The Exigent Duality
Silly Test - 18:24 CST, 11/28/20 (Sniper)
This test is pretty hilarious; their definitions of what constitutes "Fascism" were pulled out of a hat: some sort of fit, but others are indicative of clear bias.

If you want mom to cook dinner and dad to have a job, then you're evidently a Mussolini acolyte. If anything, collectivist ideologies denigrate the traditional family so that the children can be wards of the State. Defining "traditional values" as "Fascist" is simply a way of labeling Christian Conservatives, most of whom are Classical Liberals these days.

Another example is the rebirth "myth", which is merely a poorly disguised shot at "Make America Great Again". If you have a prolific scientist who becomes an unemployed Cheeto-scarfing slob, then decides to start eating healthy again while resuscitating his career, that's a rebirth-- and it's a good thing. Same goes for ten people, or ten million people following that pattern, restoring the national character (tourism, trade, industry, etc.): these examples are not "myths", nor do they have anything to do with Fascism.

Interestingly, I answered the question once as myself, and scored around a 30%. In the spirit of Jonathan Heidt, I answered again as a Social Justice Warrior, and obtained around an 80%. Yet I don't sense that the academics who phrased the questions fully considered just how closely "their side" fits many of these definitions, such as "press and speech control", and "denunciation of enemies".
Ulterior Motives - 07:28 CST, 11/28/20 (Sniper)
One thing which took me almost forty years of life to fully digest is just how self-centered people are, to the point of being "on the take". I've always been of the Japanese businessman attitude I've read about: focus on an equitable deal for both sides of the contract. But most people are not wired like that.

Take for example Creepy Joe going around for years saying that "China is our friend", "We should help lift them up", only for 2020 to reveal that he had extensive "pay to play" ties there selling his political influence. I've realized over time that this kind of behavior is so widespread that you veritably can't take anything anyone says at face value.

As it turns out, this happens in the video game industry too: your favorite streamer has been playing some game, presumably because they like it, only for you to find out later that they were being paid to do so by a giant corporation. Think an artist makes character designs which fulfill their own artistic vision? Guess again: the marketing and HR departments write the design documents, which is how you wind up with "Gears Tactics" or "The Outer Worlds".
Voting Machines, ICANN, and Ray Tracing - 08:28 CST, 11/27/20 (Sniper)
A few interesting things going on today.


Voting Machine Madness

I've been closely following the voting machine revelations. The systems have:

  • A graphical administrative back-end, which lets admins visually drag and drop data around.

  • An audit table in the underlying database. But given my experience of the public sector, there's no doubt in my mind that everyone logs in with the same user, probably "admin" and "abc" for username and password, respectively.

  • The chief security and strategy fellow for Dominion revealed a few years ago that the underlying database can easily be accessed directly. That would mean direct SQL statement or document execution, including a deletion or modification of any audit or voting data.

  • The system has some kind of scheduling system, perhaps "cron" or some equivalent, where batch jobs can be executed to modify the data.

  • Scripts can be dropped onto the machines either remotely via a network, or locally via a USB thumb drive or some other approximation. Meanwhile, the physical lock mechanism guarding the USB port on the machines can be opened without a key using just a cleverly folded piece of cardboard.

But the most hilarious aspect came compliments of this article: "Watkins said that to report the final vote counts, the machine operator would copy and paste the 'Results' folder from the machine onto a USB drive."

Any of this writer's fellow IT professionals will find this highly amusing. One can imagine the poll worker training clearly, conducted by a morbidly obese woman wearing a Face Diaper: "you just drag and drop the folder onto the thumb drive!" Apparently the subsequent step was for the workers to then manually plug the thumb drives-- it's difficult to even type this with a straight face, it's so absurd-- into the server, and drag the "results folder" onto that system's storage for final tabulation.

Apparently there have been thumb drives found in multiple states just sitting around, where they never got plugged back into the servers! Others were undoubtedly fed in multiple times: for anyone who knows the public sector, the combination of corruptness and total ineptitude undoubtedly going on at these places when expecting low-paid or even volunteer non-technical people to be hurriedly following an elaborate manual process like this can not be overstated.


ICANN Prediction

Mark Dice has proven pretty prescient over the years, and the new prediction he makes in this video will almost certainly come to pass: at some juncture, even ICANN will probably become captured, and start denying domain name registrations for persona non grata entities.

Right-leaning people-- which at this point includes anyone to the Right of Chairman Mao-- not only need their own parallel search engines, encyclopedias, dictionaries, news sites, video hosting platforms, and means of communication, but probably also their own DNS equivalent, for Pete's sake. If Lefties had a way to stop Ethernet cables from selectively transmitting packets over copper at the molecular level they'd make use of that as well.


Levity

And now on to something less serious and more fun: a quick peek at a brand new game running on the previous generation video game systems really illustrates what a leap in power they are, however incremental it might be compared to console releases in the past: even the Series S rendition is significantly better looking than the title running on the One X.

