Sunday, December 21, 2014

VPFL playoffs

74 Texas Chili Eaters
56 Bane Cornshuckers

54 RR Redbeards
50 Greenfield Grizzlies

Live by the Manning, die by the Manning. Both the defending champion and the regular season champion were upset, creating an opening for a shock return to the VPFL championship game by the dark horse Redbeards.


Of trolls and the illusion of power

A former troll explains himself:
I am going to find it difficult to tell you precisely why I was so taken by this scene and why I threw myself so enthusiastically into its underworld. The simplest and likely sufficient answer is that I was 14 years old. It all felt vaguely dangerous, vaguely revolutionary, but with ill-defined goals. Its romance was the same one that makes Randians of so many high-school sophomores. It gave the sickly sense of power one gets from finding the next button to push, laughing in a rapidly reddening face. It's no different from the power trip a bully takes at school, except now I was the powerful one and not the victim. It was something between having power for the first time and the guilt of knowing it was ill-gotten. Power, because there is nothing quite so seductive to a teenage malcontent as a world that offers belonging coupled with authority; that is secret in the way that everybody knows you're into something slightly criminal. Guilt, because it was all schoolyard. Even when it was less dangerous, it was offensive, vaguely sexist and vaguely racist and vaguely homophobic in the daring-to-transgress kind of way. Even if I wasn't better than it then, I already had the sense that I might like to be.

I can't tell you whether my experience and motives were typical or not. I am, however, certain of a few things. If there was a difference between trolling and schoolyard taunting, it was trolling's particular take on the best way to be an outsider. The prototypical rebel without a cause is either a nihilist or self-serious, disappointed by a vapid world or giving up on it entirely; in either case, he is not content to gossip while there are motorcycles to be ridden in stoic search of the real. For us, it was neither possibility: the world was the place that cared too much, but the way to be above it all was to take aim at its vanity, to embarrass those who thought themselves too composed and too in charge to ever be caught flustered by something petty. We engaged. We had a cause. Whether it was a worthwhile one was a separate issue entirely.

I don't know if that sensibility is still prevalent in theory, but if so, it no longer means what it once did. Now, as then, the victims of a concerted trolling effort are selected not only by the probable combustibility of their reaction but also by the sense that they have it coming. In the previous decade, you had it coming because you were pompous or entitled or privileged or foolish. The spirit was mischievous, and its intent was to humiliate unclothed emperors. Today, to have it coming is to expose the nakedness of masculinity or whiteness or some other sacred cow of the self-serious; the trolls these days are the red-faced ones, the ones who cannot stand to have their worldview made fun of. "Butthurt" used to be a schoolyard taunt for our marks, not us....

Trolling isn't really trolling anymore. The motive isn't sublimated. The rage is bare.
My apologies for the late start in posting today. We had a Christmas party to attend, and then there was a considerable quantity of information concerning the Great Troll Hunt to digest. I thought the article was interesting, despite its SJW slant, because it demonstrates the fundamental problem with Yama: he doesn't understand power. He doesn't understand right and wrong either, but many people don't. What sets him, and some other trolls, apart from most people who can't distinguish right from wrong is that they don't understand that people can and will hit them back much harder than they believe possible.

He's rather like Petyr Baelish in A Game of Thrones, rubbing his hands gleefully as he works undetected behind the scenes (or so he thinks), certain that he has everything under control right up to the moment that the Queen orders the guards to put their daggers to his throat. The Queen makes the mistake of not exercising her superior power, and eventually she pays the price for it.

Now, I'm hardly the Queen. But I'm also not helpless or without resources and allies. I'm also not invulnerable; Castalia House has been under a persistent cracker attack for over a month now. The difference is that I know my vulnerabilities and do what I can to harden them because I am aware that they will always be under attack by some SJW who disagrees with me.

Yama is quite clearly surprised that anyone is able to do anything to him despite the fact that he has committed counts of a crime in his state. This shows the extent to which he fails to understand the nature of power. It's one thing to fail to believe that someone is going to do anything about it, it's another to believe that no one can. But as anyone who has ever read a fantasy novel should know, the nature of ill-gotten power is that it always turns on its wielder in the end.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

4GW in Brooklyn

As William S. Lind predicted it would in his book ON WAR, 4GW has arrived in America and is targeting the police. Because the police have militarized and lost their moral authority, they are now deemed legitimate enemy targets by a growing number of armed individuals.
In an apparent targeted killing, two police officers were shot in their patrol car in Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon by a man who later fatally shot himself in head, police officials said. The shootings come at a moment when the city is roiled by demonstrations after a grand jury decided not to indict an officer in the chokehold death of a Staten Island man. The shootings on Saturday took place near Myrtle and Tompkins Avenues in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

“It looks like they were shot in the upper body,” Deputy Chief Kim Royster said.

She said that a man fled into a subway station after shooting the officers from the patrol car’s passenger side, and that the police had recovered a gun from the scene. Chief Royster said the man opened fire on the police officers, ran up Myrtle and went into a subway station. The man died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Chief Royster said.

Fire Department officials said that a 911 call came in around 2:50 p.m. reporting that two people had been shot. Charlie Hu, the manager of a liquor store at the same corner, said he saw two police officers slouched over in the front seat of their patrol car. At least one of the officers, Mr. Hu said, appeared to have been shot in the head.

A high ranking police official called the shooting an assassination.
The problem faced by the police is that their instincts are now in direct contradiction to their best long-term interests. They are increasingly corrupt, increasingly frightened, increasingly gunned-up, increasingly feeling at war with the general population, and increasingly of a different ethnicity than the people with whom they are interacting on a regular basis.

What they should do is disarm completely, stop playing soldier, abandon the concept of "law enforcement", and stop their confrontational tactics. This is highly unlikely, however, because most police officers recruited after the Drug War began are psychologically well-suited for confrontation and quasi-militarization. They're neither trained nor psychologically equipped to lower the temperature these days.

The police problem is the same one faced by occupation forces everywhere. While they have the ability to project overwhelming Mass at specific targets at will, the complete lack of Shape means that their opponents can deliver superior Mass at any time, in almost any place. The police have forgotten that their very survival depends upon the good will of the people; the people could re-enact the Sicilian Vespers and wipe out every single police officer in the country in a single night if they were so inclined. One hopes that they will come to their senses and remember this before things get any uglier.

And this isn't uglier. We'll be fortunate if the 4GW forces developing in the USA remain content with only targeting armed officers.

A reader asks: "In 2007 or so Bill Lind wrote that cops understood that you can't fight an insurgency by cracking down.Think they still know that?" 

I don't know. I am concerned that they do not, as the manhunt in Los Angeles that very nearly killed some innocent women indicated a propensity to panic and overreact once they discover that they are the prey and no longer the untouchable predators.


Pity the poor troll 2

Andrew aka Yamanamama aka @pure, impure on Twitter, is whining about attention being paid to what he and his friends are posting online:
Mike Cernovich ‏@PlayDangerously
SJWs have tried having me disbarred, thrown into jail, and killed (Swatted) for my speech. SJWs are terrorists. #TheInterviewMovie

pure, impure ‏@pure_impure
But when Vox Day does it to his critics and their friends, it's fine, right?

Mike Cernovich ‏@PlayDangerously
If you people are stupid enough to pick a fight with Vox Day, don't come crying to me.
Now, I warned Andrew. Repeatedly. He has spent literally years trolling this blog, Larry's blog, Eric's blog, Sarah's blog, Tom Mays's blog, and numerous others. Ignoring him didn't work. Banning him didn't work. Very well, that simply means the time has come for more proactive measures. He apparently doesn't understand that for perhaps the first time, he has run into someone who is more ruthless and relentless than him. He is only beginning to experience the consequences of his actions over the last two years.

