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  1. The longer the US resists full compliance with the ICC, the longer we as a nation will remain free from foreign influence. The ICC is the biggest joke there is (well, maybe the World Bank and the IMF are a bigger joke), and is not only useless but lacks the moral backing to even suggest that its rulings be followed. Remember that the alternative to Trump is Pence. Pence is a smooth operator with no drama and strong ties to Congress. Anyone that dislikes Trump's bill for Healthcare will note that Pence will run the thing through Congress however he pleases with no drama. Conservative policies? Check. Conservative environmental politics? Check. Right-wing tax reforms and government cutbacks? Check. Zero drama with which to nail him in the media? Check. Trump lacks vices. He doesn't drink, smoke, or do drugs, and I highly suspect that all his womanizing is of a nature which is borderline tolerant, which means you can't turn him into a Bill Clinton either. Pence also lacks vices. The liberals already tried to nail him on policy, but have shown that their focus was not of the right kind to either unsettle him or to sway public opinion about him any worse or better than it already was. Attempting to use economic threats against him when a religious freedoms bill came up in Indiana did not phase him; he signed it anyways, unlike his counterparts in Georgia and South Carolina. Most companies that have mobility between states do not have international mobility to move out of the country if he were to sign something similar on a national level, nor would they likely give up on the cash cow that is American consumerism. Pence is level-headed, and both lawyering experience in Washington and no ego to worry about, and would be unlikely to encounter serious resistance on his initiatives, which are likely to be more in line with the general Republican agenda than Trump's. Pence is the alternative to Trump. Remember that he's who you get if you decide to get rid of the devil you know.
  2. This cherry picking is inherently a falsehood. It's like saying I can cherry pick the bits of science that I want to consider valid, because some parts agree with my worldview more than others. If the Bible, or Koran, or Tanakh (Jewish Bible) are what they say they are, then they deliver philosophical truth about the human condition. If this is truth, and you accept it as such, then you cannot cherry pick it any more than you can be the arbiter of valid scientific knowledge. Of course, people can and will do as they want, but I think it is a falsehood to both suggest their validity at the same time that one denies their authority. One cannot be without the other, nor can you decide at a whim which parts are true or not, because then that religions' claims are no longer valid; a falacy if, and only if, you have already stated them to be true. This can be said of any ideology. More people were murdered in the name of Communism and Social Darwinism than were ever murdered in the name of religion. Over 100 million, by my count, if you consider Mao in China and Stalin in Russia. Justification is a thin veil with which people convince themselves that they are doing the right thing. Anyone who ever paid close attention to the New Testament would have found out very quickly that it does not allow Christians to kill evildoers, but they used it to justify their actions regardless of what it actually said. Even in the Old Testament, not only did one need to seek out a number of witnesses to secure a conviction, but in the case of a death penalty, the accuser/testifier/lead witness was required to throw the first stone; that is, they needed to have the conviction to have that person's blood on their hands should they have testified falsely. I didn't see this followed in medieval practices either; hangings and witch burnings and the like remove a lot of the physical action that make taking someone's life much more difficult, and require true conviction about the process and the guilt. Er...sure, I can't actually prove to you in physically a verifiable manner that God exists, but that's not the point. My point was that the Bible is really unambiguous about the validity of things like female pastors. People in Christian religions that allow female preachers and vicars don't use the Bible to support their position, and for good reason. If you were to crack it open and have a look, it says no. Now, again, you can argue that such a position is untenable and invalid, but not if you suggest that the Bible is truth from God. Inherently, if such a position is untenable, then it cannot be truth, and is therefore not from God. I suspect the next point about evil is an interesting one, laden with the trappings that follow the misguided teachings about the devil. I would suggest that most of the evil that exists in the world is because God gave man free will, and in an effort to provide humans with a source of redemption, God allows suffering and evil because the alternative is total annihilation, since man (who is evil) cannot be compatible with God (as the monotheistic religions portray him). Whether you believe that there is a literal devil or not (satan literally means 'adversary' in Hebrew), mankind has shown itself to be very capable of evil, and removal of evil would therefore necessitate removal of people from the world, which would be counter to the purpose of religion, which is to provide humans with a path to redemption and enlightenment (there's a whole lot of stuff I'm glossing over; it's not that simple, but for the sake of argument and generalization it's not