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Friday, October 13, 2017

If you're worried about story

One of the concerns that keeps being raised about Alt★Hero by people who are observably unfamiliar with the fact that I am a novelist is that the comic is going to be nothing more than anti-SJW preaching and attempts to trigger SJWs. But this is nothing more than confusing the advertisement with the product.

But consider the following review for one of my more recent novels, A Sea of Skulls:
Better then GOT

I read a lot of fiction. Vox's writing skill is superb. He takes no shortcuts with weaving his tale. Explores many different approaches in his books. In throne of bones he spans the life of one character in one chapter. In another he tries his hand a describing a battle from many many different soldiers views as they fight and die. In sea of skulls he pulls back a bit on experimentation and instead explores each major race in his universe from their perspective. Each perspective is unique and masterfully done.
Now, you may well be dubious about the possibility that my Arts of Dark and Light series is genuinely better than A Song of Ice and Fire, especially if you haven't read A Dance with Dragons. After all, HBO hasn't even made a television series about it yet. But if you look at the reviews of both books over time, you'll see how the initial comparisons to Martin begin to fade away and are replaced by comparisons - admittedly, unfavorable - to Tolkien.

This is not indicative of a writer who is unable to tell a story, create memorable characters, or is prone to sacrificing either in the interest of delivering dogmatic, heavy-handed lectures. I don't believe in either cheap heroism or cheap villainry, as both are the product of mediocre writers with insufficient imagination. While I would consider Captain Europa to be a villain and the Global Justice Initiative to be evil, he most certainly does not.

Nor do I believe that my favored side must always win. After all, the ultimate heroism is self-sacrificial, and I am not even remotely hesistant to kill off even my favorite characters if the story's logic demands it. (The fact that this also helps solve the fatal perspective-character-inflation problem is merely a fortunate side-effect.) Nor do I ever indulge in the storytelling fraud that is so often present in Martin, Marvel, and DC stories; there are few literary devices for which I have more contempt than "bringing back" an obviously dead character. It's not only lame and fake drama, it is unnecessary for the sufficiently skilled writer.

Here's the thing: EVERYTHING triggers SJWs. It's not as if we have to go even remotely out of our way to set them off. We can focus 100 percent on telling excellent stories and we probably won't even need to go back and add anything in order to have them REEEEEEing at frequencies higher than have ever been recorded at the Metropolitian opera. Not that I won't insert the occasional shiv and twist, out of nothing more than the pure joy of it, but we simply don't have to. In these forsaken days of the Forgettable Squirrel She-Thing, just having pretty women with attractive bodies is more than enough.

So, if you are genuinely concerned about the storytelling aspects of the new series, you can either read my novels or you can simply wait to see what sort of stories we deliver in Alt★Hero. As for me, all I can say is that I am enjoying the challenge of raising my storytelling game in order to keep pace with the legendary Chuck Dixon.

And that, I suspect, is the real concern of the comics SJWs. They're not at all concerned about our prospective failure. They're concerned about our prospective success.

Labels: ,

90 Comments:

Blogger Gromm October 13, 2017 5:47 AM  

Had to recognize that you are on another level of analysis last night. This idea that we become our enemy if we adopt their tactics, Jordan Peterson said we adopt the same pathology which isn't good, brilliant. Not really though, you destroyed that whole idea with your analogy of the Russian T-34.

Blogger Harambe October 13, 2017 5:58 AM  

But don't forget to trigger them though

Blogger Harambe October 13, 2017 5:59 AM  

That part with the rabbits in Throne of Bones was top kek

Blogger Desdichado October 13, 2017 6:00 AM  

Although it would be fun if obvious comic fan John C. Wright were willing to do a guest feature now and then too. Nobody can credibly impugn his skill as a writer.

Blogger The Lizard King October 13, 2017 6:04 AM  

Hey Vox Day, since you are talking about your Arts of Dark And Light series, I want to ask a question.

I want to start reading the series ever since I got both novels for free (thank you very much), but I wonder if when I am done reading the first novel A Throne of Bones, I should wait and read the second until the extended version ( I think I read that you are working on one) is out?

Blogger VD October 13, 2017 6:14 AM  

I would just read it now. The extended edition additions are collectively more than a complete novel in themselves.

Blogger Wuzzums Fuzzums October 13, 2017 6:16 AM  

Gromm wrote:Had to recognize that you are on another level of analysis last night. This idea that we become our enemy if we adopt their tactics, Jordan Peterson said we adopt the same pathology which isn't good, brilliant. Not really though, you destroyed that whole idea with your analogy of the Russian T-34.



Jordan Peterson says we shouldn't adopt the same pathology. Fair enough.
Jordan Peterson also says we shouldn't throw pearls before swine.

These two are in direct contradiction to each other. I hold the latter as a core value.
Treating a lowlife with the same respect and honesty you would treat a virtuous person is, from a pure logical standpoint, tantamount to treating a virtuous person like a lowlife.

Anonymous Nodar Khvichia October 13, 2017 6:20 AM  

Author of that review never received anything other than Castalia releases on Amazon...

Blogger James Dixon October 13, 2017 6:20 AM  

> They're concerned about our prospective success.

I thought that was a given.

Blogger traderdoc October 13, 2017 6:37 AM  

Progressives NEVER surrender ground they have won (gay marriage, abortion, etc.). They thought they had taken publishing, including comics. It is bigly triggering alone for them to see this isn't accepted fact after all.

