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Real Name SMA   
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Nickname Scottish Martial Arts
Email Concealed by request
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Homepage http://
Signed On Jun 16, 2002, 23:16
Total Comments 3209 (Veteran)
User ID 13410
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
44. Re: Morning Mobilization May 23, 2017, 20:14 Scottish Martial Arts
fishingtime wrote on May 23, 2017, 19:08:
stop ignoring the unfortunate facts about Islam if you want a real solution

A Final Solution, perhaps?

Stop ignoring the fact that you're going to have to live with some amount of risk and fear in your life. The only alternative is to go back to a world in which human life was much nastier, brutish, and short, and hope that your tribe finishes the primitive blood feud before nukes get launched.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
43. Re: Morning Mobilization May 23, 2017, 19:47 Scottish Martial Arts
NKD wrote on May 23, 2017, 18:27:
Sure. For example, approximately 80% of terrorist attack fatalities worldwide occur in just FIVE Muslim majority countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, and Nigeria, and perhaps you've heard of ISIS?

In the pre-9/11 days, terrorism was at least as likely, in the Western mind, to be associated with the Irish Republican Army. You know, Catholics. And the Protestant Unionists weren't that much fucking better.

Without looking at imdb, I can think of multiple thrillers from the 80s and 90s where the terrorists were either the IRA (Catholics), Serbian militias (Eastern Orthodox), Communist Fifth Columnists (secular atheists), Columbian drug lords (Catholics again), or Environmentalists (secularists/atheists again). The big Muslim terrorism movie of the era was True Lies, but I can remember seeing it in 1994 and noting that the bad guys were brown and mentioned jihad, and thinking "oh yeah, I guess there are some angry guys in the middle east who occasionally try to bomb us. Like the IRA." Western attitudes towards terrorism were very different when I was growing up.

Granted, 9/11 was a traumatic event, but the world only changed because we decided to collectively live in fear. Take the statistical outlier of 9/11/01 out of your dataset, and the threat of "Muslim terrorists" is infinitesimal; leave the outlier in, and it is STILL infinitesimal.

The fact that we're so worried about mean scary Muslims is just evidence that we're a bunch of pussies who can't put risk in context when we feel scared or angry about something. I live in Manhattan. I went by the site of the biggest terrorist attack on US soil on my morning run along the Hudson River today, and I can say with a high degree of confidence, I'm not going to ever experience a terror attack. Why? Because I can look at statistics and probability and make risk assessments accordingly.


(Also, I hope this hasn't come off as a personal attack -- although it probably did and for that I apologize -- I'm more ranting against what I perceive to be poor risk assessment and over reaction among Westerners than anything you said. Islam and the Muslim world have extremely fucked up aspects, like most other religions, although perhaps to a greater different degree. But that still doesn't change the fact that realistically none of us are ever going to die of terrorism. It could happen, but possibility does not equate to significant probability.)
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News Comments > Saturday Mobilization
6. Re: Morning Mobilization May 21, 2017, 08:37 Scottish Martial Arts
qsto wrote on May 20, 2017, 14:22:
More importantly, why would any developer want to impair a potential customer from using their app? It makes no sense whatsoever

Because there are so many Android devices out there, it's not feasible to support all of them equally well. If you know there's a problem with a specific device, but that it's not financially viable to try to fix it, it's far better to block that device's users from installing your app, than it is to just let them install it, encounter nasty bugs/performance issues, and then write a hate review on the Play Store, throwing off your customer rating metrics.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
15. Re: Morning Mobilization May 21, 2017, 00:58 Scottish Martial Arts
bigspender wrote on May 20, 2017, 18:24:
A lifestyle change is so much better. Just get away from it all, live in nature, or move to a country where things things are cheap and life is simple.

That's great advice except when it doesn't work. Healthier habits, regular exercise, a more active social and sex life, and a nutritious diet are all great places to start when you are experiencing a mood disorder or psychiatric illness. In many cases, that's all that's needed. In many other cases, it doesn't help at all, and the patient keeps getting worse and worse. Then, a lucky prescription might turn everything around. Or it might not. Or it might heal the patient, but then they develop bad side effects six months later. Or the patient is healed, and the reasonable decision is made to wean said patient off of the psychiatric medication to see if they can maintain their health sans regular intake of psychotropics, only to have severe withdrawal, or for the psychiatric illness to come back with a vengeance and cause all of their progress to evaporate over the course of a week or two. Or nothing ever fully works and a patient lives their entire life having recurring cycles of relative health followed by mental illness, a cycle that negatively impacts and limits their social and emotional functioning from cradle to grave