And remember, that last comparison is not even an intended-by-Microsoft upgrade path: their intentions are "One S -> Series S" and "One X -> Series X": but remove the "next gen" features like ray traced reflections, and these new titles look like Nintendo Switch games by contrast, even when the somewhat meager Series S is used as the comparison basis.
Much Belated Z Car - 08:36 CST, 11/25/20 (Sniper)
Someone recently asked me why I drive a now-eighteen year-old car, when I can easily afford a brand new one.

The first reason is simple: I just don't drive very much. A couple of years ago, I traveled twelve hundred miles in that entire year! My car is essentially full-time garaged, sometimes for weeks at a time.

The second reason is a bit more complicated.

When I bought my then-six year-old 350z in 2009, my plan was to own it for four or five years, then leap to the inevitable V8-powered "440z", or whatever it'd be called. And indeed, the car industry was moving that direction, with Chrysler and Ford having just revitalized their Pony Cars with fresh new eight-cylindered power plants.

But over the ensuing eleven years, and the car industry went in a direction I simply failed to anticipate: forward progress didn't merely stop, but shifted into a reverse gear.

Modern cars have gone backwards via both smaller engines, thanks to the State's "CAFE" mandates, and with "features" such as cameras which spy on their own drivers, "ASS" systems which kill engines at every stop light, steering wheels which wrestle control from the driver and which have nearly slammed family members' cars directly into concrete barriers or veered them into oncoming traffic, plus State-mandated GPS systems and black boxes.

And relative to median family incomes, car prices have exploded as well, especially for someone like me who enjoys Japanese sports cars in particular.

The net effect of all of this is that it's difficult for me to justify the cost of a new car, when my rear-wheel drive, 50/50 weight balance, three hundred horse power existing car already does everything the new cars do, minus the annoyances. So it's with a bittersweet feeling that after all of this time-- an eternity in car terms, really-- Nissan is finally releasing a new "400"-branded Z car. Here is a profile shot comparing it to my very own Z. I rather like it, in spite of the hideous banana yellow color:



Apparently, it's even going to be offered with a manual transmission, the absence of which is an absolute deal breaker for me.

But now the downside: the CAFE mandates have struck once again, and this new Z has a twin-turbo V6 in lieu of a proper V8. As someone who frequently drives a V6 versus the 4-cylinder turbo in wifey's Subaru Impreza WRX, this writer can personally attest to the old saying, "turbos are God's way of saying you don't have enough cylinders." You lose a lot in terms of sensation and satisfaction with the move to smaller engines.

The sad part about this is that larger engines get better gas mileage in real-world driving, with real-world drivers, because the added low-end torque and overall muscle-like feeling of power means people don't mash the throttle: wifey's aforementioned WRX can't get out of its own way under three thousand RPM, and as a result my borderline-classic car Z with its much larger engine is more economical, because the up-shifting can realistically happen much earlier.

The only reason turbos get better mileage on government tests is because they can be kept out of boost. But no one actually drives like that: it's like how Top Gear, many years ago, showed the kind of fuel economy one gets when pushing a Toyota Pious-- it was worse than an M-badged BMW. And surely enough, essentially every time I am near a Pious the driver is flooring it at every light just to get reasonable acceleration.

Let's not also forget that reliability walks in step with simplicity: an engine with two turbos, plus correspondingly sophisticated cooling mechanisms, is destined to create the kind of long-term issues I saw when researching BMW's twin-turbo V6 3-Series line once upon a time-- those cars typically don't even make it to eighty-thousand miles without catastrophic failures: in essence, they are designed sort of like cellphones, but for the " lease-and-trade-in every few years" C-Suite execs who don't ever own cars long-term anyway.

But back to this new Z: As more details about the car emerge, I'll also be curious to see if it has obnoxious "assist features". And I wouldn't count on it costing less than forty thousand USD either.

And let's not forget: State actors in China, Europe, and the US have all indicated that they plan to outlaw internal combustion engined cars, in lieu of virtue-signaling external combustion, non-autonomous transportation appliances: does a car like this new Z even have a future? Time will tell.
Early Doors Bejing Biden - 07:01 CST, 11/25/20 (Sniper)
I remember the State-run media actor "Lester Holt" being one in a long, shameful line of in-the-tank debate "moderators" when he oversaw a confrontation between Trump and Hitlery in 2016-- so it was no surprise to see him suggest in this interview that Creepy Joe should "investigate Donald Trump". For what, I'm not sure-- maybe dust off the Steele Dossier again? It was also no surprise to see the pair sitting four miles apart, separated by seventy six tons of iron and plexiglass: better not catch the WuFlu, might get the sniffles for a few days!

Before listening to the interview itself, re-skim my "The Case for Trump" post-- then listen to what Bejing "Creepy Joe" Biden says he'll do in his first one hundred days, should he somehow weasel his way into the position: the election itself being a topic good ole Lester doesn't bring up, naturally:

  • Provide citizenship to eleven million guaranteed Democrat voters illegal aliens.

