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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Population replacement

It's interesting to see how alarm bells are ringing in liberal Minnesotan circles even though Somali immigration has helped the numbers to remain stable:
Casey Sperzel is Minnesotan through and through. She grew up in Maple Grove, went to college at the University of Minnesota, and lived in both St. Paul and Minneapolis. But when the 27-year-old met with a job recruiter last year, she was set on the Pacific Northwest.

“I don’t think I’ll be back,” said Sperzel, now with a Seattle ad agency.

States are scrambling for young professionals like Sperzel to help offset the wave of baby boomer retirements. Minnesota is falling behind in that competition. The state has lost residents every year since 2002, with young adults most eager to leave. About 9,300 18- to 24-year-olds move out annually, according to the Minnesota State Demographic Center.

That — combined with a declining birthrate and an aging population — has demographers and civic leaders sounding alarms.

“It’s a lapel-grabbing moment,” said Peter Frosch, a vice president at Greater MSP, a St. Paul nonprofit focused on economic development in the Twin Cities metro.

Over the next 15 years, more Minnesotans will retire than in the past six decades combined, resulting in a labor shortage that is unprecedented since the end of World War II. By 2020, the state is forecast to have a shortage of more than 100,000 workers.... Each year, 113,000 people leave Minnesota and go to another state, while about 101,000 move here from another state. Were it not for strong international migration, Minnesota’s overall population would be falling.
I left Minnesota in my twenties after founding a Billboard-charting band, a music company, and my first computer game company.  But don't worry, thanks to "strong international migration", I'm sure there is an Somali gentleman with an 85 IQ who is doing an admirable job of taking my place there. I have no doubt that he will continue to do so as long as he doesn't wind up joining Al Shabaab and blowing himself up at the Megamall or somewhere in Africa.

After all, everyone is equal, and if they're not, they are inevitably transformed by the magic of geographical translocation. That's why the 20th century America was exactly like 15th century America that was inhabited only by my Native American ancestors.

I'm glad I grew up in then-Minnesota. It was a wonderful place for a child despite the cold winters. But despite the certain improvements that have taken place by virtue of the many blessings of Diversity and Vibrancy, I have no desire to live in now-Minnesota.

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A letter to Popular Science

Dear Editor,

I am writing to demand a retraction and apology for the libelous article posted Apr 17th, 2015 at 3:00pm by Mike VanHelder. Mr. VanHelder wrote:

"Big winner Vox Day is an outspoken white supremacist and campaigner against women’s education and suffrage, who is on the record as supporting the Taliban’s attempt to assassinate Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousifazi, finding it “scientifically justifiable.”"

  1. I am not a white supremacist. This is flat-out false. Also, I am a Native American with Mexican heritage.
  2. I am not a campaigner against women's education. I am not an activist. I have never campaigned against it.
  3. I am not a campaigner against suffrage. I am not an activist. I have never campaigned against it.
  4. I am not against women's suffrage. I support direct democracy for all, including women.
  5. I am not on the record supporting the Taliban's attempt to assassinate Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousifazi. This is an absolutely outrageous accusation and utterly false.
All of these statements are false, provably and demonstrably false, and appear to be malicious. Therefore, I am requesting an immediate retraction of this error-ridden article as well as a published apology to me. Some of these additional errors include:

  1. Gamergate is not anti-feminist.
  2. Neither Sad Puppies nor Rabid Puppies courted any assistance from GamerGate.
  3. The extent of the collaboration between the THREE groups, (not two, as in the article) is not difficult to quantify. There are precisely two GamerGaters who are also Rabid Puppies, myself and Daddy Warpig.
  4. It is false to claim "No nominated author has ever before withdrawn their work after making it onto the Hugo ballot." It is actually not uncommon for an author to withdraw one of his works after getting more than one nominated in a category. To give a few examples, Harlan Ellison withdrew his Hugo nomination in 1968. Jack Gaughan withdrew his nomination in 1968. Fritz Leiber withdrew his nomination in 1971, as did Robert Silverberg in 1972.
  5. Therefore, the action of withdrawing a nomination is not "unprecedented".
I will appreciate your prompt attention to this matter.

NB: If you would like to add your voice to this call for a retraction and apology, this is the editor's email: letters@popsci.com

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Saturday, April 18, 2015

You wanted Union

You've got Union:
Politicians who begged Scotland to stay in the Union should not complain if the SNP calls the shots at Westminster after the election, Nicola Sturgeon said last night. Polling last night showed that the nationalists are extending their lead – threatening to all but wipe out Labour north of the border.

But Ed Miliband yesterday refused four times to rule out going into a power-sharing agreement with the SNP if its MPs hold the balance of power for the first time. Yesterday she said: ‘During the referendum campaign last year, we were told repeatedly by politicians who were trying to persuade Scotland to vote no – and they succeeded – that Scotland was an integral part of the UK, that our view mattered,’ Miss Sturgeon said.

‘It’s completely unacceptable now for those politicians to say, when Scotland is perhaps going to make its view heard by voting SNP, to say your voice can’t be heard in the UK.’

She said her MPs – who could number as many as 50 after May 7 – would vote to roll back reform of the NHS in England. Traditionally, Scottish nationalists have not voted on health and matters that do not affect their constituents, since they are controlled in Scotland by the Holyrood parliament.
That's some quality black knighting right there. The English shot down Scottish independence, so there is no reason that the Scottish MPs shouldn't wreak havoc in Westminster.

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Anti-GamerGate attacks the Honey Badgers

The SJWs came for the Honey Badger Brigade yesterday:
Early this morning, Fan Expo Canada banned Honey Badger Brigade (HBB) from the Calgary Comics and Entertainment Expo (CalEx). Security staff approached the HBB booth, ordered us to leave, and refused to state the reason why unless Alison Tieman agreed to speak to them away from the other members of the group, without recording. They informed Alison that they had received complaints on social media, including 25 allegations of harassment. No evidence was presented, no request was made for information from HBB, and no specific incident was cited until further questions were asked of security.

Upon further questioning, security mentioned the Women in Comics panel discussion from the previous day, where Alison was given permission to speak. Alison spoke briefly in relation to a topic brought up by the panelists. Accusers, however, claimed that Alison derailed the conversation. Alison and myself were in attendance, and you can listen to Alison’s statement in the panel here on YouTube. You can hear Alison, myself and indeed the entire panel in the full discussion record.

As you will hear, there was no harrassment. Expo staff and mob rule, in their crusade for ending harassment against women, harassed the Honey Badgers despite having no evidence of any policy violation.
This is what we are up against. This is why I will never back down, why I will never ever apologize for thinking, speaking, and writing freely. This is why I am the Leader of #GamerGate and why you should be too.

The real crime of the Honey Badger Brigade, for which they were successfully attacked, was not "reportedly disrupting panels", but rather "associating with GamerGate".

Think about it. A group of women were just harassed and driven out of a convention for being guilty by association. And the SJWs claim that we are the intolerant ones, we are the uncivil ones, we are the ones harassing women, we are the ones trying to drive others from the public discourse. Meanwhile, the moderates claim that the problem is our tone, that we're simply not being nice enough, that if only we didn't express our "problematic" views but kept them quietly to ourselves, everything would be all right.

Horseshit. Absolute and unadulterated horseshit.

Notice that they wanted to isolate Alison, and speak to her away from the others and without recording. Sound familiar? Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that I am an arrogant, cruel, and ruthless badthinker who eminently deserves every "shitbag" "asshat" "jackass" "dipshit" insult and every denigrating and disqualifying "mentally unbalanced" "racist" "misogynist" "sexist" "anti-Semitic" "homophobic" "Nazi" "white supremacist" description that has been hurled my way by SJWs from New York City to New Zealand for the last 10 years. Even if all of those accusations were perfectly true, how would that explain the coordinated assault on the Honey Badger Brigade?

Did that take place in response to me? If I was just a little nicer, if my rhetoric dripped with pure honey rather than pure contempt, if I lovingly laved Teresa Nielsen-Hayden's warty folds with my tongue and dutifully nominated John Scalzi and Charles Stross and Patrick Nielsen-Hayden for awards so those three giants of modern science fiction could add to their collective total of 39 Hugo nominations (only 8 more than Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke combined), would that have somehow prevented the Honey Badgers from being attacked by SJWs and expelled from Calgary Expo?

Several tweets from this morning suggested one of the exhibitors was proudly demonstrating banners and shirts for GamerGate. It was quickly revealed this was The Honey Badger Brigade.... Calgary Expo has been actively responding to comments and criticisms about its decision on Twitter, expressing it had no desire to allow a GamerGate-themed booth onto the show floor.

This is a cultural war, everyone. And if you're not fighting it, you're losing it.

The reason the SJWs went after the Honey Badger Brigade instead of #GamerGate is the same reason they went after Sad Puppies instead of Rabid Puppies. The more publicly acceptable the face of their opposition, the more they are determined to silence and separate it from their most implacable opponents.

It didn't work with Larry and Brad. It won't work with the Honey Badgers either. #GamerGate will not abandon them. What do you say, Rabid Puppies? What do you say, Dread Ilk?

Support the Honey Badgers and join the #GamerGate email campaign against the sponsors of Calgary Expo. Send one email, just one polite little email, to start. I have. That's all it takes... because we are legion.

