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Friday, May 29, 2015

One tit is never enough

JCCarlton explains why Eric Flint owes Brad Torgersen an apology:
The best thing the CHORFs could have done is lived by the principles they say that they said the Hugos represented.  They cold have welcomed the puppies as new blood.  At the very least they could have remained silent and accepted the fact that things are going to change.  Instead they created a huge media smear campaign against, among other people, Brad.  Frankly, accusing BRAD of being anything other than the nicest guy you will ever meet is just weird and I don’t think I’ve ever met Brad personally.  But when you play by Alinsky rules, facts aren’t relevant, the narrative is.

Along with that they are trying to “fix” the Hugos to make sure that only the “proper Worldcon membership,” the TRUFAN is allowed to pick who SF awards the Hugos to.  They are trying as hard as they can to make the Hugos the comfortable racket they like so much.  I don’t think that they realize just how much the nastiness they’ve been spreading around is losing them friends

Of course it doesn’t help that the CHORFs have been diligently creating their own monster.  I suspect that they thought that Vox would just fall apart and blow away like dust when they went all Alinsky on him at SFWA.  The problem is that Alinsky tactics only work when the other side accept you definition of them.  And Vox didn’t believe what the CHORFs were saying he was and frankly was able to turn their constant distortions and half truths against them.  Making false assertions doesn’t work as well on the internet where almost nothing is permanently forgotten and everything can documented.  It’s hard to make false assertions when the truth is a Google search away.

What the CHORFs don’t seem to be able to understand is that once you put up something in a blog, you might as well be broadcasting your actions to the other side.  And while most of us don’t care what’s on the CHORFs’ blogs on or another of us will probably see it and pass it around.  And Vox is not above pointing out the other side’s strategies and saying to his readership, tit for tat.

Up until the last few years I don’t think that many of us fans really cared about the Hugos very much.  The one time I’ve been able to attend a Worldcon I don’t think I even voted.  I’m absolutely sure that I didn’t participate in the nomination process the next year.  One thing the response the CHORFs have made many of realize for the first time is just how rotten the Hugo Awards have gotten.  I think that up until the CHORFs  declared total war on the puppies none of us on the other side really understood how far those people were willing to go for little plastic rocketships.
I have to admit that I don't give a damn what Eric Flint thinks. He need not apologize to me, regardless of what he may have said. I know that some of his fellow Baen writers think well of him, but I've never read anything he's written and I don't know anything about the man except for the fact that he's published by Baen and he's said to be an unreconstructed socialist.

So, I don't know if JCC is correct or not. But he's certainly correct to claim that I am not above recommending tit for tat. Indeed, I am considerably below that, being a devotee of the tactical philosophy that requires three or more tits for every tat.

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Scientistry is not scientody

And as for those who claim that I am anti-science because I am anti-corrupt scientistry, I've got two appeals to scientific authority that will trump yours right here:
In the past few years more professionals have come forward to share a truth that, for many people, proves difficult to swallow. One such authority is Dr. Richard Horton, the current editor-in-chief of the Lancet – considered to be one of the most well respected peer-reviewed medical journals in the world.

Dr. Horton recently published a statement declaring that a lot of published research is in fact unreliable at best, if not completely false.

“The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.”

This is quite disturbing, given the fact that all of these studies (which are industry sponsored) are used to develop drugs/vaccines to supposedly help people, train medical staff, educate medical students and more.

It’s common for many to dismiss a lot of great work by experts and researchers at various institutions around the globe which isn’t “peer-reviewed” and doesn’t appear in a “credible” medical journal, but as we can see, “peer-reviewed” doesn’t really mean much anymore. “Credible” medical journals continue to lose their tenability in the eyes of experts and employees of the journals themselves, like Dr. Horton.

He also went on to call himself out in a sense, stating that journal editors aid and abet the worst behaviours, that the amount of bad research is alarming, that data is sculpted to fit a preferred theory. He goes on to observe that important confirmations are often rejected and little is done to correct bad practices. What’s worse, much of what goes on could even be considered borderline misconduct.

Dr. Marcia Angell, a physician and longtime Editor in Chief of the New England Medical Journal (NEMJ), which is considered to another one of the most prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals in the world, makes her view of the subject quite plain:

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine”
I note that it isn't any of the pro-vaxxers, the climate change scammers, the "I fucking love science" crowd or the True Believers in evolution that are calling out this vast quantity of scientific fraud, but rather the science skeptics, like me, who have repeatedly and reliably observed that the human element of the profession has indelibly tainted all confidence in the process.

And then recall that this is what Sam Harris believes can and should replace philosophy and traditional morality as an effective guide to human behavior.

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The Olympian indifference of Johnny Con

John Scalzi attempts to spin the narrative about his book deal on Twitter:
John Scalzi @scalzi
I'd like to thank @torbooks for taking a chance on me even though I don't actually sell any books.

John Scalzi @scalzi
Also, yeah, if you're one of those people who thinks I'm ruining science fiction, it's gonna be a bad next decade for you. Oh well!

John Scalzi retweeted
Jim C. Hines @jimchines
1. @scalzi signs a $3.4 million deal with Tor.
2. People authorsplain how he'd have earned even more if he'd only done ________.

#Facepalm

John Scalzi @scalzi
Reading commentary on the deal reminds me that a large majority of people do not know how publishing works. Which is fine, but interesting.

John Scalzi @scalzi
Most people don't HAVE to know publishing economics, mind you. Why would they? But if you're going to opine on them, it does help.

John Scalzi @scalzi
Schadenfreude: Watching people who've been sooo wrong about my career desperately try to spin this deal as a bad thing for me. Wrong again!

John Scalzi @scalzi
For those interested in compare and contrast: The advance for my first published novel -- "Old Man's War" -- was $6,500.

John Scalzi@scalzi
Someone living off of daddy's money probably shouldn't try to lecture others about finances.
What else is new? SJWs always lie. Mike Cernovich summed up the salient point yesterday.

Mike Cernovich @Cernovich
As a white straight male capitalist, I'm happy for @scalzi's $3.4 million book deal. But how many women/POC are squeezed out because of it?

I had estimated 680 on the basis of other SF publishers' current initial advances, but I stand corrected. According to McRapey(1) himself, Tor is funding 13 more John Scalzi books at the opportunity cost of no less than 523 initial advances to new science fiction authors. As a side note, it is informative to see how much initial advances from major publishers have shrunk over time; the advance for my first published novel in 1996 was $20,000.

Those who have thrown hissy fits over Sad Puppies supposedly slate-blocking as many as 12 authors and preventing them from receiving recognition for their work at the Hugo Awards would do well to consider the fact that Patrick Nielsen Hayden and John Scalzi have combined to prevent more than 500 authors from getting published and receiving paid advances. Opportunity cost is a bitch, especially when you're the one upon whose fingers the window of opportunity has closed.

As Scalzi himself says, it's going to be a bad decade for them. But at least we'll have a few more snarky, derivative and mediocre novels from Tor to not read. So that's nice.

It's a little strange that people have claimed that my head is exploding or that I'm somehow upset by this deal. That's not the case at all. In fact, I'm very, very, very pleased that Tor has decided to bet its future on John Scalzi rather than on any of the 523 other authors in whom they could have invested. I wish it had been a 13-book deal at $3.4 million per book. Scalzi isn't the problem, after all, Scalzi is just one of the uglier public faces of the problem.

Castalia House was never going to publish Johnny Con because we don't publish Pink SF snark-fic or work with people we know to be liars. But if you're one of those 523 authors left out in the cold and you have a really good science fiction novel you want to publish, then we would certainly be interested in hearing from you.(2)


(1) I have been asked if John Scalzi will be relinquishing the "McRapey" title in light of George R.R. Martin's astonishing accomplishment in rape fiction. Upon consideration, the answer is no, but GRRM will henceforth be known as "George Rape Rape Martin".  

(2) Yes, we are behind in responding to our submissions. I'll be working on them this weekend.