Psychiatric illness is a serious fucking matter and if left unattended is just as capable of killing you as a heart attack. Because it has the stigma it has, and because some mostly healthy people on the internet once got over a blue spell by taking up weight lifting or mountain biking plus cutting out drinking, there's a lot of impetus for people, especially men, to try to pretend that psychiatric illnesses are less real and less serious than heart disease or cancer. Among middle-aged white men in America, blowing your brains out or overdosing on drugs is among the most popular way to die. If that doesn't get people to get over themselves and treat a medical problem as a medical problem, I don't know what will.
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News Comments > Morning Tech Bits
4. Re: Morning Mobilization May 1, 2017, 22:29 Scottish Martial Arts
WaltC wrote on May 1, 2017, 17:23:
If Apple built a tower it would be inferior (as the Hackintoches all prove) and almost immediately dated.

Wut? A Hackintosh is just a PC running macOS, without official Apple sanction and generally using some number of user-written drivers, hence the hackintosh. How can PC hardware be inferior to PC hardware?
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News Comments > Sunday Mobilization
17. Re: Morning Mobilization May 1, 2017, 07:20 Scottish Martial Arts
Mr. Tact wrote on Apr 30, 2017, 21:33:
Yeah, if I had to live in a small efficiency apartment I might have a different opinion. Fortunately, that isn't a problem for me.

It's a full 1-bedroom, but the square footage is quite small at a bit over 300sqft. I've got room to store books, but when your apartment is that small, everything is a tradeoff and you have to be smart about how you use the space you have.

@Beamer: From what I've seen of e-Ink readers, they do look extremely close to the printed page. I think for reading fiction they would be absolutely fine. However, I read a lot of technical books for work/general professional development, and the lack of easy annotation, awkward jumping back and forth to refer to previous topics, the epub format messing with page layout, and sometimes broken diagrams and code samples are all deal breakers for me.
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News Comments > Sunday Mobilization
6. Re: Morning Mobilization Apr 30, 2017, 20:04 Scottish Martial Arts
Mr. Tact wrote on Apr 30, 2017, 18:29:
Personally, I don't get ebooks. Half the reason I pick up a book these days is to get my eyes off an electronic screen. Plus, I just like physical books, own a few hundred of them... Whatever. If you like them, good for you. I'll take a pass...

/curmudgeon mode off

I'm generally of the same opinion although the one thing ebooks really have going for them is portability and no need for bookshelves. You can have an entire library on one device that's as light as a paperback. I still vastly prefer the reading experience of a traditional printed book, but living in a tiny apartment in NYC, I'm starting to appreciate the upside of not having to store physical artifacts on shelves.
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News Comments > Activision Classics on Steam
5. Re: Morning Mobilization Apr 19, 2017, 20:30 Scottish Martial Arts
MacLeod wrote on Apr 19, 2017, 19:04:
Damn... I need a 1ghz processor, 256 mb of ram, directx 7 3d card to play Zork?!

I'm guessing it runs in DosBOX, which while not a hugely demanding piece of software, nevertheless requires quite a bit more power than any actual MS-DOS machine ever required.
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News Comments > Grimoire Gets Greenlight, Due Next Month
12. Re: Morning Mobilization Apr 17, 2017, 17:17 Scottish Martial Arts
noman wrote on Apr 17, 2017, 15:24:
I think it's Blakemore's game.

Yup, it's Cleve's game, Cleve of underground bunker in Australia and armed vigilante during the Los Angeles Rodney King Riots fame.

Seriously, anyone who isn't familiar with the internet legend Cleveland Mark Blakemore, needs to look him up now. After all, ITZ COMING!!!
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News Comments > Into the Black
12. Re: Morning Mobilization Apr 15, 2017, 11:47 Scottish Martial Arts
Pigeon wrote on Apr 15, 2017, 10:27:
I thought the characters were much better developed in TFA, but Rogue One had a better overall plot/story. I think if they don't , you know, retell the plot of the original 3 movies again TLJ has a chance to be good.

I personally thought TFA was vastly more enjoyable than Rogue One for the reason you allude to: TFA had well developed, likable characters that you empathize with and root for, where as Rogue One got as far as a name and a costume for its characters, figured that was good enough to sell some action figures, and left it at that. I mean seriously, without looking it up, name everyone on the Rogue One team and describe their personality... good luck, lol.