Blogger traderdoc October 13, 2017 6:41 AM  

Progressives NEVER surrender ground they have won (gay marriage, abortion, etc.). They thought they had taken publishing, including comics. It is bigly triggering alone for them to see this isn't accepted fact after all.

Anonymous Man of the Atom October 13, 2017 6:52 AM  

traderdoc wrote:Progressives NEVER surrender ground they have won (gay marriage, abortion, etc.). They thought they had taken publishing, including comics. It is bigly triggering alone for them to see this isn't accepted fact after all.

But they have surrendered the audience, which really is the ground, not the institution. NFL, F/SF, name your institution -- SJWs take the organization, but neglect the important component: the audience.

Vox is demonstrating that now with Alt★Hero. Marvel/DC/etc abandoned their audiences; Vox is here to provide those audiences entertainment, and thus take them from the SJWs.

Creators, take note.

Blogger Cataline Sergius October 13, 2017 6:52 AM  

there are few literary devices for which I have more contempt than "bringing back" an obviously dead character.

THANK YOU!

I hate it when anyone does that.

Nothing destroys dramatic tension like the removal of the ultimate reality.

Nobody is worse about spontaneous resurrections that DC Comics.

Blogger The Observer October 13, 2017 6:53 AM  

traderdoc wrote:Progressives NEVER surrender ground they have won (gay marriage, abortion, etc.). They thought they had taken publishing, including comics. It is bigly triggering alone for them to see this isn't accepted fact after all.

It could be argued that they see the entirety of history as a unidirectional march towards the inevitable Ultimate Progressive Utopia at the end of history - it's like a perversion of how Christians see the entirety of history as a march towards the inevitable second coming.

That gains can be reversed shatters this narrative and brings their entire worldview into question, which unsurprisingly causes much pain.

Anonymous Looking Glass October 13, 2017 7:00 AM  

Btw, anyone know if Voyager or Voyager 2 has registered the REEEEE yet? It should be approaching there pretty soon.

Blogger Duke Norfolk October 13, 2017 7:13 AM  

"there are few literary devices for which I have more contempt than "bringing back" an obviously dead character. It's not only lame and fake drama, it is unnecessary for the sufficiently skilled writer."

Indeed. Just one of the many lame writer cheats that is evident in so many of modern entertainment series.

There's a lot of lazy writing out there that is really disrespectful of the reader.

I enjoyed TOB, and look forward to SOS. Though right now I'm reading Footfall, which I somehow missed through all these years.

Blogger Cataline Sergius October 13, 2017 7:13 AM  


And that, I suspect, is the real concern of the comics SJWs. They're not at all concerned about our prospective failure. They're concerned about our prospective success.


If you count the kickstarter premiums as "sales" then Alt Comics is already outselling Ms. Marvel and you haven't actually published anything yet.

Anonymous Killua October 13, 2017 7:20 AM  

While I would consider Captain Europa to be a villain and the Global Justice Initiative to be evil, he most certainly does not.

This is what I love abaout Hunter X Hunter. Instead of traditional "good guys vs bad guys" model, is more like different characters with conflicting motivations.

Anonymous Looking Glass October 13, 2017 7:24 AM  

@18 Killua

Considering I'd heard the legends, I did check in for the Chimera Ant arc. That's some of the richest sequential art storytelling you'll ever come across.

Blogger stareatgoatsies October 13, 2017 7:32 AM  

> Not really though, you destroyed that whole idea with your analogy of the Russian T-34.

using a Russian tank doesn't make you psychologically Russian. But using sjw tactics does potentially in the long run make you psychologically more sjw like.

Long run, potentially, more like... are not weasel words, just pointing it out as an issue that should be addressed beyond analogising sentient beings to machines

Anonymous Texas exile October 13, 2017 7:33 AM  

@Desdichado

I thought Wright's Superluminary would be a fun graphic novel. Some of the plot points were more cerebral and relied on dialogue though. It was an engaging serial format with major cliffhangers nearly every chapter, but would take someone with great skill to be able to draw both the horrors of the undead and grandeur of interstellar warfare. I tried my hand at sketching a few chapters for fun and was not pleased with the result.

Blogger Cataline Sergius October 13, 2017 7:45 AM  

@Vox are you considering doing any of Castalia's books as graphic novels?

Blogger Desdichado October 13, 2017 7:50 AM  

Wuzzums Fuzzums wrote:Jordan Peterson says we shouldn't adopt the same pathology. Fair enough.

Jordan Peterson also says we shouldn't throw pearls before swine.

These two are in direct contradiction to each other. I hold the latter as a core value.

Treating a lowlife with the same respect and honesty you would treat a virtuous person is, from a pure logical standpoint, tantamount to treating a virtuous person like a lowlife.

That's not true at all that those are in contradiction. There's a lot of territory between those two binary points, though. Don't think that in rejecting one endpoint, you must therefore default to the opposite.

One of the great lessons of history, for those who care to learn from it, is that revolutions tend to turn into that against which they are revolting, if not something worse.

OpenID crapulux October 13, 2017 7:57 AM  

The only uncertainty I have about the story is how wildly it will exceed my expectations, which are already quite high, considering the names on the cover. No worries at all, I put my money in for all hardcovers because I have full trust you will deliver!

