The Exigent Duality
A grapple from the shadows - 16:02 CDT, 8/23/16 (Sniper)
"They were now in the passenger compartment and Zaphod's heart stopped still again for a moment.

In every seat sat a passenger, strapped into his or her seat. The passengers' hair was long and unkempt, their fingernails were long, the men wore beards. All of them were quite clearly alive - but sleeping.

Zaphod had the creeping horrors.

He walked slowly down the aisle as in a dream. By the time he was half-way down the aisle, the stewardess had reached the other end. She turned and spoke.

'Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,' she said sweetly, 'Thank you for bearing with us during this slight delay. We will be taking off as soon as we possibly can. If you would like to wake up now I will serve you coffee and biscuits.'

There was a slight hum. At that moment, all the passengers awoke.

They awoke screaming and clawing at their straps and life support systems that held them tightly in their seats. They screamed and bawled and hollered till Zaphod thought his ears would shatter.

They struggled and writhed as the stewardess patiently moved up the aisle placing a small cup of coffee and a packet of biscuits in front of each one of them.

...

'Passengers are to be kept temporarily in suspended animation, for their comfort and convenience. Coffee and biscuits are being served every year, after which passengers are returned to suspended animation for their continued comfort and convenience. Departure will take place when the flight stores are complete. We apologize for the delay (Source).'"


About two weeks ago, I was sitting in a conference room at work attending a meeting. Suddenly, I "woke up."

For the first time in nearly a decade, I "realized" where I was. It was like being legally blind for ten years, then suddenly handed a pair of glasses which granted me 20/20 vision. I could see, and feel again! But what I saw and felt filled me with utter dread.

I was like a passenger in the above Douglas Adams excerpt-- total panic and horror seized me. But before I could scream or react... *whoosh*, back into the haze I descended. Like being returned into suspended animation after only a moment's consciousness-- returned, for my "comfort and convenience", and by my own mind.

Then, for the past six days, I have had a sudden relapse of my chronic insomnia. I've been living off of four or five hours of sleep per night. And I am miserable with the cumulative toll it's starting to take.

I don't know whether to be encouraged, or discouraged by these unforeseen events. On the one hand, could I be close to a break through, whereupon I'll actually be a real human being, and not some sort of husk-like zombie? After all, what prompted the insane, revelatory awakening, however ephemeral?

On the other hand, what I saw in the fleeting instance of my surprising and terse emergence was so ghastly, I don't know how I will ever overcome it-- in part, because its form was shaky and imprecise, so much so that I could not absolutely identify it!

All I could discern was that it was enough to make me quake and lapse immediately back into despondency, whereafter the unmasking of this phantom is so disappointingly beyond my reach.
Gee, do you think? - 15:14 CDT, 8/23/16 (Sniper)
I caught on to the illigitimacy of "the system" at around age 30, when I started studying social contract theory in a feeble attempt to validate my Statist world view-- instead, I learned that (and struggled with at first) the whole notion and its incredible assumptions were ludicrously nonsensical.

It never ceases to be incredible to me when I talk to people in their 50s or 60s who still haven't figured it out! Talk about living in the matrix.

Remember: the tax cattle were allowed to vote in the Soviet Union. It doesn't matter whether you have a Fascist dictatorship, Communism, or a "Republic"-- the tax cattle / tax farmer relationship is the core civilization driver. And it is illegitimate and immoral, on the grounds that it fundamentally violates the cattle's-- sovereign individuals'-- intrinsic natural rights.
Pro Evo - 07:25 CDT, 8/21/16 (Sniper)
Holy smokes... coolest video game ad I've ever seen.

And not the point of the ad, but... wow was the PSX good at 3d. Really impressive compared to, let's say, FIFA on the 3DO.
Book - 20:14 CDT, 8/20/16 (Sniper)
I should buy copies of this book and hand them to kids walking out of the local public school.
MLS - 07:05 CDT, 8/20/16 (Sniper)
Don Garber: "...as everyone worked together-- the public sector, private businesses, and all of you..." That is literally the definition of Fascism.

That aside, it will be kind of surreal not having to manually create Thunder / NSC Minnesota / Stars / United in Pro Evo; all I need to do is wait for the annual and inevitable, professional-quality MLS mod, and viola!