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Neocons attack Paul, the sequel

Now the people who brought you failure in Afghanistan, failure in Iraq, a puppet government in Ukraine and the Islamic State are gunning for Rand Paul because he is willing to tell the truth about them and the foreign policy failures of the last Republican president. Roger Simon is running around claiming that Paul has "shown his true colors" and "destroyed himself":
Alas Rand (I had higher hopes for him), like father Ron, has a mega-chauvanistic view of the world.  The USA is so big and strong it causes everything, including, at one point, 9-11, and now ISIS, if you can believe that. Never mind that the Islamic State is just another avatar of Islamic imperialism’s desire for a world caliphate that has been going on for centuries, long before our country was in existence — the Battle of Tours (732), the Siege of Vienna (1683) and on and on. The violence has been there forever, too.  As any literate person knows, it’s in the Koran and the Hadith.  Beheadings were part of Mohammed’s game plan. It’s what he did and what he called for. This was not invented by a cabal of neocons in Chevy Chase, Maryland, in 2003.

And of course ISIS is part of a straight line that goes from the Muslim Brotherhood (founded in Egypt in 1928, long before the current crop of Republicans were even alive) to Al Qaeda via Zawahiri and on into the modern age with ISIS, all working from the same ideological playbook, as are Boko Haram, Hamas, al Shabab, al Nusra, etc., etc.

Rand, again like father Ron, is essentially racist in blaming this on America and not recognizing other cultures have belief systems to which they truly adhere and that those belief systems may be dangerous, even evil.  America did not evolve Islamist ideology anymore than it did Nazism, but the Islamists have the potential to wreak just as much havoc if they are not stopped.

And what did Paul actually say?
The freshman senator from Kentucky said Wednesday that the GOP’s foreign policy hawks “created these people.” . . .  “ISIS exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party who gave arms indiscriminately,” Paul said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” He continued: “They created these people. ISIS is all over Libya because these same hawks in my party loved – they loved Hillary Clinton’s war in Libya. They just wanted more of it.”
That's absolutely true. Simon and the other neocons can sing and dance all they like, but the fact is that the US invasion and occupation of Iraq created ISIS. Military experts like William S. Lind even predicted it back in 2003:
The current phase of the war in Iraq is driven by three different elements: chaos, a war of national liberation (which is inflicting most of the casualties) and 4th Generation War. In time, the 4th Generation elements will come to predominate, as they fill the vacuum created by the destruction of the Iraqi state.
He then pointed out how it would proceed in  2004:
An article in the Friday, March 29 Washington Post pointed to the long-expected opening of Phase III of America's war with Iraq. Phase I was the jousting contest, the formal "war" between America's and Iraq's armies that ended with the fall of Baghdad. Phase II was the War of National Liberation waged by the Baath Party and fought guerilla-style. Phase III, which is likely to prove the decisive phase, is true Fourth Generation war, war waged by a wide variety of non-state Iraqi and other Islamic forces for objectives and motives that reach far beyond politics.

    The Post article, "Iraq Attacks Blamed on Islamic Extremists," contains the following revealing paragraph:

    In the intelligence operations room at the 1st Armored Division's headquarters (in Baghdad), wall-mounted charts identifying and linking insurgents depict the changing battlefield. Last fall the organizational chart of Baathist fighters and leaders stretched for 10 feet, while charts listing known Islamic radicals took up a few pieces of paper. Now, the chart of Iraqi religious extremists dominates the room, while the poster depicting Baathist activity has shrunk to half of its previous size.

The article goes on to quote a U.S. intelligence officer as adding, "There is no single organization that's behind all this. It's far more decentralized than that."

Welcome to Phase III. The remaining Ba'athists will of course continue their War of National Liberation, and Fourth Generation elements have been active from the outset. But the situation map in the 1st Armored Division's headquarters reveals the "tipping point": Fourth Generation war is now the dominant form of war against the Americans in Iraq.
The neocons are desperate to avoid responsibility for their failures because they want to keep doing the same stupid shit that caused the current problems. Far from destroying himself, Paul is telling Americans what is necessary just to begin saving what is left of their nation. Ron Paul was right back in 2001. Rand Paul is right now.

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Registration required

I'm sorry, but it looks like Sunday's Open Brainstorm event with Martin van Creveld is not going to be as open as I planned. Thanks to corporate bureaucracy, it appears that we're not going to be able to increase our current limit of 100 participants to 500 until sometime next week.

Emails have been sent out to a) the Annual Brainstorm members and b) the May Brainstorm members. Members have 24 hours to register for the event. If you haven't received an email - and please check your spam filters - email me tonight and let me know if you would like to attend. On Saturday morning I'll post how many open spots remain. Those remaining spots can be claimed by those signing up for c) the June Brainstorm or an Annual membership.

If there are any spots left after that, they'll be first come, first serve after I post the link on the blog about 15 minutes before the event. I'm sorry that it's not possible to provide for any more seats, but we've been trying to order the upgrade for over a week now and it simply could not be done. We will keep trying, but at this point, we have to assume it won't happen before Sunday.

Transcripts from the May session will go out to May and Annual members late tonight; I'm still cleaning it up. A transcript from the open event will be sent free to all May/June/Annual members, and since there will be people who won't be able to attend who were planning to do so, we'll make it free for a week for everyone else on the Castalia store.

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George Martin really really likes rape

Like the worm, the SJW always turns on his own:
Rape acts in Game of Thrones the TV series (to date): 50
Rape victims in Game of Thrones (to date): 29

Rape acts in ASOIAF the book series (to date): 214
Rape victims in ASOIAF (to date): 117

The books contain over 4 times as much rape as the show (and probably even more; the method of analysis likely underestimates the rape in the books - see below).

Before the barrage of anon hate mail floods in: that’s not to say the show’s not problematic. It’s to say that the books are problematic. ETA: Please see A Song of Ice and Fire Has a Rape Problem for a detailed discussion on why the rapes in the books aren’t any better than those in the show. Spoiler: the only women who get vengeance on their rapists are villains.
Those 214 rape acts are particularly astonishing if you compare them to the number of times a married couple has sex. Which, if my memory serves correctly, happens about twice in five books.

Nor are the various defenses of Martin that have been offered valid. As Tafkar notes: "the only thing that protects a woman from rape is being one of Martin’s POV characters." 

More damning is this conclusion: "The stories of rapists are important to George R. R. Martin. Those are the stories he tells. Our point of view characters are the rapists, not the victims." 

George R.R. Martin well merits his fate. 

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There is no solution

It has largely ceased to be funny to see the demography ostriches burying their heads in the sand about the total failure of Melting Pot America, even as it rapidly disappears like a timer that's been turned over.
YANKEE: VD thinks non westerners are too Dunb to maintain a Republic like the U.S. When they are a majority."

DAVID: And non-Westerners continue to steadfastly prove him right. Look, it's really just this simple: if they were capable of doing so they would have done so in their own countries. They have not, ergo, they can't.

YANKEE: "Fine! What's the solution, VD? Furthermore, what's your solution to America housing all these blacks that you also believe Are incapable of maintaining the U.S,?"
There is no solution. There is no shiny secular science fiction "It's a Small World" societies in the making. There are only the inevitable historical consequences of the demographic destruction of Anglo-Saxon America, which will likely follow one of the usual paths: a) subjection and eventual elimination of minorities, b) subjection and eventual elimination of the majority, c) partition, d) ethnic subsumption. For various reasons, I expect (c) to be the most likely in the USA and (a) to be the most likely in Europe.

Before you stick your head back in the sand, keep in mind that I am a Native American, an American Indian. Some of my relatives live on a small reservation of worthless land their conquerors have permitted them to keep, with a handful of people who know how to speak a language that is now almost entirely extinct. So, don't tell me that the survival of your people, of your traditions, or of your way of life is a given. Because I can assure you, they most certainly are not.

The future belongs to those who show up for it. The future belongs to those who are determined to survive and are willing to defend their culture, their language, their genetics, and their traditions. Those who aren't, won't.

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SCIENCE is not science

Whatever happened to the idea that science is self-correcting?
Over the past few days a scandal has begun to plague political science. A UCLA graduate student, Michael LaCour, appears to have faked a data set that was the basis for an article that he published in the highly prestigious journal Science. I have examined a second paper by LaCour. As I’ll explain, I’m convinced that it also is the product of faked results.

The Science article purportedly showed that personalized, door-to-door canvassing is effective at changing political views. LaCour and his co-author, Don Green of Columbia University, enlisted members of an LGBT organization at UCLA to contact voters who had earlier indicated on a survey that they opposed gay marriage. The article shows, based on follow-up surveys, that the LGBT door-to-door canvassing had a significant effect in shifting voters toward pro-gay-marriage views.

