The Exigent Duality
Money - 10:14 CST, 9/23/23 (Sniper)
"Yakuza: Like a Dragon" was one of the best games I'd played since the year 2000, and the sequel is shaping up to be a potential masterpiece. They are really leaning into the goofiness, I must have rewound the "Crazy Taxi on a bike" Engrish part with the "Supa Cdazy Derivry!" ten times. The dating simulation with the "Pokemon Snap" mechanic also looks hilarious. By contrast though, I'm also sure that the game will feature a very dramatic, serious story with a lot of emotional impact, just like the previous release. I'm hoping we wind up with a perfect "peanut butter and jelly" contrast between seriousness and comic relief.

Financialization and Budgets

I've written many times before about how my employer is willing to pay me, and people like me, significant salaries just to raise the share price of their multi-billion dollar global operation by an infinitesimal percentage of one percent. It's interesting to see that phenomenon put into graph form.

Corporations have been able to levitate their stock using financialization sleight-of-hand; by having people like me leverage for them the microcomputer plus internet booms to increase efficiency; by having interest rates at near-zero levels for decades; and by sacrificing product durability via cost-cutting material choices. But now we're coming to the end of the road on all of those trends.

There is too much debt for further financialization shell game tactics to continue to get the same returns they used to; jobs like mine have been reduced to re-designing corporate home pages pointlessly for the billionth time-- long gone is the era when computers could revolutionize business; central banks are finally forced to raise interest rates in a last-gasp attempt to save their respective bond markets; and one can't get cheaper than plastic as far as bill of materials goes, things can't get any cheaper or worse made than they already are.

Watch out below!

Now I'm seeing studies pop up with claim that because humans fart too much, we should replace them all with "AI". I remember when Leftoids used to claim to be the humanists who looked out for "the little guy", while their evil greedy Right-wingers were a bunch of heartless assholes. Unsurprisingly, that was just a ploy to obtain power-- now that they have total power, it turns out they're are one hundred percent in the tank for Big Business and giant corporations, who are doing their bidding to help them consolidate their control.

As for the corporations themselves, this "let's just get rid of humans" is a desperate last-ditch tactic to squeeze the lemon one last time, to levitate their profits for a further amount of time-- collateral damage to "the little guy" be damned. It's also short-sighted: one everyone loses their livelihoods, who is going to buy the products the corporates produce? But, these global power brokers aren't thinking long-term: they are largely making it up as they go.

On a different financials note, here are the Lazio books for this past fiscal year. The wage bill sat at 69.5 million Euro. Unlike essentially every single other club at our level, we are sustainable but still competitive, which is a huge testament to the steady hand of Claudio Lotito. I know he has his critics, and even I have been frustrated with him variously in the past-- but on the balance it's tough to argue that he's done a great job as a responsible steward of the team.

Microsoft and Gaming

I'm sure many of my readers are already up-to-date with all of the Microsoft leaks lately, but for those who aren't, a massive dump of confidential Microsoft communications, including full email chains, along with marketing and roadmap materials, were made public by combinations of internal leaks and through the various court cases in which Microsoft find themselves embroiled.

In the 80s and 90s I thought Bill Gates was one of the most evil people on the planet. The 2010s and 2020s have proven that I was right all along. His company took on his evil form. Now, even though he's been out of the direct Microsoft picture for a long time, the company culture has evidently-- as these leaks show-- not changed, despite the external "look at us, we're the nice guys now, contributing to the Linux kernel and stuff!" persona they've been attempting to cultivate.

The most revealing part of these leaks have been email chains involving Phil Spencer and other Xbox brand affiliated, upper-Microsoft people. In them, they openly discuss the notion of forming proxies to gobble up as many shares of Nintendo stock as possible, allowing them to force Nintendo to bleed through their cash savings via poor investments, so that Microsoft can come in and scoop a suddenly-vulnerable Nintendo up. They also reveal that they are trying to figure out a way to buy Valve. Obviously, Microsoft owning Steam would largely destroy the PC as a viable gaming platform.

It was also exposed that the Xbox Series X only makes up 25% of the "Series" console sales. The "Series" platforms are being outsold roughly 2:1 by the PlayStation 5-- it's something like 18 million units versus 35 million. 25% of 18 million is 4.5 million Series X systems, versus 35 million PlayStation 5 units. That is a bloodbath. Like always, dating all the way back to Bill Gates and his accomplice essentially stealing CPM from Gary Kildall, Microsoft can not compete on a level footing-- so they use underhanded tactics to get what they want.
Galneryus and Champions - 17:23 CST, 9/19/23 (Sniper)
I've been in such a good mood since I made the realization I wrote about in this post. I'm sure everyone has been worried about their health at one time or another-- maybe they think they have cancer, or diabetes. They ruminate about it. Then, finally, the doctor's appointment arrives, they have the gamut of tests, lo and behold there is nothing wrong with them.

That's a bit how it was for me. I was growing concerned about what seemed to be a diminishing of passion over the past couple of years: "Are my glory days well and truly behind me?", I wondered. But no: I was just looking at things the wrong way! It's axiomatic that as people age, there is less of a potential for novel situations or things, because the person has experienced more. It would be futile to base happiness then on the need for novelty alone.

Now I know the proper framing. Let's use music as a hypothetical: "Ok, I've now heard every single genre of music. Instead of searching in vain for new genres which simply aren't out there, I'll focus on being happy listening to my favorite genres." I know this sounds like "Captain Obvious" territory to everyone else, but I'm one of those people where I need to come to realizations on my own, for them to "stick".


Speaking of music, I know I've mentioned them before, but I've decided to do a more thorough write-up regarding Galneryus, because over the past two-or-so months, I haven't been able to listen to anyone but them. They are the "perfect band"-- let me explain why by going through their members first:

Vocalist: Masatoshi Ono. "Sho", as he's known in Japan, runs his own prestigious vocals school is a huge celebrity within the metal scene in his country. And his reputation is no wonder: just take a listen to him singing his wonderful "Hunter x Hunter" theme song, "Departure". Outside of maybe luminaries such as Ronnie James Dio, Sho is the best metal vocalist I've literally ever heard. He is unlike most power metal singers in two ways: first, he is so natural up and down the scale that he doesn't even need to use falsetto to hit the high notes; second, he is able to powerfully project his voice with consistency, no matter where he is, without sounding strained or thin.

Guitarist: Syu. I've gone through "best guitarists of all time" lists over the decades I've been listening to rock and metal music, and Syu is one of the top three or four I've ever heard. I debate with myself whether he's even better than Yngwie Malmsteen. Like Yngwie, Syu is not just an unbelivably fast and technical player, but he composes all of his own music. In this example of his prowess, he even opens with some of Yngwie's music, before transitioning into his own instrumental song. He's so fast that he plays the "pentatonic"-style stuff without "flattening" the guitar in front of him!

Keyboardist: Yuhki. If Syu is one of the best guitars I've ever heard, then as keyboardists go Yuhki is perhaps even better. I have never seen or heard someone who can play as fast and as note-perfect as he can. In Galneryus's songs, he routinely alternates solos with Syu, and indeed he even does so in the aforelinked instrumental video. In the live performances I've watched, he carries one of those zany guitar-like keyboards with the distortion touchpad-esque surface-- simultaneously, he has a stack of three additional keyboards, the bottom of which is a 1960s-style Hammond organ.

Their Albums: The consensus regarding their best album comes down to these two: 2010's "Resurrection", and 2012's "Angel of Salvation". I waffle as to which album is better. I've heard probably over a hundred power metal albums, including the ones which make up the "all-time sub-genre classics" lists-- and I think both of these works from Galneryus are in the top six or seven, ever. I hold them in that much esteem.

"Resurrection" is one of those what I call "easy listening" albums, similar to, let's say, Kamelot's "Epica" or Sonata Artica's "Ecliptica". The expectation-subverting chord progressions and almost Weezer-like changing keys take the listener on an emotional journey, and the whole work progresses like a smooth-running waterfall from start to finish. Every single song is a total masterpiece: the album is flowing with authenticity. "Angel of Salvation" has a heavier tone, and leans more into the fantasy realm. Some of the neoclassical Yuhki-Syu instrumental sections throughout are absolutely mind boggling, both in composition and in execution.

Word tells me that Galneryus is a huge band in Japan-- but from what I can see from my usual sources, they are almost completely unheard of in the United States. Even my usual metal resources which cover hundreds and hundreds of bands, such as the "Metal Reviews" site, have never mentioned that this incredible Japanese band even exists! Hopefully I can start to change that in my own little way via this blog post.

Their combination of incredible compositional qualities, maybe best I've ever heard power metal vocals, and Yngwie-caliber solos make it difficult for me to even listen to any other bands at the moment. Galneryus is the complete package: as I said before, they are the perfect band, with absolute superstar virtuosos in every single role.

Starfield and Champions League

These are two topics about which I don't want to reveal too many spoilers, but let me just say that in the former's case, this title is a real return to form for Bethesda. The game is filled with the classic Bethesda-style humor I came to know and love from games such as "Daggerfall", "Morrowind", "Fallout 3", and "Oblivion". Their most recent titles have taken themselves way too seriously, so Starfield's wit is a welcome development. Prospective players should look out in particular for the main questline on Mars: it has several hilarious moment that take me back to moments such as the "falling out of the sky" dude in "Morrowind".

I'm also surprised at the human aspects and level of detail put into Starfield. In one sequestered location, compliments of her young boy, I met a struggling woman whose husband had died in a mining. The game gave me the option to gift her 20,000 credits, to help her get off the planet-- I took the option, and was rewarded with some phenomenally believable gratitude via the voice actress. Mind you, this moment wasn't even a side quest: it was just a random NPC that most Starfield players will probably miss altogether.

As for the Champions League, you simply won't believe what happened at the end of this match. I've been watching football for decades now, and have never seen this occur before: drama of the highest order.

Microsoft Leaks

A huge amount of information leaked today regarding Microsoft-- complete with internal presentation material and email communications. From the outside, Phil Spencer seems like kind of a dufus-- and internally thanks to these and other email chains, he seems like someone who is too agreeable to be such a high profile boss.

Microsoft are not only-- and have been for some time-- trying to convince Nintendo to sell themselves, but are actively trying to determine how to buy Valve. Such an acquisition, ending in Microsoft owning Steam, would spell the end of PC gaming as I see it, and I sincerely hope the FTC would block such an attempted purchase.
Lack of Novelty - 21:13 CST, 9/17/23 (Sniper)
I've done everything. There's nothing left to experience.

I don't mean that literally, of course. I've never bungie jumped off the top of a skyscraper; or flown an F-22 Raptor; or made love to a super model. There are nearly infinite specific things I've never done. But my brain doesn't operate on specifics: it builds patterns. It categorizes each "new" thing, whether a person or an experience, into an archetype. And once I've explored an archetype, I'm completely bored with it and move on to seek a novel one.

Actually, it's worse than bored once I get familiar with something: I get actively annoyed by it. It repulses me. The trappings and motions of it become trite and tedious: grating, like fingernails on a chalkboard. "Oh, there's that door hinge again, as I expected", or "there's that turn-of-phrase again", or "yup, here is the point where I need to re-frame my focus", and so on.

This explains why my childhood and early teenage years were the best of my life: everything was novel. It was like having an infinite feast of the richest, most delicious food imaginable, in what looked at the time like inexhaustible quantities. But ever since I hit roughly forty years of age, every single thing I try is a copycat of some other thing I've already experienced.

For example, take learning to fly an airplane, obtaining a black belt in karate, and getting instruction in tap dancing. For most people those are utterly differentiated things to do. But for me, they are the identical thing: they involve doing research; taking classes; going through the usual motions of building a rapport with an instructor; passing milestones; getting congratulated.

It's all the same archetype. I've already done a dozen or more of those things in my life. The notion of doing yet another one totally bores me. It just sounds exhausting and tedious.

But that's just an example of a single archetype. This sensation applies to everything in life for me, by this point. I've seen and done it all, according to the way my mind processes information and the way I perceive experiences. I keep looking for things which are novel and exciting, and I can't find them anywhere. For each new thing I try, my brain immediately picks up on the archetypal pattern.

"Oh, I thought this would be fun, but it's just this again, with different wallpaper on it."

Even studying new topics sounds boring: I buy a book; grab some paper; read the book, take notes; write blog posts about it, or explain it to my wife who pretends to listen but doesn't actually care. This explains why I keep trying to learn new things, but can't stay interested in any of the subjects. Because the very act of learning a new subject has lost its novelty.

I've had this feeling for quite some time now, but it was only tonight while I was brushing my teeth, of all things, that I was able to capture it, roll it around in my hands, and describe it with words. I should do some research, maybe there is a term for this kind of mental state.

I don't think it's depression: it's not that I don't want to do anything. I'm not sad. In fact, it's the opposite: I desperately want to do something. But... what, exactly? As someone who has always fed off the sustenance of analyzing patterns, I'm starting to run out of patterns to analyze. It's like I'm intellectually starving. It's very strange.
You Will Be Sucked - 12:52 CST, 9/17/23 (Sniper)
I'm not sure how much my readers have been following the unfolding Unity licensing disaster, but either way I won't recount the whole episode-- a zillion other sites already have that covered. One thing which did catch my eye, however, was the name of Unity's CEO: John Riccitiello. Somehow, I had no idea he ran that company.

Regular readers already know this, but for those who don't my parents were huge Minnesota Vikings fans in the 80s and 90s. They would always try to get me to watch, but I thought it was boring. On 9/9/99, my dad bought for himself a copy of "NFL 2K" for our freshly-purchased Dreamcast. But I got so into the game that I memorized essentially every player in the NFL, started attending plus avidly taking notes at Vikings training camps in Mankato, and very nearly abandoned university to work for them as a computer play analyst.

I undoubtedly spent upwards of two hundred hours playing each of the NFL 2Kx games, first on the Dreamcast and then on the Xbox. In 2004 however, I gave up the NFL, the Vikings, and gridiron video games for over a decade, cold turkey: EA's CEO, unwilling to compete on the free market with Sega's $20, superior NFL 2K5, went behind everyone's back and moneyhatted a $300 million exclusivity deal with the NFL under-the-table, to kill off NFL 2Kx.

That CEO? John Riccitiello. Now I've read he sold a bunch of Unity stock, right before this licensing announcement went public. Once a sleaze, always a sleaze.

Of course, all of it worked out for the best: with the NFL out of my life, I found a way to start watching the football team I had always played with in the early-mid 90's FIFA games on the Mega Drive and PC: S. S. Lazio. And we all know where that passion went, and how it continues to go today, and how it will continue to go forever, provided Lazio or Italian Football don't cuck or do something to piss me off.

The Big Two, Plus One

Another disaster I've been watching unfold involves the car companies. Here is an interview with the CEO of Ford. It sounds like fault sits on both sides: the union is making absurd demands-- don't I wish I could get a forty percent raise and only work four days per week!-- while the CEO is taking a match to billions and billions of dollars trying to force EeeVees on the disinterested public.

This is kind of an aside, but ever since the day Chrysler was bought by Fiat, I've never understood why people still say "The Big Three". Uh, don't you mean "The Big Two"? These days Chrysler is wrapped up in the Stellantis umbrella, which is headquartered in Amsterdam. Chrysler is no longer an American company, and hasn't been for many years.

In any event, I don't like CEOs, I don't like the modern car companies, I can't stand EeeVees, and I've always detested labor unions. Time to grab the popcorn and watch all of those forces collide!

Switch 2 Pro Deluxe Ultra

If these "Switch 2" rumors hold, I may wind up selling my PlayStation 5 and just consolidating the console side of things onto a single platform. This specific leak may be false, but even in the worst case the new Switch will be Ampere-based using one of those "Orin" SoC designs-- still a lot of performance per watt.