Also, people from outside of Minnesota don't understand how much sense the "United" monikor makes; the two cities, plus the crazy rollercoaster-- which I personally lived-- of all of the various club iterations and the drama-- an attempt to unify all of those fan bases.

And on that note, this article was written just for me. I started with Thunder season tickets in 2007, and I've adamantly followed basically every match the various clubs have played ever since.

About the "jarring transition" the author mentions for long-time supporters: I remember one rainy Open Cup match where Ellyn and I were two of about thirty fans in the entire stadium, waiting for Melvin Tarley or Ricardo Sanchez to knick a goal for the team. One of the rain coat-donning front office people must have felt bad, and walked around and handed free seat cushions to all three dozen of us.

Now, MLS is another story: I very, very closely followed the league from maybe 2002 to 2009, and have watched maybe two matches since (ditto for the English Premier League, incidentally). I need to get caught up.
Easy to fix - 06:33 CDT, 8/20/16 (Sniper)
Several weeks ago, I wrote this in my Pokemon Go review:

"...premium currency can only be gained by controlling 'gyms'; only the most powerful can reliably control gyms; the most powerful thus have the most disposable premium currency, leading to a self-reinforcing loop."

Boy was I spot-on! There are ten Pokemon Go gyms within reasonable walking distance to my house. All ten of them have looked just like this for about three weeks now (all ten Pokemon between 2000 and 3500 CP):



If you flip through the Pokemon on these gyms, only about fifteen discrete players are represented. No one else-- not even other blue team people-- can utilize the gym mechanic in the game at all, henceforth; these fifteen people permanently "won" the gym mechanic, totally removing that aspect of the game from everyone else, via exactly what I said in my review!

This would be super easy to fix by simply taking inspiration from the free market; why not alter the gyms so that, once per day, anyone can swipe them-- sort of like a Pokestop-- and get a little premium currency? The more powerful the gym, the more currency it gives out. The wealthier the fifteen or so gym controllers get, the more they enrich everyone else in the process.

To make it even more free market-like, perhaps there could also be competition between gyms for business? Maybe the gyms only level up by getting swiped by non-owners, and the only way to attract non-owners is by offering items? A small group of upstart players could create a "disruptive" new gym by offering attractive item packages-- maybe even actual Pokemon?-- rebooting things just like what happens in real life (anyone remember IBM?).
Litmus test failure - 06:03 CDT, 8/20/16 (Sniper)
You can discern that this is completely invalid in about five seconds. Or at least that's how long it took me.

Mistake number one: rights do not come from the State! The laws and their silly infographic are totally irrelevant.

Mistake number two: the author uses the fallacy of the collective: "do people have this right individually, or collectively?" The latter isn't even possible; this immediately defeats the whole purpose of their article.
Monopoly on force - 19:55 CDT, 8/19/16 (Sniper)
How long would a private business run like this be around? Hell, name an "evil capitalist corporation" that has access to even a fraction of this kind of money in the first place!
Feminism smackdown - 11:48 CDT, 8/17/16 (Sniper)
My daughter is a fan of the music from pop artist Meghan Trainor, and as such I've been hearing a lot of this woman's songs around the house-- especially this one. Incidentally, I also ran across a touching editorial, wherein the author applauds the aforementioned Trainor for coming around to feminism; "it's about time" after all! You go, girl!

But I've got a little bit of a problem here, and now is as good of a time as any to bring this up. Look ladies, you have two options on the table-- you can pick one, and only one:

  1. Sure-- I'll "treat you like a lady"! I'll buy you "flowers every anniversary", tell you you're "beautiful each and every night", apologize even when you're wrong. Hell, I'll even open the car door for you, pull out your chair at the dinner table, and gallantly throw my coat over every puddle so you won't get your dainty little feet wet! No problem.

    All I expect in turn is that you then act "like a lady": I expect you home, every day, cleaning the house, taking care of the kids, and in the kitchen all afternoon making damned sure that my hot dinner is ready for me, promptly, when I arrive at home from work. I want my household spotless, and operating like a well-oiled machine! You "never learned to cook", as the song says? Awww shucks darling, that's no problem; the front door is right over there-- please don't let it hit you on the way out, wouldn't want your delicate little tush getting bruised now, would we?

