Friday, October 31, 2014

SpaceShip Two down

The right stuff returns. You have to respect the courage of the men flying private test rockets into space:
Virgin Galactic’s suborbital commercial spacecraft SpaceShipTwo has crashed during a test flight in the Mojave Desert about 95 miles north of Los Angeles, according to NBC affiliate KGET. The California Highway Patrol has confirmed that one of the two pilots aboard the vehicle is dead; and the other is in critical condition.


This is how you do it.

Since we've been talking about #GamerGate all day today, I thought we ought to actually talk about games too, which makes this the perfect time to post this article about one of the great, and massively underrated game designers, Steve Fawkner.
Fawkner released his first full game, Quest for the Holy Grail, for the Sinclair Spectrum in 1983. "I didn't know about publishing or about how to get a game to the store," he says. "So what I would do is go to a gaming convention and take some copies of Quest for the Holy Grail in a snap-lock bag, with some instructions just printed out."

He gave them away to attendees, free of charge, with a message at the start and end of the game requesting players send $5 to fund the next one. He didn't expect to earn a penny, but Fawkner got 32 checks — earning $160.

Encouraged by this unexpected success, he developed more games, building up a mailing list of people who liked his work. He'd send them games through the mail, and they'd pay another $5 for each title they enjoyed. "It was extremely, extremely primitive, but it was kind of pizza and beer money when I was a teen."

Then one day in early 1989 he finished a game that seemed too good to give away, either in snap-lock bags or through snail mail to his small list of previous customers. Warlords combined two games Fawkner had been playing at the time: a strategy video game called Empire, by White Wolf Productions co-founder and former Space Shuttle Program flight designer Mark Baldwin, and a board game by TSR called Dragons of Glory. A turn-based affair, it put you in charge of one or more clans — each possessing heroes and citadels and soldiers — and asked you conquer at least two-thirds of the map.

Fawkner thought maybe he could sell Warlords commercially. "I sent it around to a few publishers," he says, "and just got told no. They weren't interested in a game that was 90 percent finished by someone they'd never heard of." He also sent it to distributors, unaware of the difference between the two. "They certainly weren't interested in something that didn't come shrink-wrapped in a box."

Almost ready to give up, Fawkner chased one last lead: Strategic Studies Group (SSG) in Sydney. "They do strategy games," he remembers a friend saying. "OK, they're tanks and planes and military kind of strategy, but why don't you send it to them?" Fawkner shipped a copy off, and initially heard no response.

"Six weeks later, I got a phone call," he recalls. SSG co-founder Ian Trout confessed that his company had thrown the game out because it had knights and dragons in it, but they gave it another look after his son, Alex Shore, found the Warlords disk and dug in. "I owe Alex a huge debt of gratitude for actually finding my game in the garbage and playing it," Fawkner says. "Because SSG published it. It reviewed really well, sold I think tens or hundreds of thousands of units and did very nicely."
Steve's a modest man. Warlords was also CGW's 1991 Game of the Year. It's still such a good game that Ender still plays it from time to time when he isn't playing Fantasy General or Civ5. Warlords 2 was even better, although I thought 3 and 4 lost a bit of the plot, being too influenced by the newfound popularity of the RTS genre.

But then to come back with Puzzle Quest, which started the whole Puzzle RPG craze, was simply amazing. Anyhow, notice that not only did no one ever welcome to the industry with encouragement and snuggles, but despite the massive respect with which he is regarded by veterans throughout the industry, he still has to scratch and claw to find the money to make the games he wants to make.

I still have my original boxes, manuals, and disks for Warlords here in my library, an honor I convey on only the very best classic games.


Ace of Spades discusses #GamerGate

He's talking with Clark of PopeHat on the subject. Clark has an interesting tribalistic interpretation of the cultural war. His idea is that many people's position is primarily based on their tribal identity rather than on the basis of an actual opinion on the subject.

WARNING TO CERTAIN SOUTHRONS: I'm listening and some minor Moldbuggery is involved.

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They just never stop. Which is fine, the important thing to keep in mind is that they never stop lying. A comment from Judge Judy & Executioner:
Vox; your late latching on to #gg and insistence on establishing yourself as a cheerleader despite the fact that the main #gg either didn't know who you are or if the did, didn't want you, has made me realize your sigmaness is less about being an alpha with no interest in playing the game and more about being a gamma who's figured out how to.

Maybe that analysis is wrong, but this who thing has been very gammay of you
This is interesting because it not only demonstrates the usual SJW dishonesty and inability to understand the other side, but also shows how #GamerGate is now perceived as having status that must be denied to opponents deemed dangerous.

As to the "late latching on to #gg", I merely note the obvious:
  • On August 20th, Vox Day posted Another Purge? about the purging of 4chan and wrote: "My purging from SFWA was, as I warned at the time, a small harbinger of much bigger things to come. Don't think you're safe simply because you're not controversial. It's not only the controversy they hate, or even the open resistance, it is the mere fact of failing to kowtow to their dogma."
  • On August 21st, Vox Day posted "Kotaku and the Quinnspiracy"
  • On August 27th, Vox Day posted "A female dev on the Quinn debacle".
  • On August 27th, actor Adam Baldwin posted a tweet linking to Internet Aristocrat videos along with the hashtag #GamerGate. 
Also, gammas don't turn into sigmas. It is omegas that do so. The gamma mindset can never transform to the degree required; they care too deeply about the social order.

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Probing for weakness

Here is a good example of an SJW sally on Twitter. Notice that it is absolutely rife with dishonesty, false pretenses, and attempts to DISQUALIFY from start to finish:
Brosephus Aurelius @Brobuntu
but what the fuck is a pink shirt

Vox Day
A subset of SJWs. (link to Roosh's article)

Brosephus Aurelius
wait isnt Roosh that PUA sex tourist guide guy that offended a good chunk of europe with his books?

Vox Day
Straight to DISQUALIFY. Textbook SJW. Well done.

Brosephus Aurelius
I'm not disqualifying his opinion, just checking if you knew his past public exposure before linking. I'm still reading the link

Vox Day
Roosh has not offended most of us who live here in Europe. I know exactly who he is. And I don't subscribe to the Genetic Fallacy.

Brosephus Aurelius
hey there's not a single mention of pink anything in that link, so I'm confused as to how it ties into my question

Vox Day
Perhaps this will help you: (link to my response to Roosh's article.)

Brosephus Aurelius
wait so you personally made up this word and it's definition, then expect everyone to keep up with it by default?

Vox Day
I don't have any expectation of you at all. I don't care what you do, say, or think. Accept or reject, as you see fit.

Brosephus Aurelius
well this is a pretty vast conspiracy put forth, I'm going to need somewhat of a more rigorous source than a few people's blog posts

Brosephus Aurelius
especially when you're making an implicit appeal to ethos without any visible standing in that regard, as you're anonymous

Vox Day
My "visible standing" is 1.5 million monthly pageviews. Accept or reject, as you see fit. Not my concern.
The object, obviously, is to create a rift between us that he can exploit; the rabbit is dangling the opportunity for me to win his approval by denouncing Roosh, which he will then immediately turn into a weapon to use against Roosh. This is the "Divide and Denounce" tactic. My favorite part is where he attempts to deny that he's trying to disqualify Roosh and claims he's merely "checking if you knew his past public exposure before linking". As you do, I suppose. But his language gives him away even in the denial; he says "I'm not disqualifying" rather than "I'm not trying to disqualify", which tells us that he assumes that his opinion is sufficient to disqualify someone. This is a key SJW trait.

The correct response to "Divide and Denounce" is to refuse to denounce or otherwise separate yourself from the target they are attempting to isolate, no matter who the target is or what they are supposed to have done. (#GamerGate, in general, has done a stellar job of this, it is one of the things that makes it antifragile.) So, it's no surprise that when I refuse to rise to the bait, he then proceeds to attempt to disqualify BOTH Roosh and me, because he's going to need "somewhat of a more rigorous source" than our blog posts. Quelle surprise! This is the "Pose as a Moderate Who Finds the Evidence Unconvincing" tactic, which is, of course, simply a variant of their primary tactic, DISQUALIFY.  We see it utilized every election season with all those fake "Republicans who have always voted for Republicans in the past, but this year, Romney/McCain/Bush/Dole is simply too extreme".

And notice how when I simply kept answering him in a straightforward manner that clearly indicated I did not care what he did, thought, or said, he dropped the moderate pose and retreated to snarking about Roosh's article. (It's remarkable how SJWs are always "laughing". They must be very jolly people indeed.) If, on the other hand, I had showed any weakness, taken the bait to separate myself from Roosh, or accepted him as a legitimate judge as to my standing as a source, he would have immediately pressed that point.

One reason for SJW success is that they operate on a mixed 2GW/3GW model, 2GW firepower/attrition on the larger scale combined with 3GW maneuver by their fanatics. But, as we know, 4GW trumps both. In any event, the mention of Roosh led another SJW to leap in and attempt to DISQUALIFY him, at which point a modest degree of hilarity ensued.
James Mathurin @jameswiseson
@Brobuntu @voxday Don't forget he's also an admitted rapist.

