Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Winestream: Foundation edition

We had an amazing time at the Voxiversity Foundation DinnerWeekend. There was considerable discussion, strategery, and analysis of both the IGG situation and the upcoming movie project intermingled with excellent food provided by a Spanish chef who skillfully reinvented everything from paella to the burger. The wines were phenomenal, ranging from the local Priorats to my favorite Ribiero del Duero, and at the request of one attendee, we even did a live Winestream sampling an Israeli cabernet. We also did a live Voxiversity on rhetoric and dialectic that will be out in November.

If you'd like to attend next year's dinner, which we collectively decided will again be in Spain, consider becoming a Foundation backer. I can't speak for anyone else who was there, but the event was not only extremely enjoyable, it was incredibly productive.


NPC is excellent rhetoric

The proof of the effectiveness of a rhetorical term is in the emotional reaction of the target. And the targets, they are most certainly reacting:
The new “NPC” meme mocks leftists by depicting them as unthinking and reflexive automatons. The meme has upset the left so much that Twitter is now banning people posting it for “dehumanizing speech,” but its humble origins are the computer-controlled characters of limited intelligence found in most video games.

The popular NPC meme trend frames its targets as non-player characters (NPCs) who reflexively spout neo-Marxist axioms in response to real-world events. Actual NPCs are computer-controlled characters in video games with limited scripted responses given the parameters of the games in which they appear. For example, NPCs may assign quests to the player in games like Skyrim, or join the player as a companion in Fallout.

Built on the long-running Wojak meme, the NPC meme mocks leftists as expressionless in appearance and bot-like in behavior. The universal standard appearance illustrates the left’s political homogeneity.
 And, as those who have read SJWs Always Lie know, rhetoric is effective because it points toward the truth. SJWs don't think for themselves. They change their beliefs as the Social Justice Narrative evolves and when the Narrative is in conflict with objective, material reality, they insist that the Narrative is true. They do as they are instructed, they do as they are programmed, as we saw in the recent self-destructive decisions by Bleeding Cool and Indiegogo.

They are, in a word, Non-Player Characters.

I suspect that the reason the rhetoric is so effective is that it is most utilized in the very technological spaces that are populated by the people who are most familiar with the acronym. One senses the fine hand of GamerGate at work in this. And there is nothing that hurts the feelings of a prideful SJW who firmly believes he is smarter and more thoughtful than most than a contemptuous observation of the fact that he does not even think for himself. It also lends itself very well to visual rhetoric, aka meming.

How do we know it's effective? Because the Social Justice Thought Police are already attempting to bury it.

Twitter suspended 1,500 accounts that were using the NPC meme as their avatar.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Rorshach reviews banned Bleeding Cool interview

From the transcript of the video:

BC: You often refer to a formula which says: Diversity + Proximity = War. And you use diversity in this sense to mean ethnic diversity. Does it apply to ideological diversity? Does a comic book publishing company which has a politically diverse staff and group of creators become stronger?

VD: Yes, ethnic diversity combined with proximity is one of the primary historical drivers of war. In fact, the great Israeli military historian Martin van Creveld, who we have the privilege to publish at Castalia House, has concluded that human migration is so closely intertwined with war that they are essentially two sides of the same coin. Ideological diversity can certainly lead to war, as the case of the Spanish civil war demonstrates, but it is usually intranational war rather than international war.

Rorshach: Absolutely true! Wow! No wonder they want to memory-hole this article. The truth about diversity. Oh my god! He's got to interject himself all the time, this writer. My god, they're so scared of what he has to say here. They can't just let the interview speak for itself. They're absolutely terrified of him.

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Baby Boomers refuse to relinquish power

In a move that surprises precisely no one, Democratic Baby Boomers refuse to retire or get out of the way:
The Next Generation Of Democratic Leaders Wants To Move Up, But The Baby Boomers Are In The Way

Ambitious, young House Democrats have a problem: At a time when the party is calling for generational change, there are few opportunities to advance. Leadership has long been static for Democrats in the House. Reps. Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and Jim Clyburn, the top three Democrats, respectively, have all been at the top of the House Democratic ladder for more than a decade. And none have shown any signs of leaving; Pelosi has said she expects to be speaker if Democrats retake the House in November.
In fairness, the country isn't entirely ruined yet. And they're still just as cool and sexy as they ever were. They changed the world, you know. Woodstock!