  2. Oh, but you tell me you're a feminist, and you want "equal rights and opportunities" as the editorial says? Ok, I'm all for "equality of the sexes!" In fact, I prefer it!

    So here's the deal darling; you can wear high heels to accentuate your ass, plaster your face with makeup, and wear low-cut shirts because you know I have money and you want to latch on-- and I'm not falling for it. Rather, the opposite: I'm going to call you out for being a slut. If you decide to stop acting like some kind of parasite, get your act together, and we do hook up, we're never getting married-- that way if you dump me, no alimony heading your way, dearie! After all, equality is our mantra!

    Oh, and we'll keep separate checking accounts-- you buy your food and clothes with yours, I'll buy mine with mine. Mortgage is in my name? I'll be expecting that rent check the first of every month, bright and early. Equality dear, equality! You want a promotion at work to fill up that little checking account of yours? Get in line with all of the men then; no more sex-based "affirmative action" and female hiring quotas for you.

    A war is brewing you say? Equality dear, equality! Have fun in some third-world shit hole, eating worms and dodging mortar fire alongside the men. You want to leave me, and want the kids too? No preferential custody treatment for you my dear-- after all, equality of the sexes!

Ladies: you can either have "traditional" sex roles for men and women and be "treated like a lady" by acting like a lady, accountabilities included, or you can choose to have equality and be "treated like a man" by acting like a man, meaning no more institutionalized "female privilege". What you absolutely can not do is selectively pick and choose the best from both, while conveniently sweeping aside all of the obligations of either.
Where to turn? - 18:01 CDT, 8/16/16 (Sniper)
It's impossible to find a car news website that isn't run by a bunch of libtard Statists. Here is a typical refresh from Autoblog's feed:



Every other article is "electric car" this, "government needs to make it illegal to fart in your car" that... and of course, the obligatory "evil capitalist" piece about Volkswagen.

None of it is written with even any pretense of neutrality either. There was one article that I saw in my feeds earlier today that saw them applauding some European Fascist government or another for outlawing petrol engines. I don't know what's more idiotic-- the notion, or these morons' reaction to the notion.
Mainstream gaming - 16:10 CDT, 8/16/16 (Sniper)
And this is why I sold that Xbone I had years ago, and more or less checked out of the totally mainstream triple-A scene...

Although strangely, I wonder if this game would be fun if viewed as a sort of massive collectopedia? I notice that he scanned some animal, and it "registered" somewhere, presumably within a game menu.
Laptop gaming - 15:38 CDT, 8/16/16 (Sniper)
Dating back to the earliest days of laptops with 3d accelerators, there has always been a significant performance gap between desktop graphics chips and their laptop-oriented counterparts. Graphics card hierarchy tables always appropriately had them placed multiple tiers apart in terms of capability.

One thing that I didn't see coming-- but could have, had I given it some thought-- was that the decreasing power consumption of today's GPUs means that laptops no longer need to play second fiddle: astoundingly, the mobile GTX 1070 is not only equivalent to in all cases, but is actually faster than in some instances, the desktop variant of the chip!

I still have a difficult time recommending gaming laptops to people, because they tend to die young deaths due to the inability to dissipate heat properly from their tiny-and-cramped toteable casings. But even that worry might be diminished with this new, cooler-running generation of GPU!
Retort - 13:06 CDT, 8/16/16 (Sniper)
Hah, this Noah Smith clown is still around? I can't believe he hasn't been fired yet! He's a real Class A joker-- maybe moreso than even imbecilic Paul Krugman! It's hard to believe there is a market for writing like that.

That aforelinked Zero Hedge-published response is such a great cursory retort that it's a worthwhile quick read for anybody, even those who conventionally aren't that interested in economics.
Laughable - 08:54 CDT, 8/13/16 (Sniper)
Even the exclusively white male cabal which formulated "cultural Marxism" knew that what they were saying was bull shit; the objective wasn't to speak the truth-- rather, the goal was to simply cast doubt on conventional societal mores, weakening them to the point where the "oppressed" could rise up. This article does a great job of explaining that point in detail.