To match that "Matrix Awakens" rumor, all the system would need to be able to do is run the demo at ~500p, then "DLSS it" to the 1080p native resolution of the handheld screen. I don't think that sounds unrealistic. I particularly hope that "Mario 64 Castle with path traced lighting" demo rumor is true: wouldn't that be surreal? Even in the framerate was somewhat poor, it would take me back to all of the famous industry-wide tech demos over the ages, such as the Gamecube unveil one with all of the Marios running around.

While I'm on the topic of the video game industry "over the ages", I had never seen this before! Absolutely hilarious. ".... not funny."


I didn't realize the state of contemporary film was quite this bad-- watch the embedded video in particular. I've never been much into movies, so I have a large blind spot there. And I complain about video games being woke!
Out of Play but Mostly In - 11:24 CST, 9/16/23 (Sniper)
A really obnoxious thing happened during the Lazio game today. The ball went completely over the line. Referees are essentially ordered these days, "Don't call anything, just let it go to VAR". Juventus scored directly from the ball having gone out. I thought to myself, "It's idiotic the side official didn't put the flag up, but I get why he didn't, those are his instructions, and now VAR will fix it." Almost immediately, the head official signaled that the VAR check was over, and the goal stood.

When it comes to VAR, generally nothing surprises me anymore. I've been saying since day one that it's net counter-productive, and they should get rid of it. But even by that low bar, this decision was especially egregious. In case you think I'm exaggerating:

But whatever, life goes on. What really made me irritated was what went on at half-time. The feed I was watching happened to be the American CBS broadcast. All four of the studio people said the whole ball was out of play. So they brought on a feed of their "rules expect", some smarmy looking woman who said this, with the above image on screen with her-- and I am quoting close to verbatim: "How the protocol works is that it goes to the VAR booth, and they look at it. Did you know that nine out of ten times the ball is actually still in play??"

Who cares! Nine out of ten times when I feel like I need to take a shit, I need to take a shit. That doesn't tell me anything about whether I need to take a shit right now! It's a silly non-sequitur, because she knows the referees made a mistake, but like most modern middle-aged women, she's all-in with "the authorities are always right". She could see a player karate kick another player, and she'd say "Did you know the referees know it was only ketchup instead of blood??"

One of the men in the studio challenged her. "I'll admit, to me the whole ball looked out". Her reply-- and this was the second doozy: "Actually, Serie A is using a semi-assisted technology, so they know where everything is all of the time! Gee, I wish they would pass down the 3D images in situations like this to prove that they are correct!" All four men in the studio cucked: "Wow, that's amazing, great explanation, I didn't know that!!"

So I did a quick search: I'm pretty sure she was lying. I'll post a correction if it turns out she was correct. I skimmed through several of these articles, and they all say that Serie A is using a semi-assisted technology for offside this season, where cameras in the stadium are tracking the players-- so the camera can line up the passing player's leg with where the receiving player is, in relation to the last man.

It has nothing to do with the ball, only the players. Almost all of the articles explicitly say so: "In the 2023 season, there will be no tracking device in the ball itself". And this new technology is only being used for offside, as the articles also clearly indicate.

She made up a lie, on air, to cover for "the authorities", after having gaslit the audience with the actual picture showing the whole ball over the line. It was CNN's "fiery but peaceful protest" with the burning building right behind the reporter, all over again. It doesn't help that someone on the Lazio forum I read posted this image, in defense of the incident:

He said that he was an "engineer", which is apparently how he's so darned clever. As if a single person thinks the ball is a cube instead of a sphere, and doesn't know what "projection" is!

Well, the "engineer" needs to go re-take Logic 101 at his university: his image shows that it's possible to be deceived by a camera angle-- it has literally nothing to inform us about the match incident! It's yet another non-sequitur, has absolutely nothing to do with anything. I can sit all day and position crazy objects all over my house and "prove" almost anything by taking fifty million pictures with my phone from every angle, then cherry picking which ones to show.

Those objects are not the actual ball, on the actual pitch, in the actual position it was in!

In the Mind - 14:21 CST, 9/14/23 (Sniper)
Just like Gabe Newell at Valve, it turns out that Jensen Huang of Nvidia has similarly unorthodox management views. I suppose it makes sense, as both of them come from technical backgrounds. This part jumped out at me the most; bold emphasis is mine:

"To speed up the decision-making process and stay up-to-date with realities, Huang gave up usual status reports. He feels that by the time status updates reach him, they often lose their 'ground truth' (original essence and authenticity). To counteract this, he encourages any employee to email him their immediate 'top five things' on their mind. Every morning, he dedicates time to reading around 100 of these emails, ensuring he is in touch with the ground realities of his company."

This reminds me of Tolstoy's exposition in "War and Peace", where he opines that the value of generals in warfare of that period is overstated. For example, Napoleon is looking through a dense cloud of smoke, and has no idea what's actually happening. Moreso-- and here is the relevant point-- by the time he issues an order, the order is delivered on horseback, then the response is returned to him also by horseback, the information is no longer relevant given the ground-realities of the battle, which change moment-to-moment.

Jensen Huang, whether intuitively-or-otherwise, has reached the same conclusion, only in a business context rather than a warfare one. Incidentally-- and this probably deserves a post all on its own-- a big part of why football (soccer) appeals to me so much is that it is, by a mile, the sport which most reflects actual warfare: the game is very morale-based, with collective psychological ebbs and flows, which are simply not present in the same way in competing sports. The matches are two armies, constantly in various altering states of aggression and retreat-- confidence, and insecurity.

Unskilled Sophist

If I taught a university course on rhetoric and sophistry, I would use this video as a case study for my students. Not only is it rhetoric-in-the-extreme, but she isn't very good at it-- which makes breaking down the tools transparent and easy.

She begins by saying, "Yes, the Constitution is valid, except when there is an emergency-- and I've just declared one." Of course, this is simply a basic logic fallacy: "I made a contract with you, and it's valid until I say it isn't." Of course, that means it isn't a contract at all. She then changes gears to-- what else-- a hilariously transparent, non-argument emotional appeal-- saying something about an eleven year-old, and "parents who have lost all of these children".

After that, she invokes the wording "have a debate"-- even though she is unilaterally invoking what are objectively dictatorial powers, which she invented out of thin air ("contract is valid until I say it's not"). In her next sentence, she throws "safety" into the mix, which is a magical, meaning-loaded, single-word rhetorical tool in and of itself in today's world.

Her very next series of statements involve a silly conflation of concepts: "I need to violate your rights because they have a right to be safe." This amounts to a word salad of negative rights, so-called "positive" rights, melded to her mystical ability to unilaterally suspend contracts. It's a bizarre twisting of concepts which brings to mind that age-old question: "Is she evil or stupid?" It would be fun to set aside ten minutes with her to untwist her thought pretzel, then see if she is amenable to correction.

Finally, as a sort of cherry on top, she invokes the classic non-argument "Well somebody needs to do something." Of course, "something" is as broad as is the universe: consuming cyanide is "doing something". It's a non-sequitur: it has no relation to the rest of her discourse. It would be like if I robbed a bank, then told the police "Well, I was low on cash." They would correctly reply, "What has that got to do with anything? You still can't rob a bank."

Finally, she's asked "Do you really think criminals are going to stop carrying guns for thirty days because you say so?" Her response: "No. But it 'sends a message'." Again, she's not just a sophist-- she's a very poor one. A skilled user of rhetoric can do so in a way where untrained listeners are unable to "make out" the sleight-of-word. But in this woman's case, what she's saying is patently silly to absolutely anyone who hears it.

I've had a lot of practice dispelling rhetoric: growing up, I would constantly lose debates with my father, even though I knew I was correct, and could logically prove it-- yet somehow, he would always wind up with the upper hand. I would often go to my mother: "I know I'm right, so how did I lose the argument?" It wasn't until I was in my twenties, reflecting back on specific examples of the phenomenon, that I was able to recognize the sophistry word-and-meaning twisting involved: my father was somewhat of a master! It was one of the most valuable skills he equipped me with when I was a child, even though it was of course done accidentally.

In my thirties I had various debates over the phone with him, and won every time-- because I had learned to recognize the tools, and could call him out right away before he could construct a logic pretzel platform via which to launch a cohesive attack on my ideas. To his credit, he never became frustrated with me for having pulled the rug out from him.

It's Artificial, That's For Sure

Remember this post, wherein I explained how LLMs are not "intelligent", and that they don't "lie" because they are just generating words? Here is an article with a superb explanation of precisely that. As always, bold emphasis is mine:

"Despite their remarkable performance, LLMs sometimes produce text that is semantically or syntactically plausible but is, in fact, factually incorrect or nonsensical (i.e., hallucinations). The models are optimized to generate the most statistically likely sequences of words with an injection of randomness. They are not designed to exercise any judgment on the veracity or feasibility of the output."

That's another way of explaining that these models don't "think": they are artificial, but not intelligent.

Watered Down

At the height of the Fentanyl Floyd madness, when Blackrock-owned corporations began buying molotov cocktails for black people to throw at police officers, meetings at my employer became filled with these idiotic "Inclusion Contact" segments. They were essentially Woke Prayer Sessions, where people could "courageously" parrot the accepted talking points. Someone I read regularly-- maybe it was Victor Davis Hanson, or Charles Hugh Smith?-- theorized that while artifacts of that period would continue to exist, they would eventually get the political aspects removed, and simply become variations of "be nice to each other".

Sure enough, maybe a year ago the "Inclusion Contact" nonsense at my workplace morphed from guilty white liberal women and effeminate men worshipping black people and child groomers into, "Here is a book on how to manage your time", or "Here is the history of Cinco de Mayo". In other words, largely unobjectionable milquetoast topics which seem to validate the aforementioned prediction. My hope is that the only parts of the Cultural Marxist "New Values Regime" which persist as we some day shift into a new First Turning are so watered down as to be merely generic arguments in favor of pluralism. Not that I'm a huge fan of "Pluralistic Democracies" these days-- but if something has to "stick", it's better this than a genocidal civil war against white people and Christians, or something along those lines.

In any event, I have a tough time deciding if this is another example of the "watering down" hypothesis, or if it's merely a re-branding of the existing Blackrock and WEF ESG "DIE" model. I have noticed that Klaus Schwab and Bill Gates have largely disappeared from media appearances-- so the pushback against them has caused some shift in their mentality. What is yet to be discovered is whether that "shift" is an actual retreat or attempt at compromise with the plebes, or whether it's merely them temporarily stepping back into the shadows to "lay low" until things cool down.

Starfield Fun

I'm really enjoying Starfield. It's the first game in almost uncountable years, where all I want to do is play it. None of the individual pieces are anything new, but the way in which the developers mixed the various elements makes the experience seem novel.

Last night I stole yet another ship. It was parked nearby on some random moon. I waltzed up to it. Even though it was owned by "good guys", the door was unlocked, so I meandered in. I wandered around, nobody in sight! I found the cockpit, sat in the seat... ok, the game says I can take off... ok, flew to the planet with the station, registered the ship... it's mine now! I guess I was on Planet California, where the stealing of space ships was decriminalized. Now I've got four ships in my fleet.

Also last night, I was in the process of making bases on the various planets, strategically positioned to harvest elements-- Aluminum, Uranium, Copper, and so forth-- in a way that the resources would all be automatically shunted to a central base, from where I could conveniently collect them. The game said I could make eight bases, and I had assumed that was just for that star system-- today I learned, that's for the whole game!

Apparently deep in the science tree you can up that limit all the way to twenty four-- but I have my character planned out, and I was not intending-- at least for this playthrough-- to make a scientist. Yet, given how much I'm enjoying the base building aspect of the title, I may need to re-think my character "build".

On the technical side, I had to abandon the DLSS mod I was using due to frequent crashes. That said, even just using FSR2, I used the "Alex from Digital Foundry" optimized settings to get framerates anywhere from sixty to ninety frames per second. When combined with my TV's G-Sync support, the game is running very smoothly. Bethesda has said that they are adding official DLSS support into the game-- I may been able to hit a stable one hundred and twenty frames per second with my current settings. They have also said that fixing the HDR implementation is a top priority.
Redfall and Starfield Mods - 09:35 CST, 9/09/23 (Sniper)
I've had Redfall capture material sitting on my gaming PC SSD for months, I finally got around to cleaning that up. You can read my review of the game here. I put up my usual montage-style video here. Click on any of the image links below to view the original-sized files.

Back to Starfield briefly: as a follow-up to my previous post, I installed this mod to get DLSS3 with frame generation working. Right now with every single graphical option set to the max, I'm getting 70-80 fps in every area. I got Windows 11 and my LG C3 working together via G-Sync, and between that and the high framerate the game feels very smooth.

More importantly, this mod helped clean up the game's poor contrast, at least a little. After trying them all, I settled on the "50%" version. It turns out that in addition to the game not having a native HDR implementation, every scene has an over-the-top brute-forced color filter drawn over the entire buffer, which was further washing out the image. Now with that mod installed, the Windows 11 "Auto HDR" feature is able to better flex its muscles.

I still think it's absurd that the game doesn't have DLSS and HDR support "out of the box", but it's at least past the "playable" threshold for me with these alterations. In any event, on to the Redfall screenshots:

Strange Times - 13:58 CST, 9/06/23 (Sniper)
While I was working yesterday, I happened to see it mentioned that "Starfield" was "unlocked" for everyone. Cool!

As soon as I was done working, I walked over to my PC, booted Windows 11, and launched the game from the "Xbox" app. A game window appeared, and said it was installing a ~117 GB update. "Holy Moses", I thought, "I already had the game installed, and it even had a ~13 GB update a day or two ago!" As the progress meter started moving, it said it was updating at ~477 MB per second. "Whew, it's just doing a one-time copy of some files already on disk, I guess."

Strange and annoying, but it is 2023 after all.

Maybe ten minutes later, the "update" was complete and the game launched. That's when the second odd thing occurred: the trademark Windows 11 "We've enabled Auto HDR for you" notification appeared. "Um, presumably 'Starfield' has a native HDR implementation, right? ... Right?!" Regardless, the menu system loaded, the backgrounds were pitch black, and the text was vibrant white. Naturally, I was greeted with an enormous "EULA"-- yes, in a single-player game-- but I'm desensitized to it by now, I suppose. It is 2023.

After signing away my 401k, I poked around the game's various settings briefly, and finally selected "New Game".

The opening scene rendered, and within three seconds I started laughing.

First, the very initial character I saw, two inches away, was a woman with a lesbian haircut. Once again, it's 2023-- so why not? You can never have enough dykes. I love strong empowered womyn with absolutely not abrasive personalities. I hope all the women in the game are lesbians with mental illness haircuts, that's my favorite kind of character design. Besides, lots of women typically work in mines, right? Totally not immersion destroying. But second, why the heck was the image so washed out? I walked back over to my laptop, and ran across videos like this one.

Imagine watching a movie with a night time scene on a CRT TV, with the brightness and contrast set to 100%: the whole scene would turn into a glowing, weird, gray, artifactey-looking mess. Or imagine buying "Sonic the Hedgehog" in 1991, plugging the cartridge into your Mega Drive, flipping the power switch, and realizing that the game was black and white due to a bug. That's how broken the graphics are in "Starfield".

They've been working on this game for how many years, and no one in their entire hundreds-of-people "studio" realized that the graphics were absolutely busted? How is that even possible? The odd part is, it's not apparent whether this is even a bug, or if it's intended behavior? Why do the menus display with great contrast? Do I really need to use mods to fix multi-billion dollar Bethesda's game, or can I count on them to release a patch to "fix" what they may not even see as an issue?

But it goes beyond that: over the past few days I'd skimmed through a good six or seven reviews of this game, plus watched the "Digital Foundry" coverage-- and no one deigned to mention that, oh I don't know, the game's graphics are absolutely broken out of the box and require mods to even be partially salvaged? How much money is Microsoft paying these people, and do they have any integrity whatsoever? Rhetorical question. So tonight, I'll dutifully install "ReShade" and see what I can do.

On an unrelated note, there is this to recover my mood.
Day Off - 09:04 CST, 9/04/23 (Sniper)
Nice to have a day off; "Labor Day", in the United States.