But let's be very clear on this. He is the known troll. He is the confirmed stalker. And, I suspect, he's the criminal whose every action will be investigated by professionals.

It should be fascinating to find out what we learn about the little coward. As with the SFWA, everything will be posted here. I've already got Verizon, the police, and a private investigator looking into him. And there will be other parties doing so in the new year.

You are blocked from following @pure_impure and viewing @pure_impure's Tweets.

He hasn't posted on his journal since December 15th. But no matter where he posts, if he so much as mentions me, or Larry, or Dan Simmons, or the Mad Genius Club, we will find him.


She won't ride with her

The only place my Australian fan's famous dialogue took place was in her head:
Confession time. In my Facebook status, I editorialised. She wasn’t sitting next to me. She was a bit away, towards the other end of the carriage. Like most people she had been looking at her phone, then slowly started to unpin her scarf. Tears sprang to my eyes and I was struck by feelings of anger, sadness and bitterness. It was in this mindset that I punched the first status update into my phone, hoping my friends would take a moment to think about the victims of the siege who were not in the cafe.

I spent the rest of the journey staring—rudely—at the back of her uncovered head. I wanted to talk to her, but had no idea what to say. Anything that came to mind seemed tokenistic and patronising. She might not even be Muslim or she could have just been warm! Besides, I was in the “quiet carriage” where even conversation is banned.

By sheer fluke, we got off at the same station, and some part of me decided saying something would be a good thing. Rather than quiz her about her choice of clothing, I thought if I simply offered to walk her to her destination, it might help.
It’s hard to describe the moment when humans, and complete strangers, have a conversation with no words. I wanted to tell her I was sorry for so many things—for overstepping the mark, for making assumptions about a complete stranger and for belonging to a culture where racism was part of her everyday experience.

But none of those words came out, and our near silent encounter was over in a moment.
Another day, another media fraud perpetrated by SJWs eager to believe the word of a mentally unstable woman.


Female intelligence

 It appears the Female Imperative now takes precedence over national security:
For the past eight months, there has been a furious battle raging behind closed doors at the White House, the C.I.A., and in Congress. The question has been whether the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence would be allowed to use pseudonyms as a means of identifying characters in the devastating report it released last week on the C.I.A.’s abusive interrogation and detention program. Ultimately, the committee was not allowed to, and now we know one reason why.

The NBC News investigative reporter Matthew Cole has pieced together a remarkable story revealing that a single senior officer, who is still in a position of high authority over counterterrorism at the C.I.A.—a woman who he does not name—appears to have been a source of years’ worth of terrible judgment, with tragic consequences for the United States. Her story runs through the entire report. She dropped the ball when the C.I.A. was given information that might very well have prevented the 9/11 attacks; she gleefully participated in torture sessions afterward; she misinterpreted intelligence in such a way that it sent the C.I.A. on an absurd chase for Al Qaeda sleeper cells in Montana. And then she falsely told congressional overseers that the torture worked.

Had the Senate Intelligence Committee been permitted to use pseudonyms for the central characters in its report, as all previous congressional studies of intelligence failures, including the widely heralded Church Committee report in 1975, have done, it might not have taken a painstaking, and still somewhat cryptic, investigation after the fact in order for the American public to hold this senior official accountable. Many people who have worked with her over the years expressed shock to NBC that she has been entrusted with so much power. A former intelligence officer who worked directly with her is quoted by NBC, on background, as saying that she bears so much responsibility for so many intelligence failures that “she should be put on trial and put in jail for what she has done.”

Instead, however, she has been promoted to the rank of a general in the military, most recently working as the head of the C.I.A.’s global-jihad unit. In that perch, she oversees the targeting of terror suspects around the world. (She was also, in part, the model for the lead character in “Zero Dark Thirty.”)
This is an example of another reason not to permit women in the military. Women are not considered to be fully accountable in modern American society, and soldiers who are unaccountable to civilian leadership are not desirable in anything that still pretends to be a free society.

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The hope for world order

If you're having trouble seeing things from the globalist perspective and wondering how they can possibly justify their ruthless attacks on national and individual sovereignty, it can be helpful to read their doctrines. Henry Kissinger puts forth his global vision in World Order:
The issue of peace in the Middle East has, in recent years, focused on the highly technical subject of nuclear weapons in Iran. There is no shortcut around the imperative of preventing their appearance. But it is well to recall periods when other seemingly intractable crises in the Middle East were given a new dimension by fortitude and vision.

Between 1967 and 1973, there had been two Arab-Israeli wars, two American military alerts, an invasion of Jordan by Syria, a massive American airlift into a war zone, multiple hijackings of airliners, and the breaking of diplomatic relations with the United States by most Arab countries. Yet it was followed by a peace process that yielded three Egyptian-Israeli agreements (culminating in a peace treaty in 1979); a disengagement agreement with Syria in 1974 (which has lasted four decades, despite the Syrian civil war); the Madrid Conference in 1991, which restarted the peace process; the Oslo agreement between the PLO and Israel in 1993; and a peace treaty between Jordan and Israel in 1994.

These goals were reached because three conditions were met: an active American policy; the thwarting of designs seeking to establish a regional order by imposing universalist principles through violence; and the emergence of leaders with a vision of peace.... Once again, doctrines of violent intimidation challenge the hopes for world order. But when they are thwarted—and nothing less will do—there may come a moment similar to what led to the breakthroughs recounted here, when vision overcame reality.
Kissinger is a clear and lucid writer. His historical knowledge is deep and impressive. But he makes no case for his vision, he simply assumes the reader will share it; and it is easy to understand why America finds itself caught up in a convoluted web of international intrigue given the political influence of the author. The arrogance and hypocrisy in that open tacit claim that "nothing less will do" than the imposition of universalist principles through violence by leaders with a vision of peace is astonishing. And more than a little ironic in light of Kissinger's criticism of the "remarkable arrogance" of the European colonial powers.
The pamphlets and treatises of the colonial powers from the dawn of the twentieth century reveal a remarkable arrogance, to the effect that they were entitled to shape a world order by their maxims. Accounts of China or India condescendingly defined a European mission to educate traditional cultures to higher levels of civilization.
What is truly remarkable is the complete lack of self-awareness demonstrated here. The globalists are doing EXACTLY the same thing they complain about the colonial powers having done, and what Kissinger correctly observes the Iranians to be doing: asserting their entitlement to shape a world order by their maxims. But precisely how is Kissinger's "vision of peace" any more rationally justified or globally authoritative than Mahmound Ahmadinejad's publicly proclaimed "promise of God"?

And what is the globalist hope for world order if not a doctrine of violent intimidation?

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Art by Andrew's friends

Great stuff! And perhaps I can help clarify something: "Markku from Vox Popoli is proud because he can figure out my exact age based on this statement. I don't know what he plans to do with it, nor why he decided to gather such information in the most roundabout way possible."

Well, the first thing that comes to mind is that knowing the exact age is useful when looking up arrest records, birth certificates, and social security numbers. "H is for Home town: I was born in Newton." Especially when someone is openly announcing their intention of stalking someone and vandalizing their property.

"Colorado is basically a rectangle and I know nothing about it and never plan to go there. Except to egg Dan Simmons' house."

But I suppose we should spare some sympathy for him. After all, we are reliably informed that he is motivated by lovesickness.

