Saturday, February 28, 2015

CPAC results

25.7            Sen. Rand Paul
21.4            Gov. Scott Walker
11.5            Sen. Ted Cruz
11.4            Dr. Ben Carson
8.3             Former Gov. Jeb Bush
4.3             Former Sen. Rick Santorum
3.7             Sen. Marco Rubio
3.5             Donald Trump
3.0             Carly Fiorina
2.8             Gov. Chris Christie
1.1             Former Gov. Rick Perry

One the one hand, it's clear that conservatives have no patience for another "electable" moderate who will lose the general election. On the other hand, 11.4 percent for an anti-gun token black candidate indicates that a lot of them are still more concerned about being called racists than they are about winning elections.


#GamerGate: the last redoubt

Nero has some important observations that those in other communities attacked by the SJW Left should take to heart:
In all of the distracting, hysterical, evidence-free and unfair allegations of misogyny and bigotry hurled at supporters of GamerGate, the consumer revolt that continues to surface outrageous misconduct in the video games press, something is being forgotten.

GamerGate is remarkable—and attracts the interest of people like me—because it represents perhaps the first time in the last decade or more that a significant incursion has been made in the culture wars against guilt-mongerers, nannies, authoritarians and far-Left agitators.

Industry after industry has toppled over, putting up no more of a fight than, say, France in 1940. Publishing, journalism, TV… all lie supine beneath the crowing, cackling, censorious battle-axes, male and female, of the third-wave feminist and social justice causes.

But not gamers. Lovers of video games, on seeing their colleagues unfairly hounded as misogynists, on watching journalists credulously reporting scandalous sexual assault claims just because a person was perceived to be “right-wing” and on seeing the games they love attacked and their very identities denied and ridiculed, have said: no. This will not stand.
The key, as he points out is here: "Because hard-core gaming is overwhelmingly male—don’t believe cherry-picked statistics that tell you women now make up 50 per cent of gamers; they don’t, in any meaningful sense—and because those men are often of a stubborn, obsessive, hyper-competitive and systematic bent, it has produced an army finally capable of launching offensives against the censors—using the censors’ own tactics, such as advertiser boycotts, against them."

Keep in mind the Four Fs of Victory. Fight, Follow, or get the F--- out of the way. And if you're a concern moderate who has "concerns" or is "worried" or thinks one tactic or another might be "counterproductive", shut the F--- up. 

As history clearly shows, you're the one who is counterproductive.

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Truth in Anti-GamerGate

It's admittedly hard to find. But we finally managed to locate some after correcting for a few modest exaggerations and untruths, shall we say. Meet Fuchsian Stains, the oft-open mouthpiece of Anti-GamerGate.

And this exchange is why you ALWAYS ignore the ever deeply concerned Concern Trolls.

George Feher ‏@BRC1134
Why the fat shaming? Bad enough they shame mental and neural health issues. Shouldn't you be better than them? 

Vox Day ‏@voxday
Click on the link. It should be self-explanatory.

George Feher ‏@BRC1134
I understand parody, but I think this will be used against gamergate and other things that don't need sjw crap.

Vox Day ‏@voxday
Don't focus inward, target outward. There are no GG thought police.

Bloody moderates. Always concern-trolling, always thought-policing, always preferring to shoot at their own side than the other one. I think I've finally figured it out their counterproductive tendencies, however. Moderates tend to be gammas, so they don't want to take on the enemy directly because they're conflict-avoidant and after all, the enemy might shoot back.

So, they suddenly become "strategists" and experts in coming up with ways to prevent anyone from actually doing anything. It's freaking hilarious to see a few of them "strategizing" together because they inevitably produce a consensus that is not only less effective than literally everything they've been criticizing, but is usually unrelated to the original objective. "We should be better than them" is their battle cry. They love to show that they are "better" than the other side by preemptively surrendering and refusing to fight back. Which, of course, is why they reliably lose.

Now, I should point out this isn't always the case. Brad Torgersen may be the cuddly Bleeding Heart Care Bear of the Evil Legion of Evil, but he's as steady under critical fire as The Mountain That Writes, and if he lacks my quasi-sociopathic immunity to social pressure, he is nevertheless remarkably calm about it. One thing I've learned about Mormons in the last two years is that they are remarkably unflappable.


Shots across the bow

Zerohedge notes that China appears to be taking sides in the Ukraine conflict and doing so in support of Russia:
Speaking in very clear and explicit language, something diplomats are not used to doing, the Chinese ambassador said the "nature and root cause" of the crisis was the "game" between Russia and Western powers, including the United States and the European Union.
He said external intervention by different powers accelerated the crisis and warned that Moscow would feel it was being treated unfairly if the West did not change its approach.

"The West should abandon the zero-sum mentality, and take the real security concerns of Russia into consideration," Qu was quoted as saying.

His comments were an unusually public show of understanding from China for the Russian position. China and Russia see eye-to-eye on many international diplomatic issues but Beijing has generally not been so willing to back Russia over Ukraine.
As noted above, China has long been very cautious not to be drawn into the struggle between Russia and the West over Ukraine's future, not wanting to alienate a key ally. And yet, something changed overnight, with this very clear language, warning some could say, that China will no longer tolerate Pax Americana, and even the mere assumption of a unipolar western world, let alone the reality.
Qu's comments take place just as talks between the United States and its European allies over harsher sanctions against Moscow.
On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Western powers of trying to dominate and impose their ideology on the rest of world. The United States and European delegations slammed Moscow for supporting rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Qu said Washington's involvement in Ukraine could "become a distraction in its foreign policy".
And then, Qu's slap in the face of Obama: "The United States is unwilling to see its presence in any part of the world being weakened, but the fact is its resources are limited, and it will be to some extent hard work to sustain its influence in external affairs."
Very soon after which a prominent critic of Putin was shot dead in a blatant hit that doesn't resemble the usual Russian method of dealing with their critics. Of course, trying to determine whether it is a Russian act, a CIA act meant to look like a Russian act, or a Russian act meant to look like a CIA act, is futile. But it does look as if we're back at near-Cold War levels of hostility between the USA and Russia.

The key difference this time, in my opinion, is that the Russian people will be considerably more united against the USA and its Western allies under a Russian nationalist like Putin than they ever were under the Soviets. If the American strategists are failing to take this into account, their efforts are likely to end in disaster.


Of deceit and discourse

Chris Gerrib made a demonstrably incorrect statement yesterday. He also implied that he had read the entire book, pointing out that he had bought it and talking about details from the first chapter. I called him on his statement and asked him a simple, straightforward yes/no question that would have indicated it to be not only false, but disingenuous and knowingly false.

You made a false and disingenuous claim about what "this SJW shit" is. Do you admit that "this SJW shit" is what "gleefully subverts gender roles" and "the subversion of the dominant white male paradigm"? Yes or no?

Instead of answering the question as per the clearly posted rules of the blog, Chris then went on to post NINE additional comments evading it. I gave him three opportunities to answer, and when he would not do so, I informed him that he would not be posting any more further comments here until he answered the question. This was his not-entirely-unexpected response:
Vox- I'm done talking to you. If you don't want me to comment here, get me banned. Otherwise, fuck off. If you think that's conflict avoidance, whatever. Why I should give a damn about the opinion of a one-name wonder is beyond me.
He is done talking to me. He is done talking to everyone here, now that he is banned and spammed. Furthermore, I note that Chris Gerrib is a liar, a deceiver, an intellectual coward, and a near-textbook example of an insecure, passive-aggressive, conflict-avoidant gamma male, who turns evasive and runs away rather than even take the risk of being publicly forced to admit that he was wrong.