inaccurate). I feel like the question of evil and despair is like the advice given to one of my favorite cartoon characters when he was getting his fortune told. Your future is full of struggle and anguish, most of it self-inflicted. If God gives us free-will, then evil in the world (at least that which is perpetuated by other human beings) is our own doing. If you have faith, then why is there a need to reconcile religious principles or teachings with modern social constructs or trends? That is not faith. That is justification of current ideology in context of faith (so the same thing as justification you previously mentioned, whereby religion was used to justify evils like the Inquisition, only with less "offensive" concepts). God says love everyone so he can't possibly mean that we should hate people who do wrong. Well, that's true, but that same section of the Bible tells you to abominate evil, which is still an order of magnitude less strong than the original Greek intonation. Either all is true, or none is true, but you won't hear most people talk about the second part. You can, of course, debate on what evil is, but the second part about evil comes up rarely enough that that discussion almost never happens. I'm really saying that cherry picking isn't a valid option iff. you are suggesting that the religions as delivered along with their texts are, in fact, true. If that is not the case, then of course this line of reasoning doesn't matter. Hopefully I never implied that religion was the basis for human moral inclinations. I would suggest, however, that religion provides a solid basis for interpreting human morality as it relates to application. Other bases can be made which serve as substitutes for those who deny religion's authority in the matter. Getting a solid agreement on an alternative basis for human moral agreement has been difficult, however; the law (of any given country; the UN is not an arbiter of justice, as the exclusion of Taiwan and the lack of membership of the Vatican should clearly show) cannot provide such a basis, and those who have suggested that it should have always been sorely disappointed, in particular because laws can be changed to either more or less agreeable moral terms for any particular group, whereas religious texts remain largely unchanged over time (interpretations will always exist but even in the Islamic and Jewish traditions the codified interpretations were never part of the original texts, but always distinctly separate entities which did not claim divine inspiration, but whose earthly authority was accepted).
  3. I've noticed a refresh bug when going to certain pages, where my browser will constantly refresh the page (about every 3-8 seconds), or try to continue loading even after all the assets on the page are finished. It's not doing it now, for instance, but it has done it notably every time I use the notifications panel to navigate somewhere. It doesn't affect my reading, because the page isn't actually refreshing, but it does accumulate a history log (so the back button only leads back to that same page because the back-log is full of the same page), and it consumes resources and data as well. I'm not sure what the trigger is. Reloading the page manually doesn't stop the behavior, nor does catching the "reload" with the Stop button in the browser, as it just tries again the next cycle (5 seconds?).
  4. If you believe that things like the Bible and the Koran are "from God," then why would these things need to happen. I don't know about the Koran, but the Bible is rather explicit about this. People can make their own decisions about whether the Bible's claims to female leadership are valid or not, but they are unambiguous. Furthermore, the idea that these things need to happen undermines the actual contributions that women may have in these communities. Were they promoted to such positions for their scholarship and spirituality, or because the church leaders thought it would be good publicity? Why is "progress" measured by how well modern religion conforms to modern social standards? Isn't the point of religion to provide a reference point for society, not the other way around? Society need not follow the guidelines of religion, but why is that the metric? If that is the case, then what if, in 150 years, we are all back to being misogynistic patriarchs, and the religions of the day are arguing that women demand respect, and should be allowed to serve and have other basic freedoms? Will we criticize them then for failing to be enlightened in the patriarchy? The judgment of these things in terms of integration, or on matters of how well these religions accommodate modern thinking about these topics is absurd. The very notion that it is "better" because they conform more to our modern sensibilities in fact denies these religions their most basic claim of philosophical truth. While I agree that you can find fault with them however you want, suggesting that they are real, and then judging them by whatever modern metric you decide is valid is ridiculous. Either you acknowledge the religion for its claims and its trappings, or you deny it, what it stands for, and what it tries to say about the human condition and the world. Oh, here's a link: http://www.skeptic.com/reading_room/conceptual-penis-social-contruct-sokal-style-hoax-on-gender-studies/