Vox Day
No, that's John "I'm a rapist" @scalzi. You can even hear him admit it here: (link to MP3)

James Mathurin
Nah, it's Roosh.

Vox Day
That's a direct quote from 25 October 2012. You literally can't get any more "self-admitted rapist" than that.

James Mathurin
At some point, will you explain why you think I care? I was talking about Roosh V being an admitted rapist.

Vox Day
You've provided no evidence at all. I've provided conclusive proof that John Scalzi is a self-admitted rapist.

Vox Day
So, you are actually saying that you don't care that John Scalzi is a self-admitted rapist. Wow just wow.

Brosephus Aurelius
11/10 wizard tier trolling
This is another point to notice. SJWs are shameless hypocrites. They will completely ignore the very same charges that they hurl - in this case, a knowingly false charge against Roosh for "violating" a U.S. state's age of consent law in a country with a lower age of consent - against their targets if those charges are directed at them or someone they consider to be on their side. While you can easily expose their hypocrisy in the eyes of others, being exposed won't even slow them down, so don't hang your hat on it.

Notice that I am expected to care about his undocumented claim that someone he is attacking is "an admitted rapist", but he is not expected to care about my documented proof that someone else is a "self-admitted rapist", which is exactly what Roosh describes in the article the SJWs are trying to DISQUALIFY: "SJW’s do not believe in objectivity. Instead, speech and ideas must be viewed relatively depending on the source and its intended audience.... SJW’s have started labeling men as rapists based on anonymous internet allegations, even when the supposed victims never reported the crime to police." 

You have to admit, he certainly called that one correctly.

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SJWs and the mask of sanity

Roosh wrote a very important column delving into what Social Justice Warriors are, what they do, and how they go about doing it:
Social justice warriors believe in an extreme left-wing ideology that combines feminism, progressivism, and political correctness into a totalitarian system that attempts to censor speech and promote fringe lifestyles while actively discriminating against men, particularly white men. They are the internet activist arm of Western progressivism that acts as a vigilante group to ensure compliance and homogeny of far left thought.

The true definition of SJW is up for debate, but most generally it has become a catch-all term that describes feminists and liberals who actively try to solve the perceived social injustices of modern society by organizing in online communities to disseminate propaganda, censor speech, and punish individuals by getting them terminated from their employment. They have also been successful at positioning themselves in the upper echelons of universities, media organizations, and tech companies....

SJW tactics evolved by necessity to keep their ideology alive in a modern climate where science—even 100-year-old science—contradicts the bulk of their ideas.

For example, a basic tenet of SJW thought is that there is no difference between men and women besides their physical bodies, that evolution stopped at the neck for human beings and gave both sexes an identical brain. Human biology can not sustain this notion [1] [2] [3], so when a person tries to state that men and women are different to a large audience, the SJW does one of three things:

(1) Attempts to censor the speech through mob action
(2) Calls the person a misogynist who hates women to inoculate the general population from considering the accurate information presented
(3) Destroys the livelihood of the person by contacting his employer so that he is less able to exercise his free speech

You’ll often encounter SJW debate tactics trying to use consensus to persuade you: “How can you think X when so many people think Y?” As you may already know, consensus is a poor judge of facts or morality.
Readers here know the SJWs as "pinkshirts" and "rabbits", although if one wants to get more specific, the SF/F pinkshirts are a subset of SJWs and SJWs are a subset of rabbits aka r/selected. The important thing for those of us on the political right to keep in mind is that SJW!=leftist. SJW is an extreme subset of leftism, as Roosh points out, an extreme subset, and it is possible to ally with the leftists they are every bit as inclined to attack on a tactical basis from time to time. Just as the Bolsheviks wiped out the Mensheviks and NASDAP put the KPD in concentration camps, the extreme Left engages in internecine combat as readily as inter-ideological conflict.

It's a long post, but a very good one. Read the whole thing. You will recognize most of the strategies and tactics he describes as what we've seen in the SFWA purging, the Eich affair, and in the comments here when the SJW trolls run through their usual routines.

The most important thing to take away from it is to understand the complete impossibility of compromise or even discourse with them. They do not engage in rational debate because they are not rational and they do not engage in honest discourse because they do not believe in objective truth. They can only be a) ignored, or b) destroyed. Since we're not permitted to hunt them down like the worthless parasites they are yet (give it another 20 years), the current solution is implacable opposition, rhetorical dismissal, and a complete rejection of their wheedling attempts at entryism.

Every apology or attempt to find common ground will be viewed as a display of weakness and attacked. This is why it is important to ignore the well-meaning moderates, who simply do not understand with what they are dealing and will unwisely attempt to give the SJWs the very entry points they are seeking. Don't argue with the moderates, just let them speak their piece, nod and smile, and completely ignore their self-defeating advice.

They inevitably attempt to sell their irrationality beneath a mask of seeming reason and common sense. Because they are intrinsically parasitical, they need to obtain acquiescence, if not full mental buy-in, from people in the organizations they are invading. They seek submission, eventually, but they will settle for tolerance. The pattern is clear: Step one: tolerance. Step two: compliance. Step Three: submission.

Therefore, the correct answer is always no. "Wouldn't it only make sense if...." No. "Can't we just...." No. "Wouldn't it be fair to...." No. "You have to admit...." No. "If you would just apologize..." No.

"No" strips the mask of sanity from their faces and reveals the angry, shrieking madness underneath. Never forget, they cannot win without your compliance. So do not, under ANY circumstances, comply.

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

#GamerGate is dead. Also, defeated.

If pinkshirts were doctors, they'd be following the patient down the hall, past the admissions desk, and out the front door of the hospital, all the while shouting "Time of death is 8:42! Hey, slow down... time of death is 8:43!"

And this idiotic claim is downright hilarious: Female PC gamers outnumber male ones, and attributing that to the rise of casual gaming "is empirically false."

It's impressive. That may be the single dumbest article on games I have ever read.

Although this tweet from MTV News is amusing: "#Gamergate suffers an ultimate defeat with Anita Sarkeesian's appearance on #ColbertReport"

Not just dead and defeated, but ULTIMATE defeated!


Fifth Frontier War prelude

Ender is finally satisfied with his modifications to my VASSAL module so we commenced with the setup and are ready to begin. I'm the Imperium, in red, and Ender is the Zhodani, in blue. Ender was openly contemptuous of my setup, but his confidence was a little shaken after my observation concerning the way in which my ASL style has more than a little in common with the approach recommended by the Maneuver Warfare Handbook, namely these two points from Chapter One:

Maneuver warfare means you will not only accept confusion and disorder and operate successfully within it, through decentralization, you will also generate confusion and disorder. The “reconnaissance pull” (see Chapters II and III) tactics of the German Blitzkrieg were inherently disorderly. Higher headquarters could neither direct nor predict the exact path of the advance. But the multitude of German reconnaissance thrusts generated massive confusion among the French in 1940. Each was reported as a new attack. The Germans seemed to be everywhere, and the French, whose system demanded certainty before making any decisions, were paralyzed.....
Instead of a checklist or a cookbook, maneuver warfare requires commanders who can sense more than they can see, who understand the opponent's strengths and weaknesses and their own, and who can find the enemy's critical weaknesses in a specific situation (which is seldom easy). They must be able to create multiple threats and keep the enemy uncertain as to which is real. They must be able to see their options in the situation before them, constantly create new options, and shift rapidly among options as the situation develops.

Anyhow, this setup should definitely keep the enemy uncertain and cause an amount of confusion, because beyond setting up a doomed Schwerpunkt at Jewell and fortifying Regina, I don't even have a plan. No matter what he guesses, he'll be wrong!

However, unlike the generals firmly stuck in 2GW, Ender has an open mind. When I mentioned the similarity between my style and 3GW (he's read ON WAR so he is up on the post-Westphalian generations), he commented: "Yeah, when you set up you just throw your counters all over the place and I have no idea what you're even trying to do. Then they run around like their pants are on fire until you spot a problem and go after it. Maybe that's why I've lost about the last 15 games."

This quote, in a nutshell, essentially summarizes my tactical perspective, in both wargames and life: "The defense thus assumed a very aggressive and potentially offensive character."


Polio-like paralysis

I understand that the CDC probably believes that it is theoretically impossible, but I would like to see some indication that these reports of "polio-like symptoms" are not symptoms of actual polio:
More than 50 children in 23 states have had mysterious episodes of paralysis to their arms or legs, according to data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The cause is not known, although some doctors suspect the cases may be linked to infection with enterovirus 68, a respiratory virus that has sickened thousands of children in recent months.

Concerned by a cluster of cases in Colorado, the C.D.C. last month asked doctors and state health officials nationwide to begin compiling detailed reports about cases of unusual limb weakness in children. Experts convened by the agency plan next week to release interim guidelines on managing the condition.

That so many children have had full or partial paralysis in a short period is unusual, but officials said that the cases seemed to be extremely rare.
One would assume that researchers have tested the children for polio even if the coverage never seems to mention it. But if they haven't done so yet, they might want to be sure that this isn't an unexpected side-effect of the polio vaccine combined with another risk factor or two. Simple logic would suggest that if children are experiencing "polio-like symptoms", ruling out polio would be the first order of business.