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There will be THERE WILL BE WAR

File 770 has the scoop:
Jerry Pournelle’s There Will Be War series is returning to print. All nine volumes will be reissued by Castalia House in ebook and two-volume omnibus hardcovers.

I’m glad to see that Dr. Pournelle, who I have now known over 40 years, will have his iconic titles back on the market.

Jerry commented on the project’s history for File 770:

I am very pleased that we were able to revive, in both hardbound and eBook, the There Will Be War anthology series.  The series was conceived during the Cold War, but most of the stories take place in other eras.  I am not astonished that they hold up well long after the collapse of the Soviet Union ended that conflict. We will be releasing the original 9 volumes over the next year and revive the series after that.  However much international politics may change, it remains likely that There Will Be War.
There is more, so read the rest there. As you can imagine, I am a tremendous fan of the anthology series, and indeed, Riding the Red Horse was created in conscious imitation of its ground-breaking blend of fact and fiction. Volume I is already ready to go and we are just putting the final touches on Volume II, after which we will release both of them. If you're not subscribing to the Castalia House New Release mailing list yet, you're probably going to want to do so soon because we will be announcing a very good new release offer in the next newsletter. There Will Be War was a tremendous influence on my own intellectual development, and not only are the books not conceptually outdated, they often feel remarkably prescient despite the end of the Cold War and the passing of the events upon which they are nominally focused. The reality is that the forces leading to war run much deeper than any of the national or societal differences that are usually blamed for it, which is why Dr. Pournelle is correct to observe that history has not ended, the secular utopia has not arrived, and there will indeed be war. I have highly recommended the books for decades, which is why getting them back into print was one of my top priorities for Castalia House.
We will publish the Volume I and II ebooks before the end of this month. Later this year, we will publish Volumes III and IV in ebook, and Volumes I and II together in an omnibus hardcover edition. We expect to publish all nine volumes, as well as the new tenth volume, before the end of 2016.

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Friday, April 17, 2015

John C. Wright: The Hugo-nominated works

John C. Wright burst onto the science fiction scene in 2002 with his astonishing The Golden Age. Published by Tor Books, Amazon.com declared it to be “the most ambitious and impressive science fiction novel since China Miéville’s Perdido Street Station. Amazingly, it is John C. Wright’s debut novel.”
Publishers Weekly wrote: “It’s already clear, however, that Wright may be this fledgling century’s most important new SF talent.”
In 2014, Castalia House began publishing collections of Mr. Wright’s short fiction, much of which was hitherto unpublished, including Awake in the Night Land, City Beyond Time: Tales of the Fall of Metachronopolis, The Book of Feasts & Seasons, One Bright Star to Guide Them, and Transhuman and Subhuman: Essays on Science Fiction and Awful Truth.
A record-setting five of those works were nominated for the 2015 Hugo Awards in three categories. A sixth work was also nominated for Best Novelette, but was subsequently ruled ineligible by Sasquan. All four of the Hugo-nominated short fiction works, as well as an essay from Transhuman, are included in this special release, which is available for free from Castalia House in both Epub and Mobi (Kindle) formats and will also be available in the Hugo packet.

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The refutation of Freud

In case you weren't convinced that psychology is a pseudoscience, this should do the trick:
Let me be perfectly clear: Larry Correia and Brad Torgersen (who really seems to more or less have tagged along on Larry’s coattails) are not in the same league as Theodore Beale. Larry and Brad are frightened, well fed little puppies sitting on top of a large pile of meaty bones and snarling because there are one or two they can’t have, and feeling justified in their fear because some skinny kittens have managed to slip away with a few of the bones and gnaw on them in peace.

Theodore Beale, on the other hand, is Cerberus sitting on top of the bone pile breathing fire and wreaking mayhem for the joy and the attention of upsetting everyone, puppies and kitties alike. I’ve been searching for ten years now and have not found a single redeeming characteristic in Beale. He’s a vile person with vile opinions, and he’s an absolutely atrocious writer. If it weren’t for the fact that he was raised with money and privilege, he would almost certainly be serving twenty to life somewhere, because he either acted on or got caught acting on his beliefs. He is someone outside the scope of psychotherapy. If you were to ask him, he would tell you there is nothing wrong with him, he’s just fine the way he is – and that is why he is outside the scope of therapy.

He doesn’t need to be saved, society needs to be protected from him – and then maybe someone (not me) can work on saving him. And I speak as someone who works with violent people, entitled people, people who abuse, on a regular basis. If he were free to act on his impulses with impunity, people would suffer. I can only be grateful he’s not particularly impulsive.

Right now, it serves Theodore Beale very well to borrow the Sad Puppy meme and create his own offshoot, the Rabid Puppies. He is getting attention and hate, and he thrives on that. It’s what he lives for. For now, while they serve his purposes, he is keeping the Sad Puppies protected from his fire – until they no longer serve his purposes.

And I suspect Correia and Torgersen know it. They are very careful to walk the line between distancing themselves from him and not distancing themselves too much. They have only recently acknowledged that it wasn’t the Sad Puppy slate that swept the Hugo nominations this year, it was the Rabid Puppy slate. They haven’t admitted (at least publicly) that it was Beale’s invitation of Gamergaters – people who are perfectly willing to commit illegal acts including doxxing and making rape and murder threats (and in at least one case, an attempt) – to exclude specifically women, and specifically minority women, from their own particular fandom (video games).

And yet (Correia and Torgersen claim) it is not about sexism. It is not about racism. It is about fighting against ideological purity. To borrow a meme, it is about ethics in gamer journalism.

Here’s the final, worst piece of all of this. By now, the Sad Puppies have realized what they have unleashed. They realize (at least privately) that they overreacted, that they were the bad actors against an opponent that only existed in their heads – but they can never publicly admit it, not without having the hell hound they unleashed turn on them. If they distance themselves from Beale too much, they risk being slapped by the same forces that they opened the door to theHugosfor. They might be subject to doxxing and threats and actions. They will have Beale’s venom spewed over them.
Yeah, somehow I doubt Larry and Brad are shaking in their boots that I am going to attack them. I know the SJWs would love it if I would do so. But that's not going to happen. I didn't fall for the divide-and-conquer tactics when they tried to get me to disavow Roosh and Roissy, and I'm not about to fall for it now.

You don't need to be best friends to be allies. You only need to be shooting in the same direction. The weakness of the moderates, and the reason they are so reliably ineffective, is that they would much rather shoot at their allies than at their enemies.

The amusing thing is the way the "psychotherapist" tries to turn a very real enemy into something that is supposedly existing only in our heads... even as that enemy has been shrieking in full-throated outrage against us for the last two week. And then, she turns around and blames everything on #GamerGate, when there are only two confirmed #GamerGaters in Rabid Puppies, myself and Daddy Warpig.

The lesson, as always, is this: SJWs always lie.

Let them shriek. It won't be the last time. Cerberus has a LOT more bones to crack.

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A seaborne invasion

Why are these murderous invaders being permitted to enter the West at all? Who is under any illusion that they will behave any differently once they possess the sort of power they presently have in the lands they are trying to escape?
Muslims who were among migrants trying to get from Libya to Italy in a boat this week threw 12 fellow passengers overboard -- killing them -- because the 12 were Christians, Italian police said Thursday. Italian authorities have arrested 15 people on suspicion of murdering the Christians at sea, police in Palermo, Sicily, said.
If the first ten invading ships had been sunk, none of this would be happening now. There are problems that will go away in time. This is not one of them. This is the sort that is absolutely guaranteed to get worse, the longer it goes unaddressed.

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Messages from the SJWs

A number of writers have some messages for Straight White Male publishing:
1. “Diversity is not publishing the one story. It’s publishing multiple stories from people of diverse backgrounds.”
—Karissa Chen

2. “My main characters are not always black.”
—Sophfronia Scott

3. “Read less straight white men.”
—Natalie Eilbert

4. “We read. (And buy books.)”
—Lisa Lucas

5. “Get over it.”
—Susan Orlean

6. “Be honest.”
—Yahdon Israel

7. “Listen.”
—Lauren Hilger

8. “We owe you nothing.”
—Amanda Bullock

9. “Grow up.”
—Roxane Gay

10. “Look out the window.”
—Jane Ciabattari

11. “Sit down and let us abolish you.”
—Franny Choi

12. “Ain’t nobody got time for that!?!”
—Ru Freeman

13. “Chill.”
—Morgan Parker

14. “Asian American author with an Asian American editor.
—Matthew Salesses

15. “She’s coming for you.”
—Emily Bell and Amelia Gray

16. “Plz stop.”
—Rowan Hisayo Buchanan and T Kira Madden

17. “We are not tokens.
—Rowan Hisayo Buchanan and T Kira Madden

18. “You have not doomed us. You’ve doomed yourselves.”
—Saeed Jones

19. “Pay attention to the world. (—Susan Sontag)”
—Jynne Dilling Martin

20. “Hire women. Diversity makes you strong.”
—Annelies Zijderveld

21. “We don’t need you.”
—Jayson P. Smith

22. “Take a vacation (a long one).
—Chelsea Reimann and Meg Day

23. “Don’t assume that you are at the center.”
—Cheryl Strayed
Are you still buying the "oh, we are just poor homeless writers who only want to join the discourse and find a place at the table" propaganda? They are fascists, they want control, and any publisher who was foolish enough to permit these entryists a place at the table will soon find that he's been pushed to the side, if he hasn't been already.