Contemporary "cultural Marxists" are like cargo cultists; they've latched onto the superficial idiocies, not realizing that those were all merely carefully crafted lies right from the get-go, and additionally they've done so without comprehending the underlying ambition of the movement! It's like a seven layer salad of dimwittedness.
On Libertarianism

In order to understand how libertarian principles apply to particular groups, we must understand the principles themselves. Thus, I've paraphrased the logic that underlies the principles of libertarianism below....

Rights are only held by the rational actor. That is, rights are only held by those who act, who employ means to attain ends, and invariably employ reason in the process. The sole right possessed by the rational actor is to exercise his capacity for such action. In other words, the only wrong that one can commit is to strip another of his capacity for action, or liberty. Acting against another when such action is in accordance with his will does not qualify as such, for it does not strip him of his capacity for action but rather is its manifestation. Or, put another way, if being acted against is someone's will, then actions against him qualify not as the deprivation of his liberty but rather as exercises of it. One therefore naturally possesses the right to exclusive command of his own body, making it his innate property, and he can acquire the same right over other things by irreversibly combining his labor - his innate property - with them, making them his acquired property. Therefore if we identify something as a rational actor, as described here, then we must acknowledge its self-ownership as well as its right to acquire external property.


On Children

As we've established, rights are possessed only and always by rational actors. The question regarding the rights of children is therefore: are they rational actors? The answer is, obviously, yes; though they're less mature than adults, they still possess the capacity for rational action for as long as they possess a brain. Even if they aren't currently exercising that capacity or are prevented from doing so, the capacity for some action at some point in time grants them the rights of a rational actor. Thus, rights are possessed not only by children but by the unborn, for even the latter will eventually possess and exercise the capacity for action.

One of the topics unique to children and their rights is the responsibilities held by parents; the parents are, by creating a living child, inflicting the conditions of life upon it. Given the child's inborn values toward life, we can conclude that it does desire those conditions but only for as long as the parents can provide it with the means of survival. Thus, the child consents to its own dependent status held at birth and caused by the parents only if they serve its needs until it gains independence through the physical and mental growth that come with age. Therefore to conceive a child is to either accept responsibility for its needs or to inflict upon a future person a status of dependency that they would never consent to. The former is the formation of a contract with the child, while the latter is a clear violation of their rights.


On Animals

The question concerning the rights of animals is the same as that concerning the rights of children: are they rational actors? Unlike the case of children, however, the case of animals is more complex; some barely qualify as anything more than inanimate objects, while others are much closer to humans in their nature. Therefore, there's no uniform answer to the question of whether animals have rights, but the question of a given species' rights, or lack thereof, can be answered by a single litmus test: could they, if properly accommodated (compensating for language barriers, complicating physical differences, etc.), comprehend a logical argument, such as one of the many stated above? If so, then they've demonstrated the three requirements for something to be considered a rational actor: the ability to act, the ability to value and the ability to reason; by reading, they've acted, by comprehending, they've reasoned and by choosing to read they've displayed values. Thus, they would have the same rights as any human: their right to self-ownership would demand respect, as would their right to acquire property. However, if they did not pass this litmus test, then they could not be said to have rights. However, worth being said of these animals is that they could still be protected from harm if they themselves were taken as property by an owner dedicated to caring for them and ensuring their safety.

The means by which the aforementioned litmus test would be conducted are unclear as of yet and therefore open for debate, but establishing the exact mechanism of the test was not the goal of this essay; this discourse merely set out to establish the means by which one can discriminate between rational and irrational actors.
Monster Boy - 11:50 CDT, 8/11/16 (Sniper)
I must have watched this trailer a hundred times. The song, the animated sequences... something about anime crossing over into things not conventionally associated with such is massively appealing to me. The animated bit with the frog looking down at the danger, then up towards the camera especially gets me.

I suppose this is part of why Shogo-- a game I must have played through two hundred times-- was such a big part of me during my high school years. Compare that trailer to the Shogo intro-- any similarities?
A useful idiot - 07:36 CDT, 8/11/16 (Sniper)
Hah, even though I knew I was being "click-baited", I couldn't resist.

