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Real Name SMA   
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Nickname Scottish Martial Arts
Email Concealed by request - Send Mail
ICQ None given.
Homepage http://
Signed On Jun 16, 2002, 23:16
Total Comments 2705 (Senior)
User ID 13410
User comment history
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
169. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 7, 2012, 14:27 Scottish Martial Arts
Yep it totally sucks that voting isn't totally restricted to socialists and those that share the view point that in order to prosper again, America needs to become another Europe.

You're a tea partier, right? So you view the Constitution as a document to be unerringly followed to the letter, correct? Did you ever notice how US Senators and the President are "voted" for? Go look it up: I'll wait. Back now? What's that? You couldn't find any provision for citizens to directly vote for either their US Senators or their President? Did you notice that Senators are to be selected by the state legislatures, with no voter input, and that Electors for the Presidency are to be selected by the state legislatures as well, again with no input from voters?

See the thing is, the Founders were HIGHLY suspicious of ordinary citizens being given too much power. They looked at the example of Ancient Athens, and generally recoiled in horror at the influence of demagogues on the hoi polloi, especially during the Peloponnesian War. As such, while they wanted to give ordinary citizens a voice in government, they didn't want to give them TOO MUCH of a voice. Therefore, they sought to insulate the Senate and the Presidency from the volatility of the public mood, by ensuring that only "the right kind of people" had the power to elect them, i.e. state legislatures, and electors, who were envisioned as being prominent citizens reputed for political wisdom, and thus less likely to be carried away by the will of the mob.

The point of all of this is that if you were truly a "Conservative" trying to preserve (the literal meaning of conservare, the Latin root of conservative) the original meaning of the US Constitution, then you'd very much be in support of only "the right kind of people" being allowed to vote.
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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
8. Re: Evening Tech Bits Oct 30, 2012, 16:52 Scottish Martial Arts

My bad was thinking I was responding to someone else.

This comment was edited on Oct 30, 2012, 17:00.
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News Comments > Game Reviews
2. Re: Game Reviews Sep 19, 2012, 13:07 Scottish Martial Arts
I got as far as "We've got Hostiles" before I realized that I didn't think anything of value had really been added and that I'd rather just play HL1 again, which is what I've been doing. Black Mesa isn't bad, per se, but it just feels unnecessary -- you can't really improve on what was a perfect shooter.  
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News Comments > Op Ed
13. Re: Op Ed Sep 8, 2012, 13:00 Scottish Martial Arts
You know, aside from a four month temporary project earlier this year, I have been unemployed the past two years -- don't worry: I have a very promising interview for a job next week, that isn't in my field and pays very little, but that I'm almost assured of getting (personal connection) and will be enough to live on. Regardless, $100 dollars is a lot of money to me and right now I wouldn't be able to cough it up. And I still think Kotaku is full of shit. If I really felt my future was in indie game development, I would find a way to save up $100 over the course of a few months even if it started with just spare change, or I would turn to my friends (not my parents: they're even more broke than I am) and appeal to them as microinvestors in the project. $100 dollars is such a small capital investment that this IS an opportunity for the poor and lower class.

Maybe, maybe, some sort of fee waiver is in order. Afterall, the proceeds of the fee are all going to charity, and the purpose of the fee is just to cut down on joke projects, so actually having to present your case in a waiver application would have the same effect. Still, I'm unconvinced that $100 would deter an aspiring developer with true fire in their belly.