Never trust anyone over eighty.

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Pure Pocahauntas

The response by the Cherokee Nation is both apt and incredibly amusing. I cannot believe she thought this was going to restore her viability as a presidential candidate.

"Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage."

The concept is really not that hard and underlines my case against pan-racial nationalism. DNA says nothing about one's tribal heritage, because tribe is a subset of nation, which is itself a subset of race. Pan-racial tribalism is even less viable than pan-racial nationalism.

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Pirates of the Electromagnetic Waves

An old-school YA adventure from an author friend of Castalia House: Pirates of the Electromagnetic Waves.

A young radio engineer travels across an alt-history America, encountering primeval gods, mythical beasts, and tall tales come to life, in a quest to build a radio transmitter that can reach the stars.

It all starts in the mountain town of Porterville. Twelve-year-old Philo starts a pirate radio station with his friends, and learns that the world is a stranger place than he ever imagined. The Ancient Marauder, the Bright and Terrible Birds, the Mishipeshu, and other creatures of myth and legend populate this enchanting mixture of science and fantasy.

YANKEE REPUBLIC is an old-school adventure series with traditional values and down-to-earth heroes. Escape from the pessimism and propaganda of modern fiction, and take a journey through a mythic America that might have been.

We're not doing YA right now, but we want to support right-wing authors like Fenton Wood who are.


Brexit fake drama

Does the British Prime Minister really believe that her "last-minute deal" to prevent a clean Brexit is going to fool anyone?
Theresa May is trying to steady her restive Cabinet today as she braces for a crucial 48 hours that could decide the fate of Brexit.

The Prime Minister has gathered her senior team amid desperate efforts to get negotiations with the EU back on track.

After dramatically pulling the plug on a fledgling divorce agreement on Sunday, Mrs May has been frantically ringing round fellow leaders to appeal for a shift in their position.

Tomorrow night she will make a make-or-break pitch to EU counterparts at a summit in Brussels - with council president Donald Tusk warning that a chaotic no-deal Brexit is now ‘more likely than ever before’. German minister Michael Roth said this morning that Mrs May needed to 'take responsibility' for the talks.

In signs that concerns are growing within the Cabinet, around a third of the ministers met over pizza in Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom's office last night to consider the state of play.

Four senior figures including Mrs Leadsom are thought to be ready to resign if the PM goes too far in concessions to the EU.
We've all seen this show before. Lots of posturing. Threats of no deal. Talks go down to the wire. Britain caves on nearly everything, the Europeans give no ground at all. Then, at the last minute, the Europeans toss Britain a minor bone, declares how tough the British negotiator is and what a bitter pill the compromise is to swallow, and having sold out Britain, the British negotiator triumphantly comes home with a treaty declaring peace in our time.
Eurosceptic MPs accused No 10 of manufacturing a ‘confected row’ with the EU to distract attention from a potential sellout. Former Brexit minister Steve Baker said the breakdown in talks was ‘almost certainly theatre’.  
This isn't merely obvious theater, it's how everyone knew Theresa May was going to try to minimize Brexit from the moment she became Prime Minister. No deal is always considerably better than any deal with the devil.

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Monday, October 15, 2018

Everyone in England was Black

Here we go again. This time, it's Black Javert. It's gotten completely obnoxious. Why not throw in an Eskimo, a Pygmy, and an Aztec Flower Warrior while you're at it?
Following several months of anticipation, the BBC has unveiled official stills from its blockbuster six-part TV adaptation of Les Misérables.

A star-studded line-up, including Lily Collins, Ellie Bamber, Olivia Colman and Dominic West are seen in period costume for the upcoming drama — which, it has been revealed, will not be a musical.

And the network has broken new ground by casting a black actor, Selma star David Oyelowo, as Javert – a part played by Russell Crowe and Geoffrey Rush in recent film versions of the tale, set in 19th century France.
We were watching The Frankenstein Chronicles on the recommendation of one of our authors. It's set in 1827, so when the second African character was introduced, it was openly distracting enough to make everyone laugh. It's just ridiculous.