What was fascinating about his behavior yesterday is that at Alpha Game, we have been discussing precisely this pattern of behavior of men who belong to this socio-sexual demographic for the last two weeks, and helping various gammas try to break the pattern. Gerrib's behavior fit it to a T; it was so predictable that several of us were discussing it before he even finished the customary Gamma routine. As one observer said, it was like watching a textbook example in action.
Notice the various elements of the socio-sexual hierarchy at work:
  • Alpha: doesn't mind straightforward conflict, will not tolerate disrespect, is comfortable with direct and physical conflict. The political is not personal.
  • Gamma: can't tolerate disagreement or criticism, bitchy, cowardly, puts himself in situations he is not equipped to handle. The political is personal, the technical is personal, everything is personal. Runs from direct confrontation.
 Here are a few of the typical Gamma behaviors identified by an ex-Gamma that were obvious throughout the comments.
  • In the past year you can’t recall a single serious online discussion you were wrong about anything.
  • In the past two years you can’t recall one discussion with any friends or family in which you were wrong about anything.
  • When finally shown you are wrong about something it is devastating, you remember it for months or years, avoid that place or people, and consider your time there a failure as a person.
  • You routinely lie about small, personal, matters knowing you can get away with it.
  • You think width of knowledge is more important than depth of knowledge.
  • If you start to lose at any game you find a way to quit if you can and hope to save face by degrading the game or the other players.
  • If someone defeats you at a game or competition you can’t look them in the eye afterwards and try to avoid them if possible. 
The two points that I thought was the most telling yesterday were those that concern routinely lying and width of knowledge. From the very start, Gerrib deceitfully struck a pose of being more knowledgeable about the book than he actually was before eventually exposing his own deceit.
  1. "Well, having bought the book based on the author's reading of the first chapter at Windycon, I read stuff like this. Chapter 1 was pretty active, ending with a shoot-out and a bad guy trying to use some kind of mind-control device." 
  2. "if you had gotten as far as the end of chapter 1, you would have found out that the women who cause the first gunfight were both Asian."
  3. "I have not read past chapter 1."
This behavior makes no sense to the non-gamma male, but to prefer everyone knowing that you're deceitful to publicly admitting that you're wrong is the quintessence of gamma. Gammas know no honor because they reject the concept, they consider it foolish. And there is no place in the public discourse here for those who intentionally seek to deceive their fellow commenters.

This is not the first time Gerrib has behaved in this manner. S1AL noted:
That's a truly amusing statement coming from someone incapable of admitting when he is incorrect about any fact. Really, tell me again how there were no black people in a pirate movie before 2005... or how the Declaration of Independence is the "founding" document of America. But hey, now I know it's not just me to whom you won't admit being wrong.
The Rules of the Blog exist for several good reasons, and one of the primary ones is to foster honest, civil, and rational discourse. Those who demonstrate that they either cannot or will not engage in such discourse will not be permitted to continue commenting here.


Friday, February 27, 2015

He lived long and prospered

Leonard Nimoy, Spock of ‘Star Trek,’ Dies at 83. Death comes for us all in time. Even half-Vulcans.
Leonard Nimoy, the sonorous, gaunt-faced actor who won a worshipful global following as Mr. Spock, the resolutely logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut “Star Trek,” died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 83.


Why we fight

Because this is what happens when you don't:
Karen Memery (like memory but with an e as she explains), is just such a seamstress. She is the titular narrator of Elizabeth Bear’s latest steampunk adventure, Karen Memory (with an o and not an e). A prostitute at the Hôtel Ma Cherie, a high-class bordello in Seattle Rapid City in the late 1800s, Memery is dissatisfied with her job and her johns, longing for the prairie life she gave up when her father died....

Bear also gleefully subverts gender roles in Karen Memory. Not just with Karen and Priya’s lesbian relationship. She also introduces Crispin, the gay bouncer at the Hôtel Ma Cherie, and Miss Francina, one of the seamstresses who has a select client base. As Karen puts it:

    “…the thing about Miss Francina is that Miss Francina’s got a pecker under her dress. But that ain’t nothing but God’s rude joke. She’s one of us girls every way that matters, and handy for a bouncer besides.”

So not only do we have three prominent gay characters, including the main protagonist and her love interest, but we also have a transgender character — the first I’ve run into in a 19th Century setting. And Karen’s plainspoken acceptance of Miss Francina, and those other societal outcasts who gravitate to the Hôtel Ma Cherie is probably the most refreshing part of the book.

Indeed, one of the major themes of Karen Memory seems to be the subversion of the dominant white male paradigm. Bear puts a variety of alternative lifestyles and minority role models on display, and fervently asserts that they too can be heroes in a fantasy novel. Madame Damnable in her quest for leadership of Seattle Rapid City against Bantle; the African-American Marshal Reeves, who has risen to a place of leadership despite his race (and actually Madame Damnable as well – Karen makes it clear that the powerful madame is also African-American by blood, if not by appearance); and Priya and Karen’s blossoming relationship, forbidden both as same-sex and interracial, are all examples.
Does that sounds like "loads of fun" to you? Because reading about a dissatisfied whore while being subjected to a sermon on the importance of diversity in sexual orientation, race, and transgenderism sounds about as much fun as listening to to SJWs drone on NPR about intersectionalism. I would genuinely rather read an IMF paper on the monetary policy of Zambia  or Newton's Principia. In Latin.

Loads of fun. That's what they want to bring to the game industry too. Loads of fun. Now, you can either submit to this SJW shit, or you can help us keep it out of games and take back science fiction. What will it be?

UPDATE: Bandai Namco sensitively responds to SJW concerns by providing new armor for female characters Ivy and Amy. Happy now?

No, apparently not.

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An SJW guide to making games

Anita Sarkeesian is not, by her own admission, a gamer. Nor is she a game developer, let alone a game designer. Kotaku quoted her as follows:
Sarkeesian mentioned her time in grad school, which I believe was the same time she was saying in that clip that she wasn't a fan of games. "If you asked me at the time, I would probably have said I wasn't a gamer," she said. Under her breath she added: "I don't even know if I want to say that now, but whatever."
She's not a gamer. She knows nothing about games. She is a classic SJW entryist, invading a culture to which she does not belong in order to change it according to her principles. Her list of "improvements":

"Eight things developers can do to make games less shitty for women."
  1. Avoid the Smurfette principle (don't have just one female character in an ensemble cast, let alone one whose personality is more or less "girl" or "woman.")
  2. "Lingerie is not armor" (Dress female characters as something other than sex objects.)
  3. Have female characters of various body types
  4. Don't over-emphasize female characters' rear ends, not any more than you would the average male character's
  5. Include more female characters of color.
  6. Animate female characters to move the way normal women, soldiers or athletes would move.
  7. Record female character voiceover so that pain sounds painful, not orgasmic.
  8. Include female enemies, but don't sexualize those enemies.
My response, as a professional game developer, is simple and straightforward. Go to Hell. I don't tell Anita Sarkeesian how to publicly media-whore herself for a living and she has no business telling me or any other game designer how to make the games we wish to make. Only one point would even theoretically improve any game in even a minor way, and it could be applied equally well to TV and movies, namely, point 6. What is the point of motion capturing a giraffe if you're trying to portray a cheetah?

If she thinks my game, or any other game, is "shitty for women", that's her right. And it's my right, and the right of every other single game designer and developer in the industry to tell her that I don't give the smallest quantum of a damn what she thinks. It is also our right to continue ignoring her recommendations as we go about making the games we want to make rather than the games she would prefer made.

I am, however, willing to implement one of her suggestions. We will implement her point #7 in First Sword if Anita Sarkeesian volunteers to submit to a physical but non-sexual beating and have the painful sounds she makes in the course of that beating recorded. Solely in the interests of verisimilitude and making games less shitty for women, of course. That's not a threat, it is merely an offer. She can, of course, refuse, and thereby inform the world that her commitment to her cause is rather less than total. Then we will continue doing exactly what we were doing before she started trying to tell us what to do.

However, her points do serve to demonstrate the utter futility, the utter idiocy, of giving in to her demands. First the complaint was that there weren't any women. Now the complaint is that there aren't enough women, they aren't dressed right, they're the wrong color, they don't walk in the approved fashion, they make the wrong noises, and so on. It never ends.

Any game developer who is dumb enough to think the demands are going to stop there simply hasn't been paying attention to anything that has happened in the last 50 years. Just say no to SJWs. Just say no to non-gamers trying to tell game industry professionals how to do their jobs.

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Justice belatedly prevails

It doesn't matter what you think of Adrian Peterson. It doesn't matter if you think he should be hung, drawn, and quartered for the crime of overdisciplining his son, for which he has already been dealt the legal consequences. All that matters is the basic legal principle that the worse commissioner in NFL history, Roger Goodell, violated, the principle of retroactivity:
The 16-page ruling from Judge David Doty that reinstates Vikings running back Adrian Peterson turns on one fairly simple conclusion:  The NFL cannot apply its new personal conduct policy retroactively.

“There is no dispute that the Commissioner imposed Peterson’s discipline under the New Policy,” Judge Doty wrote. “It is also undisputed that in the [Ray] Rice arbitration, the hearing officer unequivocally recognized that the New Policy cannot be applied retroactively, notwithstanding the Commissioner’s broad discretion in meting out punishment under the CBA. . . . Consistent with that recognition, the Commissioner has acknowledged that he did not have the power to retroactively apply the New Policy: ‘The policy change was forward looking because the League is “required to provide proper notice.”‘ . . . Yet, just two weeks later, the Commissioner retroactively applied the New Policy to Peterson.”

