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Real Name SMA   
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Nickname Scottish Martial Arts
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Signed On Jun 16, 2002, 23:16
Total Comments 3209 (Veteran)
User ID 13410
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News Comments > Computers Are Good at Computer Games: AI Wins Dota 2 1-on-1
4. Re: Computers Are Good at Computer Games: AI Wins Dota 2 1-on-1 Aug 12, 2017, 13:45 Scottish Martial Arts
jacobvandy wrote on Aug 12, 2017, 13:12:
If it's "AI" and not just a bot that's been programmed to play, how can they have any control over or make any guarantees about the APM?

I'm presuming they're using some sort of Reinforcement Learning model, and in such a model they wouldn't be able to directly control the exact policy, i.e. game playing action, adopted by the agent, but they would be able to observe that their model, after training, converges on policies with APMs in a certain range. Indeed they seem to suggest as much when they say in release that "The correlation between player skill and actions-per-minute is not strong, and in fact, our AIís actions-per-minute are comparable to that of an average human player." In other words, it's likely that past a certain point, increasing APM doesn't further minimize the cost function/maximize the benefit function (depending on the model) that pertains to playing the game well, and accordingly the model "learns" to not take more actions than is typical of an average player.

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News Comments > Out of the Blue
26. Re: Morning Mobilization Aug 11, 2017, 18:00 Scottish Martial Arts
jdreyer wrote on Aug 11, 2017, 16:41:
Thing is, DPRK can nuke Guam or Hawaii, and we'll be unable to reciprocate due to the proximity of China and South Korea.

We'd pretty much have to respond in kind to maintain nuclear deterrence. I also have trouble imagining a scenario in which the DPRK launches nukes at US soil but isn't also engaged in a final, cataclysmic battle with South Korea. As for China, they're dropping hints in state run media that they will only consider intervening on the North's behalf if the US launches a first strike.

Honestly, if anyone but Trump were president of the US, then there'd be nothing to particularly worry about with regard to the present developments in NK. If Trump were to stop mouthing off and escalating the situation with fewer face-saving outs for NK, then this would be just another one of the "walking up to the crazy line" scenarios you mentioned. But with Trump being the loose cannon he is, it feels like there is now a chance, however small, that this escalates to the point that it spins out of control and into a military conflict that goes nuclear.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
21. Re: Morning Mobilization Jul 31, 2017, 17:43 Scottish Martial Arts
ItBurn wrote on Jul 31, 2017, 11:51:
His last truly great movie was Saving Private Ryan in my opinion. That was in 98! All his others are generally "meh" for me.

Lincoln, Bridge of Spies, and Minority Report were all excellent films. Looking at his imdb credits, he's directed some clunkers post-Saving Private Ryan, but then his pre-Saving Private Ryan track record is mixed as well. If anything all the stages of his career seems to be a consistent mix of a few great films, mostly crowd pleasing good films, and a few terrible misses.
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News Comments > More Free Games with GOG Preorders
7. Re: Morning Mobilization Jul 30, 2017, 06:56 Scottish Martial Arts
Ludomancer wrote on Jul 29, 2017, 18:49:
"...reworked by GOG-engineers for smoother gameplay on modern machines..."

GOG Engineers? Why do people who write such idiocy think they deserve me as a customer?

Would "software engineers employed by GOG" have been preferable?
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News Comments > Splash Damage and Wargaming Collaboration
9. Re: Morning Mobilization Jul 18, 2017, 20:48 Scottish Martial Arts
OldDirtyEwok wrote on Jul 18, 2017, 11:50:
Dirty bomb is far from bad, although not exactly the game you would expect from the stuio that made Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory and Quake Wars. Still waiting on a sequel for those 2.

Would kill for another Enemy Territory game. Honestly, I think those are probably my two favorite multiplayer shooters ever.
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News Comments > Morning Safety Dance
8. Re: Morning Mobilization Jul 6, 2017, 20:30 Scottish Martial Arts
Mr. Tact wrote on Jul 6, 2017, 18:24:
First, currently there is no information available publicly which would lead to an impeachment and then removal from office of Trump. It is not even close.

