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Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Mailvox: constructing Xanatos

NH asks about setting up a Xanatos Gambit:
With some of your recent posts, I realized before you had pointed it out you were forcing the SJWs to make a choice, one that could lead to them nuking their own awards. The moment I realized this, I thought, that bastard! What a genius! It was simple, yet I wouldn't have thought of it.

Recently, I had been considering similar ideas... all roads leading your enemy to defeat, as you quoted. Yet I struggle to see those moves because those moves can be so deceptive in their simplicity, so hidden in plain view.

How did you get better over time at seeing those strategic moves? I'm not a stupid guy, but I'm looking for mental exercises if you will. What is the difference between being Machiavellian (which I score high in on tests) and being manipulative?
The difference between being Machiavellian and being manipulative is little more than the amount of foresight involved. Those who are manipulative are usually reactive, their goals are short term, and they often contradict themselves and get in their own way. Those who are Machiavellian usually have a long term goal in mind and their every move is designed to move them closer to that objective. There are two famous military dictums that I like to keep in mind at all times, the former credited to Sun Tzu, the latter to Napoleon.
  • If you know others and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know others but know yourself, you win one and lose one; if you do not know others and do not know yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.
  • When your enemy is executing a false movement, never interrupt him.
The reason you must know yourself is so that you can know your strong points, your weak points, and your capabilities. Few battles are won through overwhelming strength, they are won by breaking the enemy's weak points before he can break your strong points. The reason you must know your enemy is so you can know his strong points to avoid them, his weak points to target them, and his capabilities so you can defend yourself against them.

[NB: This is why I HATE the term schwerpunkt in military theory, because it is an offensive term meaning focal point of effort, not a defensive term indicating a hardened resistance point as would make more sense in the above context.]

Where win-win situations, or Xanatos Gambits, are created is by taking advantage of the enemy's illusions. Informational friction is absolutely key, and in situations like the present struggle for the Hugo Awards, it is compounded by people seeing what they want to see. So, applying Sun Tzu, you must first do two things:
  • Ensure that you are seeing an accurate picture of yourself and your enemy.
  • Identify what their illusions are concerning themselves and you.
Then present them with options where they will predictably react by choosing the one that works to your advantage. Soon enough, they will find themselves in a position where they are choosing between options that are equally beneficial to you. More or less. In some cases, you may well find that you don't even care which option they choose.

Let me give an actual example of what underlay the Hugo situation. The SJWs in science fiction are constantly making ridiculously stupid mistakes because they violate Sun Tzu's dictum by a) wrongly believing themselves to be more influential than they are and b) wrongly considering me and the Sad Puppies to be less influential than we are. The former is not their fault; John Scalzi has relentlessly misled them for years. "The biggest blog in SF" that they had on their side was literally 15 percent of the size they were told it was and erroneously believed it to be in August 2010. And yet, even 18 months after being exposed, there are still some SJWs who will tell you in all seriousness that Scalzi is "huge".

Blame for the latter, on the other hand, is entirely theirs As recently as last year, there were SJWs who quite literally believed this:
My website averages well over 600 visits a day. Based on comments from other fanzine people, I’m guessing that’s more readers than VD’s blog would get even when he provokes a shit storm. Let’s deprive him of the traffic.
At the time she posted that, the site traffic was 46,456 Google pageviews per day. Yesterday it was 68,539. Last month's average was 51,068. The ludicrous aspect of this is that the Sitemeter widget has always been publicly available, and though it's considerably stingier than Google or Wordpress, about ten seconds of research would have provided whatever ratio is required to compare apples to apples.

The immediate consequence is that the other side imagines that the Dread Ilk cannot possibly account for the numbers that are overwhelming their core strength. Ergo #GamerGate must be involved and a whole host of other delusions that the rational observer knows are not even possible, thereby leading to a series of mistakes that will likely lead to the very situation they erroneously believe is already taking place. And their failure to know their enemy means they do not know what our objectives are, so they never know if their attempts to counter our actions are thwarting us or playing into our hands.

These two comments by Alexander are apt:
  • So how long until the rabbits put 2 and 2 together and realize that they have waaaaaaaay more than just 300 sad puppies to deal with. The voters were the tip of the spear, we are now seeing the obvious signs that we have magnitudes of support behind us.
  • They've already gotten Breitbart, Instapundit, Twitchy, Ace, and Gamergate involved. At this rate, Finland will have declared war on SJWs by Friday.
By the time they do recalibrate their thinking, it will be far too late. It is already too late, which is why I don't mind spelling it out. As for how I learned to see these things, part of it is a natural propensity for pattern recognition, part of it is playing a lot of wargames like Advanced Squad Leader. Nothing teaches harsh lessons in actions and consequences, or demonstrates the importance of accurate information, like wargaming.

The most important thing is this: do not underestimate your enemy or ignore his strengths out of a foolish desire to believe yourself his superior. If you want to learn more about this sort of strategic thinking, I very highly recommend reading Martin van Creveld's A History of Strategy: From Sun Tzu to William S. Lind, which Castalia House just published last month.

Of course, sometimes it is very hard to take your enemy seriously when they are dumb enough to do things like post this caption:
Annie Bellet, one of the writers on the nominees list who was not included in the Sad Puppies or Rabbid Puppies campaign.
"Goodnight Stars" by Annie Bellet, The Apocalypse Triptych in fact appears on both the Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies lists of recommendations.

