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Posts posted by Oblarg

  1. You were the one who brought up plot holes. You didn't convince me of any from your viewpoint.


    Good for you. If you're not willing to discuss why you find them unconvincing, then you're essentially ruling out any possibility of reasoned discussion.


    You see, the fact that you disagree with me means nothing. Other people in this thread disagree with me, too. The fundamental difference is that their responses are well-reasoned and geared towards promoting a discussion. You, on the other hand, seem interested in little more than the ideological equivalent of putting your fingers in your ears and shouting "you're wrong!"

  2. Just as a thought experiment, if we assume the Collectors are not acting on their own, but being manipulated by the reapers like sock puppets (assuming control), a possible use for the reaper they are building (the giant T2 robot), could be a fifth columnist infiltrator Reaper, something like Sovereigns replacement, which would be a completely different level of threat. We don't know if they intended to harvest all of humanity first or just enough to finish the current WIP reaper (and then possess a completely different magnitude of firepower).


    The thing is, even were we to discard the lines about how they'd need to target earth to finish their reaper (in fact, let's be super-generous and say that they can do it without entering alliance space and thus without really risking their only cruiser and still being able to play to their strengths), it's still unclear what a new reaper would do. Sure, they could fling it at the Citadel and hope it fares better than Sovereign, but really, is that sound strategy? Especially coming from a hyper-advanced machine race? You'd think they'd have a better Plan B than "try the same thing over again and hope it actually works this time." Remember, as well, that in ME2 the conduit is deactivated - so it's unclear how they'd activate the relay in the first place without being able to get someone on the inside to take Citadel control (Saren's job in the first game, and the entire reason he spent so much effort searching for the conduit). So, even if we were to A) assume that the collectors could finish the reaper with only colonists from lightly guarded systems and B) further accept that trying to take the Citadel again with the new reaper is sound strategy (both assumptions require you to ignore quite a bit of the narrative and/or to cease critical thinking), it's not even clear that they could activate the citadel relay at this point to begin with.


    The really frustrating thing is that none of these problems would be particularly hard to write around - a few changes could make the plot a whole lot stronger and more believable, but as it is ME2's plot just strikes me as several partially-developed ideas strung together without any rigorous proof-reading. Good concepts are not enough - you have to implement them properly, and BioWare really dropped the ball there.

  3. To be fair, the collectors do have one thing that makes them a seemingly formidable foe. They can do hit and run attacks at will, as without the navigational equipment, nobody can give chase through the relays. As a gamer, you know/suspect their strength (or lack of), but only after passing through the relay to their base can you confirm that they are indeed not a military threat in a conventional warfare scenario. Never mind what their covert activities may or may not amount to on a strategic level in conflict.


    Well, yeah, I wouldn't have a problem with the Collectors being a small hit-and-run force were it not for the fact that several of the characters outright state that they'd have to target earth to complete their human reaper, something which, given Earth's defenses and the minute scale of the Collector force, seems an outright impossibility. Once again, this seems like an oversight, not an intentional feature - BioWare could very well prove me wrong in ME3, but that opens a whole new can of worms as to why everyone in ME2 (most importantly Shepard) seems to labor under the illusion that the Collectors somehow pose a legitimate threat to alliance space (rather than simply the fringe colonies).


    It seems the options here are that the Collectors are stupidly weak and could not have ever completed their plans, or that Shepard and everyone he works with are effectively braindead for the entirety of ME2. I'm honestly not sure which of these I dislike the least.

  4. Honestly, greylord, I don't know why I'm bothering to respond to you when you're seemingly not interested in reasoned discussion so much as baseless ad-hominem. Still, here goes:


    The collectors were taking away Human colonists to who knows where in large numbers. No one could get to them. They'd zoom in and out before anyone could touch them. TIM was willing to do something about it, and he raised Shepard in order to do this. Shepard did it because he saw that there was a threat...and TIM was willing to give him the materials to deal with it. No one else was.


    Again, you're missing the point. The collectors, as they were presented, were incapable of attacking anything more than defenseless fringe colonies in the Terminus systems, because their entire fleet consisted of one fairly weak cruiser (rationalize away, but nothing changes the fact that your frigate, unupgraded, is able to destroy it in the final battle) and a collection of floating eyeballs. They were even driven off by a few defense cannons on Horizon. How, pray tell, would the Collectors even come close to accomplishing their goal of finishing the human reaper without the capability to penetrate alliance space?