I liked that Rogue One tried to go for a grittier take on Star Wars, but ultimately it was a film that was working from a hackish script, leading to a joyless and lifeless adventure. I just contrast everyone dying at the end of Rogue One, a moment that should have been devastating but instead was just mildly surprising, with Han Solo's death -- the selfish rogue dying because in the end he couldn't turn away from the ultimate act of selflessness: a parent loving their child -- or Rey taking up the light saber to face Kylo Ren, and suddenly the fact that TFA starts with a lost droid on a desert planet and ends with an assault on a super weapon doesn't bother me as much. TFA may have rehashed the original trilogy, but it did so through scenes that were thematically and emotionally satisfying.

edit: I had some further thoughts on why the Han Solo death works so well thematically and emotionally.

All stories depend upon the protagonist facing a crisis, and that protagonist growing and changing so that when the story reaches its climax, he or she can take the action necessary to resolve the crisis. The Han Solo character affects an air of selfishness and greed, but at his core he's a good guy, and his story, over the course of the original trilogy and in TFA, is ultimately one of learning to set aside his airs of self-interest so that he can fully take part in something bigger and more important than himself, i.e. the Rebellion, and contribute his essential goodness as a man to that cause.

As a result, TFA acts as a perfect coda to his story in the original trilogy. TFA leaves many of the details only hinted at, but the experience of Han's son turning to the dark side and the collapse of his relationship with Leia, has led him to retreat back into that shell of selfishness, a shell that was always more about self-protection than about who he truly was. Once Han and Chewie plant the charges, they could have slipped out quietly and accomplished their mission without incident, but when he see's his son, he can't do that. Because of who he is, because he is a good man who loves his son more than he loves himself, he has to confront him, to try to bring him home, no matter the risk to himself.

Han's brief experience of being a father figure to Rey and Finn means that when he's sees the young man for whom he is actually a father, Han can no longer hide from who he is and has to confront the crisis of his son. Han, a beloved, likable character, dies because he is the man he is, and because he takes the action that is in keeping with his character. As a result, we get a devastating scene, where your jaw drops in shock and horror, that simultaneously concludes the thematic arc of Han's character and gives him an end that fits perfectly with his growth and change over the course of four films. That's effective storytelling, even if Han has planted explosive charges before.

This comment was edited on Apr 15, 2017, 12:15.
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News Comments > Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition Released
17. Re: Morning Mobilization Apr 12, 2017, 18:08 Scottish Martial Arts
PHJF wrote on Apr 12, 2017, 07:27:
Also, PST has Magic Missile.

Sure enough. Looks like it was Sleep that I was thinking of.
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News Comments > Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition Released
6. Re: Morning Mobilization Apr 11, 2017, 23:36 Scottish Martial Arts
Agent-Zero wrote on Apr 11, 2017, 23:30:
They are 2nd edition D&D spells. Avellone didnt design D&D. its from the pen and paper books

Some are. Most of the standard D&D spells aren't in PS:T, e.g. Magic Missile, and many of the spells, particularly at higher levels, are unique to the game. And even those spells that are official D&D spells tend to work differently than what's in the Player's Handbook, like Chromatic Orb.
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News Comments > Yooka-Laylee Released
2. Re: Morning Mobilization Apr 11, 2017, 22:16 Scottish Martial Arts
Frijoles wrote on Apr 11, 2017, 20:22:
Lot of hype for this one. Anyone know why? Looks like any other game. I haven't followed it a whole lot, but I see it mentioned in a lot of places.

It's made by Rare veterans and is intended to be a spiritual successor to the Banjo-Kazooie games. I never played the second one, but the first Banjo-Kazooie was outstanding, easily one of the best games on the N64. I'm reluctant to get this without reading some reviews, but I'm definitely keeping an eye on it to see what kind of reception it gets.
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News Comments > Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition Released
4. Re: Morning Mobilization Apr 11, 2017, 22:14 Scottish Martial Arts
Yifes wrote on Apr 11, 2017, 21:38:
Isn't this just an update of the original game, with no additional content? How does having Chris Avellone help when he's not writing anything new for the game?

I think he had some input on resolving bugged/broken content, particularly in terms of resolving what the intended gameplay or narrative effect was supposed to be. I get the impression that his contribution was minor however. I did pick this up today, and played through the mortuary, and while I didn't notice any obvious gameplay fixes/changes, the interface is definitely improved, and the various quality of life improvements are nice. I'm not sure this is worth $20, but definitely grab it on sale so you have it the next time you feel like replaying PS:T: I've yet to encounter anything which suggests this is inferior to the original version.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
1. Re: Morning Mobilization Apr 9, 2017, 12:09 Scottish Martial Arts
Such a nice day out today -- yesterday and today have been the first truly Spring days since I moved to NYC a month ago -- and... I'm stuck inside sick. I thought I was doing better than yesterday and could actually go out today, but a quick trip to the grocery store completely drained me. Bummer man.  
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
8. Re: Morning Mobilization Apr 3, 2017, 19:06 Scottish Martial Arts
Primalchrome wrote on Apr 3, 2017, 13:00:
Ahhh...the F-35. Does everything...poorly. Does nothing...well.