Labels: ,

98 Comments:

Anonymous Toz April 07, 2015 6:49 AM  

After this is all over, I'd love to read about all the steps and strategic decisions you made along the way. I'm going to go buy the Creveld book now.

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler April 07, 2015 7:07 AM  

Even though I did not participate at all in the campaign (a. because I am a luddite, no money, fighting other battles), I would like to congratulate all on a fine job. Great job on pushback! Kudos to the organizers, to Sir Vox Day Martel, and all the voters. Thank you one and all.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan April 07, 2015 7:08 AM  

Their script is fairly well known and since the left is a notoriously top down org consider it the French Army of 1940. Then the herd instinct is more powerful than the wildebeest's and the fact that they advertise and brag about their emotional fragility (trigger warnings), only a paid conservative hack can see them for the un stoppable force of doom that they are of course not.

Anonymous buzzcut April 07, 2015 7:08 AM  

"Shall we play a game?"

Blogger The Original Hermit April 07, 2015 7:12 AM  

"Of course, sometimes it is hard to take your enemy seriously when they are dumb enough to do things like"...

Part of their problem is they don't actually read what you (and Larry and Brad) write. As has been noted before, they skim until offended. Once their emotions are engaged, all rational thought takes a backseat. The game plan is out in the open, readily observable for anyone from our side or theirs to see. But it is literally impossible for them read our playbook and take it at face value.

Blogger Vox April 07, 2015 7:13 AM  

After this is all over, I'd love to read about all the steps and strategic decisions you made along the way.

We'll see. The thing everyone tends to forget is that this is a group effort, involving very different people with very different perspectives and objectives. So, the legitimate answer to almost every question concerning Sad Puppies is: "Yes. Also, no."

What I think is not what Larry thinks is not what Brad thinks. The two things we have in common is that no one is self-serving and no one is an SJW.

Blogger Shimshon April 07, 2015 7:30 AM  

Vox, the stuff.co.nz post mentions "many" declines. Besides Larry and Matthew (at Black Gate) who has actually publicly declined a nomination? I'm not much of a SF reader (though I think I might join to get the free books this year) or gamer, but this saga is epic entertainment, and oh so enjoyable.

I'm sure some of the SJWs can be formidable, but mostly they seem to be a bunch of Keystone Kops with how inept and predictable they are.

Blogger Rantor April 07, 2015 7:32 AM  

Supporting Rabid Puppies ahs been a pleasure. The current state of affairs continues to amuse. Will be joining Sasquan to participate in the next round.

Anonymous MendoScot April 07, 2015 7:33 AM  

"Rabbid puppies"?

Is this just snark, or is the author that illiterate?

Blogger Rantor April 07, 2015 7:37 AM  

@MendoScot, perhaps the author is a Rabbit

Anonymous Peter Garstig April 07, 2015 7:38 AM  

Their weakness: The circle of lies. They can't trust each other because they know that each of them is lying. Their only recourse is volume (loudness) and size (numbers), and they overestimate both because they think that online commenters are the sum of the people. Heck, blocking all dissent by robots makes them believe that 100% agree with them.

The vast majority is silent.

Blogger Shimshon April 07, 2015 7:43 AM  

Peter, lying is a tactic. I think their true weakness is their emotional reactivity. Because of this, they lie. They can't discuss issues calmly. It's the dialectic/rhetorical divide. But at heart, it's an inability to separate oneself from issues one is invested in.

Anonymous Patrick April 07, 2015 7:47 AM  

The second quote you make attributed to Napoleon is often mis-quoted as "When your enemy is making a mistake, don't stop him." In ether case it certainly applies to the SJW's most recent round of responses to the current Hugo nomnations.

Blogger Nate April 07, 2015 7:50 AM  

No people.

They're weaknesses are:

1) They do not know themselves.

2) They do not know their enemy.

What this all boils down to is the the ability of one side to study and observe the behaviors of its opponent... and the other sides complete refusal to do so in return.

This is what a war looks like when one side values intelligence (in the information sense) and the other thinks brute force wins.

Anonymous kfg April 07, 2015 8:13 AM  

" . . . they skim until offended."

Even that is too traumatic for most of them. One of them skims until offended, writes a screed about the offence, and the others read the, for them, positively reinforcing screed; which they then take as if it were the original material.

They are fundamentally incapable of knowing the enemy, because, even in the heat of battle, they never encounter him, they only see each other.

Blogger Salt April 07, 2015 8:18 AM  

The rabbits are in the Skinner box and the choices they have they believe are their own.

Anonymous Daniel April 07, 2015 8:19 AM  

I guess the confessional mood is contagious. I confess I have a thing for suppressive fire. Expect two little volleys from me today over at Castalia House.

Blogger Doom April 07, 2015 8:30 AM  

*smiles*

Give them only what they desire. And let them have it.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan April 07, 2015 8:44 AM  

As Sailer has alluded to much of the political theater is aimed at the other groups in their political coalition "see how we smite the 'common enemy' we're powerful. "

Anonymous RedJack April 07, 2015 8:47 AM  

At one time, they DID know their enemy. It took a hundred or so years to tear down Christendom from the inside, and they did a bang up job of it.

The funny thing is they keep fighting the old Papal States, and not realizing that enemy is long dead. They keep screaming about the Kaiser and King Phillip, without seeing that those states are long gone.

They are not even fighting the last war, they are fighting one done 145 years ago.