I finally talked to Adara (you'll have to go back as far as "brains, a heart, a ride in a balloon" in October of 2008; there was a whole series of entries about it but that never really went anywhere, maybe because I was asking all the wrong people, and that's what the title refers to, I'm not going anywhere*). It was a briefer and more pleasant conversation than I ever expected. I asked her to comment here, the decision is hers to make, and I haven't gotten a response to that yet.... I had this thought lingering for a while, but I didn't want to say anything for fear that it would come back to bite me in the ass: I asked Xpander to try contacting Miyomi, and then I was wondering if Miyomi was on to me, or perhaps he didn't ask and was going to shrug his shoulders and say "she's not in contact with her" some time in 2016, and I figure if you're going to lie about something like that, you should wait a week tops.


The game of the year

Nero's beautifully brutal review of Bioware's Dragon Age: Inquisition:
With BioWare’s reputation established in the early 2000s by middling but commercially popular, if somewhat buggy, releases such as Baldur’s Gate and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, BioWare was, at least a decade ago, strongly positioned to achieve sustained success at the “average games that perform well with customers” end of the market. (To be fair to both of those titles, they have very enthusiastic fan bases.)

But the company in recent years has become… well, a bit of a running joke. Most gamers say the rot set in around 2009 or 2010, when BioWare was acquired by Electronic Arts. Perhaps it was a talent exodus, too much managerial interference or a failure to keep the creative teams fresh. Either way, BioWare’s ability to release artistically accomplished–and even, some reviewers say, technologically competent–games began to evaporate.

There is also a suggestion that BioWare’s games became unduly politicised at around the same time, pandering to what some call the “social justice” narrative, awkwardly shoehorning minority characters and progressive messaging into its plots and meddling with storylines to push political agendas that have never resonated with ordinary gamers. Practically every release from BioWare now contains dozens of gay and lesbian romance storylines or sex scenes, which many young gamers find baffling.

2011’s Dragon Age II unexpectedly bombed with consumers, despite, of course, the rave reviews from mainstream game news sites, who need only get a whiff of a paraplegic lesbian in an ill-fated love affair with a black transsexual to award a game full marks. Mass Effect 2 wasn’t a critical success with ordinary gamers either; they called it “filler” and said it was “uninspiring.” It, too, bored players with politics.

And then of course there was the extraordinary failure of imagination in Mass Effect 3, the ending of which has gone down in gamer history as one of the most needless creative failures in the history of the industry. The games press, needless to say, denied there was anything wrong with Mass Effect 3, scolding gamers for being “entitled.”

But if entitlement means expecting a sensible and narratively satisfying resolution to an expensive, immersive video game, most consumers will be happy to admit that they are guilty. Many of BioWare’s customers wondered whether more time could have been spent on a satisfactory ending and less on irrelevant lesbian sex themes. 
Don't be fooled by the reviews. As Nero notes: "That reviews of triple-A games by professional journalists are likely to bear no relation to their reception by fans has become a truism of video game journalism."

I've never been a BioWare fan, so their ongoing implosion is of little interest to me.


A step forward

This attempt by the Dutch anti-nationalists to crack down on Geert Wilders is actually an encouraging step on the European front. It means the multicultis have lost their popular support, the deception game is over, and they are now being forced to resort to naked force and open speech policing in an attempt to silence the opposition's leadership:
'The public prosecutor in The Hague is to prosecute Geert Wilders on charges of insulting a group of people based on race and incitement to discrimination and hatred,' prosecutors said in a statement.

'Politicians may go far in their statements, that's part of freedom of expression, but this freedom is limited by the prohibition of discrimination,' it said, adding that no date had yet been set for the trial.

In a written statement, Wilders says he 'said what millions of people think and believe.'

Wilders says authorities 'should concentrate on prosecuting jihadis instead of me.'

'I do not retract anything I have said,' Wilders, whose Party for Freedom (PVV) is leading opinion polls.

'In my fight for freedom and against the Islamisation of the Netherlands, I will never let anyone silence me. No matter the cost, no matter by whom, whatever the consequences may be,' he said.
Once they resort to the use of force, so can their opponents. If Wilders is jailed for nothing more than defending the Dutch nation against their invaders, many of his jailers will not likely survive for long. After all, if a Dutchman is going to be imprisoned for his thoughts, he may as well be imprisoned for his actions.

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Anti-game is anti-human

A fascinating article on the anti-GamerGate focus on narrative and how that anti-game perspective is intrinsically anti-human:
Life doesn’t have innate structure, even if you can awkwardly cram cylindrical tropes through square holes to try and illustrate relationships between things you experience and media you consume. But this gets even worse when examining other media. Films and novels are heavily rooted in narratives, because they must have a plot to carry them forward, excepting some very experimental films. Some songs carry a narrative, but you can’t have music that’s just someone talking. That might qualify as poetry, but even some poetry isn’t narrative, merely descriptive. You can have music without a narrative, and for centuries this was the most popular form of music. Likewise, games are another medium which can exist without any narrative at all. Just as music can be art merely for the composition, a game can be beautiful for its game mechanics.

A classic game that can qualify as art based on nothing but core mechanics.

One of the major problems with game criticism—the “subjective” kind that many detractors say is unacceptable—is that it is rooted in Narratology. Instead of focusing on the mechanics, and commenting on how well they work together, critics focus on the narrative and what the mechanics mean for the story, not what the story means for the mechanics, or even if the developer had the intention of making such a statement.

Personally, I love it when a game merges story and mechanics. In fact, I think the best way to tell a story is through mechanics, and not exposition or traditional narrative delivery. But that concept has been rejected by critics, opting to use Narratological deconstruction and insisting that this is the only way to evaluate media. When games naturally don’t pander to this benchmark, they receive failing marks. There’s a bigger reward for developers catering to this cabal of “journalists” than for catering to the actual audience. When the standards of the reviewer and their audience differ so greatly, the reviewer cannot be said to speak for their audience. Despite this flawed approach, proponents of New Historicism insist that all media must be evaluated this way. It conveniently allows them to cite Post-Structuralist reasoning to defend themselves from criticism of their methodology, since the reviewers subjective opinion and any conjecture they can express are consider to be at least as important as the media being judged, no matter how self-evident it is that the reviewer has missed the point.

Papers, Please tells a compelling, interactive story using its mechanics.

To a degree, it’s inevitable that this outlook supports “experimental” titles that don’t really fall into the bounds of “games.” It’s not a medium they’re capable of properly digesting, so content has to be restricted to something they can process. Funny, you never hear the opposition supporting non-narrative films, but they do support games that are top-heavy with narrative. It’s not actually about something “new” or “better.” It’s about something “different.” Labeling it “experimental” is the only way it can get a pass in the wrong industry. If held to the standards of a medium it actually belonged in–one with Narratological standards–it’d fall apart.

Ultimately what these ideas boil down to is an overarching philosophy called Anti-Humanism. This social theory comes as a reaction to Humanism, and the belief that it was too idealistic. While Humanism is all about free will, placing humanity and human actions at the center of life, and using rationality and reason alone to reach moral decisions, Anti-Humanism detaches humanity from inherent meanings (via Post-Structuralism) to “de-center” subjects and remove their agency. In other words, you yourself lack free will, since you’re a product of the world around you, and working towards an ideal self is futile. Interestingly, Nietzsche (credited as a “founder” of Existentialism, a philosophy that places great emphasis on human agency and the absurdity of life) often criticized humanism for being a form of “secular theism.” Anti-humanism finds itself equally religious in practice, but with a much more oppressive set of goals.