    Next, Shep is given a NEW ship, bigger, stronger and better than the one that the Collectors blew up. It is outfitted with the LATEST technology with weapons, stealth, and everything else. It's like comparing a frigate from WWI with a Cruiser of the Modern era...which do you think is better? Do you really think a cruiser of our era couldn't take on a Dreadnought of WWI? Or even stand a chance?


    Right now you're just showing your own ignorance of Mass Effect lore. The Normandy version II is still a *frigate.* From the Codex:


    Frigates are light escort and scouting vessels. They often have extensive GARDIAN systems to provide anti-fighter screening for capital ships, and carry a squad of marines for security and groundside duty. Unlike larger vessels, frigates are able to land on planets.

    The most important role filled by frigates is reconnaissance. Sensors, unlike ships and communications employing the mass effect, are limited to the speed of light, therefore a stationary observer can detect a vessel a light year away only when its light year arrives a year later.

    Because faster than-light attackers always arrive before defenders can detect them with luminal sensors, attackers can always surprise defenders. For defense, fleets surround themselves with spheres of scouting frigates scanning for enemy ships and transmitting warnings to the main body.

    Frigates achieve high FTL cruise speeds because of their high-performance drives. They also have proportionally larger thrusters and lighter design mass, allowing them greater maneuverability. In combat, speed and maneuverability make frigates immune to long-range fire of larger vessels.

    In fleet combat, frigates are organized into "wolf pack" flotillas of four to six. Wolf packs speed through enemy formations, hunting enemy vessels whose kinetic barriers have been taken down by fighter-launched disruptor torpedoes. The wolf pack circle-strafes vulnerable targets, using their superior speed and maneuverability to evade return fire.


    Now, your frigate is not particularly special, as far as combat goes. The Normandy SR-2, unupgraded, is spec'd to the original Normandy (which, if you'll recall, is built for stealth and minor skirmishes, not for pitched combat), minus the size changes and a few other misc. upgrades (leather seats? haha) - you'd know this, too, if you paid attention to the dialog in-game. Now, explain to me, if such a vessel is able to destroy what is revealed to be the only collector cruiser, how exactly were the collectors much of a threat at all? Perhaps the reason the Alliance wasn't doing anything about the abducted colonies was because the collectors were a chicken**** excuse for an enemy - Zoraptor's theory is certainly more reasonable here than just accepting that somehow the Normandy is a super-ship and Joker is a super-pilot and somehow Shepard & Co. were able to do with one reconaissance frigate what the alliance wouldn't have been able to do with, you know, an actual fleet?


    So a cruiser class and battle ship class is not battle ready...and you have the best pilot in the galaxy...sure...dream on....


    Plus, even with that you still have to fight them off in your hull because they're trying to board you instead of out and out destroy you apparantly in your approach...and you STILL crash land...


    What the **** are you even saying here? None of that is relevant. You can defeat the collector ship with the unupgraded Normandy. The Normandy is a single frigate. The systems alliance has a very large fleet. What threat did the collectors legitimately pose to human space?



    I think you'd side with the council in ME1 and ME2...afterall you probably didn't consider Sovereign a threat until it attacked the council, and probably would have let the reaper be created so it could come in and wreak havoc as well...


    I don't think your problem is with plot holes, but the entire ME series and Bioware...in which case instead of accusing everyone else of ignoring plot holes...maybe you should just go design your own solid plot that we can laugh at and point out all it's plotholes instead?


    The irony here is that I haven't accused anyone of anything - I voiced my opinion on the game, and you jumped down my throat at a perceived attack on your love of the game. If your best argument is really nothing more than "well, you couldn't write better!" then you shouldn't bother replying in the first place. Christ, from the animosity you're showing you'd think I insulted your mother or something, not simply disagreed with you about the writing in a video game. Grow up.


    Your imagination is vivid...but not convincing me at all. Maybe if you had less whine and opinion and more objectivity...I might have more inclination to actually see a plothole, but thus far you haven't really pointed out anything that is actually seriously a plot hole.