Anonymous Alexander April 07, 2015 9:04 AM  

They're failing on so many fronts on this battle.

Having read through anonymous conservative and the implications of r/K, linking to Vox and trying to say how he makes everything terribad is a monstrously bad decision.

Given the undercurrent of frustration going through our society as more and more people at least at the back of their minds comprehend collapse is coming... I'm betting that in more cases than they can imagine someone clicks the link and after perusing thinks 'yeah, this guy is onto something'.

5 years ago, they probably could have counted on most people led to Vox via a rabbit page feeling at least uncomfortable reading Vox, and even if they somewhat sorta agreed, feeling like it wasn't an issue and so why go to a website that could only get them in trouble. Now... I suspect Vox thanks them for the free advertising.

Anonymous MrGreenMan April 07, 2015 9:12 AM  

If they knew their enemy, at least as it comes to Rabid Puppies, they would have just interrupted every thread with random ejaculations:

"Soccer is a manly sport!"
"Ohio makes better bourbon than Kentuck'!"
"The 9mm is a perfect self defense round!"

Anonymous bw April 07, 2015 9:13 AM  

Those who are Machiavellian usually have a long term goal in mind and their every move is designed to move them closer to that objective.... Soon enough, they will find themselves in a position where they are choosing between options that are equally beneficial to you. More or less....It is already too late, which is why I don't mind spelling it out.

This is what the Globalist financiers and corporatists have known and understood all along - even if they had to employ and fund the ones who understood it best.
And there's the networking. There's always the networking.



Blogger Nate April 07, 2015 9:21 AM  

DH

where are ya buddy I have a question.

You're our resident liberal insider. Does the left have anything like Anonymous Conservative attempting to explain the thinking of the Right? Do they spend real time trying to understand the mind of the right... or do they just leave it at "bitter clingers" and be done?

Anonymous Commissar Toad April 07, 2015 9:23 AM  

The Fascists were going to overrun our position, and thus it was necessary to call in artillery fire on ourselves. We had to destroy the Hugo to save it.

Anonymous Alexander April 07, 2015 9:31 AM  

Nate,

They do. His name is dh. Thankfully, he's been co-opted!

Serious though, dh I wouldn't mind knowing that either.

Blogger Josh April 07, 2015 9:44 AM  

Does the left have anything like Anonymous Conservative attempting to explain the thinking of the Right? Do they spend real time trying to understand the mind of the right... or do they just leave it at "bitter clingers" and be done?

Jonathan Haidt, although I'm not sure he's still part of the left.

Anonymous Roundtine April 07, 2015 9:52 AM  

Does the left have anything like Anonymous Conservative attempting to explain the thinking of the Right?

I don't think Haidt counts because like Putnam, his research goes against his priors/political leanings. The best corollary is the Authoritarian Personality and the F-scale, except those were fake. They did influence public thinking though, and even today you will see people bringing it up as if it is real. That now works to the right's advantage because the left does not know its enemy. The left drank its own Kool-aid and has blinded itself to right-wing thought, whereas the right intimately understands leftist thinking and seeks to understand it more deeply with things such as AC's r/k theory applied to politics.

Anonymous kfg April 07, 2015 9:52 AM  

Nate: if by left you mean Authoritarian Collectivist, a very large majority of psychologists are on that side.

Blogger Cogitans Iuvenis April 07, 2015 10:06 AM  

Annie Bellet, one of the writers on the nominees list who was not included in the Sad Puppies or Rabbid Puppies campaign.

I thought the SJW game journos were shooting themselves in the foot, but the SJW writers, good god are they dumb.

Anonymous jack April 07, 2015 10:26 AM  

Their biggest mistake, I think, was in going up against an insulated games master [Beale], a mountain of a Man with no fear [Correia] and some pissed off Real fans of SF/F. They seem to have not factored in the 2000 lb Gorilla in the room. Yeah, its lurking back there. The gamers [#Gamergate]. Piss enough of them off and they might just lash out using the Sad Pups points of attack. They may just devote some money and the time to study up on the puppie tactics to date and decide to give it a go.
A totally off the cuff estimate might be 2000 to 5000 more into Worldcon and it won't be on the side of SJW. This I would love to see.


Blogger James Dixon April 07, 2015 10:27 AM  

Vox, remind me never to get on your bad side. :)

Blogger James Dixon April 07, 2015 10:29 AM  

> A totally off the cuff estimate might be 2000 to 5000 more into Worldcon and it won't be on the side of SJW. This I would love to see.

2-5K more attending WorldCon would be more like it. The associate membership numbers would be much worse.

Anonymous Thales April 07, 2015 10:34 AM  

The Hugo Awards have never looked less like the future of anything.

I've seen their future, and you know what it is? It's made by a 47-year-old virgin in gray pajamas soaking in a bubble bath, drinking a broccoli milkshake and singing, "I'm an Oscar-Meyer Wiener!"

Anonymous Alexander April 07, 2015 10:47 AM  

Nothing says future like dinosaur porn and lady astronauts.

And I'd like to see them can their bullshit about these 'white futures' in science fiction. News flash - any future that involves humans with deep space technology at it's most diverse is going to follow the Firefly model of Sino-Anglo. Because even though the most liberal SJW is more than happy to have a gay transgender black Muslim be the commander of the SS Harmonious International Relations, even the SJW has that ship being controlled by the one of six or so countries, the UN if they're feeling really special on the diversity front.