Gaming is the natural enemy of anti-humanism. When you play games, you yourself have personal agency. Only a player truly has free will inside of a game. You are playing by a ruleset, but you have choice within that ruleset, and likely have goals and motivations. These are informed by your situation and by the gameplay systems, but some of the highest-praised games have allowed you to set your own criterion for success, and provided you with a system open enough to facilitate that. Many strategy and 4X games are good examples of that. The belief that all humans are free and equal is a core tenet of Humanism, which Anti-Humanists reject.
The idea that the average individual has agency, of course, is anathema in the world of the Social Justice Warrior. Because then he would be responsible for his actions... and his failures.

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Negative interest rates

One more check in the ICE box. Zerohedge cites Goldman Sachs concerning the surprise announcement of NIRP from the Swiss:
The Governing Board of the SNB surprisingly announced this morning that it will introduce a negative rate of -0.25% on sight deposit account balances at the SNB. The SNB's target range for the three-month Libor was also widened from 0.0% - +0.25% to -0.75% - +0.25%. In our view, today's rate decision simply underlines the determination of the SNB to enforce the minimum exchange rate target for the CHF against the Euro.

1. This morning, the SNB surprisingly announced that, on January 22, it will introduce a negative interest rate of -25bp on reserve holdings from banks at the SNB, above a threshold of 20 times the minimum reserve requirement. The SNB's target range for the three-month Libor was also widened from 0.0% - +0.25% to -0.75% - +0.25%. Over the last couple of days, the CHF has traded very close to the 1.20 level on the back of rising market volatility. The subsequent demand for safe investments attracted large capital inflows into Switzerland, eventually prompting the SNB to react.

2. According to the SNB, the measure is aimed at making investments into CHF less attractive. Although it is only banks that will have to pay the negative deposit rate, banks will pass on, to some extent at least, the negative rates to customers. It is noteworthy in that respect that some German banks - in response to the ECB's negative rates - have also started charging some clients negative deposit rates.

3. It remains to be seen how effective this measure will be and the SNB will continue to rely on FX interventions to defend the minimum exchange rate. But the measure in any case shows the determination of the SNB to maintain the lower bound for the CHF against the Euro.
When currencies are getting too strong and interest rates are going negative, this is a sign that the central banks are fighting against deflationary pressures. To fight inflation, you raise the interest rate, thereby encouraging people to save. To fight deflation, you lower it, thereby encouraging people to borrow and spend. Or, in this case, since the negative interest rate is only being applied to banks, it is to encourage them to lend. That points to the fundamental difference between fiat money and credit money. You can print paper, but you can't print borrowers.

The Swiss are trying to weaken their currency, which is strong against the Euro and the dollar, so they are trying to make it less attractive to investors in order to protect their domestic exporters. Russia, on the other hand, isn't trying to export, but is instead attempting to bring in capital that is frustrated at earning so little interest in the low-interest Western economies.

Widespread NIRP will dictate the eventual end of the credit money system as well as the banks. If you're being charged to save your credit money, you might as well pay someone to securely hold something more tangible.

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How to lose to SJWs

Here is an example of someone who is on the right side, but doesn't understand that you never win by spurning your allies:
I felt like talking about this topic because I’ve noticed the ease of which people will dismiss you, especially if you happen to be on the other side of the Anita Sarkeesian/GamerGate argument and you’re not a woman-hating bastard.

Honestly it feels like I’m supposed to just keep my trap shut sometimes.

Now let me get one thing straight. By “Other side,” I don’t include the sexists, the woman haters and those who argue in bad faith. I mean people who have valid critiques of Anita Sarkeesian and others like her. What I noticed from my petition post was the willingness of the people arguing for Anita to not even bother to ask what my own opinion on her were. Instead my post was met with “ugh” and Feminist Frequency videos. Not once was I asked, “Well why are you against Anita? Is there any particular reason why you don’t want her working on Mirrors Edge 2?” These questions weren’t even asked until I pointed out the fact that they were willing to automatically go in on the attack before even knowing what my reasoning was.
What he and other would-be moderates fail to realize is that the anti-GamerGate, pro-Sarkeesian, SJW side is not reasonable and is never going to be convinced by sweet reason. They have no interest in it and little capacity for it.

This is the same divide between dialectic and rhetoric that I keep pointing out to everyone. You do NOT fight a rhetorical battle with dialectic; in a rhetorical battle the only use for dialectic is in a rhetorical manner; it can be used to explode pseudo-dialectic poses, but that is the extent of its effectiveness. It is an intrinsically defensive weapon on the rhetorical level. This means you cannot win with it.

The primary difference between the Left and the Right is that the Left instinctively defends its extremists and the Right instinctively runs from them and leaves them out to dry. The latter is an appeasement strategy, and it works about as well as the infamous failures of appeasement we all know from history.

All appeasement does is signal to the SJW what buttons he needs to push in order to force an opponent to retreat. When you dutifully point out that "you don't agree with everything X says" or "don’t include the sexists, the woman haters and those who argue in bad faith", what you are accomplishing is not the inoculation of your argument from their extremist taint, you are telling the SJW exactly how he can rhetorically defeat you by painting you as the very sort of extremist you disavow. And remember, rhetorical victory is the entirety of their objective!

Embrace the extremists. Defend them. Refuse to permit them to be cut off and isolated. Allow them to play their role as the intellectual shock troops they are. That is how you win. Because if they're not taking the incoming fire, you are. And the shock troops are much better equipped psychologically to take it and survive than the average self-styled moderate.


The cowardice of Hollywood

This is how to how to make a corporation kneel, submit, and behave, everyone:
With theater chains defecting en masse, Sony Pictures Entertainment has pulled the planned Christmas Day release of “The Interview.” U.S. officials have reportedly linked a massive cyber attack against Sony to North Korea, which is at the center of the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy.

“We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public,” Sony said in a statement. “We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome.”

In announcing the decision to cancel the holiday debut, Sony also hit back at the hackers who threatened movie theaters and moviegoers and who have terrorized the studio and its employees for weeks.

“Those who attacked us stole our intellectual property, private emails and sensitive and proprietary material, and sought to destroy our spirit and our morale – all apparently to thwart the release of a movie they did not like,” the statement reads.

A few hours after making the announcent, a studio spokesman said that Sony had “no further plans” to release the comedy, either on VOD or DVD.
Christians aren't comfortable killing people who insult their faith and their Lord and Savior. That's one reason most anti-religionists are so much more inclined to attack Christians rather than Muslims. But no one was actually harmed in the cyber attack on Sony; all that happened was some information that the studio would rather have kept under wraps has been distributed to the public.

Perhaps entertainment corporations would be more inclined to show civility and respect to Christians again if some of us applied the lesson we've learned from the supposed North Korean example.

It is, of course, vastly amusing to see a Hollywood entity complaining about someone else seeking to destroy their spirit and morale. Isn't that exactly what Hollywood has been relentlessly doing to Western civilization since the 1960s?

It's not easy to make the North Koreans look good, but Sony somehow managed it. They're typical SJWs, paper tigers, able only to apply the heat but never to bear it themselves. No wonder people in Hollywood are always giving each other "courage" awards and talking about how brave they are. They are cowards and they know it.

If Sony had any balls at all, if they were truly convinced of their own rectitude, they would have released the film even if every theatre in America refused to show it. And the fact that they backed down after several sets of information were released makes one wonder what it is they are still trying to hide. From now on, we know that North Korea has an effective veto over Sony, if not the rest of Hollywood.

