are you? Pretty big, but friends hear me out. Now I used to live in South Korea, where PC Bangs (internet cafes) set the nation's standards for computers. All the places had to get the best bang for the buck pc gear to stay in business and remain competitive (all 100 computers at these places had like i5-6600k and gtx 1080 in 2015 or something I don't remember, along with mechanical BLUE SWITCH FUCCCCCCKKKKKKKK (imagine 100 blue switch keyboards being smashed on in a small underground area in Seoul) keyboards and decent headsets. So I have tried MANY MANY different headsets, here is my conclusion. Just get proper headphones and get either get an antlion modmic, or V-MODA Boompro mic both available on amazon. (short list of mics later) or get proper headphones and usb mic. Okay, I have seen the headphone recommendation list, and the only one I would give any (if at all) weight to in the usual pc websites that our subreddit goes to, is the list from rtings. These guys mainly measure monitors and tvs (very well might i add) but the writer for their audio section is lacking it seems. Please dont get Astro AXX headphones or corsair rgb xxxxxx w/e. Please for the love of god, take your good hard earned cash and get yourself a NICE pair of cans my fellow PC users. The mic part is secondary as GOOD headphones will forever change your PC using and music listening experience FOREVER The TWO EXCEPTIONS that I have observed to this rule are the Hyperx Clouds and Cooler Master mh751/752.
Hyperx Cloud CORE/1/2/ALPHA (please find prices on amazon). So these headphones are a rare instance of when a gaming branded pair of headphones was actually a good no bullshit product. These are hyperx reskins of OEM Takstar Pro 80, a pretty damn good pair of cans from china for under $50 (no longer available on aliexpress but Seoul had a SHIT load of these) with a mic attached to it. Chief, this is it. Reasonably good audio quality from headphone drivers for their price, and you get a mic for discord needs.
Coolermaster MH751/752 $90/110. Now beware, on amazon there are the mh630/650/670 series headphones that are in the same...product "selection" styling part of the product page. Do NOT GET THESE, these are the typical bullshit gaming branding and are pretty bad. Now, the mh751 and 752s are coolermaster's copycat of the hyperx clouds. They are coolermaster reskins of the Takstar pro 82, another good pair of headphones. I cannot comment on this one, as I have not used either the takstar variant nor the cm variant. But the pro 82s are just as good as the 80s. If i had to guess, different styling (headband) and maybe slightly different sound signature. Difference between the 2 is the dac (the block thing in between your headphones and the wires to your pc). The dac the mh752 is most likely inferior to the dac on your mobo's build-in soundcard. Get the 751, unless you have a laptop, then the 752's dac may be better.
Audio-Technica ath-m40x $80: You may have heard of the ath-m50/x. Now these headphones are looked down on, on the headphone forums or reddit. The m40/x is the bass reduced, aka the neutral version of the m50x for cheaper too. Great headphones for under $100. Now, I have owned the m50 waay back, and I think if you enjoy bass, then go for it. After all, they are YOUR fuckin pair of headphones and ears, who are others to say shit?
Sony MDR7506 $100: I remember these were $75, but I guess everything changed when the coronavirus attacked. Anyway, these are the venerated mdr7506, the industry standard for headphones in the professional audio/music industry. Great quality, cheap price. They just, dont have anything going on in the looks department. These are it for pure price/performance.
BeyerDynamic DT770 (32, 90, 250 ohms) $150: Amazing pair of cans, very comfortable. 32 ohm version if simply plugging into your motherboard. The higher ohm versions may require separate headphone amp. Generally more amps=better audio quality, but differences are NEGLIGIBLE to nonexistent with low output amps (this is like the difference in sound of the same 100w speaker powered by a $30 smsl amp vs a $5000 Mcintosh amp at the same volume levels, very subtle and small but it's there)
Sennheiser 650/6xx from massdrop/660 $220-$400. The legendary series of headphones from sennheiser. Highly venerated.
HifiMAN DEVA with Bluemini Receiver $300: Interesting set of open-back planar headphones that came out recently that also allow for usb connection, as well as 3.5mm, but the bluetooth function is a separate module (with a built-in mic) that you connect to the side of the headphones. So it's actually a wired set of planar headphones, but the separate bluetooth module also allows for wireless connection. The module only has enough battery for 5ish hours, so while that is charging you will have to use the wired connection. This is a usb dac/amp/bluetooth module rolled into one. Very stylish and interesting design.