> EVERYTHING triggers SJWs.

Like stepping on the dog's squeaky chew toy I didn't see. Except instead of squeaking, the thing goes "REEEEEEE". I explained it to a SJW the other day using these exact words. That kinda triggered him until he ran out of REEE and crawled back into his mom's basement.


Anonymous Critically Bent October 13, 2017 7:57 AM  

@21

Comic stories obviously have to be visual, but they also tell themselves a little differently because of the visual medium. "Character sketch" takes on a literal meaning... (hehehe).

@1
@20

I think Vox's willingness to justify and do what some consider morally evil acts in the service of good stems from his lack of belief in God's omnipotence and sovereignty.

Vox has said that he doesn't believe in predestination. That means that to him, people's individual actions and decisions trump God's "plan" at least some of the time. Though I'm pretty sure that he has said that he believes God can step in and force results as He sees fit, especially with respect to the fulfillment of prophecy.

If God's plan can be overridden by evil people, then it is the good guys' responsibility to fight back against the evil and get the world back on track. What more noble and justifying reason could there be than to get the world to the way that God wants it?

Blogger Brad Matthews (Deplorabard) October 13, 2017 7:59 AM  

They are terrified of a new, well ran, full line comic company with excellent stories. Artists will jump ship and the big 2 will fall further.

Blogger Markku October 13, 2017 8:05 AM  

Let's remember that Apostle Paul was a troll.

Act 23:6 - But when Paul perceived that one part were Sad'ducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, "Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead I am on trial."
7 And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sad'ducees; and the assembly was divided.

Blogger VD October 13, 2017 8:13 AM  

But using sjw tactics does potentially in the long run make you psychologically more sjw like.

This indicates that you have neither read SJWADD nor have an understanding of the causal factors that create the SJW psychology. No matter how much I discredit and disqualify SJWs, I will never have their fear of failure or their inability to admit they are wrong.

I think Vox's willingness to justify and do what some consider morally evil acts in the service of good stems from his lack of belief in God's omnipotence and sovereignty.

Why are you clearly willing to commit a morally evil act such as lying, as you have done here? What is your motivation for doing so?

I do not, and have never, denied God's sovereignty. You are a liar and as such, you have no business even discussing morality here. Nor do I deny God's omnipotence, I merely suspect that it is more akin to what I describe as tantiscience than the omniderigence in which others believe.

Blogger Andrew Brown October 13, 2017 8:16 AM  

The reason I'm backing is mostly for the story, although the SJW tears are the icing on the cake.

Anonymous Avalanche October 13, 2017 8:27 AM  

(Vox, title:) "If you're worried about story"

Of course, WE are not.


(And:)
@24 "dog's squeaky chew toy ... goes "REEEEEEE"."

Now THERE is a new product opportunity! (Even has export possibility, if you can figure out what "REEEEEE" sounds like in languages other than English?)

Blogger Markku October 13, 2017 8:32 AM  

According to KnowYourMeme, this is what the only true REEEEEEEE sounds like https://youtu.be/3qwU1LQZA5g

Blogger James Dixon October 13, 2017 8:43 AM  

> Vox has said that he doesn't believe in predestination. That means that to him, people's individual actions and decisions trump God's "plan" at least some of the time.

No, that means that peoples actions and decision are part of God's plan.

God is outside time as we know it. He can see what we're going to do and take it into account. That doesn't mean he forces us to do the things we're going to do. He doesn't need to.

It sounds to me like you're the one who doesn't believe in God's omnipotence and sovereignty.

Blogger JohnofAustria October 13, 2017 8:51 AM  

Chiming in on this, I disagree with you on quite a bit, but *loved* Sea of Skulls and Throne of Bones. And agree about the threat to characters. There was no deus ex machina sweeping in to save good guys, and it makes the tension of the battles and intrigue real. Kudos, btw.

Blogger marco moltisanti October 13, 2017 8:54 AM  

Do truly educated people think of GRR Martin as a good writer? I tried to read his first Song of Fire and Ice book years ago, excited at what I'd heard about him being "the American Tolkien" (along with Eco, Tolkien is probably my favorite author). I only made it a few chapters in because the writing was so bad, and I'm the type who normally manages to soldier through a book I don't like. Maybe he improved his writing skills in his later books but I hated the one I tried so much that between that and my somewhat elitist tastes (aside from Eco and Tolkien, I've read classics like Dante, Dostoevsky, and Kafka in the original languages) I never even gave the Game of Thrones TV show a try, reasoning that if it's so popular with the masses it can't actually be good.

Blogger JohnofAustria October 13, 2017 8:56 AM  

@25, by what standard do you call things evil? I measure our actions against the defenders of the faith in the past, and the words of the Church fathers about them.

God's plan for this earth is that it will fall to Satan, and be ruled by evil until the second coming. His plan is fulfilled in heaven, not on earth. We can only spread the Gospel and live by it, not create Heaven on earth. Such a thing is outside our power.

Blogger Resident Moron™ October 13, 2017 9:13 AM  

Imagine if Vox wrote a dead serious novel fully populated with rainbow-haired Islamic trans-things, furry gayboys and fat black genderfluids, all constantly promoting every SJW cause du jour and hammering relentlessly on the evil privileged white patriarchy ... well, they'd never read it.