What a pity they didn't decide to target The Hobbit(ses) for the desecration and war crime that Peter Jackson let his wife commit on Tolkien's text. As with the Star Wars prequels, I saw the first one, and as a result, will not watch the second two.

Filmmaker Judd Apatow called it a "sad day for creative expression" and said, "When we cave to threats, it trains people to threaten us."

As I mentioned on Twitter, I'll take Hollywood's tears over the impact this will have on "creative expression" seriously on the day it releases a movie that sympathetically portrays Nazis rounding up Jews or presents a powerful emotional defense of KKK members defending their families and community from the depredations of black Americans. Until then, their tears are best seen as nothing more than a complaint that a new party has forcibly insisted on claiming the same sort of veto power that Hollywood's other interest groups possess.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Of books and games

Ken Burnside of Ad Astra Games chimes in:
So, one of my other gigs - beyond making Cool Space Combat Games, is being a science checker for SF writers for Baen.  I got asked by Vox Day to write a science article for their new anthology series "Riding the Red Horse" - which released yesterday. In its first day of release, it's done impressively - it's climbing up the paid Kindle listings and is a category leader in Military SF and SF in general.
Ken's "The Hot Equations: Thermodynamics and Military Science Fiction" is a must-read for any science fiction author. And check this out... Ad Astra is about to come out with the Traveller version of Squadron Strike!

From the most recent review of RIDING THE RED HORSE: "I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of mil sci-fi short stories and essays on war. Each story left me wanting more of the universe in which it takes place (my favourite of the shorts was the last one: "Turncoat" by Steve Rzasa,), and each essay made me marvel at the genius of the respective author. I wouldn't consider myself a military theory buff, but the essays in this collections certainly awakened a hunger in me to find out more and explore the world of war-gaming."

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Ocean-front diplomacy

Never let it be said that Obama doesn't think ahead:
President Obama announced sweeping changes to U.S. policy with Cuba on Wednesday, moving to normalize relations with the island nation and tear down the last remaining pillar of the Cold War.

Under the new measures, the United States plans to reopen its embassy in Havana and significantly ease restrictions on travel and commerce within the next several weeks and months, Obama said. Speaking from the White House, he declared that a half-century of isolation of the Communist country “has not worked.”

“It’s time for a new approach,” he said.

The history-shaping overtures come after more than 18 months of secret negotiations with the Cuban government of President Raul Castro. The final touches appeared to be arrangements for a series of simultaneous prisoner releases.
It's probably one of the smartest moves of his presidency, if not the smartest. Cubans don't vote for Democrats anyhow, and no one gives a damn about them anymore since they're massively outnumbered by Mexicans now. It's all upside for Obama; no doubt there are plenty of big-money interests just slavering to snap up Cuban real estate.

I'd be astonished if he doesn't come out of it with a sweet post-presidential villa.

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Deutschland gegen Islam

The German and international media is going to have no more success disqualifying PEGIDA than the UK media has had in disqualifying UKIP or the French media has had in disqualifying National Front:
Its members have been dubbed the “pinstriped Nazis” and they refer to their demonstrations as “evening strolls” through German cities. But on Monday night, an estimated 15,000 people joined Pegida, or Patriotic Europeans Against Islamisation of the West, in a march through Dresden carrying banners bearing slogans such as “Zero tolerance towards criminal asylum seekers”, “Protect our homeland” and “Stop the Islamisation”.

Lutz Bachmann, the head of Pegida, a nascent anti-foreigner campaign group, led the crowds, either waving or draped in German flags, in barking chants of “Wir sind das Volk”, or “We are the people”, the slogan adopted by protesters in the historic “Monday demonstrations” against the East German government in the runup to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Associating themselves with the freedom demonstrations has given Pegida protests an air of moral respectability even though there are hundreds of rightwing extremists in their midst, as well as established groups of hooligans who are known to the police, according to Germany’s federal office for the protection of the constitution.

“The instigators are unmistakably rightwing extremists,” a federal spokesman said.

It was the ninth week in a row that Pegida had taken its protest on to the city’s streets in the eastern German state of Saxony.

Its first march, advertised on Facebook and other social media, attracted just 200 supporters. By last week the figure had risen to 10,000. By Monday night it had grown to an estimated 15,000.
Nine weeks to go from 200 to 15,000. At that rate, by the middle of next year they'll be on the verge of throwing the traitoress Merkel out on her fat ass. Once the first anti-immigrant party takes power and people see how much better things are with the Third World flow going the proper way, the other electorates will rapidly follow suit.

That's why you've got the English media freaking out about the rise of anti-immigrant parties in France, Germany and Sweden. Christendom will rise again. It's absolutely ludicrous to ever count out a faith that began with just eleven frightened, cowardly men who abandoned their leader. Christianity doesn't need numbers. It just needs the faith of a mustard seed.


Correia on guns, etc

An interview on guns in fiction:
Ryan: What are the common pitfalls in fiction where it’s clear that the author has never held or fired a modern firearm?

Larry: It isn’t just guns, but any topic where the reader is an expert and the author is clueless. The problem is that when you write something that the reader knows is terribly wrong, it kicks them right out of the story and ruins the experience for them. Guns are especially hard because they are super common in fiction, and there are tons of readers who know about them.

Most of these really glaring errors can be taken care of with a little bit of cursory research. Technical things can be taken care of by a few minutes on the manufacturer’s webpage, which will keep your characters from dramatically flipping off the safety on a gun that doesn’t have one.

Beyond that, however, is the actual use of the gun. The character using it should have a realistic amount of knowledge based on their skill, knowledge, ability, and training. If you are gong to be writing about a character who is a professional gunslinger, then you need to do some research to make sure that person does what a professional gunslinger would do.
And speaking of Larry Correia, Daniel somehow manages to abuse a writer at the Atlantic even more comprehensively than Larry's customary prison-raping of various Guardian contributors in The Wrong Corpse and the Highbrow Coroner:
Noah Berlatsky at The Atlantic declares science fiction dead of terminal nostalgia:

    Poor George Orwell wants his panopticon back.

He also quotes an important fresh voice in science fiction that:

“we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine some real grounds for hope.”

Then he spends the rest of the article writing about Marvel comic books and their related movies.

The thesis, that science fiction has lost its way in a retrospective swamp of camp nostalgia for Star Wars, Star Trek and comic books is a bait-and-switch, however:

    Science fiction is everywhere in popular culture, and it seems like it’s managed to be everywhere in the present by largely jettisoning the future.

Berlatsky has switched terms on the reader. He isn’t talking about science fiction as a genre, he’s complaining about pop culture, as if that has anything to do with the core idea factory of science fiction, which, and always has been, books.

It does not.

If the reader needs any more confirmation, the critic’s only example of a “current” science fiction writer whose ideas run counter to the prison of pop culture is…Octavia Butler, a prog-writer who has been dead for nearly a decade, and whose most prominent work is more than thirty years past its publication date.
The ironic thing is that Berlatsky may well have a credible defense in resorting to the example chosen. The corpse of the late Octavia Butler, as it rots and feeds the worms, is arguably producing more interesting, less noxious output than are the Pink SF writers giving each other awards these days.


Dr. Pournelle health report

From Jerry's blog:
    “Jerry had a small stroke. He is recovering well at a local hospital. Prognosis is good, though they’re running more tests and he’s expected to stay at least another day or two.

    “He felt well enough to call Mom [Mrs. Pournelle] from the hospital.

    “Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. More updates when we have them.”
They are permitting well-wishers to post comments, in case you would like to do so.