Two graduate students at UC Berkeley, however, had significant difficulties in replicating the study. They called the private firm that LaCour had supposedly enlisted to conduct his survey. The firm, however, said that it did not conduct such a survey. LaCour had also reported to the grad students the name of an employee of the survey firm with whom he worked. The firm, however, said that it had no records of such an employee ever working at the firm.

After confronting his coauthor, Green requested that Science retract the article. LaCour still stands by his results. Science, faced with this dilemma, has not (yet) retracted the paper.
That pretty much settles the question of whether Science concerns scientody - the scientific method - or scientistry - the scientific profession. An "editorial expression of concern" is not sufficient. The study could not be replicated and there is evidence that the first study was not legitimate. Therefore, a reputable publication that was actually dedicated to scientody would retract the study immediately pending further evidence of its replicability. Science is observably not such a publication.

Especially when the man who developed the method that researcher utilized has come out very strongly against the legitimacy of LaCour's work:
I think the bulk of the evidence suggests that LaCour faked at least some of the results of this second paper. Not only would I be willing to bet on this conclusion, I would be willing to give 10:1 odds on it. Still, I’m not certain, and I would be hesitant to give 100:1 odds. And I would refuse to give 1,000:1 odds.

Regardless, I am certain that LaCour faked the results of the original paper—the one published in Science. I predict that UCLA will refuse to award him a PhD, and I predict that Princeton will retract the assistant professorship that it offered him. I predict that UCLA or Princeton or both will conduct an investigation. I suspect that they will find that LaCour faked results in a few papers, not just one.
But the most damning thing, as far as the credibility of Science goes, is this observation, "It is very rare for political scientists to have our results mentioned alongside results from the “hard” sciences." So why, then, was this apparently fraudulent paper selected for such unusual publication in the first place?

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

America's Ethnic Achilles Heel

By Yuji Aida
Volume 6, Number 2 (Winter 1995-1996)

[The editors of the San Francisco Examiner gave this brief preface to the article which we second This article is indicative of an influential minority viewpoint in Japan which some people may find offensive. We publish it to illustrate what is being said there.]

TOKYO - Americans are proud of their melting-pot heritage. But as blacks, Hispanics and Asians gradually come to outnumber whites, that ideal will fade. Like the Soviet Union today the United States will have to deal with contentious ethnic groups demanding greater autonomy and even political independence. That could prove to be industrial America's undoing.

Many Americans, however, feign ignorance of the problem, partly because of the official ideology. The United States sees itself as a pluralistic, multiethnic society with a single national identity based on the principles of freedom and democracy. In fact, discrimination is rampant, but the illusion of equality is vital to maintain a sense of unity.

Nonetheless, it is only a matter of time before U.S. minority groups espouse self-determination in some form. When that happens, the country may become ungovernable.... Do blacks and Hispanics, for instance, have the skills and knowledge to run an advanced industrial economy? If the answer is yes, America will maintain its vitality through the next century and beyond. But I'm skeptical.
As am I, and I am part-Hispanic. It's because I know my Hispanic Catholic relatives that I am extremely dubious they are capable of serving as an adequate replacement for the Anglo-Saxon Protestants that they will eventually replace as the USA's dominant ethnic group. The ironic thing is that even though we are 20 years deeper into the experiment of ethnic America and Mr. Aida's case looks stronger than ever, his article would probably not be publishable today; it might even be deemed criminal in some places.

But no amount of pretense, thought policing, and determined belief in the magically transformative powers of geographic translocation are going to make any difference in the future. Either the replacement population will be capable of maintaining a First World European-style society or it will not be capable and that society will see its living standards degraded.

And then, of course, there is the entirely separate problem of those non-European groups rejecting the very European, indeed, very Anglo-Saxon concepts such as the Common Law and the Rights of Englishmen. Which happen to include a few minor things such as limited government and so forth. I think a very good case can be made for Continental immigrants never quite grasping these concepts in their entirety. It does not appear subsequent waves of immigrants are doing any better in this regard.

Now, I realize that millions of people very genuinely believe that the ethnic demographics of a society are totally irrelevant. I understand that millions of people genuinely believe that IQ does not measure intelligence and that every human sub-species is equally capable of all things. Of course, I also recognize that most people are idiots.

So here is the question I have for those people who firmly believe that the ethnic composition of a society is not a controlling factor in what that society will be like. Have you ever stopped to consider what is going to happen if you are wrong? Have you ever wondered how future generations are going to regard you and the fate you inflicted upon them with your fervent dedication to diversity, equality, and inclusivity? Aren't you not only betting the house, but Western civilization, on an untested and unproven idea?

What if you are wrong?

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GGinParis

Mike Cernovich, Milo Yiannopoulos, and I will be at GGinParis on Saturday, July 11 at 8 PM. If you're in Europe, or if you're going to be in Europe this summer, and intend to come, please shoot me an email with GGinParis in the subject.

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Hugo Awards 2015: Best Novella

This is how I am voting in the Best Novella category. Of course, I merely offer this information regarding my individual ballot for no particular reason at all, and the fact that I have done so should not be confused in any way, shape, or form with a slate or a bloc vote, much less a direct order by the Supreme Dark Lord of the Evil Legion of Evil to his 367 Vile Faceless Minions or anyone else.
  1. "One Bright Star to Guide Them"
  2. "Big Boys Don't Cry"
  3. "The Plural of Helen of Troy"
  4. "Pale Realms of Shade"
  5. "Flow"
In the relatively near future, I will be debating the merits and demerits of John C. Wright's "One Bright Star to Guide Them" versus those of The Wasp Factory by Iain M. Banks with Phil Sandifier. It should be an interesting discussion, as the two works in some ways represent the two poles of the Blue SF/Pink SF divide, even if few would consider the Banks novel to be science fiction or fantasy.

Other categories:

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Good riddance

The death of the print media in America. It's pretty astonishing, but having grown up reading the Star Tribune, aka "the Red Star", it's good to see them collapsing in such a dramatic manner. At this rate, many of them should be gone altogether by 2023.

And it is a very healthy sign, I think, for a one-way monopolistic medium to be replaced by a two-way medium with literally thousands of options. I expect the conventional publishing world to follow suit in reasonably short order once Barnes & Noble goes out of business.

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Paul Gottfried reviews VICTORIA

I don't think anyone with any grasp of history doubts that the USA is in the process of going the way of the Byzantine Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Yugoslavia, and the Soviet Union at this point. It is a now a centralized multi-ethnic empire held together by the threat of military force, after all, and such empires always fracture sooner or later. And for all the various unpleasantries it recounts, VICTORIA: A Novel of 4th Generation War represents one of the more rosy-hued outcomes possible. Paul Gottfried reviewed it on VDARE.
William Lind’s VICTORIA Heralds Coming America Breakup
By Paul Gottfried

William S. Lind is a man of many talents. He’s an institution of the American conservative movement, formerly the Director of the Center for Cultural Conservatism of the Free Congress Foundation (under the late Paul Weyrich), a regular contributor to The American Conservative, and a noted military theorist. And now, with the publication of Victoria he is a novelist, putting forward a highly readable vision of the breakup of the United States and a traditionalist restoration. It’s a sign of the times that we can no longer regard such a story as implausible.

Victoria is subtitled “A Novel of Fourth Generation Warfare,” and Lind’s writings on warfare bleed (perhaps too much) into his storytelling. His theory of Fourth Generation Warfare contends that warfare has ceased between states with standing armies and operative governments. Instead, it is decentralized, on at least one side, lacking a regular command structure and no longer identified with an established state or regular army. Countries like the U.S. find themselves in partisan struggles around the world that violate the “rules of war” built up under the old European state system.

Bill’s ideas about changing forms of warfare may have been influenced by the German political-legal theorist Carl Schmitt, who wrote on partisan warfare after the Second World War. His novel is written under the nom de plume “Thomas Hobbes,” so even in this he reveals his connection to Schmitt, as the German jurist profoundly admired the seventeenth-century Englishman who wrote about the rise of the state [The Leviathan in the State Theory of Thomas Hobbes, by Carl Schmitt] (I wrote an intellectual biography of Schmitt and also deeply respect the philosopher who wished to protect us against “the war of all against all.”)