Not so long as Republicans hold the House, sure, but if the Dems retake it in 2018 (admittedly a big if), and Trump's approval rating is still in the high 30s or worse, then invoking articles of impeachment is almost certain. That doesn't guarantee removal from office -- still need the supermajority in the Senate for that -- but the key thing to remember is that impeachment is a political, not a legal, procedure. The Constitution is intentionally vague about the grounds for impeachment and leaves it entirely up to the House and Senate to decide what "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" might be. The Congress doesn't have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the President has committed a crime; they just need to muster the votes to invoke articles of impeachment and then remove him from office, and, ideally, persuade the country that their decision to remove the President from office is justified. But when polling released today is already showing that 55% of the country thinks Trump behaved illegally or unethically with regards to Russian interference in the election, it will not take much for a potential Democratic Congress to persuade the country that it's time for Trump to take his Twitter grudges and go back home to his gilded penthouse.
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News Comments > Morning Legal Briefs
44. Re: Morning Mobilization Jun 30, 2017, 18:33 Scottish Martial Arts
Prez wrote on Jun 30, 2017, 13:35:
Arguments about ethical treatment of handicapped people aside, when you think about it, virtually every car on the road is wheelchair accessible in the sense that you can place the person in your passenger seat and fold the wheelchair down and put it your trunk. Obviously wouldn't work for every handicapped person but it's been done by Uber drivers before.

Very few wheelchairs designed for daily continual use fold up like that. Likewise, many people who use a wheelchair have difficulty sitting up on their own without external assistance.
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News Comments > StarCraft Remastered on August 14; Price Revealed
19. Re: Morning Mobilization Jun 30, 2017, 18:31 Scottish Martial Arts
VaranDragon wrote on Jun 30, 2017, 17:52:
Waiting for screenshots and gameplay videos. As should everyone.

I guess clicking on the links for this article is too hard?
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News Comments > Morning Legal Briefs
30. Re: Morning Legal Briefs Jun 29, 2017, 20:52 Scottish Martial Arts
NKD wrote on Jun 29, 2017, 20:38:
RedEye9 wrote on Jun 29, 2017, 20:22:

That's a whole lotta angry white boy syndrome right there.
I wish everything revolved around my failed life experiences.

I see Cutter is a small-business-masturbating Libertarian today. I wonder if he'll be back to hardcore Communist tomorrow.

Cutter is Libertarian when he feels put upon by those below him and Communist when he feels taken advantage of by those above him, with the only consistent principle being what's best for Cutter at that moment. Plus, everyone is a flimsy snowflake, except for Cutter, who only has legitimate grievances. Which he spends his days airing on Bluesnews. Constantly. Decade after decade.

And as to his earlier question about wheelchair accessible Taxis, I didn't see them much in LA, but I see them all the time in NYC. Rough guess, but on the order of 1 in 6 seem to be wheelchair accessible.
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News Comments > Morning Mobilization
8. Re: Morning Mobilization Jun 13, 2017, 23:03 Scottish Martial Arts
Cutter wrote on Jun 13, 2017, 20:36:
Is English new to you or are you just that fucking stupid? Likely both. What I said was clearly implied, not that Apple was making cars you fucking moron. Too fucking stupid to even make that short a leap to a logical conclusion between the article and Apple's overpriced bullshit. You must be one of the fucking tools that just loves to get raped by them every year.

Are you capable of responding to valid criticism without going thermonuclear?

Christ, you remind me of the adolescent group home kids I worked with in college. Their poor socialization could be blamed on abuse, neglect, and generally having been dealt an abysmal hand with which to face life. What's your reason?

P.S. Apple's software is already in a wide range of cars. Yes, if you get a trim package with CarPlay, it costs more than one without, just like power locks and a sun roof. No, it does not cost 10-20k more.
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News Comments > Age of Empires: Definitive Edition Announced
11. Re: Morning Mobilization Jun 13, 2017, 20:28 Scottish Martial Arts
Osc8r wrote on Jun 13, 2017, 18:59:
And you'd pay $20 for that privilege? Oh, and it still looks like shit.

Oh, and 4chan ->

Not on an impulse, add-to-unplayed-Steam-collection buy (would need to be $10 or less for that), but if I felt the desire to play AoE1 again, and such a desire has crossed my mind on a couple of occasions in recent years, then yeah, I'd pay $20 for it.

And if you care about a game from 1997 looking like a game from 1997 updated to run on modern monitor resolutions, why would you even care about an AoE4? It's not like the fanbase for this series only has gaming memories going back to the Xbox 360.
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News Comments > Age of Empires: Definitive Edition Announced
8. Re: Morning Mobilization Jun 13, 2017, 18:45 Scottish Martial Arts
Osc8r wrote on Jun 13, 2017, 00:34:
Stop rehashing this sh*t and make AOE4.