As a bonus, Thenardier is apparently an Arab.

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Vox was right

Of all the words of screen and pen
The saddest are these:
"Vox was right again."
A while back, I wrote a post defending Jordan Peterson against Vox Day’s criticisms. My claim was that while Jordan Peterson’s value is somewhat exaggerated by many of his followers, for whom his ideas seemed new and extraordinary, Vox Day’s claims seemed exaggerated. Vox argued that Peterson was an existential relativist, that he was controlled opposition, that his teachings are more harmful then helpful, and that he was simply insane. All of that seemed wrong, at least hyperbolic. To me, Peterson seemed like a modern Joseph Campbell, essentially a mythologist just teaching the moral stories of myths with the rhetorical skill of a showman. For a generation immersed in social-media and public-school propaganda, this seemed like a generally good thing, especially when coupled with his opposition to bill C-16.

To set the tone for this post, it is only now that I remember that his opposition to this bill was unsuccessful. The bill was passed on June 19, 2017. Not only was it unsuccessful, but Peterson had promised to go to jail if necessary, were the bill passed and accusations of violating said bill brought against him. At the time, it seemed rather admirable. But given the amount of fire he’s been under, it seems strange that his opponents have found no opportunity to challenge his conviction on the matter. Rather than being on hunger strike in some jail, he’s been traveling around the world on tour with his book.

I’m not saying Peterson should actively be hunting out a jail-term in order to be consistent, as that was not what he had promised. But the situation seems a bit incongruous, and most people don’t remember what it was that brought him to popularity in the first place. With the help of a little bit of recollection, however, I have come to believe that Vox Day was, in fact, right about Dr. Peterson.
That pair of comments on the original post haven't aged well. In fairness to those who were snowed by the Canadian Conman, old Uncle Jordy is extremely dedicated to confusing and confabulating his audiences.

Remember, falsehoods have consequences. That's what makes them false.


Hoaxed: the trailer

From Cernovich Films and True Legend Films: Hoaxed

It looks good. It looks very... dramatic.

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Get that woman a casino!

We're practically cousins. Fauxcahontaus may be one-five-hundred-twelfth Indian
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) made public the results of a DNA test on Monday, which an expert said shows “strong evidence’’ that she has a Native American ancestor.

Warren provided the test results to The Boston Globe on Sunday, the newspaper said, “in an effort to defuse questions about her ancestry that have persisted for years.” According to the paper, the disclosure is another strong sign that she is seriously considering running for president.

“The vast majority” of Warren’s ancestry is European but “the results strongly support the existence of an unadmixed Native American ancestor” six to 10 generations ago, according to Carlos D. Bustamante, a Stanford University professor who analyzed the results.

This means she could be 1/32nd Native American, or just 1/512th Native American if the ancestor is 10 generations back.
The thing I find amusing is that the same people who insist that I can't possibly be an American Indian despite the undeniable fact that I possess considerably more Indian blood than Warren will turn right around and assail the God-Emperor for mocking her claims.

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Mailvox: the fearless and the feckless

On the courage of Jordan Peterson:
In the spring of 2017, Jordan Peterson made some videos talking about how impressed he was with Milo. How Milo is the "unstoppable court jester." How "bold" and "fearless" Milo is. He said this with passion, and I thought it was actually pretty interesting. But then fast forward a year and Jordan Peterson is sitting in Aspen Colorado with some phony journalist from the New York Times. She asserts out of the blue that Milo is a "racist." What does Jordan Peterson do? He sits there and nods and acts like he agrees. Then he insists that he is not a "fan" of Milo's and tries to pretend like he doesn't know who Milo is. The whole thing was a lie. Meanwhile, his whole talk involved the importance of not telling little lies.
It's really rather impressive how relentlessly hypocritical Jordan Peterson is. As I've observed previously, if you don't like something he says, just wait five minutes and he'll say something that completely contradicts it.

I have a new favorite quote from the wisdom of Jordan Peterson:

Falsehoods have consequences. That's what makes them false.