Diversity is self-destruction, because a house divided against itself cannot stand.

Meanwhile, publishing is actually 74 percent female and rising. As recently as 2010, the industry was 70 percent female.
It’s no secret that lots of women work in publishing. But just how many more women work in publishing than men? In PW’s recent Salary Survey (Aug. 2) one statistic stuck out: 85% of publishing employees with less than three years of experience are women.

Total Responses: 1,584
70% Female 30% Male

Under 3 Years Experience: 164
85% Female 15% Male

3 to 6 Years Experience: 388
82% Female 18% Male
That was then. This is now: "Women accounted for 74% of the publishing workforce and men only 26%."

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Of Lew and Hugo

Allan Davis informs libertarians about the Hugo Awards:
Larry Correia, Brad Torgerson, Vox Day, and all of the other “Puppies” supporters set out to demonstrate that the Hugo process was politicized and broken.  They said that if authors were nominated who didn’t “fit the mold,” who weren’t approved by the ruling faction, they would be blacklisted, ostracized, insulted, and deliberately voted dead last, regardless of what they had written or how well it was done.  Their predictions have come true, and they have proven their point admirably.

Libertarians, and especially science fiction fans with libertarian leanings, should pay particular attention to the Puppies campaigns.  Like last year’s Gamersgate controversy, the Puppies drew a line in the sand–a stopping point in the ongoing culture war between individualists and statists, between the people who believe in freedom of expression and the mindless drones who believe in political correctness.

Brad Torgerson makes the point perfectly: 

    Folks, until or unless political correctness is given the boot, this kind of stuff isn’t going to stop. It won’t be just me getting the torch. It will be you too. You other authors, and you other fans. Political correctness has a bottomless stomach, and is red in tooth and claw. Even if you try to appease the beast, it will eat you eventually anyway.
The rage of the Left is considerable, but it is to be expected. And celebrated, because they are only smiling when the Right is going down to its customary Noble Defeat.

They will point-and-shriek, they will bluff and bully, and they will play divide-and-conquer. They've been trying to isolate me, a Sigma, for ten years now. (Oh no, a briar patch!) Now they're back at it again, little realizing that giving me more freedom of movement is not exactly something I regard as a problem. We are so far ahead of them in the OODA loop that it will likely astonish you once the next stages become apparent.

The most important thing to keep in mind is this: if they're not shrieking, we're not winning. And speaking of Brad, he has an excellent post up highlighting what both Larry and I have already said. He is not me. He is not responsible for me. He does not answer for me. And I can only smile to see the cowards of the other side desperately trying to get them to take me on because they are afraid to do it themselves.

The Sad Puppies are not Rabid. We are. And of course, as this comment shows, the other side has very good reason to be afraid:
After seeing last nights events I really started losing heart. I feel a little better today, but it’s just too much pain to deal with over the last month to really put any effort into looking far enough ahead to the possibility of light somewhere, someday. It was bad enough when it was Damien Walter, the HuffPo and Daily Kos spreading the disinformation, lies and character assassination, but when Davidson, Willis, GRRM, and others that are supposed to be some of the TOP PROFESSIONALS OF THEIR FIELD do it I have a hard time seeing the hope. All I can see right now is that Vox wins, no matter what. His slate of nominees win: he wins. The SJWs get enough votes together to burn it down this year with No Award and Vox wins. Worse, if that happens, Vox gets enough followers together next year, and possibly decades afterwards and No Award takes all the categories going forward.
Imagine that. A professional game designer, an elite wargamer who specializes in one of the most complex wargames ever developed, a student and editor of two of the finest strategic minds on the planet, might be able to construct a Xanatos Gambit? You don't say.

Let them lie. Let them disinform. Let them assassinate my character for, what is it now, the 7,436th time?  After all, are we not reliably informed that what is dead may never die, but rises again, harder and stronger. And again. And again.

It will take a long time, but trust me, if you thought this exploit was even remotely amusing, you're going to love what is coming down the pike in the 2017 timeframe. There are some pieces that still need to come together - the execution is always in the details - but if it works as designed, it will be beyond epic.

And if you're not part of the Rabid Puppy pack yet, join Sasquan before July. Whether Jim Butcher or John Wright or Noah Ward walks off with the plastic rockets, you'll want to say that you were there for Rabid Puppy 2015: the Ravening.

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The Sinister Stone

I backed this kickstarter today from Autarch, The Sinister Stone of Sakkara. For the gamers here, you should check it out. They do quality stuff that isn't generic:

The default setting of ACKS, the Auran Empire, was also designed to support the player characters’ advancement from adventurer to king. The Auran Empire setting was inspired by the collapsing empires of earth’s Late Antiquity (250 – 750 AD), a turbulent era in which ancient glories were drowned in a torrent of violence. However, in the Auran Empire setting, the horror of civilization’s imminent collapse is worsened by the existence of nightmarish evils lurking in the world’s dark places, threatening to strike mankind at its weakest moment. The established leadership is too preoccupied by the empire’s political and military downfall to take these shadowy threats seriously, leaving them to be handled by adventurers, fortune-hunters, and would-be heroes. The adventurers’ success in dealing with such threats is, however, what garners them the fame, wealth, and strength they need to take power and restore order. Of course, the adventurers are not certain to win; indeed, the odds are stacked against them.

The premises underlying ACKS’ setting are evident throughout The Sinister Stone of Sakkara, most notably in its backstory. The adventure begins with local hamlets and villages suffering from beastman raids because the troops that ought to be protecting them have been sent to stem an invasion at another border. With the local military barely able to garrison its strongholds, it falls to the adventurers to deal with the monstrous threat.

The setting premises are also evident in the design of the dungeon itself. The upper level of the dungeon was inspired by real-world ancient architecture, and the brigands and beastly barbarians that populate it would not be unfamiliar to any Late Roman centurion (albeit the barbarians who menaced Rome were only figuratively beastly). Conversely, the lower level of the dungeon is a warren of weird horror wherein lurks an insidious evil that is far more threatening than mere beastmen. The dungeon thus represents the Auran Empire setting in microcosm – visibly endangered by mundane threats, appallingly imperiled by hidden horrors.


What I like about ACKS is the way it incorporates a military aspect into the role-playing. The world isn't all random events, and you get the sense that things happen for a reason there, even if you have no idea what that reason is.

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Two tribes and an alien invasion

Brad Torgersen explains his view of tribalism in science fiction:
The Hugos (and the Worldcon tribe alike) brand the Hugo as the award for the entirety of SF/F: books, stories, movies, television, music, art, you name it. This is not just the totem of the single SF/F tribe. This is the totem of all the SF/F tribes.

But the single tribe (Worldcon) wants the exclusive right to decide how the totem gets distributed — to which tribe members, and for what kinds of work.

It’s the totem of all, but to be decided by only some.

That — right there — is the root of the conflict. Totem of of all, decided by some. Sad Puppies 3 (and to a certain extent, Sad Puppies 2 and Sad Puppies 1) made the audacious claim that the totem for all, should be decided by all. Anyone willing to pay the poll tax (Worldcon membership) should have a say. We invited everyone to the democratic process. We didn’t care who was or was not in the “tribe” of World Science Fiction Society. This is the totem of all! And the rules pretty much make it so that all can participate!

But the Worldcon tribe — or at least certain vocal members within the tribe — have gone full-retard-tribal about the affront to “their” award, and “their” convention. So it’s tribe-vs-tribe. Are you in-tribe or out-tribe? How can anyone tell? Are you “of the body” of the tribe? Were you inculcated? No? Then what the hell are you doing coming to our tribal ground and fucking with our totem? It’s ours, dammit! Not yours! Ours!!

Protestations about propriety are merely bureaucratic dressing for tribal reactionary mud-slinging.

Mud-slinging which was taken to the broader media by a few tribe-members determined to “nuke” us invaders: Sad Puppies.

But not just us alone. We were almost incidental. The partisans of the Worldcon tribe had a more serious foe in mind.

Because of all the things most frightening to the Worldcon tribe, the worst are the Visigoths of Vox Day. Not just an out-tribe, Vox and his fans represent an explicitly war-like and hostile tribe, come to seize the totem by brute means. So, some of the Worldcon tribe said, “No, we will destroy the totem first, before we let the Visigoths have it!” To which the Visigoths and their heathen king Vox replied, “If you destroy it this year, we will most certainly destroy it next year — and there is nothing you can do to stop us!”