    Well, this is rich - the guy spouting the ad-hominem has the balls to also demand "less whine and opinion and more objectivity." Go figure.


    Plotholes would be a little bigger such as...I shot Wrex and killed him dead in ME1...so why is Wrex sitting around alive in ME2...did he get ressurected by TIM too? (Note: I actually haven't run into this bug...but just saying...if Wrex was alive in ME2 after I shot him in ME1...I could see that as a possible plothole).


    So anything short of an outright break in the narrative's continuity is not really a plot hole? Glad to see you have such high standards.

  5. Fair enough, I could see that if you construe the plot such that the collectors aren't intended to be the massive threat that everyone in the game keeps saying they are, then it's not really a hole so much as a questionable plot direction. But I honestly think it's much more likely that BioWare were simply being very lazy writers. In either case, the collectors were a pretty feeble enemy and the second game felt like more of an excuse to have you do loyalty missions than any cohesive story.


    What's interesting about your interpretation, though, is it makes the railroading of the player into TIM's service that much more frustrating - if you accept that BioWare intended the collectors not to be a genuine threat, then you are essentially stuck playing the part of an intensely gullible hero being transparently exploited with no way of doing things properly. It also sort of brings up the question of why not a single character in-game has the wits to ask "why are we worrying about these guys when they only have a single ship that can't even deal with defense turrets?"


    You've still left unanswered the question of what sense it makes, of all possible ways to prepare for a suicide mission whose conditions you know nothing about, to go about gathering crew members and solving their personal problems. This simply seems like a very, very stupid course of action to me. I'm all ears for possible explanations.

  6. The original Normandy was purely a stealth ship. Meant for recon purposes, and to get a small squad in undetected.


    The Normandy mark 2 was about twice the size, so I'm guessing while it was still built for some stealth, it was going to have a lot more actual combat utility. Throw in the assorted upgrades you pick up to push the envelope..


    You win the fight even without upgrades.


    The SR2 is twice as big, sure, but it's still a reconaissance vessel. It's still a frigate. One designed for stealth, at that - not even the "wolfpack" type designed for offense. If greylord would stop the preteen antics and read the in-game codex, he might have learned that (and in addition learned that the upgraded firepower is only equivalent to a cruiser-class gun, and that the upgraded armor is pretty standard for any larger battleship - not that this matters, as previously mentioned you win the fight even without any of the upgrades). Now, if the collectors only possess one cruiser that can't win a pitched fight against a frigate, how could they possibly hope to succeed anywhere other than undefended fringe colonies?




    Only one of those (working with Cerberus) is a genuine plothole, the rest is just stuff you didn't like. That's just the direction they chose to take, much as Obsidian developed K2 around having to have Kreia until the plot demanded she go, even if you didn't trust her. Your only knowledge that Kreia is no longer a sith comes from Kreia herself, your only knowledge that TIM has humanity's best interests at heart comes from him etc. I'm no fan of how they chose to accomplish their plot as it is at best clunky, but then again lots of game plots have decidedly clunky aspects precisely because without them the story would not exist. It is more clunky than K2 because it is a direct sequel using Shephard, but I think I can safely say that everyone has seen people who absolutely loathe the idea that Kreia cannot be spaced in K2 as soon as you leave Peragus- not all called Volourn, either- and that that complaint is fundamentally the same as that applied to working for Cerberus; that it's a plot contrivance in order to tell the story.


    My big list of criticisms for ME2 would be: Cerberus (plothole), too many loyalty missions (personal preference), gob smackingly awful final boss (fundamental and absolute irrefutable truth), gameplay which was too frequently overly popamole (personal preference).


    How is it that your primary foe being a complete and utter non-threat and your primary approach to how you're going to deal with this foe being completely moronic are not "genuine plotholes?"


    I mean, if you want to argue that the plot is fine and the ME universe is just populated by retards, go right ahead. But somehow, I don't think that was BioWare's intent.

  7. Have to accept some levels of plot-induced stupidity. I particularly liked Cerberus putting their logo on the hull of the Normandy.


    I mean, stuff like that doesn't bother me so much. Sure, it makes no sense, but it's not as overtly immersion-breaking as the big baddies who everyone is afraid of planning to abduct everyone on earth with a single cruiser that can be destroyed by a frigate that isn't even designed for combat.