Perhaps they have, certainly one hopes they have. But far too often, one sees people trusting their assumptions rather than testing them.


A throwback

Spacebunny posted this on Twitter for Throwback Thursday. As you can see, my connection to the USMC is not exactly of the intellectual, mutually respectful sort that Mr. Lind enjoys. As it turned out, this marked the end of my long-haired mohawk days. Of course, neither of us would dare to mess with "the 6-foot-4 ex-Marine badass" that we are reliably informed many people imagine John Scalzi to be. By John Scalzi.

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Brad Wardell sets the record straight

This response to a multi-faceted attempt at character assassination is one of the reasons it is so important to support #GamerGate even if you are not a hardcore gamer:
Recently game designer Damion Schubert wrote a blog criticizing some recent reporting by Breibart regarding how sloppy reporting had hurt my career. In his criticism, Damion had used a hit piece Kotaku had published on me as evidence that the reporting done on me had been reasonable.  In response, I went through his blog to point out the various factual errors the Kotaku article had made by relying on only a single, biased source along with carefully selected court documents to create a narrative that had nothing to do with reality.

Damion and I got talking after my post and in which I was able to show him more material that demonstrated how ridiculous the original Kotaku article had been.  In the 2 years since the Kotaku article, no one who has gotten to see some of the actual details of the frivolous lawsuit that had been filed against us has not been convinced that the original case and the reporting of it was a travesty.

Damion has followed up with this post retracting his original blog.

Out of respect for Damion, I’m going to update this article to be a more generic response to those who continue to harass me or my employer regarding the unsavory lawsuit that was inaccurately reported on back in 2012.

A brief recap

Stardock is a consumer software company that was founded over 20 years ago.  For 20 years we’ve made award winning games and software used by millions of people.  I incorporated the company in 1993 as a college student to help pay for school. Eventually, it succeeded beyond my wildest dreams and became my full time career.  Today, it is possibly the oldest independent game company with more than 50 employees.

In 2012, I was best known for things like:

    Gamer’s Bill of Rights
    Designer of Galactic Civilizations
    The publisher of Sins of a Solar Empire
    The CEO who had promised (and delivered)  the sequel and its expansion to Elemental because we were disappointed that a Stardock game was released in a poor state.
    The designer of programs like Start8, ObjectDock, WindowBlinds, DesktopX, ModernMix, etc.

In short I had a good reputation.
At this point, #GamerGate is about more than games now. It is a Schwerpunkt in the ongoing cultural war for the West. And the gamers of #GamerGate are the only defenders of freedom and Western civilization who are counterattacking and causing enemy casualties. That is why it is more than important, it is vital to see non-gamers joining the cause rather than sneering from the sidelines.

Because if the pinkshirts haven't come after you and yours yet, they assuredly will so long as you have not submitted to them. Consider these tweets from Chris "Sparklepunter" Kluwe in which he announces a personal boycott and tries to threaten Brad Wardell's employment due to his support of #GamerGate:
I will no longer be purchasing anything from Stardock due to their CEO @draginol's stance on #Gamergate and "SJW"s.

Which is a shame, because I REALLY like Sins of a Solar Empire. Sorry, Stardock. Get a CEO who understands empathy, and we'll be friends.
As a longtime game reviewer, I already have copies of Sins of a Solar Empire as well as Galactic Civilizations, but I will commit to buying Sorceror Kings when it becomes available. If you are a gamer, I would encourage you to buy a Stardock game today. I can attest that they are good, solid strategy games.

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In defense of civilian military theorists

There is long and documented history of military veterans being dubious about the wisdom of listening to so-called military experts who personally lack military experience. It brings one to mind of the famous incident of Machiavelli's visit to a mercenary camp:
While in Piacenza [Machiavelli] spent some time in the camp of the famous mercenary Giovanni delle Bande Nere, whose small army was the one truly capable fighting force in the anti-imperial league. According to the writer Matteo Bandello, who claims to have been there, the battle-tested general thought it might be amusing to teach the author of The Art of War a lesson. Opening Machiavelli's book to the chapter on infantry drills, Giovanni asked him to attempt to put into practice what he'd written by marching his three thousand men about the parade ground. Machiavelli gamely took up the challenge but, not surprisingly, proved hopelessly out of his depth. The troops were soon milling about in confusion and could only be disentangled by the prompt intervention of their captain.

"How great the difference is," Bandello sneered, "between womeone who knows and who has not set in operation what he knows and someone who, as well as knowing, has often rolled up his sleeves and... has derived his thoughts and mental view from outward deeds."
- Machiavelli: A Biography, Miles J. Unger, p. 324
There is, therefore, good reason to be initially skeptical of any intellectual whose ideas are both untested and rejected by those with practical experience. If nothing else, 80 years of failure to successfully manage the economy with Keynesian, Neo-Keynesian, and Ur-Keynesian theories should suffice to justify a considerable quantity of skepticism in this regard.

But skepticism is not always justified, particularly when there are more than a few experienced practitioners who recognize the intrinsic value in the theory, when the theory is successfully implemented, and when it is used as the basis of accurate predictive models. A Marine recently sent me a copy of William S. Lind's Maneuver Warfare Handbook and I was somewhat amused to read the Foreword by Colonel John C. Studt, USMC (Ret), written nearly 30 year ago, in light of the fact that some critics of maneuver warfare doctrine, to say nothing of 4GW theory, are still attempting to DISQUALIFY Mr. Lind's ideas on the grounds of his lack of military service.
The author of this book has never served a day of active military duty, and he has never been shot at, although there are no doubt some senior officers who would like to remedy that latter deficiency. Yet he demonstrates an amazing understanding of the art of war, as have only a small handful of military thinkers I have come across in my career.

I served over 31 years active duty with the Marine Corps, saw combat in both Korea and Vietnam, and attended service schools from The Basic School to the National War College. Yet only toward the end of my military career did I realize how little I really understood the art of war. Even as a Pfc in Korea, after being med-evaced along with most of my platoon after a fruitless frontal assault against superior North Korean forces, it seemed to me there had to be a better way to wage war. Seventeen years later, commanding a battalion at Khe Sanh, I was resolved that none of my Marines would die for lack of superior combat power.

But we were still relying on the concentration of superior firepower to win—–essentially still practicing Grant's attrition warfare. And we were still doing frontal assaults!

When I first heard Bill Lind speak, I must confess I resented a mere civilian expressing criticism of the way our beloved Corps did things. After all, he was not one of us, he had not shed blood with us in battle, he was not a brother. And I had strong suspicions that he would have difficulty passing the PFT. But what he said made sense! For the first time I was personally hearing someone advocate an approach to war that was based on intellectual innovation rather than sheer material superiority: mission-type orders, surfaces and gaps, and Schwerpunkt, instead of the rigid formulas and checklists that we normally associate with our training and doctrine. It was a stimulating experience!

Through Lind's articulation, years of my own reading of military history began to make a lot more sense. But why all this from a civilian instead of a professional soldier? In fact, the entire movement for military reform is driven largely by civilian intellectuals, not military officers–one notable exception being retired Air Force Colonel John Boyd.

When you think about it, this is not surprising. We have never institutionalized a system that encourages innovative ideas or criticism from subordinates. Proposing significant change is frequently viewed as criticism of superiors, since they are responsible for the way things are, and borders on disloyalty if not insubordination. So it is not surprising that the movement for reform comes from outside the military establishment....

B. H. Liddell Hart once remarked that "The only thing harder than getting a new idea into the military mind is to get an old one out." In 1925, when he was expounding such heretical theories as the "indirect approach," the American General Service Schools' "Review of Current Military Literature" dismissed one of Liddell Hart's major works as: "Of negative value to the instructors at these schools." I expect Marine Corps schools to receive this publication with similar enthusiasm. But I cannot believe a professional military officer would not benefit by reading it.
Never mind that a 31-year veteran of two wars declares that the ideas will be beneficial to any professional military officer. Never mind the fact that attempting to disqualify an idea on the basis of its genesis is to commit the basic logical fallacy known as the Genetic Fallacy. If one simply recalls the famous Clausewitzian aphorism that "War is the continuation of Politics by other means", then it should not be even remotely surprising, much less controversial, that an intellectual with a deep background in Politics might have something insightful to say about War.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

We do better werewolves

It is a little ironic to see that despite the vast collection of necrobestiality variants produced by pinkshirted urban fantasists, there are nevertheless those who believe that the Hugo-nominated Larry Correia and I write better werewolf fantasies than they do:
Dear Werewolf mod, delete all your other f------ asks because I have the only two other good werewolf stories you godless heathen.

Series 1:  Monster Hunter International.  Written by Larry Correia, self described gun nut and nemesis of SJWs.  One of the main characters is a libertarian werewolf that has been alive since 1900.  He leads a group of monster hunters that, you guessed it, hunt monster.  He isn’t a bitch about his curse and simply deals with the trouble it causes him.  Third book is about a werewolf apocalypse.