Audeze Mobius $400: "Gaming" wireless headphones from Audeze, a high end audiophile grade planar magnetic headphone manufacturer. If those words don't mean anything to you, these are wireless headphones with a detachable mic made by an extremely respected audiophile headphone manufacturer. If you want wireless headphones, I would also suggest these or the hifiman deva. These are closed-back headphones vs Hifiman's open back. These headphones also have an onboard dac for usb/3.5mm/bluetooth connection.
Now obviously, there's other choices. A metric fuck load of them. But I had to account for how much you should be paying (price range) for upgrades in sound quality and performance.
Example options (Wireless headsets)
Okay. Wireless headsets, now let's think why do you need a wireless headset? Do you want to walk around your house while on discord? Maybe you want to keep the headset on while having to afk real quick for a smoke break or whatnot.
TaoTronics 5.0 Bluetooth transmitter+receiver unit $30. It's a small device that can either A: give your non-bt PC bluetooth capabilities by acting as a receiver, or give your wired headphones wireless connectivity to your pc by acting as a transmitter. This thing is battery powered (like a wireless gaming headset) up to 10 hours. You just plug your wired headphones in, put the thing in your pocket and leave your pc.
See Hifiman Deva above.
Still here? Fine then. Steelseries artis 7. I put this....thing on this list mainly for true wireless headset inclusion. Still would recommend other headphones.
Other wireless recommendations: Sennheiser pxc 550 and Sony wh1000xm2 and Bose QC35.
HEADPHONE AMP/DAC (digital to analogue converter)
My knowledge/experience with headphone amps and dacs are...extremely lacking, I'm more of a speaker guy. But, here is a list for you guys.
SMSL M3 $85 - has usb and spdif connections and line out rca. good starter dac/amp combo.
Schiit Magni $99- probably the most popular one here. This will drive anything but the most power hungry of headphones. The Schiit stack with the Magni and the Modi is the goto stack for small form factor amp+dac.
Micca Origen G2 $110 - DAC/amp combo that has usb and fibre, and has a switchable pre-out for powered speakers. Accepts 3.5mm and 1/4''
V-MODA BoomPRO $30: this is a mic with a 3.5mm that plugs in to your headphones that have a removable cable, simple.
Antlion modmic $50: yes the modmic. You've probably heard of this.
Fifine K669B condensor mic $46: simple mic on a stand that plugs in via usb. Imo has better recording quality than Blue snowball.
Blue Snowball $57: Yes, you've most definitely heard of this.
Other mics? Yes, but are they worth the extra $$ for marginally better audio recording? You decide.
Cool. Stay safe in these dark times brothers. Have a glorious day.
You may’ve heard of the idea of making a deal with the devil or selling your soul. But what does this mean? Is it merely a metaphor, or is it something someone can literally do? And who is the devil? Is he a real entity with horns, or a symbolic representation of something else? The idea of selling your soul was popularized by the tragedy Doctor Faustus. In the play, a man who is dissatisfied with life offers his soul to Lucifer in exchange for magical powers. Some say actual demons once appeared on stage during a performance, driving spectators mad. Some scholars claim Doctor Faustus was based on the real life mathematician and inventor John Dee. While he was undoubtedly a genius, he ruined his reputation among the scientific community when he claimed he figured out how to contact spirits. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_Faustus_(play) https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dee John Dee’s magical research would later inspire Jack Parsons, a rocket scientist and co-founder of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, to attempt contact with spirits as well. So while the idea of magic and demons may sound like fiction, many intelligent people take it seriously. Philosopher Manly P. Hall once wrote “It is possible to make contracts with spirits whereby the magician becomes the master of an elemental being. True black magic is performed with the aid of a demonic spirit, who serves the magician for the length of his earthly life.” https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Parsons_(rocket_engineer) https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manly_P._Hall Is it possible then that some illusionists are actually using black magic? While many of them are unquestionably very talented, some tricks certain illusionists perform seem impossible to do without supernatural aid. Some illusionists even admit to having help. For example, you might remember Mike Super the Mystifier from America’s Got Talent. He claimed he was only able to perform such amazing tricks because of his spirit companion Desmond. https://youtu.be/MsbIv6R554I But could a spirit help you with other abilities? Some musicians claim that when they start performing, something else takes them over. Many of them also make claims of having made a deal with the devil in exchange for fortune and fame. One of the first musicians to say they sold their soul was Giuseppe Tartini who wrote the famous Devil's Trill Sonata after having a dream about the devil. Later, Niccolò Paganini, arguably one of the best violinists to ever play, would be accused o the same thing. https://blog.primephonic.com/the-music-of-dreams-how-tartini-composed-his-famous-devils-trill-sonata-1 