I can't say I know Dr. Pournelle well, but after working with him over the last two weeks to get "His Truth Goes Marching On" and "Simulating the Art of War" into RIDING THE RED HORSE, I found myself marveling at how sharp he is despite being 81 years old. Of course, it probably helps when you're starting with a mind that is around +4SD.

We did talk a little about the SFWA purge in passing; he was curious about my perspective on it. He was mildly appalled to hear what really happened, as you might expect, and thought the Board's action was both ridiculous and short-sighted. But he also saw the humor in the incident, and laughed out loud when I explained the actual nature of the technical violation.

It's such a pleasure to discover that a giant of one's youth is also a genuinely good man. Here is to his speedy recovery.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Pity the poor troll

Poor Andrew Marston is sad that his trolling has rendered him unable to post things by people he likes, for fear that they'll be treated the way he treats others.
I actually thought about linking to a video of Emma singing and playing guitar. Don't get me wrong, this has little to do with the elections, in fact, I actually considered posting it the day after the election, but then I found out Larry Correia and his poo-flingers are searching for and conjecturing upon my posts elsewhere on the internet, and since linking to a video of Emma by Emma could put us in a situation where Correia or Vox could do a lot of damage, I am not linking to it.
Of course, there are a lot of things we could do. For one, we could let them know about how Andrew publicly bragged about posting pornography on the site of two underage girls:
If you had to confess to the most evil thing you have ever done, what would it be?

Yamamanama--I bet April Gaede knows the answer to that one... heh, heh... Oh yeah, Prussian Blue is on SomethingAwful. Lynx and Lamb's diary was hacked or something, because it was overloaded with porn. Gay porn. Gay porn involving old people. Gay porn involving old white people. In response, April Gaede only allowed one character (!?) in the guestbook. In response to that, people made 42 posts with one character each.

Yamamanama--Child porn? Yeah, OK. I actually posted some examples of the stuff I spammed Micetrap Records with in that thread about Who Is White? 

He also goes by the name of yama the space fish. The guy is a certified nut case who posts porn all over the internet. I saw a few examples of his work on some WP sights before the mods had a chance to pull it off. He is one sick bastard. He posted a picture of children having sex on one sight,and another one of two elderly men having gay sex on another one. Then after they were removed he tried to say they were just pictures of a chineese girl in a bathing suit.
Andrew quite clearly doesn't understand how "irritating people who can afford to pay for private detectives" works. Or that "annoying people with high-level connections at various Internet technology companies" is probably not a good idea. Or that all of that is completely irrelevant when he's already posted so many names on his own site.... Andrew doesn't really seem to understand how the Internet works. Now here is the punchline:
Andrew Marston aka Beardsley McTurbanhead
The fact that Blogspot turns a blind eye to your many harassment campaigns is sickening.

I'm sure it's a coincidence that comments on Silence Without have all disappeared now that Steve Sailer, Vox Day, and Andrew Bolt have linked to it.
You're projecting there, Andrew. I'm not harassing anyone. One single link to a blog site in the news that specifically mentions me by name doesn't qualify as harassment or trolling in anyone's book. You, on the other hand, were known for harassing many people for years before you ever discovered this blog. Now, perhaps you have forgotten, but I am literally publishing the book on 4GW,  and as you should have learned from the example of McRapey, I may be slow to start, but once I get rolling, I never, ever stop.

Burning question: Who's going to have a lot of explaining to do after I get off the phone with the police department? Child porn is not a joke to them.

A partial list of names: Alauda*, Arachnothera, Beardsley McTurbanhead, Chokley Carmichael, Clamps*, Comrade Questions, Daphis, Daphnis*, Freddy Foreshadowing, Luscinia*, Luscinia Hafez, Starshine, Sunlight, Will Le Fey*, Yama*, Yamamanama*, Yama the Space Fish.

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Counterparty risk

Robert Prechter warned of this. It doesn't matter if you traded right, if you can't cash in your nominal winnings:
Dear Client,

Please be advised that that most Western Banks have stopped pricing USD/RUB. As such, FXCM can no longer offer this instrument to our clients and will begin closing any existing client trades in USD/RUB effective at Noon EST today, December 16th, 2014, 

So for those curious why there appears to be a collapse in Ruble volatility in the past few hours which in turn has sent both stocks and crude soaring, the answer is simple: nobody is trading it! 

And this is what happened following the post: as soon as all those short the RUB (long USDRUB) realized they have to take profits, the USDRUB tumbled some 500 pips (!) in the process sending stocks surging.
We appear to have a full-blown financial war underway. I wonder how long it will take Putin to put the ruble on the gold standard. That's always been his trump card; it eliminates Russia's ability to play the money multiplication game, but in the end, will provide Russia with a sounder currency than the so-called currency of last resort.

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The randomness of scientistry

Science is finally turning scientody on scientistry... and the results are not as self-flattering to professional science as most scientists expected.
The NIPS consistency experiment was an amazing, courageous move by the organizers this year to quantify the randomness in the review process. They split the program committee down the middle, effectively forming two independent program committees. Most submitted papers were assigned to a single side, but 10% of submissions (166) were reviewed by both halves of the committee. This let them observe how consistent the two committees were on which papers to accept.  (For fairness, they ultimately accepted any paper that was accepted by either committee.)

The results were revealed this week: of the 166 papers, the two committees disagreed on the fates of 25.3% of them: 42. But this “25%” number is misleading, and most people I’ve talked to have misunderstood it: it actually means that the two committees disagreed more than they agreed on which papers to accept. Let me explain.

The two committees were each tasked with a 22.5% acceptance rate. This would mean choosing about 37 of the 166 papers to accept. Since they disagreed on 42 papers total, this means each committee accepted 21 papers that the other committee rejected and vice versa, for 21 + 21 = 42 total papers with different outcomes. Since they each accepted 37 papers, this means they disagreed on 21/37 ≈ 56% of the list of accepted papers.

In particular, 56% of the papers accepted by the first committee were rejected by the second one and vice versa. In other words, most papers at NIPS would be rejected if one reran the conference review process (with a 95% confidence interval of 40-75%).
What rightly concerns the writer is the fact that a purely random process would have resulted in a 77.5 percent disagreement, which is closer to the 56 percent observed than the 30 percent expected. And, of course, the 0 percent that the science fetishists would have us believe is always the case.

This is a very important experiment, because it highlights the huge gap between science the process (scientody) and science the profession (scientistry). Some may roll their eyes at my insistence on using different words for the different aspects of science, but the observable fact, the scientodically informed fact, is that using the same word to refer to the two very differently reliable aspects of science is incredibly misleading.


Homeschool or Die: Pakistan

4GW prefers to aim at soft targets:
At least 126 people have been killed, more than 100 of them children, after Taliban gunmen stormed a military school in the north-western Pakistani city of Peshawar, in the worst ever militant attack to hit the troubled region.

It was reported that one suicide bomber blew himself up in a room containing 60 children and a teacher was set on fire in front of pupils, with the children forced to watch.

The attack started with the gunmen, disguised as security guards, entering the 500-pupil school - which has students aged 10 to 18 - in the early hours.

The jihadists shot their way into the building and went from classroom to classroom, shooting at random.

Army commandos quickly arrived at the scene and exchanged fire with the gunmen. Eye-witnesses described how students cowered under desks as dead bodies were strewn along corridors. News images of the aftermath of the attack showed boys in blood-soaked school uniforms with green blazers being carried from the scene.