Because there's exploring the scope of human possibility... and then there's the Congo running a space program. Even these assholes are aware of how absurd that is.

Anonymous FP April 07, 2015 10:54 AM  

Speaking of cunning plans. The SJWs here are reminding me of General Melchett.

Blogger Daniel April 07, 2015 10:54 AM  

Something very much missed so far in this: since the start of sad puppies 1, there has been a dramatic and steady and measurable improvement in the quality of the books. The longer sp goes the better the best novel candidates get. I can demonstrate this.

Anonymous Leonidas April 07, 2015 11:07 AM  

@Vox:

Slightly off topic, but I don't know a better place to ask it. My son just turned five. I would like to get him started with wargaming at a very early age (and I think playing them with him would be good for me, too). What recommendations do you have for a kid that age? Keep in mind that he's not really quite reading yet.

I think he could pick up classic Risk and play it pretty well, but I doubt he'd have the attention span for a full game of it yet. Not sure what else is out there that would be good at his age.

Blogger Ghost April 07, 2015 11:09 AM  

"because it is an offensive term"

Triggered! I actually read that as "you hurt my feelers" offensive at first and thought you were going soft.

Anonymous BoysMom April 07, 2015 11:21 AM  

The mind-boggling part to me is how could they not predict what the Ilk would do? Some of us have been reading and occasionally or frequently commenting here for over a decade! It's not all that hard to scroll through a couple 200+ comment threads and make note of how many individual names show up. They understand loyalty, at least to an extent: they seem to be pretty loyal to their conceits.

Or they could have trolled through old threads until they hit the whole Japanese Invasion of the West Coast during WWII saga. That would, at least, have given them some idea of what sort of opponent they'd picked.

Anonymous kfg April 07, 2015 11:22 AM  

@Leonidas: Checkers, chess and 7x7 Go. Even in gaming there is a Classical education.

Blogger Vox April 07, 2015 11:24 AM  

What recommendations do you have for a kid that age? Keep in mind that he's not really quite reading yet.

Ender was playing WAR AT SEA at five. But he could read.

Anonymous clk April 07, 2015 11:31 AM  

What is the sourse of the "Xanatos Gambit" term (it looks liike its from a cartoon) and is it called something else in classical thought ? When you describe this as a win-win it doesnt seem to fit -- isnt a win win was when both sides win .. here you are talking about all decisons resulting in one person winning and the other losing...

OpenID mattse001 April 07, 2015 11:40 AM  

I've noticed this about Obama: he seems to set up win-win situations for himself.
However, I've decided that most of his "wins" are actually losses for the "opposition." I give no credit for beating people who refuse to fight.

OpenID mattse001 April 07, 2015 11:43 AM  

@clk
It is a term used on TVTropes.com, and refers to a character in the Gargoyles cartoon from years ago. It is something like: setting up an endgame where all your opponents' moves are predicted, and their efforts to escape your plans actually play into them.

Anonymous BigGaySteve April 07, 2015 11:47 AM  

"though it's considerably stingier than Google or Wordpress, about ten seconds of research would have provided whatever ratio is required to compare apples to apples."

Surely Vox must understand math is one of their weaknesses. After all logic and reason are shunned by leftists. Here is a woman that thinks she is getting paid 25000% less than a man for "equal" work. http://weaselzippers.us/219683-liberal-difficulty-502-how-not-to-math/

"They seem to have not factored in the 2000 lb Gorilla in the room"

Isn't she on their side to get an award for affirmative action?

Anonymous clk April 07, 2015 11:47 AM  

"Informational friction is absolutely key"

Did you mean informational friction or infomational fiction ? I think both are useful here...

Blogger bob k. mando April 07, 2015 11:48 AM  

Nate April 07, 2015 9:21 AM
Does the left have anything like Anonymous Conservative attempting to explain the thinking of the Right?



as already noted, they have entire Uni departments devoted to it.

however, their 'research' is so corrupted by their absurd preconditions ( Fascism is Right Wing, YARRR! ) that's it's every bit as applicable and scientific as Freudian psychology.

for instance, i remember a PBS(?) investigation into US Aryan groups some ~20 years ago.

one of those interviewed was an AN guy who had started a chapter at Berkeley ( or some other Cali school ) and who claimed to have created their bylaws by copying the constitution of the campus Black Panthers except substituting Black and White for each other.

PBS, of course, could not be bothered to compare the AN and BP charters to see if he was telling the truth. and, of course, the AN was expelled from campus for 'racism' while the BP continued to be honored members of the uni.

another fine tidbit was the 'analysis' of the AN provided by a libtard professor who noted that the impetus for lower class Whites to join the AN was that ... they were being excluded from White Privilege?

hey you fucking retard,
IF
large swathes of the White population are being specifically excluded from 'White Privilege'
THEN
perhaps the Privilege ( even assuming it exists ) being discussed is misnomered when using the adjective 'White'?

thoughts such as these are far too complex for a Leftist indoctrinated in Cultural Marxism to comprehend. because they have been specifically taught Anti-Logic and Anti-Thought.

which Ayn Rand pointed out ( Return of the Primitive ) back in the 60s. and Lewis ( Abolition of Man ) back in the 40s.

Blogger CM April 07, 2015 11:57 AM  

What recommendations do you have for a kid that age? Keep in mind that he's not really quite reading yet.