https://www.classicfm.com/composers/paganini/niccolo-gifted-violinist-deal-with-devil/ Eventually, the deal with the devil motif made its way into blues music. Robert Johnson, one of the most prolific artists of the genre, sang about selling his soul at a crossroads right before midnight. Before this supposed event, he was notoriously terrible at playing guitar. https://xroads.virginia.edu/~music/BLUES/rjbio.html Jazz singer Sammy Davis Jr. was also a known member of the Church of Satan. Even Elvis Presley, once a gospel singing church goer, was said to be obsessed with strange spiritual teachings towards the end of his life. Elvis helped pave the way for Rock ‘n’ Roll which soon became known as the devil’s music. Is it possible all these artists were really getting help from demonic spirits? Bob Dylan has been quoted saying he only got where he is today because of a bargain he made a long time ago. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Church-of-Satan https://ultraculture.org/blog/2014/11/20/9-celebrities-magick-occult/ https://youtu.be/ftdeb4ejQSg Led Zeppelin claimed their famous song Stairway to Heaven was a product of automatic writing, the supposed telepathic ability of producing words without consciously writing. Jimmy Page, the guitarist, was a follower of Aleister Crowley, another man inspired by John Dee. https://www.scotsman.com/regions/inverness-highlands-and-islands/jimmy-page-and-his-black-magic-highland-home-1487080 https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleister_Crowley The Beatles were also inspired by Crowley, who was said to be the wickedest man in the world. There are many strange conspiracies surrounding The Beatles, one of them being that Paul was used as a satanic sacrifice and replaced with a look-alike. Many musicians today make similar claims and are the subject of similar conspiracy theories. Katy Perry has said during an interview that she sold her soul to the devil and like Paul, many musicians are also rumored to have been replaced by look-alikes, or even clones. This idea is not too far fetched as there are actually public cloning companies now. https://www.ilikeyouroldstuff.com/news/how-aleister-crowley-influenced-six-of-your-favourite-rock-bands https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_is_dead https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clonaid Are these musicians being helped by demons or is something more sinister going on? What exactly does a deal with the devil entail? When an artist signs a contract that gives a label the right to a person’s image, does that give them the right to recreate it even if they are dead? What happens if an artist no longer wants to comply? Are they simply sacrificed and replaced? Perhaps this is a last resort and there are other ways to keep them under control. We know some artists are heavily medicated to keep them docile because of the #FreeBritney campaign. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-53494405 But what if medication is not enough? Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Beyoncé, and countless others claim they have alter egos that take over whenever they perform. Perhaps these are not spirits, but symptoms of MKUltra programming. Perhaps these two things are one and the same. MKUltra was a program carried out by the CIA in order to develop methods of mind control using psychoactive drugs, electroshock, hypnosis, sensory deprivation, isolation, sexual abuse, and even torture. Some say black magic and witchcraft were also methods they explored. https://youtu.be/yNpHw6uJSfU https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_MKUltra Perhaps when a person’s psyche is shattered, spirits can more easily control an individual. There are many instances of celebrities “glitching out” where their alters take over or their programming seems to fail. These same celebrities heavily promote MKUltra symbolism. MKUltra symbolism includes covering one eye, flashing the pyramid hand sign, and even butterflies. The symbols serve to show who their puppet masters are. The butterfly represents Project Monarch, an offshoot of MKUltra, and the metamorphosis one undergoes during mind control. https://youtu.be/wJeKFxw-2Ow http://mkultra.dance/the-significance-of-butterflies/ However, it seems some celebrities are too strong willed to succumb to heavy medication and mind control. People like Micheal Jackson and Prince were calling out the evil of the music industry and even the world right before their untimely deaths. At one point, Prince went to war with Warner and wrote “Slave” on his face. Then at the age of 57, he died in an elevator on his estate. Ironically, he released a song about living it up called Let’s Go Crazy. In the song, he mentions how he won’t let the elevator bring him down. https://youtu.be/WRFU2SyCCF8 https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3554472/Prince-s-autopsy-complete-body-set-handed-family-weeks-cause-death-known-officials-await-toxicology-results.html Kanye West, another artist who claims to have sold his soul, seems to be another case of someone who feels cheated and is no longer willing to keep up their end of the deal. It seems his meltdowns are symptoms of failed programming. Kim Kardashian is rumored to be Kanye’s handler. Even more strange is the fact that Kanye is attempting to turn his life over to God while most of the Kardashian family claims to practice witchcraft. Is the devil using them to keep