In Victoria, all Hell breaks loose in a way that Hobbes might have understood. Yet it is only the Time of Tribulations before the golden age of social restoration that ends the novel. Indeed, we are told the ending in advance in the opening scene when we learn “The triumph of the Recovery was marked most clearly by the burning of the Episcopal bishop of Maine.”
The revival of witch-burning in New England was certainly an eye-opener, but I'd have to say that my favorite scene was the rather egregious violation of academic freedom at Dartmouth. It's kind of funny to imagine what the reaction would have been if I'd recommended VICTORIA for a Hugo instead of THE CHAPLAIN'S WAR. But it's not science fiction, it's political fiction, so that wouldn't have been proper and neither Mr. Hobbes, nor his agent, Mr. Lind, would have approved.

In any event, VICTORIA is now available as a 592-page paperback. And speaking of Mr. Lind, I should also mention that Martin van Creveld's A HISTORY OF STRATEGY: From Sun Tzu to William S. Lind is now available in hardcover.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Vox's First Law at work

Vox's First Law: Any sufficiently advanced intelligence is indistinguishable from insanity. Or, in this case, autism:
State therapy specialists claimed Jacob Barnett would never tie his shoes, read or function normally in society. But the boy’s mother realized when Jacob was not in therapy, he was doing “spectacular things” completely on his own.

She decided to trust her instinct and disregard the advice of the professionals. Instead of following a standardized special needs educational protocol, she surrounded Jacob with all the things that inspired passion for him – and was astonished at the transformation that took place.

Following a diagnosis of autism at age two, Jacob was subjected to a cookie cutter special education system that focused on correcting what he couldn’t do compared to normal children. For years, teachers attempted to convince Kristine Barnett that her son would only be able to learn the most basic of life skills....

By the time Jacob reached the age of 11, he entered college and is currently studying condensed matter physics at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis. According to an email Professor Scott Tremaine wrote to Jacob’s family:
“The theory that he’s working on involves several of the toughest problems in astrophysics and theoretical physics … Anyone who solves these will be in line for a Nobel Prize.”
Jacob also has an IQ of 170 — higher than that of Einstein.
This is an object lesson in what we discussed at the May Brainstorm. Never, ever, blindly trust the so-called experts. Respect, but verify.

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Tanith Lee, RIP

British writer Tanith Lee passed away on Sunday May 24th, aged 67.

Lee was the author of over 90 books and 300 short stories, as well as four BBC Radio plays, and two highly-regarded episodes of the BBC’s SF series Blake’s 7 (Sand and Sarcophagus). She was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the World Fantasy Convention in Brighton in 2013 and the Horror Writers Lifetime Achievement Award this year, which joined her British Fantasy Award from 1980 for Death’s Master, and her World Fantasy Award for her short story “The Gorgon”.


I was very sorry to hear this since Lee's The Secret Books of Paradys and The Secret Books of Venus are two of my favorite fantasy series. I've been re-reading them over the last month or so, and it's sad to know that she won't be writing any more.

Like many a British writer before her, she loved Italy and her love for the country shone through in her writing.  Based on her books, Venice must have struck her in much the same way it struck me, a dark, watery, and mysterious place of beautiful decay.

If you haven't read her, you really should. If you like Poe, you will enjoy her work.

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You don't like the medicine, doctor?

Glenn Hauman on said:
Dave Freer: No-one has called for a boycott or blacklist of David Gerrold, or Glenn Hauman, or to have their reputations tarnished and Amazon reviews deliberately lowered.

And yet they got bad reviews? What a coincidence! I also didn’t call for a boycott or blacklist, and yet somehow there’s a sudden rash of bad reviews of my books up on Amazon. See http://www.amazon.com/Star-Trek-Engineers-Creative-Couplings-ebook/dp/B000WJSA3I/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
No, Glenn Hauman didn't call for a boycott or a blacklist, he called for fake negative reviews to be posted on Amazon, fake negative reviews which were immediately posted on Amazon in response to his calls for them.
Glenn Hauman on April 15, 2015
You can game Amazon ratings as well. Here’s a list of all of Mr. Beale’s nominees, complete with handy links to Amazon. It might be a good idea to take a look at the reviews and see which ones are helpful. If you’ve read the works, you should add your own review. Oh, and to answer the title question: what do you do to rabid puppies? You put them down.

Glenn Hauman on May 20, 2015
Just a reminder to all Hugo voters: After you’ve read items in the Hugo packet, you don’t have to confine any reviews of them to your own blogs and social media. Feel free to add them to Amazon as well.
I see absolutely no evidence that the sudden rash of bad reviews of Mr. Hauman's books reflect anything but the opinions of people who have read it and are honestly expressing their disappointment with their inferior quality. After all, absolutely no one has called for anyone to review or otherwise pay attention to his work at all. It must be, as Mr. "Put Them Down" himself has said, a mere coincidence.

And because Public Enemy is always appropriate:

He book-reviewed, he S.J.W'd
Vile minions viewed his anti-Puppy feud

One-star the rating, listen to him double trouble
He signs in now he's pushing for the lower level
Like crashing cars he's out there stealing stars

From books he took without a single look.
Taking a toll 'cause his soul broke with the poll
From the revelation... of a Puppy Nation.

Now this is what I mean an anti-Puppy machine
If Hugo come out at all, he won't come out clean
But look around here go the sound of the wrecking clown
Boom and pound when he put 'em down

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The principles of Agile

I've never been much impressed with any of the "best practices" concepts, from Six Sigma to Agile. They strike me primarily as a way for midwitted bureaucrats and technical workers of modest talent to cover their asses and claim failure can't be their fault because they are Doing Everything The Right Way:
The Twelve Principles of Agile Software
  1. Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
  2. Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage.
  3. Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
  4. Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.
  5.  Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
  6.  The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.
  7.  Working software is the primary measure of progress.
  8.  Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
  9. Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
  10. Simplicity--the art of maximizing the amount of work not done--is essential.
  11. The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.
  12. At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.
My thoughts on each point:
  1.  Sounds good in principle. In reality, the customer seldom knows what he really wants. The good designer has to anticipate his user and provide him what he doesn't know he wants yet. "Early and continuous delivery" sounds like more ass-covering stuff. "It's not our fault, he approved the deliverable" is what this sounds like to me.
  2. Bullshit. That's fine in the early stages. In the middle to late stages, this is what is known as "mission creep".
  3. Good for testing, but against, strikes me as more CYA, especially if it is going out to the customer.
  4. No. Hell no. While the biggest failure of which I've been a part was the fault of the chip engineer failing to listen to the marketing guy, I did talk to him on a bi-weekly basis. Talking to him daily wouldn't have helped. The key is that the technical people must LISTEN to the business people, not see their faces on a regular basis.
  5. Yes.
  6. No. I run into this problem frequently. Most companies would rather have an inferior employee they can talk to face-to-face than a better one who is external. This makes no sense, especially if they then leave the position vacant because they can't find anyone local who is good enough.
  7. Yes.
  8. Dubious. Sounds like snake oil to me.
  9. True, but obvious to the point of being tautological. "Program good code that works properly!" Okay....
  10. True. But I prefer "don't reinvent the wheel".
  11. No. A certain amount of flexibility is desirable, but there must be someone who is accountable for the vision and someone to make the hard decisions. Which is to say a designer and a producer. The best designs most certainly do NOT emerge from self-appointed committees.
  12. Yes, this is reasonable.
Overall, the entire concept stinks of being little more than client-marketing to me. "Hey, we're AGILE-CERTIFIED, obviously we are much better than those guys over there who don't have CREDENTIALS. All they have is a proven track record of delivering successful products, and we all know how little that means.