They'd never open the cover because the name on the front would trigger them.

Any of them that did eventually overcome their psychoses and bravely read any part of it would soon conclude it was some kind of satirical aggression against them, and burn it.

It's too late, now. Once you decide someone can only have malign motives, their actions no longer matter. There's no way to get from here to there. Just the fact that alt*Hero is going to generate more publicity noise than any of them have ever seen will so trigger their envyhate that they'll give themselves ulcers from the burning cauldrons of bile within.

It's too late.

Blogger Markku October 13, 2017 9:17 AM  

There's only a sort of prisoner's dilemma in that you make a name for yourself by being the first to bring that noise, knowing that if you didn't, someone else would. The effect would be the same, but you wouldn't reap any benefits.

Blogger darkdoc October 13, 2017 9:19 AM  

His plan is fulfilled in heaven, not on earth.

Then why does Jesus himself instruct to pray like this..."Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven."?

And are there no gradations between Hell and Heaven on earth?

Anonymous Causal Lurker October 13, 2017 9:22 AM  

The warning is in Tolkien, specifically aimed at Saruman, to not delve deeply or use the arts of the Enemy against him, as opposed to his tactics. You stand in peril of losing you soul and self to the Enemy should you adopt his arts. The underlying reason is the temptation to the twinned sins of pride and despair (commission or omission).

Pride in what you have learned to do or can make, without understanding the true source and costs, will harden hearts. The subtle lies the Enemy tells himself first to justify the theft of creation-like action, become poison to the soul. You don't need anyone to help or support you.

Despair comes later, when you discover that pride in stolen talent provides at best a coarse imitation of true creative ability, but you also realize you turned away from the Creator and the source of all gifts. Now you discover that the Enemy's arts came with a tremendous personal price, including an overdose of pride. It's then progressively more difficult to admit you did wrong and ask for pardon of your sins, because the hardening of pride is now etched by the sins of despair. Those lies include the lie that only the Enemy can save you now, and if your believe more deeply in this lie then despair will destroy you.

SJWs Always Lie. SJWs Always Double Down. Their Master is amused by their continued pain and misery, and the SJW's attempts to assuage their pain and guilt by forcing it on everyone.

Use the Enemy's tactics, but keep a close watch on you conscience and soul. Understand what you do, why you do it, and for what goal. Chastise and educate, but do not torment. The REEEEEs come either way. One way they can lead to salvation; the other way leads to damnation.

These are the differences between LOTR and AODAL on one hand, and ASOIAF on the other.

Blogger Markku October 13, 2017 9:27 AM  

Then why does Jesus himself instruct to pray like this..."Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven."?

Note how you don't pray that it be fulfilled in Heaven, but assume it in the wording. Why do you think that is? Obviously because it is NOT fulfilled on earth until Second Coming.

Blogger Markku October 13, 2017 9:32 AM  

Also, remember the request just before it: Thy Kingdom come. Isn't it already here, "in your midst?" Yes and no.

Isn't God's will already fulfilled on Earth? Yes and no.

Blogger Nate October 13, 2017 9:34 AM  

Than. Better than. Dammit.

Blogger Markku October 13, 2017 9:36 AM  

Note: "yes and no" is not saying A = not-A. It means that you have to be more specific with the question, because you could specify it in a way the answer to which is yes, and in a way it's no.

Anonymous Critically Bent October 13, 2017 9:48 AM  

@28

I apologize for misrepresenting your views. I was using "sovereignty" to mean the typical Calvanistic "ominidergence" whereby anything that God so chooses will be regardless of any other actor or force including human decisions regarding salvation. But, I had forgotten your delineation between the different aspects omnipotence/sovereignty.

Am I wrong in my understanding that you believe that human decisions override what God wants or plans with regard to salvation of individuals? Isn't that the definition of opposing predestination?

I'm sorry, but I'm just honestly trying to understand what you think about this issue. I respect your thinking and the opinions you come to on most topics, so it has always bothered me that I can't for the life of me understand what I've thought was your position on predestination. If you have written about it in other posts elsewhere, I apologize for bringing it up here.


Blogger Markku October 13, 2017 9:51 AM  

There is a doctrine by name of predestination, and then there is the concept of philosophy called predestination, which is also called determinism. Vox is denying the latter.

Blogger VD October 13, 2017 9:53 AM  

I apologize for misrepresenting your views. I was using "sovereignty" to mean the typical Calvanistic "ominidergence" whereby anything that God so chooses will be regardless of any other actor or force including human decisions regarding salvation. But, I had forgotten your delineation between the different aspects omnipotence/sovereignty.

That's fine. But you're completely off-topic. So we're not going to address it here.

And I note that when I use a word, I use a definition that is one of the primary examples given by the dictionary. Always. If no definition is close enough, I coin a new term.

Blogger Resident Moron™ October 13, 2017 10:08 AM  

Even if the thing was nothing but SJW triggers I'd still have backed it. Same with Rabid Puppies. But while in both cases the triggering was a built-in feature it was never the point or the motive. It's something that took me a while to realise, and a point of growing respect:

Vox isn't petty. As far as I've seen over the last 4 or 5 years reading him, he doesn't ever act purely out of spite. He just doesn't have that in his character.

So like someone said above, it's not us concern trolling about Story.

Anonymous Gecko October 13, 2017 10:19 AM  

HBO hasn't even made a television series about it yet.