Classic example of why every retired general/admiral should be tried for treason if they accept a 'consulting' job with any contractor that they endorsed while in uniform.

In the event that we ever take the F-35 to war with a near-equal adversary, e.g. a naval skirmish with China in the South China Sea, and the F-35 performs as everything indicates it will, i.e. it's inferior to our current air craft let along what our adversaries have in development (albeit in limited quantities), then I truly hope that the relevant contractor executives and generals are all tried and convicted for treason and fraud. The F-35 has become a gigantic welfare project for the defense industry, which is typical, but one which is severely hurting our air power capabilities, which is not. Lockheed et al. have irreperably weakened our air power through the 2060s or so, and they have done so despite this being the most expensive weapons project in world history. Fuck these guys for their greed, fuck them for harming our national security, fuck them for the American pilots whose lives will be lost because they've been saddled with an inferior, deeply flawed aircraft, and fuck them for the rest of the American military who won't get the air cover they need because the F-35 is too shitty to do the job.
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News Comments > Batman: Arkham VR PC This Month
12. Re: Morning Mobilization Apr 3, 2017, 18:55 Scottish Martial Arts
Question for the VR naysayers: have you actually tried it?

I got to try a Vive out for the first time at work on Friday and it was... cool, very cool. Once more fully realized games start coming out for it I suspect it will rapidly take over for any sort of game that is played in first-person, i.e. shooters, driving games, flight simulators, etc. There are reasons to be skeptical of VR, primarily economic, but the immersiveness and fidelity of the core VR experience isn't one of them.

Keeping my fingers crossed for a System Shock game in VR. Or an Alien: Isolation sequel in VR... *drool*
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
10. Re: Morning Mobilization Mar 31, 2017, 19:25 Scottish Martial Arts
Here's what I see as this year's take on the old saying: March comes in like a lion and goes out like soaking wet lion.

Sounds about right. I got completely soaked on the five minute walk home from work today. Time to invest in a good umbrella I think.
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News Comments > HTC Adding Eye Tracking VIVE Ads
12. Re: Morning Mobilization Mar 31, 2017, 19:19 Scottish Martial Arts
I finally got to try a Vive at work today. Apparently I had been at my desk for nearly two weeks now without realizing that a VR room was literally closer than the nearest coffee maker (which itself is really close by). I gave The Lab a try, playing with the robot dog who walks around in the initial entry area, and then playing the archery mini game. It was an... impressive experience. The depth perception was spot on, and once I got the hang of the hand controllers, manipulating objects in the environment felt very natural. While the archery mini-game was just that, a mini-game, it was genuinely fun, and the intuitiveness of it all and the sense of really "being there" was palpable. When genuine games start coming out for VR, these things will be a must buy. I can't imagine how cool a System Shock or Ultima Underworld like game would be in VR...  
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News Comments > Star Citizen Swapping DX12 for Vulkan
53. Re: Morning Mobilization Mar 20, 2017, 22:04 Scottish Martial Arts
Beamer wrote on Mar 20, 2017, 10:21:
Scottish Martial Arts wrote:
Rofl, nah, that kind of engineering job is hopefully all in my past now. I actually start my new job with Google's New York office tomorrow morning. By all accounts, Google engineering actually knows what the fuck it's doing. My last job though...

You have a 3 block walk to work? I'm jealous. Also, there's so much damn food in that office, but seriously the worst elevators I've ever used, haha. Then again, nearly every office building I've worked in, even the newest and most modern in NYC, has horrible elevators at 9am, but man, the Google ones in Chelsea...

Basically, yeah. Because of the way Hudson turns into 8th Avenue (but also stays Hudson if you hang a left at Abingdon Square, before turning into 9th Ave), you've got some weird mini-blocks in between, but in terms of numbered streets, Google is on 15th, and the closest numbered street to my apartment is 12th. It's a 10 minute leisurely stroll, and 5 minutes if you're walking at New Yorker pace, ignoring stop lights as is customary. Fortunately, the latter suits me just fine, as I'm tall, with a long stride, and have a default walking pace that is quite fast. In other words, I feel like I fit in well in terms of walking like I have somewhere to be, haha.

And yeah, the elevators get pretty crazy, especially around lunch time. I was at the office on Friday for a pre-start meet and greet between 11am and 2pm, and you had to squeeze in tight for every elevator ride.
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