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Monday, May 25, 2015

We're going to need a bigger facepalm

More brilliance from the genius-commenters at File 770. Seriously, what you have to remind yourself whenever you read them is to keep in mind that they quite genuinely believe that they are our intellectual betters. It makes everything much, much funnier.
Glenn Hauman on May 25, 2015 at 9:51 am said:
Stevie: The deal with Tor means that Scalzi gets to write, and all the other stuff is done by Tor who are better at it than Scalzi is; VD is too egotistical to accept that he isn’t the best at everything he does. Scalzi certainly has a healthy ego but he’s got the brains to know that it doesn’t make any sense to spend his time doing something which other people do better

More, that implies that Beale has never heard of Ricardo’s theory of comparative advantage, which states that you should be doing what you’re best at even if you do other things better than other people, as it’s a waste of your efforts otherwise. Surprising for Beale to claim to be so well versed in economics and yet be ignorant of a basic tenet of the field.
I wonder what Mr. Hauman believes I was addressing when I wrote the column entitled The Religion of Free Trade, which begins in the following manner:

Let us suppose I told you of a certain doctrine in which millions of people believe without ever having read the book in which it is contained, which is predicated upon a situation that has never existed, and promises positive consequences that not only have never been delivered, but we are told cannot even be measured and cannot be realized without achieving something that has never been done before in the history of Man. Furthermore, the doctrine was developed by a gambler and politician with absolutely no credentials or qualifications on the subject, which subject he had never encountered before the age of 27, in tandem with a related theory that is so obviously insane that barely anyone has ever even heard of it.

So long as we are careful to set aside any reliance upon the genetic fallacy, does this sound like a doctrine that is not only infallible, but one that it would be crazy to even consider questioning? And yet, the fervor with which the advocates of the free-trade doctrine defend David Ricardo’s outdated, disproven theory of comparative advantage and decry those who question it is so ferocious as to indicate the nature of a belief that can only be described as religious.

David Ricardo was without question a brilliant and successful man, but what is much less often noted is how intellectually dishonest he was. In a previous WND column, titled Free Trade Harms America, I showed how Joseph Schumpeter labeled his peculiar and tautological method of argument the “Ricardian Vice.” Furthermore, he was not even the original author of the theory of Comparative Advantage, it having been first introduced by Robert Torrens in “An Essay on the External Corn Trade” two years before Ricardo transformed a specific argument for a specific situation into something passing for a general principle, which he published in “On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation.”


Truly, my ignorance on the subject, which I also addressed in 2010 and in 2014, astounds. The theory of Comparative Advantage also came up in my interview with Ian Fletcher, who has devoted a considerable amount of time and effort to utterly demolishing Ricardo.

Remember, SJWs always lie. And perhaps more importantly, we again see an example of the midwit having so little ability to grasp what his intellectual superior is saying that he erroneously assumes stupidity and ignorance on said superior's part. As it happens, I am probably one of the 100 people on the planet most equipped to discuss David Ricardo's theory of comparative advantage in critical detail, so it is vastly amusing to see Mr. Hauman assert that I am "ignorant of a basic tenet of the field."

Perhaps Mr. Hauman, being such a noted expert in Ricardian theory, would do us all the favor of calculating the real value of Mr. Scalzi's new contract based on the only true determinant of profit.

And just to be clear, if you are not one of the five people reading this who understand the reference, that is a joke.

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A History of Strategy chapter 2

A History of Strategy chapter 2.

If you want to get caught up and take the first one, you can find it here. If you still haven't picked up a copy of the book, A History of Strategy is now available in hardcover for $14.99 as well as in Kindle format.

Discuss the quiz and the chapter in the comments below; don't check out the comments before you take the quiz.

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A lesson in con artistry

I thought John Scalzi's new book deal to lock in his retirement was an interesting indication of his intrinsic insecurity as well as the practicality that distinguishes him from most of his SF colleagues.
John Scalzi, a best-selling author of science fiction, has signed a $3.4 million, 10-year deal with the publisher Tor Books that will cover his next 13 books.

Mr. Scalzi’s works include a series known as the “Old Man’s War” and the more recent “Redshirts,” a Hugo-award-winning sendup of the luckless lives of nonfeatured characters on shows like the original “Star Trek.” Three of his works are being developed for television, including “Redshirts” and “Lock In,” a science-inflected medical thriller that evokes Michael Crichton. Mr. Scalzi’s hyper-caffeinated Internet presence through his blog, Whatever, has made him an online celebrity as well.

Mr. Scalzi approached Tor Books, his longtime publisher, with proposals for 10 adult novels and three young adult novels over 10 years. Some of the books will extend the popular “Old Man’s War” series, building on an existing audience, and one will be a sequel to “Lock In.” Mr. Scalzi said he hoped books like “Lock In” could draw more readers toward science fiction, since many, he said, are still “gun-shy” about the genre.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden, the executive editor for Tor, said the decision was an easy one.
I imagine it was a very easy one. Scalzi is, nominally, Tor's big dog. He's not a proper big dog, as he isn't one of their ten annual biggest sellers or even a bestselling author, but he's their most important SF figurehead author. Who else do they have? Of their better-selling authors, Frank Herbert is dead, Robert Jordan is dead, Orson Scott Card is hated by their core audience, and they can't control Microsoft or the game companies whose tie-in novels are their biggest sellers. They have Scalzi and Brandon Sanderson, both of whom appear to have more or less peaked in terms of their careers. It's not as if the award-winning Jo Walton or the award-winning Catharine Asaro or any of their other award-winning authors sell enough books to support all the SJW non-SF they keep trying to push on an unwilling public.

So to be gifted the opportunity to lock in one of their top authors for a decade at little more than 250k per book at an initial cost of $1 million up front is an absolute no-brainer. Scalzi is a hack in the positive sense of the term; unless he's dead there is no chance he's not going to be able to churn out the sort of mediocre material he produces. To break even on the initial advance, (the payments are usually divided into signing, delivery, and acceptance these days), Tor only has to sell an average of about 15k books each. Assuming all 13 books are delivered and paid for, they have to sell around 40k copies apiece, which should be doable considering that Redshirts sold nearly that many ebooks alone in the first eight months of its release. It's a great deal for them, especially since they likely have the ability to get out of it down the road without paying two-thirds of it if they wish.

NB: The mainstream publishers now pay book advances in thirds. One-third on signature, one-third on delivery, and one third on either acceptance or publication. So, the contract is most likely $1 million up front, with two payments of $75k for each book upon a) delivery, and b) acceptance or publication.

This isn't a bad deal for Scalzi, it is merely a very conservative deal. What Johnny Con is attempting to do is to secure his retirement and look for any upside to come out of the various media deals he's got going. It's a perfectly reasonable strategy, particularly in these uncertain economic times. The bolder strategy would have been for him to go into self-publishing, where as I've demonstrated, there is considerably more upside to be had. But Scalzi is neither a self-confident man nor an entrepreneur, so it is entirely in character that he'd prefer to give up the equivalent of about five birds in the bush in favor of the one in Tor's hand.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. And since he has a reasonable shot at other upsides, I think it's an entirely sensible deal on his part. Lock in the base, then see what you can leverage elsewhere. It's a conservative move, but not one that I would criticize him for making. Everyone has different appetites for risk. Indeed, as I have often said, McRapey has an unusual talent for self-promotion. The fact that a mediocre and derivative hack without any discernible talent beyond self-promotion and petty snark could turn 300k monthly pageviews and a color-by-numbers Heinlein ripoff into a near-guaranteed $250k per year is borderline astonishing. If he'd somehow managed to do it without repeatedly lying his ample ass off and consistently misrepresenting himself, I'd consider him to be downright brilliant.

What is much more important is what the deal indicates for science fiction publishing, and that is where I see problems on the horizon. If one of the best-known authors in science fiction can only command $260k per book from the biggest science fiction publisher, then conventional publishing does not appear to be long for this world. Which is, in fact, exactly what I believe to be the case.

Of course, I was genuinely amused to see McRapey omit making any traffic claims for the blog that made him "an online celebrity". I wonder why he doesn't brag about those two million monthly pageviews or 50 THOUSAND DAILY VISITS to reporters anymore?

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Racists vs Child Rapists

The Campbell-Delany divide pretty well sums up the two sides in the science fiction culture war. To translate how the New Republic describes it, it is scientagic realists against child-molesting pedophiles and their defenders in the science fiction community:
To outsiders, the struggle over the Hugos can be confusing. It involves the arcane details of a complex nomination procedure and factions named Sad Puppies 3 and Rabid Puppies. But the ruckus makes a lot more sense in the context of science fiction's historical lack of diversity, and there's perhaps no better illustration of that problem than the career of Samuel R. Delany.... John W. Campbell, Analog's editor, claimed that he enjoyed shaking up his audience with outrageous ideas, but [Delany's] "Nova" proved too much for him. According to Delany, Campbell called the author's agent and said that while he liked the novel, "he didn't feel his readership would be able to relate to a black main character." Campbell's contention that fans weren't ready for a book like "Nova" was belied by the fact that it was shortlisted for a Hugo in 1969.