In other words, Judge Doty concluded that the NFL was making it up as went along.
This is further evidence that the Sports Guy was right and Goodell is a dishonest man who is overmatched by his responsibilities, overly concerned with PR details that he should leave well alone, and fundamentally out of control. As for those who feign concern for women and children, and claim that the likes of Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson should be prevented from making a living, how can anyone possibly pretend that removing the ability of those who support them to do so going to help the victims of these petty domestic crimes.

And they are petty. It may, depending upon the circumstances, be wrong to punch a woman once. It is certainly too harsh to spank a child until he bleeds. But in a nation where not one single banker has been jailed despite the theft of literal trillions of dollars for a wide variety of shamelessly dishonest acts, it is ludicrous to pretend that these are the serious crimes that demand more significant punishments.

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Game Development newsletter

If you think you might be interested in supporting the First Sword kickstarter, or want to otherwise support what we're doing on the game front, please sign up for Castalia House's Game Development newsletter. All you need to do is enter your email address, no name or anything else is required. I think I can assure you that it will be, in the long run, even more significant than Castalia House. If Castalia was the first step, this is the second.

This is entirely separate from the New Release newsletter, so even if you subscribe to that for the books, you'll need to sign up separately for the Game Development one. As with New Releases, you can expect we'll be occasionally giving away free stuff to subscribers, although what that might be, I can't possibly say. And obviously, there will be no spamming or selling of information.

Among the other benefits subscribers get is the chance to have first crack at all pre-Alpha, Alpha, and Beta testing. And just to show you the sort of thing we'll be showing subscribers, here is a glimpse of a Warhammer Fantasy Battle-style tabletop we're assembling. We're still in the process of getting the miniatures into 3D; right now the High Elven Spearguard and the Elven Archers are complete and we're working on Goblin Archers and Elven Cavalry. Eventually, this battlefield will feature nine regiments; the regiment featured below is the same one that can be seen on the right side of the stockade in the image above. The terrain will not normally be flat green, that is merely a toggle to show the extent of the playable "table".

You will probably notice that these screenshots have absolutely nothing to do with gladiators. That's because what we are designing is a 3D miniatures playing system. First Sword is only one of literally scores of games that we intend to be playable in our system. Anyhow, if it's potentially of interest, sign up for the newsletter.


Curses, foiled again!

Once more, the techno-left is astonished by the discovery that giving more control to the federal government doesn't work out in exactly the precision fine-tuned way they had planned in order to solve every problem everyone except white Christian men have with everything and implement a socially just paradise on this Earth:
For many months, EFF has been working with a broad coalition of advocates to persuade the Federal Communications Commission to adopt new Open Internet rules that would survive legal scrutiny and actually help protect the Open Internet. Our message has been clear from the beginning: the FCC has a role to play, but its role must be firmly bounded.

Two weeks ago, we learned that we had likely managed the first goal—the FCC is going to do the right thing and reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service, giving it the ability to make new, meaningful Open Internet rules.  But we are deeply concerned that the FCC’s new rules will include a provision that sounds like a recipe for overreach and confusion: the so-called “general conduct rule.”
It never seems to occur to them that the only thing that will ever work is to keep the government the fuck out of it. Once the principle of government "management" is established, the goose is cooked. The only question is to what extent, and to whose benefit.

Once you declare "the FCC has a role to play", your part is done. You won't get to tell them how to play it. The FCC will decide that for itself, thank you very much.


Of combat and philosophy

First off, please do not post OT comments early in a thread. That is implicitly saying "because I don't care about X, I think everyone should be discussing Y, which is of more interest to me, instead". You can certainly discuss Y if you like, by all means, but do so on your own blog. If you want to bring something to my attention, then email it to me.

Now speaking of bringing things to people's attention that may or may not be of interest, Alpenwolf is in the process of preparing a major kickstarter for First Sword. It will take place in the April-May timeframe, and I hope the Dread Ilk will support it with all their well-renowned and oft-feared staunchness. As I mentioned a few days ago, I've expanded the concept of First Sword to encompass a spectrum of gameplay formats for reasons that will eventually become clear. Among the various questions I've been wrestling with is the best way to keep everyone informed about its progress, since, as with Alpha Game, the development of a game is a highly specific subject in which not everyone is likely to be equally interested. The options are to post all of the development-related posts on the currently dormant Alpenwolf blog, to post them at Castalia House, or to post them here. Obviously, major announcements will be posted here, but I am aware most readers here are not interested in multiple gamedev-related posts per week here.

So, I'm leaning towards doing them at Castalia, since we want to build it up as more of a destination site, we already sell some games there, and we have one game designer, Ken Burnside of Ad Astra, already blogging there. I'd also like to let those of you who are on the Castalia House New Release newsletter list know about our upcoming Game Development newsletter. Please note that if you are subscribed to the former newsletter, you will NOT be automatically subscribed to the latter. We don't spam and we don't cross-mail either. However, we will be accepting subscriptions soon and will also provide a signup link to the new newsletter when we send the next New Release installment out. Anyone who is interested in any type of gaming from tabletop to tablet is going to be extremely interested in what we're doing with First Sword, because it is not only a game, it is a game engine designed for a high degree of modding capability. As the image of Gragbol Man-killer, Orc Gladiator #1 will no doubt inform tabletop players, First Sword is the first example of a game system that will be playable on the physical tabletop, as a Vassal module, on a computer or mobile device, or as an ongoing campaign game.

This multi-tiered approach has long been a vision of mine, as the original version of Rebel Moon Revolution was designed to be both a 3D tactical shooter and a 2D strategy game. We created two levels of AI for precisely this purpose, dividing them into TacAI and StratAI so that the StratAI could be replaced by a human player moving 2D counters around on a map that was essentially the top-down version of the 3D environment. The movements served as triggers to send orders to the TacAI that replaced the orders otherwise provided by the StatAI. In retrospect, I doubt we would have been able to successfully pull that off even if GT Interactive didn't go down the drain (taking both Fenris Wolf and Rebel Moon Revolution with it), partly due to time constraints and partly due to the fact that our StratAI programmer contracted cancer and died. But we are going to be able to pull it off here, because after learning from my past tendencies to design more than I could reasonably produce and bringing in some very smart and experienced new development partners, we're applying the concept in a much simpler, much more easily accomplished fashion.

While we eventually hope to expand the concept to the full-blown multi-tiered squad-level combat game originally envisioned, in the meantime, we're going to initially make this multi-tiered combat management gameplay work at the gladiatorial level. We're putting together the various elements for the Kickstarter now, so if you've got any more thoughts concerning rewards you'd like to see, this is the time to throw them out there.

And finally, we're happy to announce that the fourth issue of the Sci Phi Journal is now available in both EPUB and MOBI format at the Castalia House store. The first three issues have been very good and the fourth one looks like no exception. If you'd like to get caught up, issues One, Two, and Three are also available there. From a review of Issue #3:

"Suffice to say this is a thinking man's SF magazine and is superbly chosen and edited by Jason Rennie."

And as long as I'm in info dump mode, I may as well mention that ARTS OF DARK AND LIGHT Book Two is progressing very well, I am ahead of the revised schedule, the cover is being designed, and the 850-page book will likely be published in November rather than December as previously announced. I can't vouch for the quality myself, but I will say that the two early readers have said that it is better than A THRONE OF BONES.


From r to K: the end of post-scarcity

Anonymous Conservative's take on Donglerape and #GamerGate:
I just kept seeing this scenario, as I read through Vox’s post here. First, this woman’s amygdala is so accustomed to total ease and control that a guy makes a dongle joke to a friend at a computer conference, and she immediately takes offense. That is an amygdala unaccustomed to harshness. Then she asserts to the interviewer that she tweeted her horror, out of a fear that the guy sitting five rows away was going to rape her, in the middle of a conference of 2000 computer geeks. The interviewer asks why she didn’t think any of the 2,000 other conference goers would stop the rape and her response is that they are all white males, as if they might rape her too, for good measure, all because she is a black Jewish female. The narcissism, self absorption, and expectation that everyone give her whatever she wants has to be read to be believed.

You can tell, the way she says “I’m a black Jewish female,” over and over, that she has used that phrase a lot. In the context she applies it, it isn’t a logical, thought-out response. It is a conditioned response thrown out in response to any threat or challenge – the type of response which can only be conditioned through frequent repetition when resources are free, and everyone avoids the fight....

What these incidents should show you, is that we are beginning the transition from r to K, and the rules are changing. Gamergate is a great accomplishment, but it required motivation, and motivation required irritation. If this were the dot-com boom, I suspect those gamers would have been too busy making money and partaking of other sources of pleasure, to unite together and mount a fight. Games would have deteriorated as everything does under r-selection, but the gamers would have found bliss elsewhere, and left gaming until it got better again.