    I mean, everyone already knew you were working for Cerberus (by virtue of that, in the future, information travels instantly to everyone), so while advertising that fact on your ship isn't wise, it's not going to really change all that much. The main problem is that you're working for cerberus in the first please.

  8. Besides most of your post is...BLAH...BLAH..BLAH..BLAH...I don't like listening to a dang thing...which explains why the plot doesn't make any sense to you (I suppose most plots don't make sense to you now that you've made that obvious)...


    Nice argument. Very well thought-out. Would read again.

  9. At first I thought it was pretty bizarre to get a ship and missions from Cerberus, but then I spent the entire game undermining The Illusive Man's authority and not trusting them in anything I did. I had multiple conversations with folks about how I didn't trust TIM and was just using their ship because it was my only option.


    You might be overthinking things, Oblarg.


    Overthinking things? If this is past the depth of thought that should go into writing an RPG plot, then why bother hiring writers at all? If the Big Bad of your game have a plan which, after a cursory glance, obviously cannot work, then your game has a big problem. They could at the very least lampshade the problems if they're too incompetent to write something that doesn't have them. This is a game which advertises itself based on the strength of its narrative. It's pretty shameful that the narrative doesn't stand up to even slight scrutiny. I find it very hard to stay immersed in a game in which pretty much every aspect of the plot invokes Contrived Plot-Mandated Coincidences to not fall apart.



    1. Who just ressurrected Shepard...OH! That's right...TIM. If TIM didn't implant some sort of suggestion into Shepard to aid in the first place, beyond the fact that Shep was dead and owes a tremendous debt, since NO ONE ELSE raised Shep...sure...you got a point. I'd say seeing not only has TIM raised Shep and pointedly stated what his intention was, as well as Shep having the entire idea to save humanity as his background, hence it's at least in Sheps interest to investigate what TIM is stating...it makes sense. Now, if you say ME1 made absolutely NO sense and the plot hole was that Shep shouldn't care at all about the galaxy, humanity, or anything else...then of course this is a plot hole, since Shep could just walk away from everything and anything and not give a dang. He had a bigger chance to do this in the first one since even the council was against him much of the time, much less the rest of the galaxy. Of course then you wouldn't have a game in the first place.


    TIM explicitly states that he has done nothing other than bring Shepard back exactly as he was. No loyalty programming, no failsafe, nothing. There is no physical limitation stopping you from saying "**** you, I'm leaving," and, in fact, given how awful Cerberus is (especially in the first game, what with setting Thresher Maws on alliance troops and turning colonists into husks), there's no compelling reason why you shouldn't.


    2. The Illusive man didn't know exactly who would be best or could help...he was hoping Shep would be successful.


    You missed the point. If you are given a suicide mission in which you will you be traveling into unknown space to fight a foe you know nothing about, the way you prepare for that is not to gather a bunch of crew members and sort out their personal issues. That is completely absurd. The number of situations in which such a crew would be actually useful is pretty slim, and as by your own admission TIM (and thus Shepard) knew nothing about what was waiting for them, why the hell would you spend the entire game in preparations that have almost no chance of being remotely useful?


    What good would all those crew members have been if Shepard had gone through the relay and been met with a collector fleet instead of a collector ship? Or if the collectors weren't so conveniently holed up in a base with a vulnerability for each specific crew member? Or if you hadn't so conveniently crash-landed on the base in position to infiltrate it in the way you did? Just about none at all. Hell, you didn't even know there would be a base there (of that sort, at any rate) at all!


    3. It's all about how focused and concentrated on the mission you are. If poor old Tali is thinking about what's happened to her father and why she's going to be exiled or punished by the fleet, she sure isn't thinking as strongly on the mission. For example, kill your mother and see if you are able to think as focused or well on work the next day.


    I could buy this if it were done in any half-sane way. My problem here is not with the concept, it's with the implementation. Sure, loyalty and focus are important for a team to get a mission done, but if you're going to go that route how about having the manner in which the loyalty mechanic works make at least a modicum of goddamn sense? There is no logical connection between the loyalty of a crew member and whether or not rocks will fall on him. There is no logical connection between the loyalty of your fire-team leader and whether or not the door jams and forces your tech expert to get out and push (thus taking a rocket to the face). The way in which your teammates fail if they're unloyal simply makes no sense, at all. It's piss-poor implementation, and that's why it feels like a last-minute clooge rather than a well thought-out plot element..