  • Add a bunch of regulations back to the energy industry.

  • Bail out the failed Democratic-run bastions with Federal funds, after they'd let domestic terrorist groups such as "Black Lives Matter" and "Antifa" destroy cities for months-on-end.

  • Give disproportionate "help to communities" based on the skin color of their members.

  • Guarantee "health care" to people, Communist Manifesto style.

  • If another "George Floyd" happens, he will "look at the facts" like "the last administration". Maybe this future George Floyd could be his son, too? He would also work with "Civil Rights" organizations.

As a side note, watch him completely lose his train of thought and devolve into word salad gibberish, starting at the 1:47 mark; the clip is only five minutes long, for Barack's sake, and he couldn't even make it through the whole thing. To throw Creepy Joe a bone though, he did attest that "most" cops are good guys, while declining Lester's aforementioned invitation to "investigate" Trump: who ever said it's an easy job juggling middle-of-the-road constituents with radical Communists and econuts? The Democrats are a "big tent"! C'mon, man!
Meta Gaming - 13:40 CST, 11/23/20 (Sniper)
As shiny, polished, and impressive as is the PlayStation 5, in net I'm almost more impressed with the Series X: I just installed the Xbox 360 port of "Wolfenstein 3D" which I'd bought what feels like a life time ago, and it actually runs properly via the backwards compatibility mode. The system even emulates the 360's shell, so the achievement "bleep" effect uses the old, low-resolution graphic.

That's a 2009 port of a 1992 DOS game, running on a 12.5 teraflops Xbox Series X from 2020. As an aside, these "Xbox Live Arcade" games don't carry their achievements over, so you can even enjoy re-earning them.

Want to get even crazier? Right now I'm installing the Xbox 360 port of the Gamecube port of the Dreamcast's "Sonic Adventure"-- and it will apparently run at 2160p with "auto HDR". For real.

The fact that one can jump from playing the cutting edge triple-A "Assassin's Creed Valhalla" blockbuster, to an Xbox One launch title, to an Xbox 360 launch game, to an early-doors original Xbox release, from moment-to-moment and all on the same system, feels somewhat mind blowing. Not only that, but it's 2160p and HDR across-the-board, even on the old titles thanks to the algorithmic "auto HDR".

Popping the physical "Splinter Cell" disc from 2002 into the Series X and having it "just run" simply adds to the strangeness.

It's a pity Sony didn't take the same approach with the PlayStation 5: I have physical copies of some old PSX and PlayStation 2 games in my basement, such as "Metal Gear Solid" and "The Legend of Dragoon": I can only imagine what it would be like to exerience those running on the latest hardware. Instead, the PlayStation 5 is razor focused on the singular task of running 2013-and-on triple-A games as well as possible.

There's no shame in that approach, especially because the execution is so good. But the Series X has shown me that Sony's latest machine could have been much more: like an official Sony-branded "Polymega", but which also has the core PlayStation 5's cutting edge capabilities.

A final note: Sony has said that they are working on a "Game Pass competitor", which proves they are open to changing direction based on the competition-- who is to say they won't later on add backwards compatibility to their previous systems? One can hope.
Three-Way Spec Comparison - 11:59 CST, 11/22/20 (Sniper)
I thought it would be fun to put together a table comparing my PC with the two new pieces of dedicated gaming hardware presently adorning my desk:

SpecSniper's PCPlayStation 5Xbox Series X
CPU6-Core AMD Zen 28-Core AMD Zen 28-Core AMD Zen 2
CPU Max Clock4400 MHz3500 MHz3800 MHz
GPUNvidia RTX 2080AMD RDNA 2AMD RDNA 2
GPU Chip Details2944 "CUDA" Cores @ 1800 MHz36 "Compute Units" @ 2230 MHz52 "Compute Units" @ 1825 MHz
Memory8 GB @ 44,800 MB/s, 32 GB @ 23,466 MB/s16 GB @ 44,800 MB/s10 GB @ 56,000 GB/s, 6 GB @ 33,600 MB/s
Storage512 MB @ 1775 MB/s, 3 TB @ 190 MB/s825 GB @ 5500 MB/s raw1 TB @ 2400 MB/s raw

A little over a week ago, I wrote about how these specs manifest in terms of real-world performance. The nutshell is that both systems are slightly slower at delivering framerates than my RTX 2080, and my PC's advantage grows when ray tracing and / or DLSS are added to the mix.

However, I am seeing storage-related things on the PlayStation 5 side of which my current PC storage solution can only dream: fast travel in "Spider-Man Remastered" for example involves nothing more than a fade-out, fade-in.

As far as comparing the two dedicated systems goes, so far the PlayStation 5 is slightly faster than the Series X: Mark Cerny's theory that higher clocks would be better than trying to keep more "Compute Units" busy is proving correct so far, although over time developers may tweak their engines to take better advantage of the Series X's "Compute Unit" count advantage, perhaps by making their graphics subsystems more multi-threaded.