Sunday, October 14, 2018

538 is EVEN MORE confident

The God-Emperor's triumph is all-but-certain now. FiveThirtyEight thinks the Democrats' chances of winning the House are more than five percent higher than Hillary Clinton's probability of winning the Presidency:
It was this week two years ago that Hillary Clinton’s victory looked assured, when the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape of Donald Trump bragging about sexual assault appeared all but certain to end his campaign.

Jesse Ferguson remembers it well. The deputy press secretary for Clinton’s campaign also remembers what happened a month later.

It’s why this veteran Democratic operative can’t shake the feeling that, as promising as the next election looks for his party, it might still all turn out wrong.

“Election Day will either prove to me I have PTSD or show I’ve been living déjà vu,” Ferguson said. “I just don’t know which yet.”

Ferguson is one of many Democrats who felt the string of unexpected defeat in 2016 and are now closely — and nervously — watching the current election near its end, wondering if history will repeat itself. This year, instead of trying to win the presidency, Democrats have placed an onus on trying to gain 23 House seats and win a majority.

The anxiety isn’t universal, with many party leaders professing confidently and repeatedly that this year really is different.

But even some of them acknowledge the similarities between the current and previous election: Trump is unpopular and beset by scandal, Democrats hold leads in the polls, and some Republicans are openly pessimistic.

FiveThirtyEight gives Democrats a 76.9 percent chance of winning the House one month before Election Day. Their odds for Clinton’s victory two years ago? 71.4 percent.
It's going to be delicious when the reality that there is no Blue Wave finally hits them in the face like a kayaker being struck in the face with an octopus by an otter.

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Saturday, October 13, 2018

Can you spell "tortious"?

As in "tortious interference"? It looks like the Legal Legion of Evil has at least one additional party to investigate.
What am I butt hurt about, exactly? I got Vox Day's IGG campaign cancelled, and now is worried its going to blow back on him. You're welcome.
- Jason Yungbluth, Twitter, 6:44 PM, 12 Oct 2018

  1. The existence of a contractual relationship or beneficial business relationship between two parties.
  2. Knowledge of that relationship by a third party.
  3. Intent of the third party to induce a party to the relationship to breach the relationship.
  4. Lack of any privilege on the part of the third party to induce such a breach.
  5. The contractual relationship is breached.
  6. Damage to the party against whom the breach occurs.

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Darkstream: Indiegogo retro-cancels AH:Q

Disney de-SJWs

First James Gunn, now Chuck Wendig.
Chuck Wendig@ChuckWendig
So, here’s a thing that has happened – I just got fired from Marvel. Taken off issues 4 and 5 of SHADOW OF VADER, and taken off an as-yet-unannounced SW book.

Chuck Wendig@ChuckWendig
Today I got the call. I’m fired. Because of the negativity and vulgarity that my tweets bring. Seriously, that’s what Mark, the editor said. It was too much politics, too much vulgarity, too much negativity on my part.
 It's a little soon to call it a trend, especially since Kathleen Kennedy had her contract extended, but it is a pair of very small steps forward for the Evil Empire.

No worries, Chuck. I'm sure DC will find something for you to ruin.

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Friday, October 12, 2018

Imagine that

Thank you for contacting Indiegogo's Customer Happiness team! This is an automated note to confirm we've received your message and will review it shortly. As we are currently experiencing a high number of requests, it may take us longer than usual to respond, however, a member of our team will be in touch as soon as possible.
A high number of requests. That seems unusual. I wonder why that might be?

On a not-necessarily-unrelated note, will the VFM who emailed me the detailed information on Indiegogo's current financial status send it again, please? I don't currently have access to the machine on which I've got the email and there are some people who would like to review it. At first glance, it does not appear Indiegogo is presently in any shape to play the extend-and-bleed game that GT Interactive tried unsuccessfully with us for two years before finally submitting to our requirements.

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Responses to IGG's retro-cancellation

Just a few of the reactions to IndieGoGo's self-destructive decision to retroactively cancel AH:Q and refusal to make payments it was obligated to make:
Chuck Dixon, the creator of Bane, and an all around comic book legend saw his Alt-Hero: Q crowdfunding campaign shutdown by IndieGoGo on Thursday without any kind of explanation.