Wouldn't chess or other basic strategy games (every culture that has had success in war seems to have one) be a good place to start?

Must start teaching my son chess.

Blogger Nate April 07, 2015 11:59 AM  

"as already noted, they have entire Uni departments devoted to it."

Do they?

Or do they have entire university departments devoted to confirming their biases?

Anonymous Jack Amok April 07, 2015 12:01 PM  

Peter, lying is a tactic. I think their true weakness is their emotional reactivity. Because of this, they lie.

But that's just it - they don't lie as a tactic, or at least not as one directed towards defeating their enemy. They lie to themselves in order to hide from their emotions. The Ruin of the West came about because a confluence of factors (prosperity, the defeat of external opponents, an overall lessening of K-selection pressure) made their lies into an accidentally effective tactic.

The lies they told to protect their own amygdalas suddenly became useful to parasites with aspirations of power. But those circumstances are changing again. The Long Summer of the Rabbits is coming to an end.

Anonymous Scintan April 07, 2015 12:06 PM  

At one time, they DID know their enemy. It took a hundred or so years to tear down Christendom from the inside, and they did a bang up job of it.

There's a huge difference between dealing with a few clods in the SFWA and dealing with the liberal/SJW elite.

Blogger Danby April 07, 2015 12:09 PM  

@Jack
"Their biggest mistake, I think, was in going up against an insulated games master [Beale], a mountain of a Man with no fear [Correia] and some pissed off Real fans of SF/F."

Their initial, if not biggest mistake was expelling Vox from SFWA. All else has followed as a natural sequence from there. That's where it will end as well.

'They seem to have not factored in the 2000 lb Gorilla in the room'
"Isn't she on their side to get an award for affirmative action?"

Steve wins.

OpenID mattse001 April 07, 2015 12:10 PM  

What recommendations do you have for a kid that age? Keep in mind that he's not really quite reading yet.
Two mechanics spring to mind: battle resolution and positioning/geometry.
Battle resolution: Start with the simplest, which is "attacker wins" or "random resolution." Risk resolves combat based on dice (random), while Chess resolves on who attacks. The next level is "rock, paper, scissors" where there's a hierarchy of effectiveness. The last level is increased probability of victory based on attacker type, but no guarantee of success. (oh, another idea is partial resolution: where the loser isn't destroyed, but its effectiveness is diminished)
Positioning/geometry: Risk includes no benefit for attack direction. All directions are equal. The mobility of different pieces in Chess introduces the idea of directionality or area-domination, although this doesn't affect battle resolution dynamics. The last level would be where attack direction influences the probability of attack success, like the idea of flanking.

There are probably other dynamics and/or levels I missed, since I'm not an active wargamer.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 07, 2015 12:12 PM  

Or do they have entire university departments devoted to confirming their biases?

That's exactly the difference. We have AC and his r/K theory that so far seems to work pretty well in predicting what the rabbits will do.

They have theories that say Vox would only nominate a slate of straight, white males.

My own guess is that they don't have anyone doing something similar to AC for the simple reason that an honest effort to understand us would burst too many of their bubbles. Frankly it would be heresy to them - politics is their religion. Someone on their side pointing out we're not evil incarnate would I think go over literally as well as a Catholic priest giving a sermon on how the Bible got Satan all wrong.

Anonymous NorthernHamlet April 07, 2015 12:18 PM  

VD,

This was most instructive, especially your walk-through example and explaining how to recognize weakness through illusion.

I've already begun to reassess my position and approach. Thank you.

If I may add: manipulation is what it is because it is emotional, while Machivellianism is rational.

Do you do anything specific to hone your pattern recognition skills (or recommendations to do so) or have the wargames primarily been the diving force there?

Anonymous kfg April 07, 2015 12:23 PM  

"Or do they have entire university departments devoted to confirming their biases?"

That is why I singled out the psychologists, rather than the social sciences in general.

Yes, most of them work as useful idiots of the propaganda machine and are no more capable of investigative thinking than your below average intelligence brick, but the good ones are very, very good indeed.

They do not write popular papers though. A good deal of their power comes from being unseen. Seeing the puppeteer breaks the illusion of the puppet show.

Blogger ajw308 April 07, 2015 12:24 PM  

What I think is not what Larry thinks is not what Brad thinks. The two things we have in common is that no one is self-serving and no one is an SJW.
I think Sad Puppies illustrates what happens when a population is united and motivated at the moral level.

Blogger Blume April 07, 2015 12:25 PM  

Castle panic or king of Tokyo just for board game fun. Some tactics in castle panic but not much.

Blogger bob k. mando April 07, 2015 12:33 PM  

Nate April 07, 2015 11:59 AM
Or do they have entire university departments devoted to confirming their biases?



when you've been brought up Anti-Logic and Anti-Rational Thought, it's the same thing.



Leonidas April 07, 2015 11:07 AM
What recommendations do you have for a kid that age?


IF you can get him to pick up the concepts of chess THEN get a chess clock immediately. this will allow you a very straightforward handicap method for him, something like you get 5 min vs his 1/2 hour.

also, there are all kinds of chess sims on the internet now, so he can practice when you're not around.



mattse001 April 07, 2015 12:10 PM
There are probably other dynamics and/or levels I missed



1 - a fighting retreat or defense of hardpoints, allowing the attacker to expend his energy uselessly without meaningful gain ( HyperModern defenses )
2 - attacking defenses such as the Sicilian
3 - tempo ( the colors always exchange moves with no simultaneous action )
4 - spacing and deep end game puzzles ( which are often quite baroque and indirect in their solutions )

one major 'flaw' of chess is that all battlefield information is fully available to both players. there is no 'fog of war', so there is little possibility of strategic surprise. merely, at best, the failure of one player to properly extrapolate the possibilities of his opponent.