Additionally, the eventual emergence of some kind of DLSS-comparable upscaling is not impossible for the new systems, which would help them close the gap between them and my PC, or even allow them to surpass my PC. However, absent silicon dedicated for that purpose, any such solution will undoubtedly be inferior to DLSS itself.
Own Site is Best - 16:04 CST, 11/20/20 (Sniper)
The difficulty in sharing information online regarding "the selection" has caused wifey to come around to the idea of looking for substitutes for the web sites she uses.

To get away from Zuckerdroid, she's been investigating "MeWe"-- but I'm skeptical:



This is the same sorts of language the "Big Tech" corporations use. The founder was a regular Hitlery and Creepy Joe donor in 2016 and 2020, respectively, and his last name is "Weinstein"-- uh-huh.

By contrast, take a look at BitChute's policies: as long as you aren't uploading videos of yourself dismembering bodies, you're all good-- while "harassment" is clearly defined as language which is illegal.

I told wifey not to hesitate to use "MeWe", but to also not get too attached to it in the likely case that it goes completely sideways in the next few years.
Obsession Culture - 07:31 CST, 11/19/20 (Sniper)
It's entertaining to observe the overreactions to this: I played a few hours of the Series X version of the game last night, and it runs wonderfully; even after having watched the aforelinked video, I couldn't pick up on any issues with it.

I respect that YouTube channels such as "Digital Foundry" exist, but to a large degree they also feed into the negative feedback loop of pedantry, where software developers get harassed because their engine has some flaw which no one would have otherwise even noticed. Evidently, programmers have only had the official Series X and S development kits since June; it's amazing the games run as well as they do.

Growing up in the 80s and 90s, half the titles everyone played ran in the teens framerate-wise, and no one cared as long as a given game was holistically fun. I'm not sure when this obsession with performance "perfection" came to be, especially since the titles have much larger issues involving their tacky aesthetics and lack of originality.

The larger observation I have regarding "Valhalla" is how it's a copy and paste of "Odyssey", just dropped onto a new set of snowy wallpaper: the control scheme, the menus, the combat plus animation systems, the stealth implementation, and even the bird mechanic plus its animations are all lifted one hundred percent. It's as lazy as EA's annualized sports franchises! Yet I haven't heard anyone else bring this up-- perhaps because it's still a fun game, as was "Odyssey" before it.

Speaking of the Series X, the integrated video trim tool is broken: it crashes every time I try to use it. One of my favorite features of PlayStations 4 and 5 is the bundled "SHAREfactory" software, and it's a bummer Microsoft doesn't include some sort of equivalent. At least they let the user conveniently upload screenshots and videos directly to "OneDrive", so they can be easily transferred to a PC for editing.
News Media - 16:03 CST, 11/18/20 (Sniper)
I've found a new favorite site: straight into my RSS feeds. It marries the professional style of a traditional newspaper, to actual integrity. It was also founded by Communism survivors, and has an accurate election map: bonus points.



On the complete opposite end of the integrity spectrum, I leave this for my readers' entertainment:



Finally, here is the only-partially-compromised Tucker echoing the realities I discussed in this post. Nice one Mr. Carlson!
Culture Solved - 09:46 CST, 11/17/20 (Sniper)
Regular readers will know that I've been criticizing what I've described as a "lack of authenticity" in the world around me, including video games. This opinion piece zeroes in on the exact phenomenon, while simultaneously solving the "hipster" riddle. The author also not only mirrors my own observations regarding the infantilization of society, but explains why that is happening.

Following are excerpts from the article, bold emphasis is mine. As you're reading, think "indie games", "games journalist Twitter feeds", "Minnesota United supporters", and "Antifa members" especially:

"Take, for example, an ad that calls itself an ad, makes fun of its own format, and attempts to lure its target market to laugh at and with it. It pre-emptively acknowledges its own failure to accomplish anything meaningful. No attack can be set against it, as it has already conquered itself. The ironic frame functions as a shield against criticism. The same goes for ironic living. Irony is the most self-defensive mode, as it allows a person to dodge responsibility for his or her choices, aesthetic and otherwise. To live ironically is to hide in public."


"How did this happen? It stems in part from the belief that this generation has little to offer in terms of culture, that everything has already been done, or that serious commitment to any belief will eventually be subsumed by an opposing belief, rendering the first laughable at best and contemptible at worst. This kind of defensive living works as a pre-emptive surrender and takes the form of reaction rather than action."


"Something about the responsibility of choosing a personal, meaningful gift for a friend feels too intimate, too momentous. I somehow cannot bear the thought of a friend disliking a gift I’d chosen with sincerity. The simple act of noticing my self-defensive behavior has made me think deeply about how potentially toxic ironic posturing could be."