We reached out to Dixon to get his thoughts on the matter and one thing is clear. He’s determined. Dixon already has the entire first issue scripted and a good chunk of the second issue. The series is expected to be six issues long with each issue being 24 pages. The entire story will eventually get collected into a graphic novel.

Dixon told us, “I’ll do my work on this project if I have to write it for free.”

He believes the campaign was shut down due to “politics.” And he doesn’t think this will be the last time independent creators who have differing politics will be targeted. We asked him if he believes further moves will be made against creators because of their politics. Dixon responded, “Absolutely. The left will weaponize anything to shut down free speech.”

Dixon did tell us that he will keep using IndieGoGo for other projects he is working on.

“Well, I’m used to being blacklisted. And I suppose IGG can do more. But we received funds on my other projects so they will continue on.”

However, he did note that IndieGoGo denied the funds for Alt-Hero: Q. But once again he showed his determination to get this project completed.

“Qanon will have to be completed by other means as the funds we raised have been denied us. But it WILL be completed. This is a speed bump.”
From one typical backer:
I'll quadruple the amount I pledged for AltHero Q to 300. The 300 I gave you last time has done more than all the money I've given to charity.  
From another:
I will triple my backing from $40 to $120.
And a third:
Having Alt-Hero-Q on IndieGogo had a knock-on effect, I subscribed to several other campaigns. All of which I'm canceling. 
If you're canceling support for any other campaigns on IndieGoGo, be sure to tell them why. As I mentioned previously, we expect to get version 2.0 of the AH:Q campaign up in about two weeks. As always, we're focused on doing it right rather than doing it fast, so rest assured that work has been proceeding on the first issue regardless of when we relaunch the campaign and how we do it. As The Legend has already declared, those involved will do it for nothing if necessary.

UPDATE: We're looking into various legal options and assessing our optimal strategy. To maximize those options, if you're a backer, please email Indiegogo at and opt out of their arbitration process by sending an email from your registered email address on Indiegogo let them know that you are opting out of the arbitration and class action waiver provisions by contacting them with the subject line, "ARBITRATION AND CLASS ACTION WAIVER OPT-OUT".

Ignore their self-declared 30-day time limit on it. That's probably not applicable in this particular situation given the fact that their action took place retroactively several weeks after the campaign ended.

UPDATE: CC'd from a backer:
This is to notify Indiegogo that I am opting out of your arbitration and class action waiver process, in light of your retroactive cancellation of the Alt-Hero:Q fundraiser.  As a backer of that campaign, I intend to support whatever legal action the project chooses to pursue.

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"Unusual activity"

Believe it or not, that's Indiegogo's lame excuse for failing to deliver as promised on a contract. We've also figured out what tactics they are hiding behind; they put the information in the account instead of emailing you, then delete your access to the account so you have nothing with which to hold them accountable. Too bad for them that I'm in the habit of taking detailed notes and screenshots when I don't trust people, so we can already prove exactly what they did and where to confirm it.

 Needless to say, it looks like we'll be moving forward on this one. We already have several alternatives, so if you're a backer, please just be patient and hold your fire. It will probably be a week or two before we open up the campaign version 2.0.

Unless you're VFM, in which case you know what information we want.


DC to Disney: Hold my beer

Disney: We simply can't have pedophile partiers who make sick jokes about molesting children directing our movies. You're fired!

DC: Hey, James Gunn is available now? You're hired!

Bounding Into Comics has the details:
Warner Bros. confirmed to Gamespot that Gunn will write the next installment of the Suicide Squad. They told Gamespot, “It is confirmed that James Gunn is writing the next installment of the Suicide Squad franchise.”

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Bleeding Cool goes full SJW

This retraction and apology is more than a little amusing, in light of Mark Siefert's well-intentioned attempt to understand the other side and play peacemaker. But as I had originally warned him, SJWs cannot understand anything and one cannot reason with them. Delenda est.
An Apology Concerning Vox Day: We Made a Mistake
Posted by Kaitlyn Booth October 11, 2018

We at Bleeding Cool wish to issue an apology.

Bleeding Cool does not support bigotry of any kind, nor will we become a bullhorn for the bigots of the world to go off.