Campbell used his audience as a cover for his own racism. He had published editorials arguing that slavery was a perfectly sensible system for pre-industrial societies, championing the racial theory that whites have a fundamentally higher level of intelligence than blacks and asserting, "One of the major reasons the Negro people are having so much trouble gaining acceptance is, simply, that the Negroes are not doing an adequate job of disciplining their own people, themselves." Campbell was no fringe kook. He was the most influential science-fiction editor of the last century, whose vision of rule-based, scientifically informed fiction shaped the careers of such canonical writers as Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Theodore Sturgeon and Frank Herbert.

Amid the strife of the 1960s, which polarized science fiction no less than the rest of culture, it was easy to cast Campbell and Delany as diametric opposites: Campbell as the old reactionary apostle of heroic, manly tales of space cowboys, and Delany as the young subversive practitioner of cutting-edge speculative fiction that challenged certitudes about identity.
We have called for a Cambellian revolution in science fiction; to a certain extent, that's what Blue SF is. And "subversive speculative fiction that challenges certitudes about identity, morality, religion, sexual orientation, and tradition" is about as good a way as any to describe the Pink SF we oppose. Campbellian SF vs Delanyite SF. Science vs Subversion. White Male Racists vs Gay Child Rapists.

One thing you'll note that the mainstream media never does is to dig up and expose the evil that lies at the heart of Pink SF. They love to point-and-shriek at the late Campbell's racism, never mind that he was, and is, absolutely correct, as whites have been reliably observed to possess a higher average intelligence than blacks. One would expect a top science fiction editor to be up on the relevant science, after all. Here is a quote from William Saletan, a writer of whom Delany himself cites respectfully:

Among white Americans, the average IQ, as of a decade or so ago, was 103. Among Asian-Americans, it was 106. Among Jewish Americans, it was 113. Among Latino Americans, it was 89. Among African-Americans, it was 85. Around the world, studies find the same general pattern: whites 100, East Asians 106, sub-Sarahan Africans 70.

So, are we all East Asian supremacists now? Is science intrinsically racist and therefore anathema? In the meantime, both the media and the science fiction community resolutely avoid looking into the likelihood that good old "Chip" Delany is a criminal pedophile, like Walter Breen, like Marion Zimmer Bradley, like Ed Kramer, like David Asimov, and like other members of the science fiction community whose sex crimes the science fiction community has either ignored or defended for decades.

The New Republic article quoted Delany talking about Campell; what a pity they didn't quote Delany talking about himself.

"I read the NAMBLA [Bulletin] fairly regularly and I think it is one of the most intelligent discussions of sexuality I've ever found.  I think before you start judging what NAMBLA is about, expose yourself to it and see what it is really about."
- Samuel R. Delany, June 25, 1994.

"Since I spent eighteen years of my life as a child, and nine years of that life as a pretty sexually active gay child, my complaint against the current attitudes is that they work mightily to silence the voices of children first and secondarily ignore what adults have to say who have been through these situations. One size fits all is never the way to handle any situation with a human dimension. Many, many children—and I was one of them—are desperate to establish some sort of sexual relation with an older and even adult figure."
- Samuel R. Delany, Wednesday, July 9, 2014

"Adults hurting children is my notion of a bad thing, whether it is through corporal punishment or in any other way. Children hurting children is equally bad. Pain is not a good teaching tool. So that’s where I tend to stop."
- Samuel R. Delany, Wednesday, July 9, 2014

That last quote is particularly problematic, as contra his self-appointed public defenders' claims, Delany is clearly referring to physical pain, not sexual contact, when he says "hurting children" is his "notion of a bad thing". Most people assume that sexual contact is intrinsically harmful to children. Delany actively denies this.

Delany has admitted to being in sexual contact with adult men since the age of 6 and considers himself to have been sexually active since the age of 9. He has attacked the idea that children cannot consent to sexual activity with adults and only opposes children being hurt in the sense of physical pain, and has even quoted a Carlin joke in claiming that it is less harmful to a boy to receive oral sex than be spanked. He has written, repeatedly and at great length, about his fantasies of pre-adolescent boys and girls being raped and otherwise sexually molested by men in a number of his novels, most particularly Hogg: A Novel, which was published in 2004 and is described as follows by Publishers Weekly:
Hugo-and Nebula Award-winner Delany - whose early books were fascinating but whose recent efforts have grown increasingly obtuse - has been trying to get this pornographic novel published since 1973. The main narrator here is an 11-year-old boy who joins up with a raping, murdering pederast named Hogg. Coprophiliac Hogg violates women for pay. He enlists the help of other pedophiliac murdering rapists - Nigg, Dago and Denny - and the group sets off to perform acts of hideous violence. After the attacks, a biker friend of Hogg's sells the boy into sexual slavery to dockyard slum resident Big Sambo, who keeps his 12-year-old daughter for prostitution and his own perversions. The traumatized little girl is gang-raped by Hogg's crew as well. Meanwhile, teenaged Denny goes on an insane mutilating and mass-murder spree, eludes the police and finally returns to Hogg and the hopelessly confused narrator, who has been "rescued" after Hogg murders Big Sambo. Gang-rape attacks and criminal sex orgies are detailed at excruciating length, with photographic realism. This potent emetic is all the more disturbing for want of modulators of honest outrage. 
If one can reasonably declare John W. Campbell a racist on the basis of his essays and reported words, then one can absolutely, and with utter certainty, declare Samuel R. Delany to be a child-raping pedophile on the basis of his own stated beliefs and published fantasies. This is true despite our limited information about his actual historical actions. Whether or not Delany is a literal child rapist, he certainly has child rapist views. And as for his past actions, we certainly know a hell of a lot more about the SFWA Grand Master pedophilic inclinations than we did about Marion Zimmer Bradley's only eleven months ago. Is anyone going to even pretend to be surprised should evidence be uncovered that good old "Chip" acted on his criminal fantasies at some point in the past?

Here are two questions for Samuel R. Delany. If the media or SFWA continue to avoid asking them, you'll know they're simply afraid to receive the answer; even Will Shetterly, who otherwise addressed the issue in a forthright manner, failed to ask the obvious and important question. I will say one thing for Mr. Delany, he is alarmingly forthcoming, he hasn't been afraid to answer difficult questions posed to him in the past, and one can't blame him for not answering questions that were never asked. So here they are:
  1. Have you ever had any form of sexual contact with an individual under the age of 17?
  2. What is the oldest age at which you had some form of sexual contact with an individual under the age of 17?
Until those two questions are answered honestly by Mr. Delany, anyone who denies that good old "Chip" Delany, SFWA Grand Master has ever behaved inappropriately is doing so dishonestly on the basis of no information at all and in the face of considerable evidence to the contrary. What a pity that Delany didn't throw a few spaceships into Hogg or it might have made the Hugo shortlist too.

On a lighter note, this quote from George R.R. Martin cracked me up:
"We're SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY FANS, we love to read about aliens and vampires and elves. Are we really going to freak about Asians and Native Americans?"
Well, George, judging by the continuing series of articles about Sad Puppies and the Hugo Awards, to say nothing of your own copious posting on the subject, you certainly appear to be freaking out about this Native American.

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

The SJWs are losing

So are their allies in the media:
If patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, then these people went out of their way to prove that social justice is the last refuge of bullies and cowards.

But real life is not high school, and now the worm has turned. Like clockwork, nearly every alleged “victim” put forward with oozing crocodile tears by these journalistic reptiles has been discredited. Their narrative that sexism dominates Silicon Valley has been crushed under a judge’s gavel. Their claim that depraved captains of tech exploit rape culture to ravish the vulnerable appear to have been exposed as rank opportunism at best. Their allegations that rape has swept America’s college campuses now look like the fabrications of pathological liars and jealous exes. The allegedly “sexist” and “violent” #Gamergate has braved a bomb threat without incident, while its media critics have either been fired, lost millions of dollars for alienating their core audience, or have simply revealed their extremism too publicly to be taken seriously. An army of science fiction fans determined to see merit returned to the criteria used for awarding the prestigious Hugo Awards have stormed the leftist bastille that is Worldcon and reduced their opponents to (ironically) suddenly discovering that an uncritically “inclusive” space might not be all it’s cracked up to be.