"...it signals a deep aversion to risk. As a function of fear and pre-emptive shame, ironic living bespeaks cultural numbness, resignation and defeat."


"This ironic ethos can lead to a vacuity and vapidity of the individual and collective psyche."


"Where can we find other examples of nonironic living? What does it look like? Nonironic models include very young children, elderly people, deeply religious people, people with severe mental or physical disabilities, people who have suffered, and those from economically or politically challenged places where seriousness is the governing state of mind."


"Here is a start: Look around your living space. Do you surround yourself with things you really like or things you like only because they are absurd? Listen to your own speech. Ask yourself: Do I communicate primarily through inside jokes and pop culture references? What percentage of my speech is meaningful? How much hyperbolic language do I use? Do I feign indifference? Look at your clothes. What parts of your wardrobe could be described as costume-like, derivative or reminiscent of some specific style archetype (the secretary, the hobo, the flapper, yourself as a child)? In other words, do your clothes refer to something else or only to themselves? Do you attempt to look intentionally nerdy, awkward or ugly? In other words, is your style an anti-style? The most important question: How would it feel to change yourself quietly, offline, without public display, from within?"


"People may choose to continue hiding behind the ironic mantle, but this choice equals a surrender to commercial and political entities more than happy to act as parents for a self-infantilizing citizenry."


In a nutshell then, Millennials are so low on confidence that they pre-emptively self-sabotage themselves as a means of averting the risk of criticism. Hipsters and contemporary video game aesthetic sensibilities are manifestations of the phenomenon.

Giant corporations-- makers of triple-A video games, news corporations like CNN, popular music labels-- then sell infantilized products to Millennials, who have voluntarily surrendered their willingness to make authentic asethetic judgements (because their judgements could be wrong! So why bother).
Series X's Ace in the Hole - 17:33 CST, 11/15/20 (Sniper)
As I wrote here, the past twenty-odd years of video gaming has hardly been my favorite period in the medium's history. All the same, on a whim I decided to pop the few Xbox discs I own into the Series X, to see how they run.

First up was "NFL 2K5":



It's a pity they don't just give the player a "no warranty, may not work" message, and let the game attempt to run anyway. Maybe there are legal reasons. In any event, I moved on to the next title, which was "Splinter Cell":



Clearly this "update" is the entire game, and then some: I doubt "Splinter Cell" was 3.5 GB in the first place, but what do I know. The download completed, whereupon I had an icon on my dashboard. I selected it, and was greeted by an emulated version of the original Xbox system startup animation. Nice touch.

The grainy-by-modern-standards intro FMV played, with its early-2000's 'tude. From the game's menu, I selected the "Download Levels" option:



I guess the Windows 98 PC sitting under Bob's desk which served up these files back in the day finally got its plug kicked out of the power strip. Oh well! Let's start the actual game then and get into the first level:







Holy cow! "Breathing new life into an old game" doesn't even begin to describe it. I'm a poor judge of framerate, but it appeared to be sixty frames per second. The resolution looked like a native 4K 4:3-equivalent, with some kind of modern anti-aliasing applied to it as well. And the so-called "auto HDR" was incredible: I had no idea it would work as well as it does.

I captured a couple of screenshots straight from the unit itself, click on them for the full 2160p versions:







Next up was the one I'd been anticipating the most-- except that I couldn't find my copy of it, despite tearing my house apart: "Morrowind: Game of the Year"!

I am aware that "OpenMW" is the best way to play the game today-- but seeing an emulated version upscaled and with HDR, in the manner illustrated above, and with zero load times, would be a treat in a whole different way. If I do find the copy, expect a follow-up blog post.

I've been downplaying this backwards compatibility feature of the Series X, but now having experienced it, it seems like somewhat of an "ace in the hole" for Microsoft.
PlayStation 5 Initial Impressions - 19:28 CST, 11/14/20 (Sniper)
As I've already done with Microsoft's Xbox Series X, what follows are my impressions of the bizarre looking PlayStation 5: it's Sony's turn under the grueling lights of judgement.

Where the Series X surprised both my son and me by being smaller and better looking than we'd expected, Sony's new machine evoked the opposite reaction. It almost impossibly manages to be even larger and more homely than it appears in photographs, where it had been growing on me. The biggest issue is its height, which gives it freakish and unsettling proportions.

In complete contrast then, the two-tone controller is perhaps the prettiest video game input device of all time, with its wonderful black analog sticks and strip, the latter of which stretches down the grips like the color-contrasting paint of an exotic hypercar. It feels solid and weighty in the hands, with the soft button and d-pad feel for which PlayStation controllers have always been known.



Today, I marathoned-to-completion the pack-in title, "Astro's Playroom". Even though the game doesn't attempt to push the system's graphical capabilities to the max, it still presents the combination of materials quality, framerate, resolution, and lighting sophistication that belies the console's muscle.

More importantly though, it introduces the player to two of the system's best features: the controller's advanced rumble functionality, and the PlayStation 5's proprietary, custom 3D audio silicon.