Today one of our writers made an error in judgement resulting in giving exposure to viewpoints that we abhor. We will do better, going forward, and that is a promise. The author admits that this was an extreme error of judgement that never should have been made and that other members of the Bleeding Cool writing staff were unaware of the contents of this article.

In a first step towards that end we are announcing, effective immediately, I am stepping into the role of Editor-in-Chief and will be implementing new review policies across the Bleeding Cool teams. Yesterday an extensive interview was run with publisher, author, and political figure Vox Day.

The intention of the interview was to investigate Day’s political and ideological views, and his operations as a publisher. But these intentions do not matter. The intent of the article and interview were poorly executed, and poorly communicated.

While the intentions of the author might have been one thing, the reality of the situation is another. Bleeding Cool would like to issue a sincere apology to everyone for the article in question.

We do not, in any way, agree with the ideology of Vox Day. We do not support divisiveness in the fan community, or in our culture at large. We do not support those that try to bring down others. We support diversity in all aspects of pop culture. We support everyone fighting the good fight against bigotry and only wish we could play a part in making not only the internet but the world a safer place for all individuals. We cannot apologize enough for the people we have offended. We cannot apologize enough for the breach of trust this has had with our readers and people within the community. We hope you’ll be willing to give us a chance to win back that trust in some capacity.

We will do better.
Read the original article here. Meanwhile, John Trent of Bounding Into Comics is celebrating his new monopoly on all the independent comics news.

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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Indiegogo cancels AH:Q

Your transaction has been refunded
Your transaction to ALT-HERO:Q on Indiegogo has been refunded!
Indiegogo’s Trust and Safety Team determined this campaign didn’t comply with our Terms of Use. You’ll no longer receive any perks associated with this transaction. Please visit our help center for further information on how Indiegogo protects users.
Needless to say, we're looking into this. We've got everyone's email addresses and so forth, so if we have to set up our own crowdfunding platform, we will do so. However, in light of the fact that Indiegogo has done this retroactively, we are already looking into the legal aspects of their actions. I am not yet aware of any reason, in fact, I do not even know if the scheduled payment for the campaign was delivered on schedule or not two weeks ago. I assume not, but I won't be able to confirm that until tomorrow.

I've already talked to The Perfect Aryan Male, the architect of our lawsuit against GT Interactive. Suffice it to say that the band is back together!

If you're Legal Legion of Doom and licensed in California, get in touch and join the team.

UPDATE: This lawsuit should prove educational. At first glance, it looks very similar. It's very interesting that it was filed in Massachusetts.

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Business, SJW-style

I wish Marvel Studios would hire Megan Ellison to run it:
According to The Wrap, Annapurna Pictures has run into financial difficulties as of late, culminating in the "jettisoning of two upcoming films with marquee talent" and the exit of its film division head.... Coming in December, Annapurna will be releasing the Christian Bale star vehicle "VICE," another leftist propaganda film in which Bale plays former Vice President Dick Cheney opposite Sam Rockwell playing President Bush. The film is reported to have cost a "bloated $60 million to produce" when it should have cost only half that. Factor in marketing cost and the film hasn't got a prayer.

"There is a financial issue going on," a source told The Wrap. "Her dad has put a lot of money into the company and I don’t think he wants to support her behavior and what’s been going on. There are restraints — the money is not flowing."

Annapurna also recently dropped its slated film about Fox News founder Roger Ailes just three weeks away from starting production. It had been approved for a whopping $35 million budget.

A source close to Megan Ellison says she has been making political passion projects with zero regard for financial cost or box office potential.

"She makes bad decisions," the source said. "She wanted to chase all these expensive movies that weren’t going to make money, and she said, ‘I don’t care whether they make money.’ That’s not how you run a company."
It is if you're an SJW. From a Financial Times article in 2014:
She is Megan Ellison and, depending on who you talk to, she is either the saviour of an industry that has succumbed to brain-numbing comic-book movies and superhero sequels or a wealthy heiress who splashes the cash on films that don’t necessarily make financial sense.
It would appear we have the answer to that question.