Summary: Brexit, terrorism, and "greed" are a direct result of Adidas selling football shirts; poor people get resentful because they're not rich like the Glazers. Oh, and "pure capitalism" sucks.

My favorite comment to the article came via an African, who destroys the author's thesis. Paraphrased (you can read his full comment for yourself): "Football is the brightest relief from life where I'm from; why are you blaming the football clubs, who bring so much joy to people like me and who are doing their part to create wealth, and not the government leaders?
On a different page - 17:07 CDT, 8/09/16 (Sniper)
I've been compulsively watching and immensely enjoying the 1970s TV series "Columbo". Normally, the episodes open with the eventual murderer being caught completely on the wrong side of objective moral judgement, which in turn leads them to commit said murder, oftentimes out of either revenge, or as a result of blackmail.

But in the episode I watched last night, by my judgement-- and I think the judgement of any clear-headed, rational person-- the eventual murderer was on the correct side of the moral issue in question, and, in fact, he is driven to murder by the irrational and violent actors which surround his character!

But before I get to the specifics, let me pose a few hypothetical scenarios to set the stage for my bewilderment:

Let's say that Person A owns a franchise of health clubs. Person B wishes to buy a franchise. In the contract, it's clearly stated that as long as Person B owns the franchise, he must order his exercise equipment from Supplier X. Person B does his math, it all works out favorably for him, and so he voluntarily signs this contract, in full awareness of that stipulation. Has Person A committed a wrong? Clearly not.

Now let's alter the scenario a bit: it's the same situation as above, except that Person A owns Supplier X, and Person A makes that point clear to Person B. Has Person A done anything wrong? Clearly, still not; Person A can morally own any companies he wants. And Person B has still done his math, and is in full consciousness of the "supplier clause" before he signs the contract.

Let's alter the scenario further now; let's say everything is the same as the previous scheme, except that Person A doesn't disclose his ownership of Supplier X. Still, has he done anything wrong? No, he has not; as long as Person B is aware of that he is required to buy his equipment from Supplier X, and he is ok with that fact and the prices of Supplier X-- which he obviously is if he signs the contract-- then what difference on heaven or Earth does it matter who owns that supplier? Person B is buying exercise equipment at price N-- that is the only fact that matters to his reality. Whether Person A, Person Z, the President, or Santa Claus owns the company does not change that-- his!-- reality.

The episode in question is the first, in series 4. And indeed, that final scenario is the one in question: the "villain" is a highly successful entrepreneur, providing valuable exercise facilities and training to-- judging by the implied scope of his operation-- many thousands of people trying to improve their standard of living through fitness. We know that he is improving their standard of living, otherwise they wouldn't be patronizing his business in the first place.

But, one of his franchisees learns that the "villain" also owns suppliers that the franchisees are stipulated to purchase from, as stated in the contract-- the very same contract, of course, that this sour grapes "why didn't I think of that?" franchisee eagerly signed in the first place.

At one point, the "villain" (quite correctly) defends himself, saying (I'm paraphrasing, but only a little) that unlike others who are sicking the government on him, he is the one "selling apples on the street corner, and that's hard-- very, very hard. Much harder than being a bureaucrat."

But nonetheless, the franchisee violently threatens to get the "villain" thrown in prison by turning him "over to the SEC". It's also stated by another character later in the episode that the "villain" is moving much of his profit to an off-shore bank account to avoid paying taxes.

Surely, dear reader, you can understand my confusion by now; to me, this paints a clear picture of irrational and violent characters who are jealous of the "villain's" success. Whereas, the episode's writers seemingly intended for me to have a distasteful reaction to the "villain", as I quite rightly do have in most of the show's chapters.

It bears reiterating that all of the disgruntled actors in the show were exuberant participants in the "villain's" scheme prior to knowing who owned the suppliers. Not a single thing had changed, other than their improved knowledge! How could their violent reactions to their new-found knowledge be rooted in anything but jealousy?