On the first count, the resistance-based triggers can seamlessly perform feats such as requiring unusual amounts of force to "snap" them past a certain threshold, almost as if they'd been glued in place. It's startlingly impressive that this sort of behavior is even possible with haptics. During one game level, rain piddles onto an umbrella, and the sensation this produces via the controller is remarkable.

On the second count, and as described as a possible approach by Mark Cerny some months ago, the system does in fact ship with selectable 3D audio profiles, five of them in total. The system plays a gargling brook sound, while the player selects which version gives an "at ear level" impression.

"Astro's Playroom" amply demonstrates two points regarding this new audio chip: first, that this faux-surround sound isn't as effective as specialized surround-oriented headphone hardware: however, that it still provides a fascinating depth and breadth to the sound which wouldn't be present ordinarily.



The system dashboard is instrumented into the titles themselves, for example by allowing the player to warp between different game levels. Even better, it's in native 2160p, with HDR. Aesthetically, its iconography and menu fonts are fetching, while the experience of jumping between games, settings, friend list, and other sections feel very natural.

Sony did opt for the Nintendo Switch route of only showing the player's most recent games, dropping the rest off the end of the list into a "Game Library" dumpster. Now PlayStation 5 owners can join the "please give us folders" chorus.



Sony and Microsoft are the "Metallica" and "Megadeth" equivalents of the video game industry respectively, with the Series X filling the role of "Countdown to Extinction": a beautiful second place on the charts, only to still get beaten by their arch-nemesis. While Phil Spencer was getting the Redmond giant's video game house back in order, Sony managed to score a hole-in-one.

It may evoke panic and dread if viewed by a sleepy owner immediately upon drifting out of a deep slumber, but every other aspect of the PlayStation 5 feels crisp, polished, and innovative. Simultaneously, it feels familiar and comforting to those who have been playing the plethora of previous Sony platforms as shown off in "Astro's Playroom".

And speaking of the pack-in title, it's a gem given its zero dollar price and intended purpose. It's not "Wii Sports", in that no seventy five year old great grandmother is going to have an interest in it-- but for the average video game player, it will get them excited to buy more PlayStation 5 software.

On that point, perhaps Microsoft's "Game Pass" isn't going to be as large of a competitive advantage as once thought. After an uninterrupted day with the hardware, it's difficult for this writer to imagine Sony having a difficult time selling games for this platform.

Finally, early cross-platform software seems to indicate that the PlayStation 5's performance perhaps isn't materially behind the nominally more powerful Series X after all. But even if those outcomes don't quite hold, the PlayStation 5 is an easy recommendation.
PC Superiority, but Does It Matter? - 10:32 CST, 11/13/20 (Sniper)
The first wave of cross-platform games are now available, and the results are extremely interesting:

  • The PlayStation 5 is barely any slower than the Series X in practice, and is in fact faster in certain workloads: my predictions about this being another "One X versus PlayStation 4 Pro" situation are incorrect, at least so far.

  • In pure rasterization terms, the Series X and PlayStation 5 are slightly slower than my RTX 2080.

  • In ray-traced workloads, the Series X and PlayStation 5 are roughly equivalent to an RTX 2060 Super, with DLSS disabled on the latter. As predicted, Nvidia's dedicated "RT Core" silicon is substantially faster than RDNA2's brute-forced ray tracing approach.

  • In ray-traced workloads with DLSS enabled, the RTX 2060 base model is materially faster than the Series X or PlayStation 5.

  • In ray-traced workloads with DLSS enabled, something like the RTX 3080 leaves the Series X and PlayStation 5 absolutely in the dust, demonstrating a gulf-like performance advantage.

  • The storage speed advantages of the new consoles has seemingly been overstated: loading screen times on a contemporary 3.5 GB/s PC NVMe SSD are roughly the same.

I can see this situation in two ways:


First Outlook

At the present time and given my mixed early impressions, I'm not seeing what the point of the Series X is, for those who can afford a Ryzen 3600 PC with even a base RTX 2060, and who plan to predominantly play triple-A games which support DLSS-- especially if this player enjoys ray-tracing. The Series X's price-to-performance advantage starts to slip away, especially when one considers all of the other things one can use a PC for, and considering PC components can routinely be found substantially on sale.

I'm also struggling to see what advantage the Series X has over the PlayStation 5, assuming results continue to show the two with materially identical performance: the PlayStation 5 has a much better user interface, an innovative controller, and a large stable of "next generation"-style games right from the get-go. Albeit, it also has early-doors issues with system reset-requiring update hanging, sadly reminiscent of Windows 10's Microsoft Store, and even outright bricking.

The only differentiator in the Series X's cap versus the PlayStation 5-- but not versus the PC-- is "Game Pass": and to be fair, getting an entire system's library of games "for free" with a paid-up membership is a pretty big deal. Then again, for people with patience, PlayStation 5 heavy hitters will undoubtedly be obtainable for cut-rate pries on eBay, some months after their releases.