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Darkstream: Jordan Peterson stars as Wormtongue

From the transcript of the Darkstream:

It's really amazing to see how someone like Jordan Peterson simply doesn't understand that people pay attention to what you say, and that people pay attention to what you said yesterday. People pay attention to what you wrote! He seems to think that as long as you fold, spindle, and mutilate the ideas that are coming out of your mouth, as long as you pretend to be thinking very seriously, really debating with yourself and thinking very hard like you've never ever thought about the subject before, then you can say whatever you want. Because, you know, you don't think you're right, it's just a thought experiment, it's just an idea, just, you know, contemplating various options and throwing ideas out there. It's total bullshit! It is from the start, it is all the way through, it is at the finish.

Let me make it clear for you: Jordan Peterson is a used car salesman, except the used car he is selling is himself. Okay? He's not your dad, he's not your uncle, he is somebody who is making a lot of money off of you and people like you because you're dumb enough to fall for this guy! Look, I'm a writer, I am an editor, and I knew before I finished the first chapter of 12 Rules of Life that Jordan Peterson was an intellectual charlatan. Now, I will admit that I wasn't aware that he was a complete lunatic until I read Maps of Meaning. I didn't realize that there was something genuinely wrong with him until I read Maps of Meaning and I didn't realize how totally full of bullshit he is until I watched some of his videos.

Look, when you see him pull this move, "no, I've never thought about this before, I'm really just working my way through the same thing that I've been asked about 50 times before, but I want you to think that I'm really trying to puzzle my way through this and I don't want you to hold me accountable for anything that I say," I mean, you should be embarrassed! You should be irritated with yourself for listening to this guy at all!

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AI is sexist

Amazon ditches its HR-replacement AI for violating several of its assumptions: Inc’s machine-learning specialists uncovered a big problem: their new recruiting engine did not like women.

The team had been building computer programs since 2014 to review job applicants’ resumes with the aim of mechanizing the search for top talent, five people familiar with the effort told Reuters.

Automation has been key to Amazon’s e-commerce dominance, be it inside warehouses or driving pricing decisions. The company’s experimental hiring tool used artificial intelligence to give job candidates scores ranging from one to five stars - much like shoppers rate products on Amazon, some of the people said.

“Everyone wanted this holy grail,” one of the people said. “They literally wanted it to be an engine where I’m going to give you 100 resumes, it will spit out the top five, and we’ll hire those.”

But by 2015, the company realized its new system was not rating candidates for software developer jobs and other technical posts in a gender-neutral way.
The problem of the machine not spitting out results preferred by those using it is hardly new. And while the article claims that "gender bias was not the only issue" and that "problems with the data that underpinned the models’ judgments meant that unqualified candidates were often recommended for all manner of jobs" is almost certainly true, the problem is that Amazon did not give its AI a fair shake.

Amazon simply assumed that the undesired preference for male employees and "unqualified candidates" was a bug rather than the feature that it may have been. If the AI actually worked, then it would have undermined not only the concept of sexual equality, but credentialism as well. But instead of actually allowing the experiment to proceed and seeing if those unqualified male candidates recommended by the AI were successful employees, they chose to kill it on the basis of its violation of their preconceived ideas.

It's too bad that they didn't allow the experiment to play out, because the complete destruction of corporate credentialism is desperately needed in today's increasingly competitive global marketplace. Then again, given how Amazon already dominates the online retail space, it's probably just as well for their competitors that they turned away from the possible advantage the AI-HR system might have given them.


Interview with Bleeding Cool

Over the last few weeks, I was interviewed extensively by Mark Siefert and Rich Johnston of Bleeding Cool, the comics media site. It is quite literally the longest, most thorough interview I have ever read, much less participated in on either side. Bleeding Cool posted the entire interview almost entirely verbatim, including the follow-up questions and answers. It is precisely 767 percent more honest and fair than the NPR hit piece was, and demonstrates rather clearly how the Internet media puts the mainstream media to journalistic shame.

This doesn't mean either Siefert or Johnston agree with me at all about anything. They very clearly don't, for the most part. But they recognize that Arkhaven and Dark Legion have successfully established themselves in the comics space and that it makes no sense to simply pretend that we don't exist. Beyond that, they observably understand that the customary SJW response is not only ineffectual, but serves to add considerable fuel to the fire that motivates us and our supporters.