Anonymous Alexander April 07, 2015 12:39 PM  

All directions are most certainly not equal in Risk. Oh, sure, on the actual one-to-one province attack they are, but strategically, your direction of attack determines your shape and your armies positions and density, which are very, very important. Not just for what happens in the following round, but how your diplomacy is affected.

An example - hang out with a massive army in China and very small armies surrounding it. If your neighbor attacks in a different direction, he faces (in the here and now) minimal threat from your token border armies. Attack in the direction of China, and he has through his own actions put himself on the border of your greatest asset. Many a province can be secured with tiny armies if attacking in their direction is dangerous to the individual.


Blogger jaericho April 07, 2015 12:39 PM  

A fantastic post Vox. Explained like that, it makes me wish I had a mind for strategy.

Anonymous kfg April 07, 2015 12:44 PM  

Well one thing that Risk teaches is not to get involved in a land war in Asia.

As an introduction to modern strategy games you could do a lot worse, and I don't think you can do any better, than Steve Jackson's original OGRE.

OpenID cailcorishev April 07, 2015 12:51 PM  

My own guess is that they don't have anyone doing something similar to AC for the simple reason that an honest effort to understand us would burst too many of their bubbles.

Whenever I see someone claiming to be a leftist who is able to look objectively at both sides and understand right-wing arguments, it turns out he's not really a leftist at all. That's not a One True Leftist argument, as if he strays off the plantation on one small issue. It's more like: you start asking about different issues, and he's actually on the Right on most things, but he has a couple issues where he strongly identifies with the Left (or more likely against the Right).

And if you keep digging, you often find that he's mislabeling those issues anyway, like people who claim support for torture is right-wing because Bush.

So the more you talk to a seeming "reasonable leftist," the more he turns out to be fairly right-wing but doesn't want to be called that and associated with certain things or people. A truly "reasonable leftist" may not exist.

Anonymous The Original Hermit April 07, 2015 12:54 PM  

"one major 'flaw' of chess is that all battlefield information is fully available to both players. there is no 'fog of war', so there is little possibility of strategic surprise. merely, at best, the failure of one player to properly extrapolate the possibilities of his opponent."

I recently picked up a used copy of Stratego. My son is a bit older, but he picked it up right away. A 5 year old that can count and understands their relative values could theoretically play the game.

Anonymous BigGaySteve April 07, 2015 12:57 PM  

"Does the left have anything like Anonymous Conservative attempting to explain the thinking of the Right? "

The right finds out what the left thinks by listening to the leftists, leftists find out about the right by listening to leftists. Leftists think Sarah Palin said she sees Russia from her house instead of the SNL person parodying her. By the same token the TV shows, Madame Secretary, The Good Wife, & the former West Wing not only retcon what the right did but fully alters what the left did as well. In the show leftists give the comebacks they thought of 6 months later as immediate reactions and the right says what they want them to say, with no Brown Democrats getting busted for 14yo hookers at awkward times, or a black family saying Dr. Ron Paul gave them free health care. The other week I heard the 2 shows in the background enough to know they retconed Waco & Hillary's email situation. When Bath House Barry gave a speech to black clergy a week before the 2012 election going against gay marriage no mainstream or regular gay media covered it. If someone between TV producers and Soros understands the right they are not sharing the data with other leftists.

There are gays that think it would be more dangerous to go to a white neighborhood when church lets out (because of all the STR8 white church going men) than a black neighborhood at night ( black crime is didndu nuttins persecuted by white cops). I have to bite my tongue whenever women talk about the wage gap and then make a math mistake about how much more men earn. Women earn 75% of what men make, why should men earn 25% more than me? "Oh honey 25% more would only be 94% of what men earn but I think you have answered the question."

OK seriously does vox control the captha text I got uLISP

Anonymous Leonidas April 07, 2015 1:09 PM  

Thanks to all for the good suggestions. My wife and I have already talked about getting him started with chess. I think checkers might be a better way to start off with him right now, though - thanks for getting my head out of my sphincter on that one. I might also try Risk with him soon. We might not finish games, but at least he'll learn to play. Ogre sounds like something he'd really get into - so thanks for that one as well.

Well one thing that Risk teaches is not to get involved in a land war in Asia.

Yes. Yes it does.

Anonymous Tom April 07, 2015 1:12 PM  

When I get done with Van C., a great Amazon review will be going up for it. Terrific book. Really helps one to get the lay of the land so to speak. I wish I'd found all this stuff before I developed this nasty case of responsibilities. Eats up way too much of my reading time.

Blogger Joshua Dyal April 07, 2015 1:19 PM  

Whenever I see someone claiming to be a leftist who is able to look objectively at both sides and understand right-wing arguments, it turns out he's not really a leftist at all.

Either that or he's not really objective after all. The intellectual underpinnings of liberalism, as it's usually meant, are on a foundation of sand. They don't hold up to objective analysis economically, politically, or scientifically.

Blogger CM April 07, 2015 1:26 PM  

By the same token the TV shows, Madame Secretary, The Good Wife, & the former West Wing not only retcon what the right did but fully alters what the left did as well.