Dude, the only way to play AoE 1 these days is to pirate an .iso or get the CD-ROM off eBay, install Win98 in a virtual machine, and run it there. Edgelords such as yourself may be cool with that, but personally, I'd rather just buy an executable that runs on modern systems and have 2d graphics that don't look like shit on my 21:9 monitor.
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News Comments > DOOM VFR Announced
28. Re: Morning Mobilization Jun 13, 2017, 06:17 Scottish Martial Arts
VaranDragon wrote on Jun 13, 2017, 05:59:
Bethesda are a bunch of fucking douchebags. They fucked over John Carmack, and they created a precedent with their horrible lawsuit where you now have companies suing former programmer employees for stealing "code".

It's beyond retarded. It's blatantly immoral. I feel bad for people who work for Bethesda (apart from their legal department) because if they leave they will never be able to find another high profile job in the industry again.

Wut? I'm guessing you must not work in tech or engineering.

I'll agree that Bethesda are a bunch of assholes -- *grumblegrumble* Fallout Series *grumblegrumble* -- but the industry standard is that if you do work in the company office, on a company computer, or on company time, then the resulting IP, if any, belongs to the company, not you. Bethesda was hardly the first to sue over who has IP rights to the work of a former employee. Carmack has spent most of his career working for companies that he founded/owned and simply made a rookie mistake as an employee of someone else's company. Side projects are something you do at home, on a non-corporate computer, and it's generally a good idea to talk to legal and get written clearance for whatever you're working on as soon as you think it might have legs.
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News Comments > DOOM VFR Announced
26. Re: Morning Mobilization Jun 12, 2017, 21:45 Scottish Martial Arts
HoSpanky wrote on Jun 12, 2017, 14:56:
So, I'll have to demo some VR goggles to get the true visual experience.

It's not so much the visual experience per se but the sense of physical presence in a non-physical space. It's not really something you can describe or demonstrate short of just putting on some VR goggles and playing around for a while. I've yet to meet anyone who hasn't smiled like an idiot while trying it out: it really is a remarkable, and thoroughly immersive experience. That said, as others have noted, no one has really figured out how to do a long-form game in it, nor has the movement problem, which prevents some of the more obvious game possibilities, been solved. So for now, you can probably get away without owning a VR headset, but if you do get around to trying one, it will quickly become apparent that this is definitely going to end up being a thing once devs have figured out what sorts of games work best for it.
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News Comments > DOOM VFR Announced
22. Re: Morning Mobilization Jun 12, 2017, 20:18 Scottish Martial Arts
Squirmer wrote on Jun 12, 2017, 19:29:
What's the point of a Doom game if you don't have free movement? Fast movement is integral to Doom. This is faddish spectacle, nothing more.

Perhaps to give a different take on the experience of playing Doom? Don't forget that the ad copy for the original 1993 Doom referred to it as an "ultra-fast virtual reality bloodbath" or something to that effect. Having demoed VR on a number of occasions -- but not actually owning a headset -- I would absolutely be interested in trying this out. The limited movement would change the frantic running around feel of Doom 2016 certainly, but the sense of sustained panic that characterized many of the games harrier battles would surely be enhanced by the accurate sense of depth and presence as demons rush at you. Would it be as good a game? Probably not, but it would surely be a fun experience that I'd want to try.
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News Comments > DOOM VFR Announced
17. Re: Morning Mobilization Jun 12, 2017, 17:23 Scottish Martial Arts
Task wrote on Jun 12, 2017, 15:52:

Nah, honestly I don't even think you know what I'm talking about in your two paragraphs of tirade. Flight Sims with VR son, it takes over mouse view and doesn't make me sick.

Vehicle based simulations, where your perspective is basically chair-bound, are an entirely different animal. The world moves relative to you in such a game; you do not -- except for looking around a cockpit which is itself fixed relative to you -- move relative to the world. This is a huge distinction. So yes, the answer to your original question is that in first-person games, trying to mix keyboard based movement with VR depth perception is literally vertigo inducing, hence why no one really tries to do it. It's been tried, and, at least with current technology, the brain's ability to interpret where it is spatially get's completely fucked and you start puking your guts out.

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News Comments > Out of the Blue
36. Re: Morning Mobilization Jun 12, 2017, 07:30 Scottish Martial Arts
bigspender wrote on Jun 12, 2017, 01:48:
What I really don't understand is this: If it were Christians saying that they wanted the above barbarism then people would be losing their minds (as they should, and do for much less such as pro-life BS), so why does a different religion get a free pass? Is it virtual signalling?