In some ways it's a debate as well as an interview; while I could offer a few objections to some of his corrections to my answers, there is little point in going down those rabbit holes. For example, I don't view Marvel's denial of its director of content and character development Sana Amanat's connection to the Clinton Foundation to be conclusive or convincing given the direct relationships between the foundation, her cousin, and her two brothers. But given the in-depth investigation they clearly did into my family and heritage - which was very interesting as I previously knew nothing about my historically significant Irish ancestor - they doubtless have the ability to dig considerably deeper into that situation if they wish to do so.

But it is a fair, detailed, and extremely informative interview, which I suspect a number of people on both sides of the ideological spectrum will enjoy reading. I expect a fair number of SJWs will be outraged by the fact that Bleeding Cool acknowledged my existence at all, and when they did, failed to devote the entire interview to angrily denouncing NAZICOMICSHATE, but then, birds will fly and fish will swim too.
We no longer live in a world where we can mutually pretend that our comics don’t contain politics so we don’t have to argue about it. Politics covers everything like a rash you want to scratch even though you know that’ll make it worse. Comics are no longer a brotherhood beyond politics, and fandom is no longer sacred ground.

Vox Day has played a role in creating that world, in my opinion (which he disputes to a substantial degree in the interview below, for the record), and has also published books that I dislike, and things that are intentionally antagonistic. On the book and comics publishing front, that doesn’t bother me, at all. Have at it. It is a legitimate function of art to be disagreeable, to inspire dislike and even anger.

Because comics can in fact be dangerous, very many publishers in our history have faced struggles for distribution and placement on newstands or in stores. Day has stated that he’s had some inexplicable issues with selling his comics on Amazon. If that’s true, it’s wrong. Any distributor or retailer can refuse to carry a comic for any reason (a concept that I am personally very familiar with), and that’s perfectly fine too. But if there’s any third party or rogue employee interfering with Castalia House books or comics from being sold at Amazon when those comics are salable according to standard policies, not only are you in the wrong, but you’re also helping Vox Day, not hurting him. You’re giving him and his followers something to fight.

You won’t convince anyone that Vox Day’s politics and opinions are wrong by restricting his followers’ ability to buy his comics. Quite to the contrary. Attempting to win by restricting the publication of information (note that this is a different thing than controlling the flow of information that you yourself consume) does not put one in particularly enviable company. That’s not how to win any modern conflict, let alone a conflict based on information… which is all of them now.

I’d much rather be reading the There Will Be War series than discussing Vox Day’s politics. Or writing that post about Luis Senarens that I mentioned earlier. But politics are the core of who Vox Day is and what he talks about — for the moment — so let’s go....

Bleeding Cool: I want to start off with something that’s come up in connection to Comicsgate and events that have spun out of your disagreements with Ethan Van Sciver. Comicsgaters often say they want politics out of comics. At its core, the idea that people want comics to be escapist entertainment certainly isn’t objectionable. But you recently noted:

“Second, comics have always had political and ideological elements to them; the core problem with what the SJWs are doing in comics is less about how they are inserting their lunatic politics into the comics and more about the way in which they are ideologically policing who is permitted to produce and publish comics at Marvel, DC, Image, IDW, and other comics publishers.”

Is it possible to create superhero comics without political elements? Is “with great power comes great responsibility” a political statement?

Vox Day: Yes, it is possible to create superhero comics without political elements, but one will end up with a limited range of stories that are intrinsically unrealistic. After all, there is no way that the governments and militaries of the world would simply ignore the increased power that superheroes could offer them. “With great power comes great responsibility” is not a political statement, it is a moral statement. And it is not possible to create superhero comics without moral elements.
Read the whole novella-sized article, entitled Vox Day: Altered States of America, there.

Also, speaking of Arkhaven Comics and Chuck Dixon, I'm happy to report that CHUCK DIXON'S AVALON #2: RULEBREAKER, is now available in a gold logo edition from Arkhaven Direct, this time complete with dialogue. We're working on getting replacement issues out to those who received what we shall euphemistically describe as "silent collector's editions".

UPDATE: The initial response on Twitter is, of course, entirely surprising to absolutely no one.
Smack Talk Showdown@SmackTalkShwdwn
This is disgusting. Why give this hate monger a platform?

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