Now, the heathen king is terrifying to the Worldcon tribe. He is a literal barbarian. He talks and walks and threatens like a barbarian. He’s not precisely the guy anyone planned on walking through the democratic door. But because the Hugo voting process is democratic, nobody can be barred for purely tribal reasons. You pay your poll tax, you get a vote. The Worldcon tribe stares at both Sad Puppies 3 and the Rabid Puppies with equal dismay.
Brad's analogy makes sense, for the most part, but it misses one crucial detail because he is not of the Rabid Puppies. We're not the barbarians. As it happens, they are. We are a foreign culture, possibly less numerous, but with much better technology, discipline, and foresight. We appear hostile and warlike, to be sure, but only because our thinking and objectives are entirely alien to them. Not only do they not understand us, but they have not even made any effort to do so. Nor would it likely avail them much if they did, if this reaction by one member of the Worldcon tribe is any indication:
I think you really hit the nail on the head about tribalism. While I don’t feel tribalism in general about everyone different from me politically, I have felt very strong fear and vile about… that other guy, you know, the one who you won’t (and shouldn’t) unperson. :) I have spent a lot of time on his blog and, to be frank, it terrifies me. It made me feel sick yet I couldn’t stop reading. I began going through his historical archives and a lot of his views on suffrage and marital relationships, in particular, made me feel nauseous. And what is the kneejerk reaction when someone like that makes us so sick… ban them, shun them, etc. And I think that is why GRRM asks you that question. Because He Who Should Not be Named isn’t just the “other side”, but someone who openly espouses, IMO, horrible, horrible views. I know he says that he doesn’t, but I can’t help but define his statements as misogynistic and racist.

Yet, the more I’ve thought about it, and read your words, I guess if you truly are going to be inclusive, that voice has the right to be heard as well, no matter how much it may scare or bother us. I personally believe that if we were to stop shouting about him as much or shouting at him and just back off and let him come and do what he wants, he actually would, in a way, “lose” some of his power.

When I said fear, I was trying to be more general of all of us on the left “side” but I’ll try to be more clear. I guess I fear the fact that such… Nasty sentiments still exist in this day and age. It’s hard for me to comprehend. It’s not just his views… It’s the very insulting terminology he uses. And again, this is from actually reading years worth of his posts. The comparisons to training a wife like an animal, insulting the physical features of women he deems unattractive, he is a very mean, cruel person and I feel fear that those mindsets and hateful way of speaking still exists. He also seems to feel pride in his hateful words.

For what it’s worth, I’ve also spent a lot of time reading Wright’s blog. Like I said, I was determined to do my research and not just repeat what others have said. In terms of Wright, I actually agree with you. While I obviously don’t agree with a lot of his views, I didn’t find him to be purposely mean at all. As you said, hate the sin, love the sinner. I have actually seen that Christian mindset in him, Brad, and others. Nothing about VD comes off as Christian. He is mean to people, plain and simple. Nothing to do with just disagreeing, he goes out of his way to call people fat, ugly women look like a tranny, and way too many other numerous comments. It actually emotionally hurt reading many of his blogs. I never felt that way reading Brad, Larry, or Wright, even if I didn’t agree with their view....

I have no real, actual complaint. I was just speaking of my perceptions.
Despite her pain and fear, the commenter is, surprisingly enough, correct for the most part. Silencing us is not an option. They have no power to do so. Shouting at us is pointless. We don't listen to them or care what they say. Shouting about us is also pointless. That only spreads our message and wins us more sympathy within their own tribe and among their allies.

They're in the position of Flatlanders attempting to defend against an opponent operating in three dimensions. We can come at them any time we want from directions they don't even know exist. But we don't need to come at them at all. We have our own objectives that they would not credit even if we explained them fully and in detail; they can no more grasp them than a Flatlander can comprehend a cube.

For example, I have repeatedly stated for more than a year now that I have no particular interest in the Hugo Awards. I still don't. Had they simply voted my work last year into last place and left it at that, I would never have even looked at the Worldcon rules. But once I was accused of gaming the system to obtain a 6 of 5 reward, I naturally decided to take a look at them. The rest, everyone knows.

The Dread Ilk are not a barbarian tribe that wants to take the land of the Worldcon tribe. We are an advanced foreign civilization that is simply going about its business in what naturally appears to be an inexplicable manner. We're quite content to leave the primitives alone so long as they stay out of our way, but if a few of them decide to loose arrows at us as we work, we will respond with lasers and cobalt bombs without even thinking twice about it. Or paying any attention to the collateral damage.

My advice to the Worldcon community is very simple: don't dig the hole deeper. Don't scream at us, don't insult us, don't "send a message", just settle down and do what you've always done and vote for whatever works you find to be the best, or the least offensive. Smile and politely do your jazz hands if a few of ours happen to claim the totem this year. We have no intention of camping the Hugos unless you give us a reason to do so. I have absolutely no desire to ever have as many Hugo nominations as Arthur C. Clarke, let alone Robert Heinlein or Isaac Asimov, but annoy me enough and I promise you that I will end up with more than David Hartwell and Mike Glyer combined.

There is nothing to stop the Worldcon tribe from continuing to double-down until it is destroyed entirely. It's their call. The situation rather reminds me of a conflict I once had with a very large, wealthy and arrogant publisher. All they had to do was send me a letter. A one-page letter. Nothing more. But they wouldn't, for various reasons that mostly have to do with pride. They firmly believed that there was no way that two young game designers in Minnesota could do anything about it.

Eighteen months later, they gave me the letter, a very large check, and not long after, went out of business. All I wanted was a letter. And I got the letter, unfortunately, I had to publicly eviscerate a large publicly-traded company in order to get it. Plus hundreds of thousands of dollars for my trouble. Whether the Worldcon tribe stands down or doubles-down is largely irrelevant to me. I will achieve my objectives in either case. But I really would prefer to minimize any unnecessary collateral damage.

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Accepted

An apology:
Marko Kloos, on April 16, 2015 at 1:32 am said:
On reflection: I apologize to Vox Day for calling him a shitbag. I loathe his politics and race diatribes, disagree with his theology, and have absolutely nothing in common with him philosophically, but there’s no reason to get uncivil and resort to name-calling.
It's worth noting for the record that this marks the first apology I have ever received from an author in the science fiction community since my nationally syndicated op/ed column first came to the attention of Teresa Nielsen Hayden in March 2005.

There are many on the left who believe the mere fact that my beliefs exist and I dare to openly express them comprise a sufficient provocation in themselves, but it is as ridiculous to claim that being scientifically literate, historically aware, and logically correct can justify uncivility and name-calling as it would be to insist that I have the right to attack others in a vulgar manner simply because they happen to subscribe to Keynesian economics or advocate gun control.

So, rather than concerning yourself with the minutiae of Mr. Kloos's apology or his decision to withdraw his nomination, reflect upon the difference between his actions and the actions of those with whom he makes his philosophical home. It took him less than four hours to do what many others have not done in more than ten years. So don't hold it against him. I certainly won't.

On an unfortunately tangential note, two more people have responded to Glenn Hauman's call for posting fake reviews on Amazon. Jeromy Stone has posted a fake review of Mr. Wright's AWAKE IN THE NIGHT LAND, of all things:
One Star
By jeromy stone on April 15, 2015
Format: Hardcover
trash
You know the drill. Report for Abuse and Inappropriate Content. The more strongly we respond to these attacks, the more likely it is that Amazon will eventually step in and do something serious about it.
Ugggggggh!
on April 15, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
Wow. Call me underwhelmed. If you like purple prose, this is the book for you. Bad writing plus bad editing makes for a bad book. Don't waste your money on this dog.
As phangirl is a fan of Jim C. Hines, I ask Mr. Hines to make a statement to his readers concerning his opinion of posting fake one-star reviews of other authors' works on Amazon. I have no doubt that Mr. Hines opposes the practice, out of sheer common sense if nothing else, and I hope that he will see fit to tell phangirl and his other fans to cease and desist such antics. Meanwhile, Mark Rogers has posted a fake review of RIDING THE RED HORSE, as well as of three other Castalia House works all of them today.
One Star
By Mark Rogers on April 16, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
Hateful drivel. Nazis will love it
I'm contacting Amazon today to ask them to investigate Glenn Hauman's call for fake reviews. It is readily apparent that his malicious attempt to harm Castalia House's business is having real and material effects on our book reviews and I note there is legal precedent in the UK addressing compensation for such activities. My personal opinion is that Amazon should not permit authors who post fake reviews or encourage others to do so to sell their books on Amazon. It will be interesting to learn Amazon's opinion of the matter, considering that they recently sued some companies that provide fake reviews.

Here are five more posted yesterday by J. Carnell of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Hauman can disingenuously attempt to deny whatever he likes, but the fact is that he made the call and a number of fake reviewers promptly responded by posting fake reviews. It should be a simple manner to show that all of the fake reviewers read his call and responded to it, especially since at least one of those fake reviewers writes for the same site upon which he posted it.

So, Mr. Hauman, if you send me an email admitting that you called for fake reviews to be posted, apologizing for doing so, and asking both Amazon and your readers to take down the fake reviews posted after your piece entitled What Do You Do To Rabid Puppies? (Answer Below.), I will post it here, and the matter will be considered closed as soon as the fake reviews come down.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Annie Bellet withdraws

One of the 2015 Hugo nominees has withdrawn her short story from consideration:
I have withdrawn my story “Goodnight Stars” from consideration in this year’s Hugo Awards.

I want to make it clear I am not doing this lightly. I am not doing it because I am ashamed. I am not doing it because I was pressured by anyone either way or on any “side,” though many friends have made cogent arguments for both keeping my nomination and sticking it out, as well as for retracting it and letting things proceed without me in the middle.

I am withdrawing because this has become about something very different than great science fiction. 
 As has 2015 Best Novel nominee Marko Kloos.
It has come to my attention that “Lines of Departure” was one of the nomination suggestions in Vox Day’s “Rabid Puppies” campaign. Therefore—and regardless of who else has recommended the novel for award consideration—the presence of “Lines of Departure” on the shortlist is almost certainly due to my inclusion on the “Rabid Puppies” slate. For that reason, I had no choice but to withdraw my acceptance of the nomination. I cannot in good conscience accept an award nomination that I feel I may not have earned solely with the quality of the nominated work.