Series 2: Arts of Dark and Light series.  Written by Vox Day.  Great Satan of the SJWs.  Werewolfs are created in his series in the short story "The Last Witchking".  A pregnant wolf is f----- in a demonic ritual, then boom werewolves.  Hundreds of years later the wolves are conquering nordic lands and threatening the world with their rapine army.
That's not exactly how I would summarize the series that begins with A Throne of Bones, but I suppose some of the darker, more occultic aspects of the story do get a little grim at times. And I have certainly enjoyed writing the Ulfin siege of Raknarborg in Book Two.

And, as Larry said in response to the gentleman's opining in ignorance that he could do better: "He is totally welcome to try. :)"


Ebola Weeks 42-43

There has been some talk about a big leap upward in Ebola cases, to 12k+, on Wikipedia. While the reported numbers are known to be inconsistent, I will note that this worrisome leap is NOT reflected in the WHO numbers which I have been tracking.

The Week 42 numbers were 9936 cases and 4877 deaths. This is 939 new cases and 384 new deaths, which means the number of new cases has remained essentially flat for six weeks and the number of new deaths is falling. This is actually the first hint of a positive sign on the statistical front; other positive signs are the fact that there was no significant Dallas outbreak despite the lack of precautions utilized outside the hospital there.

This doesn't mean that the disease is in retreat yet, but the pace of its advance appears, on the basis of the stastistics reported, to be slowing and falling well short of the 4-week redoubling rate that looked troublesome only two weeks ago. Obviously this analysis is useless if the numbers are junk, but if it is too soon to call the pandemic threat over, at least the situation doesn't appear to be looking increasingly grim.

UPDATE: It appears I spoke too soon. I updated the WHO numbers two days ago, and while the Week 42 numbers were encouraging, the Week 43 numbers were just released today and they are downright problematic. In fact, one rather hopes that they are more the result of belated reporting than the actual jump statistically indicated. The Week 43 numbers report 13,703 cases and 4,920 deaths, which amounts to 3,767 new cases and 43 new deaths. This is 50 percent HIGHER than the infection rate required to continue doubling. The other strange thing is the collapsing number of reported deaths, which almost surely indicates a breakdown of the hospital system in the worst-affected countries rather than a reduction in the lethality of the virus.


Sci Phi Journal #2

Quite a few New Release subscribers opted for SCI PHI JOURNAL #1 as their free book, so I expect more than few people might be pleased to know that the publisher is permitting Castalia House customers to purchase SCI PHI JOURNAL #2 a few days prior to its official release on November 1st.  The second issue of SCI PHI JOURNAL features short stories, book reviews, and some interesting articles such as “On the Ethics of Supersoldiers” by Patrick S. Baker and “The Making of the Fellowship” by the excellent fantasy essayist Tom Simon. it also contains the first part of a serial, Beyond the Mist by Ben Zwycky, and a history that never-was by Castalia House standout John C. Wright, entitled “Prophetic & Apotropaic Science Fiction”.

From the reviews of the premier issue:
  • It’s a bit tragic that you’d need a somewhat specialized magazine to read stuff that treats Sci Fi, philosophy and Christianity seriously and with respect – but here it is. 
  • This was an enjoyable read, well worth the price. As with anything in this format, the individual entries are of varying quality, but none were all bad. "Domo" was my personal favorite.
  • Enjoyed it enormously. The stories are well written. The magazine is thought provoking. 
SCI PHI JOURNAL #2 is now available in the Castalia Store for $3.99. 

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Invasion and disintegration is inevitable

As long as countries remain in the EU... and as long as states remain in the USA:
We will never be able to control our borders so long as Britain remains in the EU, a Tory minister warned last night. In an explosive interview, skills minister Nick Boles said the free movement of people is a fundamental principle of the EU that Britain has to accept.

As long as the UK remains a successful economy, Britons need to get used to a ‘very large amount of immigration every year’.

Mr Boles’s words blow a hole in David Cameron’s argument that he can claw back any meaningful powers from Brussels over UK borders. They will also be seized on by Ukip and Eurosceptic Tories as proof that his talks with Brussels will achieve little.

German chancellor Angela Merkel has already said she would not agree to any ‘tampering’ with EU migration rules. In an interview with Total Politics magazine, Mr Boles insisted the British people would favour a reasonable level of immigration if they thought Parliament had control. But he admitted that those who believed MPs did not have such control were ‘right’.
No nation in history has EVER survived permitting "the free movement of people", and the free movement of people is an intrinsic and integral part of free trade. Which is something I have been trying to point out to naive conservatives, starry-eyed libertarians, and short-sighted liberals ever since I did the math and realized that the USA cannot POSSIBLY remain a coherent, functional nation under a free trade regime. This is not up for debate. It is mathematically impossible, based on what we already know about historical inter-state free movement of people within the United States.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The first album you ever bought

Just got the discount codes out, which I did while cranking the first album I ever bought, AC|DC Back in Black. Man, there is still nothing like that first guitar kicking in on the title track.

I actually think Shoot to Thrill is my favorite track on the album, but it's hard to decide whether Back in Black or Hells Bells gets off to a better start. And You Shook Me All Night Long is a respectable third in that regard. Which reminds me of  one of the things I love about Rock Sugar's mix of Like a Prayer and Shook Me All Night Long, how they slip in the riff from Hells Bells into it towards the end.

Anyhow, the code are good for a week, so don't leave redeeming to the last minute. By the way, in case anyone is interested, the preferences were as follows:

34.5 percent JANISSARIES
27.6 percent SCI PHI JOURNAL #1
19.5 percent QUANTUM MORTIS A Man Disrupted
12.6 percent THE EMPEROR'S CORPS
5.6 percent FIRST ON THE MOON

I was also annoying Markku by sending him the line after line from Bloodhound Gang's Screwing You on the Beach at Night, which is the greatest Gamma-mocking song ever recorded. I think I listened to it 10 times in a row and laughed every single time. In case you can't tell, we haven't been turning in before 4 AM in about a week.

I know my haikus are freaking intense
And even the words I made up to sound French
Don't express my feelings for your toilet parts

That is some QUALITY lyric writing.


Air strikes still don't work

The failure of the American air campaign against 4GW forces will not be news to anyone who has read William S. Lind's ON WAR:
The Islamic State continues to gain new recruits in large numbers despite weeks of airstrikes and other military efforts by the United States, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said the group’s ability to attract new recruits to replenish their fighting ranks is an indication of the its mass appeal. U.S. strikes have thus far not degraded IS’s ability to grow its forces, Kirby said.
It would have been more than a little remarkable if they had. Some relevant quotes from the newly released book; note that the most recent one was written more than six years ago.
  • Air power works against you, not for you. It kills lots of people who weren’t your enemy, recruiting their relatives, friends and fellow tribesmen to become your enemies. In this kind of war, bombers are as useful as 420mm siege mortars.  - "Incapable of Learning"
  • The Israeli high command continues to express its faith in the foxfire of air power to destroy Hezbollah, but, as always, it’s not working. Lebanon is taking a pounding, to be sure, but Lebanon is not Hezbollah. - "Welcome to My Parlour"
  •  Air power failed, as it always does against an enemy who doesn’t have to maneuver operationally, or even move tactically for the most part. - "Beat!"
  • The U.S. Air Force recently announced it is developing its own counter-insurgency doctrine, precisely because some people are suggesting air strikes are counterproductive in such conflicts. Well, yes, that is what anyone with any understanding of counter-insurgency would suggest. The Air Force, of course, cares not a whit about the realities of counter-insurgency. - "The Perfect (Sine) Wave"
  • Air power always promises more than it can deliver. - "Operation Cassandra"

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Disclose and DISQUALIFY

runsonmagic explains the reason behind the growing pressure to eliminate online anonymity:
Anonymity forces you to evaluate a writer only on their work, which is precisely why so many oppose it. The people against online anonymity are intellectually lazy. They want to be able to tell what they think of an idea based on who is telling them to think that way. They want to nod when a minority, “alpha male,” or person who looks like them tells them something. Knowing an author only by their words forces readers to think abstractly, to think for themselves, and they hate it.

Social justice warriors and feminists hate anonymity because they do not believe in objective truth. They believe it matters more who makes a certain statement than what is being said. The same words that are okay for a black lesbian to say, might be offensive if a white heterosexual male says them. This is precisely why social justice warriors hate Anne Gus and #notyoursheild....

The real reason many social justice warriors are against anonymity is because it prevents them from harassing writers and getting them fired from jobs. It prevents tech companies from collecting accurate data on public forums. Even in the manosphere, anonymity prevents internet marketers from slandering their competition by claiming they are “not a real alpha male” without photographic evidence. Like most things, the push against online anonymity comes back to money and power.
I can't tell you how many times pinkshirts and other lefties have tried to out me. They assume that simply because one has a pen name, they must be trying to hide something. (Never mind that all it did was demonstrate their insufficient level of intelligence and classical education.) In fact, their deliberate choice of addressing me by my given name is always a dead giveaway that they are an ideological enemy.

The whole point of forcing disclosure is to DISQUALIFY, which is the only form of argument that the sub-intellects of the Left are ever capable of making. Which, of course, is why it is pointless to even attempt to engage in rational dialectic with them. Relentless scorn and dismissive rhetoric is the most reliable means of routing them, but it is a tactic that requires confidence and a combative nature.