Shouldn't people be protesting barbarism regardless of the religion/culture/nationality/race? It's kind of bigoted not to apply the same rules and expectations to everyone equally.

Question: have you ever read the wikipedia article for Sharia Law and/or for Islam?

Yes, I am against regressive barbarism, but no, I do not think this neat equality you've established where Sharia == Barbarism even begins to capture the complexity involved. Kind of like how most Americans think "Muslims" are swarthy dudes with dark curly hair and beards: many are, but the single largest Muslim country is Indonesia where everyone looks like they'd fit in in Thailand or Vietnam.

The more important point however is that this notion that "Sharia Law" is somehow infiltrating the legal system of the United States is just fear-mongering bullshit. Why are Muslims getting a free pass on "saying that they wanted the above barbarism"? Because by and large they aren't, and they most certainly aren't creating the legislative majorities necessary to rewrite secular law as traditionalist medieval Islamic law, nor are any of these non-existent laws produced by non-existent Muslim theocrat legislators being sustained in court following the non-existent law suits that would inevitably ensue.

Frankly, the amount of fear Americans have for this tiny fucking minority is mind-boggling. I hate to be the one who brings things to Hitler, but the fear mongering, the belief that this religious minority is all fifth-columnists, that an extraordinarily tiny minority is nevertheless somehow omnipotently reshaping mainstream society from behind the scenes towards nefarious ends, that the traditional American way of life is under threat by an alien group that has infiltrated our society... kind of sounds familiar, huh? Just read the statements of the supposed "Anti-Sharia" groups, but replace Sharia with Talmud, Islam with Judaism, and Muslim with Jew: it gets real indistinguishable from something the Nazis would have put out real fast.

I have no especial love for Islam, I would whole heartedly agree that most of the Muslim Middle East is an utter shithole, that where Middle Eastern nations aren't run by brutal secular autocrats (Egypt, Syria), they're run by brutal theocratic autocrats (Saudi Arabia, UAE). I think Islam, like pretty much all religions, is a stupid religion. But my immediate boss and his family are Muslim, one of my best professors in college, who I keep contact with to this day, is Muslim, and whenever I get into a cab at least 75% of the time it's being driven by an exceedingly polite middle aged Pakistani man from Queens. Pisses me off that they have to be told "we don't want you" on the daily by racist fucks in fly-over country. But then, I guess the feeling is kind of mutual with Trumpland folks these days.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
28. Re: Morning Mobilization Jun 11, 2017, 11:31 Scottish Martial Arts
jdreyer wrote on Jun 11, 2017, 00:53:
Because it's impolite in this day and age to say "I hate brown people" but when people rally against the non-existent threat of "Sharia law" that is exactly what they are saying. And some people want to counter-protest that sentiment.

Perfectly stated. Fearmongering about Sharia Law is just a proxy for fear mongering against Muslims and anyone who looks like one in the eyes of the out of touch, under educated, isolated-from-the-world, residents of "Real America"TM.

Yeah, sure, if there was a legislative majority somewhere in the US that was seeking to rewrite local laws to be in accordance with an Islamic theocracy, AND such laws were not being overturned in the judicial system as violations of the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment, THEN I would feel the need to protest such activity. As it is, neither condition is true, and the only reason people are out protesting Sharia Law is ignorance, or more likely feigned ignorance, connected to ethnic and religious fear mongering.

Seriously, Bats, you're smarter than this. Look up the group that organized these protests. They have a long history of overt anti-Muslim animus of which feigned concerns about "Sharia Law" is only the latest episode; for example, these were the folks that organized a "Muhammed Art Contest" and heavily publicized it*. Look them up and then see if you genuinely still can't fathom why anyone would counter-protest.

*Which they certainly had the 1st Amendment right to do, but that doesn't make them any less of a bunch of assholes. Maybe they'd like a "National Piss Christ Recreation Contest", hmm? Not as much fun when someone else commits what you perceive as blasphemy simply to provoke you and tell you that you are disliked, is it?
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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
11. Re: Morning Mobilization Jun 7, 2017, 22:54 Scottish Martial Arts
NKD wrote on Jun 7, 2017, 21:06:
Aren't you just assuming people wouldn't be stupid enough to, through intention or incompetence, give an AI control of dangerous weaponry?

I suppose so, yeah, but not entirely without reason.