I also wish to disassociate myself from the originator of the “Rabid Puppies” campaign. To put it bluntly: if this nomination gives even the appearance that Vox Day or anyone else had a hand in giving it to me because of my perceived political leanings, I don’t want it. I want to be nominated for awards because of the work, not because of the “right” or “wrong” politics.
As to anyone feeling betrayed by this, don't be. Leave them alone and respect their decision; do not criticize them for it. Regardless of why they chose to withdraw, that is their right and their choice, and it is neither a problem nor a concern of ours.

UPDATE: Marko Kloos wasn't quite so judicious on Facebook, apparently.
My withdrawal has nothing to do with Larry Correia or Brad Torgersen. I don’t know Brad personally, but Larry is a long-time online acquaintance and friend. We’ve known each other since before our writing days. I have no issue with Larry or the Sad Puppies. I’m pulling out of the Hugo process solely because Vox Day also included me on his “Rabid Puppies” slate, and his RP crowd provided the necessary weight to the ballot to put me on the shortlist. I think Vox Day is a shitbag of the first order, and I don’t want any association with him, especially not a Hugo nomination made possible by his followers being the deciding factor. That stench don’t wash off.
What is with these SF writers and their absolute preoccupation with all things excremental anyhow?

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Ukraine has consequences

I'm sure the Israelis are just delighted with this particular blowback from the neocon invasion of Ukraine:
Vladimir Putin blew a geopolitical raspberry at the Obama Administration on Monday by authorizing the sale of Russia’s S-300 missile system to Iran. The Kremlin is offering the mullahs an air-defense capability so sophisticated that it would render Iran’s nuclear installations far more difficult and costly to attack should Tehran seek to build a bomb.

· Feeling better about that Iranian nuclear deal now?

· The origins of this Russian sideswipe go back to 2007, when Moscow and Tehran signed an $800 million contract for delivery of five S-300 squadrons. But in 2010 then-President Dmitry Medvedev stopped the sale under pressure from the U.S. and Israel. The United Nations Security Council the same year passed an arms-embargo resolution barring the sale of major conventional systems to the Tehran regime.

· That resolution is still in effect, but the Kremlin no longer feels like abiding by it. With the latest negotiating deadline passed and without any nuclear agreement in place, Moscow will dispatch the S-300s “promptly” to the Islamic Republic, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

· So much for the White House hope that the West could cordon off Russia’s aggression against Ukraine while working with Mr. Putin on other matters. Russia and the West could disagree about Crimea and eastern Ukraine, the thinking went, but Washington could still solicit the Kremlin’s cooperation on the Iranian nuclear crisis.
Jerry Pournelle points out that it's not that big a deal from a practical perspective, since any denuclearization attacks would likely have to be launched before the air-defense systems could reasonably be installed anyhow. And while he's probably right, Putin's action is yet one more reminder of how any US foreign policy that is not based first and foremost on the US national interest is bound to have unforeseen negative consequences, even for those who wish to manipulate it for their own ends.

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Interview with the devil

John Brown rather commendably decided that he should learn exactly what I thought about various issues before leaping to any conclusions or judgments about me, and asked me a number of questions on some controversial subjects:
I just had a conversation with the devil.

Well, from what people have been posting, he seemed like the devil. But I know how the internet can be. Mitt Romney at one time was the devil. Now, I think he’s been degraded in those quarters to janitor of the hot place. Yeah, that one Romney who is out raising tons of money to help fix blindness among the poorest of the poor, that evil son-of-a-gun.

So when I saw there was a new head honcho in town, I decided to see what he was all about.

I did try reading various posts on the internet, but after a dozen or so of those, I realized it would just be easier to go to the source. And so I went to Vox Day’s website and clicked the contact link, which popped up an email.

I asked Day if he’d mind answering a few questions.

He agreed.

What you will read below is our conversation, arranged for easy reading.

Why am I doing this?

Well, who doesn’t want to scoop the devil? But beyond that, I agree with George R. R. Martin: internet conversations that are not moderated to maintain a tone of respectful disagreement are a bane upon us all. Actually, Martin said they were part of the devil’s alimentary canal, but I didn’t want to confuse the topic.

So I’d read a number of posts that Day had made and others folks had made about Day and saw all the bad juju going back and forth. And I wanted to know what this guy actually believed. Once I understood that, if I disagreed, then I could disagree in a way that I think is actually productive.

We talked about some of his views on two subjects—race and women. Are his ideas provocative? Well, you need to know what they are before you decide.
I thought he was mostly fair, if lamentably inclined to harbor some strong opinions about things he admitted to knowing nothing about. I did find it mildly amusing that my position of support for women voting in universal direct democracy is somehow taken to be more limiting of the electorate than a mere disagreement over where the precise line of the restrictions inherent in so-called representative democracy are best drawn.

As for his points about the rhetoric of offense, this bit actually made me laugh:

Offense closes both parties off to challenges, biases, and ideas. It closes them off to new information. And new information is such an integral part of learning.

That sounds nice and all, but I have a one-word rebuttal: Aristotle. As the readers here know, Mr. Brown's point concerning how my rhetoric "dramatically undermines his ability to get others to consider his ideas, let alone believe them" does little more than inform us of his level of communication. And as you can see, while I provided him with the requested information, it did not change his mind. This is no surprise.

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Kicked out of the warren

The atheists in Ireland found that PZ Myers's relentlessly odious and bullying style was finally too much for them to take any longer:
Atheist Ireland is publicly dissociating itself from the hurtful and dehumanising, hateful and violent, unjust and defamatory rhetoric of the atheist blogger PZ Myers. The final of many, many straws were his latest smear that Ayaan Hirsi Ali is ‘happily exploiting atrocities’, and his subsequent description of Atheist Ireland’s chairperson as ‘the Irish wanker’...

Some examples of his hurtful and dehumanising rhetoric
 
He said that ‘the scum rose to the top of the atheist movement’, that it is ‘burdened by cretinous reactionaries’, that ‘sexist and misogynistic scumbags’ are ‘not a fringe phenomenon’, and that if you don’t agree with Atheism Plus, you are an ‘Asshole Atheist’. He agreed that science fetishism reproduces the ‘white supremacist logic of the New Atheist Movement.’ He said ‘I officially divorce myself from the skeptic movement,’ which ‘has attracted way too many thuggish jerks, especially in the leadership’.

He said Richard Dawkins ‘seems to have developed a callous indifference to the sexual abuse of children’ and ‘has been eaten by brain parasites’, Michael Nugent is ‘the Irish wanker’ and a ‘demented fuckwit’, Ann Marie Waters is a ‘nutter’, Russell Blackford is a ‘lying fuckhead’, Bill Maher’s date at an event was ‘candy to decorate [her sugar daddy’s] arm in public’, Ben Radford is a ‘revolting narcissistic scumbag’ and his lawyer is ‘J Noble Dogshit’, Rosetta scientist Matt Taylor and Bill Maher are ‘assholes’, and Abbie Smith and her ‘coterie of slimy acolytes’ are ‘virtual non-entities’. He called Irish blogger ZenBuffy a ‘narcissistic wanker,’ after she said she has experienced mental illness....

He also employs hate speech against Christians (‘I left the theatre filled with contempt and loathing for Christians’), apocalypse-mongers (‘they make me furious and fill me with an angry contempt’), ‘your average, run-of-the-mill Christian’ (‘I despise Karen Armstrong almost as much as I do Fred Phelps’), and several people who were organising a prayer initiative (‘Jesus Christ but I hate these slimebags’ who are ‘demented fuckwits every one.’)

He uses violent rhetoric. He said ‘I’ve got to start carrying a knife now’ to kill Christians if they pray instead of helping him while he is dying. He said about a meal: ‘Don’t show up to pick a fight or we’ll pitch you off a pier.’ When a Brazilian priest died in a charity ballooning accident, he said ‘my new dream’ will be shooting priests out of the sky from an aircraft. When a Christian shopkeeper apologised for offending atheists, he refused to accept the apology, saying ‘No. Fuck him to the ground.’ He would rather debate William Lane Craig in writing ‘where I can pin him down, stick a knife in the bastard, and twist it for a good long while’. He praised a blog post that ‘shanks Thunderf00t in the kidneys and mocks him cruelly’.

He has encouraged his blog commenters to ‘rhetorically hand [critics] a rotting porcupine and tell you to stuff it up your nether orifice’. They in turn have told people to ‘put a three week old decaying porcupine dipped in tar and broken glass up your arse sideways’, to ‘fuck yourself sideways’ with a ‘rusty chainsaw’, ‘red-hot pokers’ or a ‘rusty coat hanger’, and to ‘go die in a fire. slowly. seriously’. More recently he said of ‘faux-Vulcan shit’ that he encourages his commentariat to ‘draw their knives and flense it so thoroughly the dispassionate ass is feeling the pain in every nerve ending’.
You know PZ spiraled completely out of control when not a single example of his regular hate-on for me didn't even make the Top 40 list. I quit paying attention to him years ago, and I'm a little sorry about that because it appears we missed some quality antics during that time.