Yet now, all it takes is a single web post somewhere to set off an army of angry warriors, obsessed with justice and right. Feminists like this bimbo used to dominate only because people avoided the fight, but now there are so many people itching to fight that they are looking for fights in other people’s battles. This is a big change, and we are not all that resource-restricted yet. Wait until the economic system collapses. The rage will be epic, and rabbits will run.

The rabbits are noticing this rule change now, even though it is so minor, and it is tripping their conflict-avoidance circuitry. Scalzi, the pied rabbit piper, sees his blog traffic plummeting as his followers retreat into the shadows, even as Vox’s traffic breaks new records. Blue SF is beginning to realize the gains in its economic muscle as it advances on pink SF. In American politics, Democrats are trying to figure out what to stand for to avoid getting destroyed in the future. And legions of little tyrants like the bimbo in Vox’s post are noticing that their social attacks are generating very real counter-attacks, making them begin to retreat from their side as well.
Being rooted as it is in an outmoded theory of evolution, r/K theory may sound more than a little alien, if not lunatic. But it is a remarkably useful explanatory, and at times, even predictive model. I highly recommend AC's book, so much so that we recently began selling it in the Castalia House store.

Read the whole linked post, as he explains why an abundance of resources favors the rabbits and creates a false impression of reality with them. They are fearless and eager to engage in the posturing and verbal interplay that for them, passes for conflict, failing to realize that the only reason they aren't being ripped limb-from-limb and devoured is because it's less trouble for the wolves to simply go somewhere else where they can live in peace.

#GamerGate erupted because there is nowhere else to go. The demon-rabbits have invaded the Last Redoubt; Anita Sarkeesian calls herself a "gamer" and the likes of Zoe Quinn and John Scalzi even fancy themselves "game developers" now. They simply won't leave us alone, and so we have no choice but to fight back simply to be able to do what we have always done, which is to make the games we want to make and play the games we want to play. As AC noted, the same thing is true of science fiction. After being being offered book contracts that were subsequently pulled or violated on purely political grounds by three different publishers, it became apparent that I would be better off simply starting my own publishing company. Now Castalia House is growing as fast as we are able to edit the books and authors are contacting us specifically because they know we will publish things that the r-selected mainstream publishers will not. And even after a record year with over 15 million pageviews, site traffic here is up an average of 35 percent in 2015; thanks to you, we're presently on target to exceed 21 million this year.

The transition from r to K is in the process of taking place on a much larger scale as well. The white flight of the last fifty years, first to the suburbs, then to the exurbs, is no longer possible. Everywhere from South Africa to Vancouver, formerly white communities are being invaded by rainbow hordes of orcs who would rather live among white people than among their own kind. Once the land resources are scarce and there is no longer a choice between retreat and conflict, then conflict will inevitably begin. Whites aren't unable to engage in the sort of ethnic cleansing that Hispanics are already engaging in across the Southwestern United States (look at the demographic history of Compton sometime; it is borderline mind-blowing to anyone who associates it with NWA), but tend to be reluctant to engage in it because they are too efficient and lethal at it. These furious attempts to enforce diversity by thought police are actually a harbinger of the ongoing transition.

The rabbits can sense the wolves beginning to turn on them, and quite rightly, they are afraid. Don't forget who they truly are and what they have done.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Tarnished, but still knighting

White Knights never learn. Well, they might learn just enough to stop sticking their genitals in the fire, but they never seem to grasp the basic principle that the end result of fire is to burn things into ashes:
I started advocating for women in engineering in 2006 when my dean at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering, Kristina Johnson, made me aware of the declining numbers of women entering the field. As a former tech entrepreneur, I found the situation alarming. I had spent the last few years researching how education, immigration, and entrepreneurship drive innovation. The fact that half of our population was being left out of the fields most important to our future seemed deeply wrong to me....

Over the past few weeks, I have been accused of financial impropriety, arrogance and insensitivity, and sexual harassment. You expect these types of insults from bloggers, but I was quite surprised to find them coming from a National Public Radio affiliate, WNYC.

On February 6, WNYC published a podcast titled “Quiet, Wadhwa.” It criticized me for “taking the oxygen out of the room” by “speaking for women.” There were more than 11 minutes of inaccuracies and innuendo made against me without even an attempt at fact-checking — despite the serious nature of the charges. The vast majority of allegations would not have passed a simple Google search. Yet I was not even asked to comment. WNYC completely disregarded the fact that I routinely share my media platform with women and regularly refer journalists to women in tech....

I may have made the mistake of fighting the battles of women in technology for too long. And I may have taken the accusations too personally. Today there is a chorus of very powerful, intelligent, voices who are speaking from personal experience. The women who I have written about, who have lived the discrimination and abuse, as well as others, deserve the air time. So I am going to bow out of this debate.

I am still going to be an advocate for disenfranchised minorities; I will continue to mentor women and men entrepreneurs; I will surely coach my friends who are in positions of power in corporations; and I will echo the words of great women.
You would think that these jokers would learn that once they let the entryists into the room, their services are no longer required and they are expected to leave the newly surrendered ground to its new owners.

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Sad Puppies Short Fiction Bomb

The Mountain That Writes turns around and comes back for a second pass:
This Book Bomb is a little different. Because the ones I’m doing right now are to get more people exposed to the works we nominated for the infamous Sad Puppies slate, we’re bombing a bunch of works at the same time. I don’t like putting this many links, but time is of the essence, and next week I’ll post about the Campbell nominees and Best Related Works.

We did three novellas last week and it was a huge success. They’re still selling well a week later. Overall we sold a couple thousands novellas, which in novellas is freaking huge.

But shorter fiction is tough, because it isn’t always available for sale by itself, but is usually bundled as part of an anthology, or in a magazine which often isn’t available on Amazon.

As you can see from the list below, luckily many of these are available on Amazon, and some are available for FREE:


Both Rabid Puppies recommendations in the Short Story category can be read for free at the following links. I can attest that Sci Phi Journal #2 is quite good and I think the Big Book of Monsters looks particularly interesting.

I've also got a short story you can read which is not part of either slate, but I promised to make it available for free reading, so here it is:


“The Journeyman: In the Stone House”by Michael F. Flynn, Analog, June 2014
“Championship B’tok” by Edward M. Lerner, Analog, Sept 2014
“Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium” by Gray Rinehart, Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show

And the Rabid Puppies recommendation in the Novelette category:

"Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus" by John C. Wright, The Book of Feasts & Seasons

The Book of Feasts & Seasons is presently ranked #15,271 54,462 on Amazon and has a 4.9 rating on 18 16 reviews. It's genuinely that good, so I'd highly recommend reading it if you haven't yet, and posting a review if you have.


Speak until they silence themselves

Please don't hit them, the Washington Post begs. After all, they are just little girls.
Jessica Valenti is one of the most successful and visible feminists of her generation. As a columnist for the Guardian, her face regularly appears on the site’s front page. She has written five books, one of which was adapted into a documentary, since founding the blog She gives speeches all over the country. And she tells me that, because of the nonstop harassment that feminist writers face online, if she could start over, she might prefer to be completely anonymous. “I don’t know that I would do it under my real name,” she says she tells young women who are interested in writing about feminism. It’s “not just the physical safety concerns but the emotional ramifications” of constant, round-the-clock abuse....

Once a woman is singled out by a men’s rights group such as A Voice for Men, the misogynist Reddit forum The Red Pill or even just a right-wing Twitter account like Twitchy, she is deluged with hatred. The barrage, in addition to scaring its target, serves as a warning to onlookers. Jill Filipovic, a senior political writer covering feminist issues at Cosmopolitan, says she recently tried to persuade a friend to run for office. “There’s several reasons why I wouldn’t want to do it, but one of them is that I follow you on Twitter, and I see what people say to you. I could never deal with that,” the friend told her.

Many people can’t. Last year, abortion rights activist Lauren Rankin pulled back from writing online and, for the most part, from Twitter because the threats and insults were becoming so wearying. She continues to serve on the board of the reproductive rights nonprofit A Is For and faces off against antiabortion protesters as a volunteer clinic escort, but she no longer engages publicly. “I don’t like the idea that it seems like I was scared or intimidated away from the Internet,” she says. “But I think I’ve recentered why I do what I do, in ways that I can maintain my mental sanity. Unfortunately, that really doesn’t involve the Internet as much.”

Filipovic, the former editor of the blog Feministe, says that, although her skin has thickened over the years, the daily need to brace against the online onslaught has changed her. “I doubt myself a lot more. You read enough times that you’re a terrible person and an idiot, and it’s very hard not to start believing that maybe they see something that you don’t.” She also finds it harder to let her guard down. “I have not figured out how to spend all day steeling against criticism — not just criticism, but really awful things people say to you and about you — and then go home and 30 minutes later you’re an emotionally available, normal person.”