I remember reading-- I can't find the quote now unfortunately-- that Columbo's success was partially attributed to the fact that it was a "little guy" (blue collar Columbo with his rumpled coat and $11k/yr income) taking down "wealthy and privileged" (as if that happens by magic) people. It reminded me of Ayn Rand's observation that most people hate others who are successful, and actively try to "cut them down to size". I suspect the above-discussed episode was especially playing to that crowd-- because the only way to perceive the "villain" as a bad guy is by adopting that sort of irrational world view.

You can tell the view is irrational in part because the episode description on Wikipedia explains that the "villain" is "overcharging" for his equipment. But to claim something is being "overcharged" is to presuppose some kind of objective price for said something, against which the "overcharge" can be compared! But, as we know from simple deduction, a price is set according to totally subjective preferences. Whenever the "overcharge" (or "gouge") card is played, you can be sure that the accuser is thinking emotionally, not logically.

What's interesting is that Columbo is enjoyable to me for the exact opposite reason that it apparently was for lots of others: many of the villains in the show are the best of the best in their respective fields; I view these characters as possessing the brightest minds in their world. So the fun is in watching these brilliant personages going mano-a-mano with the dazzling detective!
Into serfdom - 18:30 CDT, 8/08/16 (Sniper)
Holy cow, what terrible advice all around. I'm floored. And this is a guy from Wells Fargo, huh? Ok, a banker... maybe I shouldn't be surprised.

Forget the obvious stuff (which is legion), and just pay attention to the fixation with becoming a "millionaire". A million bucks? Big freaking deal! Then the guy says that most millennials want to retire at age 59, and goes on to give the impression that those two dots connect. Uh, you're going to live on a million bucks from age 59 to... 90? After inflation eats your "million bucks"? How in the world does that math work out?

Talk to any legit financial planner, and they'll walk you through the fact-- graphs and all-- that it takes a few million bucks to have any kind of living standard, at all, upon retirement-- and it's not a lavish one either. And that's with the government's "social security" (ironic name), which obviously won't be around by the time these millennials retire. And you sure as shit need to save more than "$26 a week" to get to that amount, no matter how young you are!

On that last point, most people my age, in my income bracket, and who are serious about retiring in their early-to-mid 60s, are packing away 15-20% of their income on retirement alone. That's hundreds of dollars a month.

I-- sincerely!-- hope there weren't any millennials listening to this segment and thinking that it's sound advice. This guy could have done a lot of damage with this astonishingly inaccurate explanation. Wait for these kids when they get out of their "safe zones" and into the real world...
Ugh - 13:35 CDT, 8/08/16 (Sniper)
Why is it that everything is being made less functional?

I just logged into one of my credit accounts, and since my last login the previously easy-to-use website has been replaced with one of those "mobile friendly" abominations, with size 72 fonts, giant whitespace blocks, and massive divs that run all the way across the page. Sure, it looks clean, but it lost three quarters of the functionality it used to have!

Who the hell manages their finances with their phone anyway? Trying to do anything with those ridiculous i-crap clone slate devices is akin to trying to order a pizza with Kinect-- much less issue credit card payments or balance my checking account!

I can't wait until this very bizarre societal "form over substance" period is over. It's all-inclusive, from the way people act, dress, who they choose as role models, the general and massive rise in narcissism, and-- yes-- their choices in consumer electronics.

It's like a pendulum-- I'm sure it will swing back to a point where engineers and not marketers are ruling the roost once again.
Give me a break - 06:56 CDT, 8/08/16 (Sniper)
I'm no Trump fan, but it's really rich hearing Community-Organizer-In-Chief "I haven't done a day of real work in my life" Obozo declare that Trump is "woefully unprepared" to be president; Obozo had the most weak sauce CV ever going into the job. Trump had better qualifications by the time he was fourteen.

It's also rich hearing Obozo say that Trump doesn't have the "temperament" to do the job, considering that Obozo has been described by pretty much everyone who has ever known him as a petulant, narcissistic, argumentative, know-it-all windbag who drives everyone around him crazy, and who spends all of his time playing golf so he can shirk all of his meetings. Gee, sounds like a guy with strong character!