On the plus side, at least he didn't end up selling his corpulent body in a Las Vegas brothel. It could have been worse.

There is one interesting thing here. You've probably noticed that all the various calls for Larry Correia, Brad Torgersen, and others to disavow me are based on a very small number of cropped and ungrammatical quotes; they don't even dare to quote a single complete sentence. And yet, there are no calls from public figures for Richard Dawkins or Sam Harris to disavow PZ Myers despite there being considerably more examples of considerably more objectionable public statements.

Why might that be?

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

More fake reviews

This time from one Carrie Schutrick, who pretends that she's read John C. Wright's Book of Feasts & Seasons:
Ghastly
By Carrie Schutrick "Neon Fox"on April 14, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
I would like to make something clear: this book gets one star only because it's apparently been copyedited. In this day of self publishing, that's not a given, so a lack of typos and a writer who seems to have a grasp of the use of the semicolon are things to celebrate.

The content, however, is horrifically bad. To take only one example, there's the inexplicably Hugo-nominated story "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus", in which a woman whose daughter has just died of cancer is granted a visitation from Saint Nicholas, and the girl is resurrected because her mother becomes Catholic enough to deserve a miracle. (And there's a miracle Christmas tree, even though Saint Nicholas makes it a point to say that he doesn't smoke a pipe because he lived before people started doing that. Et tu, Queen Victoria?) The perversion of Catholic doctrine around the problem of evil is...well, one hesitates to call it "blasphemy", but I cannot think of a term that better fits.

I rather wish I had actually purchased the book, because then I could ethically burn it; it's considered bad form to do such a thing to a book belonging to someone else.
They're so sneaky, aren't they, just happening to show up and post the first and only one-star reviews the very day that someone told them to do so. As before, I reported it for abuse and inappropriate content.

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The International Lord of Hate fisks GRRM

The results are pretty much as you'd imagine:
MARTIN : Scalzi — look, I know Scalzi is liberal, and I know that the Puppies seem to hate him, though I can’t for the life of me understand why — but whatever you think of the writer’s politics, REDSHIRTS is a light, fun, amusing SF adventure, an affectionate riff off of STAR TREK, Ghu help us
 
CORREIA: No, I think he’s a fine of working a popularity contest. Redshirts was a light read, but I’m on record already disagreeing about amusing or fun and leave it at that. As for not understanding how my side could possibly dislike this man, here is him being gracious in victory the night last year’s final Hugo awards were announced: 

John Scalzi @scalzi
I’m not going to lie. I’m going to be THRILLED to snarkread the whiny “I didn’t want it anyway” nonsense that will squirt forth tomorrow.
John Scalzi @scalzi
WE ARE GOING TO MAKE THE HUGO SLATE A REFERENDUM ON THE FUTURE OF SCIENCE FICTION (loses) THE HUGOS DON’T MATTER ANYWAY
John Scalzi @scalzi
SHUT UP I AM NOT CRYING IT’S THAT LITTLE FLECKS OF GUNPOWDER FELL INTO MY EYEBALLS SOMEONE GET ME A FLAMING SWORD SO I CAN FLICK THEM OUT
John Scalzi @scalzi
WHO IS CALLING ME PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE I AM ALL AGGRESSIVE DON’T YOU SEE THIS HUGE GUN I HAVE WITH ME AT ALL TIMES (breaks down, sobbing)
John Scalzi @scalzi
AND NOW I WILL IGNORE THE HUGOS AGAIN UNTIL NEXT YEAR WHEN MY FEELINGS OF PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE INADEQUACY ANGRILY WELL UP ONCE MORE
John Scalzi @scalzi
I’VE LEARNED MY LESSON AND MY LESSON IS THAT WE DIDN’T HAVE ENOUGH PATENT RACIST SHITBAGGERY ON OUR SLATE WHAT THAT WAS GOOD WRITING MAN
John Scalzi @scalzi
ITS PROOF THAT ALL THE FEMINISTS NEED TO DO TO WIN AWARDS IS WRITE BETTER STORIES ACCORDING TO THE JUDGEMENT OF THE FANS SHEEESH
John Scalzi @scalzi
I NEVER WANTED THE AWARD THAT’S WHY I’VE WHINED LIKE A KICKED DOG ABOUT IT FOR A COUPLE YEARS RUNNING.

Simply can’t imagine why my side doesn’t care for him… But anyways, we’ve got plenty more examples of him being classy if you’d like them.

MARTIN: I try to assist other authors (and artists, and filmmakers, and fan writers) as well, by recommending their works on my Not A Blog. Sometimes it works. More often it does not. If you do the same thing, I doubt anyone will have a problem with it.

CORREIA: They sure minded when I did that last year.

MARTIN: The backlash you are getting now is because you went way beyond that. Yes, all completely legal… but your campaign, your slate tactics, did not just get some authors you overlooked onto the ballot, it pretty much drove everyone else off the ballot. In the three short fiction categories, there are no choices but your choices (well, yours, and Brad Torgersen’s, and Vox Day’s). You say you just wanted a seat at the table. But you kicked over the table, and took ALL the seats.

CORREIA: So we obeyed all the rules, but violated the secret gentleman’s agreement you guys had in place. You know that we didn’t expect to sweep the categories. Some of the categories that were swept weren’t even because of Sad Puppies, but by Vox Day’s separate campaign that I had absolutely zero control over.

MARTIN: Your public platform was all about restoring “quality” to the Hugos, and yet one of your standard bearers was the worst piece of writing on the ballot. (In my opinion, of course. All of this is opinion).

CORREIA: So, I let something you don’t like get onto the ballot, and that destroys every other work on the ballot, and it also destroys every other work on the ballot the next year, and I’m assuming it destroys every work on the ballot forever. Those are some harsh double standards you’ve got there.

But it doesn’t really matter, because Vox is off doing his own thing. You tried to shun a man who is incapable of being shunned. He got kicked out of the market, so went and built his own market. The more you go after him, the stronger he gets. I don’t think you guys realize that most of me and Brad’s communication with Vox consists of us asking him to be nice and not burn it all down out of spite.
That's almost entirely true. Brad and Larry understood that the Dread Ilk are formidable even as the other side was pretending that my readership is nothing but me and my imaginary wife. Although it isn't spite that tempts me to burn it all down so much as my sheer love of chaos. Chaos always favors the fast-thinking and tactically nimble. My favorite quote from Larry was this: "I nominated Vox Day because Satan didn’t have any eligible works that period."

Now, I know some of you are annoyed that Larry and Brad are not responding to the attacks of George Martin and other SJWs by publicly swearing blood brotherhood with me. Don't be. They live in that community and have to find a way to abide them. We don't. Larry and Brad are not my pack, the Dread Ilk and the Rabid Puppies are. Science fiction fandom is not my family, #GamerGate is.

They are allies. But they are not responsible for me and they have no control over me. That's really all they are pointing out to the other side. Of course they don't agree with me on everything, no one here does either.

One more thing. Larry also understands exactly what I am doing. This is only the beginning. We have laid the foundations for a towering structure that will one day loom over their gates and leave their walled gardens in its shadow. They don't need to worry about us burning down their little tor. They need to worry that we won't even see any reason to bother.

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Debt and particle acceleration

This is an interesting and intriguingly simple way of explaining the debt-deflation cycle:
The scientists at CERN can create matter from nothing only if they also create its offsetting opposite anti-matter. Similarly banks are only able to create money from thin air provided they create, at the same time, the offsetting opposite amount of anti-money, otherwise known as debt.

In short our modern banks are the particle accelerators of the financial system. They conjure money and anti-money, fortunes and debts, from nothing.

It is informative to extend this analogy a little further. When particles and anti-particles are created from nothing energy is ‘consumed’ and when they later recombine to annihilate one another this energy is then re-released. There is an analogous, though opposite, process of energy capture and release associated with the creation and destruction of money and debt.

When a bank makes a loan it splits zero into a fortune (money) and its equivalent debt. This process releases new spending power into the economy producing a burst of economic energy. Conversely when, at a later date, the money is recombined to annihilate the debt, both money and debt vanish and an equivalent amount of spending power, economic energy, is withdrawn from the economy.

At any given time, if the amount of credit being created roughly balances with the amount being destroyed the spending power within the economy will remain roughly constant and the economy will be stable. On the other hand, if there is an imbalance between credit creation and credit destruction the economy will be unstable. An excess of credit creation – new money and new debt – will amplify economic activity. Conversely an excess of credit destruction – repaying old debts – will attenuate economic activity.

From the remorseless logic of Brahmagupta’s mathematics it follows, any economic boom generated by high levels of debt creation will have the seeds of its own destruction within it. These credit-creation fuelled booms will inevitably lead to their partner, a credit-destruction driven bust – otherwise known as a debt deflation cycle.

This simple way of thinking about how our monetary and banking system works helps explain what has gone wrong with monetary policy over recent years... Our own voting patterns have trained our political leaders, like Pavlov’s dog, to seek a relentless but ultimately unsustainable credit expansion. However, when policy makers seek to engineer an economic boost through credit expansion they are also, due to the mathematics of Brahmagupta, engineering a future economic slump. This helps us understand where the deflationary forces currently taking hold in the Eurozone have come from. These are, in large part, the inevitable consequence of previous monetary policy designed to engineer credit expansion.