This comment was edited on Sep 8, 2012, 13:09.
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News Comments > Op Ed
18. Re: Op Ed Sep 4, 2012, 15:42 Scottish Martial Arts
I guess I just miss the days when beating a game was an actual accomplishment, rather than a preordained consequence of playing for 6-8 hours. Games are terrible at storytelling, probably because the people who write them generally aren't very literary -- Christ, look at David Gaider, or Chris Metzen -- so I have a hard time being sympathetic to the view that games need a Tell Me a Story Mode a la DXHR. What separates games from other media is gameplay, but gameplay is only engaging when there is a failure state. Would anyone watch a football game if your team was always guaranteed to win? Trying to remove failure states from gaming just spoils the whole experience, in my opinion. Furthermore, by making gameplay less engaging in favor of making it easy to see the end of a (terrible) story, developers are playing to the weakness of their medium rather than its strength. If adding an easy mode didn't affect the rest of the game design, I wouldn't have a problem with it -- people can skim chapters of novels that don't interest them too, although such a practice defeats the purpose of reading, but whatever -- but the reality is that designing a game around the inclusion of an easy mode generally alters the rest of the difficulty design as well. And that's why I can only support an easy mode with major caveats.

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News Comments > City of Heroes to End; Paragon Studios Closed
10. Re: City of Heroes to End; Paragon Studios Closed Aug 31, 2012, 16:09 Scottish Martial Arts
That's too bad. I never particularly enjoyed CoH, but then most MMORPGs haven't appealed to me. I do have an old friend from high school that works, or rather worked, for Paragon Studios so I guess he's out of a job now.  
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News Comments > etc.
48. Re: etc. Aug 23, 2012, 13:40 Scottish Martial Arts
Just the two points you make, about the level of Obama's fiscal irresponsibility relative to other administrations and the stimulus's (stimuli?) that both he and Bush cooked up can be easily refuted simply by me throwing a different set of equally valid and applicable (not to mention linkable) data - but to what end? Does it change anything?

Yes, it has the power to change everything. You're assuming that because I have an opinion that my opinion cannot be changed. In other words, you're assuming that I'm narrow-minded. If you have a better set of data then I'm all ears. Show it to me: it might change my mind.

Meanwhile, we're in the midst of a Presidential election, and who we choose to be President DOES matter. And that means we need to sift through the facts, analyze the arguments made by the candidates, and make a decision based upon which candidate's policies will best help the country. This is ostensibly a democracy, and that means citizens have the OBLIGATION to make a decision about how to move the country forward.

One final note: We should absolutely show civility and respect in our discourse, but that does not mean we should treat all opinions equally. Some opinions are not supported by the evidence, are poorly reasoned, or are just plain wrong. Showing respect to your rhetorical opponents does not mean politely nodding your head when he or she says something that is demonstrably false, or arguable one way or the other. It means being willing to challenge their ideas in a reasoned and reasonable fashion, without resorting to rhetorical tools designed to inflame passions against your opponent personally.

This comment was edited on Aug 23, 2012, 13:49.
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News Comments > etc.
47. Re: etc. Aug 23, 2012, 13:29 Scottish Martial Arts
Well then show me the fiscal profligacy of the Obama administration and explain how it is dramatically worse than the fiscal irresponsibility that is inherent to Ryan plan. To simply make mention of an "abhorrent lack of fiscal responsibility" on the part of the Obama administration doesn't leave your readers with much to go on but "pre-conceived notions". I don't think your claim holds up when put under examination. Since you didn't provide an argument, I can only assume two things: your facts are wrong or your reasoning is faulty. I assumed the former, and responded accordingly.

But honestly, it feels like you're trying to have it both ways here. You want to stay aloof, above the fray, and avoid having to actually defend your ideas, while at the same time you want to toss out controversial claims. I'm sorry, but if you're only willing to debate someone who has no biases, no pre-conceived notions, and no leanings one way or the other -- in other words you're only willing to debate someone who doesn't have an opinion -- then you aren't going to find anyone to debate. Plus, it would be a pretty boring discussion on top of that.