It's a shame speed limits exist. I had somewhere to be a couple of days ago. It was in the morning. I was staring down a seemingly endless highway, under perfect weather conditions, with clear visibility on the sides of the road, with not a single other car anywhere, as the rest of the world slept. Why can't I just go 120 mph and get where I'm going?

Speed limits were designed way back when cars had a fraction of the horsepower, maneuverability, and stopping power of cars today. Going 60 mph on a highway is crawling in a modern vehicle. Besides that, without speed limits people will still regulate their speed because they don't want to die-- they'll just use common sense. As for the one percent who will be reckless, they already ignore the speed limits.

Oh well.

I really enjoyed Kris Asick's commentary at the end of this video. I frequently feel bad for him: he's unemployable due to what I see as pretty severe Autism; he shares what is probably a tiny apartment with his father, who is also disabled as I understand it; and because of his vulnerability, he's adopted a hard case of Leftism, despite being a Gen X'er like me. His videos are great: no one else online like him, that I've ever found.

At the very beginning of this video, Vee talks about "Baldur's Gate 3". I'm interested in trying the game at some point, but a lot of the stuff he discusses would drive me crazy. Besides, I'd want to play at least part-way through the first two games, like I did prior to "Morrowind" coming out, prior to "Fallout 3" releasing, and on a few other occasions too. When I was 16, one of my fellow IT guys had the map from the just-released first title on his cube wall. I had recorded my boss's car in the also brand-new "Gran Turismo" on PSX, and he refused to watch it: "Nope! Too much video game stuff in the office already!", all because of that dude's map.

On another note, the message couldn't be any more clear here: cross the Establishment, and you're screwed. This particular dude was walking right past police officers, probably even chatting with them in a friendly way, and who made no attempt to stop him. Like the shaman guy, who was being escorted by the police and got in big trouble.

Finally, Lotito was trying to sign Manchester United exile Mason Greenwood at the very end of the mercato. People on various Lazio forums were objecting, not because of the player's potential character or what he may have done-- but rather because other people would say mean things on Twatter about the club. "That's the last thing we need, another reason for them to call us names!" That's the strength of the tribal instinct in most humans: getting ostracized is such a huge deal to them that they'll do almost anything to avoid it.
Integration Points - 17:12 CST, 9/01/23 (Sniper)
I'm sitting at the Toyota dealership getting my first free oil change and tire rotation for the 86. It's amazing how well Apple's products all integrate: I plugged the iPhone 14 Pro Max into the car, was following CarPlay's "satnav" the way here, while listening to some "Galneryus" via Apple Music. I got here, opened up the M2 MacBook Air, and it asked me if I wanted to connect to my phone's 5G connection-- within two seconds of that, I was online.

I'm not enamored with Apple as a corporation-- they are woke and evil like the rest of them. But between them, Google, and Microsoft, they are the "cleanest dirty shirt" by some margin. And I'm ok with living in a pseudo-walled garden, provided things work. I never run into bugs with Apple's software, it all "just works", it stays out of my way and lets me work, and their hardware is absolutely top notch.

About the drive here itself: the best route to get from my home to this dealership takes me through some absolutely zany country roads. In track mode especially, the 86 is a sensational car on those kinds of commutes, where the relative lack of power isn't as relevant, because you can keep the momentum up between the turns. In "The Need for Speed" fashion, I've concluded that with the stock tires, 110 mph is at the "95% of limits" threshold for the typical arcing country bend: the car is very communicative, and I could tell that even another 5 mph would break the rear loose.

Artificial "Intelligence"

This video was kind of annoying to watch. It's not that I fault people for not understanding how these "Large Language Models", or "LLMs", work-- not everyone is a computer scientist, and as a software developer even I don't know all of the intricacies. But all the same, the aforelinked video is generating a lot of alarmism, and I think I can assuage at least some of those fears.

Imagine this: you show the computer the text "Roses are red, violets are blue." Then you prompt it: "Roses are red...", to which it replies, "violets are blue." It's not that the computer program has a brain, or is "thinking". It has no "intelligence". Applying the term "AI" to these LLMs is a total misnomer; all the program is doing is taking text you feed it, and extrapolating.

Companies like "OpenAI"-- another misnomer, as nothing their company does is "open"-- don't just feed that one, simple poem into the program: they shovel all of the text on the whole internet into it, and then some. But the principle is the same: if you ask the program to create a short horror story, all it's doing is replying with the equivalent of "...violets are blue". "Which words are associated with horror stories", and the program generates paragraphs with the associated words and notions.

It's not "smart", it's not "creative", it's not "thinking"-- in fact, it's very basic and dumb. It's just taking text inputs and replying with text outputs. Input, output.

People have asked, "Why does ChatGPT 'make things up'". The answer is that it doesn't! A co-worker asked it for a waffle recipe, and it said you should add a waffle iron as one of the ingredients. ChatGPT and its ilk don't "know" what a recipe is, they don't "know" what an ingredient is-- they just see that the text "waffle iron" is frequently associated with the word "waffle", or the words "making waffles", so they throw "waffle iron" into the response.

People have also asked, "Why can't ChatGPT do math very well?" Again, these LLMs are dumb: they just produce text. They have no idea what a "number" is, or what "math" is. They don't have brains; they have the IQ of a goldfish-- less than that, even. So when you feed them a math problem, they're just looking at what words are associated with the number words you feed them. Sometimes by chance that will produce a sentence with the correct math answer-- most of the times it doesn't, just like one would expect given how the software works.

"AI" developers are currently mitigating limitations like this by adding "plugins", such as calculators-- so when the LLM gets what looks like a math problem, it can feed the equation into the math sub-routine-- another dumb program-- and proxy back the output. But that's not "intelligence" either! You wouldn't call Excel "AI" because you can put a formula into the cell, hit enter, and get the answer.

In the hacked "Matrix Awakening" demo video linked above, when the guy asks one of the NPCs "Are you a demon?", ChatGPT is scouring its terabytes of text, and is merely echoing back answers it's found in fiction works and elsewhere, where that question has been asked. When the person poses to the NPC, "What would you do if I could get you out of the simulation?"-- once again-- ChatGPT is scouring databases of science fiction text and everything else, and is extrapolating response text in the form of a sentence.

What it isn't doing is "thinking"-- like the Tin Man, it doesn't have a brain! It has no concept of anything! It's just a dumb computer program which generates natural language. That's it.

Eventually, maybe humans will be able to make a fully-"neural net" computer program like the character "Data" from "Star Trek: The Next Generation"-- who knows. That concept, by the way, is called "General Intelligence". But ChatGPT and other similar systems do not function that way: they are as far from "General Intelligence" as your kitchen toaster. When you ask it if it can be "possessed by a demon", it's not "answering" you-- it's just generating text!

Late-Stage "Capitalism"

As I've pointed out before, in my job I raise the share price of a multi-billion dollar corporation by a tiny, hardly even measurable fraction of a fraction of one percent-- but for that infinitesimal gain, they are willing to pay me and my coworkers multiples of the median income in the country. We're so deep into the "squeezing the financialization lemon"-- "late-stage Capitalism", if you will-- that it's beyond absurd.

Sticking to the "AI" subject then, take a look at this article. Any pretense of these corporations or power brokers caring about their fellow man is right out the window by now: they are willing to replace the livlihoods of actual human beings with these pieces of software, so that instead of keeping on Sniper, who raises the share price by .00001 percent, they can replace him with an "AI" which will raise the share price by .000011 percent! The lemon is so dry now, that it can only be further squeezed by tossing millions of people out of their jobs.

I also noticed that Sony has drastically increased the cost of all three tiers of their "PS Plus" service. This seems really tone deaf, as drug epidemics rip through the world, and people are increasingly unable to buy food. Maybe the electric bill on their server farm went up, and they need to pass on the costs-- who knows. But I wouldn't be surprised if their customers said, "Screw it, I'll just play games on my PC where the 'online' bit is free."


Here are a few assorted crappy things going on in the world today. First, there is this video which confirms that, yes indeed, the government is spraying junk into the atmosphere, and has been for decades. "Junk" which, incidentally, causes cancer in humans.

Then you've got this situation brewing. First the Cultural Marxists took over the elementary and high schools-- now they've captured the law schools. Can you imagine in a few years, once these people are fully-barred lawyers, trying to get a fair trial in America? These people are taught that you absolutely must take the race and sex of the perpetrator and victim into account. So much for Common Law, and equality under the law! And I'm not being theatrical about the subject: this will have a very real, disastrous impact on real human beings you know and love, if not even yourself!

Also in the United States, the cities are turning into London, with cameras everywhere.

And speaking of cameras, VAR is so great in the world of football, that stadia aren't allowed to show replays of "controversial" match events! They say transparency is the best disinfectant-- what does it tell you about the effectiveness of VAR, when they have to hide the incidents from the spectators? In the case of this specific match, Ciro was shoved down and Zaccagni had his ankle demolished, both incidents having taken place in the area-- no penalty either time. I thought VAR, in exchange for slowing the game down and turning every incident into a circus, was supposed to "lead to the right decisions"? What exactly did we gain from this trade-off we've made?

Another crappy thing going on is that the EU is trying to censor the entire internet. Post the WuFlu IFR rate straight from the CDC web site? Why, that's medical "misinformation" you insidious jerk! You trying to get grandma killed?? Say that women don't have penises-- straight to the penal colony with you, bigot! Andrew Torba has been getting a lot of these European "you must take this posted content down" requests, and he tells them to shove their requests up their arses. But not a single one of these other tech companies have Torba's backbone holding them up.

The final point for now in this litany of bad news: if the mandated kill switch wasn't enough to get you to buy a "new car of forever" prior to 2026, how about this nonsense? Look, I get that this woman is grief stricken, and I'm sorry for her loss. I would be devastated if this happened to either of my kids. But this is "my child got struck by lightning and died, therefore we need to ban all human beings from going outside" territory. Bad things happen in the world: that doesn't give you the moral latitude to then foist your insecurities on the rest of us.
Assertive - 12:13 CST, 8/27/23 (Sniper)
I like people who are blunt, and just say what's on their mind. Today before Mass, an unscheduled Server showed up. There were only a few minutes until Mass was set to begin, so I told him to "robe up", since the second scheduled Server hadn't yet arrived. The first scheduled Server-- a high school-aged girl, who was already robed and ready for "go time"-- matter-of-factly called me out: "This is the second time you've gone against the schedule." She was irate, and I appreciated that she told me so.

And indeed she was correct: we had three Servers appear one time, and I sent away the nearly eighteen year-old scheduled guy, who had shown up very late indeed, deciding to prioritize giving the younger and very eager unscheduled fellow-- who had gotten there early and was ready to rock and roll-- more experience and confidence. The girl had been annoyed by that decision even after my explanation, and made her opposition vocal at the time-- but the older Server agreed with me, and very cordially confirmed my plan: "Cool idea-- I'm off the hook this weekend, thanks!"

This, in contrast to people who don't say what's on their minds. Their frustration is still there, but instead it manifests in dysfunctional ways-- like cold shoulders, snarky comments, deliberate undermining, badmouthing to other people, and so forth.

In a way though I understand why people become passive-aggressive: some other people would have taken offense to the girl calling them out-- after all, I'm easily old enough to be her father, and I could see some others reacting with, "Who is this upstart to tell me what to do?" Whereas in my view, I treat feedback from young people as equal to that of adults: feedback worthy of evaluation on its own merits, regardless of source. And the young people always rise to the occasion, having been shown respect. You'd be surprised at what even very young children are capable of.

Alas, I've never understood why people are so sensitive to the words of others. The girl was forthright, firm, assertive, and respectful all-in-one-- the perfect combination. I wish everyone was like that.

Velocity of EBT

If too much of a currency is chasing too few goods, price inflation will occur. This is obvious to me in terms of fiat currencies, gold, and so forth. What I had never considered is that EBT cards could be the cause of rising prices, as appears to be happening! It makes sense, I just hadn't ever contemplated the notion before.

In another moment of modern-day reflection, it's dystopian how people sitting in stadia watching a ball game wind up getting shot, because in places like Chicago there as so many stray bullets that it's dangerous to just be! In my old Murderapolis neighborhood, there were two drive-bys right on my block. A friend of mine from work owned a few different Murderapolis homes, which he variously rented out, and would sometimes find bullet holes in the walls, lodged into his stereo, and so on.

Even if I Ask, the Sparrow!

This had me absolutely busting a gut last night, I must have watched it ten times in a row. I've always really liked Neil, I've been watching his channel for years. If I ever wind up in England for anything, I will go out of my way to visit and tell him in person how much I appreciate his work.

In other gaming news, I backed this game on Kickstarter quite some time ago, and it's looking good overall so far. I'm not a huge fan of the music, which seems totally forgettable. I also don't get why pixel art games have to be so self-aware and ironic-- the "bag opening" animation is so hipsterish and inauthentic it makes me physically cringe. But quibbles aside, having a multiplayer, "Hi-Bit" Elder Scroll-style game was so enticing, that I bought the "two copies" tier just so I could play it with my wife when it eventually comes out.

In any event, an hour and a half until Lazio-Genoa, and I still need to hop on the exercise bike.
Honest or Not - 14:16 CST, 8/25/23 (Sniper)
I'm always looking for interesting people, and recently ran across this guy. I think he's full of it. For starters, he talks a lot about "pedos should be hung"-- ok, sure-- when he himself is a convicted child molester. He also posted this video, where he tells "holocaust deniers" to "get the eff off of his channel"-- "I knew a guy who had the numbers tattooed on his arm!", which is of course a straw man: absolutely no one on the planet disputes that Nazi camps tattooed the numbers on the prisoners' arms.

In any event, the rest of the contents of that video is from another video, where this "Scientology" group in Germany is "exposing" how the Nazi psychiatrists were apparently mass-murdering people in mental hospitals. They point to the testimony of a woman named "Elvira Manthey", who allegedly "saw the gas chambers" at one of the camps. I found this testimony from her, and like all "holocaust survivor" interviews I've read or seen, it is inconclusive.

She was a terrified eight year-old girl who had just been torn away from her parents, and put into a tiny room in a mental ward with other also-terrified children, surrounded by strange adults who did not treat the children very nicely. She claims to have seen a man she called "the undertaker" hauling out bodies of dead kids, at the mental hospital-- ok, maybe that did happen? I do know that the modern field of psychiatry is largely quackery, and that they demonstrably did nutty things like lobotomies to people right here in the USA, in the 20th century.

Then, she says, she was transported by bus to a different location. A line of kids were told to strip off their clothes, after which their bodies were examined. Some of the kids were scrutinized and told to go into an "iron door"-- "the gas chamber" as she describes it-- while others, such as herself, were told to put their clothes back on, and go into an adjoing room.

The woman clearly isn't lying, as she gets emotional during her testimony in what looks like a very authentic way, to me at least. But like all "holocaust survivor" testimony, it leaves me with questions: how does an eight year-old know what a "gas chamber" is? I sure as heck didn't at that age. How does she even know what was on the other side of the door? It could have led absolutely anywhere-- to another room, to a shower, to the basement, who knows!

Maybe she's absolutely right, and it was a "gas chamber". But even more likely to me, given other evidence, is that this is an example of the power of suggestivity: years after the event, someone probably told her "Hey, did you know the Nazis had gas chambers?", and she thought "Oh, of course!" It's really easy to superimpose new information onto childhood memories, in a way that you can fool yourself into a false perception about the past.

The official Nazi story-- and there is a lot of evidence to suggest it's true-- is that they had huge masses of people, including the actual guards, dying from diseases carried by head lice. So, they would strip the prisoners, inspect them, then send some of them to showers where they would get their heads shaved, while their clothes went into delousing chambers. Seeing as how this particular girl came from a mental institution and not another prison camp, or wasn't a road-borne refugee, they deemed her "clean" and let her move on.