The next time you see the term ‘Money Supply Growth’ it may be worth pausing for a moment to reflect on the ideas of an obscure 7th century Indian mathematician and think instead of the term ‘Debt Supply Growth’.
This should help explain why you simply cannot borrow or spend your way out of debt. It's like trying to dry yourself off by jumping in the pool. It's a logical contradiction, no matter how convincingly economists like Ben Bernanke and Paul Krugman manage to dance in circles, draw epicycles, and dazzle you into thinking they are speaking anything but utter nonsense.

I think I can explain it even more simply, however. Money is a measure. And no matter how you may redefine the "inch" by making it increasingly smaller on the ruler, you do not make the object measured any longer.

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John C. Wright work disqualified

Hugo Awards news from Mike Glyer at File 770:
Sasquan, the 2015 Worldcon, has made changes to the final Hugo ballot to reflect  eligibility rulings by Hugo administrator John Lorentz.
  •     “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” by John C. Wright was previously published on a web site in 2013 prior to its inclusion in The Book of Feasts & Seasons in 2014, so it is not eligible for the 2015 Novelette Hugo.
  •     Jon Eno did not publish any qualifying artwork in 2014, so he is not eligible for the 2015 Professional Artist Hugo
Replacing Wright’s novelette on the ballot is “The Day The World Turned Upside Down” by Thomas Olde Heuvelt (Lightspeed Magazine, April 2014). Kirk DouPonce has been elevated to take Eno’s place in the Best Professional Artist category.
I think this is a serious mistake by Sasquan. Just as Dune and Ender's Game served as precedents for a shorter work reworked and published as a longer one, which was the case with both "One Bright Star to Guide Them" and "Big Boys Don't Cry", John Scalzi's Old Man's War serves as precedent for a work that appeared on the web prior to being professionally published and subsequently declared eligible in the latter year.

The comparison is particularly damning because John Scalzi specifically declared Old Man's War to have been self-published in 2002, three years prior to it being published by Tor in 2005 and being nominated as Best Novel in 2006. John C. Wright is a professional author who does not self-publish and he never claimed to have published "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus", he merely posted a work in progress on his site and removed it after Castalia House signed a contract with him to publish it. This action by Sasquan not only makes it appear as if there is one rule for SJWs who are Torlings and another for everyone else, but will serve as a chilling precedent to other writers to avoid publicly posting any unpublished and incomplete work they believe might be award-worthy in the future.

While neither I nor Castalia House intend to protest Sasquan's decision and we recognize their right to ignore the precedents established by previous Worldcons, I do not think the decision was a wise one, especially at a time when tempers are running unusually high. Both Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies exist because some members of the science fiction community were being treated as more equal than others, and the fact that John Scalzi and Tor Books are AGAIN the incongruous beneficiary of this sort of quietly preferential treatment is further evidence of the influential cliques and whispering campaigns that George Martin and other SJWs have disingenuously denied.

That being said, I have duly removed "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus" from the collection we are preparing for the Hugo Packet. And I trust that the various complaints about John C. Wright receiving six nominations can now stop, given that he now has no more nominations than Seanan McGuire received last year.

Meanwhile, another rabbit is up to the usual game. One Martha L. Thomases of New York, NY,  who "never knowingly slept with a Republican", has posted a fake review of RIDING THE RED HORSE:
What a piece of tripe. Exactly the kind of ...
By Martha L. Thomases "Martha Thomases"on April 13, 2015

What a piece of tripe. Exactly the kind of fiction that appeals to men who are insecure in their masculinity. My only regret is that one can't rate this book any less than one star.
I've reported it for abuse and inappropriate content as a fake review from someone who is not a verified purchase and has not read the book, and I encourage you to do the same. Please be aware, prospective fake reviewers, if you lie about us, we will not hesitate to tell the truth about you.

I am also encouraging Amazon to consider cancelling the accounts of reviewers who post fake reviews. Retroactively. It's an area they are looking into because their review system is very important to them, so keep that in mind when you are tempted to post a fake review. Note that Ms Thomases appears to be responding to this call by Glenn Hauman to post fake reviews of Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies works and thereby lower their average ratings.
Oh, and to answer the title question: what do you do to rabid puppies? You put them down.
I would point out that recommending a specific number of nominations for the Hugo ballot is within the rules. Posting fake reviews of books you have neither purchased nor read is absolutely not. I have repeatedly told people never to post any fake review for any reason. But if the SJWs truly want to play this game, we can certainly arrange to bring a hydrogen bomb to the knife fight.

As for retaliation against PZ's book, my position is the same as it was when McRapey's rabbits were posting fake reviews on Amazon. First, PZ didn't take any such action himself or advocate it. Second, he is not responsible for the actions of his readers. Third, one's integrity should not permit one to write a false review of a book, no matter how much one despises the author. Fourth, I am actively opposed to all fake reviews, be they pro or con.  I do not want anyone who considers himself a reader, a fan, a regular, or Dread Ilk to write fake reviews of anything. Why? Because lying about what you have not read is wrong.  

UPDATE: Glen Hauman is dumber than I thought. He's actually an author himself, complete with an Amazon page. Now, I do NOT recommend downgrading his books, but I absolute recommend bringing his call to violate the Amazon reviews system to Amazon's attention. And I call upon Hauman to recant and remove his idiotic call to put down the works written by the various Sad Puppies nominees.

UPDATE 2: Hauman must be a Making Light acolyte, given his penchant for disemvoweling. Here is what the disemvoweled comment on his site says:
*shakes head slowly* You guys really are a special brand of stupid, aren’t you? Do you enjoy poking bears with sticks as well? His audience dwarfs yours and he’s not above using the same tactics as you (as you so helpfully pointed out). So you go ahead and suggest An Approach that can only possibly win if your audience is larger than his. What exactly do you hope to accomplish? BTW, talking about the Hugo Awards without actually talking about the Hugo Awards is dishonest. Why not use an honest title, like “Vox is a horrible person. Here’s how to beat him at his own game.” I only suggest that title because you’ve shown you don’t care about committing libel.

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Monday, April 13, 2015

This blog goes to 23

 In which George Martin is slapped back into reality:
 nathancherolis
Apr. 12th, 2015 03:37 pm (UTC)
Re: Vox Day the anarchist
George... do you have any idea how many people read Vox's blog and love it?

The traffic widget is right there for all to see George.

The man has what is arguably the most read blog in all of science fiction. It may be the most read science fiction website of any type.

People keep underestimating him. People keep thinking that he cannot possibly be this popular and have this many supporters.

Accept it. He is. He does.

grrm
Apr. 12th, 2015 08:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Vox Day the anarchist
Maybe so. If that's true, it is terrifying.
Rabbits. They are so predictable. You'd think they would understand that is why it is called the Evil LEGION of Evil, not the Evil CENTURY of Evil or Evil COHORT of Evil. And he's still insulting you, my readers and supporters, even after being warned.
grrm
Apr. 12th, 2015 08:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Who's sufficient enough conservative to denounce Day?
Yes, generally speaking, "ignore the troll" is a good approach.

But with Vox, as with Hate, it does not seem to have worked. Ignored, they just grow, bigger and bigger, attracting more and more toads to their respective ponds.

Read more »

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New reader: where to start?

A new reader wonders where the best place to start reading my fiction is:
I've been enjoying your blog, and wanted to know - what would be the best book of yours for a new reader to start with? I'm a big sci-fi fan, but haven't actually read your fiction yet. If it matters, my tastes are a bit older - Orson Scott Card, William Gibson, Arthur C. Clarke, etc. Terry Brooks and Tolkien when it comes to fantasy. Might be good to have a "new reader" link.
My first instinct is to say QM: AMP for those who lean SF and AMB, followed by ATOB, for those who lean fantasy. But I also think the author is among the least reliable authorities in this regard, so I'll leave it up to the Ilk to sort it out in the comments. If you all can reach a consensus, I'll post it here and create a New Reader link in the sidebar.

I'm going to go out on a limb and assume no one thinks that either REBEL MOON or THE RETURN OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION is the optimal starting point.

And on the Sad Puppy front, Mad Genius Dave Freer just asks the question that I did about the Toad of (formerly) Tor, only he asks it about the Guardian as well.
The chances of a ‘hit’ piece, intended to denigrate, on an American populist author with little impact on his British scene, in a publication that tends to Ahrt, are slim. The chance of it happening the very day that the Hugo Nomination shortlist is released, targeting an audience who might possibly go to LonCon, but probably would not have heard of Larry Correia? In other words, to poison minds well before they saw their voter packets…

The chance that this happened purely by accident – about the same as a fully armed nuclear missile turning into a Sperm whale a few seconds before impact.

Let’s get to a second fact. Just the facts. A year later, TNH launched a furious tirade on her blog, ‘Making Light’… attacking the Sad Puppies for sweeping the Hugo Noms. Threatening to bring down retribution for being nominated. Now coming from such a powerful person in Traditional Publishing, and one with… shall we say wide influence (the links are… telling) this is fairly serious bullying. Abuse of power.

But the important thing is WHEN IT HAPPENED.

It happened BEFORE the embargo was lifted.