Meanwhile, the creator of Feministe, Lauren Bruce, no longer has an online presence at all. “I had to completely cut that part off in order to live the rest of my life,” she says. “In order to work, have a nice family and feel like I was emotionally whole, I could not have one foot planted in a toxic stew.”
#GamerGate has them on the run. They can't take the heat. What they call "harassment" and "abuse" is seldom anything more than free speech answering free speech. They have a right to speak their piece, and we have a right to speak right back. We have a right to speak back with all of the contempt, disdain, and loathing that we feel for their insane and societally suicidal ideas.

Open up your hate and let it pour over them. Don't think for even one nanosecond that they don't deserve it every bit of the criticism, of the contempt, of the disdainful dismissal that overwhelms them. They are trying to destroy Western civilization. They are trying to destroy marriage and civil society. They are advocates of child murder. They are advocates of a philosophy that makes National Socialism look merciful and Communism practical and Fascism coherent by comparison. Do not hold back. Speak back twice as hard. Speak back until they fall silent.

Women are particularly susceptible to shame. So shame them relentlessly. Shame those who agree with them. Mock their white knights who rush in to save them. Above all, dignify their views and voices with all the respect you would show to a particularly noxious fart in an elevator.

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#GamerGate claims another SJW scalp

Flawless wetwork by @br00ke27, with a spotting assist from sleepax. One shot, one kill:
Kim Crawley posted an article on InfoSec that stated Baphomet was closed and tons of other mis-info. She didn’t even do the basic research, legitimately didn't even try to back up her claims. She didn't even attempt to visit 8chan what-so-ever. All of her sources were anti-gamergate clickbait, very unusual for InfoSec.

Then, people like me and @br00ke27 brought the attention to InfoSec (seriously she deserves credit she was the first to e-mail them and engage them), then we made fun of her for posting an article that had literally zero research. ... Not because she’s a woman (which I’m sure she’ll say). Not because she attacked gamergate, or 8chan (which I’m sure she’ll say). Not because I'm a misogynist death threat murder harasser (today ;], at least) but because her work was absolutely atrocious.

InfoSec starts getting more complaints regarding the awful article and writes to her about it. They even mention that her articles have been stupidly controversial before (paraphrasing). She then posts their confidential e-mail to Ghazi.

The post claims InfosSc fired her DUE to us, (even though the letter says she’s done this shit before) and now she’s contacting kotaku etc. saying we harassed her out of the industry.
They do say women make good snipers. It occurs to me that a true conspiracy theorist would surmise that Patreon is behind #GamerGate, considering how many unemployed SJWs go running there shrieking harassment. The chief exploitable weakness of SJWs is that they always lie. Always. So, destroying their credibility is a simple matter of doing the research, finding the lies, and then exposing them to their employers, associates, and audience.

They are the cultural enemy. They have openly declared no quarter and asserted that there is no place in their society for those who don't submit to their vision of social justice. Rendering them unemployed, from within and without, and otherwise removing their microphones is a purely self-defensive, and above all, necessary tactic. If you have a known SJW in your organization, purging them should be a priority, because enforcing their vision of social justice is mission one for them and they do not hesitate to turn on anyone, even former allies, the moment they feel it serves their sacred cause.

SJWs don't hesitate to make use their employers and their superiors either. Consider, for example, the email from her editor Miss Crawley publicly posted on Ghazi before she was fired:

Regardless of any possible merit in the Gamergate article, it has caused more than a little grief for me and for InfoSec. At best, it was a bad fit for us. At worst - which I am now in my third day of being called on the carpet for - it has tarred our name and damaged the brand. Whether or not the haters coming after you and us have any legitimacy is irrelevant. This is exactly the kind of bad press that can cost us business. In the end, that's the sole criteria that counts for anything around here.

This isn't the first time I've been taken to task for content appearing under your byline but it is the last. They wanted to can you outright and pull all your articles. For the time being, they are being kept up, but that can change at any moment.

To the extent that you can call off anyone out there making noise on your behalf, please do so.
She actually threw the very editor who was trying to save her job under the bus in order to score some "poor me victim" points with anti-GG. Now imagine what your SJWs are capable of doing to you. These people are lunatics. You cannot win them over with kindness and reason. You can only expose them for what they are and thereby ensure that they are driven back under the rocks from which they crawled.

I'm not sure which of these two tweets from an anti-GGer was more amusing:
Dr. Envoy ‏@drenvoy
#gamergate only has 15 posts an hour its dying

Dr. Envoy ‏@drenvoy
#gamergate rejoices getting people to lose thier jobs OMG
It's fascinating to see how the SJWs are upset by seeing their own tactics used against them. No doubt the Wehrmacht in Russia thought it was tremendously unfair when the Red Army started cutting off their lines of retreat and encircling the 16th Army to create the Demyansk Pocket.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Deactivate Olbermann!

Hitler will be disappointed.
A day after he engaged in multiple Twitter arguments and called Penn State students "pitiful," ESPN suspended Keith Olbermann for a week. The global sports network released a statement Tuesday announcing the news, saying Olbermann's actions were "completely inappropriate and [do] not reflect the views of ESPN."
So much for saving the news media from the Brian Williams crisis.


You had ONE job!

Far too many women of my generation were let down by their mothers failing to teach them the one basic skill they actually need in life:
My mother hadn’t felt the need to give me a recipe—she knew that I had watched her, and before her my Nani, make the same pot of sauce nearly weekly in my previous 17 years. So many times I smelled the meat, browning in olive oil before the garlic and onions were added, intensifying the distinctive aroma of Nani’s kitchen, which lingered even years after her last pot had been simmered. Yet I didn’t know how to cook.

But what did my mom expect? Both she and my late Nani had always praised and encouraged my good grades and scholarly instincts, and neither had encouraged me to do anything in the kitchen other that set the table. Nani never taught me to forage for burdock or can tomatoes because “you won’t need to,” she said. Cooking was something else the modern young woman wouldn’t have cause to do either, it seemed. So, I focused on my career.

What had stuck with me from those hours in the kitchen watching my mom and Nani cook weekly Sunday dinners or nightly from-scratch meals was not the recipes for beef bracciole or manicotti, but the conversation. “Go to college,” I was always told, “have your own money and don’t rely on a man.”
Let's not make the same mistake with our daughters and sentence them to a lifetime of bad food, obesity, and culinary frigidity. There is nothing more important than for a young girl to be taught how to be a good wife and mother. Nothing. Because nothing less than civilization and the continued existence of the human race depends upon it.

Don't raise your daughters to be dead ends.


Therein lies the problem

Zerohedge reports on a world engulfed in debt:
If anyone has stopped to ask just why global central banks are in such a rush to create inflation (but only controlled inflation, not runaway hyperinflation... of course when they fail with the "controlled" part the money paradrop is only a matter of time) over the past 5 years, and have printed over $12 trillion in credit-money since Lehman, the bulk of which has ended up in the stock market, and which for the first time ever are about to monetize all global sovereign debt issuance in 2015, the answer is simple, and can be seen on the chart below.

It also shows the biggest problem facing the world today, namely that at least 9 countries have debt/GDP above 300%, and that a whopping 39% countries have debt-to-GDP of over 100%!
The problem with this can be seen in one of the famous Reinhart-Rogoff papers, Growth in a Time of Debt:
Our main findings are: First, the relationship between government debt and real GDP growth is weak for debt/GDP ratios below a threshold of 90 percent of GDP. Above 90 percent, median growth rates fall by one percent, and average growth falls considerably more. 
And before you cite the well-known Excel error, that changes nothing substantive. The core cause of the global depression is becoming increasingly obvious to everyone. The root of the problem, as I have been pointing out since about 2002, is that in a credit money system, the central banks cannot print borrowers.

This means their obvious next step will be the usual attempt to move the problem up a level by centralizing internationally and pushing for a global currency that will automatically devalue the currencies being replaced by a factor that will reduce debt/GDP below 90 percent.


The SJW reader challenge

Larry Correia fisks Teapot Bradford's call to not read straight white male authors while Superversive SF takes her SJW reader challenge:
In the spirit of taking this challenge seriously, I will be making an effort to avoid such writers and see what it does for my outlook. So I guess I should make a list of authors that are “acceptable” to read because they aren’t “cis white het males” to make it easier for anybody that wants to join me.

So lets see what is in?