Eyewitness testimony isn't taken as a holy grail in criminal trials: you can literally have two people see the same event, in person, standing right next to each other, and get two contradictory stories about what happened-- people filter their perceptions through their lived experiences, their expectations, and so forth. It's why when you put a mask of a human face onto a rotating rod, the brain turns the concave side of it convex-- the brain literally lies to the individual!-- because the mind says, "it's a human face, therefore it must be convex". The person will swear up and down, and pass a polygraph test, saying that the mask was convex on both sides, even though this is incorrect.

I think most of these "holocaust survivors" are absolutely and authentically convinced that the "holocaust" did happen. You can be telling the truth, and be wrong, at the same time: the two aren't mutually exclusive.

As I've always said, maybe it really did happen, I wasn't there! And I have no problem accepting that people do terrible things: history is replete with provable genocides. But in the case of "the holocaust" specifically, the explanations and "supporting evidence" just don't add up when I look at them, as compared to the alternative explanations, which make a lot more sense and seem to be better supported.

Future Xbox Hardware

Lots of people, myself included, have been expecting that the Xbox "Series" consoles will be the final generation of conventional Xbox hardware. But this interview with Phil Spencer, published two days ago, makes me think those conclusions were too hasty (bold emphasis is mine):

"We have a hardware team. We love our hardware team. We're investing in hardware. We're investing in future hardware. So you're gonna continue to see hardware coming from Xbox. We think that's important, and we love the console experience. We're not running away from that. I just - when you ask about Gen 10 I can say yes, but also at a higher level commentary, I'm wondering if this notion of step function is just going to hold in the console or is it going to be more continuous."

Apparently to Phil Spencer, there is no question about whether or not they will release future console hardware-- the only point of contention for him is semantic: should we still refer to the hardware in terms of "generations"?

Game Hint Book

My brother has been playing "The Need for Speed" on 3DO quite a bit, trying to get definitive times for the various cars and courses. To help him out, I took a picture of the two pages of NFS cheats from my copy of this book. He sent me back a question, with an accompanying zoomed in emphasis on the typeface bullets used: "Who wrote this book??"

He hilariously suggested that maybe the original title for the book was "Mein Game Secrets".
Crazy to Crazy? - 19:00 CST, 8/22/23 (Sniper)
My crazy week and subsequent weekend are complete! I actually meant to post yesterday, but it took me a day to get over the sunburn and cumulatively exhausted social energy. My son's project wound up winning the "runners up" status for the State Fair, in case the first-place winner couldn't go. Click for a larger version:

I also saw a kid in the judging line with this project, which I thought was so cool that I had to snap a picture; yes, that is in fact a Famicom made out of Legos! Once again, click for a larger version:

WuFlu Redux

Like clockwork, the Establishment wants unlimited mail-in ballots again-- so of course they are trying to resuscitate the WuFlu, coincidentally just in time for another election year. The rumors of an imminent revival of medical totalitarianism, as chronicled here, started with Alex Jones as so many things do. And naturally, he was correct once again as leaks from other alphabet soup agencies, universities, and elsewhere began to emerge over the following couple of days.

As before, I will one hundred percent refuse to comply: I didn't put on a Wuflu Burqa even once during the first scamdemic, and I won't do it this time either. And this time I live in a community where most people will also not obey! I won't be isolated again. After all, the Wuflu was part of the reason I fled Murderapolis in the first place: my reasoning was that if those urban city dwellers could be so easily snookered once, what was to stop them from going full retard again?

Remember: a critical mass of them wanted me to lose my job, my children, my bank account, be forbidden from leaving my home, be forcefully injected with an experimental cocktail against my wishes, while some of them even proposed I should be forcefully taken from my home at gun-point and be held in a barbed-wire FEMA camp. To say I don't trust people from the Twin Cities, or modern Democrats-at-large, is an understatement, and there isn't a day which goes by where I'm not relieved to have put some meaningful distance between myself and them.

The only thing which could pose somewhat of a dilemma for me where I reside now is if the Bishop of my diocese decides to put in a face diaper mandate for Mass, like his predecessor did. He was at my parish this past weekend and gave the homily: oh dear, how he admired the great Pope Francis! And climate change is such a huge threat, oh dear! His demeanor was also as artificial as a three dollar bill. During the last mandate, my parish's priest was a hero and refused to enforce it: "Jesus never would have turned anyone away." But he has since retired, and I have no clue regarding the stance of the new priest.

But if this worst-case scenario did emerge, I'd simply stop going to Mass. And it wouldn't just be me: they'd lose half the parish, and be forced to renege. As a Catholic, I take my weekly obligation very seriously-- but I obviously also believe that non-Catholic Christians, who of course don't go to Catholic Mass, go to heaven! Hopefully things won't come to that, but if they do I have already made up my mind on how to resolve the uncomfortable conflict. God knows what is in my heart.

Lazio at the Weekend

A couple of things struck me. First, big thumbs up for Daichi Kamada: being a brand new player for us, I watched every single off-the-ball movement and on-the-ball touch he had the whole time he was on the pitch, and I think my hypothesis about him from my previous post is going to be absolutely true.

Kamada is not in top physical condition at the moment: he clearly wasn't playing full-speed, and was taken off around the 52nd minute mark. But other than missing a trademark "Sarriball layoff" in the opening thirty seconds and playing a poor airborne pass at one juncture, he hardly put a foot wrong. In the flow of the game, he was making all of the right "mezzala" movements: he made himself available for lateral and backwards passes at just the right moments, and then would spring forward and find gaps in more advanced areas. More impressively, he repeatedly made darting runs into the area, in a way that reminded me a lot of Marco Parolo or, more recently, Milinkovic-Savic.

So far, so good with Kamada! Isaksen was more of a mixed bag: he seemed to grasp defensive duty, and was-- annoyingly for the Lecce defense, I'm sure-- constantly making himself available off the last man for balls aimed near the corner flag. But the couple of times he was sprung, he made rather a meal of it trying to dribble his opponent, or play a meaningful ball into the area. Maybe he was just nervous and trying too hard, which would be perfectly understandable. Personally, I would have rather had Jesper Karlsson, who I now read is perhaps going to Bologna-- but Isaksen is a few years younger, and arguably has a higher ceiling if he can develop. We'll see.

My final observation is that every time something goes wrong this season, such as this opening-day loss, the lazy-ass punditry is going to blame it on Sergej having left-- they are already doing this, in spite of the fact the equivalent match last season played out almost identically, with Sergej! Beyond that, Sergej wasn't some kind of irreplaceable football god: in fact, the recurring and demonstrably justifiable criticism of him was how inconsistent he was not just across the course of a season, but how he would totally disappear for long stretches within individual matches!

I'm not saying that Sergej leaving isn't a loss-- but lazy "journalists" are going to use him as an automatic thesis generator the entire season, for anything that befalls us, and it's going to get really old.

Assorted Items

Here is Mish Shedlock with a superb break-down of the issues with "EeeVees"-- and they are legion. I quite enjoyed this take-down of "Linus Tech Tips"; I've never been able to stand that guy's soy-infused breath and cuckface thumbnails, and his employees all look like they have mange-- I wouldn't trust them with mowing my lawn, much less providing me with benchmark results. Here is yet another proof that in the Establishment's dictionary, the word "Democracy" doesn't mean what it does to the plebes. Finally, I saw that Microsoft instituted a points-based punishment system for "Xbox Live", and on their scale saying the definition of the word "woman" is punishable by three times more points than cheating.
New Mezzala - 12:36 CST, 8/13/23 (Sniper)
Inspired by this thread, I pulled open the 'Wharf database and ran a quick SQL statement for my highest-scored "current-gen" games-- here are the results. I "one-upped" the thread and pulled the top ten records, versus only five:

  1. Fuze - (Switch)
  2. Microsoft Flight Simulator - (Windows)
  3. Demon's Tilt - (Switch)
  4. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 - (Switch)
  5. Dragon Quest XI - (Switch)
  6. Killer Queen Black - (Switch)
  7. Ion Fury - (Switch)
  8. Yakuza: Like a Dragon - (Xbox Series X)
  9. Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart - (PlayStation 5)
  10. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - (Switch)

I had a number of games internally scored as "9.25", so I had to make some spot-judgement calls for the final two items on the list. I also excluded collections and remakes. For example, I'd given the "Quake" Switch port a 9.5, but didn't include it since it wasn't an original game. Beyond that, I realize most of these games also existed on "previous gen" machines-- but there aren't even enough "current gen"-only games to even compile a list like the above.

Nuclear Option

Remember when I wrote here about the fact that there are two options available as we rapidly approach the end of this Fourth Turning?

To quickly re-summarize: the first option is that a compromise figure like an RFK Jr. comes into play and gives the whole "liberal democratic pluralism" model, where no one shares heritage or really likes one another but there is just enough institutional glue such as Common Law-based courts to hold things together, a breath of fresh air and it limps along a little further; the second option is that a Franco-like dictator figure comes to power, throws out the old order by force, and institutes a new values regime-- probably a predominantly white Christian ethnostate.

Option two is the "nuclear" approach, and I view it as something which should be a reluctantly employed as a literal last resort-- anything done there, should it fail, will be turned against the other side. Unfortunately, I think we've already exhausted all other options, and "the only way out is through". But it's a choice I take with a heavy heart. Not Vincent James however! Where I find the idea sobering and am not quite positive on how to proceed, James by contrast has already made up his mind, and is all-in!

Daichi Kamada

The most intriguing signing Lazio have made this mercato is that of Daichi Kamada. You can see from his "Who Scored" history page that for many consecutive seasons he has hovered close to the "7" mark according to their algorithm. For the record, these scores are lower than what Sergej routinely racked up with us-- but in some ways I think Kamada might be an upgrade, given the style of football Sarri employs.

What made Sergej unique was his 6'4" frame and according strength-- a body type veritably unheard of for a midfield player. The flip-side is that in spite of his incredible nearly-12-kilometer-per-game work rate, he was a tall leggy kind of runner, who simply couldn't turn his hips and be as "rangey" as competing players at the position. I've heard on several occasions that his lack of mobility is why English Premier League clubs didn't take a roll on him. While he looked very natural in Inzaghi's 3-5-2, it took him a long time to adapt to the huge radius he had to cover in Sarri's 4-3-3. He was quite open in interviews that he infinitely preferred Inzaghi's system to Sarri's, from a personal standpoint.

Kamada is a different kind of player altogether. At 6'0", he has a solid frame and physique-- but he's a much "rangier" kind of player, who looks right at home covering large swathes of territory. Watch him play for a bit, and it's really easy to see him slotting right into "Sarriball's" mezzala role from day one. I wouldn't be surprised if his "Who Scored" ratings take a leap over the "7" threshold this season in the 4-3-3, because-- like Sergej-- Kamada naturally enjoys making late far-post runs, which is something Sarri himself very much encourages.

Kamada is also quite versatile. In Japan's four "World Cup Finals" matches, he played on the right-hand side of midfield, on the left flank, and in the hole twice, respectively. It's really easy to see him getting amongst the goals with Lazio this year, given how comfortable he is moving into and working in advanced areas.
Evo 2023 - 15:42 CST, 8/11/23 (Sniper)
I really enjoyed this, it was spectacular! I've been playing "Street Fighter 6" a lot myself lately-- you can read my review here-- so the mechanics are fresh in my mind. Given that, it was easy for me to both understand what the players were doing, and also appreciate the positively world class levels of performance. The title has some peripheral issues-- that poor band, having to do live performances of that dreadful "music" during the tournament!-- but the core game engine is a beauty, and really shines in the hands of top-level players like these.

I was particularly impressed with Mena, and how he handled pressure. The guy played a zillion rounds up through the top six loser's bracket, and came back over and over again from "match point" situations. Between games, he'd calmly pull out his phone, swipe through a few notes, then pick a character. To be able to switch characters mid-competition and be elite with more than one was very impressive. But alas, I could tell he started to get fatigued at the end of the grand final: it was like watching an unlikely sports team making a miracle run through the playoffs-- they almost are never able to fully close the deal.

Busy Schedule

This weekend I'm helping my son finish up his space 4H project. I'll post some pictures once we're done affixing everything to the board itself. Then over the next several days I have to mow my entire property, plus do all of the weed trimming for the church cemetary, all in preparation for this next weekend: we're having this massive outdoor Mass where we're expecting a thousand people. That same weekend the kiddos are having a bunch of friends up from the Twin Cities-- simultaneously, we're probably taking on a sixth cat, in the form of a stray kitten a co-worker took home but can't keep due to allergies. If we do take it, we're going to name if "Neferpitou", after the "Hunter x Hunter" chimera ant.

Lazio This Season

This could wind up being Lazio's "final form" for this season, if the current negotiations all play out as intended. It's a solid team: two decent options at every position, provided we can sell Basic plus Marcos Antonio and get one more good midfield player.

FW: Zaccagni / Pedro -- Ciro / Taty Castellanos -- Anderson / Gustav Isaksen

MF: Alberto / ? -- Cataldi / Nicolo Rovella -- Daichi Kamada / Vecino

DF: Hysaj / Pellegrini -- Romagnoli / Patric -- Casale / Gila -- Marusic / Lazzari

GK: Provedel / Lloris
Not Yet Anyway - 18:02 CST, 8/04/23 (Sniper)
Every day that I tell myself "I'm giving my muscles a day off to relax", I inevitably find myself doing my full weight routine anyway. It's an irresistible siren song! I put on some "Galneryus", and off I go.

Remember years ago, when Lauren Southern did that South Africa documentary, and she interviewed that government dude? "Oh, no no no no, we're not calling for the confiscation of property, no no no. That would be illegal! We would neeeever do anything illegal! No no no no, we follow all of the laws! Buuuut... if we were to make new laws requiring the confiscation of property, we would of course need to follow those laws!"

This clip is from the exact same vein, except even more hilarious-- it's out of a "Saturday Night Live" skit or something! "Crybabies!! Crybabies! I'm not calling for the killing of white people! I'm not! ... not yet anyway!" I'm dying from laughter, how can this even be real?

On to more social commentary, this is brilliant from Vee. Every person I follow has "their thing", and for the past four or five years, Vee has been my "go to" guy for Cultural Marxism, and understanding the Leftist religion. What I think prompted this explanation on his part was his purchase of "Baldur's Gate 3"-- which looks like a total cluster, incidentally-- and specifically the character creator within that game.

I took some time today to hook my PC up to the new LG C3. Of course being PC, I had to try three different HDMI cables, and I had to drag an old 1080p monitor out just to flip settings, before I could get the TV to recognize the signal-- versus my PS5, which I plugged in and it instantly worked perfectly. But once I did get the signal going and was able to set the Nvidia settings to 10-bit color, with HDR enabled, and set to 120 Hz, things looked impressive.

In 2016 I went from a 2006-vintage rear-projection SXRD set, to a 4K HDR TV. That upgrade was stratospheric. Going from that TV to this new OLED is nowhere near that kind of a leap-- it's diminishing returns, for sure. The improvements:

  • Better colors: They "pop" more on this TV than my last one.
  • Better uniformity: Being a backlit LED LCD panel, you could see the "FALD" zones on my previous TV. With OLED each pixel emits its own light, so the consistency is 100% across the entire panel.
  • Superior motion clarity: It's still nowhere near my CRT, but my old TV was a smeary mess when you would rotate the camera in a game. This TV is a big upgrade.

Everything else is more or less the same. This new TV is brighter when maxed out, but the old one also hurt my eyes when I'd crank it way up, so I have them both turned down from maximum anyway. Both TVs produce wonderful contrast. The 4K resolution on both is pristine. When watching anime, my daughter said she couldn't even tell it was a new TV. There is no question the new TV is superior, but again, it's very much into diminishing returns territory.