  5. I feel like you're describing capitalism. Sure democracy, or at least basic freedoms, prevail in a market economy that keeps its hands off of its people, but history has shown that humans are terrifyingly good at controlling people's lives even in the outermost extents of their control. Whose rules? Are you really saying that American military actions are altruistic? The Gulf War was altruistic? The Battle of Mogadishu? The 2nd Iraq war against Saddam, in our quest to rid the world of Nuclear Weapons? Libya, which is a mess? Syria, which we have zero right to be in? You know, the Secretary of Defense used to be called the Secretary of War. Watch that video I posted. Like I said, you may not agree with it, but as I understand it most of the questions he asks aren't actually what ifs. The president has those powers. We've allowed Congress to give some to him, and the rest have simply been appropriated. Whether he regularly uses them, of course, is a different matter entirely, but I find it disconcerting that he does in fact have them. I guess my biggest issue isn't that the US does these things; all countries do bad stuff, but that you're actually arguing that we're in the moral right is what I find so appalling. Unless you're really just saying that might makes right, and we kill less people than the "bad guys" so its all OK, which I guess would be a valid position to take but you're not taking it. And really, I'm pretty sure the US does all it's stuff for selfish reasons too, but we have a better PR department, and more people in the world speak English than Russian, so I imagine propaganda is easier to spread as well. And in a morally grey era, if the one selfish cop is able to act as he wants in total view of the rule-following cop and not only get away with it, but totally escape meaningful punishment from the "better" cop, then not only is the "better" cop incompetent and just as corrupt, but neither is fit for the job. That to me seems pretty clear, because at that point neither are doing the job they're supposed to. Now, of course, these cops are equally strong, and maybe on opposite teams (how can you have cops be on opposite sides?), but if all the "good" cop can do is call the bad one names, but the people still get beat up and murdered, how does that make him any better? Because we called out the "bad dude" on his failings? Really?
  6. Hmm. All the yelling about Trump from the left. All the wonky things he's been doing (I didn't vote, remember). Interesting stuff. Here's a relevant video. I would say maybe only Gary Johnson would have caused it to be less true than usual, but even though it was written during Obama, it's just as legitimate no matter which president is in power, GOP or DEM, Clinton, Bush (either one), Obama, Trump, whoever. Maybe not all of it you agree with; I'd argue even the parts you don't agree with are still true, even if they are against (or for!) your political leanings. (Do me a favor and ignore the title; maybe you know what it is referring to, but I don't and it's not relevant to why I posted it here)
  7. Ah, yes, but indeed I was going for a discussion of the generally used term, particularly when applied to religion and its adherents in a usually derogatory manner. I would consider myself a Christian fundamentalist, though I know others who would say I am not because I do not go far enough in my beliefs, though I personally think that there is a difference between literal and figurative in the Bible, and it is wise to acknowledge that there are strong elements of both present. Really at the end of the day I think, perhaps to hone it into Trump/America, that the problem is primarily one of values. Trump does not appear to have any. The [Christian] Right calls the Left morally bankrupt, while the Left calls the Right backwards hicks opposed to progress. We no longer understand what is meant by progress, nor have we understood a way to talk about the problems in context of solutions. http://www.npr.org/2017/05/09/527541032/there-must-be-more-productive-ways-to-talk-about-climate-change It's devolved into a shouting match. By the rules established in our Modern Secular society, there can actually be no right or wrong. Why is Putin an enemy of America, or a "bad dude," and in objective terms you can't tell me unless we agree to some basic things, but even then I would suggest that the basis for these things is false, because they have no standard. I can tell you why, objectively, Putin is a bad guy, but only if you are willing to accept my worldview as the right one; generally speaking I consider my worldview as an objective one in the context of religion, because I believe in objective truth. But what about Putin's worldview, or the pro-Russian worldview? The problem with post-modernism is that there can be no objective truth, there can be no right way, because we've destroyed all of the standards to measure things by. To avoid getting too philosophical, this is the primary reason behind Nietzsche's statement that "god is dead," not because he was an atheist, which he was, but because he recognized that the nation-states that ruled had allowed god to die in their perception, and they needed to devise a new basis of rule and law and order or else be faced with a crisis of existence, because their power had traditionally derived from God, and their law from the Bible, but having dropped these from their consciousness, needed something other than subjective reasoning to base their standards on, or else soon they would find their laws based on nothing at all, a whim meant to enforce whatever they saw fit at the time. Is Trump doing this with the law right now? Well, to be honest I'd actually say that he's doing a whole lot of nothing. I don't think he's done anything impeachable so far; poor form, bad governance, whatever. None of it is impeachable. Perhaps if we started forming a rigorous basis for understanding our world, even if I totally disagree with it, I think we, as a nation, the democrats as a party, would be better off for it. Science cannot be that basis, though, because science cannot answer the fundamental questions of life, nor can it address the issues that we face every day; in fact I would suggest that the moment science can do this it is no longer good science, because the nature of science is not to answer these questions; rather it is to ask them, and provide data. The answers to these questions cannot be a scientific one, and the problem that is facing liberals, and younger people, and the country in general, I think, is that we have entrusted to science the answers to questions it is ill-equipped to answer.