But anonymity is an absolute necessity for every non-combatant who dares to stand in the way of the pinkshirts, which of course is why they are desperate to eliminate it in the belief that everyone will cower obediently before them once they are stripped naked and forced to choose between submission and being unable to make a living. They don't realize that there are millions who will embrace the ISIS model before submitting to them. Their triumphalism is not merely foolish, it is insanely suicidal.

Look at how panicky they sound when a few advertisers simply withdraw advertising and show their vulnerability. And then imagine if we were truly the monsters they claim us to be. My strong suspicion is that they have limited imaginations and are simply incapable of realizing that the status quo is not built upon a foundation of stone, history does not progress inevitably in one direction, and civilization is considerably more fragile than they understand.

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#1 Military Strategy bestseller

This is really remarkable when one considers that as many books were sold at the Castalia House store as were sold on Amazon yesterday. On behalf of both Castalia and Mr. Lind, I would like to thank you for your support of what, despite being a must-read, is but a mere prelude to an even more important book that will be published in 2015.

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,111 Paid in Kindle Store
  • #1 in Books > History > Military > Strategy
  • #1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > History > Military > Strategy
  • #12 in Books > History > Military
A few people need to be thanked for their assistance in the successful launch of On War: The Collected Columns of William S. Lind 2003-2009. First, LtCol Gregory A. Thiele, USMC, who helped me find some of the missing columns. Despite the book's mammoth size, we're still missing about five percent of the 325 that were originally written; as we discover them, we will add them to the ebook. Second, LL, who did the first draft of the e-formatting of the first draft, which I can assure you is the only reason the book made it out in 2014. She's a fast learner and an even faster formatter. Third, Martin van Creveld, the brilliant and influential Israeli military strategist, author of two books in the 4GW canon, who graciously agreed to write the Foreword. We're hoping to add him to the Castalia House ranks someday.

Fourth is Tesla7, who bought the book as soon as it was available, ripped through it, and sent me an errata list that allowed me to considerably clean up the text before it went up on Amazon. If you've ever converted PDF to text, then you'll understand that despite whatever errata it still contains, the ebook is much cleaner than one would reasonably expect considering its size. Fifth is dh, whose idea for a New Release newsletter turned out to be more effective than I'd ever expected. We've now got an active subscriber list that is more than 7x bigger than I anticipated; if you want to join it, just leave a comment at the Castalia blog and check the box at the bottom marked "Add me to the New Release mailing list". And sixth is JartStar and Ørjan, who joined forces to produce another excellent, eye-catching cover.

So, thanks again for your support of Mr. Lind and Castalia, and regardless of where you bought the book, please consider taking the time to post a review on Amazon. Newsletter subscribers, the download codes for your free books will be sent out later today. I'm rather curious to see how the breakdown of the five books turns out, as more people were interested in Sci Phi Journal #1 than I'd expected.

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Great Minds of the SF/F Left

This was the response of the author of science fiction's longest ode to the passing of gas to this simple observation on Twitter: "If you are anti-#GamerGate, you are no longer a gamer. You may play games, but you are not a part of gaming culture. You have rejected it." Never forget, these are the individuals in the SF/F community who genuinely believe themselves to be our moral and intellectual superiors.
John Scalzi @scalzi
If anyone tells you who gets to be a "real" gamer or not, they are stompy whiny little babies throwing a tantrum and you can ignore them.

Tiffany Reisz @tiffanyreisz
If you game, you're a gamer. If you write, you're a writer. If you fart, you're a farter and maybe slow down with the beans, okay.

Trinity Bergman @TrinityBergman
How did you know about the beans??

Tiffany Reisz ?@tiffanyreisz
I made chili today. I KNOW ALL ABOUT THE BEANS.

richfletcher @richfletcher
And: if you hate, you’re a hater.

D L Owens @keikomushi
I hate beans.

Tiffany Reisz @tiffanyreisz

DangerIck @RangerRick
I am *at least* one of these things. Disclaimer: I had Thai for dinner.

Tiffany Reisz @tiffanyreisz
I had chili. You're in a safe space. No one judges you here.

Duncan Ellis @DunxIsWriting
"Luke, I am your farter."

Tiffany Reisz @tiffanyreisz
Butt Solo #starfarts

Marcos Astorga @GMarcos69
I fart more than i game or read so I guess that makes me a member of #Fartgate.

Tiffany Reisz @tiffanyreisz
It's about ethics in farting.

Marilyn Holt @merlintheholt
beans, beans, the magical fruit...

D L Owens ?@keikomushi
One of the easiest ways to make new friends is to discuss bodily functions. We all appreciate it on some level.

D L Owens ?@keikomushi
In this regard, farts bring people together. :-D
Brilliant. While McRapey claims anyone who classifies gamers is to be ignored, genuine gaming professionals and executives in industries that sell into the games market are constantly analyzing who is a real gamer or not, because if you are going to make a high-powered CPU or an expensive graphics chip, you are not going to sell very many of them to the Farmville and Candy Crush Saga aficionados, regardless of how much they play those games.

It's not that one can't make money on casual games, it's that the people who play them don't consist of a market that a) spends much money per person or b) consists of a coherent and identifiable culture. This is why, despite its popularity, we are unlikely to see Tor Books publishing a line of Farmville novels any time soon, Rovio's success in turning Angry Birds into a brand notwithstanding.

Gamasutra notes 15 Factors of Classification distinguishing hardcore gamers from non-gamers: "Hardcore gamers are clearly different from casual gamers, and the characteristics of hardcore and casual gamers will also be different from those who are generally uninterested in interactive entertainment."

One could usefully define a "real gamer" as a player of games who plays 20+ hours of PC/console games per week and spends or consumes more than $500 on games and game-related products in a year. For example, the NPD Group describes "core gamers" in a similar manner: The NPD Group describes “core gamers” as any individuals who spend more than five hours a week playing games on a home console such as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, a Windows PC or a Mac. By these standards, there are currently over 34 million core gamers in the United States, and they are playing video games for an average of 22 hours every week.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Everything has fallen into place

Now isn't that just unfortunate:
Former CBC radio star Jian Ghomeshi took to Facebook Sunday, publishing an extraordinary account of what he says led to his termination from the public broadcaster.  The CBC announced Sunday it was severing ties with Mr. Ghomeshi, citing “information” it had recently learned about the popular host of Q on CBC Radio and CBC TV....

Mr. Ghomeshi details an “on and off” relationship with a woman in her mid-20s, which included “adventurous forms of sex that included role-play, dominance and submission.” After he opted to end the relationship, Mr. Ghomeshi said an anonymous woman began reaching out to his former partners, “to tell them she had been a victim of abusive relations with me. In other words, someone was reframing what had been an ongoing consensual relationship as something nefarious.”

Mr. Ghomeshi said a freelance writer started probing the allegations and he has “lived with the threat that this stuff would be thrown out there.” He said he informed CBC of the allegations and the broadcaster was part of a team that dealt “with this for months.”

“They said they’re not concerned about the legal side,” Mr. Ghomeshi wrote. “But then they said that this type of sexual behavior was unbecoming of a prominent host on the CBC.”
Probing the allegations. Living with the threat. Unbecoming sexual behavior. Indeed. In case you'd forgotten, Mr. Ghomeshi once hosted Rapey McRaperson and helped him record some vocals for the Pink Rabbit Posse's hit number. I can't help but wonder: what panoply of perversions will freelance writers eventually uncover about his co-vocalist?

Ask not for whom the pinkshirts come
Crawling on hand and knee.
A-slavering from their forked tongues
They come, they come for thee!

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ON WAR by William S. Lind

ON WAR The collected columns of William S. Lind 2003-2009 is a seven-year collection of columns written by the father of 4th Generation War theory while observing the U.S. invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq. It is an intriguing account of a war in progress, as seen through the eyes of a military theorist able to anticipate events with an almost prophetic degree of accuracy. Throughout the book, 4GW theory is defined, described, and refined as events in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other places demonstrate the theory’s utility in making sense of current events and predicting future ones. The inevitable failure of the New Iraqi Army and the U.S.-installed al-Maliki government is explained years in advance, as is the rise of the Islamic State and other 4th Generation forces presently battling for power in post-occupation Iraq.

Lind also makes an ominous, but compelling case for the gradual spread of 4th Generation chaos and the decline of the state throughout the world, including in the United States of America. Featuring a Foreword by the brilliant Israeli military theorist Martin van Creveld, On War is a fascinating book that is a must-read for every military professional, wargamer, and amateur student of the art of war.

In one of the key passages of the book, Lind writes: “4th Generation war is the greatest change since the Peace of Westphalia, because it marks the end of the state’s monopoly on war. All over the world, state militaries are fighting non-state opponents, and almost always, the state is losing.”

William S. Lind is one of the most significant and influential military theorists on the planet. The author of the Maneuver Warfare Handbook and a founder of 4th Generation War theory, Mr. Lind is known and respected by military personnel around the world. One of our newsletter subscribers, who tore through the book in record time, sent me the following note:

"Thank you for putting this together.  Reading it has been an intensely humbling experience; I considered myself fairly knowledgeable about history and current affairs, and this book has shown me that there's an incredible amount of things I have no idea about.... And as a computer professional, the German general's comment that "If we'd had computers, we'd never have been able to (be successful)," is simply shocking to me. I understand exactly what they meant, and it's something I've never considered before.... It's been a fascinating read."