And yet, there are people out there who are incapable of critical thinking, and who will thus agree with Obozo's comments no matter how nonsensical they are, and no matter how unqualified the source.
Racism - 06:43 CDT, 8/08/16 (Sniper)
Noun: evaluating someone based on their ethnicity, as opposed to their character as an individual.
What a loser - 14:55 CDT, 8/07/16 (Sniper)
Elon Musk is like a hybrid of James Taggart, Wesley Mouch, and Orren Boyle.

The guy is a lousy businessman. We know this because he spends his entire life lobbying for and receiving billions of dollars worth of cumulative tax breaks, subsidies, and special laws that favor his company at the expense of his competitors. Obviously the guy knows he can't compete "on the level", without all of these special dispensations-- and indeed, these conferments are the only reason his firm has ever existed, or continues to exist.

Or, to put it more bluntly: the guy is a total sleazeball. Here's to hoping his car's autopilot drives him in front of a moving train. Hopefully with Bill Gates and several politicians inside too.
Net worth analysis - 06:55 CDT, 8/07/16 (Sniper)
There are quite a few interesting things on this chart.

First, there isn't a big difference in positive-versus-negative net worth for people with college degrees; a whopping 43% of people with negative net worth have them, versus 45% of people with positive net worth.

Second, amongst the negative people, student loans comprise 47% of their debt. Combine that with the previous point, and the question emerges: Is college worth it?

Third, apparently I'm one of only 4% of positive net worth people that is underwater on a mortgage. Bummer.

Fourth, and building on the previous point: for the positive net worth people, 40% of said net worth comes from positive equity in their home. Whereas, I have significant net worth-- higher than the average for even people in their 50s and 60s-- and that's in spite of my house, which is subtracting from my net worth. It makes it pretty obvious that many of these positive people have essentially not saved a dime for retirement. I actually have other articles in my notes that I could dig out which validate that point.

Fifth, this isn't taking national debt into account. Divide that up by every household, and practically everyone has negative net worth.

Finally, one can blame the State for everything plaguing the negative camp: student loan debt is out of control because the State subsidizes said loans; the housing bubble was a direct creation of the State's "everyone should own a house" push combined with their banking and financialization cartel buddies' assistance; and the State actively encourages single motherhood via the structure of its welfare laws, which I'd be willing to bet makes up the majority of these "single" and "female" negative equity people.
No place like home - 08:47 CDT, 8/05/16 (Sniper)
After an entire month of being stranded in Windows, I finally got impatient enough to switch my Manjaro installation to the "testing" branch. A quick system update later and I finally had a working Xorg instance once again, compliments of the 367 Nvidia drivers.

Why I didn't do this earlier is beyond me. It feels good to be home.
In reality - 11:55 CDT, 8/02/16 (Sniper)
Remember my patient build-up, Minnesota United "Master League" attacking play from Pro Evo 2016? Well, here is the club putting that into practice, in real life! Granted, in this instance there isn't much penetration until the final flourish. Still, I love the run Jome made to create the hole that Ibson moved into-- good tactical awareness and coordination.

Incidentally, it was Ramirez who finished off that move, and praise for him as an all-around player continues to heighten. What continually amazes me about Ramirez is not just his scoring ability, but his combination play; for example, his audacious back-heeled leaping flick, which you can see around the 38 second mark in this clip, is par-the-course for Ramirez, as cool as it looked.
Amiga CD32 and the 3DO - 06:50 CDT, 7/28/16 (Sniper)
How did I not know about this Amiga CD32 port of Super Turbo until yesterday? The framerate makes it unplayable-- sounds like it has a development horror back story, sort of like 3DO Doom-- but aside from what appears to be fewer colors, it looks pretty close to that version.

It's also kind of surreal to hear an alternate CD remixed SF2 soundtrack. The 3DO one went on to be the standard that was used in later collections and ports, but this one sounds pretty good too. I wonder if it's the same as the DOS CD version? I had that port as a kid (alongside the 3DO one), but I remember not being too impressed with it for some reason that I can't recall (could have been the lack of a good PC controller to use? Super Turbo isn't exactly Gravis Gamepad friendly).