I would agree on everything but TGW. Having abandoned nearly every show that goes into politics and grossly misrepresents the right in the most heinous way possible, this is the only show that has actually been rather FAIR to the right's positions. Even when the right loses the argument, they have something to say that humanizes them for even the die hard leftist. One reason why Ridley Scott is still a favorite.

Now... juxtaposition the popularity of tgw with scandal and be appalled. The Right has an advantage here since we clearly are inundated with Left-Think in just about everything. We are more forced to deal with it than they are our views.

And yet we are shoving our beleifs down everyone's throat. Silly Christians.

Blogger CM April 07, 2015 1:37 PM  

Either that or he's not really objective after all. The intellectual underpinnings of liberalism, as it's usually meant, are on a foundation of sand. They don't hold up to objective analysis economically, politically, or scientifically.

I think it is more likely that they have been effectively manipulated by the media. Its a rare person who can withstand certain pressures. The "reasonable leftist" is stronger than their idiot brothers, but still too weak to recognize media/authority manipulation and propaganda.

They'd benefit from actually talking/listening to people on the right instead of letting the news cycle tell him what we say and think.

Blogger CM April 07, 2015 1:39 PM  

Oh... and there's probably some Rabbit-think in there.

They don't want to be hated. #1 way to get hate in this country is identifying as a conservative.

Anonymous RedJack April 07, 2015 1:46 PM  

Scintan,

If you go back in time, it was a full court press. Politics, music, art, sports, even encyclopedias were used to attack Christendom, tear down the powers, and control the narrative. To say "Well, this is only about some low power guys in the Sci Fi world" is accurate, but misses the point. Books and fiction were the front line for advancing the narrative to the next generation not that long ago.

In a way, that explains the deluge of articles attacking SP3. They realize they no longer control the board the way they used to.

Anonymous Toz April 07, 2015 2:03 PM  

Looks like the sydney morning herald just copied and pasted from the nz paper. Check it out: http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/gamergatestyle-furore-after-scifi-awards-hijacked-20150407-1mfpk2.html

Anonymous Stilicho April 07, 2015 2:04 PM  

I think he could pick up classic Risk and play it pretty well, but I doubt he'd have the attention span for a full game of it yet. Not sure what else is out there that would be good at his age.

Castle Risk plays much faster.

Anonymous Toz April 07, 2015 2:05 PM  

Looks like the sydney morning herald just copied and pasted from the nz paper. Check it out: http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/gamergatestyle-furore-after-scifi-awards-hijacked-20150407-1mfpk2.html

Blogger JaimeInTexas April 07, 2015 2:09 PM  

Other games that are easy to learn and takes a little while to master:
connect four
othello, aka reversi

I did not play it much but 3d tic-tac-toe was retty interesting. At the beginning, it is hard to let go of the 2d world.

Anonymous Scintan April 07, 2015 2:21 PM  

In a way, that explains the deluge of articles attacking SP3. They realize they no longer control the board the way they used to.

They control more of the board than they ever have.

Blogger CM April 07, 2015 2:26 PM  

We've been playing King of Tokyo with our 5 yo. It is yahtzee-like and minorly complex at first, but its been interesting teaching him about trade-offs and risk assessment.

He's getting better and better... though he still makes silly, thoughtless choices, they aren't as frequent.

Anonymous Alexander April 07, 2015 2:29 PM  

How lazy are those fuckers. They use the exact same tweet. Not enough to check the articles, not enough to even write something new. And they throw up the same old tweet as if LordGrimDark is like the High Elder of all things Hugo.

Seriously, one fucker's tweet has now circumnavigated the world of libelous major rags.

Blogger CM April 07, 2015 2:30 PM  

In a way, that explains the deluge of articles attacking SP3. They realize they no longer control the board the way they used to.

The grew by appealing to their people's sympathies for the under dog. Poor minorities... oppressed by the majority...

Now that they are the majority, they have to hold on to their under dog sympathizers by demonizing the new minority/oppressed and re-inforcing in-group thinking and victimization.

Anonymous Alexander April 07, 2015 2:31 PM  

And they continue to cheer that a work that both groups of puppies nominated managed to get onto the final ballot. Excellent journalism!

Blogger luagha April 07, 2015 3:00 PM  

To go further into the meaning of 'Xanatos Gambit...'

In terms of fiction writing, a Xanatos Gambit allows you to write a heroic story where the heroes appear to succeed, but the villain also achieves a goal and is not finally defeated. In fact, he becomes stronger for the final showdown.

An example would be:

A magical mcguffin with special properties is dug up, and transported to a laboratory for scientific study. Xanatos, the villain, begins mobilizing his forces to steal it. The heroic gargoyles get wind of his action, and swoop in to rescue the mcguffin, having a rousing fight scene in the laboratory with plenty of property damage and trounce Xanatos's minions.

At the end of the episode, Xanatos steeples his fingers and reveals to the camera that while he might have liked to have the magical mcguffin, the resulting property damage and insurance buyout of the laboratory in question by the insurance company he owns gives him access to patents X, Y, and Z which he's been after for quite some time for use in his next generation of killer robots. Even a loss on its face is a win.

In real life, this is wonderfully portrayed by the manner in which last years' 'loss' of the Sad Puppies slate, with attending SJW hysteria and no-awards voting, raised such awareness for this year that it's become a landslide and hit the national news.