Kanye under a spell? Another oddity is the fact that Kanye seemed to predict his current situation in the song Gold Digger. In the song, he says “My psychic told me she have an ass like Serena [...] She got one of your kids, got you for 18 years [...] She went to the doctor got lipo with your money.” https://youtu.be/pEILzWDmX1Q https://rollingout.com/2018/10/17/why-columbus-short-says-kim-kardashian-is-a-witch-who-controls-kanye/ So are all these people going to hell? Is there hope for these lost souls? If their hearts are in the right place, I honestly believe so. In fact, I think all of Kanye’s efforts to get right with God make him comparable to Doctor Faustus, and truly, Faustus represents all of us. In Goethe’s version of Doctor Faustus, the story begins with the devil making a bet with God, saying he can win over the soul of God’s favorite human, which is ofcourse Doctor Faustus. As you already know, the devil succeeds in convincing him to sign a contract with him. Once Faustus signs the contract, he is granted the power to do basically whatever he wants and lives his life questing for love, wealth, and power. He achieves these things, but soon realizes his worldly pursuits only bring him exhaustion and despair. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goethe's_Faust At the end of the story, just as Faustus is about to be dragged to hell, God acknowledges that Faustus was only trying to find his place in the universe and gives him mercy. In that moment, angels arrive declaring “He who strives on and lives to strive can earn redemption still.” Like I said before, I personally believe we are all like Doctor Faustus. We‘ve all comprised our own morals at times. To a certain extent, we all “sell out.” We all have demons to conquer, some are just bigger than others. The word demon actually comes from the word daemon, and originally, daemons were not a bad thing. Socrates claimed his personal daemon was a gift from the gods and it was what made him different from others. He also considered it the guiding force in his life. Much later, Carl Jung the Swiss psychoanalyst expanded on this idea, saying that our personal daemon was actually a symptom of the dark unconscious mind. He claimed it was this part of us, if tapped into correctly, that allowed creative genius to arise in an individual. ”Man in antiquity differentiated between man’s ‘daemon’ and his ‘own mind’.” — Carl Jung I believe in this life it should be our goal to become balanced, fully realized individuals. It is only once we are whole that we can offer what gifts we have to the world, which in turn, make the world a better place. ”The hero is an extraordinary being who is inhabited by a daemon, and it is this that makes him a hero.” — Carl Jung With nothing to fear, we would have nothing to chase us forward. With no hell, there would be no heaven to reach for. Without death, there could be no rebirth, no redemption, no transformation. And it is transformation and the challenges it brings us that make life worth living. ”A person must pay dearly for the divine gift of creative fire.” — Carl Jung Thanks for reading.
Over Under Betting is the second most popular type of NFL betting, just behind spread betting. Over Under Betting is also known as “Game Total Betting” and you will often see it be referred to as either term. Beginner NFL bettors may be confused by Over Under Betting, but it is very easy to learn and understand once explained. Over/Under betting, or totals betting, is one of the most popular options for sports bettors along with the point spread and moneyline. Total bets are simply based on the number of points scored For example, you could bet on the over/under total points score in a basketball game. The bet might be over/under 165. If the total number of points scored by BOTH teams is over 165, the over bet wins. If the total is under 165, the under wins. Usually, the points will be in half points to prevent ties (Over/Under 165.5) Over/Under Betting Example: So, let’s say you wanted to place a bet on Manchester City v Sheffield Wednesday and you wanted to place a bet on over 3.5 goals to be scored. To win therefore, there must be four goals or more scored within the game. Even though Totals and Over/Under may be used interchangeably for scoring, there’s another way to make Over/Under bets. An Over/Under bet can also be a proposition bet where there’s a wager made on a specific occurrence. A boxing match is a good example since scoring isn’t quite the same as the major sports: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor
How To Bet Over/Unders or Totals. Chad Millman and Chris Raybon on how to bet the total points scored in a game. ... How to Bet the Total: Over/Under Betting Explained - Duration: 2:22. SBR Sports ... The Over/Under is betting on a games total number of points scored to be over or under the Vegas total. to just win the game outright no matter the amount of points margin. Example: Cowboys vs ... Of course some odds are more riskier than others, for example over 1,5 goals in first half will have better odd but it will be more riskier. I would go with average odd of 1.9. Learn about Over/Under betting and how to win money on Totals Betting. In this video, Eduardo explains what Over/Under bets are. This is a very common type of sports bet, and certainly one you ... Learn about Spread Betting and what Against the Spread means in this video from the Odds Coach.Follow the link below for a written article on the topic. Link...