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Real Name SMA   
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Nickname Scottish Martial Arts
Email Concealed by request
ICQ None given.
Homepage http://
Signed On Jun 16, 2002, 23:16
Total Comments 2880 (Senior)
User ID 13410
User comment history
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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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News Comments > Steam Linux Plans
47. Re: RE: Follow up Jul 17, 2012, 18:33 Scottish Martial Arts
Oh, FFS. I was posting about the childishness and immaturity of pointless OS flame wars, and you morons go off on a childish and pointless OS flame war.

Tone of voice and inflection doesn't carry in text. If you expect someone to read that much from an offhand sarcastic remark, then better to make it explicit. To me it sounded a lot more like a dismissal of dissatisfaction with Windows rather than a commentary on the futility of the OS wars.

Both Linux and Windows have their strengths and weakness, but referring to Microsoft as M$ makes anyone with a brain instantly discard your argument.

I never referred to it as such.

Windows might be a "highly unsatisfying experience" for some, but for most people, it is the tool that gets the job done with the least amount of pain.

I don't disagree here. If you read my other posts you'll find that I acknowledge that Windows is the preferable OS for the corporate end-user environment. My claim is that for people who are naturally drawn to computing -- as opposed to people who use a computer because they have to in this day and age -- then Unix/Linux is the superior OS.

OSX is built on top of UNIX, so pretty much anything you can do in Linux shell can also be done on OSX.

I'm well aware it's based off of the Berkeley Software Distribution. My contention is that the cost, and the closed nature of the system, make it less appealing to tinkerers, hackers, and enthusiasts. And the OSX terminal isn't an exact replica of the Linux shell. You're right that most tasks work the same, but many system administration tasks, for example, do not.

And just for the record, I've been a professional software developer for more than a decade and I've worked on more platforms than you can shake a stick at.... so I'm pretty sure I actually know more about computing than some oik on a gaming forum. And if you really think Linux is "by far the most well designed operating system around", I suggest you take a course is OS kernel design.

I'll defer to your judgement and experience then on the merits of the Linux kernel. I still feel however that the Unix approach to solving computing problems is generally superior to the Windows approach. If you feel differently, I'd be happy to listen to your arguments, as you are probably more knowledgeable than I am.
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News Comments > Steam Linux Plans
40. Re: RE: Follow up Jul 17, 2012, 17:33 Scottish Martial Arts
I was basing it upon the latest version of Ubuntu.

What exactly is so hard to use about Ubuntu, and what exactly is so unattractive about this desktop? My first impression of ubuntu, which happened to be the first distro I tried, was the exact opposite: attractive and with immediately intuitive interface conventions. Once you learn the shortcuts and the extra functionality that Gnome has -- such as extra workspaces and one click copy and paste -- it becomes really difficult to see how the Windows GUI is in any way superior. That isn't to say Windows is bad, just that I don't see how Gnome or KDE is in any worse.

No. I dealt with CLIs back in the DOS days but I really have no interest going back to that. They may be more efficient for some tasks but that goes in the exact opposite direction of a user friendly experience.

You seem to be making the argument that user-friendliness is superior to utility. A simple tool, while easier to learn, has fewer uses than a complex tool. The reality is that while GUI's are easier to learn, they are by definition less useful. Rather than telling the computer what to do, the computer presents you with options and you pick among them. Now those options have to be limited, otherwise the GUI quickly becomes cluttered and is no more user friendly than the CLI. You simply can't do as much, as well, and as fast with the GUI as you can with the CLI.

So why the Unix CLI over DOS? Features like job control (if you think multitasking is limited to GUIs, you are wrong), pipelines, input/output redirection, advanced scripting capabilities, work environment customization, online reference, and command completion make the Unix CLI dramatically more powerful than DOS. It's even easier to use in my opinion -- again, Unix is hard to learn but very easy to use. Plus, it's just plain fun.

Again, nearly all serious computing -- whether it be the infrastructure of the internet, financial computing, scientific research, military networks, etc. -- occurs on Unix/Linux and there is a reason for that. For your average office worker who just needs to use Office and send email, Windows is perfectly adequate, and maybe even preferable. But if you really want to access the power of your computer, and really want a tool that complements your own brain when it comes to solving problems, then Unix/Linux, and particularly the Unix/Linux CLI and utilities, is the way to go.
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News Comments > Steam Linux Plans
35. Re: RE: Follow up Jul 17, 2012, 15:29 Scottish Martial Arts
It might be technically superior in most ways but that doesn't make it as commercially viable.

Absolutely. To be clear, I wasn't advocating for people to abandon Windows en masse, nor do I believe that the corporate world should suddenly embrace open source software and convert everything to Ubuntu or Fedora or some other free distro. The corporate end-user world is entirely different from say, the world of database administration or the private computer enthusiast. For corporate end-users, Windows, with its world class support and near universal familiarity (i.e. you don't need to train someone to use Windows), is the clear platform of choice because it's has lower long run costs and thus will best support the profitability of the company.

I do firmly believe however, that Unix/Linux, on its technical merits, and particularly on the power of the CLI, is superior to Windows as an ideal. In other words, Windows has relative superiority in certain key areas, but Unix/Linux is the better operating system in general.
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News Comments > Steam Linux Plans
32. Re: RE: Follow up Jul 17, 2012, 14:53 Scottish Martial Arts
Theyarecomingforyou, have you even used a modern Linux distro? Nearly all of what you said is demonstrably wrong, particularly on the useability/attractiveness front, which leads me to believe you're arguing based upon old stereotypes as opposed to any practical experience. And this isn't the first time I've seen you repeat factually wrong claims in a Linux thread. Show me on the doll where Linux touched you.

For that matter, have you ever used the Unix Command Line Interface? I do most of my Linux work in the CLI, and I have to say that nothing in the GUI world quite matches the computing relationship that forms between you and your shell of choice. The Unix/Linux CLI is powerful, flexible, fast, highly customizable, elegant, and, although it's hard to learn, is incredibly easy to use (think about that for a moment: it's not a contradiction).

The only claim of yours which has any merit is the lack of support for gaming. There's actually a thriving gaming community on Linux -- as a flight sim fan I really dig Flight Gear -- but it most definitely is not the world of AAA, major publisher funded gaming. And that's why I continue to dual boot Windows, but should commercial gaming ever take off on Linux, I'd see absolutely no reason to continue using Windows.

There's a reason nearly all serious computing occurs on Unix/Linux and it's not because IT folks want to fight the power.
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News Comments > Steam Linux Plans
15. Re: RE: Follow up Jul 17, 2012, 03:01 Scottish Martial Arts
ChaosEngine wrote on Jul 17, 2012, 00:55:
Yeah, fight the power! After all these years, maybe you'll finally defeat the evil M$ and maybe even lose your virginity too.

If you actually know anything about computing, then by and large Windows is, and always has been, a highly unsatisfying experience. Macs are a bit better but they're too expensive, are a closed system, and are permanently wedded to the GUI, which is hardly the power user's native environment. That leaves Unix/Linux, which also happens to be by far the most well designed operating system around. With all that in mind, it makes sense that serious computer users who also happen to be gamers would love to finally be free of Windows once and for all. It's not about fighting the power -- although maybe it is for some people -- it's about not being stuck with an inferior OS simply because you like to play games.
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2880 Comments. 144 pages. Viewing page 24.
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