The real winner in this outlook is the Series S: all of the graphical features of the Series X and PlayStation 5 just at a lower resolution, full "Game Pass" support, but at only 300 USD where the price-performance ratio competition with the PC makes more sense.


Second Outlook

These new video game systems are monsters: they will consistently run games at reconstructed 4K with HDR at sixty frames per second, and will even hit thirty frames per second at a reconstructed 4K with more-than-reasonable quality ray tracing in use. In some games, these systems can even approach-or-hit one hundred and twenty frames per second, at slightly lower quality settings, and with a little barely-noticeable dynamic resolution scaling.

At that point, what is the purpose of having more power? Something like an RTX 3080 is such overkill that in practical terms, sitting not three inches from the televison, while actually concentrating on playing a real game, one wouldn't even be able to tell any differences between its output and a Series X or PlayStation 5: it's capable of much more, but would one even notice?

On top of it, Sony has a huge stable of exclusive games, many of which are the among the best games of the past several years. Meanwhile, Microsoft is essentially giving away their and EA's entire libraries of games for a small monthly subscription fee. Not to mention, with a box dedicated to just playing video games, the annoying aspects of Windows 10 can be avoided completely-- especially useful for a full-time GNU/Linux user such as myself.
China in America - 08:22 CST, 11/12/20 (Sniper)
Creepy Joe, Cameltoe, and their motley crew of Democrats want to turn the United States into a China clone. Their first step towards this goal is to replace the current Representative Republic system with a uniparty concept, in which elections are purely symbolic. They will attempt to enact this idea via the following methods:

  1. Rig the current election system to get their people in power.
  2. Eliminate the filibuster and introduce new states, to neuter the Senate.
  3. Stack the Supreme Court, to neuter that institution.

The only remaining hurdle for them is what to do about the House: fickle citizens who have the expectation of these silly little notions called "freedom" or "democracy" are going to continually try to overturn the Democrat's advantage in that body. Probably, the solution will be to expand even further the existing Ilhan Omar-modeled ballot harvesting operations.

Once that is accomplished, they will whittle away at freedom of expression. This will be done using these measures:

  1. Convert the media into State-run television. This is complete.
  2. Censor the internet, ala China's "Great Firewall". This is almost complete.
  3. Intimidate, threaten, and commit violence against political opponents. This is well underway.
  4. Whittle away at private firearm ownership, starting with the fictitious "assault" weapons, in order to eventually ban all citizen-owned guns.

The idea is that this will consolidate their control. The next, medium-to-long term steps will be:

  1. Install a national social credit apparatus, ala China's "Sesame" system. This will control access to banking, employment, and travel.
  2. Force cowed, Face Diapered citizens to get microchipped with GPS monitoring devices, purportedly for "public health contact tracing".
  3. Eliminate private travel by making cars too expensive for the average person to own. For those who do own them, the cars will be non-autonomous: they won't turn on if social credit is too low, can be remotely taken control of, and so forth.

In general, the Democrats will erode each person's sense that humans are individuals, with inalienable rights, and replace that notion with the concept that the world functions like a giant corporation: there are bosses and employees. Chuckie, Occasional Cortex, Cameltoe, and others like them will be the bosses: the inner-most party members. The rest of us will be the constantly tracked-and-monitored employees. We will need to do as our bosses say, or get fired from society, perhaps even from life.

Interestingly, Chuckie and friends won't be much more safe than us plebes, as evidenced by the fact that Communist parties are constantly pruning. In China, powerful party dissidents routinely get jailed with no trial, while in North Korea Kim Jong Un had half of his family, including his uncle, executed by anti-aircraft fire. You can see this in America with the Left already, where zero deviation is allowed: just check out J.K. Rowling.

People may say that these measures will be impossible, because public support would not be wide enough. I say, go for a drive and look at the number of people strapping Michael Jackson-style Diapers to their faces while driving in their cars, by themselves, with the windows rolled up.

Even among mainstream, non-radical Democrats I've seen widespread lamentations that America isn't more like China. Twice, I've had Democrats tell me "what's holding back America is that it isn't more like China, who can 'just do stuff' without getting permission." Another time, a run-of-the-mill Democrat defended China's WuFlu measures, even after I'd pointed out that they were clubbing people in the streets and welding those people into apartment buildings, with or without food: "Well, it worked, didn't it?"

The reason Democrats like China is because they have been conditioned by America's State-run media and by the entertainment industry-- which routinely un-diversifies and censors rainbow people in their products, for the Chinese market, making billions of dollars in return-- to not see the downsides of Chinese Communism: rather, all they see is the illusion of Chinese efficiency, while being blind to the authoritarianistic downsides.

In other words, the American opinion popular makers are on the take: they will not bite the hand which feeds them. And they in turn influence the more gullible members of American society-- Democrats-- into believing that China is some kind of technocratic utopia.