Around 160 children, aged 13 and 14, are being held hostage, with four gunmen still inside.  A police inspector said they had trapped the terrorists in the principal's office. Many of the soldiers involved in the rescue operation are trying to save their own children.
And the world looks on... and learns. The strutting, swaggering militarized police in America have already seen their own families targeted in Los Angeles and Colorado, but they haven't taken the lesson to heart yet and dialed down their confrontational tactics. And yet, how quickly the agents of the state stop strutting and swaggering when they finally grasp that their families are easily reached even when they live behind barricades and their children go to special schools protected with security guards....

It's a tragedy, to be sure, and in the West, the sort of easily avoidable tragedy that will nevertheless come to West in time, as we have already seen in New York, London, Madrid, and Sydney.

There is one answer, and only one answer. Mass repatriation. If it is not enacted, then America, and England, and Italy, and Sweden, and Germany, and every other country in the West will see its children subjected to the same jihadist violence. The East does not, and never has, practice the formal Western way of war. And they will prefer to target the soft targets, the women and the children who are incapable of fighting back. Note that this sort of soft-targeting is the very subject addressed by my story, "A Reliable Source", in RIDING THE RED HORSE.

"We selected the army's school for the attack because the government is targeting our families and females,' said Taliban spokesman Muhammad Umar Khorasani. 'We want them to feel the pain.'" 

Speaking of soft targets: "Over 1,000 schools have been destroyed by the Pakistan Taliban since 2010."

The answer is not to fight them over there so we don't have to fight them here. It is to send them back over there so we don't have to fight them here.

UPDATE: Final count: "Nine Taliban terrorists attacked the Army Public School in the north-western Pakistani city of Peshawar today, slaughtering 132 children in the deadliest terrorist attack in the nation's history."

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Heroine of the pre-anti-backlash

Steve Sailer points out that the woman who is heroically declaring her support for Muslims in the wake of Muslims kidnapping and murdering white Australians is, to put it mildly, a mentally unstable, attention-seeking loon:
Below is the Australian Broadcasting Company’s interview with The Megaphone’s designated heroine of the unfortunate events in Sydney today in which two victims of a Muslim immigrant terrorist died.

But even before the murders actually happened, the media was moving on to the real story: its fears of a backlash against Muslims, and the one brave woman, Melbourne writer Tessa Kum, who courageously tweeted her opposition to this theoretical but widely hoped for / denounced backlash. 
What is particularly amusing is that this "Melbourne writer" is not merely a mentally unstable, attention-seeking loon, but an SJW of the SFWA variety. And, as we all figured was inevitable eventually, she's been one of the first of them to turn on John Scalzi and attack him for his unbearable whiteness, his privilege, and his undeniable racism:
I also didn't expect to see the white publishing scene – let's call a turd a turd – take on my Shovel of Oh You Are So Right Tessa and start digging graves with it.

Suddenly, you're all promoting Tricia Sullivan's new book.

Solidarity is for white women, hey.

There's John Scalzi over there, making a point of featuring Tricia Sullivan's work, and making an even larger point of deleting comments that 'drag in online drama from elsewhere'. You know John Scalzi, right? You guys fucking love him. He's generally a beacon for progressive reasonableness, a vocal ally, decent writer and I've seen him dance. People like him. He's a great guy. I've noticed that you, white person, are really championing him for his overt stance against G***rgater. He's a rich white cishet man in a western country, he has privilege coming out the wooza, it's ace to see him going in to bat against the G***rgaters.

Because doxxing is bad!

But not all doxxing!

("Not all men!")

Doxxing is okay if done to a PoC.

This is the message John Scalzi sends when he promotes the work of Tricia Sullivan. He has significant platform and volume and he ticks all the privilege boxes. The reach and impact of this message should not be dismissed or underestimated. It is tacit approval of her actions, taking the position that she should not be reproached but instead supported.

This lack of intersectionality undermines all the otherwise good work he has done. How can I take "We Need Diverse Books" seriously – which I really fucking want to, and do – when there are white feminists such as John Scalzi providing implicit support to a white woman who has shown not a moment of regret for what she has done to a person of colour?

I can't.... What makes this racist is the simple fact that you, white person, have not done this to your own.

Jim Frenkle, Vox Day, Harlan Ellis, Will Shetterly. For fuck’s sake, how many decades did you let Frenkle prey in the scene before some young uppity voice of dissent forced your hand? You let him sexually assault people. You fucking enabled him for years. But he’s gone! you cry. We got rid of him! Your hand was fucking forced. You wouldn’t have done a thing if one of his victims hadn’t stuck her neck out to ‘make a fuss’. He would still be employed in a position of power in this field if it was left to you, white person. But we got Vox Day out of SFWA! Holy shit, how many years did that take too? How many mouthy PoC’s publicly pushing their dissent did it take for you act? Years. Decades. Remember Elizabeth Moon and Wiscon? How long did you ‘consider all sides of the story’? How slow were you to act? How, when discussing the making and maintaining of safe spaces, ‘fair’ is it to give the voice of the privileged equal consideration as that of the oppressed?

Fucking hypocrites.
It would be tremendously amusing to be able to see this woman's face when someone informs her that I am a Native American of part-Mexican descent. The fact is that the only writer ever purged from SFWA was a PoC. How racist is that?

And I laughed out loud at this: "[John Scalzi] has privilege coming out the wooza." If nothing else, this should inspire some amusingly desperate tweets as McRapey hastens to abase himself in penance for his continuing to play life on the easiest difficulty setting. That should be everyone's standard rebuttal to Scalzi from now on. "Shut up, John, you have privilege coming out the wooza."

But to return to the primary subject, this is why no amount of Muslim-hugging and anti-backlash propaganda is going to stop the backlash and eventual Reconquista 2.0: Up to 20 students dead and 500 taken hostage as Taliban gunmen storm military-run school in Pakistan. Beslan, coming to a public school in your country soon.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Such a nice little song

Very special. It really just... spoke to me for some reason. Hard to say why.


Trigger warning!

In which a USN Commander, RIDING THE RED HORSE contributor, and new Castalia House Associate comments on the new military science fiction anthology:
If having your assumptions challenged and your mind blown could upset your delicate little psyche, you’re gonna want to click away right now.

If harrowing scenes of speculative, futuristic combat or stories about the men and women who fight for something greater than themselves fill you with dread, flee from here.

If center-right positions, hard science, or frank discussions of our past mistakes and future concerns make you want to hide behind your momma’s petticoats, you’d best stick to your internet safe-zone with all countervailing opinions neatly blocked away.

If the phrase “Trigger Warning” is something you watch out for and is itself a potential trigger for bad-thought . . . yeah, I got a book you’re gonna want to avoid.

However, if you can handle it and are a fan of kick-ass science fiction, of near-prescient analysis on what our future holds, or of some of the best writing you’ll see all year by great authors both new and old, well, for you I have your new favorite book....
Read the rest of it there. What do I mean by "new Castalia House Associate"? What that means is that Thomas May's very good first contact novel is now available in DRM-free EPUB and MOBI for Kindle format from the Castalia House store for $3.99. And by "first contact", I should probably point out that I mean "violent space combat" with one of the most unusual alien races yet encountered in science fiction. If you enjoyed "Within This Horizon", then you're going to want to read A Sword Into Darkness.

The reaction to the new anthology has been almost uniformly positive, which is encouraging, but I have to say that I was probably most amused by these two comments at Instapundit's.
  • Tom Kraman and Vox Day...lemme guess, more of that namby-baby, Dem/Lib/SJW kumbaya fluff... said no one ever.
  • Kratman AND Vox Day? Is the publisher TRYING to make SJW heads into IEDs?
The collection is Blue SF, to be sure, but it is moderately less Deep Navy Blue SF than you might expect, mostly because unlike the gatekeepers of Pink SF, Tom and I don't believe in ruthlessly enforcing our ideological perspective on every contributor. As Larry Correia has gone to considerable pains to point out in the past, it is the story is the point, not the moral or the ideological object lesson. And the general conclusion appears to be that these are very good stories indeed.