The 807-page book is available at Castalia House in both EPUB and MOBI (Kindle) formats as well as from Amazon and Amazon UK.  If you are a New Release subscriber who has already purchased and read the book, we would appreciate it if you would consider posting your reviews on Amazon.

What "Cultural Marxism" is and isn't

This is very relevant today, since it is not only an excerpt from William S. Lind's ON WAR, which is being officially released later today by Castalia House, but a topic that has been the subject of some debate among GamerGaters opposed to the pinkshirts' attempts to transform the game industry in a conventionally cultural marxist manner.

Most people wrongly understand cultural Marxism to mean: "cultural efforts to establish an actual global Marxist system". This is not correct. Marxism is a political and economic system that has been repeatedly refined since Karl Marx laid down his pen. It might be a little less confusing to describe it as "cultural Marxianism", but that's being excessively pedantic. The matter is readily clarified by the essay entitled "What is Political Correctness", as the father of 4th Generation War theory explains the historical roots of political correctness in cultural Marxism:
Political Correctness is cultural Marxism, Marxism translated from economic into cultural terms. Its history goes back not to the 1960s but to World War I. Before 1914, Marxist theory said that if a major war broke out in Europe, the workers of every country would join together in a revolution to overthrow capitalism and replace it with international socialism. But when war came, that did not happen. What had gone wrong?

Two Marxist theorists, Antonio Gramsci in Italy and Georg Lukacs in Hungary, independently came up with the same answer. They said that Western culture and the Christian religion had so blinded the working class to its true Marxian class interests that Communism was impossible in the West until traditional culture and Christianity were destroyed. When Lukacs became Deputy Commissar for Culture in the short-lived Bela Kun Bolshevik government in Hungary in 1919, one of his first acts was introducing sex education into the Hungarian schools. He knew that destroying traditional sexual morals would be a major step toward destroying Western culture itself.

Lukacs became a major influence on a Marxist think tank established in 1923 at Frankfurt University in Germany, the Institute for Social Research, commonly known as the Frankfurt School. When Max Horkheimer took over as director of the Frankfurt School in 1930, he set about in earnest to do Lukacs’ bidding by translating Marxism from economic into cultural terms. Other Frankfurt School members devoted to this intellectually difficult task were Theodor Adorno, Eric Fromm, Wilhelm Reich and Herbert Marcuse. Theirs was not the Marxism of the Soviet Union—Moscow considered them heretics—but it was Marxism nonetheless.

The Frankfurt School’s key to success was crossing Marx with Freud. They argued that just as under capitalism everyone lived in a state of economic oppression, so under Western culture people lived under psychological repression. From psychology they also drew the technique of psychological conditioning. Want to “normalize” homosexuality? Just show television program after television program where the only normal-seeming white male is homosexual.

In 1933 the Frankfurt School moved from Germany to New York City. There, its products included “critical theory,” which demands constant, destructive criticism of every traditional social institution, starting with the family. It also created a series of “studies in prejudice,” culminating in Adorno’s immensely influential book, The Authoritarian Personality, which argued that anyone who defends traditional culture is a “fascist” and also mentally ill. That is why anyone who now dares defy PC gets sent to sensitivity training, which is psychological conditioning designed to produce submission.
In other words, it is not a tool used to establish Marxism, but rather a perversion of Marxism aimed at the culture rather than the political economy. Anyone attempting to understand the pinkshirts of #GamerHate must first understand that cultural Marxism is real and that it is the underlying basis for the SJWs' current attack on the game industry. And it is worth pointing out that any #GamerGaters attempting to defeat them would do very well to understand that they are presently engaging in a 4GW struggle, and that in that struggle, they are the insurgents.

4GW and failed narratives

#GamerHate is just chock full of "gamers". A bunch of anti-GamerGater's predictably responded poorly to this assertion: If you are anti-#GamerGate, you are no longer a gamer. You may play games, but you are not a part of gaming culture. You have rejected it.
Zaid Jilani ‏@ZaidJilani
@voxday i will 1v1 u in any game of your choosing while quoting statistics on the dwindling white population of america

Vox Day ‏@voxday 9m9 minutes ago
ASL live on VASL. We can record it for posterity. You choose scenario, I choose side.

Zaid Jilani ‏@ZaidJilani
wtf is asl and vasl

Vox Day ‏@voxday
ASL = Advanced Squad Leader. VASL = Virtual Advanced Squad Leader. So, what scenario shall we play?

Zaid Jilani ‏@ZaidJilani
what the f is this crap you dont have starcraft?
Yeah, those #GamerHate guys are simply hardcore gamers-4-life. The same assertion prompted Chris Kluwe aka @chriswarcraft aka Sparklepunter to decide that it would be a good idea to attempt to DISQUALIFY me.
ChrisKluwe @ChrisWarcraft
Hey #Gamergate'rs, you cool with letting a self admitted white supremacist speak for your movement? Just curious.

Vox Day ‏@voxday
@ChrisWarcraft I'm an Indian, Sparklepunter. Feather, not dot, complete with tribe. With one-quarter Mexican heritage to boot.
I do find it amusing how the pinkshirts just can't stop walking right into their own racist assumptions. Especially how they will deny the undeniable rather than question their own belief that the magic red people can't possibly disagree with their petty white fascism. They're not only attempting to deny my Native American heritage, some are even trying to deny my Mexican heritage, which would certainly surprise my great-grandfather, the Mexican revolutionary, and my great-uncle, the well-known Mexican-American artist.

It is also interesting to observe Kluwe's foolish resort to the self-admitted lie. I've never admitted any such thing. NK Jemisin told precisely the same sort of lie, although she lied about me being a "a self-described misogynist, racist, anti-Semite, and a few other flavors of asshole" rather than being "a self admitted white supremacist". Again, I have never described myself as any of those things. Of course, if we know one thing about the pinkshirts, it is that they have a problematic relationship with the truth.

In any event, what Sparklepunter is trying to do is to "fix-and-freeze" the opposition, in order to DISQUALIFY me, and through me, #GamerGate. But not only is his attempt to do so inept, but the very fact that he made it at all demonstrates how the gamerhating pinkshirts are overmatched. It's an intrinsically 2GW way of thinking, to make contact, then call in for fire support. But even if he did manage to somehow completely disqualify me - a dubious proposition in light of more than 10 years of failed attempts that have only seen my site numbers grow - it wouldn't matter any more than a USAF drone strike killing yet another "al-Qaeda Number Two".

In this regard, #GamerGate and the response to it has been a fascinating illustration of 2GW vs 4GW. And it is an illuminating lesson concerning the truth of William S. Lind's statement, almost always, the state is losing.” In this case, applied 4GW marks the end of the media's ability to control the narrative.

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Vietnam vs America: round 2

Vietnam appears to be coming out ahead again:
According to the Pew Global Poll, 95% of people in Vietnam agree that most people are better off under capitalism, even if there is inequality. By contrast, only 70% of Americans believe the same thing.... But the Vietnamese advantage may boil down to this: Free markets are new there, whereas America has had them for a long time. Scientist Thomas Ray once said that every successful system accumulates parasites, and the free market in America has been successful for a very long time. Established businesses get tied down with regulations that keep out new innovations — like Michigan's GM-backed anti-Tesla law that bars carmakers from selling directly to the public — while politicians line up to line their pockets with taxes and fees and campaign contributions.

This phenomenon probably explains why most of the growth and innovation in the U.S. economy has been in the Internet or Internet-enabled sectors where regulation has been light, though even there the politicians are cracking down. Ultimately, the political system doesn't like anything to go on unless it has control — and a chance for politicians to wet their beaks and look after their own.
I expect Glen's explanation is correct. All things are corrupted in time, all empires, even the mightiest, fall. Glen quite rightly doesn't want a war or revolution, but that is what the USA is likely to eventually see at least one of those things as it inevitably fragments, as all force-imposed empires do in time. The UK very nearly broke apart earlier this year, and the Catalan-Spain union will likely do so within ten years.

Both of those unions were voluntary, so how can anyone possibly assume that the USA, which is a union imposed by military force and the will of a conqueror rather than the people, will not do so as well? It's simply not a credible position, and demonstrates both the lack of the imagination and historical ignorance of anyone who holds it.

NB: I'm sorry about the comment captchas, but I've already got word verification turned off and I can't seem to do anything about it. The way to avoid it is to be logged into Google; you can still use Name/URL and you won't be forced to deal with the captchas. I suspect it is because I use an old template, but I don't actually know why Blogger is suddenly ignoring the Word Verification setting.

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VPFL Week 7

89 Mounds View Meerkats (5-2)
74 RR Redbeards (5-2)

76 Greenfield Grizzlies (6-1)
70 Gilbert Gamma Rays (4-3)

76 King (3-4)
71 Texas Chili Eaters (4-3)

79 Favre Dollar Footlongs (4-3)
56 Boot Hill Bogs (1-6)

62 Bane Cornshuckers (3-4)
33 Clerical Errs (0-7)

Quite the old school finish from the Vikings today. I really like Barr, the rookie linebacker who, with the help of a timely hit from Chad Greenway, stripped the ball and ran it back for the winning touchdown.