    4. Who else is going to get information? You're on a race to beat others to the info already...what are you going to do...go ahead and ask the Turians to get the information for you. Yeah...that's going to work out great! NOT! He goes in because that's how he's going to get any information anyways...since the only person that really has given him ANYTHING recently actually IS TIM (refer to #1) everyone else either is glad he's dead, ignores that he's alive, or has granted him a license to do something but no other help (such as the council in certain situations...but they still will disavow you if your actions come to light...great help they are!).


    Send a probe, send a strike team that doesn't involve the guy who is so important that you needed to bring him back from the dead, to something rather than blindly rushing in with faith that it'll all work out in the end. These are the rudiments of strategy here, it'd be nice if the characters in the Mass Effect universe didn't all appear to be gigantic ****ing morons.


    The very reason the council will not listen to Shepard is because they do not believe the reapers exist. Shepard could fix this, easily, if he were to show them the giant reaper corpse floating in explored space. Furthermore, Shepard would not even be in this position (where neither the Systems Alliance nor the Council will help him) if he weren't working for the gigantic **** running a terrorist organization whom he has no legitimate reason to trust. And what of TIM, while we're at that? Why would he not show the reaper to the council if he were truly worried about saving the galaxy? And if he's not, where is Shepard in all this, to call him out on that? Shouldn't it become bleedingly obvious at that point that either TIM shows the reaper corpse to the council and wins over the support of everyone, or he's secretly working towards some other goal and Shepard should have no business working with him? The characters are so ****ing blind in this situation that it hurts.


    5. Apparantly they don't need every human out there...just a lot of them...and seeing that the ONLY response thus far has been TIM and you...I'd say apparantly they're being extremely effective at it. As for your frigate...go in without the upgrades...and you have a really beat up team maybe toast...


    They already did in your first frigate. Plus you are underestimating Joker's piloting skills...first time he just was unprepared and surprised...




    And didn't they have more than one ship...at least two? Or something? Even with one though...seems like they had it pretty much under control...seeing as no one is really after them yet anyways....until Shep shows up.


    They had a grand total of one cruiser (it is identified as the same ship every time you see it) and one pack of floating eyeballs. That's it. Joker is a good pilot, sure, but do you really think that, given even the unupgraded Normandy SR-2 can take out the Collectors' cruiser, it would have any chance against an actual fleet, or even just against a reasonably built combat ship? The Normandy is a recon vessel, not a battleship. The Collectors had no chance at all of penetrating into even moderately-defended space with that paltry outfit - they'd probably have trouble dealing with the routine patrolls.


    Furthermore, they could not complete their reaper without attacking earth (this is outright stated when you board the ship), or at least going for some core worlds. This is an impossibility. The collectors are a nonissue. And you've completely ignored the fact that even if they defied all logic and somehow managed to abduct earth and finish their human reaper, it really wouldn't be much good in bringing the rest of the reapers into the galaxy.

  10. Dude, you've been too tired to list them since the game came out, in spite of repeatedly referring to them. I think you should have your blood sugar levels checked.



    Do tell, when in previous threads, before now, have I ever claimed I was too tired to list plot holes? Oh, that's right, you're just strawmanning. Oh well, I'll humor you:


    1. Shepard working for TIM: There's simply no way this makes sense, unless all the characters are braindead. Shepard doesn't so much as blink when he's asked to enter the service of a guy who has turned entire human colonies into husks and who was possibly responsible for a very traumatic event in Shepard's past. The main reason other Shepard's previous allies from ME1 refuse to work with him is that he's now working for Cerberus - not once is Shepard given the option to say "**** you, I'm leaving," which is what any sane person would do. Furthermore, even with in the frame of working for Cerberus, you're not even given the option of telling the systems alliance that the Collectors are behind the attacks, thus eliminating Shepard and Cerberus from suspicion and gaining allies. No, you're forced to work with a terrorist organization who clearly have ulterior motives, at the expense of Shepard's credibility, culminating in the absolutely atrociously written encounter with Kaiden/Ashley on Horizon.