When trends won't hold

I think it is amusing that the U.S. Census Bureau still believes there will be a single political entity by 2044, let alone 2060.
New population projections released by the U.S. Census Bureau show that whites will become a “minority” by 2044, replaced by a “majority” of minority groups, mostly blacks and Hispanics.

The new projections, analyzed in a Brookings Institution report, show the huge rise of Hispanics, projected to make up 25.1 percent of the U.S. population in 2044, double African-Americans.

According to the analysis, the white will make up 49.7 percent of the country in 2044, minorities the rest. What’s more, by 2060, whites will account for just 44 percent of the country.
Imagine what the economy of the USA is going to look like when the white population has been halved, mostly due to their replacement by those famously productive Hispanics.... The only thing that is keeping the country together at this point is that the white middle class is still doing just well enough to maintain hope that things are going to turn around eventually. Once that hope is entirely gone, they will be willing to begin taking the risks that they are presently unwilling to take.

The government's primary means of control is based upon the threat of losing your job and your living standard. But once those things are already gone, there is nothing but raw physical force. And we know from 4GW theory how well force devoid of legitimacy and moral authority works in maintaining order.



That must be one of the things they learn in journalism school. Despite being a three-times nationally syndicated columnist with Chronicle Features and Universal Press Syndicate, I am unfamiliar with the term:
Kathryn Hendley, Alex Stock and Ryan Duffin—the three friends of Jackie’s who Sabrina Rubin Erdely falsely claimed discouraged from her calling the authorities—now tell the AP that they have all been contacted by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, who is “re-reporting” her original story.

This is a bizarre idea for a number of reasons.

First, Rubin Erdely herself continues to refuse to talk to the press—or, as she said of the UVa administration, she is “stonewalling.” So she is a hypocrite.

And second—why on earth would anyone talk to her? (The AP story does not disclose whether the three friends agreed to be re-interviewed interviewed.) She revealed her profound political bias in her first article, as well as a fatal lack of professionalism. She might improve on the second part, but she’s unlikely to change the first. In fact, she might be even more invested in proving the point that, whatever happened to Jackie, there is a larger “rape culture” at the University of Virginia.
Question: how does this woman still have a job at Rolling Stone? How is it possible that they haven't fired her yet?


The RED HORSE rides

I'm not sure there are the superlatives to describe how pleased I am to be able to introduce to you Castalia's new anthology of military science fiction and military fact, RIDING THE RED HORSE. Tom and I have been working on this all year, and between us, we somehow managed to recruit a very strong roster of contributors on both the fiction and non-fiction sides. It's now available from Amazon as well as from Castalia House.

As the editing was a collaborative effort, so too was the cover. JartStar was unhappy with his initial attempt, but he liked the concept, so he brought in Jeremiah, who did the covers for The Altar of Hate and The Book of Feasts & Seasons, and together they managed to bring it to life. Historically keen eyes will probably recognize the cover to which it is a thematic homage of sorts.  But as much as I enjoy working on covers, let's face it, it's really what is inside the book that matters. The contributors, and the pieces they contributed, are as follows, in the order they appear in the book. Many, if not most, of these names will be readily recognizable.
  • Eric S. Raymond: "Sucker Punch" and "Battlefield Lasers"
  • William S. Lind: "Understanding 4th Generation Warfare"
  • Chris Kennedy: "Thieves in the Night"
  • Vox Day: "A Reliable Source"
  • James F. Dunnigan: "Murphy's Law" and "Red Waves in the South China Sea"
  • Jerry Pournelle: "His Truth Goes Marching On" and "Simulating the Art of War"
  • Ken Burnside: "The Hot Equations: Thermodynamics and Military SF"
  • Christopher G. Nuttall: "A Piece of Cake"
  • Rolf Nelson: "Shakedown Cruise"
  • Steve Rzasa and Vox Day: "Tell it to the Dead"
  • Harry Kitchener: "The Limits of Intelligence"
  • Giuseppe Filotto: "Red Space"
  • John F. Carr and Wolfgang Diehr: "Galzar's Hall"
  • Thomas Mays: "Within This Horizon"
  • Benjamin Chea: "War Crimes"
  • James Perry: "Make the Tigers Fight"
  • Brad Torgersen: "The General's Guard"
  • Tedd Roberts: "They Also Serve"
  • Tom Kratman: "Learning to Ride the Red Horse: The Principles of War"
  • Steve Rzasa: Turncoat
I should probably go ahead and point out that both "Tell it to the Dead" and "Turncoat" are set in the Quantum Mortis universe. And despite being one of the editors, as a longtime fan of military science fiction and a lifelong student of the art of war, I won't hesitate to tell you that this collection is one that you simply will not want to miss if you are even remotely interested in either. I hope you will find RIDING THE RED HORSE to be a worthy successor to the excellent anthology series that inspired it, THERE WILL BE WAR.

The initial reviews are in. Some selections:
  • RIDING THE RED HORSE features both military sci-fi short stories and nonfiction articles regarding the future or history of warfare. For those readers that don’t recognize it; the title is a reference to the second horseman of the apocalypse from the Bible’s Book of Revelation; the Horseman of War who rides a red horse. Some of the stories, “Sucker Punch”, “Thieves in the Night” and “A Reliable Source”, “Red Space”’ for example, are more Tom Clancy-ish techno-thrillers than outright military sci-fi. Others are more traditional military sci-fi, like “A Piece of Cake”, “Shakedown Cruise” and “Turncoat”, to name just three stories that feature high-tech space battles in the middle distant future. Other stories are more Earthbound, but just as high tech, or discuss war against highly modified “trans-humans, to name just two examples. The story quality is uniformly very good; two outstanding examples are “Shakedown Cruise” and “Turncoat”.... RIDING THE RED HORSE is a well done military sci-fi and military studies anthology, and frankly at $4.99 it is a helluva good value for your entertainment (and education) dollar.
  • Easy 5 stars on this one. An impressive collection of fun and well-written military fiction interposed with essays by military thinkers/historians. I was both entertained and informed throughout.... The essays are not navel-gazing; when their writers challenge conventional thinking on various topics, they do so with the voice of insight and experience. Their credentials are helpfully explained by an editor's introduction at the beginning of each entry, for both the essays and the fiction. That was helpful both to establish the authority of the essay writers to speak on their subjects, and also in helping me to become aware of some newer authors I hadn't heard of but whose work I enjoyed in this collection. The fiction entries are mostly military sci-fi to varying degrees of "hardness," with a couple Roman/Medieval fantasy type stories thrown in as well, but all deal with questions of tactics, strategy, and the human element in combat.... Highly recommended.
  • This is a first-rate collection, but more for the non-fiction than the fiction. The non-fiction essays by practitioners of various kinds can range from enlightening to quite frightening. ESR and Pournelle are excellent technically and Kitchener on the limits of intelligence was a masterly summary. For the non-fiction alone, I would recommend the book as a buy. However little you may agree with them, they will provoke real thought in you. On the fiction side, the stories are consistently serviceable, and occasionally exceptional.
RIDING THE RED HORSE is 443 pages and retails for $4.99. It is available in DRM-free EPUB and MOBI for Kindle format from the Castalia Store and from Amazon.

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