The vanishing borders

Post-WWI borders are dissolving, and not in the way that the globalists were anticipating:
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon gave a wide-ranging and provocative interview to NPR earlier this week. Of particular interest was his recognition that the national borders that were created after World War I are dissolving:

The borders of many Arab states were drawn up by Westerners a century ago, and wars in recent years show that a number of them are doomed to break apart, according to Ya’alon, a career soldier who became Israel’s defense minister last year. “We have to distinguish between countries like Egypt, with their history. Egypt will stay Egypt,” Ya’alon, who is on a visit to Washington, tells Morning Edition’s Steve Inskeep. In contrast, Ya’alon says, “Libya was a new creation, a Western creation as a result of World War I. Syria, Iraq, the same — artificial nation-states — and what we see now is a collapse of this Western idea.” Asked if Middle Eastern borders are likely to change in the coming years, Ya’alon says: “Yes, absolutely. It has been changed already. Can you unify Syria? [President] Bashar al-Assad is controlling only 25 percent of the Syrian territory. We have to deal with it.”

Ya’alon is right. As our own Adam Garfinkle concluded in June about Iraq: “The Iraqi state in its historic territorial configuration is gone—solid gone, and it ain’t coming back.” The region’s other “artificial nation-states” aren’t going to return to the status quo ante bellum either. Whatever comes out of the current war, it won’t look like the old landscape, and we shouldn’t imagine that there are natural nations waiting to be created out of the ethno-tribal-religious anarchy that the Middle East is witnessing.
However, it isn't merely in the Middle East that the dissolving borders issue can be observed, as anyone who lives in the southwestern United States will know. As William Lind, author of the Castalia House book ON WAR (which will be officially released tomorrow) pointed out in "The Canon and the Four Generations":

4th Generation war is the greatest change since the Peace of Westphalia, because it marks the end of the state’s monopoly on war. Once again, as before 1648, many different entities, not states, are fighting war. They use many different means, including terrorism and immigration, not just formal armies. Differences between cultures, not just states, become paramount,and other cultures will not fight the way we fight. All over the world, state militaries are fighting non-state opponents, and almost always, the state is losing. State militaries were designed to fight other state militaries like themselves, and against nonstate enemies most of their equipment, tactics and training are useless or counterproductive.

The effects of 4GW can already be seen in the Middle East. But the same forces are actively at work right here in the United States, and, to a lesser extent, in Europe as well.

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The impotence of the mind police

Sparklepunter (Chris Kluwe) and McRapey (John Scalzi) were chortling on Twitter the other day about how the "idiots" of #GamerGate had "no clue" what they were in for. And then, the pinkshirts pulled out the most fearsome artillery in the mainstream media....

That's right! A NEW YORK TIMES article! So what do you think about THAT, bitches?
(Um, wait, isn't that sexist?)
What do you think about that, evil gamerhate death threaters!
(That's better.)
That's right, a NEW YORK TIMES article entitled "Can Video Games Survive? The Disheartening GamerGate Campaign":
FOR more than five years, almost every word that I’ve written professionally has been about video games. I used to cover things like presidential campaigns and prison reform. But at some point, video games began to seem as consequential as those subjects, if not more so.

As they became more popular, more profitable and, most important, more powerful as a means of creative expression, video games started to feel to me like the Internet had in 1999: a technology on the verge of washing over our culture and reshaping it wholesale. Millions of people of all ages were playing games. These were boom times, and thanks not just to the mega-studios that produce things like the Call of Duty series, but to countless small, independent developers as well. Game design began to be taught in art schools alongside theater and sculpture. The interactive age had arrived, and video games were its most promising entertainment.
Translation: newbie journalist discovers games market, reviews some games, and now thinks he's an expert. Also believes that all the johnny-come-latelies attempting to make a buck off the huge and growing gamer population are indicative of more than trivial parasitism. Speaking as someone who has professionally lectured on game development and game design at a technical institute in Europe, those game design degrees from art schools are completely worthless. (Something I point out in my lectures, by the way.) They are almost always taught by people with virtually no experience in the industry and none professionally designing games.
And then came GamerGate. Over the past few weeks, as this inchoate but effective online movement has gathered momentum, I’ve begun to wonder if I’ve made a horrible mistake.
He did. He chose... poorly. He lined up with the pinkshirts against the players. If you are anti-GamerGate, you are no longer a gamer. Period. You may play games, but you are not a part of gaming culture. You have rejected it.
It’s the players who enjoy this culture, even as they distinguish themselves from the worst of the GamerGate trolls, who truly worry me. If all the recent experimentation and progress in video games — they’re in the permanent collection at MoMA now — turns out to be just a plaster on an ugly sore, then the medium’s long journey into the mainstream could be halted or even reversed.
Given what the mainstream presently represents - ideological domination by SJWs, thought-policing by pinkshirts, kowtowing before feminists and sexual freaks, and relentless parasitism - that sounds like a very desirable result indeed. Who gives the smallest fleck of a fly's shit about video games being "in the permanent collection at MoMA". So fucking what?
Other game designers, journalists and cultural critics have been threatened, or have faced hacking attempts on their online accounts, from email to social media to banking. Video games are unquestionably poorer than they were two months ago when this strange and disheartening series of events began. Talented people are quitting. If this continues, the medium I love could go backward into its roots as a pastime for children.
The game industry didn't need those no-talent ideological parasites before. It doesn't need them now. And the game industry could do a lot worse than go back to its roots, which happened to produce some of the legendary classic games that are just as fun to play today as they were two decades ago.
To me, these anti-intellectual players, who want games to be “just games” and want criticism of them to be devoid of things like political and social context, are almost as worrisome as the horrifying, and criminal, actions of the harassers.
Of course it is worrisome to him. Games that are just games have no need of parasites like him trying to make a living about talking about them. Given his endorsement of inept pinkshirt-games, he's clearly incapable of expressing an opinion about gameplay that any gamer will feel any burning need to know.
She’s [Leigh Alexander] more discouraged by her peers at websites that took two months to denounce GamerGate. Others have yet to make a statement at all. Some of the participants in the community of intelligent writers and designers who think and talk about video games in print and online, on websites and social media networks and podcasts, are being cowed into silence. In particular, if the large companies that make video games remain quiet, they risk allowing GamerGate to win the debate over whether diversity — of people, of ideas, of games themselves — has a place in their culture.
If the large companies that make video games are dumb enough to attack their core market, they will die. Intel and other companies are withdrawing their money from anti-GamerGate media companies like Gawker because they would like to continue selling their products to gamers. This is all the more true for the big game companies, which would also face an internal rebellion because many, if not most, of their employees are GamerGaters or at least sympathetic towards GamerGate.

(Let's not forget, Leigh Alexander is not only the person who declared games to be dead, but also told an indie game developer: "Be careful with me. I am a megaphone, I am much less kind than Rami and I won’t mind making an example out of you." For the record.)

@Nero commented that the people at one big company are "split right down the middle" on the issue. I've spoken to a few high-level people in the industry myself, including two "name-on-the-box" designers and one CEO, and they are definitely NOT anti-GamerGate. I would say that the most common opinion is one of indifference, mostly because the mainstream media's opinion is totally irrelevant to them. But they do recognize one thing. #GamerGate is the gamers. Anti-#GamerGate is not. And at the end of the day, If you are anti-#GamerGate, you are no longer a gamer. You may play games, but you are not a part of gaming culture. You have rejected it and you are no longer a part of it.

Anti-#GamerGate is #GamerHate.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Pinkshirts at play

Now, recall that we're supposed to be concerned that the mainstream media is against #GamerGate. John Scalzi was crowing to Sparklepunter that. But do they seriously think we don't notice when the greater portion of the media establishment is simply pinkshirts doing exactly what Clark described at Popehat: "using these pink resources to promote, give good reviews to, and bestow awards on pink developers and pink games...." In this vein, consider the New York Times review of science fiction and fantasy today:
“Ancillary Justice,” the first novel in Ann Leckie’s far-future posthuman space opera series, recently became the first novel to win the “triple crown” of the genre (the Hugo, Nebula and Arthur C. Clarke awards), but not without controversy. The central question is whether the story’s structural gimmick — the protagonist’s tendency to refer to all people as “she” regardless of actual gender or even humanity — is sufficiently mind-blowing as to merit all the accolades. It isn’t a gimmick, though; it’s a coup. Rather than seriously entertain the endless, if stupid, debate on whether women have a place in stories of the future, Leckie’s book does the literary equivalent of rolling its eyes and walking out of the room. Her refusal to waste energy on stupidity forces her audience to do the same: A few pages into the first novel, the reader gives up trying to guess each character’s actual gender, and just accepts that this will be a story full of interesting women doing awesome things.
Notice that the reviewer dismisses the controversy around whether an eminently forgettable debut novel truly merits being the most highly-awarded SF/F novel of all time. As if there was every any doubt that a book written by a female pinkshirt was going to be full of women doing things. Prediction: the recently-released sequel to this vaunted SF novel ever is going to fall considerably short of expectations. Now, care to guess who wrote the review?