I did play "PrBoom+ RT" at 120 fps, and there again it is diminishing returns. I could tell the game was a little silkier, but not anything I'd probably notice if it wasn't pointed out to me. It is funny moving the mouse cursor on the desktop at 120 Hz though, it looks strange moving that smoothly.
PSX Changed Everything? - 12:14 CST, 8/04/23 (Sniper)
Lots of good footage here. Interesting how the marketing was geared towards seventeen year-olds: I was fourteen when the PlayStation came out in 1995, and I remember the advertising appealing to me and my friends as we progressed into and through high school. I bought a PSX very early in 1997 at Funcoland with a copy of "Crash Bandicoot", by trading in the terrible N64 I had gotten for that Christmas. The 3DO was dead on the market so I wanted something new, and the N64 was really not doing it for me.

I'd flip through the reviews in the game magazines, and it was page after page after page of PSX reviews, a couple of Saturn titles, and nothing on the N64. It was obvious even by then that the Saturn and N64 were both "DOA".

I was actually skeptical of the PSX the first time I'd heard of it. I recall playing "Street Fighter Alpha" with a kid at an arcade who was really pumped for the PlayStation, and I just didn't "get it". I figured it'd be another Philips CD-i, and that the Saturn would become the dominant system. But in the end it wound up being a really iconic platform for me. The aforementioned "Crash Bandicoot", "Ape Escape", "Xenogears", "Final Fantasy VII", "Brave Fencer Musashi", "Bushido Blade", the two "Gran Turismo" titles, the three "Tekken" games, "Parappa the Rappa", "Croc", and "Street Fighter Alpha 3" are the tip of the iceberg of games I have very vivid memories of during my high school years.

I bought a Dreamcast at launch on 9/9/99 and relegated my PSX to a bookshelf. Looking back on it, the sheer number of extremely innovative and important games I played on the PSX in just two-and-a-half-years is pretty astonishing.

Back to the video then, it's interesting and sad to see how Cultural Marxism was afoot even from 1996-and-on: "Tomb Raider"-- rubbish game, by the by-- was important because of its "strong female lead", while there are lots of Tyrones in the PlayStation 2 advertisements they show. Speaking of PlayStation 2, I've now reviewed four of its launch titles. It's a platform I completely skipped back in the day, as I went from the Dreamcast to the Xbox in 2001. I like the PS2 so far-- very solid-if-unspectacular hardware. It feels like a faster Dreamcast, or maybe a "PSX with better 3D".

Of course, the PS2 really signals when gaming went down the tubes. They even discuss it at the end of the video: the big shift to "cinematic games", where "we're making a movie within the game!", and how they went from the "anything goes creativity" of the PSX, to exclusively "action adventure cinematic" games during the PS2 era. Speaking of which, scroll down to the purple "2023 Year-to-Date" table to see the state of contemporary gaming-- it's a pretty mediocre list: half of them are "cinematic" titles, there are a few very average sports games in there, and so forth. I've been having fun with "Street Fighter 6", but overall I can "take it or leave it" with the rest of the releases.

My wife just brought up PC-- "Isn't that the place to be these days?" Here is the reply I sent her, on Discord:

"On the hardware side for sure! The PlayStation 5 is a dog compared to the PC I just built: my new PC is probably double the power, and that's before you factor in DLSS 2, much less DLSS 3 with frame generation!

But I'm not very enthusiastic for the PC as a platform these days, unfortunately. First, the uniqueness it had from 1982 to maybe 2014 is long gone: all of the games are just ports of console titles. Second, modern games run like garbage on PC: constant micro-stuttering, VRAM memory leaks, crashes every ten minutes, and so forth. Third, Windows 11 is basically spyware, and Microsoft has made all of the 'next gen' DX12 Ultimate features exclusive to it.

I'll always love the PC, but this is not a good era for it."

This also reminds me, I still owe everyone my impressions of the "LG C3" I bought maybe a week ago! I still need to fire up the PC and play with the greater-than-60Hz-stuff, expect a post about it in the near future.
Smoothing Out - 14:31 CST, 7/25/23 (Sniper)
Maybe a week ago, I listened to Tucker Carlson's interview of Andrew Tate. I get why the guy is loved and reviled in equal measure. At one point in the discussion he talked about all of the energy men spend on sitting around feeling sorry for themselves. Paraphrasing, but not by much: "If they spent a tiny fraction of that effort and, let's say, went to the gym instead, can you imagine how much different their lives would be?"

He went on in great detail, not mincing words. The discourse really stung, because it struck close to home. He didn't sugar coat it: he essentially called me a pussy, and smacked me in the face. And that was exactly the message I needed to hear: for the first time in my life, I've started seriously lifting weights, and have been putting in a ton of time on the exercise bike as well.

He went on to say that he doesn't believe in "having depression". "I believe you can have depressed thoughts: but those pass; thoughts are temporary. When I have low thoughts, I just say to myself 'Ok, fine, I'll have different thoughts next. I might be down today, but I won't be tomorrow.'" Hearing this completely changed my outlook, and my motivation has been through the roof.

He relayed a story of a young man who once contacted him: "I want to kill myself." Andrew Tate responded with, "Go get a six pack first. After that, do whatever you want." He then asked rhetorically: "Do you think the guy still wanted to kill himself?" And therein lies the story of Andrew Tate: the people who love him, love him because he tells you the truth; the people who hate him, hate him because he tells them the truth. It's all up the recipient how they are going to receive the message, and what they are going to do with it.

In other news, for the second time in eighteen months the main board in my 2016 Vizio P50-C1 went bad. My suspicion is that some other part of the system is malfunctioning, and that I could keep replacing main boards until the cows come home, only to have them repeatedly get destroyed.

In light of that, I finally ponied up for a new TV, which should arrive tomorrow: a 48" LG C3. I gave some serious consideration to the Samsung S90C, which is definitely superior-- but in these early doors, QD-OLED is having substantial burn-in issues, to the point where Samsung is last-ditch, covertly deploying firmware updates to gimp the maximum brightness. That is not a good look.

Besides all of that, the C3 is going to be such a stratospheric upgrade for me already, that I'm sure to be thrilled with it. The biggest thing I'm looking forward to, beyond improved contrast and colors, is superior motion persistence: I can't "unsee" the muddy mess you get on LED LCDs when you rotate the camera in a game. I'm also going to have fun with 120 Hz and VRR.

Finally, my used copy of "Street Fighter 6" came in the other day, and I can't stop playing it. It reminds me of when I got "Alpha 3" on the PSX in 1999. The demo of this latest release really rubbed me the wrong way-- but the full game has so much going for it, that it's a rare modern video game which has really grabbed me. Interestingly, I've never been remotely interested in playing fighters online-- but that's all I do in this title: the game mode with the arcade cabinets is such a cool idea, that it got me "hooked" on playing human opponents.

There is this character named "JP". He's right up my alley in terms of personality: he's geared towards frustrating the opponent, and keeping them from playing. I love that archetype in any fighter, such as the bird guy in "Way of the Warrior". He has an immense, almost absurd learning curve-- but little-by-little I keep having mini-eurekas with him, and I'm steadily improving. I still have lots of matches where I get stuck in the corner and clobbered, but I had a breakthrough realization last night, where I can now manage "Houdini" sequences to get un-trapped. My next step is to learn more combos, so I can eek out more damage when I punish openings.

As for video games, I also picked up a cheap lot of used "CIB" PS2 games, so expect some PlayStation 2 reviews to start appearing on the 'Wharf. The big game in that stack for me is "Dark Cloud", which superficially at least has the trappings of maybe being an instant classic for me.
Insider Knowledge - 17:43 CST, 7/13/23 (Sniper)
There are a few Lefties I talk to about politics occasionally. These people are outgoing, so I get the impression-- either implied, or because they directly tell me so-- that what they articulate to me is not just reflective of their opinion, but of the consensus within their social circle as well. I had just such a conversation within the past few days:

  • The conversation was very cordial. This person kept naming specific policies and their positions. I disagreed with every one of these positions, but rather than argue I kept steering things back towards, "How could we get all parties to compromise on the issue?"

  • This person can't believe Joe Biden is running again. It was interesting to hear that Leftists are now just as astonished by his obvious senility as people on the Right are.

  • This person is all-in on Cultural Marxism, climate change, and all the rest. Even with that said, this individual thinks we need to drill down to the exact, underlying reasons why people hold the views they do. This was interesting for me to hear, because it was an open admission that there is a vector for peaceful compromise.

  • Taking that as a segue, I explained the basic background behind Jonathan Haidt's "Moral Foundations" research, how that could help us all understand each other better. It was easy to get this person to a position where they would accept negotiation even on issues they found existential, like climate change, abortion, and gun control

  • In that same vein, we both agreed that there is the possibility of getting all factions together in a way that each faction gets one thing they want but no more-- the compromise won't be perfect, but everyone can walk away feeling like they can at least co-exist with one another.

  • They sent me a link to a video they liked, with a comical monologue explaining what was wrong in the world. There was an almost shocking amount of overlap between the Millennial Leftist understanding of the world in 2023 and what I perceive to be the root problems. For instance, the video referenced things like the "wealthy pedophile class" running the world.

  • They agreed with me that "Occupy Wallstreet" was too close to the bulls eye for the elites to handle. They also agreed with me that ninety percent of things people are bickering about are deliberate distractions put in place by the elite, to divide and conquer. This was no small admission by this person, and it caught me off guard.

  • I explained the basic premise of The Fourth Turning, how everything we see has been seen before. It may seem hopeless now, but we'll get through it somehow, with a hopefully brighter future on the other side. They were amenable to this outlook.

I ended the conversation with a link to the "Rich Man's Trick" documentary, I'll see what they make of that. In general, the conversation was a little eye-opening for me, because it signaled a marked shift in the Millennial Leftist's world view. Just a few years ago, this crowd-- and it is an enormous voting bloc-- was all-in on defending "the establishment". They held ironclad to Thomas Sowell's "unconstrained vision". I saw it everywhere.

But now more than anything I'm sensing enormous fatigue from them. Young Lefties at the time were eager and energized by Obama. Young Leftists of a few years ago came out en masse for Joe Biden. But what this person told me is that far from being excited or energized for the 2024 election, they are terrified of it, no matter what the outcome is. Prior enthusiasm has morphed into despondency and despair.

They are getting worn down. And I think, worn down to the point where they want to negotiate, compromise, and just have us move on as a country. This is a very good sign. Now it's the Right who are justifiably militant, from having been pushed around the past several years. Once that phase passes, there is the real possibility of a reconciliation.
New Music - 16:15 CST, 7/07/23 (Sniper)
I mentioned recently that my kids and I are working our way through and really enjoying "Hunter x Hunter". I even posted a link to the first opening. At some point, the show suddenly switched to a different closing song-- and it was power metal! The credits indicated that the song was from a band called "Galneryus". I looked them up, then did some research into the consensus regarding their best album. This research in turn led me to their 2010 work, "Resurrection".

Now I can't stop listening to it! As soon as it's done, I just want to restart it. Their vocalist, Masatoshi Ono is unbelievable: he's like Heavenly's Ben Sotto in that he can sing super high without using falsetto-- but his voice is much more powerful, it projects better and isn't thin sounding. Regarding composition and instrumentation, the album mixes together many different musical elements which I enjoy: 1960's-style Hammond organ, Jazz chord progressions, Jimi Hendrix-esque warbling keyboard work, and kooky stuff like you'd hear in a JRPG.

I like the album so much that I've been exercising much longer than usual, just so I can hear it.

Interestingly, and in a second Heavenly reference, these guys also like to mix somber and serious one moment with jubilant and uplifting the next. It works just as well for them as it does for the aforementioned French dudes. What really got me though: on a separate whim I looked up who did the singing for the "Hunter x Hunter" opening song I like so much-- Masatoshi Ono. Yeah, it's literally the same guy!

Black Bill Nye

In an attempt to get my son into astrophysics, my mother-in-law bought him a couple of books about the subject from some guy I'd never heard of, named "Neil deGrasse Tyson". Excited to read them myself, I started flipping through them and reading various sections. To my astonishment, the books had nothing to do with astrophysics, and were instead like, "There are billions of stars, they are balls of hot gas!"

Disappointed, I put the books down, chalked them up to a missed opportunity, and filed the author's name away in the recesses of my brain.

Some months later while I was investigating the "moon landings", I saw the same fellow's name appear: Neil deGrasse Tyson! I clicked on the video, and it was a Q and A session. One of the questions he was asked was, "Did NASA really land on the moon?" His answer: "Uhhh, yeah! It would be way more expensive to fake it than do it for real! So... yeah, we were really there."

That was his entire answer. Totally nonsensical, especially in the context of the super deep exploration into the subject I was in the process of completing. At this point I looked the dude up, and found that he is a director of a planetarium-- in other words, not some world-renowned researcher, who has made major breakthroughs or anything. It then dawned on me: "This guy is a black version of Bill Nye!" In other words, a phony: an entertainer, not a serious man.

Fast forward to this video I'm watching, with Douglas Macgregor regarding Ukraine and Russia. YouTube's "related" feed once again fed me that same name: Neil deGrasse Tyson. I clicked on it, and got this: totally nonsensical arguments, false claims, shouting at the interviewer, hands shaking, sweat rolling down his double chin, waving his arms around like a lunatic, constantly interrupting.

He even invents his own social science on the fly; I'm paraphrasing, but not by much: "There is a social contract you implicitly signed where if you don't do exactly what scientists tell you to do, then you are not allowed to have a job anymore." I wonder which part of the Constitution says that? I must have missed it. But back to good ole Neil, now he's not only an "expert" in "astrophysics", but in social organization as well! Move on over Thomas Jefferson, you've been superseded.

Patrick Bet-David

Everyone in the West, myself included, has been brainwashed into the truly bizarre view that if you ram people of different racial makeups, contradictory values, hostile-related religions, different languages, and different social mores, somehow the outcome is a functional society. It'd be like saying, "You know what I love about my wife? The fact that we have absolutely nothing in common." Finally, more and more people are seeing the obvious.

Here is a clip from a fellow named Patrick Bet-David. He explains in the clip that he always prays to God for courage, wisdom, tolerance, understanding-- but that he's struggling with what constitutes "tolerance". He has reached the exact same point I have: the idea that Jesus was some kind of passive libertarian hippie is a myth. You should love the sinner but hate the sin, and not be a doormat while other people take over your society with evil.

Another Church

Go to the 2:07 mark in this video to see yet another church-- an Episcopal one this time-- taken over by whackjobs. Even this drives me nuts: it's the right wing doing the same thing! What in the heck is a "freedom church", with their idiotic "love" sign by the door? If your "church" becomes more rooted in chasing the current fads and fleeting political whims of the moment than the Gospel, you should immediately realize you're off the rails.

Revenge of the Blue Collar

Here is yet another reason to go into the trades: AI can't show up at a job site and put plumbing into place, or run electrical wire. I wonder if over the next ten years, we're going to have a reverse "revenge of the nerds" movement?
Potential Positive Outcomes - 13:41 CST, 6/30/23 (Sniper)
This is the funniest thing I've seen for awhile.

An Enigma

RFK Jr. was recently interviewed at a "town hall" session, which you can watch here. I came away from it the most impressed I've ever been by a politician, in the sense that he's such an unbelievably honest and forthright guy. He completely won the Democrat-voting audience over, he won me over, and there is a significant contingent even on Gab who like the dude. If anyone could serve as a unifying figure, it's him.

Take as a microcosm his answer about "gun control". The woman was so extreme, or ignorant, that she wanted to ban semi-automatic firearms-- which literally means, all guns. Except 18th century flintlock pistols, I guess. His answer went something as follows:

"I too am in favor of gun control, so I'm with you! But I'm not taking away anyone's guns: I've spent decades of my life in rural areas: people who own firearms have it as part of their identity, and any talk of taking away guns is simply going to divide our country further. What we should do is look at the root causes of firearm homicides. When I was a kid we had rifling club at school, and kids had rifles in their lockers-- yet no one would ever dream of shooting someone at school. The guns haven't changed-- so what has? One thing we should investigate are the role of SSRIs and homicidal tendencies, which is a risk noted right on the drug labels..."