Ain't it the truth!

Blogger darkdoc October 13, 2017 10:25 AM  

Note how you don't pray that it be fulfilled in Heaven, but assume it in the wording. Why do you think that is? Obviously because it is NOT fulfilled on earth until Second Coming.

Pretty safe assumption, considering the context of them prayer - it is all about "today", this day our daily bread, forgive us today, protect us from evil today. If you wish to read that one section as not about today, then I am not inclined to agree, or to argue about it.

Blogger Markku October 13, 2017 10:30 AM  

Of course it's about today. But there's also action going on in Heaven today. And of that, we don't pray that God's will be done, but rather that the state of affairs on earth would become like it already is in Heaven. Hence, it's not already like that.

Blogger stareatgoatsies October 13, 2017 10:36 AM  

This indicates that you have neither read SJWADD nor have an understanding of the causal factors that create the SJW psychology.

Correct on no 1, though I plan to, and I have read sjwal. So i was partly guessing the analogy. But "Discredit and disqualify", though I agree it is a well identified sjw attack feature, isn't for me a defining feature, in that it's a very common feature of political attacks across the spectrum. So when I say there are some sjw tactics that might be psychologically damaging in the long run, I am thinking of for instance, "point and shriek" or "isolate and swarm" which are more suited to rabbit-like psyches.

Do you think a) there are necessary psychological features, not present in your intended audience, that blunt the putative harm of engaging in those behaviours or b) there are some tactics you don't encourage for something similar to my reasons c) tactics you discourage for other reasons

Our something else I'm missing?

Blogger S1AL October 13, 2017 11:10 AM  

You're asking for a simple answer to one of humanity's most contentious questions:

To what extent do the ends justify the means?

There is no simple answer.

That said, when speaking of how the apostles were to conduct themselves, Jesus said "You must be as innocent as doves and as cunning as serpents." U posit that this provides us with a framework to judge such things.

Anonymous BBGKB October 13, 2017 11:13 AM  

Some good news about the projected audience:

"Our school district has a good amount of minorities in it, but we were all stunned. Every single white kid besides maybe one or two walked off the bus with a red hat on," she said
https://www.yahoo.com/style/maga-hats-newest-form-pre-162306243.html

They know real DieVerseCity not seenon (((TV)))

Blogger pdwalker October 13, 2017 11:24 AM  

marco moltisanti, the books get progressively worse. One of the very few books I just couldn't finish and I've been able to complete some real dross.

Anonymous Trevor who was Trump October 13, 2017 11:52 AM  

Out of all the reviews you could have chosen why did you pick the one you did Vox? What is it about that review in particular that you thought would assuage people who were worried over the writing? I only ask because I've seen much better reviews of your works, and Sea of Skulls in general, so it seems an odd choice.

Blogger James Dixon October 13, 2017 11:55 AM  

> Am I wrong in my understanding that you believe that human decisions override what God wants or plans with regard to salvation of individuals?

Wants, yes. Plans, no. God wants all to be saved. He knows that not all will choose to be, and he will not force men to believe, so he plans accordingly. But as Vox said, this is off topic.

Blogger Wuzzums Fuzzums October 13, 2017 12:00 PM  

Desdichado wrote:One of the great lessons of history, for those who care to learn from it, is that revolutions tend to turn into that against which they are revolting, if not something worse.

My argument was a syllogism. Your counter argument was the argument from effect yet you avoided to give even one single example to make it valid. I can think of a whole plethora of counter examples in which the revolutionaries did not turn into that which they revolted against (communists didn't turn into aristocrats, jews didn't turn into romans, christians didn't turn into muslims, koreans didn't turn into japanese, indians didn't turn into whites, etc).

Desdichado wrote:That's not true at all that those are in contradiction. There's a lot of territory between those two binary points, though. Don't think that in rejecting one endpoint, you must therefore default to the opposite.

But you yourself called it a binary system and by its very definition it's an either/or situation, no middleground.
I can add a 3rd option to make it a ternary system as a test (there's no 4th option I can think of so no texactly "a lot of territory between"):
I)Tell the truth all the time. (for example)
II)Tell the truth to truthful people only.
III)Tell the truth never.

(I) and (III) are virtually the same. A world where everyone tells the truth is practically identical to a world where everyone lies because the very fact you knowing that everyone lies you can easily extract the truth. You ask someone if 2+2=4 and they say "no", then you know that 2+2=4. You can't lie without knowing/valuing the truth.

So in the end we're left in effect with only a binary system.

Add to this the fact that people can choose to either lie or tell the truth, choosing (I) will have you taken advantage of by people who choose to lie.

Another way of looking at this is economically. If you love everyone you meet, "love" looses its value because of inflation.

Blogger VD October 13, 2017 12:14 PM  

Out of all the reviews you could have chosen why did you pick the one you did Vox? What is it about that review in particular that you thought would assuage people who were worried over the writing?

It's the newest one. And it specifically addresses the writing as well as provides examples that should suffice to illustrate that the professed concerns are ill-founded.

Anonymous vfm October 13, 2017 12:20 PM  

"the fatal perspective-character-inflation problem"??

Can somebody explain this? Thanks.

Anonymous Mr. Rational October 13, 2017 12:21 PM  

@15  That's probably some of what they were registering as synchrotron emissions at the heliopause.  The sensors are picking up the REEEEEEEs.