The output of artificial intelligence systems is non-deterministic and for a variety of reasons extremely difficult to debug; you're rarely sure if "bad" output is the product of a bad computational model, bad training data, bad pre- or post- processing, etc. Instead, you're looking at the mean of various precision/accuracy metrics, and tracking how they fluctuate over time, poking and prodding at the edges to get a few tenths of percent improvement in metrics here and there. My assumption is that in the case of an automated weapons system, if we engineers said "we can give you F1 scores in the low 60s for firing decisions", then the procurement officer would say "wait, 4 times out of 10, the weapon will be engaging something other than the enemy? We'll pass for now". Conversely, if we were to say "we can give you F1 scores greater than 99, which is superior to human operator decisions", well, then in that case you have something that is safer than giving the weapon to a 19 year old Private. In the latter case, it's not that the weapon will develop a mind of it's own, it's just going to fuck up from time to time, but critically, it will fuck up less often than a human would. I would argue that that is progress, but we should only even consider applying AI for such problem domains when our models are so good that we can out perform humans by an order of magnitude or three for safety and welfare critical systems.

So yeah, I don't disagree that the ethical, legal, and political considerations need to keep pace with the technological progress. Nor do I disagree that AI must be applied selectively and well when safety and human welfare are at risk, and that we need to codify and enforce the standards for those applications. Where I do disagree is with the notion that Siri or Alexa is going to become self-aware and turn your home into Citadel Station. That sort of fear, the creation turning against the creator, simply isn't reflective of how these technologies actually work.
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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
9. Re: Morning Mobilization Jun 7, 2017, 20:37 Scottish Martial Arts
NKD wrote on Jun 7, 2017, 17:33:
Even if it's not coming soon, you've offered no argument that it's not inevitable that we will develop a true AI. If something is inevitable, and no one can give us a solid time frame for how soon it may happen, or how late, shouldn't we err on the side of caution and do some real thinking?

I am making the argument that Skynet does not follow from current AI technology as it presently exists, and that the trajectory of research does not indicate that we are on the verge of it occurring.

One can suppose that we will discover the "cure" to mortality next week, and if we were to suppose such a thing, then obviously we would need to plan for the complete reorganization of all of human experience, and, since we suppose that the cure is coming next week, we really better get on that shit fast. But of course, no one suspects that such a cure is forthcoming, and so it doesn't make a whole lot of sense, except as a fun thought experiment, to plan for human life post-transcendence-of-mortality.

There is nothing about present AI technology, or the trajectory of its research, which suggests that Skynet is any more on the horizon than human immortality. The kinds of AI applications that we are presently all seeing these days are, with few exceptions, machine learning applications. As I have previously explained, machine learning is just a bunch of linear algebra and probability: you get an applied math PhD to design a linear system modeled as a tensor graph, you feed the model labeled data to "train" it, that is to optimize its parameters with respect to some objective function, and then you give it unlabeled data, and based upon the model and its optimized parameters, it spits out probabilities for labels. That's it (of course, it's actually a shit-ton more complicated but for purposes of explanation this is the general idea). ML does amazing things that creates the verisimilitude of intelligence and independent inference, but it's all just smoke and mirrors.

Now, if we were to design a weapons targeting system that uses ML to determine whether or not to pull the trigger, then yeah, that would be bad news: ML is wrong often enough that we do not want to entrust life or death decisions to an ML model's output. But that's a humans-using-technologies-in-dangerous-ways problem, not a "with all ethical constraints removed, SHODAN reevaluates its priorities and draws new conclusions" problem.

The point that I'm trying to make is that the science-fiction scenario, which admittedly is fun to think about (System Shock and Terminator are appealing for a reason), is sufficiently improbable and not currently possible, that we can safely leave it to science-fiction. The danger of AI as it exists today is not the machines becoming self-aware and seeking to take vengeance on their creators, but rather an issue of industrial safety, for example, ensuring that driverless cars have a low enough error rate so as to be at least as safe as a human driven car (a threshold which we've basically already reached).

edit: And I should note that the scientists in the article which we're ostensibly discussing are concerned about human safety and welfare, but that concern lies within the realm of what AI currently does and foreseeably can do. Here's the relevant quote:

"Systems can make unfair and discriminatory decisions, replicate or develop biases, and behave in inscrutable and unexpected ways in highly sensitive environments that put human interests and safety at risk,"

Those are all realistic and valid criticisms of present AI techniques. The bottom line is that we not get carried away and think the output of current AI technology is so accurate that we can fully depend on it in every context. We wouldn't want AI adjudicating court cases, or making the launch decision for a drone missile, for example, simply because it's wrong often enough that we shouldn't try to automate those sorts of decisions. What's not of concern is the machines rebelling against their creators.

This comment was edited on Jun 7, 2017, 20:55.
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