Look, I haven't been uncivil here. If I have, I apologize. Perhaps I have assumed too much, but then if you put out claims unsupported by arguments, then all I can do is make assumption about why you believe what you believe. But I'm not going to stand by and listen to claims that I believe don't hold up under scrutiny without challenging them. Likewise, I'm not going to take lightly the implication that I'm somehow to blame for political dysfunction because I have an opinion.
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News Comments > etc.
45. Re: etc. Aug 23, 2012, 09:59 Scottish Martial Arts
Well I'd be happy to listen to your arguments for why the Ryan budget is an improvement over the current situation. I suspect, however, that much of your assumptions about the fiscal policy of the current administration is based upon misinformation, which my party has been keen to spread the past several years.

For example, the CBO has concluded that Obamacare is revenue neutral. Now the CBO isn't always right, and some of their assumptions are a bit optimistic. But the idea that Obamacare is a massively irresponsible new spending program simply doesn't jive with what the number crunchers have come up with. Furthermore, you don't like the provisions of Obamacare? When broken up into it's constituent parts, the majority of the provisions of the law are actually extremely popular in polls. Additionally, the law itself was modeled off the healthcare reform enacted in Massachusetts by... Mitt Romney, who got the idea from the Republican party's healthcare proposal during the 1993 Clinton Healthcare Debate. Obamacare is the Republican healthcare solution -- the only reason the GOP threw the fit it did was because a Democrat got to enact the law, not them.

Likewise, the Stimulus package was a failed experiment in massive Keynesian-style direct government spending, right? Wrong, actually. The single largest component of the stimulus bill was... tax breaks, $288 billion of them. Republicans who call the stimulus a massive failure on the one hand, and then turn around and castigate the administration for not giving tax relief to "job creators" are playing you for a fool. Don't fall for it. Furthermore 3/4 of a trillion dollars is a fuck load of money, but would you really rather that the government had done nothing to stimulate the economy in the face of the worst recession since the Great Depression? Again our bonds have been trading at record low interest rates for years now -- we can afford to borrow the money, as long as we are serious about debt reduction once the economy does recover.

Finally, Obama blew a huge whole in our budget by massively expanding the federal government right? Wrong, again. According to the OMB the number of federal workers relative to the overall population is at its lowest since we started keeping track in the Kennedy administration (source). The real cause of the massive deficits we have run the past several years isn't federal government expansion: it's dramatically reduced tax revenues as a result of reduced economic activity brought on by the recession.

Look don't get me wrong: I never bought into the Obama magic, and he's been a terribly ineffective leader who doesn't deserve reelection. But most of the charges that get leveled against him by the GOP are bullshit. Toss in the Ryan plan, which again will increase our debt by over $2.5 TRILLION dollars (3x the cost of the stimulus) while simultaneously devastating our social safety net, and I have a very hard time envisioning a scenario that I will vote for my party -- I guess the GOP doesn't want moderates anymore.
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News Comments > etc.
42. Re: etc. Aug 23, 2012, 01:26 Scottish Martial Arts
People still argue things along party lines, as if either party weren't only interested in keeping their power and authority?

Neither party is providing the leadership or solutions that we need to get the country on track again, that much is true. But claiming that both parties are equally part of the problem may sound sophisticated and post-partisan, but it doesn't actually jive with the facts of the matter. If the Democrats have no answers, the Republicans have really bad answers. The Ryan budget is proof positive of that -- it will dramatically increase the national debt, and will represent a huge transfer of wealth from the middle class and poor to the wealthiest among us. Now maybe by giving the rich more money they'll create jobs and we'll all benefit, but trickle-down economics simply isn't supported by the evidence. Fun fact: the cuts proposed by the Ryan budget are so draconian that when brought up in political focus groups, the group members refused to believe they were real.And I say all of this as a registered Republican who voted for McCain and Bush in the last two Presidential elections.
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News Comments > etc.
32. Re: etc. Aug 22, 2012, 00:35 Scottish Martial Arts
I don't think wanting some form of becoming fiscally responsible is a crazy idea personally.