    2. Spending the entire game recruiting a "team": Why the **** would you do this? This forms the backbone of the plot, but given the premise it's just about the most useless, stupid way you could go about solving your problems. You know that your eventual goal will be going through the Omega 4 relay, but how the hell is a super team of soldiers supposed to help you with that? You know absolutely nothing about the nature of the Collector homeworld or what defenses it has, nor do you take any steps to find out. Through pure serendipity it just so happens that they only have one ship and some floating eyeballs to defend their base, and you crash land in the perfect manner to allow all of your squadmates to take a part in the resulting mission. It's contrived to the point of absurdity. There were so many ways this could be fixed, too - hell, even some simple exposition to tell you that you have *some* information about the Collectors that lets you know an assault team is going to be important in the final confrontation would be a vast improvement. As it is, Shepard should have been scrapping together a ****ing armada, not a group of super-soldiers with personal problems. Which brings me to...


    3. The loyalty system: I've already mentioned this, but I'll go over it in full - it's not really a plot hole so much as an example of what, in general, is wrong with the game. Why, pray tell, does whether or not I've sorted out my teammates' personal issues change whether or not they get hit with falling debris in the final battle? I have no problem with the plot of the game taking a back seat to character exposition, so long as it's all tied together in a convincing manner. This is not. This feels like a last-minute write-in when they realized that the plot of the game had nothing to do with the majority of the missions. This doesn't make me feel like I've accomplished anything by ensuring the resolve of my crew. This simply makes me feel as if I've finished the game's arbitrary checklist of Things You Must Do to Not Have a ****ty Ending.


    4. The Derelict Reaper: There are more things wrong with this than I care to count, but I'll stick to the obvious ones. Firstly, why the **** would you rush in there, knowing the research team lost contact, without any other attempts at gathering information? Yes, I realize Shepard is supposed to be Mr. Suicide Mission, but this isn't just a suicide mission, it's boneheaded stupidity. Furthermore, a derelict reaper sitting in a known spot seems like a great opportunity to convince the braindead council that you're not talking out of your ass - is there any convincing reason you, rather than telling them about it and using it to gain the support of the greater galactic community, choose to run in there, get the IFF device, destroy the reaper in the process, and then immediately hook it up to your ship?


    5. The Collector Plan: Simply, the collectors, despite all the hype and the constant reminders of just how AMAZINGLY DANGEROUS they're supposed to be, are a non-threat. They somehow plan to abduct the entirety of humanity (Shepard himself mentions that they'd have to go to Earth to fill their ship), yet they don't bother to have more than one cruiser? A cruiser which, at that, is ultimately destroyed by a frigate which is designed for stealth rather than combat (the Normandy isn't some sort of super-ship, it's a reconaissance vessel)? Sure, picking undefended fringe colonies might be easy, but there's no way they'd ever succeed in getting much further than that. Of course, this could have been fixed by simply giving them more, and more imposing, ships and weapons, but they were unable to do this because they needed to keep the final battle contrived as **** so that they could weakly justify the fact that you've spent the entire game finding soldiers to fill your ship rather than taking any reasonable course of action. Furthermore, they were building a reaper - fine, so what? What good would a reaper do? Attack the Citadel again, except this time without the benefit of a Geth fleet (well, they could have that single Collector cruiser, that'd sure help!) and hope that they do better than last time? Pretty shoddy plan, there. And even then, it couldn't possibly work - Sovereign's attack relied on Saren being able to use the conduit to gain access to Citadel control - this is why you spend *all* of ME1 searching for the conduit. Without that, a new Human reaper couldn't do anything to open the Citadel relay and bring the rest of the reapers through. The entire thing reeks of half-developed ideas forced together without any real thought as to how to make them work. In actuality, that describes most of the game pretty well.

  11. Well, Kreia *isn't* a sith, though. She *was* a sith. She is neither sith nor jedi by the time she joins your party.


    There are several gigantic plot holes in ME2, but I'm too tired to list them now. Perhaps I'll compile a list later.

  12. Rationalize away, hurlshot, but the fact is the "loyalty" mechanic in ME2 is poorly thought-out and feels like a phony excuse to tie together a game which ultimately has you spending an inordinate amount of time doing things that have nothing to do with the central plot.