Anonymous 5343 Kinds of Deplorable October 13, 2017 12:26 PM  

"the fatal perspective-character-inflation problem"??

Can somebody explain this? Thanks.


The number of perspective characters tends to multiply as the series wears on unless the writer is very disciplined, which makes for increasingly fragmented storytelling. GRR Martin is an egregious example of failure in this regard.

Anonymous vfm October 13, 2017 12:28 PM  

"The number of perspective characters tends to multiply as the series wears on unless the writer is very disciplined, which makes for increasingly fragmented storytelling. GRR Martin is an egregious example of failure in this regard."

Thank you.

Blogger rcocean October 13, 2017 12:53 PM  

"This idea that we become our enemy if we adopt their tactics, Jordan Peterson said we adopt the same pathology which isn't good, brilliant."

Why are people on the center-right CONSTANTLY wanking on about not "stooping to their level" or "behaving like Gentlemen" or "Winning the right way"? God, it gets so fucking boring. We're in a cultural war. Either shoot back with the same or better weapons or surrender.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash October 13, 2017 1:12 PM  

It's a consequence of believing that we're all the same under the skin, that Liberals a re good Americans, etc. If they are the same as we are, just with different "values", then the only thing to object to is their tactics, which is all we see the Conservatives ever object to.
These are the people who think the real problem with Obama is that he issued too many executive orders, ignoring Congress. That he is a hateful anti-American punk who wants to destroy everything that is good, or Christian or White is beyond their ability to recognize.

Civic Nationalists are the most intentionally stupid people in American politics.

Blogger Revelation Means Hope October 13, 2017 1:25 PM  

One way to avoid the death and return of a favorite character is what Tolkien used with Gandalf the Gray.

No one saw him die, in fact, some major players expressed right away that they had their doubts about his death. Characters (and the readers) just assumed he died because who can survive a fall into a bottomless abyss with a monster?

It can be really annoying how popular characters are somehow resurrected. Batman's back was broken. Superman was killed (or was he just in a supercoma - buy the next issue to find out!).

By the way, it is great to see the Ben Affleck moron who is so opposed to white christians and Trump, start to get the label "Buttman". Let's hope this one sticks longer than the "Bennifer" label did.

Blogger Wuzzums Fuzzums October 13, 2017 1:28 PM  

rcocean wrote:Why are people on the center-right CONSTANTLY wanking on about not "stooping to their level" or "behaving like Gentlemen" or "Winning the right way"? God, it gets so fucking boring. We're in a cultural war. Either shoot back with the same or better weapons or surrender.

They've been losing for so long the taste of winning is bitter to them.
https://scottthong.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/fighttowin1.jpg
https://scottthong.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/fighttowin2.jpg

Blogger Markku October 13, 2017 1:48 PM  

Screwtape Letters:
Now this is a ticklish business. We have made men proud of most vices, but not of cowardice. Whenever we have almost succeeded in doing so, the Enemy permits a war or an earthquake or some other calamity, and at once courage becomes so obviously lovely and important even in human eyes that all our work is undone, and there is still at least one vice of which they feel genuine shame.

Screwtape, 2017:
WE DID IT!!!

Anonymous CPEG October 13, 2017 2:14 PM  

@67
NICE.

I also note:
"We direct the fashionable outcry of each generation against those vices of which it is least in danger and fix its approval on the virtue nearest to that vice which we are trying to make endemic. The game is to have them running about with fire extinguishers whenever there is a flood, and all crowding to that side of the boat which is already nearly gunwale under."

I think John C Wright wrote a decade ago about some sniveling wretch newspaper columnist who, after some hero stopped a terrorist attack with a gun, argued that people who prepare with weapons in case they have to stop a terrorist attack are the REAL danger because they are deliberately training themselves for violence, which means they might snap.

It's a corollary of the Golden Mean principle; fear and hatred of one vice, unmoderated by virtue and discipline and a truth-centered goal, will simply mire you in the opposite vice.

Blogger S1AL October 13, 2017 3:30 PM  

'By the way, it is great to see the Ben Affleck moron who is so opposed to white christians and Trump, start to get the label "Buttman".'

Affleck + Weinstein = 'Buttman and Rubbin'?

Anonymous Killua October 13, 2017 3:31 PM  

I think Vox's willingness to justify and do what some consider morally evil acts in the service of good stems from his lack of belief in God's omnipotence and sovereignty.

Like S1AL said, it boils down to the question is "to what extent do the ends justify the means?"

Say my brother is sick at home and he needs very expensive medicine. The only way I can buy this medicine is by stealing a ring from a very rich person.

Is stealing wrong? Yes. But letting my brother die seems worse. From a short term point of view, it seems like the right thing to do is to steal from the rich guy.

But things get way more complicated if you add the belief in Heaven into the mix. Lets say a year later the rich guy finds out I stole the ring form him and decides to teach me a lesson by throwing me and my brother in jail. This ends up causing me and my brother more suffering that if I had just let him die (because my brother could have gone to heaven if he had died)

It is ultimately the problem of evil and the challenge it poses: If evil is part of God's plan, can it be said that everyone who is suffering is suffering because they deserve it? If this is the case, then what motivation do we have to help those in need?

Blogger daddynichol October 13, 2017 4:01 PM  

"They're not at all concerned about our prospective failure. They're concerned about our prospective success."