Except in Republican parlance, "fiscal responsibility" is code for "fiscal irresponsibility that benefits our constituents, not the Democrats'". If the Tea Party and the Republicans were serious about deficit reduction, then tax increases and defense cuts would be on the table. Those things aren't on the table, so the Right clearly isn't serious. I mean look at the Ryan plan: it not only keeps the fiscally irresponsible Bush tax cuts, but calls for new tax cuts that would cost $4.3 trillion dollars. Meanwhile, Ryan proposes about $1.7 trillion in domestic spending cuts (Defense is predictably off the table). I don't know about you but digging a $2.6 trillion hole doesn't strike me as a plan for deficit reduction. Don't get me wrong, entitlement reform needs to happen if we're to get our fiscal house in order, but then so do tax hikes and a more realistic defense budget.

Again, I don't think there is anything wrong with supporting a balanced budget. But to claim that you're a fiscal hawk on the one hand, and then to support politicians and policies that would only worsen our fiscal outlook strikes me as hypocritical. And this is leaving aside entirely the issue of whether or not it's wise to strive for balanced budgets in a severely depressed economy (a balanced budget means higher taxes and lower spending, both of which combine to weaken economic growth).
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News Comments > etc.
28. Re: etc. Aug 21, 2012, 23:33 Scottish Martial Arts
RollinThundr wrote on Aug 21, 2012, 22:52:
Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Aug 21, 2012, 15:54:
You've got to be a troll.

Even worse, I think he might be a tea-partier.

Seriously? You had to go there?

Meh, maybe I'm just only encountering the crazy ones, but Matshock's ridiculous behavior and arguments seems pretty par for the course with the Tea Party faithful.

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News Comments > etc.
17. Re: etc. Aug 21, 2012, 15:54 Scottish Martial Arts
You've got to be a troll.

Even worse, I think he might be a tea-partier.
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News Comments > etc.
15. Re: etc. Aug 21, 2012, 15:50 Scottish Martial Arts
The point is that the word Fascism has no etymological relationship to the modern words Federal or Capitalism. In other words, your claim couldn't be any more wrong. If you want to dodge that by making some snide remark about Jericho that's your prerogative but it certainly makes you look like a pussy who can't admit when he's wrong.

The fasces were THE symbol of Roman Auctoritas, Imperium, and power in general. By adopting the Fasces as their symbol and the name for their movement, the Italian Fascists were declaring themselves as the founders of a reborn Roman Empire. Furthermore, the bundled rods of the fasces are such that it is very difficult to break them. Individually rods can be broken, but bundled together they are strong. The symbolism of that, and it's relationship to Fascist ideology should be obvious.

As for whether Mussolini coined the term, I had been under the impression he had. I could be wrong on that though, and I'll need to look it up. Either way, the term originated among the Italian political parties that gave birth to Fascism as a political movement in the nineteen-teens and twenties.
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News Comments > etc.
13. Re: etc. Aug 21, 2012, 15:34 Scottish Martial Arts
Italian isn't Latin. Wow.

Where do you think the Italian word fasces comes from?

Italian fascismo, from fascio bundle, fasces, group, from Latin fascis bundle & fasces fasces
First Known Use: 1921


This comment was edited on Aug 21, 2012, 15:39.
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News Comments > etc.
12. Re: etc. Aug 21, 2012, 15:31 Scottish Martial Arts
fascism being the combination of words federal and capitalism- so, essentially federally controlled capitalism.

ROFL. You're just making shit up.

Yes, Mussolini coined the term fascism, but the word was derived from the Latin fasces, the axe bundled in rods carried by the Lictors of Ancient Rome, which symbolized an Imperium-holding (and only a Roman with Imperium was escorted by Lictors) Roman's authority to inflict capital and corporal punishment on his soldiers.
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News Comments > GNU Guru: Linux Steam "Unethical"
22. Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Jul 31, 2012, 11:47 Scottish Martial Arts
I have a lot of respect for what Stallman did in terms of completely rewriting nearly every Unix utility and making it open source, thus laying the groundwork for Linux. I mean, if you look at the man page for any given Linux utility, chances are it's going to say that the program was written by Stallman. Furthermore, he was instrumental in starting the open-source movement, and thus anyone that uses opensource software -- you like this website? I'd be willing to bet that the web server runs off of some variant of Linux -- owes him a little bit of respect.