Now 'SJW' and 'CHORF' are becoming popular phrases and more and more everyone knows to discount such people.

Vox even had a post here last year where he steepled his fingers and explained it all to the camera.

Blogger luagha April 07, 2015 3:04 PM  

I should also mention that Xanatos, in the Gargoyles cartoon, was voiced by Jonathan Frakes, who played First Officer Will Riker who turned down his own starship command on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Blogger Vox April 07, 2015 3:42 PM  

If I may add: manipulation is what it is because it is emotional, while Machivellianism is rational.

Yes, that is an even better description.

Anonymous Athor Pel April 07, 2015 4:11 PM  

"Scintan April 07, 2015 12:06 PM
...
There's a huge difference between dealing with a few clods in the SFWA and dealing with the liberal/SJW elite."




Before I call you a concern troll please explain exactly what you mean by this in a qualitative and quatitative way.

Anonymous Scintan April 07, 2015 4:23 PM  

Before I call you a concern troll please explain exactly what you mean by this in a qualitative and quatitative way.

My post was self-explanatory. Call me a concern troll all you want. I've been around here for a long time, and I'm confident that others know better than to think such nonsense.

Anonymous RedJack April 07, 2015 4:27 PM  

Scintan,

Perhaps.

But if they did, would the SP3 even have made it past the voting process? Wouldn't the board that actually sends out the Hugo nominations just thrown out the ballots? Such things have happened before.

Of course, you may be correct. Perhaps they do control the board, but have not noticed that the game isn't the same anymore. My point is that for someone like Jim Butcher to even make the slate is rather new.

Anonymous Scintan April 07, 2015 4:35 PM  

But if they did, would the SP3 even have made it past the voting process? Wouldn't the board that actually sends out the Hugo nominations just thrown out the ballots? Such things have happened before.

In the case of the SFWA, they hadn't made the moves to lock themselves into power yet, which goes to my point about the difference between the SFWA schmucks and the legitimate 'elites'. The earlier post you wrote, though, did not seem as if you meant to limit it solely to SFWA.

Anonymous Mrs. Wif April 07, 2015 4:51 PM  

So they're already spreading the lie that a cap on nominations to avoid one writer getting "too many" nominations in a single category is "going to be part of the new rules in 2017".

SJWs are taking a proposal that would take a minimum of 2 years to implement and already proclaiming that it's a done deal and will be part of the voting rules in a couple of years. They are shameless.

Anonymous Anubis April 07, 2015 6:24 PM  

"In a way, that explains the deluge of articles attacking SP3. They realize they no longer control the board the way they used to.///They control more of the board than they ever have."

But they have no way of constraining what they don't control.

"cap on nominations to avoid one writer getting "too many" nominations in a single category

Just like how leftists hate that so many of the top classical musicians came from Austria, it couldn't be genetic must be something in the water.

Anonymous Mr. A is Mr. A April 07, 2015 8:32 PM  

"kfg April 07, 2015 11:22 AM
@Leonidas: Checkers, chess and 7x7 Go. Even in gaming there is a Classical education."

Very late in the thread, but some good "Go" applications on computer -- for Linux: Kigo and qGo. Superior strategy teaching tool -- endless levels of frustration and revelation to be had.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 07, 2015 10:24 PM  

So the more you talk to a seeming "reasonable leftist," the more he turns out to be fairly right-wing but doesn't want to be called that and associated with certain things or people. A truly "reasonable leftist" may not exist.

Indeed. Witness the power of the warren. But I think the key to destroying this hold the unreasonable leftists have over their "reasonable" co-partisans is exposing how mean and petty they are. A lot of the pressure "reasonable leftists" feel not to be right-wing is that they're convinced "right wing" = mean. it's a hell of a snow job the left put over, but snow eventually melts if there's enough sunshine.

I should also mention that Xanatos, in the Gargoyles cartoon, was voiced by Jonathan Frakes, who played First Officer Will Riker who turned down his own starship command on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Does Nate know about that?

Blogger Nate April 07, 2015 10:29 PM  

"who played First Officer Will Riker who turned down his own starship command on Star Trek: The Next Generation."

GOD DAMMIT

Blogger Blume April 07, 2015 10:59 PM  

I second checkers and chess. Just don't expect much strategy. Only real smarty kids like ender learn more than the very basics of chess from 5 to 8. But he will be interested and get more interested. The sense of fun needs to be fostered.

Blogger Blume April 07, 2015 11:02 PM  

Shogi fixes this. Any captured piece can be dropped into any open square instead of moving a piece already on the board. Except pawns which have to be dropped in an empty pawn row. Surprise is constant.

Blogger Cee April 07, 2015 11:17 PM  

"who played First Officer Will Riker who turned down his own starship command on Star Trek: The Next Generation."

GOD DAMMIT


This is a beautiful thing.

Anonymous Athor Pel April 08, 2015 2:21 PM  

"Scintan April 07, 2015 4:23 PM
Before I call you a concern troll please explain exactly what you mean by this in a qualitative and quatitative way.

My post was self-explanatory. Call me a concern troll all you want. I've been around here for a long time, and I'm confident that others know better than to think such nonsense.
"



Doesn't matter what you've written in the past.

Because right now it sure looks like you intend to destroy other people's faith and hope. And I know exactly where that motivation comes from.

And so does every God fearing person reading these words.

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