    Sarah A. Hoyt – POC Womyn
    Larry Correia – POC
    L. Jagi Lamplighter – Womyn
    Kate Paulk – Womyn
    Amanda Green – Womyn
    Vox Day – POC

and out

    John Scalzi – Cis Het White Male
    Jim Hines – Cis Het White Male
It really is time that Native American literature finally found its place in fantasy and science fiction after all. It is, frankly, shocking how white women like Catherynne M. Valente are shamelessly appropriating our culture and our legends. I can only applaud Ms. Bradford for encouraging her readers and followers to read my work and I hope they will enjoy it.

Meanwhile, another SJW at File 770 warns about the consequences of the cultural war in SF in light of the attempt to ban Adam Baldwin from a convention in Australia:
This isn’t going to end any better than the rest of these discussions.

Let me ask a question based on two possible thought experiments. Those who want to can ban Adam Baldwin if they want. The right get to ban a person of their choice from an event of their choice. Are we all happier and better people?

Alternatively we allow this sort if banning but to stop people using it capriciously we say you have to pay some amount of money which is not easy to raise in order to do it. The ‘other side’ get to donate it to a non political charity of their choice. In this case I’d guess it would be between a quarter and a half million dollars. Is this issue really that important to people if it comes down to real effort, not just arguing online?

Think up your own method if you like but remember that your opponents get to use the same rulebook.

We can’t go on doing this. It has just about destroyed the gaming community and it could do the same to the SF community. The politics don’t matter. The same situation will crop up sooner or later with different politics. The problem is that neither side respects the process. Whoever amasses the most angry tweets wins but nobody believes that is either just or fair. Nobody has their thinking chaged, simply reinforced. The losers just retreat to reorganise and swear to be more vicious next time.
And now, the punchline, from the same SJW, Martin Easterbrook:
At Loncon last year we had many fans from the Ukraine and Russia, two countries who are effectively at war and who go out of the way to humiliate each others POWs. There were no problems with any of them. They stuck to the fan tradition that, as far as we can, we “leave our guns at the door”. This has become unfashionable lately but for some of us it remains something that is part of the core of being a fan.

Some decisions are difficult, for instance I’ve personally suggested to a convention that they exclude Vox Day because I believe he has personally insulted another author to the point where she would be justified in punching him on the nose if she met him. I would not want to attend a convention that had Orson Scott Card as a goh but neither would I want to go to a convention that excluded him completely.
As I pointed out, by Mr. Easterbrook's standard, John Scalzi is due enough punches in the nose that he's effectively given me permission to beat the little creep to death. I wonder, how many insults does Larry Correia have to take before he is justified in playing Mountain to Scalzi's Viper?

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Monday, February 23, 2015

US defeat in Ukraine

Waging war by proxy runs the risk of being defeated by proxy too:
In less than a year, the United States has toppled the democratically-elected government of Ukraine, installed a Washington-backed stooge in Kiev, launched a bloody and costly war of annihilation on Russian-speaking people in the East, thrust the economy into a downward death spiral, and reduced the nation to an anarchic, failed state destined to endure a vicious fratricidal civil war for as far as the eye can see.

Last week, Washington suffered its greatest military defeat in more than a decade when Ukraine’s US-backed army was soundly routed in the major railway hub of Debaltsevo. Roughly, 8,000 Ukrainian regulars along with untold numbers of tanks and armored units were surrounded in what came to be known as “the cauldron.” The army of the Donetsk Peoples Republic led by DPR commander Alexander Zakharchenko, encircled the invading army and gradually tightened the cordon, eventually killing or capturing most of the troops within the pocket. The Ukrainian Armed Forces suffered major casualties ranging between 3,000 to 3,500 while a vast amount of lethal military hardware was left behind.

According to Zakharchenko, “The amount of equipment Ukrainian units have lost here is beyond description.”

Additionally, the US-backed proxy-army saw many of its crack troops and top-notch units destroyed in the fighting leaving Kiev unable to continue the war without assistance from allies in the US or Europe. The full impact of the defeat will not be known until angry troops returning from the front amass on the streets of the Capital and demand Petro Poroshenko’s resignation. The Ukrainian President is responsible for the massacre at Debaltsevo. He was fully aware that his army faced encirclement but ordered them to remain in order to satisfy powerful right-wing elements in his government. The disaster is even more terrible due to the fact that it was entirely avoidable and achieved no strategic purpose at all. Extreme hubris frequently impacts outcomes on the battlefield. This was the case at Debaltsevo.
Most people outside of Eastern Europe aren't paying much attention to this, but the fact of the matter is that Russia is militarily obliterating Ukraine and they are mostly doing so by the same sort of war-by-proxy in which the USA is engaged. The DPR is a Russian proxy, but then, the Ukrainian army is a US proxy, and so far, the Russian proxies are winning.

That's why you're not seeing much about it on the US news.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if there is soon another coup and the US puppet Poroshenko is thrown out of power, whether it is by Right Sector or someone else. The Russians have won on the moral level and now their Novorossiyan proxies are winning on the material level as well. Poroshenko's failure to withdraw his troops from the Debaltsevo Pocket was a strategic mistake of the sort one usually only sees labeled Fuhrerbefehl; to the left is an image of what the Pocket looked like back on 25 January when 8,000 troops still had the chance to retreat from within that yellow peninsula in the middle.

From Reuters: The loss of Debaltseve is so huge only because Kiev turned it into a symbolic redoubt, said Gustav Gressel, a specialist on Eastern European defense policy and a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin. Poroshenko’s biggest mistake was not to withdraw earlier, according to Gressel. The battle for Debaltseve is reminiscent of the futile struggle for the Donetsk airport, which Ukrainian forces finally gave up in January after months of bitter fighting.


Book Bomb, second run

Larry announces the Sad Puppies 3 Short Fiction Book Bomb:
Mark your calenders. We will be Book Bombing the short fiction categories this Wednesday.

The Novella Category Bomb was a huge success. Thousands of copies were moved. A week later and they’re still on their respective genres bestseller lists. So basically we made sure that these will be the most widely read items in their category.

Now we’re going to do the same thing for the short stories and novelettes. Sad Puppies is all about getting people to nominate based on what they like, as opposed to what they are supposed to like.
Now, there are some differences in the Rabid Puppies and Sad Puppies recommendations here, so what we're going to do in addition to fully supporting the Short Fiction Book Bomb is a) post links to the two Rabid Puppies stories by Steve Rzasa and John C. Wright so people can read them for free, and b) post a link to The Book of Feasts & Seasons which contains two Rabid Puppies recommendations, one for novelette and one for short story, so Book Bombers can bomb it if they wish to do so.

I'll even throw in a link to a free story that is neither on the Sad Puppies nor the Rabid Puppies list, but is one that some of you might enjoy reading if you haven't already read The Altar of Hate.

As before, if you've previously read the works, we encourage you to post reviews on Amazon.


A happy ending

It's always nice to see a happy ending where the SJW ends up unemployed, bitter, and alone. Perhaps more SJWs should consider looking into that diversity they cherish and reading up on the concept of "karma" and "minding your own business". You may recall how Adria Richards got a programmer fired at a tech conference, but what you may not know is that the story had a just and happy ending. From The Guardian:

On 17 March 2013, Hank was in the audience at a conference for tech developers in Santa Clara, California, when a stupid joke popped into his head, which he murmured to his friend, Alex.

“What was the joke?” I asked.

“It was so bad I don’t remember the exact words,” he said. “It was about a fictitious piece of hardware that has a really big dongle – a ridiculous dongle. We were giggling about that. It wasn’t even conversation-level volume.”

A few moments earlier, Hank and Alex had been giggling over some other tech in-joke about “forking someone’s repo”. “We’d decided it was a new form of flattery,” Hank explained. “A guy had been on stage presenting his new project, and Alex said, ‘I would fork that guy’s repo.’” (In tech jargon, to “fork” means to take a copy of another person’s software so you can work on it independently. Another word for software is “repository”. Just in case you wanted to know.)

Moments after making the dongle joke, Hank half-noticed the woman sitting in front of them stand up, turn around and take a photograph. Ten minutes later, a conference organiser came down the aisle and said to Hank and Alex, “Can you come with me?” They were taken into an office and told there’d been a complaint about sexual comments.

“I immediately apologised,” Hank said. “I knew exactly what they were talking about. I told them what we’d said, and that we didn’t mean for it to come across as a sexual comment, and that we were sorry if someone overheard and was offended. They were like, ‘OK. I see what happened.’”

And that was that. The incident passed. Hank and Alex were shaken up – “We’re nerdy guys, and confrontation isn’t something we handle well” – so they decided to leave the conference early. They were on their way to the airport when they started to wonder exactly how someone had conveyed the complaint to the conference organisers. The nightmarish possibility was that it had been communicated in the form of a public tweet. And so, with apprehension, they had a look.