As extreme as this woman was, you could read on her face that she was satisfied with his answer. At heart, most people want sensibility: they are willing to compromise if what the other person is saying is heart felt, truthful, disarming, and makes sense. RFK Jr. is "that kind" of a person, to deliver just that.

Another example: a different woman asked him, "Why should we support you if the Democratic primary process has pre-selected the winner?" His answer: "January 6th was a terrible day. The people who actually committed crimes should be punished, in whatever way is appropriate according to the law. But you also have to understand why they were there: a huge portion of the country feels like the system is rigged. I'm assuming you weren't at the Capitol building that day-- but here you are, telling me the same thing."

As in the previous case, this second woman also seemed very satisfied by his unifying, very well articulated answer. Maybe for the first time, she could empathize with the January 6th protestors, and saw that she is on the same team as they are.

This leads to the fact that I spent most of the "town hall" simply shaking my head: you can't say the stuff RFK Jr. was saying out loud, and not get shot by the CIA, or buried with legal BS ala Donald Trump. He went on long explanations of how crooked the government is, how the agencies are totally run by the mega-corporations they are supposed to be regulating... he went on a lengthy, fascinating exposition regarding the border situation, how Trump actually had it mostly right, and how much to his chagrin as a Democrat he discovered that the Biden administration undid a lot of the controls, and is flying illegals all over the country... but all explained in such a disarming, honest way that even hardcore Democrats undoubtedly found the situation frustrating as he articulated it.

To be clear, I don't agree with him on almost anything so far as policy positions go: "gun control", "affirmative action", "climate change", and so on. Meanwhile, my current hypothesis remains that the only way out of this mess is for a Franco or Hitler-like strong-arm figure to come in, with a military coup, and toss out the regime by force: sadly, we're too far gone for anything else to work. But I am willing to give peace one last shot: if by some miracle RFK Jr. is allowed to have the Democratic nomination, I will vote for him-- perhaps the "Deep State" can be taken down without bloodshed, and via politics.

If he fails and Beijing Biden gets reinstalled however, with another rigged "election" denying Trump once again, then that will confirm once and for all my hypothesis that any hope of a peaceful outcome for America is gone for good.


According to this information, a contemporary blockbuster triple-A game costs a little over 200 million USD to make, and if it sells like absolute gangbusters, pulls in about 300 million USD. Meanwhile, successful "free-to-play" games like "Genshin Impact" can rake in 2 billion USD in a single year. Is it any wonder Sony and Microsoft are both heavily leaning into "games as a service"?

It doesn't need to be this way: developers tomorrow, with the snap of their fingers, could say "to heck with it" and start making simpler games which focus on gameplay, no cut-scenes, no voice actors, no shitty Hollywood music, no "slot machine" sleazy special effects-laden manipulative presentations, and where people can just run their own dedicated servers over the Internet ala "Quake". Games like that would take a fraction the amount of time and money to make, would be a lot more fun for the developers, would be a lot more innovative, and would be ten times more fun to play: people who like movie "fake" games can just go back to watching, you know, actual movies.

Yeah, they wouldn't become billionaires-- but they don't anyway, because most of them work for publicly-traded companies, and are enriching the board and the board members' ESG buddies at BlackRock, in exchange for a pittance salary. They could "go their own", start small-to-medium sized privately-owned firms, and just go back to making honest-to-goodness games. I really hope this happens en masse over the coming years.

The same concept could apply to other aspects of life as well, such as cars. But those industries are so hyper-regulated, it would be difficult to bring any "simple", low-cost option to market. With video games however, there is no excuse.

Protestant Theories?

I've already said my opinion on the matter, so I'll leave the topic by merely posting this link. Hardly a day goes by when I don't see a situation just like this one. My question to any Protestant readers I have out there, why is it that literally every single time-- 100%-- I see a compromised "Christian" church, it's Protestant and not Orthodox or Catholic? What is going on, or is different about, Protestantism that makes it so susceptible to this kind of pure heresy and apostasy? And what, if anything, can be done to stop it?

If the situation were different and it was always Catholic churches being taken over like this, I would start to ask questions about the Church's theology, and why the door was so open to apostasy. But as I'm not a Protestant and don't know enough about their views, I'd be interested in hearing from some actual Protestant soul-searchers out there. Because it seems to me that some soul-searching is required so we can spread the Gospel, rather than losing ground by having our churches taken over.

Living Arrangement

The wife and I had a long brainstorming session regarding the current living arrangements, and we think we've arrived at a good solution: I will convert the basement into a private apartment for myself, complete with a kitchen area, while my sister-in-law and my son will swap bedrooms from the basement to the top floor, and vice-versa: that way the only other occupant of "my apartment" will be my own son-- a member of my immediate family, who causes me no distress.

When I am in the Sacristy at church, and there are people coming in and out-- the other ministers, the priest, and so forth-- I am deeply uncomfortable. Just like I was deeply uncomfortable around people in school as a child, or in my twenties working in an actual office every day, or in my forties when I'm at the grocery store. Outside of a tiny handful of my most immediate family, I have always been extremely uncomfortable around others. But I could always fight through it, because Mass only lasts an hour-- and at the end of it, I get to go home to where I'm safe. Or after a work day, I get to go home. Or after grocery shopping, I get to go home.

Except with this living arrangement! I get to go from Mass, to more Mass. Or from an office, to another office. Or from the grocery store, to another grocery store. I never feel safe. There is no respite; no break. Even when the in-laws aren't here, I'm living in the constant terror, anticipating when they will be here, the following weekend let's say.

With this basement apartment idea, I won't know or care whether they are here or not-- because the basement will be mine. I'll essentially be living alone, with my own bedroom, my own living room, my own bathroom, and my own kitchen. The only time I will even need to go upstairs is to leave the property-- with is no different than in an actual apartment, where you leave your door and have to traverse a communal hallway to exit the structure.

I really hope this works, and that for the first time in two or three years I will be able to feel safe and put my mind at rest.

I don't know why God made me this way. Axiomatically, we know He had a reason. I've always been high strung. Let's say I've had fifteen jobs in my life-- twelve of them were total disasters. I still have occasional nightmares about a Best Buy job I once had, nineteen years ago, and in which I only worked for three months. Most situations are not a "good fit" for me-- but when I do find a "good fit", I really thrive. I am hoping I can take this current "terrible fit" and turn it into a positive situation.
Low on Topics - 15:54 CST, 6/28/23 (Sniper)
A friend of mine recently sent me this, related to the topic of "Sedevacantism". Sedevacantism is a school of thought, or perhaps better described as a political movement, within the Catholic Church which holds the position that if a heretic rises to the role of Pope, then in fact the Papal Seat is empty-- and even in the absence of a Pope, the body of the Church continues to live on, because Jesus is its immortal head: a Pope is not requisite for the Church to function.

Apparently this is an extremely hot-button topic among people who follow the Catholic Church very closely, with the Sedevacantists occupying the role of "radical extremists" in the eyes of many. To me, I don't get what the fuss is about: the Pope is just the head priest; when an individual priest teaches heresies, there is no existential crisis for the Church as a whole-- rather, it's simply acknowledged that the priest was a bad apple, and he is censored accordingly. It's not any different in my eyes with regards to the Pope: individual parishes should simply ignore his heresies and follow the Catechism and Scripture otherwise.

I think the hang-up comes from the syllogism which says that God is perfect, the Church was created by God as His body on Earth, therefore the Church can not err-- how then could it make a mistake in selecting a Papal heir to St. Peter?

The piece missing from that analysis seems simple to me: God's plan is so complex that we can not fathom even one tiny fraction of one trillionth of it. Presuming to judge whether the Church has "erred" is presuming that one knows better than God what "the plan" is. Francis teaches many heresies, but axiomatically we must assume that his presence in the Church is serving some larger, more ultimate purpose which only God knows. Again, there is nothing here to give me pause, or paint me into any sort of contradiction.

Other than that bit of studying, I haven't had much worth posting on this blog. I've sort of run my course on so many of the topics I've spent the past nearly thirty years discussing on the various web sites and "blogs" I've maintained over that period: I've "solved" the question of economics so-to-speak, gaming is sort of limping along in a never-ending stasis, football and Lazio-related posts seemingly don't age past a week, I've thrown in the towel on the day-to-day theater of politics and am simply waiting for the meat of the revolution to start, while the automobile industry is about to go off of a cliff which will see me never buy a new car again as soon as I get either the GR Corolla or GR Supra hopefully this year.

About what should I write? Maybe I will discover some new topic and have a kind of "writing renaissance"-- but my rate of posting here will probably continue to be off of my old pace, at least for the foreseeable future.

As for my personal life I've just been working, watching anime with the kids-- we're working through "Hunter X Hunter", which has probably the best anime opening I've ever seen-- and playing video games for a few hours a week. I'm also exploring an alternative living arrangement for myself, as I've basically concluded that I won't be able to live here with my in-laws without going insane; this will take the form of either an apartment, or the purchase of a manufactured home near my current house, which is on the market for a very low price.
Almost There Perhaps - 15:09 CST, 6/16/23 (Sniper)
My favorite car pundit Eric Peters has been on a roll lately: here are a couple of superb articles from him.

Lack of Mobility

The former article has to do with why manual transmissions are dying off: how the State strongly contributed to the initial decline through their onerous fuel economy mandates, then how it became a self-reinforcing cycle as "drivers" started to become and are becoming more like passive meatsacks who can't even travel in a straight line without "assists", and so are no longer capable of operating manual transmissions-- ergo, they don't shop for them.

I do need to correct him on one point however-- you can still buy a new car in 2023 with no "assists": my brand new Toyota GR86 drives just like my old 350z. The cruise control maintains the speed set by the driver; the car doesn't randomly slam on the brakes; it doesn't wrestle control of the steering wheel away; and so forth. It's "just a car", and it's wonderful. On that note, this writer is all stocked up on manual transmission cars: the kids will get the 2014 WRX currently with ~93k miles, the GR86 is brand new, and the inbound vehicle-- either a GR Supra or GR Corolla-- will also be manual transmissioned.

Moving on then, Eric's latter editorial is yet another fascinating glimpse into the lurid minds of the "WEF" and other elites like them. Eric equates these kinds of proposed places to "feed lots", where the humans trapped within are treated as cattle. Something which strikes this writer funny has to do with the racial makeup shown in the aesthetically-challenged clip art presented at the top of the article-- there are thirteen human figures shown; eleven of the thirteen are black, the other two are white, and one of the whites is an elderly woman.

This is interesting for at least two reasons: first, the "WEF" clearly and unsurprisingly does not see white people as being around in the future; second, while this theoretical environment is drawn to look pristine, can you imagine what it would actually be like if eighty five percent of the population were black? There would be trash everywhere, total chaos involving rapes, murders, plus thefts, while only idiots would dare ride the "transport system for all".

I'm not bringing this up to be a jerk, but this writer is beyond bored with whites being vilified incessantly: the gloves are off. It's like this funny, recent article from a Leftist news site which had the pros and cons of all fifty states. For Maine, the pro was it had the lowest crime rate in the country; the con was that it was the whitest state in the country: "no diversity." Hah!

But back to the "WEF" diagram: another observation is that cars don't pollute anymore-- they are over ninety-nine percent free in terms of partially burnt hydrocarbons and other pollutants. That's why there is no smog in cities anymore, except where there are lots of factories such as in parts of China. Obviously the "WEF" members know this, which is why the "limit traffic" thing is a clear mobility control mechanism, and has nothing to do with "the environment".

Deep State

Remember the latter-most documentary link from this post? Here is primary source material in the form of RFK Jr., who was there at the time, in the family validating what the documentary covered: yes, the CIA killed his uncle because JFK would not participate in the "Bay of Pigs" episode, would not engage in interventionist wars, and was about to disassemble the CIA. Further, he-- RFK Jr., that is-- knows that his life is in danger presently, and is taking "precautions".

Tucker Carlson's recent video is fantastic, and the tone plus style reminds this writer of Neil Oliver's weekly monologues. Tucker is also on the right track: the world is controlled by a tiny group of criminals, a circle in which the Biden family very much moves.

Victory Nigh, Plus Hormones

In general, the tide is turning so quickly that wokeness-- Cultural Marxism-- is not going to be the prevailing values regime for much longer. You have highly prominent people openly pointing out, by name, the Deep State criminals responsible for the agenda, while on the ground floor even students have had enough.

While on the topic of young people, I've know for many years thanks to people like Alex Jones and Mark Dice that chemicals are playing a huge role in the so-called "transgender" concern. They are also the primary reason why adult men look so much like children. To loop RFK Jr. back into things, here he is also making people aware of this problem.

RFK Jr. will never "win" the Democratic primary, because that process is one hundred percent controlled. But if by some miracle or subterfuge he did wind up being the nominee, I think I would vote for him instead of Trump. I don't agree with RFK Jr. on "conventional" concerns such as fiscal issues and the like-- but arguing about the tax rate when the car is two feet from careening over the ledge is absurd. We need someone to assemble an army, whether literally or figuratively, to take down the now-termed "Deep State"-- and he is the best hope at the moment.

Mental Health Improving

With almost everything in the world today, from cars to video games to politics to people and beyond, I like eighty percent, and loathe twenty percent. I've been focusing really hard the past few days on the eighty percent, while simultaneously "boxing up" the twenty percent and throwing it into the mental closet. It's difficult, especially in the case of my father-in-law where the ratio is inverted-- but nonetheless I can feel my usual verve and passion for the things and people I love returning to me.

It seems to be making the derealization bubble just that little bit thinner: if I can continue to cut down on the membrane thickness, I may just be able to pop the bubble and emerge from it, one day. I hypothesize that if I can learn to step outside of it even for thirty seconds, I will be able to "remember" how I did it, and repeat the process at will for longer and longer durations. Ten years permanently inside of it is enough: I'm beyond ready to bust out, if I can manage it. I just need to convince my mind that I'm safe enough.
New Game Releases - 17:11 CST, 6/13/23 (Sniper)
Microsoft really nailed their presentation, here were some of the standouts to me in the order of my interest:

  • Flight Simulator 2024: (Link)
  • Forza Motorsport: (Link)
  • Cities: Skylines II: (Link)
  • Starfield: (Link)
  • Avowed: (Link)
  • Fable: (Link)

Let's get this part out of the way-- a critical mass of the development teams for these games are visibly low-T beta males and fat female SJWs with nose rings, and they are going to push their agenda in your face until the economics turn against them, like we're seeing with companies such as Target. We are on the brink of winning the culture war, but in the meantime we'll need to plug our noses and grit our teeth through this one final generation of retarded games. That's my sense anyway.

Everything else about these games looks pretty strong though, so I am going to try my best to compartmentalize the bad stuff and focus on the good, like I did with "The Outer Worlds" some years ago, or with "Miles Morales" more recently. Most of these games I will either be able to play with "Game Pass", which isn't profitable, or acquire used.

"Flight Simulator 2020" is one of only two games post-2000 on my favorite games of all time list, so you can bet sure as money that I'm inordinately excited for this sequel with some neat looking structure grafted onto the gameplay. Since the dawn of the genre, I've always wished that "Gran Turismo" and its clones would reward mastery of individual cars, and finally in 2023 I get my wish with the new "Forza Motorsport".

There isn't much to say about "Cities: Skylines II", other than my son and I adored the first game, in spite of the "Jacktivist" Twatter bird notification mechanic-- both of us will be playing this sequel on day one. As for the latter three, my favorite modern era sub-genre is the "Elder Scrolls"-like, and all three of those games will hopefully deliver in a big way. I'm especially interested to see "Avowed", because that was born directly out of Bethesda taking too darned long to make a sequel to "Skyrim": "For Pete's sake, we'll just do it ourselves."