Why, none other than the educated, but ignorant half-savage herself, NK Jemisin! But we're supposed to be duly impressed by the fact that the supposedly objective mainstream media praises "a story full of interesting women doing awesome things", which I note could be used to describe practically any female-written novel from The Pillow Book to 50 Shades of Grey.

Like most pinkshirt victories, this one is hollow and bordering on pyrrhic, because the primary accomplishment is to cause the reader to realize that there is no point reading the NYT's book reviews anymore. Assuming, of course, that one didn't already figure that out about 20 years ago. Either way, it represents a once-formidable gatekeeper continuing its spiral downward into irrelevance.

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20 years later

Charles Murray reflects on The Bell Curve:
American political and social life today is pretty much one great big “Q.E.D.” for the two main theses of “The Bell Curve.” Those theses were, first, that changes in the economy over the course of the 20th century had made brains much more valuable in the job market; second, that from the 1950s onward, colleges had become much more efficient in finding cognitive talent wherever it was and shipping that talent off to the best colleges. We then documented all the ways in which cognitive ability is associated with important outcomes in life — everything from employment to crime to family structure to parenting styles. Put those all together, we said, and we’re looking at some serious problems down the road. Let me give you a passage to quote directly from the close of the book:

    Predicting the course of society is chancy, but certain tendencies seem strong enough to worry about:

        An increasingly isolated cognitive elite.
        A merging of the cognitive elite with the affluent.
        A deteriorating quality of life for people at the bottom end of the cognitive distribution.

    Unchecked, these trends will lead the U.S. toward something resembling a caste society, with the underclass mired ever more firmly at the bottom and the cognitive elite ever more firmly anchored at the top, restructuring the rules of society so that it becomes harder and harder for them to lose. (p. 509)

Remind you of anything you’ve noticed about the US recently? If you look at the first three chapters of the book I published in 2012, “Coming Apart,” you’ll find that they amount to an update of “The Bell Curve,” showing how the trends that we wrote about in the early 1990s had continued and in some cases intensified since 1994. I immodestly suggest that “The Bell Curve” was about as prescient as social science gets.
The Bell Curve was an early example of the media pinkshirts attacking reality. And it is a good lesson for how retaining a firm grasp on truth will always outlast whatever the various political pressures du jour happen to be. As with The Irrational Atheist, if the ideas a book contains are in harmony with reality, they will penetrate the collective consciousness eventually even if the pinkshirts are successful in preventing people from reading a book or even hearing about it.

The truth always wins out in the end, not due to its own virtues, but because lies always eventually collapse under their own accumulating weight. One of the reasons the equalitarians are becoming increasingly vicious is that their vision has completely failed to deliver on any of the promises that the naive and the clueless found so compelling.

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Choose this day

To paraphrase Joshua, choose this day with whom you will stand. Clark at PopeHat has an intelligent and analytical piece that contains an important section on the way pinkshirts invade and take over organizations and institutions, but I can't agree with his quasi-neutral position. In any case, consider this very good description of what he calls entryism:
The entryism is of the usual type: people with blue/pink ideals join red / gray groups and try to achieve social status with in those groups, then use that social status to push for the admission of – and promotion of – more blue/pink members. Once the blue/pink members achieve a majority they then change the rules of admission to create a lock on their new conquest (in the case of academia, for example, even blue researchers in the Netherlands of all places, were shocked by how blatant the process was).

The status shaming is also of the usual type: high status blue / pinks follow Alinksy’s battle plan.

First, they pick a low-status target (rule 12). This target is usually a pale, bespectacled Aspergers-ish nerd) for a transgression against the norms they wish to universalize. The high social status pinks paint themselves as victims of a power imbalance, then they use their superior popularity to out-speak the target and push their version of the narrative. Pink allies in the media join in to keep the pressure on (rule 8). This is easy to do, because the act of social shaming is not only fun, but it’s click-bait, so everyone involved not only has lolz, they has cheeseburger (rule 6). The toxic nature of the allegations is usually sufficient to make sure that the target of the attack does not get much, if any, sympathetic press (rule 12, again: “Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions”.)

In computer gaming the attempt at entry came by first establishing a few pinks inside the community (not a problem, because the world of gamer development did not think of itself as politicized), and then using these pink resources to promote, give good reviews to, and bestow awards on pink developers and pink games, even when the games in question are not “games” by the normal definition.
Excellent observations. I would add that what I call Blues (and Clark calls red/gray) do not join Pink organizations, both because they have no desire to do so and because pink groups actively police their ranks at all times. Look at how rapidly I was purged from SFWA, in a clear violation of  by people who did not even qualify to join it for years after I became a member. The old school writers, who made a living publishing science fiction, didn't care what anyone else thought about anything. The new school pretenders, many of whom are primarily activists of one sort or another and have not even published a single novel, care about little else.

That is why it is so difficult for organizations to recover once penetrated by entryist pinkshirts. The result is no more surprising than when one country invades another that has not bothered to field an army. Once the organization is occupied, it is easier to simply leave than to organize resistance among the stunned and demoralized membership. And those who don't leave of their own volition will be pushed out, even for so small an "infraction" as referring to someone as "li'l girl". Notice that the PGA President was fired in the name of the same "inclusivity" that the pinkshirts are now attempting to force on the gaming industry. "Inclusivity" must be rejected as strongly and as firmly as "equality", "fairness", and ever other pinkshirt slogan.

What Clark's analysis unfortunately leaves out of the equation is that pinkshirts are intrinsically parasitical. For all that they preen about being "creative", they do not create anything and they are incapable of building anything that is not political in nature. They are, for the most part, women and feminized men; it is not an accident that many of the "women" who are actually doing something in the game industry - for all his flaws and histrionics, Brianna Wu is a legitimate game developer - are actually men.

It's important to remember that the pinks are not the political Left per se. They are a radical subset of it. There are certainly genuine left-wing creators, but the fact that they are genuine creators means that they have no need to interfere with other creators in any way. The more you see someone aggressively speaking out about the need to interfere with the creations of others, the more you can be certain that they have no ability to create anything themselves.

The single biggest problem that the Blue side has is the stubborn determination of many who do not sign onto the Pink program to remain on the fence until something affects them personally. I remember the cynical laughter of my father when a longtime friend, who had scoffed at my father's concerns about the growing anti-business bureaucracy in Minnesota for more than 15 years, was suddenly galvanized into political action when the grasping tentacles finally reached into his own medical practice. It was, of course, far too late at that point.

That's why it is important for those who don't sign onto the pinkshirts' program to actively oppose it. Yes, they will call you names. Yes, they will actively attempt to harm you and your career. But here is the secret: they are going to do it anyhow and buying time is only going to ensure that you will face them when they are stronger and more able to harm you.

What #GamerGate has shown is that we have the ability to strike back. We have the ability to harm them the way they are constantly seeking to harm us. Standing up to them works. Look at how their attempt to isolate me completely imploded; not only has this blog now reliably seeing nearly 3x the daily traffic as the one-time leading blog in SF/F, but Thursday marked its single most-trafficked day ever without any media coverage or even any links from a bigger site like Instapundit.

And speaking of Instapundit, look at the way more and more people have no tolerance for the pinkshirts. The mere polite mention of receiving a Scalzi book in the mail was enough to provoke anger; the most liked comment was this one from David in Virginia: "Not one penny to Scalzi from me. You can pump his stuff till hell freezes over, Professor, and he still won't get one red cent from me."

I'm not addressing the Dread Ilk here. You guys have been PHENOMENAL. I can't even thank you when you get my back from time to time because you guys always there. You've made Castalia House, which originally was just supposed to be a way of getting my books out there after Marcher Lord was bought, a going concern in which my books are practically a minor afterthought, so much so that successful, mainstream-published authors have been contacting us to discuss the possibility of working with us. I may not be the sort to need emotional support, (as Jonah Goldberg once said, I feed on the Dark Side of the Force) but it's good to know that it is there nevertheless.

No, I'm addressing the Grays, the fence-sitters, the people who are hoping against hope that this will pass them by and the situation will magically improve. It won't, so long as you and others like you are afraid. But I'm telling you, as someone who has been targeted unmercilessly by everyone from CAIR to the SFWA, there is no reason for fear. Standing up to them won't kill you and it will make you stronger, more confident, and more capable. You'll lose battles, sure, but you will win the war.

So get off the fence. Choose your side. Do something. Support the Blues. Stand with them instead of distancing yourself from them as if it will save you. (It won't.) Attack the pinkshirts at their various points of weakness. Here is my pledge to you. If you do something, whether it is starting a game journo site, developing a card game, making a VASSAL module, reviewing books, or launching an email campaign against SyFy, I will support it somehow. Maybe via a personal endorsement (or a timely critique, if that would be more helpful), maybe a blog post, most often just a tweet. I simply can't do much more than I'm already doing; as it stands, I'm already up until close to dawn working on my various game, book, and technology projects. But I can, and will, support you in yours.


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