They found a tweet from a woman, called Adria Richards, with a photo of them: “Not cool. Jokes about forking repo’s in a sexual way and ‘big’ dongles. Right behind me #pycon”.

Anxious, Hank quickly scanned her replies, but there was nothing much – just the odd congratulation from a few of her 9,209 followers for the way she’d “educated” the men behind her. He noticed ruefully that a few days earlier Adria Richards had herself tweeted a stupid penis joke. She’d suggested to a friend that he should put socks down his pants to bewilder security agents at the airport. Hank relaxed a little.

A day later, Hank was called into his boss’s office and fired.

“I packed up all my stuff in a box,” Hank said, “then I went outside to call my wife. I’m not one to shed tears but…” Hank paused. “When I got in the car with my wife, I just… I’ve got three kids. Getting fired was terrifying.”

That night, Hank made his only public statement. He posted a short message on the discussion board Hacker News: “Hi, I’m the guy who made a comment about big dongles. First of all I’d like to say I’m sorry. I really did not mean to offend anyone and I really do regret the comment and how it made Adria feel. She had every right to report me to staff, and I defend her position. [But] as a result of the picture she took I was let go from my job today. Which sucks because I have three kids and I really liked that job. She gave me no warning, she smiled while she snapped the pic and sealed my fate.”

Read more »

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SJWs speak jabber whack

It doesn't matter if they are anti-Sad Puppies or anti-GamerGate, they are the same sort of liars who will say anything in order to try to discredit the other side. One "Cat", who may or may not be Cat Rambo, the vice-president of SFWA who recently announced her candidacy to lead the organization, has been running around sites ranging from Larry Correia's and the Mad Genius Club to Mike Glyer's File 770, trying to tell everyone she knows what Sad Puppies, and now #GamerGate, are really about. She's actually jabber-whacking about how Larry Correia's Book Bomb sold nearly 2,000 novellas and pretty much ensured that the Sad Puppies recommendations, if they are nominated, will be the most widely read nominees on the Hugo ballot.
To get bestseller status you have to start from somewhere and you are using the book bombs to give that start to certain stories that can’t get it on their own. Thus diddling with the bestseller lists, as I said. Meaning the Sad Puppies themselves know that bestseller is not simply a mark of quality.

As for the quality of the Sad Puppies noms, I read them all, and they ended up where they deserved, quality-wise. If “Opera Vita Aeterna” was the best the Sad Puppies had to offer, the Hugos have hardly been missing out on “quality” to this point. (Pro-tip: “quality” stories do not name the woman character after her chest. Not even if there is some marine with a similar nickname for deniability’s sake.)

I see what the Sad Puppies claim they are doing. I just don’t actually care; talk is cheap. Last year’s results make it pretty plain what they’re really doing.

I know what Gamergate is really about, because I pay attention to what they do and who they attack, and who they don’t. Attach Gamergate to your cause if you like being associated with rape and death threats against women who dare to speak about videogames. But in that case you probably shouldn’t get mad when someone points out what you have done.
(Pro-tip: There are no female characters in "Opera Vita Aeterna". Nor are there any Marines. As it happens, it is a fantasy novelette about a monastery. This tends to raise some serious doubts about Cat's ability to read, let alone accurately ascertain the quality of what she has nominally "read".) There were several responses, one of them mine.

You don’t know a damn thing about it, little Kitty-Cat. Because, if you did, you’d know that I am the Leader of #GamerGate and the link between #GamerGate and Sad Puppies is considerably more direct than you believe it to be. #GamerGate is Sad Puppies on nuclear steroids. Everything is bigger. Literally Who, Literally Who 2, and Literally Wu are scam artists that make John Scalzi look like a paragon of probity. And you don’t even know what the issues are.

But here is the similarity. GamerGaters declare we will play the games we want to play and make the games we want to make. If you don’t like that, go away and make your own games. Sound familiar?

Read more »

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Mood programming

Best 5 fire-it-up songs:
  1. Indestructible, Disturbed
  2. Shoot to Thrill, AC/DC
  3. Jesus Built My Hot Rod, Ministry
  4. New World Order, Ministry
  5. Galvanize, Chemical Brothers
Best 5 philosophy songs
  1. Orpheus, David Sylvian
  2. Overburdened, Disturbed
  3. Everyday is Halloween, Ministry
  4. Down with the Sickness, Disturbed
  5. September, David Sylvian
Best 5 get-off-the-canvas songs
  1. In the Meantime, Spacehog 
  2. Tubthumping, Chumbawumba
  3. Glory to Glory, Fred Hammond
  4. Keep on Movin, Five
  5. A Long Way to the Top, AC/DC
Best 5 romance songs
  1. Sadeness, Enigma
  2. A Girl Doesn't Get Killed By Her Make-Believe Lover, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult
  3. Lullaby, The Cure
  4. Earth (Gaia), The Orb
  5. More Human Than Human, White Zombie


A bad joke

Steve Sailer observes an almost inexplicable slam on a great American comedian:
Hope is of real value as a chronicle of a career. For even though Bob Hope’s work is no longer capable of holding the attention of modern audiences, it is still interesting to learn the details of how he turned himself into a star and then managed to stay on top of the mass-culture heap long after most of his less-driven contemporaries had vanished from sight. But Zoglin, for all his admirable thoroughness, inexplicably fails to emphasize the central fact about Hope and his career—one that not only goes a long way toward explaining why he was so successful, but also why we no longer find him funny.

Simply: He wasn’t Jewish.

What was missing from his style? Even though Hope was a first-generation European immigrant, there was nothing remotely ethnic about his stage manner. He was among the few successful WASP comics of his generation, and despite the fact that he hired such Jewish writers as Larry Gelbart and Mel Shavelson, the jokes they penned for him lacked the sharp ironic tang of Jewish humor that is to this day one of the essential ingredients in American comedy.

During World War II, when Americans shared both a common culture and an iron determination to prevail over their common enemy, such a comedian could speak for millions of listeners from coast to coast. But that America no longer exists, and the Americans of the 21st century demand more from comedy than mere reassurance. That is why Bob Hope is forgotten today, and will remain so. All he had to offer were punchlines that no longer have punch.
As one commenter mentioned, this appears to be an attempt by the Dutch Teachout to curry favor with the inward-focused aging Jews who read Commentary and think Woody Allen and Lenny Bruce are the epitome of humor. Hope held up a hell of a lot better than either Allen or Bruce have, and Allen isn't even dead yet. Let's face it, the funniest thing Allen ever produced was his self-parodying, quasi-incestuous marriage.

I've never been able to stand what is described as "Jewish humor" myself; I disliked it long before I had any idea that the stupid sort of sex-and-toilet "humor" produced by the likes of Mel Brooks and the whiny tedium of Woody Allen had anything in common, let alone were claimed by a particular ethnic heritage. Later, I tried watching "Seinfeld" and completely failed to see what was supposed to be funny about Jerry Seinfeld whining all the time.

Joan Rivers could be amusing in small doses, but one of the main things I've noticed about "Jewish humor" is that it seems to have a strong tendency to beat a joke to death. "Hey, did you think that was mildly amusing? Let me repeat it three more times and that will make it HILARIOUS, right?" Well, no. That's actually one thing I wish non-comedians would understand. If you told a little story and you found the reaction to be underwhelming, don't repeat it. It's not going to be any more amusing the second time.

Now, I've always assumed there was a great divide between those who found Monty Python amusing and those who thought Benny Hill was a riot. "Jewish humor" strikes me as being more akin to an American form of Benny Hill, as it tends to involve a lot of mugging and sexual themes.

Then again, the second-funniest comic in the world, Frankie Boyle (Simon Evans, two of whose clips are below, is the funniest in my opinion), utilizes a lot of sexual themes, although usually in a very dark way. "Watching gymnastics is just pedophilia for cowards." But there is an enormous gap between that sort of black humor and Woody Allen whining to his therapist or Mel Brooks's masturbating cavemen. I remember people talking about how funny Brooks's History of the World: Part I was so I rented it one night; I don't think I made it more than 15 minutes before ejecting the tape from the VCR in disgust. Keep in mind that this scene is supposed to be THE most HILARIOUS one from the movie. Notice, in particular, the repetition I mentioned; The very lame joke on French pronunciations is hammered home no less than TWELVE times at the very start. Yeah, that's just fucking brilliant. Then contrast that sort of production, complete with writers, sets, and actors, with the following examples of Simon Evans utilizing nothing more than a microphone.