And if that wasn’t enough, this week, the Society of Professional Journalists has agreed to hear the case made by #Gamergate supporters that the entire field of gaming journalism has been turned into a hotbed of cronyism and ideologically motivated deceit. This mark of legitimacy was sensibly conferred after a particularly conscientious member of the SPJ quite reasonably pointed out that an accusation of unethical behavior deserves a hearing, no matter how unfashionable its exponents.
This didn't start overnight. It won't end overnight. But we're winning our Lexington and Concord.

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Caricatures

It's rather funny reading the midwits at Popehat attempting to describe me for the benefit of each other. Even Clark himself doesn't grasp what all of the Ilk have with ease:
Clark, I appreciate your description of Vox as a performance artist; it gives me a bit better perspective on his schtick. Given the "anti" in many of his expressed views, I can see what attraction he has for you. Yes, he's brilliant; he has constructed an immense Vox-world, with its own social rules, heirarchy and mythos. He's positioned himself in a pseudo-intellectual gaping hole and become the god of the whiny, sniveling mysogynistic mouth-breathers that inhabit its nether-regions. He is so over-the-top that it must take an enormous, expansive intellect to keep all that crazy consistent in some sort of weird Vox-world logical way. He's also one of the nastiest narcissitic psychopaths to inhabit the planet Earth. The evil demons seem to dance at his command, as he draws the most vile thoughts out of his subjects to pour forth onto the internet – and he does it all with flair, making it seem effortless. Reading his posts and the comments is like looking beneath a rock and being blinded by the awful blackness of the anti-Christ. Some people say he's insecure, but I think he's doing pretty well at holding on to his Vox-world god-throne. I suspect much planning and deliberation go into his performance, because being Vox must be exhausting. I don't know how he sleeps at night.
Count the obvious flaws:
  1. I'm not a performance artist. What you see is pretty much who and what I am. It's an incomplete picture, of necessity, but what is visible is accurate enough. There is a reason you never see any contradicting exposes by people who know me; I don't contradict myself.
  2. The readers here are not "whiny, sniveling mysogynistic mouth-breathers" and I am no one's god.
  3. Occam's Razor suggests that I am able to maintain consistency because I hew closely to truth and logic. Vox's 1st Law: Any sufficiently advanced intelligence is indistinguishable from insanity.
  4. I'm neither nasty nor psychopathic. I am, admittedly, narcissistic and Machiavellian. I'm also highly empathetic. The psychologist commented that my profile was unusual in that I'm equally comfortable with direct or indirect conflict.
  5. It's not exhausting being me at all. For better or for worse, I know who I am. When I sleep, I sleep soundly.
She certainly does better than Gunnar:
My attack on Vox Day's anti-scientific nonsense is from the perspective of a biologist btw. I've seen a lot of anti-scientific nonsense over the years and I'm somewhat familiar with Vox Day's creationist arguments, and I have dismissed them as completely nonsensical and generally awful. Now this Clark dude is telling me that I'm either being dishonest or illogical because I think Vox Day is peddling anti-scientific nonsense and I dismiss the idea of him as a serious thinker. Clark probably doesn't even realize that by his argument he's dismissing most of the biologists (and probably most scientists) on this planet as either being dishonest or illogical, but that is what he's doing by claiming those are the two options if you think Vox Day is bad at logic.
This is amusing. What Gunnar doesn't understand is that I am considerably more intelligent than most of the biologists and most of the scientists on the planet. One of the things we discussed in the May Brainstorm was directly related to this: the importance of NOT blithely trusting the experts for the highly intelligent. TL;DR: if you have a 135+ IQ and an expert is pinging your sense of wrongness, trust your instincts, put on the brakes, and dig into what he's advising before proceeding no matter what the subject. Most of the time that happens, the expert is either unaware of better options, has got something wrong, or is misapplying a standard protocol. My philosophy with experts is this: respect, but verify.

And I always enjoy this idiotic midwit heuristic:
Christ what an insecure little shit. One of the things I've learned in life is that those who pound their chest and boast about what a badass they are and the havoc they'll dispense if you cross them, aren't and effectively can't. They're laughable. I have no idea what personal demon haunts him, but he's definitely overcompensating for some perceived inadequacy. What a silly little shit.
Meanwhile, half the media organizations from the UK to New Zealand are writing furious stories about the ongoing havoc in the science fiction field. And all that havoc was triggered by a single blog post. Imagine what could happen if I actually put any thought or effort into it.

And all these Popehat dramatics stem from one tweet and one post that revealed nothing new about anyone. It's nothing more than rabbits hopping about in alarm and attempting to DISQUALIFY for fear that members of their warren will defect and join the big bad wolf pack.

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No reason to react

There are more reports of ISIS atrocities in Syria:
Islamic State militants have executed at least 400 mostly women and children in Syria's ancient city of Palmyra. Eye-witnesses have reported the streets are strewn with bodies – the latest victims of the Islamic State's unrelenting savagery - on the same day photographs of captured Syrian soldiers have emerged.

It follows the killing of nearly 300 pro-government troops two days after they captured the city, now symbolised by a black ISIS flag flying above an ancient citadel.
However, keep in mind that false reports of atrocities have been used to whip up support for war for centuries. That doesn't mean the reports are inaccurate, particularly in the electronic age when it's easier to document events, but it's important not to rush to judgment.

In my opinion, there is no reason to even contemplate military intervention in the Islamic world as long as Muslims reside in the West. This is the third great wave of Islamic expansion of a form that long predates the Westphalian system of nation-states and any policy that is based on Westphalian or post-Westphalian principles is bound to fail. Remember, a significant percentage of Muslims in the West openly sympathize with ISIS, and perhaps more importantly, it was Western governments that made the Caliphate possible:
A declassified secret US government document obtained by the conservative public interest law firm Judicial Watch, shows that Western governments deliberately allied with al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups to topple Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad. The document reveals that in coordination with the Gulf states and Turkey, the West intentionally sponsored violent Islamist groups to destabilize Assad, and that these “supporting powers” desired the emergence of a “Salafist Principality” in Syria to “isolate the Syrian regime.”
Yet another strike against the principle of foreign intervention. The devil you don't know is often considerably worse than the one you are trying to cast out.

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Brainstorm schedule

This is the current Brainstorm schedule. Bold indicates a closed event available only to Brainstorm members:

Brainstorm June, 24 June, 7:30 PM EDT
Roosh V, 10 June, 6 PM EDT
Martin van Creveld, 31 May, 2 PM EDT
Brainstorm May (Crohn's, Dark Energy, Hugos)

Members should mention what topics they are interested in discussing this month either here or on the chat channel, I'll pick three and then select two panelists after the topics are settled. Save the astrophysics for July, as that will be the main topic, Stickwick will be one of the panelists again and she wants some time to prepare for it.

Also, most of you are probably unaware that I taught a 12-week course on game development and the history of games in Zurich last year at a Swiss technical institute. Although it was well received and I was asked to repeat it, the regular travel was a bit too brutal and with the promised fast train from Milano still more than a year away, I declined.

However, I plan to revive the course in September with the sponsorship of the institute, albeit online via the webinar software we're using for Brainstorm. It's going to be a 10-lesson course for $150, and Annual members will be allowed to attend free if it's of interest to them. In addition to the core material, the course will feature 30-minute interview/Q&As with various industry figures, including veteran designers, programmers, artists, magazine editors, and even a studio head.

Hugo Awards 2015: Best Novel

This is how I am voting in the Best Novel category. Of course, I merely offer this information regarding my individual ballot for no particular reason at all, and the fact that I have done so should not be confused in any way, shape, or form with a slate or a bloc vote, much less a direct order by the Supreme Dark Lord of the Evil Legion of Evil to his 367 Vile Faceless Minions or anyone else.
  1. The Three-Body Problem
  2. Skin Game
  3. The Goblin Emperor
  4. The Dark Between the Stars
  5. No Award
As for Ancillary Sword, the fact that Ancillary Justice won last year was an indictment of the Hugos, the Nebulas and every other science fiction award it won. The fact that Ancillary Justice is the most-awarded novel in science fiction history will be seen as a complete joke within a decade, and within 15 years it will be as little read as the now-forgotten Nebula-winner The Quantum Rose (Amazon Rank: #2,563,748 in Books) is now. And the first book was better than the sequel. Therefore I am leaving it off the ballot.