  8. This presumes that 1) all Germans were Nazis, and 2) that the SS is the same thing as the Wermacht. Note that I specifically said Germans led by zealots (you even quoted it); not all, or even most, of the Germans fighting the war were Nazis, and though the culture was pervasive this did not mean that the full scope of the Nazi plan was appreciated by the standard German Army grunt, though sometimes this is a fiction we tell ourselves to make American atrocities in WWII more palatable. I would suggest that non-zealots currently in the Mid-East conflict are either civilians, or not part of the problem. This does not still mean that they're ideology is compatible with the Western model, or that in fact the Western ideal is even good for a culture that values family and religious relationships so highly, because if the last 2 years of Western politics has taught us anything, it should be that democracy and civil order and good will only work when all parties are willing to respect the other side, and for the most part this doesn't exist in the middle east, even if the people from opposite sides of the aisle (as civilians) might agree to live together in peace absent government meddling and interference (that is, state/government actors might provoke war, but that does not mean that their constituents would respect the opposition though I agree they might not go to the lengths of shooting each other) I would suggest that there is a break down here of what "fundamentalist beliefs" means. In Christianity this generally means an adherence to a generally literal interpretation of the Bible, from start to finish. In Islam, there is I think a tendency to associate fundamentalism with Jihadism, and I think that's a false equivalency. I think most people living in Muslim nations would consider the Koran to be the true and literal word of God, delivered from heaven by Mohammad, and that the tenets of Islam as stated in the Koran do not fully agree with the idea of a liberal Western democracy, and in fact I would argue that they do not need to, nor should they. If we want to know why there is resistance in Muslim nations to what we are selling in liberal democracy, it is not because we are the big evil empire invading to take over the infidels (though that certainly doesn't help regarding foreign terrorism), but it's because we are, at a baser level, asking them (with force) to fundamentally change they way they think about the world, about themselves, and about each other to what is objectively a Western Christian viewpoint. You see the same push-back with anti-liberal sentiment among Conservative Christian groups, and then wonder why Muslim nations, which are entire countries full of people with a Conservative outlook, to totally abandon everything they hold true, in favor of your view of reality. Then add in that Islam generally does not put a limit on Government intervention the way Christianity does (see Romans 13; I fully acknowledge historical failure in this area on the part of Christian actors in trying to enforce a state-mandated religion). There are no limitations on preventing the murder of non-believers (again I acknowledge difficulty in this area among "Christian" actors, but I never claimed Christians were a perfect people or that it was atrocity-proof; the same could be said about Evolution and Communism/Socialism and Democracy/Representation--Ideas are useful in rallying people to the cause of killing enemies, but what the ideas themselves say about such acts should be important, because people are notoriously good and finding and creating loopholes). That being said, again, I do not think that most Muslims seek to kill non-believers, or that they seek to kill alternative factions, or that they are terrorists, but I do think there are fundamental ideological differences about what it means to be religious, what it means to have a country, and what proper governance of a country looks like. As much as I disagree with the basics of Islam, I do not think we as a nation have the right to go into other countries and tell them that they need to do what "we" think is right. Sure, Might makes Right and all that.... Why exactly would that make Russia a bad actor then, if the only reason that the US gets to play cop is because it decided it was going to be one? Are we suggesting that we're the bigger cop, and therefore more right? That might be a good argument, but then that would also imply that if those are the rules then Russia is more than justified in punching back. They may not be commissioner, but they run their beat; did we not expect a response when we started sticking our finger in their pie? That's a slippery slope, and in the post-modern era, with no truth and no values, who's to say whether one country or value or ideology is more right than another? I know why I think what I do is right and just. What's the modern justification absent God, universal morality, and proper ethics?