Now that said, the dude is quite the nutter. Shit like this post, confirms it. The GNU manifesto -- read it sometime: it's a hoot -- is a rambling diatribe that only occasionally resorts to cogent argument. Furthermore, his insistence on ALL software being opensource, not just some or even most, is hopelessly naive. Again, I like the influence this guy has had on computing, but damn if he isn't a weird one.
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News Comments > Microsoft Flight Grounded
7. Re: Microsoft Flight Grounded Jul 26, 2012, 12:17 Scottish Martial Arts
Too bad about Flight. While it was released with very few features, it seemed like a solid platform for further development. It needed air and ground traffic, ATC, a flight planner and more airplanes, but once it got those things it would have been a solid successor to the Flight Unlimited series (general aviation over a compact but highly detailed area). Kinda wishing I hadn't bought the DLC for this game, seeing as I did so primarily on the potential I saw in the product as opposed to what was actually there.  
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News Comments > Steam Linux Plans
54. Re: RE: Follow up Jul 17, 2012, 19:51 Scottish Martial Arts
I'm sorry but if you're suggesting that a CLI is a better way to manage files than a GUI then we fundamentally disagree. And you'll find few who will agree with you.

Only because they've never properly learned how to use the Linux shell. Need to find a file containing the string Bob in a huge mess of directories?

ls -R | grep Bob

Want the results sorted? Use the history functionality to repeat the last command and pipe it to sort:

fc -s | sort

Want all the pdf files displayed in the current directory?

ls *.pdf

Want to remove exactly those files that the previous listing brought up?

fc -s 'ls=rm'

Hey that last one seems like it could be useful on a regular basis, why don't we alias it?

alias del='fc -s ls=rm'

Now we just have to type del to get the same functionality.

I could go on -- through regular expressions you can match just about any pattern -- and this is completely ignoring the programmability of bash. You can create scripts that completely automate complex file management. Need to rename all the files in a database containing tens of thousands of entries? Spend 10 minutes to write the script, a few seconds to execute the script, and you can accomplish what would literally take months to achieve manually.
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News Comments > Steam Linux Plans
49. Re: RE: Follow up Jul 17, 2012, 18:45 Scottish Martial Arts
If I want to copy files from one folder to another it is much quicker to do so via Explorer than CLI, especially if the folders are several levels deep and have long file names.

Not in the Unix CLI. Between regular expressions, recursive copying, and filepath completion, you can accomplish very complex file management tasks quickly, easily and efficiently. Toss in some aliases, and scripting functionality, and GUI file managers look downright primitive in comparison.

As nice as all that it is isn't relevant to 95% of computer users.

Maybe not. My contention however is that for enthusiasts it's entirely relevant and in fact decisive in determining which OS to use.

Yet look at the "serious" uses for GUIs - movie editing, graphic production, 3D modelling, audio production, medical equipment, office work, finance / accounting, print media, architecture, etc.

GUIs have their uses, I don't dispute that. I do believe however that the CLI is going to be the tool of choice of anyone that takes the time to learn how powerful it is.

The link doesn't work but I was going by images like this and this. I just don't think it looks at all refined, from the colour scheme, to the icons and borders, to the top bar.

It's an aesthetic call so we'll have to agree to disagree. Ubuntu's implementation of Gnome isn't the only desktop environment in the world of Linux however, and before you dismiss a monolithic Linux as being ugly and difficult to use, you might want to examine some of the other distros and desktop environments. Maybe KDE is the desktop environment you've always dreamed of but never knew to try.
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2705 Comments. 136 pages. Viewing page 15.
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