Bingo.

Blogger Emmanuel Mateo-Morales October 13, 2017 4:53 PM  

@13

Marvel: Hold my Beer!

Blogger Emmanuel Mateo-Morales October 13, 2017 5:34 PM  

"God is outside time as we know it."

Ooooo... look out! We got a B-theorist here! The whole A-theory vs B-theory of time is almost as much of a can of worms as the topic you cats are discussing presently.

By the way: A-theory rules, B-theory drools, God was timeless prior to creating anything, but by virtue of acting, a necessarily temporal notion, is in time in a broad sense at least in so far as that he has acted.

Blogger James Dixon October 13, 2017 6:26 PM  

> Ooooo... look out! We got a B-theorist here!

What parts of eternal, ageless, and timeless (all having been used to describe God) are you having problems with?

> God was timeless prior to creating anything, but by virtue of acting, a necessarily temporal notion, is in time in a broad sense at least in so far as that he has acted.

So you deny his omnipotence too. Hint, a three dimensional object can enter a two dimensional space. That doesn't make it two dimensional.

Blogger Rashadjin October 13, 2017 6:56 PM  

This idea that we become our enemy if we adopt their tactics, Jordan Peterson said we adopt the same pathology which isn't good, brilliant.

I think Vox's willingness to justify and do what some consider morally evil acts in the service of good stems from his lack of belief in God's omnipotence and sovereignty.

Like S1AL said, it boils down to the question is "to what extent do the ends justify the means?


No. I understand that Vox is tired of trying to make the point, so let me.

You people are conflating character and moral impetus with tactics and tools. (Also the moral act of theft with the amoral consideration of tactics and tools, which is where the 'means justify the ends' arguments always go sideways.) So let's say ridicule is a gun. In your eyes, everyone who holds a gun is a criminal thug brandishing their piece sideways.

For Vox, a gun is a gun is a gun. The moral difference is whether the person holding it is a trained soldier fighting for God, king, and country or some flavor of scumbag doing some flavor of crime. Like guns, the intention and moral character behind rhetorical weapons is what matters, not how vicious and cruel the weapon inherently is.

Vox is also operating under the assumption that how well we perform on the socio-cultural-political battlefield directly effects how bad the physical battlefield gets. Treating someone deserving of ridicule and contempt with ridicule and contempt is a lot kinder than having to shoot them during the mob violence and civil war phases of conflict.

It might help if you try framing things as a matter of raw, brutal justice too. As justice is a language that translates well to barbarians who can only speak and understand the language of violence.

That aside, if you think everyone who picks up a gun or wields rhetorical violence automatically becomes a base, lawless thug, then the problem is you and your decrepit character.

Change.

Blogger S1AL October 13, 2017 7:49 PM  

"You people are conflating character and moral impetus with tactics and tools. (Also the moral act of theft with the amoral consideration of tactics and tools, which is where the 'means justify the ends' arguments always go sideways.) So let's say ridicule is a gun. In your eyes, everyone who holds a gun is a criminal thug brandishing their piece sideways."

Do not attempt to speak for me. You've wholly misunderstood the statement I made and the moral philosophy behind it.

Blogger Rashadjin October 13, 2017 8:28 PM  

@76 S1AL - Do not attempt to speak for me. You've wholly misunderstood the statement I made and the moral philosophy behind it.

You misunderstand. I wasn't basing my response on what you said, but Killua's summary of what you said in support of his theme which is where the quote with your name came from. Your issue is more with him than me, or failing that, reading a bit too much into what I meant by the generic 'you people'. Specifically, you people who have moral issues with using what you consider the enemy's tactics and tools of cultural war. You people who play 'the ends justify the means' games without any understanding of the moral dimension of war.

If that isn't you, then my words weren't directed at you.

Blogger marco moltisanti October 13, 2017 8:31 PM  

"
So you deny his omnipotence too. Hint, a three dimensional object can enter a two dimensional space. That doesn't make it two dimensional."

I'm guessing you're a fan of Flatland too? That book is a major factor in my being able to believe in God. Should be much better known than it is.

Blogger James Dixon October 13, 2017 9:19 PM  

> I'm guessing you're a fan of Flatland too?

I've heard of it, but that's all. I've never even heard of Emmanuel Mateo-Morales' A-theory vs B-theory of time.

Blogger Rashadjin October 13, 2017 10:21 PM  

And thinking about the moral dimension of war, I realized a big part of the problem is not a question of morality, but shame. It's a cultural question, such as whether using ambush tactics or drone warfare is shameful.

The conservative movement writ large has convinced themselves that using the cultural means of war is shameful, thus tainting of the individual who employs them. They just assume a feeling of shame automatically translates into the action being immoral. It's a rather...arrogant and prideful mistake.

Goes along with modern Western Christianity sacrificing at the alter of personal conscious more than anything else.

Blogger The Observer October 13, 2017 10:21 PM  

Phew, lads. We're up to 115k now.

Blogger S1AL October 13, 2017 10:39 PM  

"Specifically, you people who have moral issues with using what you consider the enemy's tactics and tools of cultural war. You people who play 'the ends justify the means' games without any understanding of the moral dimension of war."

When is the use of torture (a tactic) morally licit?