  9. Well, FTL is a subliminal superluminal reference to how fast future advanced intersection construction should be with the new Flex based system.
  10. @krbe Well, one could argue that a lot of the war-torn areas in the Middle East are not very well off. I'm not sure they are as bad as post-war Germany, but I do still think that there's a fundamental difference in the ideology. The Germans were fighting a land war primarily lead by zealots. The Middle Eastern conflict is primarily an ideological battle whose fighters are fully on board with the ideology of their leaders. Of course, arms are likely easier to procure nowadays, and the US invasion force was never present in the Mid-East as much as we occupied Europe, but I would suggest that even an effort of that magnitude would not reduce resistance to nil, but rather reinforce the insurgency. The equivalency is not as strong as the western governments suppose it is. Economics for them are a means to an end, not an end in themselves, and therefore a loss of economic power or resources or land is a minor setback in the overall struggle, even for non-radical militants. No such motivation existed for the average German/Italian/Axis soldier or civilian. There is no central power or authority that might convince a surrender either, like there was with the Japanese people. No single terrific event could convince the militants to surrender on the order of a religious or political authority, like the Japanese emperor after Nagasaki.
  11. @Chief ZDN Yes, staff selection is often done by choosing active members which have shown themselves to be helpful and friendly, and reliable at maintaining site etiquette in their posts (users who attempt to act like staff are not typically helpful). Part of this is that an application system is not helpful with a large community that is mostly self-policing like ST. Inevitably people who apply for the job would likely be least equipped for it, though perhaps this is the case across the internet. The other part is that, as noted, Simtropolis is not a democracy, it is a service provided by the benevolent Dirktator, so demonstration of ability to work with existing site staff and admins is also necessary. I guess you could call it deputizing all of the most helpful, active members. A lot of the mods were constantly contributing to the site before we were made mods, and continued to do this afterwards, though now with the mod tag and everything that brings with it. At the end of the day, it more or less becomes a community of people who have shown that they're willing to devote their time to making this a productive part of the internet. If you visit SC4Devotion, you'll notice that a lot of the people that frequent there are also mods or other site staff, and again part of this is more a product of the fact that the people who add to the community and stick around are also likely to be valued for their consistency, level-headedness, and their ability to work with other community members, so the decision to add them onto the staff is a natural progression. I admit it may seem like a large moderator presence, but this can be ignored for the most part when we're not dropping posts in Moderator Blue. As the venerable @A Nonny Moose liked to point out, the moderator pay doubles annually. I haven't yet been a moderator long enough to confirm this personally, but I can say its true of others I've seen go before me, and its a humbling thought to think about when I realize their dedication to fostering the attitude of the community, which is one of the friendlier and more well-behaved of the internet gaming communities I've been to.
  12. @ReshiramLover You realize that you just accused me of lying to you, and that I can see moderation reports? I realize you're frustrated, but we're trying to help and figure out why it isn't working for you. Additionally patience is to be expected when trying to solve problems involving programs written for hardware and Operating Systems that are far beyond what the original program was ever intended to work on.
  13. Have you tried restarting the computer?
  14. How is it not working? Is it not installing properly? Does the program not launch? We need a little more detail on what exactly is going on.
  15. SimCity Kurier is still around last I checked EDIT: ninja'd