The Sony side looks pretty good too, here are games I intend to play on my PlayStation 5 in order of release date:

  • God of War Ragnarok
  • Street Fighter 6
  • Diablo IV
  • Final Fantasy XVI
  • Spider-Man 2

Again, these games have issues as well, for sure. But I am working hard on focusing on the positives, and trying to enjoy them by boxing the obnoxious parts and setting those aspects aside.
Lifestyles - 11:43 CST, 6/03/23 (Sniper)
Watching this made me feel a lot better about my life: this guy is living in a messy 340 sq. ft. apartment, with a face diaper taped to his face all the day so he can spend his entire life as a cog in a cube farm making the fifty-millionth sequel to a "milk it to death" game series, getting home after dark so he can microwave a plastic tray with enough preservatives to keep Lenin's body alive for another hundred years, only to wake up and repeat the next day.


It's no wonder Japanese men hang themselves in the park on a daily basis there. I feel bad for them: where is the meaning in their lives? They're almost all atheists, single, no children... beyond that, the guy in this video has zero autonomy. He's an ant in an ant farm. He's living the WEF future state now. What if there is an emergency, and the food supply is disrupted? What kinds of upwards mobility does he even have-- how do you raise a family in three hundred square feet? Maybe he could double his space to six hundred square feet! But could he even afford it, with real estate prices there?

The only saving grace is that he gets to at least work on a video game all day, which is a lot more interesting than what most people grind away at in their lives. But even then, it's fascinating to see how to everyone there it's "just a job": rote, you just kind of show up, make your little tree or grass 3D models, bring cookies to sit in your cube for the guy who filled in for you the prior week, then rinse and repeat. It's no wonder companies like this have such a difficult time with creativity these days! This kind of environment is fine for making spreadsheet software, or for writing device drivers. But first-order artistic endeavors will never come out of an environment like this one.

Think back to the book "Masters of Doom", where Romero was ripping doors off of hinges and they were throwing proverbial mud at the wall all day with crazy ideas and concepts, while cussing each other out. The creativity was like a fire hydrant, because the atmosphere was so informal. Or the Oliver Twins, who were living in a 100 degree F shed while sleeping on the floor, with the flexibility to make whatever kind of games they wanted, very informal, living and breathing their creations. I bet even at Capcom in their 80s and 90s hey-days were a very different culture from what is seen in this video.

I also have questions about the product itself: the director guy is an overweight otaku-looking dude, you can't possibly tell me it was his idea to put black strong womyn lesbian characters in his game, or the flaming gay black guy wearing garter straps-- who exactly up the chain at Capcom made those calls, and made him do it? Also, why stick with polygons yet again? Why does the game play like a close-range grappler, more akin to Tekken than Street Fighter II-- was that his shot, or someone else's?

I see that the falling testosterone is full at play in Japan too. The forty-something audio dude, three quarters the way through the video, is the first person who actually looks like an adult! Everyone else to that point look like adult-sized bodies with twelve year-old faces attached to them. Meanwhile, someone in the comments said they are Indian, and if they left stuff in their cube like the Japanese do it'd get stolen immediately. That could be a whole separate blog post.

I also thought their lunch time was sad: celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of a game series, while eating lunch "with" their friends while separated by magical virus-stopping plexiglass. But who knows, maybe that guy would visit my life for a day, and hate it? Too much open space, "where is everyone??" lack of population density, and so on. To each his own, I guess. But his is not the lifestyle for me: with my temperament, I wouldn't make it a month into the job before I'd rock the boat too much and get shitcanned.

All of that said, they seem like nice people. I'd totally hang out with this Japanese dude and play some video games, even as I do feel sorry for him in a lot of ways.

Makes Sense

This segues into why The Establishment in this country is harping on nonsensically about "white supremacy!", getting rid of rifles, "January 6th!!", shoving people into expensive external combustion cars with no range, and so on-- people like me scare them, it's that simple: way too much autonomy! White rural people grow their own food, they have their own land, they have oftentimes numerous vehicles, they live far away from facial recognition cameras, they believe in a higher power than the State, they have children they want to protect...

It's very difficult to track and control people who have that much freedom, and that's why so many of the present-day state measures are specifically targeting white rural Christians: if I were a member of the Powers that Be I'd be taking the same steps: "We need to reign in these people."

Foot Soldiers

The Establishment and their unwitting "useful idiots" are creating an army of foot soldiers to do the bidding I described above. Imagine attending a right-wing political rally, getting accused of some bogus crime, then getting assigned the woman in the aforelinked video? As either prosecution or defense, she would ignore all of the facts and try to get you put away for good. In her own words:

"We joined this institution [her 'university'] to be equipped with the necessary legal skills to protect our communities; to protect the organizers fighting endlessly day in day out, with no accolades, no cameras, no PhD grants, working to lift the facade of legal neutrality and confront the systems of oppression that wreak violence on them."

And there you have it: "justice" means her team wins, and her ideological opponents lose. It's as plain as the nose on your face.


To finish on a positive and fun note, I emailed my sales manager buddy and asked him to swap me from the GR Supra list to the GR Corolla one. His reply: "Want to be on both, and get whichever comes first?" Then it dawned on me: having the 86 and the Supra would actually work for our use cases-- I hadn't ever considered that permutation of vehicles before!

Summer is easy: three full-time vehicles.

As for winter: by complete chance we happen to live on a paved highway, and the routes to our church and into town are also on semi-major highways. So the plowing situation for us here is almost as good as it was in metropolitan Murderapolis-- or even better if you want to be technical, since Murderapolis itself barely plowed at all, it seemed to us. On plowed roads, the 86 will function just fine as a full-time winter vehicle: I did it for thirteen winters with my old 350z, daily driving it to and from work in inclement weather. And not only did it work, but it was a lot of fun too.

Meanwhile, we will still have the 2014 WRX, which is in phenomenal condition and is "low miles" for a Subaru-- a meager ~100k. The Supra can stay garaged all winter. That's two winter vehicles, just like we've always been successful with. Next year when my in-laws move in, they will be bringing two more Subarus up-- a ~2015 Crosstrek XV and 2021 Forester-- to go along with a 4x4-capable ~2012 Ford F-150. So in worst-case scenarios like a blizzard and we had to go someplace, we could borrow one of their cars if there was no other option.

I really sense that this is a win-win situation: I've been dreaming of and will be thrilled if the Supra "wins" this race. At the same time, part of me thinks I'd almost enjoy the GR Corolla's personality more. Who is to say? I'm sure I will like either car, in its own right. As for the wife she loves the 86 and has been driving it even more than I have: she has no qualms about using it essentially full-time, since it can easily fit both kids: son in the back, daughter in the passenger seat.
Tough Sledding - 17:57 CST, 5/29/23 (Sniper)
I saw this thread on Reddit, almost impossible for me to fathom that it was ten years ago. I frequently call the last ten-odd years of my life my "lost decade", this is a perfect example of the phenomenon. I didn't write much in the aftermath of that game, but maybe now is the time to share.

I watched the game via-- as always-- a feed, on the Sony SXRD I had at the time. I'd never been so nervous for a sporting event in my life, and haven't since-- huge knot in my stomach. The game was the most intense football match I've seen to this day, with both sets of players desperate to not make a mistake. I started out sitting on the futon couch, then sitting on the floor, then kneeling on the floor, then standing right in front of the 50" screen. I was living and breathing with every action.

I'm not prone to emotionalism, but when Lulic scored that goal, I actually shed a tear. The release of tension was incredible. What's more, the presentation cut to Lotito's face right at that moment, and I will probably never, in my life, see another reaction like that: it was pure relief, pure joy, all bottled into such an authentic snapshot, that I never again after that doubted that Lotito is a true Laziale, through-and-through.

Modern Hardware

This thread reminded me of a blog post segment I've been meaning to write: get out a piece of paper, and try to do a math problem, such as "10.25967 * 22.47876". Keep track of how long it takes you. Depending on how good at math you are, maybe it would take you a minute, or two minutes, or five minutes.

Now imagine doing a hundred of these. That might take you three and a half hours, or longer. Imagine doing a thousand then. Or a million. One million math problems like this could take you something like thirty-eight hundred years, if my math is correct. Now imagine doing a trillion of them. How many generations of human beings would need to sit there working on them, to finish? How about forty trillion such math problems? Mankind isn't old enough of a species to have even approached being able to do that many, if that's all man had ever done.

The RTX 4070 Ti video card in my PC can not just do forty trillion floating point math problems-- it can do forty trillion such problems per second. That's how powerful modern computers are. And that's just the video card! We haven't even discussed modern CPUs yet. Even a platform like the PlayStation 5 can do ten trillion such math problems per second on the GPU. Heck, even the ancient Nintendo Switch can do 150 million of these math problems per second.

And what are developers making today, to leverage what amounts to unlimited power? Mediocre-looking thirty frames-per-second third-person action games with mini maps and dodge rolling. Or pixelshit roguelikes with Famicom music.

When I was a kid and young teenager, people like John Carmack were making cool looking quasi-3D worlds such as "Wolfenstein 3D" which ran on a 12.5 MHz 286 with 512 kilobytes of RAM; they were making full open-world games like "Star Control II" with entire galaxies to explore, on similar hardware; they were simulating entire planetary food chains and evolutionary paths on 25 MHz 386 chips, such as in "SimEarth". Going back to the thread then, today programmers are stunned by a game on the Switch with a rudimentary physics engine. I don't get it.

A lot of it is a lack of talent from contemporary programmers. I'll include myself in this group: I have essentially zero math background, and can only make games in pre-canned game engines. A lot of it is the bloat of modern tooling, which suck up insane amounts of resources before the actual game-proper has even begun to execute its specifics. A lot of it is DIE-based hiring. There are probably other concerns as well.


The usual caveat: if you're reading this, I'm not talking about you. A good microcosmic example came up late last week of my interactions with other people, in general. I'm going to substitute specifics so I don't identify the individual or the setting:

  • Other Person: "I'm a stickler for snow blowing until not one molecule of snow is left."
  • Me: "Can I play devil's advocate? It would take way too much time to get every single molecule, for little added benefit due to the diminishing returns. Just my two cents."
  • Third Person: "I agree."
  • Other Person: "So what I'm hearing, boss, is that we're never going to do snow blowing again."
  • Boss: "Oh, obviously not! No one would go for that! Of course we'll keep doing what we've been doing!"

In one sentence, the other person both straw-manned my opinion and appealed to authority, in just such a way to elicit the exact response which would convince the boss to tacitly support their position over mine. I don't know if the other person was evil on purpose or if it was some kind of sleazy passive-aggressiveness they'd acquired subconsciously from their family during childhood. Either way I found it very off-putting.

The thing is, people are constantly pulling this crap with me. Every interaction I have with almost everyone is laced with this land mine-filled maze of caltrops, tripwires, and other lethal explosives. That's why it's tiring to be around people. Quite literally the only exception, in forty one years of life, is at my church: they are so friendly and supportive that it's almost difficult to believe. It flies in the face of an entire lifetime of experience.

Stop the Ride

It feels like my life is carousel going at five hundred miles per hour. Even when I have a long weekend or take a couple of days of vacation, it's not enough. I need a long sabbatical or something along those lines to do some self-discovery, and to catch my breath. Since my fifteenth birthday, I've only been unemployed for two weeks. That's almost twenty seven years of unceasing, straight labor, with outrageous stress levels.

I've often wanted to get laid off from my job, because my employer would owe me eight months of full severance pay. I am already fully-vested in their pension, and would almost certainly be able to land a significantly higher paying job within my field as well once that theoretical extended "vacation" would elapse.

I've been contemplating getting my own apartment in the town twenty minutes from my house. My in-laws have been great, so it's not their fault-- but my "mental health" has never been lower than it is now, even during the height of the scamdemic when I was barred from receiving health care, eating at a restaurant, or going grocery shopping. Having "strangers" in my own home is really taking a toll, and I'm not sure if I will ever have a much better comfort level with them than I do now.

I've been eating so badly that I'm approaching fifteen pounds over my best weight number of just a year and a half ago. But without the junk food, I'm barely functional. I'm working on my issues, but it's slow progress. Right now it's a downward decline that I need to arrest somehow. I'm tempted to temporarily go back on "Abilify": that drug turned me into a total maniac, creating three of the most productive months of my life, followed by a soul-crushing crash. It's a scary deal with the devil, but I'd at least be able to lose this weight.


This section comes compliments of my brother:

"Good example of plutocracy at work. The 'study' cited by this article was conducted by the ICCT - the ICCT is funded by the Energy Foundation, while the Energy Foundation is a crystallization of private wealth from donors including the Rockefellers, used as a political money-laundering device: in the Foundation's words, 'Intelligent philanthropy can influence energy policy with multi-billion dollar payoffs.'

So, ICCT is a plutocratic sock-puppet for pushing energy reform; but why does the 'Green' movement exist at all? Again, in the Energy Foundation's words, 'At a time of grave [geopolitical] danger and volatility in the Middle East, it is worrisome that the United States is increasing its dependence on foreign oil...'

For context, global oil production is dominated by states like Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia and China - most of which are on the US' shortlist for regime change; the US, in turn, is owned entirely by plutocracy, or by 'civil society', as they call themselves.

Also, I use the word 'plutocracy' only to stick a label onto the disgusting creatures who hold power, and to point out that the power rests in private hands - and partially also because Fascism described this phenomenon with extreme accuracy 100 years ago; it's worth digging up this knowledge and putting credit where it belongs, isn't it?"

I couldn't agree more. It's weird listening to speeches from, ahem, "taboo" leaders from the past and hearing the world I live in today, predicted and described perfectly.
Tribunal Time - 17:31 CST, 5/24/23 (Sniper)
I haven't been writing here much, as I've been very busy. I spent the greater part of last week in Murderapolis for a mandatory "visit the office" period, for my employer, listening to non-stop police sirens. I have also been watching quite a lot of "My Hero Academia" with my kids, to unwind in the evenings. I'm also deep into "Startling Odyssey II" on my PC Engine, which is a surprisingly good JRPG, and which holds up quite well as compared to competing series such as "Final Fantasy" and "Dragon Quest".

But enough of that, and on to this post's purpose: every so often I run across documentaries or notable videos which fundamentally alter my view of the world. Here are some, in chronological order as to when I first encountered them:

  • The Story of Your Enslavement (Link)
  • What Is Cultural Marxism? (Link)
  • The Viral Delusion (Link)
  • The Greatest Story Never Told (Link)
  • American Moon (Link)
  • Everything Is a Rich Man’s Trick (Link)

Before I go any further: Unfortunately, some of these links are to JewTube. To eliminate their idiotic "let me give you some CIA and Mossad-provided 'context'" box, simply open your browser's developer tools, select the hilariously-named "clarify-box" div, and add a "display: none;" element to it.

I discovered the final item in the above list just a week or two ago, and have been chipping away at it. There are some details which I question: I'm not convinced Hitler was astroturfed; I don't think the German economic "miracle" was purely down to Western investment; I certainly don't think the so-called "Holocaust" occurred, and I have done extensive research into that subject; and I think today's "Deep State" is run mostly by Jews, not Italian mob bosses, as I can't remember the last time I saw an Italian name among the powers-that-be.

That may sound like a lot of provisos, but it isn't: the documentary is three and a half hours jam-packed with factual claims-- my half-dozen or so moments of incredulity is nothing compared with the tsunami of receipts the film's maker presents regarding all sorts of topics. Most importantly, the documentary paints such a clear overall picture of how the world works, that even if one can quibble about specifics, the highest level conclusion is indisputable.

I can always tell in retrospect that my world view has undergone a dramatic shift when concerns which used to appear pressing to me are suddenly trivial and even boring, or seeming to be a waste of time, or missing the point. Since I've finished the documentary, that is where I've sat regarding the so-called "culture wars". People like Mark Dice have been making untold videos about "Bud Light", just to name an example, and I can't even be bothered with such subjects any more.

I mowed all of the grass on my property yesterday. Already today, the dandelion heads have mostly returned. That's how it is with drag queen story hours; the tranny question; black lesbian protagonists in video games; pornography in Kindergarten libraries; deliberately-unchecked illegal immigration; the unending waves of black crime; the unceasing foreign wars; the daily deluge of propaganda from the media; the purchasing power destruction of our money; all of this nonsense talk about "white supremacy"; and on and on. They are all dandelion heads, and until we pull out the roots, they and other problems will simply continue to re-emerge.