These facts lead inexorably to a question so simple and so obvious I can’t see how anyone can miss it asking it:

HOW DID DAMIAN WALTER AND TERESA NIELSEN HAYDEN KNOW LARRY AND THE SAD PUPPIES HAD BEEN NOMINATED WHEN IT WAS EMBARGOED?
I think this pair of tweets from 2013 will explain a lot. Notice the connection between David Barnett, John Scalzi, and Damien Walter. And then notice who publishes David Barnett. Still dubious about a quiet circle of conspiracy centered around Tor Books?


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When nukes are inevitable...

Relax and enjoy the decline of total war. Jerry Pournelle discusses the inevitability of Iranian nukes with a reader:
Assuming that we were to bomb Iran, how long could we expect to set back their nuclear program?

Let’s assume, for the moment, a “surgical” strike whose targets are all nuclear facilities. Comments I’ve read from people who ought to know something maintain that we’d probably set back the program two or three years; with the predictable consequence that Iran would immediately begin the best financed and most clandestine program it could to produce nuclear weapons *immediately*.

Here, I think, we run into the North Korea quandary. It is already possible for any tyrant to make the case that, however appalling you are, if you have nuclear weapons the United States will leave you alone; whereas if you do not have nuclear weapons you live on sufferance. That’s awkward. While I certainly wouldn’t want to encourage nuclear proliferation, I’m not sure it’s helpful to persuade tyrants that they *really, really need* nuclear weapons.


Now, of course, the problem could perhaps be “solved” by strikes aimed not at nuclear plants but at destroying Iran as a civilization. At which point we really would have become a Satan. Or, at least, an apocalyptic Babylon.


So my question to Mr. Stephens would be: short of becoming monsters, there is probably no permanent way to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons. In consequence, do we really want to pursue a strategy whose likely result would be to urge them to get the bomb *really quickly?* Or are delaying tactics more likely to produce useful results?


Buying time is always a useful purchase. And perhaps the horse will learn to sing.
 

Yours,
Allan E. Johnson


Allan Johnson puts the case well and compellingly. Our choices are few, and our technical capabilities are uncertain. Strikes at Iranian nuclear capabilities will be bloody given their locations. Commando style raids would make the destruction more thorough but would be far more costly. The Iranians have been clever in their designs and location. Uncertainties about the success of a surgical denuclearization attack are quite high for the US or any conceivable coalition working with us.

Of course that is doubly, triply, true for Israel; to assure the attack’s success might require nuclear weapons, and I am quite certain that at least some IDF generals have said this to the War Cabinet. First use of nuclear weapons has so many devastating diplomatic and domestic political consequences that I doubt Mr. Netanyahu would seriously consider it.

Buying time may be all that is possible.
And buying time is pointless except for the small minority who benefit from the delay. In some cases, such as the Federal Reserve's decision to delay the inevitable bankruptcies of the indebted, buying time has made the situation observably worse for most.

The real question is if Israel genuinely feels itself threatened by a nuclear Iran or not. Considering that Martin van Creveld has been very clear about the fact that it does not, we can safely discount the likelihood that Israel will do anything, much less nuke Iran. I don't doubt that Israel would do so if they perceived a legitimate  existential threat, but the fact that they have not done so already suffices to indicate that they do not.

After reading several of van Creveld's books from THE TRANSFORMATION OF WAR to A HISTORY OF STRATEGY and TECHNOLOGY AND WAR, it has become very clear that the primary military function of nuclear weapons is to take 20th century total war off the table. This does not mean that war will not take place, but rather, that it will take place on a scale more similar to those wars prior to the mass mobilizations of entire populations and the targeting of enemy civilians.

Remember, war has historically almost NEVER been primarily about killing the enemy, but rather destroying his will to fight by demoralizing him. And that should be of considerably more concern to an utterly, and literally, de-moralized West than one more nation possessing weapons it has no intention of using unless attacked.

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Mailvox: refuting the rhetorical

JD has a suggestion which makes superficial sense, although I tend to doubt it will accomplish anything given the inability of rhetorical minds to change based on information:
I got an idea reading your latest post about George R. R. Martin baiting the hook. Martin just reiterates the same litany of labels/misrepresentations that people love to affix to you but I seriously doubt he has spent any time on your blog or twitter feed looking for the relevant posts and quotes to read for himself- so maybe it would be useful to put them all together in one convenient place for all to read. I am suggesting you put together a FAQ relating to Sad/Rabid Puppies and yourself in general that you put front and center on your blog. I think it could serve a variety of purposes. (It would be a fun little museum of SJW's lies and misrepresentations about you and would be more fun to browse than a freak show at the circus.) 

I have spent a fair amount of time lately around the web and social media reading what your detractors say about you and Sad/Rabid puppies. Whether it is blog, Reddit, Twitter, etc., they trot out the same accusations: "he said black people are savages, he thinks it's okay to throw acid in women's faces, he got kicked out of the SFWA because he used the SFWA communication channels to spread racism, he is a white-supremacist, he is a Christian dominionist, he has said that he hates women, he is trying to destroy the Hugos, he gamed the Hugos..."

I know you have addressed these kinds of things as you have encountered them, but I think it would be helpful to put them all in one place, especially now that the mainstream media is taking notice of the Hugo situation. Quote the SJW's accusation, link to the relevant blog entries if applicable, define yourself in your own words, and most importantly- make people accountable for twisting your words and misrepresenting you. I'm sure the Ilk wouldn't mind helping you collect and catalogue the slanders against you.
As I said, I'm skeptical, but it can't hurt. To address the specific accusations:
  1. I did not say black people are savages. I said one black individual, N.K. Jemisin, was a half-savage. I was wrong. She is, we are reliably informed by Ms Jemisin herself, a full savage. In addition to falsely claiming that I am "a self-described misogynist, racist, anti-Semite, and a few other flavors of asshole", the charming Ms Jemisin has also claimed "a) that Heinlein was racist as *fuck*, and b) most of science fiction fandom was too." It's mildly amusing to see science fiction fandom fall all over itself to call me racist in defense of the woman who has openly, and repeatedly, declared that they are racists.
  2. I do not think it is okay to throw acid in women's faces for any reason. I do think the Taliban are rational and that their policy of mutilating and murdering those who threaten their way of life reflects their objectives and their ruthlessness rather than an inability to think rationally. The fact that they have successively defeated the Red Army and NATO in Afghanistan tends to support my case.
  3. I was not kicked out of SFWA for any reason. The SFWA Board voted to expel me, but the membership never followed suit as required by the bylaws at the time. And no reason was given by the SFWA Board for its vote. The real reason was that Patrick Nielsen Hayden and John Scalzi refused to pay their dues to SFWA and presented the board with choice between me and a Senior Editor at Tor Books as well as its three-time former president.
  4. I am not a white supremacist. I am a Native American with considerable Mexican heritage. Mexican Revolutionary heritage to be precise. I am not a supremacist of any kind, but I would be better described as an East Asian supremacist. I tend to prefer Western European culture, specifically Italian culture, but I am an East Asian Studies major, I lived and studied in Japan, and I still speak some Japanese.
  5. I could not unreasonably be described as a small-d Christian dominionist, but I am more accurately described as a Western Civilizationist. I believe that any civilized Western society will be a Christian one or it will cease to be civilized... if it manages to survive at all. The explosion of Christianity throughout Asia versus Western postchristianity is one reason I think the future favors Asian civilization in the long term. I think Europe is in the process of going back to being the historical sideshow it was prior to the 1500s.
  6. I am not trying to destroy the Hugo Awards. I am indifferent to their fate.
  7. I did not game the 2014 Hugo Awards. After being falsely accused of doing so by numerous parties, I decided to demonstrate the absurdity of the accusation by gaming the 2015 Awards. I trust my innocence with regards to the 2014 Awards is now clear and I look forward to receiving apologies from those who falsely accused me.
Anything else? I tend to doubt knowing the relevant facts will affect many opinions, for the obvious reason that if you are inclined to write someone off completely because you heard they once called someone a "half-savage", you are providing a very strong indication that your mind is limited to the rhetorical level.

Indeed, the fact that the same ungrammatical excerpt chopped out of the middle of a sentence keeps being trotted out again and again should alert the dialectical mind to the probability that there simply isn't very much, if any, there there. The complete sentence, which for obvious reasons is almost never quoted, much less quoted in context, is this:

"Being an educated, but ignorant half-savage, with little more understanding of what it took to build a new literature by "a bunch of beardy old middle-class middle-American guys" than an illiterate Igbotu tribesman has of how to build a jet engine, Jemisin clearly does not understand that her dishonest call for "reconciliation" and even more diversity within SF/F is tantamount to a call for its decline into irrelevance."

But it is entirely obvious that we're not dealing with dialectical minds capable of logic, we're dealing with rhetorical minds that are swayed solely by emotion. Such minds can be changed, but not by facts and reason. The more successful we are, and the more staunchly we stand, the more of them that will come over to our side for a whole host of "reasons" that will neither make sense to us nor withstand logical scrutiny.

Especially when this is what passes for the honest dialogue and debate from the other side when they come to comment here:
What does a right-wing fundamentalist southern Baptist do that's "civilized"? - fuck his sister? Sodomize pigs and goats? Masturbate with his own gun? Beat his wife with a copy of the Bible? Dress in white sheets while spewing the kind of racist garbage that Hitler would be proud of? Too bad your mum didn't abort you. At least you're an old fuck who will die before me, so I can laugh over how few people come to your funeral.

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