Until you can answer that question in a way that leaves no room for ambiguity, you really have no business lecturing others on the issue of "tactics".

This is why the issue is complicated - not because tools themselves are necessarily morally questionable, but because the situational use of them is. It becomes even more questionable when you're talking about hypothetical future people or reciprocity. Even VD's most common example, mustard gas, has several issues that he's never addressed (to my knowledge).

Blogger James Dixon October 13, 2017 11:29 PM  

> It's a cultural question, such as whether using ambush tactics or drone warfare is shameful.

The only thing shameful in war is losing.

Blogger Lazarus October 13, 2017 11:31 PM  

Rashadjin wrote:And thinking about the moral dimension of war, I realized a big part of the problem is not a question of morality, but shame. It's a cultural question, such as whether using ambush tactics or drone warfare is shameful.

Interesting. Western armies do not have a 'shame' based logistics platform.

Much more utilitarian, I would say.

The "conservative movement" is obviously a creature of the Frankfurt School.

Blogger Jon D. October 14, 2017 1:41 AM  

Really my goal was to get in on Severa slash-fic but I guess Dynamique/Rebel will do...

Blogger Markku October 14, 2017 5:12 AM  

When is the use of torture (a tactic) morally licit?

When the enemy has adopted it as policy.

Blogger Rashadjin October 14, 2017 2:30 PM  

@82 S1AL
When is the use of torture (a tactic) morally licit?

Until you can answer that question in a way that leaves no room for ambiguity, you really have no business lecturing others on the issue of "tactics".

This is why the issue is complicated - not because tools themselves are necessarily morally questionable, but because the situational use of them is. It becomes even more questionable when you're talking about hypothetical future people or reciprocity. Even VD's most common example, mustard gas, has several issues that he's never addressed (to my knowledge).


The U.S. Mil gives all service members training on the basic principles it uses to determine whether an action is moral in war. They do answer this question.

The basic three for this are reciprocity, avoid excessive force, and employ the minimum force necessary to achieve mission goals.

It's basically these considerations that lead the CIA to use enhanced interrogation techniques against terrorists. It's also these considerations that lead to all sides using mustard gas in WW1 and then all sides signing a treaty against ever doing that to themselves again.

For torture and terrorists, the objective was to get as much information out of terrorists as possible in order to thwart future attacks and save civilian lives. This meant coercion, and a natural progression of coercive techniques until the point where they became counterproductive to the 'mission goals'. So sleep deprivation and waterboarding under strict guidelines and supervision, which is torture. The guidelines and progression of techniques were designed to meet the excessive force and minimum force criteria. Reciprocity is that these people are terrorists whose goal is to maim, destroy and terrorize without regard to any applicable laws. Terrorizing them in return via torture is therefore allowed under the principle of reciprocity.

Again, a good mindset here is that of raw, brutal justice. Terrorist live to inflict as much pain and suffering as possible to their targets. Under the principles of justice, their lives are just as forfeit, and they deserve every iota of pain they try to inflict. Eye for an eye, yes, but this is not a civil matter. This is war, brutal and ugly. The moral dimensions are very different.

Blogger Markku October 14, 2017 2:42 PM  

In Prisoner's Dilemma simulations, the strategy that is affectionately named "tit-for-tat", is always shown to produce the best result.

Blogger Rashadjin October 14, 2017 4:44 PM  

The conservative movement writ large has convinced themselves that using the cultural means of war is shameful, thus tainting of the individual who employs them. They just assume a feeling of shame automatically translates into the action being immoral. It's a rather...arrogant and prideful mistake.

To be fair, I should expand on this a little more.

Once upon a time, Americans decided that family and such were off limits when it came to politics. Free speech and mundane political activity were, generally speaking, framed as things people should be allowed to do without fear of reprisal.

Liberals broke that social contract and went to war against the rest of the country. Conservatives admonished Liberals for doing so, Liberals ignored them, and so Conservatives then pretended that Liberals hadn't broken the social contract and weren't at war with the rest of the country. Which continues to this day.

That whole 'pretend' thing on the Conservatives' part is actually implicitly operative in their discourse. When people desire to bring the war to the Liberals, Conservatives employ facile ethical language. When someone who understands the ethics of the situation counters them, Conservatives instinctively shift to the language of shame.

So "it's wrong to go after a person's livelihood" becomes "it's beneath us to go after a person's livelihood" or "that isn't who we are".

A similar implicit dynamic applies to Liberals with what is ethical in regards to terrorists.

Liberals have a slobbering love affair with terrorists because Liberals implicitly understand that terrorists are on their side in destroying Western Civilization. Also multiculturalist and globalist dogma.

This is why Liberals treat terrorism as a civil issue wherever possible and accord terrorists every legal privilege that a U.S. Citizen has, no matter that terrorists are illegal combatants attacking illegal targets and are either not a U.S. Citizen or are a traitor.

This serves two main purposes. It makes stopping and punishing terrorism as difficult as possible by cloaking it in the ethics that civilians are taught to go by in civil matters as opposed to the appropriate war ethics. Secondly, it aligns with their belief/delusion that terrorists are morally equivalent to the average U.S. Citizen and U.S. Military member while forcing that delusion on the population by caging discussions about terrorism within the moral framework of civil society.

If you talk about terrorism as if it is a civil matter, either ethically or legally, you accept the premise that it is a civil matter. Language psyops 101.

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