Speaking of the 3DO... I've been playing nothing but 16-bit stuff for the past year or so, with the PC Engine, Super Nintendo, and Genesis all hooked up to my bed room CRT. Well, I recently got my FZ-1 back in perfect working order, and having not played it much over that time... holy buckets! I cycled through several games, and my fresh eyes were practically popping out of their sockets with every one. What a powerhouse of a platform! I've also ordered what I need to re-cap my Goldstar's power board, which will hopefully resuscitate that one too (I replaced the laser lense, but get the same behavior).

One way of looking at the 3DO is that it was, in fact, the CD Amiga that enthusiasts wanted; it was Dave Needle-designed, ran what was essentially a beefed-up Amiga OS (compliments of RJ Mical), and it got tons of enhanced Amiga ports such as Syndicate, Cannon Fodder, Theme Park, and Soccer Kid, as well as cool adaptations of popular Amiga games, like Return Fire (which was basically a polygonal "Fire Power"). Despite not using a 68000-variant CPU, it was like an Amiga by a different name.
NX - 06:19 CDT, 7/28/16 (Sniper)
It's looking more and more like the NX is exactly what I've thought and hoped it would be: a handheld with an HDMI docking station, so you can play it on your TV. Since the Wii U's launch, I've heard numerous people puzzle over why Nintendo went backwards with that platform; shouldn't the computing power be in the controller, which then streams to the TV, versus the other way around? Nintendo is apparently correcting that obvious design flaw with NX.

After spending so much money on the new TV and my GTX 1070, I kept telling myself that I wouldn't buy an NX. But now that my assumptions seem to be proving true, the prospect of being able to play "don't look like total crap" versions of Monster Hunter and Fire Emblem, and on my TV to boot, is looking sort of irresistable. I've always been envious of the 3DS' library, but never wanted to touch the hardware; thinking of all of those franchises now being triple-A console games that you play on your TV is sort of game changing to me.

Although I laugh at the rumors saying it will use "cartridges". Cartridges are necessarily bulky plastic containers that hold PCB (something that looks like a small motherboard) containing custom hardware that pulls game data from a ROM chip and delivers it through the contacts. I'm sure NX will just be using what are essentially micro SD cards, sort of like how the 3DS games are delivered. I used to love the slick N-Gage game packaging, so that route sounds A-OK to me-- it's just that they're not "cartridges".
Inconsistent - 14:43 CDT, 7/23/16 (Sniper)
The thing I don't understand about Statists, is that they will readily condemn this, yet call their own governments "legitimate."

From a logical standpoint, there is absolutely no difference between what Erdogan is doing in Turkey, and hundreds of thousands of laws on the books in, let's say, the United States. No Statist could explain to me why the former is "wrong" while the latter is "right"-- because there is no explanation.
Period review of the NES - 09:39 CDT, 7/23/16 (Sniper)
Here is a period review of the NES:



The reviewer made a lot of good points; did cartridges have a future for the platform? Didn't seem so. The system was super ugly. The cartridge slot mechanism was clunky ("like an older VCR"). His reflection on the NES' hardware being old (from 1983), and his discourse on the very primitive light gun technology, as compared to the Master System's, paints a clear picture that even in the 1980s Nintendo was releasing outdated tech.

If you want more proof, think about the PC Engine. The only reason that platform even existed was because the NES hardware was so bad that the Hudson guys decided they'd be better off designing new hardware from scratch!

The "dpad" went on to become a standard, but even then I think his commentary was astute; the NES controllers were never comfortable, and the dpad did and does suck at diagonals. And coming from a world dominated by joysticks, it's easy to see his disapproval of the NES pad. Heck, even as an young child-- ever-adaptable-- there was an uncomfortable adjustment period moving from the Atari 2600 and 7800 joysticks to a dpad when my uncle got a Genesis in 1989.

So why was the NES such a success then, while the Master System was a joke? Wait just a second cowboy.

Yes, the NES was a big success in Japan, and in America. But in literally every other country, the situation was reversed; the Master System was the dominant 8-bit console, while the NES was relegated to tiny back corners of game stores. Hell, the Master System still, in 2016, moves a boat load of units in countries like Brazil. That's thirty years after its initial launch! Not to mention, it's perhaps the sexiest looking system of all time:

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