Other categories will follow over the next few weeks, in the off-chance that anyone happens to be interested in my opinion.

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What part of "cruelty artist" don't you understand?

Roosh@rooshv
Surprise: one of my committed haters @Popehat is mentally ill, served time in an institution. I wish him the best

 Popehat ‏@Popehat
@rooshv "committed haters" is actually pretty clever.

Popehat ‏@Popehat
.@rooshv Ken isn't the Popehat blogger who hates you. Patrick is the one who hates you, you scrofulous little Ben-wa ball.

Vox Day @voxday
.@Popehat @rooshv Is this "Patrick" an actual person or one of the 16 Personalities of Popehat?
I find it rather astonishing that anyone would be so naive as to imagine, in this day and Information Age, to think that it is a good idea to simultaneously a) be mentally ill and b) play attack dog on the Internet. If being medicated or otherwise under treatment for mental illness meant that one was to be regarded as off limits, it would be impossible to respond to an estimated one-in-five people and four-in-five SJWs. So that's a complete non-starter.

Now, I don't wish disease of any kind on anyone. I never have and never will. I would very much like for everyone, even those who most hate me, to be healthy, happy, and well. But if you have a mental illness and you are foolish enough to attack me, then you can be certain that I will exploit your weakness to whatever extent I happen to find useful or amusing. Why? Because you gave up any claim to my sympathy or civility of your own free will when you decided to attack me or mine without provocation.

My advice to Ken White is threefold:
  1. Get off the Internet for your own good. Seriously. It's no place for the depressed, the bipolar, or the schizophrenic. There is no way the form of conflict-laden communication it fosters will do anything but undermine your mental health.
  2. If you won't do that, then try to stay out of the hot zones. Based on my observations of the behavior of other mentally unstable individuals active on the Internet, at some point your illness is likely to lead you to write checks that your mental stability can't cash.
  3. If you insist on mixing it up on the Internet, then at the very least do not seek out and attack notoriously ruthless individuals like Roosh and me. We won't hesitate to strike at your vulnerabilities and we don't care about the opinion of the delicate souls who will dramatically take to their fainting couches at the horror of it all. Just leave us alone and we'll leave you alone.
My code of behavior is very simple and straightforward. Leave me alone and I will leave you alone. Start something and I will do my level best to finish it to my satisfaction, no matter how long it takes. So, once you've made it personal, don't whine about how cruelly I take advantage of your feelings of worthlessness or complain about how viciously I exploit your sense of being a failure. All you had to do was leave me alone. And if you can't manage something as simple as that, well, then perhaps you really are a stupid and worthless individual doomed to inevitable failure in life.

If you are weak, then for the love of God and anything else in which you happen to believe, do not attack the strong!

One thing I think might be useful to keep in mind that the genuinely stable and self-confident individual has as much trouble understanding the perspective of the unstable and insecure person as the latter does the former. When I read Ken's post about his breakdown and his struggles, my overwhelming impression was sheer bewilderment. He might as well have written it in Chinese for all that I related to it. And what's more, in writing this post, I begin to understand just how evil and pernicious the behavior of the SJWs who constantly try to spin the false narrative of my incessant failure really is: I now understand that being mentally unstable themselves, they are intentionally attempting to provoke me into a psychological tailspin.

That is foolish for two reasons. First, I'm not susceptible to it. It will never, ever work on me because the effect is precisely the opposite of the one intended. In fact, it's exactly what my track coach at university used to do in order to motivate my sprinters group on speed day. (NB: in the track world, sprinters are well known for being the most self-confident of athletes. As it is said, sprinters are born, not made, and you either have it or you don't.) Second, and more important, their use of the tactic tells me precisely who is going to be most vulnerable to it.

And the Dark Lord laughed....

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SJWs always lie

It's as if they have to constantly spin false narratives or they'll stop breathing"
Glenn Hauman on said:
At least Mr. Beale isn’t claiming I’m calling for false reviews anymore, though he still hasn’t retracted that statement.
I am absolutely claiming that Glenn Hauman has called and is still calling for false reviews of certain works to be posted on Amazon. He has publicly, and disingenuously, called for them twice now.  Ten negative reviews, at least five of them confirmed by the reviewer to be false, have now been posted, some by his known associates. Mr. Hauman is either lying or woefully mistaken when he says I am not claiming that he's calling for false reviews anymore.

This is standard SJW behavior. They say something in a passive-aggressive, plausibly deniable manner that they expect others to interpret in a certain way and act accordingly. This is why they are always talking about "dog whistles"; that is how they communicate amongst themselves.

Then, when criticized for the very consequences they intended, they deny having done what they did, reject all responsibility for the consequences of their words, and insist that everyone accept the false narrative of the disconnect between their call to action and the subsequent actions.

Hauman points out that he said people should read the various Puppy works before the reviewers "put them down", but some of the reviewers didn't, by their own admission, read them, nor did Hauman give a damn whether they did or not. His objective was for the Puppy works to receive negative reviews, which they subsequently received. Mission accomplished. The pretense the SJW attempts to maintain is usually a childishly transparent one, and it both confuses and alarms them when one simply ignores the verbal fog of nominal "plausibility" with which they try to preemptively defend themselves and focuses on the intention and the effect.

As, one notes, the justice system likewise does. No drug dealer has ever escaped conviction because he said "melons and cantaloupes" in the place of marijuana and cocaine when wire-tapped. What he said may be true, but it is irrelevant. His intentions are best judged by the response to the words, and not the words themselves.

The reason we know it is disingenuousness and dishonesty and not an inability to connect cause-and-effect is that SJWs are not similarly inclined to respect genuine deniability whenever they are accusing someone of one of the many isms they wield as weapons to DISQUALIFY. In fact, SJWs regularly claim the ability to read minds and discern intentions even when there are no actual consequences to observe.

Don't ever take an SJW's spun narrative at face value. That's exactly what they expect you to do; that's exactly what they need you to do. Punch through it and expose them. You can be sure that the narrative will be false because SJWs always lie.

Speaking of which, these two false narratives are excellent examples:
Stevie on May 22, 2015 at 7:24 pm said:
One thing you will discover is that the canine conspirators are now in total disarray, because the Sads didn’t realise that they would be Shanghaid by the Rabids. Equally, the Rabids are in total disarray because Beale really thought he was going to be treated as an entrepreneurial mastermind by the WSJ and therefore was completely blindsided when the WSJ laughed at him. In other words, all they’ve got left is to be as destructive as possible, and do their best to make everyone else miserable.

Chris Hensley on May 22, 2015 at 7:37 pm said:
“Equally, the Rabids are in total disarray because Beale really thought he was going to be treated as an entrepreneurial mastermind by the WSJ and therefore was completely blindsided when the WSJ laughed at him.”

All the while Vox Day is screaming “Why are you running? We have them right where we want them!”
Are you in total disarray, Rabid Puppies? As for the idea that I was "completely blindsided" by Michael Rappoport's article in the Wall Street Journal, this is exactly what I wrote to the Evil Legion of Evil about it two weeks before it ran: "Wall Street Journal piece coming soon, possibly tomorrow. Strangely enough, they didn't even ask me if I hate black lesbians or kick kittens. It will probably be moderately against us, in my opinion. He wasn't hostile, but he played "devil's advocate", in his own words, several times."

I was, of course, under absolutely no illusions that the piece would have anything to do with entrepreneurship or my being a mastermind of any kind for the obvious reason that I actually talked to the reporter for about ten minutes. Not only were his questions mildly accusatory in nature, but the fact that he was also talking with two people who had nothing to do with the story, George Martin and John Scalzi, was sufficient to tell me which way he was going to spin it. As in fact, turned out to be the case. But the tone of the article was considerably less poisonous than the Entertainment Weekly, Guardian, and Popular Science stories that were planted by the Torlings. Which was nice, and I also noticed that the comments on the WSJ web site ran about 10-1 in our favor.

As for the clueless wonders at File 770 who don't understand how the Torlings plant stories in the mainstream media, they should look at who publishes the authors of some of those "journo things". 

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