This is because they are all perpetrated, on purpose, by the same group of people!

I sensed a certain outcome in the immediate aftermath of the 2020 Selection, and now the conclusion is cemented for me: the only way out is for some kind of strong-arm, right-wing leader to take over the military, send black ops specialists to the homes of all of the Bill Gates's of the world, and put those people in front of firing squads, en masse. I don't say this lightly: the risk is that the strong man will overshoot his purpose and become despotic. But we're already there anyway, and besides, this problem is so many centuries in the making that it's our only remaining route out.
Getting Older - 15:56 CST, 5/13/23 (Sniper)
I got a good laugh out of this: it reminds me of a Monty Python skit. I wonder if militaries going soft runs in cycles, along the various "Turnings"?

Crime, Personally

Murderapolis had a surge in murders in the 1990s. It was from this period that I heard and adopted the moniker "Murderapolis" in the first place. But back then, it was always "someone else" who was murdered, or assaulted, or robbed, or raped. Not so today: crime is so high, that everyone I know knows someone who was harmed.

For example, a friend of my step father's, with whom the latter routinely plays hockey, was fatally shot three times in the chest at point-blank range while confronting a bicycle thief. The man left behind two young children, and a wife. Speaking of wives, one of my wife's co-workers was talking down the alley to his house from the job, and was followed by three black kids: they shot him dead, and stole his phone. My brother had the catalytic converter stolen off of his SUV. And on and on.

Meanwhile, this recounting sounds exactly like why I fled Murderapolis, even down to the details regarding his children hearing gunshots; judging by the writer's discourse, Chicago is just as bad, or perhaps even worse than Murderapolis. An excerpt:

"Many years ago my family found a nice quiet corner of the suburbs. Now my son, who is only 5, hears gunfire while playing at our neighborhood park, and a drug dealer is open-air selling behind my house (the second one in two years). If it were just me to consider, I'd stick it out. I've been through stupid State's Attorney policies before. But this Office's complete failure to even think for a moment before rushing into one popular political agenda after another has put my family directly in harm's way."

I went to the University of Minnesota for a couple of years-- 2000 to 2002-- and while it was never a nice area, it was nothing like what is going on there now: mobs of black people throwing rocks at restaurant patrons, smashing cars into things, and curb stomping people in the face; don't believe me, just watch the videos.

I looked up per capita crime statistics for the county I fled, versus the one I live in now. The one I fled has-- once again, this is per capita-- over 2.5 times the rate of crime. Multiply that by the sheer number of people who live in my old county, and it paints the whole picture. That is a ton of crime, and it's personally impacting people in my direct circle, in ways it never has before in my forty-plus years of living in the state.

Gen X Advertising

I have not seen a video game ad targeting Gen X'ers like me, since my generation were children. So this came as a surprise. What makes it isn't the ad though, it's the comments; I was howling with laughter at these:

"Trophy husband? How else does he live in that house but gets a bus to work?"

"It's his mom's house and they're squatting there with her waiting for her to die."

"The wife looks to be asian - she’ll have already killed off his mom. In fact that explains why he gets the bus - any spare cash is shipped back to her family."

"They forgot to add the part where he takes down the extension cord he was going to hang himself with."

"He's definitely not in the states. No one's beating up the bus driver, no one's noddin off, pullin their dick out, singing, screaming. Definitely living in fantasy land already."

"Now they need a new AD with the wife's boyfriend for resetera representation."

"I'd just love to live in a town where you could pull out your Switch on a bus without some twat trying to make it his."

Final GR86 Impressions

This will probably be the last time I write about the 86 for awhile: I finished breaking in the engine, so I've had a chance to drive the car at the limits to round off my impressions.

I took a route through some twisty rural roads. I put the car in "track mode" and kept the engine in the "sweet spot", between 5000 and its 7500 rpm redline, taking one turn after another at speeds ranging from 85 to 105 mph depending on the curve. In my thirteen years of driving the 350z, never once did I flog that car like I did this one. And if I do swap the 86 for a GR Supra, I will probably never flog the Supra like this either.

Why? Because this car inspires so much confidence! The 2800 lbs curb weight and the way the vehicle gives feedback is a totally different vibe than a heavier grand tourer like the two aforementioned cars. As balanced as it was, the 350z specifically would have been crying "uncle" taking those bends at those kinds of speeds-- and even though it undoubtedly could have, I would have been terrified trying it. Not so with the substantially more nimble and communicative 86.

Incidentally, the throttle-- which I do not like during "normal" driving-- is a non-factor when really pushing the car: you're pressing hard, so the dead space never becomes an issue. This is why reviewers never mention it: most reviews are done either on track, or in some other setting where they are doing more or less what I did.

The other compliment I want to give the car is the engine sound: at low RPM the vehicle is indistinguishable from an econobox. At high RPM however, it lets out a sort of bellow, or howl which almost reminds me of a Japanese sport bike. If a magician waved his magic wand, and said "Alakazam! I will turn your Kawasaki bike into a car! *poof*", out of the dissipating fog would be a Toyota GR86.

My one and only complaint with this car at the limits is that it simply lacks that punch coming out of the corners: I would open the throttle full wide exiting a bend, and wanted to be thrown back in my seat-- only to be disappointed each time. The car certainly isn't slow, but boy do I wish they had a turbo version of this vehicle: it would be the perfect car for me. Alas.

Upcoming Game Reviews

On a whim I installed "Redfall" on my PC via Game Pass, just to see how big a train wreck it is-- and against all odds I actually like the game. It's a "straight C" kind of title, don't get me wrong, and I will get into that via my review-- but it has an interesting combination of gameplay elements going into it, which compel me to want to play it more. I also bought the latest "Zelda" title yesterday, so expect a review of that one in a month or two, along with "Honkai: Star Rail" on iOS.
World Needs a Reboot - 15:55 CST, 5/04/23 (Sniper)
I keep listening to new albums via Apple Music. Today it's Symphony X's "V: The New Mythology Suite". They are sort of a one-trick pony as a band, but the trick is pretty good in this one.

Patience Required?

This reminds me of when the Cultural Marxism stuff started coming through several years ago, and just how nutty it was and is. Now it's apparently expanding, where people are blinding themselves or chopping off their nutsacks because they "identify" as crippled or as eunuchs.

The saving grace of the Woke movement is that hardly any of its members reproduce; in theory the genetic propensity to fall for this kind of Twilight Zone nonsense will breed itself out of the population. Unfortunately, the two generations indoctrinated in the ideology are very young: how much damage will they do over the ensuing decades until they pass from old age or from WuFlu booster shot number sixty seven?

Of course, we might not even be waiting that long: we could legitimately be in The End Times right now. I'm not an expert in those scriptural prophecies, but I know people who are, who are reasonably convinced we're close to the end of the road. 2033 would mark the two thousandth anniversary since Christ's Resurrection: there is an interesting symmetry there. Minimally, things will settle into some new equilibrium for the new First Turning. Unfortunately, "equilibrium" could be "New Soviet Union."

How Can It Get Worse?

On that very note, it's frightening listening to young people talk: "January 6th" protesters are being beaten in gulags without due process, while the Hair Sniffer In Chief went up on a Darth Vader black and blood red stage pronouncing that white people are terrorists-- and the young folks want a more "progressive" candidate? Lenin's corpse is still viable, maybe they can reanimate his brain too?

"No Justice No Peace", where "justice" means a law system built around the Victimhood Olympics. Is that "progress"? Or banning cars so no one can travel? How about eliminating "fossil fuels" so billions of people around the world starve? While we're at it, why not just round all white men up and simply execute them altogether? With how absurdly Left the world already is, what does "more progressive" even look like at this point?

Better Than I'd Thought?

My original hypothesis regarding Tucker Carlson was that his value derived from hitting millions of Boomer viewers every night with "75% towards the truth" realities, which that audience wouldn't normally get. In other words, if one were to dump him off a mainstream television network and into the wide pool of YouTubers, there are other people who are simply closer to the truth than him. Incidentally, these days my favorite is Vincent James, to whom I listen via Gab TV.

But the more I've heard from Tucker via recent interviews and podcasts which are suddenly surfacing, the more I'm shifting my opinion towards "Ok, this guy really does know his stuff-- he was just being heavily shackled by his employer." Now there are various clips, intended to make him look bad, which simply paint him in an even more positive light. I will very closely watch what Tucker decides to do next: perhaps he can team up with one of his best friends, the also-excellent Alex Jones?

End of Xbox

Take a listen to the ever obnoxiously corporate Phil Spencer on an equally nauseating podcast explain how the concept of "Xbox" consoles is not long for this world, and how the division is simply going to shift towards cloud streaming. He doesn't use those exact words, but it doesn't take a genius to interpret what he's saying. And there's no missing context either: feel free to rewind from the timestamp-- his words are what they are.

On the Nintendo front, everyone is just waiting for that "Switch 2" announcement, which has to be coming pretty soon. If it's backwards-compatible I will probably buy one, since I have an enormous library of physical Switch titles. As for Sony, the PlayStation 5 Pro is coming next year-- but what games are there to play within their ecosystem? Their first-party titles are either Hollywood walking simulators, have gross dykey protagonists such as in "The Last of Us 2", "Horizon: Forbidden West", and "Returnal", or both.

Then you've got PC, which has no exclusives outside of "pixelshit" indie titles: the PC is a third party-only platform, by its nature. And as we all know, third-party developers can't produce working software these days to save their lives. The industry could really use a brand new platform with deliberately-constrained specs: maybe it could be a 32-bit machine, like a new PSX with a simple-to-program SoC? That would force developers to keep their project scopes in check, go back to focusing more on rich gameplay, and allow for more risk taking.

Of course, nothing would stop them from making Woke or pretentious content on the new system as well. But maybe with 3DO-Saturn-PSX visuals, not enough red haired SJWs would even be interested in the ecosystem?
Funcolands and Malls - 13:21 CST, 4/29/23 (Sniper)
One of my favorite places to go in the 90s, in the first years it opened, was the Mall of America. It had every imaginable electronics store: multiple Radio Shacks, two Funcolands, two Electronics Boutiques, an EBX, and this weird store on the main floor right by Camp Snoopy called "Game Stop". They had a food court with all of the best places: Taco Bell, Burger King, McDonald's, and so forth. And the food court overlooked the aforementioned Camp Snoopy's rollercoaster, creating a super cool, echoey, open-air ambience.

Today though, I would not feel safe taking my kids there. These kinds of incidents-- black people quite literally going around shooting at each other, mugging other patrons, and so forth-- happen there all of the time. This would have been unheard of in the early 90s, when I frequented the mall. It reminds me of what happened to Brookdale Mall, another place I used to frequent: a huge wave of black people moved from North Murderapolis to Brooklyn Center, and within fifteen years the mall was almost totally vacant. Then they plowed down the mall and put a Walmart on that spot, and now the Walmart has been closed due to crime also.

Here is another mall, this one in Baltimore, which has seen the same fate. To be clear, ravaging bands of violent people are not the only reason malls have been closing over the past twenty years-- but in the past five years, it has I'm sure been the top reason. Here is the mayor of Brooklyn Center: count the number of times her about page says "oppressed" or "oppression". What a clown: total ideologue. She's never had a real job it appears: finished college in 2010 and went straight into the government. People deserve the government they vote for, and now they no longer have a Target or a Walmart.

The other problem with the Mall of America is that they turned it from a "fun for blue collar middle class families"-- you know, normal people who aren't sick in the head-- into a "pretentious coffee shop" kind of atmosphere for guilty white Wayzata liberals with empty lives. There are no more electronics stores, the awesome fast food court is long gone. I think this is because there no longer is a blue collar middle class in major metropolitan areas, so the mall had to target a different demographic. But in part due to the Blight Rail, it attracted an unintended demographic instead.

Another long-standing personal tradition I've abandoned is the Minnesota State Fair. I predicted there would be a shooting there last year, and there was. I predict there will be at least one this year too, probably multiple. As a replacement, my family really enjoys our local county fair: the food is just as good, it's a wholesome white Christian atmosphere like I remember the State Fair being when I was a kid, there is no crime or litter, and they have fun rides for the kids to boot.

Middle-Aged Game Players

I found this to be an interesting article. It's not often I see Gen X'ers addressed in any way regarding video games. Although the article's author focused more on mechanical issues-- "too many buttons", "too complicated to play", etc.-- I bet the aesthetics and constant Woke messaging is a major issue for my fellow generational cohorts. In fact, I know it is among other Gen X'ers with whom I regularly speak about video games. It's that "Invasion of the Hobby Snatchers" post I wrote back in 2019, mixed with a bit of Yuri Bezmenov.

Political Philosophies

For a long time I wrote about and espoused Libertarian principles, specifically Anarcho-Capitalism. But as time has elapsed and I have observed the world around me, I've come to realize that certain approaches yield generally positive outcomes in some situations, yet are disastrous in others. Where I live now, what is in effect Anarch-Capitalism spontaneously emerged, because no one commits any crimes-- so there are basically no police, and other than property taxes the State plays an essentially invisible role in people's lives. But if one were to eradicate the State in Murderapolis, it would be complete chaos because heathens would run amok.

In point of fact and somewhat ironically, this is what the Demoncrats are attempting by eliminating cash bail, de-criminalizing theft, or refusing to prosecute people for even violent crimes: the cities has become absolutely chaotic. Anarcho-Capitalism doesn't work when a critical mass of the population are violent, uneducated, illiterate hedonists.

There is also a thing my brother said to me a few years ago: "The State isn't a thing to be eliminated or minimized: it's a thing to be wielded." One thing I've learned over the past couple of years is that vicious sociopaths absolutely will take over the State apparatus, and destroy its ideological opposition with it, as they have done and are presently doing. They follow Herbert Marcuse's idea of "intolerant tolerance"-- meaning, toleration for Left-wing ideas and no toleration for Right-wing notions. Libertarians, by contrast, are tolerant of all ideas, up until someone points a gun at their head-- by which point it's too late. They yielded power, and the other side laughingly and gladly obliged them by taking all of the power!

Libertarianism is often a completely self-defeating ideology. As are its corollary ideas, like pluralism and democracy.

This suggests to me that my brother was correct: "our side" should take control of the State apparatus, and outlaw-- with severe penalties-- philosophies counter to our will. It could be similar to what Hitler did once he consolidated power: put all of the pornography and Communist literature into huge bonfires, and start an exchange program to get as many Jews out of the country as possible. Someone like a George Soros would be persona non grata, and anyone found accepting money from people of his ilk would be dealt with severely. We should outlaw behaviors contrary to Christian morality.

In other words, I think today I would describe myself as something of a Fascist. Or perhaps, a Christian Theocrat. In another time or place, I would undoubtedly advocate for some alternative approach. Pendulums swing, different situations call for different measures. But right now, we have a lot of house cleaning to do.

More GR86 Impressions

The wife has had some chances to cruise around in the GR86 over the past couple of days. She doesn't read this blog ordinarily, and so didn't see this post. I also did not share my opinions with her verbally, so as to not influence her impressions. Her take on the car, uncolored by neither punditry nor myself, was something like as follows:

She had no clue what the engine was doing at any given time: the throttle is mushy and indirect, and there is virtually no exhaust note-- so it is like flying in an airliner-- the windows communicate that you are moving, but there is very little feedback beyond that; The clutch is vague, but has such a generous "catch" window that she wondered if it was even possible to kill the car; The steering is not as pleasantly heavy as the outgoing 350z's, but also didn't feel twitchy on the highway like her WRX's; visibility out of the car is miles better than was the case with the aforementioned 350z; the car feels surprisingly quick, more powerful than she was expecting.

On the balance she gave it a "C": "The car itself is fine and even good by modern-car standards I guess-- but cars have really gone backwards over the past several years: they feel less visceral and more indirect, like computers with wheels."