    Plot-wise, ME2 is a trainwreck. There's no way around it. The individual character quests are interesting and well-done, but they're not tied together in any convincing manner and the primary plot has so many gaping, unexplained holes that it's near non-existant.

  13. Why do you find Paul crazy?


    Is it because he wants to bring home the troops and end the undeclared wars?

    Or because he wants to shut down the privately owned Federal Reserve which prints money

    out of thin air and **** up the economy?


    Wals, if you loosen your tie and unbutton that top-button on your shirt, you'll get some oxygen to the brain,

    and you'll be able to turn your head left and right.





    No, it's because if elected I'm rather afraid he'd do something psychotic like reverting to the gold standard.


    Sure, he's commendable for being the sole Republican candidate who seems to legitimately believe what he says and who doesn't shamelessly pander to a certain demographic, but he's still hopelessly disconnected from reality - only in different ways from the other candidates.

  14. I'd argue, wals, that the two are not inextricably linked and that pursuing the former is a futile endeavor which, even were it successful, would result in, at best, questionable gains for the market.


    SOPA and PIPA appear to me to be little more than censorship tools dressed up as anti-piracy litigation, promoted by corporations which make money by exploiting restricted distribution in a way which is quickly being made obsolete by the digital age. Record companies and movie publishers are losing relevance, and bills such as these are nothing more than a desperate bid to keep a now irrelevant service profitable by restricting our access to information. In their current form, they are clearly not usable to truly combat piracy. They are usable to shut down websites that would provide alternate avenues to content that do not profit the sponsors of these bills.

  15. Well, I was initially peeved at this MegaUpload situation. That is, until I read the actual indictment, at which point it became abundantly clear that their top executives were shameless criminals and seizure of the domain name was probably justified.


    I do not wholly condemn end-user piracy, but piracy for profit is despicable, and those guys quite clearly deserve to be in jail.

    So how do you feel about the seizure and forced extradition of one of the heads of MegaUpload? Even if you are against piracy that sort of behavior sets a dangerous precedent.


    Also none of these guys made money directly from pirated content, mostly came from subscriptions and advertisement spots.


    @TrueNeutral: good post


    There are things about this which still do not sit well with me (the RIAA's claimed "$500 million" in damages is ****ing absurd and I sure hope that's not taken seriously), but on the whole I think it's good that the site was taken down given how brazenly criminal the activities of their top executives were. If anything, it's a good example of why we don't need **** like PIPA and SOPA - there already exist perfectly effective legal avenues for pursuing those whose copyright infringement poses a genuine threat to the market.

  16. Well, I was initially peeved at this MegaUpload situation. That is, until I read the actual indictment, at which point it became abundantly clear that their top executives were shameless criminals and seizure of the domain name was probably justified.


    I do not wholly condemn end-user piracy, but piracy for profit is despicable, and those guys quite clearly deserve to be in jail.

  17. Seriously, laws exist for a reason. The internet isn't some magical new dimension. It's a new dimension, but there's nothing magical about it. If it's going to be a boon to mankind it needs a degree of regulation. Currently that just isn't happening, and it isn't good.


    There's still going to be a proven appetite for user generated content online. But perhaps people will be obliged and empowered to go out there and create it, not just rip it off.


    The free exchange of ideas is one of the few things which I strongly believe requires no (or minimal) regulation, by its very nature, to function. The internet is a communicative tool, not an alternate reality. Why should we needlessly restrict this legitimate extension of the basic human right to make ones voice heard, especially over an issue as comparatively trivial as piracy?


    I refuse to cede my own rights on no more justification than the (possible) benefit of several large corporations, especially when I fail to see compelling evidence that piracy is the drain on the industry which it is purported to be, especially in the case of businesses which overwhelmingly profit purely from antiquated IP law and exploitation of artists, and especially in a law that is so ambiguously worded as to make its abuse for purposes which have nothing to do with fighting piracy essentially unavoidable. The copyright law needs to be rewritten to work in the age of the internet - the internet does not need to be reworked to fit old copyright law.


    Plus I think the idea of taking control of the internet in some measure appeals to the "big-government" types.


    You'd probably call me a "big-government" type, and I think this is a ****ing outrage.

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