Of course, it's pretty much pointless to view comedy as anything but subjective, something that is much more apparent when you live in continental Europe. German humor is freaking ghastly, it's like black comedy without the comedy. Italian humor is bawdy and straightforward; they simply don't recognize sarcasm at all. French humor is similar to Italian humor, although a bit more relaxed and less silly, and I haven't figured out Spanish humor yet. It's no surprise that English humor has such an impact on American humor; it's not because they speak the same language, but because it's broad-spectrum humor that is often appreciated by non-English speakers.

"I'm just a comedian goes first!" I would have loved to see Evans skewer the Jon Stewart Show, as Stewart, unlike Mel Brooks and Woody Allen, can be funny, but like Russell Brand, hides behind his comedian's mask whenever his serious arguments fall short.

UPDATE: I found this pair of Twitter exchanges to be more personally amusing than the entire oeuvre of either comedian mentioned:

Vox Day ‏@voxday
I'm curious how anyone could have ever thought Woody Allen was amusing. The only funny thing he ever did was bang his ugly stepdaughter.

Jackie DeLister ‏@JackieDeeNJ
Yes, Annie Hall won the Oscar for no reason -_-

Vox Day ‏@voxday
So did Titanic. And it had more genuine laughs.


 Vox Day ‏@voxday
And who finds Mel Brooks funny? This is said to be the funniest scene of his funniest movie: … It's BRUTALLY stupid.

Jackie DeLister ‏@JackieDeeNJ
@voxday Are you anti-Semitic?


Saturday, February 21, 2015

A triumph of marketing

Bill Burr takes on the Cult of Jobs


Shades of #GamerGate

The Otherwhere Gazette releases the Sad Puppies Manifesto:
  • That for Freedom of Speech (and Written Word) to be free, that Freedom must be sacrosanct, nothing is off limits, nothing is too offensive
  • That Freedom of Speech does not mean freedom not to be Offended, nor to impose your Offense on behalf of others.
  • That Freedom of Speech comes with consequences and others may Consequence your nose if you are too offensive.
  • That Writers must be free to write what they please and that no one has the right to tell them they may not or should not.
Read the rest of it there. But for me, it is the fourth point that is the most important, and the most offensive to the SJWs. If they want to play the numbers game and see who can flex the most muscle, that's fine. Our side invented the Inquisition and the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, after all, and we can play that game better than they ever could.

But we'd rather not. Our side also invented free will and freedom of speech. That's what we'd prefer. The pinkshirts and SJWs cast those concepts aside at their own peril.


This time it's different again

No matter how many times they are wrong, stock market watchers are just going to keep throwing out the same old line out, looking to catch the little fishies.
The Nasdaq is rapidly approaching the 5,000 level and is less than 4% away from all-time highs that were set 15 years ago. These landmark levels are bringing back bad memories of the late 1990s, when people went crazy over money-losing tech stocks (and bad pop songs). The good times ended when the bubble popped in March 2000, causing huge losses for investors and making many tech companies to disappear.

All of this begs the question: Does the fact that Nasdaq has joined peers like the Dow in record territory signal another bubble is brewing in tech stocks?

No, this tech party doesn't appear destined to end in tears. That's because today's tech stocks look all grown up. They're more fundamentally sound than their 1999 peers, and their valuations are based on something the dotcom stocks of the past never had: real earnings.

"There's no bubble when it comes to technology stocks," said Scott Kessler, head of technology equity research at S&P Capital IQ.
Counterpoint: Twitter is valued at $31 billion. Facebook is valued at $223 billion. And the world is rapidly plunging into war from the Middle East to Eastern Europe.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Didn't he see Serenity?

Stephen Hawking is a good example of why scientists should not be allowed to vote, let alone set government policy:
The human failing I would most like to correct is aggression. It may have had survival advantage in caveman days, to get more food, territory or partner with whom to reproduce, but now it threatens to destroy us all. A major nuclear war would be the end of civilisation, and maybe the end of the human race.
This is idiotic. It isn't human aggression that threatens to destroy us all, it is science and scientists. Hawking demonstrates a complete inability to correctly utilize basic logic.

Scientists created the threat. Rather than work to remove the threat, some of the very people who created it now want to EXPERIMENT WITH THE ENTIRE HUMAN RACE in order to do something that won't remove the current threat and might well create some that are even worse.

Scientists love to posture as if they are the good guys responsible for saving the human race, but they are the party primarily responsible for endangering it in a variety of ways.

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The Neanderthal theory of intelligence

It's going to become very, very hard to dismiss the genetic basis for intelligence, or its implications for racial policies, if it is eventually determined that average intelligence is essentially a proxy for a population group's greater or lesser amount of Neanderthal DNA:
Researchers also have found a peculiar pattern in non-Africans: People in China, Japan and other East Asian countries have about 20 percent more Neanderthal DNA than do Europeans.

Last year, Sriram Sankararaman, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard Medical School, and his colleagues proposed that natural selection was responsible for the difference. Most Neanderthal genes probably had modestly bad effects on the health of our ancestors, Dr. Sankararaman and other researchers have found. People who inherited a Neanderthal version of any given gene would have had fewer children on average than people with the human version.

As a result, Neanderthal DNA became progressively rarer in living humans. Dr. Sankararaman and his colleagues proposed that it disappeared faster in Europeans than in Asians. The early Asian population was small, the researchers suggested, and natural selection eliminates harmful genes more slowly in small groups than in large populations. Today, smaller ethnic groups, like Ashkenazi Jews and the Amish, can have unusually high rates of certain genetic disorders.

Joshua M. Akey, a geneticist at the University of Washington, and the graduate student Benjamin Vernot recently set out to test this hypothesis. They took advantage of the fact that only some parts of our genome have a strong influence on health. Other parts — so-called neutral regions — are less important.

A mutation in a neutral region won’t affect our odds of having children and therefore won't be eliminated by natural selection. If Dr. Sankararaman’s hypothesis were correct, you would expect Europeans to have lost more harmful Neanderthal DNA than neutral DNA. In fact, the scientists did not find this difference in the DNA of living Europeans.

Dr. Akey and Mr. Vernot then tested out other possible explanations for the comparative abundance of Neanderthal DNA in Asians. The theory that made the most sense was that Asians inherited additional Neanderthal DNA at a later time.

In this scenario, the ancestors of Asians and Europeans split, the early Asians migrated east, and there they had a second encounter with Neanderthals. Dr. Akey and Mr. Vernot reported their findings in the American Journal of Human Genetics.
We shouldn't get too carried away with a scientific hypothesis that merely happens to be in line with some computer modeling; if I was inclined to that sort of thing I'd be deeply concerned about global warming. But it is a little ominous; those who think that the third world invasion of the West is harmless should keep in mind the lesson of the Neanderthals. They may have been smarter, but they're not around anymore and Homo sapiens sapiens is.

For all we know, there were once Neanderthals who claimed any Neanderthal who thought those nice Homo Sapiens who moved into the cave next door would be a problem were sub-speciesist, and besides, weren't their spiced triceratops eggs ever so tasty?

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Banking is bad for the economy

It's amazing that people are talking about how excessive finance and credit money warp the economy to its detriment without ever managing to mention the vital Austrian concept of "malinvestment". But at least they are starting to talk about it, as it will lead them there eventually.
A new study from the Bank for International Settlements (the central bankers' central bank, as it is dubbed) shows exactly why rapid finance sector growth is bad for the rest of the economy.

The study, by Stephen Cecchetti and Enisse Kharroubi, is a follow-up to a 2012 paper which outlined the negative link between the finance sector and growth, after a certain point. When an economy is immature and the financial sector is small, then growth of the sector is helpful. Enterprising businessmen can get the capital they need to expand their companies; savers have a secure home for their money, making them more willing to provide finance to the business sector; and so on.

But you can have too much of a good thing. The 2012 paper suggests that when private sector debt passes 100% of GDP, that point is reached. Another way of looking at the same topic is the proportion of workers employed by the finance sector. Once that proportion passes 3.9%, the effect on productivity growth turns negative. Ireland and Spain are cases in point. During the five years beginning 2005, Irish and Spanish financial sector employment grew at an average annual rate of 4.1% and 1.4% respectively; output per worker fell by 2.7% and 1.4% a year over the same period.

The new paper examines why this might be. One part of the thesis is a familiar complaint, neatly summarised in the 2012 paper

people who might have become scientists, who in another age dreamt of curing cancer or flying to Mars, today dream of becoming hedge fund managers

In short, the finance sector lures away high-skilled workers from other industries. The finance sector then lends the money to businesses, but tends to favour those firms that have collateral they can pledge against the loan. This usually means builders and property developers. Businessmen are lured into this sector rather than into riskier projects that require high R&D spending and have less collateral to pledge.
I'm reading the paper now, and will review it once I've finished digesting it.

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