In this discussion, it's also worth questioning the core tenet of whether China is actually efficient in the first place.

While it's true that China has experienced lots of GDP growth, there are two important things to note: first, GDP includes government expenditures-- every time corrupt Chinese officials hand out Solyndra-style money or build a concrete ghost city with no one living in it, that boosts GDP; second, China has 1.4 billion citizens: with that kind of brute-force productivity, it would be difficult to not have double digit growth as that work force inevitably becomes modernized, regardless of the economic system in place.

Juventus have replaced managers several times over the past decade, and have still won the Scudetto each year: you could make Mickey Mouse the coach, and they'd still win.

In fact, low double-digit growth seems rather tepid when one takes into account the amount of workers: much smaller countries like Singapore have achieved comparable-to-China GDP growth numbers in different quarters. Free market Singapore, by the way, has a population of 6 million.

Another interesting observation regarding China is how trusting Democrats are regarding the data which comes from the CCP. Communist parties do not tell the truth: rather, the "data" is about crafting a narrative. For example, North Korea claims that not one person has died from the WuFlu in their entire country. Not one Democrat believes that to be true-- yet Democrats do believe Chinese officials who make claims regarding the WuFlu there, even as those numbers are totally unverifiable, Chinese citizens who contradict the numbers are "disappeared", and out-bound internet communication from the country is heavily censored.

In conclusion them, Democrats want to institute a uniparty, totalitarian system in the United States, modeled after China-- and it's not difficult at all to see the precise steps they are pursuing to put those plans into motion.

What this means for the so-called "social contract" is unsure: the American government only has its purported "consent of the governed" regarding its current Representative Republic charter (its "constitution")-- if a new system is stealth-enacted via incremental steps, at what point will this consent no longer be established, because the underlying terms of the "contract" will have been altered?
Upcoming Reviews - 07:01 CST, 11/12/20 (Sniper)
According to FedEx, my PlayStation 5 is en route from Kentucky as of midnight, and is expected to arrive tomorrow. Good news! The bad news is that there are fairly significant reports surfacing regarding "bricking" units: the common denominator seems to be when transferring data from a PlayStation 4-- which is something I had planned to do-- exacerbated by making use of the Ethernet port, or external USB storage, to perform that transfer.

In other game-related news, I've taken advantage of Target's "buy two, get one free" sale to expand the list of titles I will have available for review over the next few months. Here is what the list looks like at the moment; the dates shown represent each title's release:

  • Day of the Tentacle Remastered (Series X, Mar 22, 2016)
  • Assassin's Creed: Valhalla (Series X, Nov 10, 2020)
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon (Series X, Nov 10, 2020)
  • Astro's Playroom (PlayStation 5, Nov 12, 2020)
  • Spider-Man Ultimate (PlayStation 5, Nov 12, 2020)
  • Sackboy (PlayStation 5, Nov 12, 2020)
  • Dirt 5 (PlayStation 5, Nov 19, 2020)
  • Monster Hunter Rise (Switch, Mar 26, 2021)

I'm also hearing persistent rumors that "Gran Turismo 7" may come out during a "first half of next year" window. As the single game I am the most excited for, that would be a spectacular surprise!
Series X Initial Impressions - 18:47 CST, 11/10/20 (Sniper)
My Xbox Series X came in yesterday, and I spent last evening getting it hooked up, and installing a couple of games.

My son unpackaged it with me, and our first reaction upon pulling it out of its packing sleeve was just how small the unit was compared to what we were expecting: stack about two-and-a-half Gamecubes one on top of the other, and you've got this system. Its small size is difficult to capture in a photograph, but in person it strikes the eye as having substantially less of a cubic footprint than the enormous-by-comparison PlayStation 4 Pro.

In fact, I'd go so far as to call the Series X cute: the concave fan vent with its green accents mark the high point of the design, both literally and figuratively.

Pre-AA battery insertion, its controller feels similar in heft and button build quality to the twenty dollar Logitech F310 I've used with my PC for many years: take that as you may. To my hands, it's comfortable to hold, and the buttons have nice travel. The d-pad emits audible clicking noises when pressed. The overall controller design is minimalistic then, but it's all you need, and nothing you don't.



The first game I installed was "Gears 5", a title I'd already beaten and enjoyed on Windows 10.

But before I get to that, and as a side note, in attempting to locate the game via the dashboard interface's "Game Pass" section, my son and I were nearly beyond belief at the sheer volume of games an owner of this system can install for free, provided their membership is paid up: we didn't count the titles, but there must have been hundreds of them, ranging from the very latest Microsoft first-party blockbusters, to pixel-based indie games, to Xbox 360 releases, to almost Electronic Art's entire back-catalog from the past several years, including all of the annual sports titles.

There are so many games to install that, content-wise, they could probably last someone through this entire upcoming generation. Unfortunately, there isn't a single piece of content which actually shows off the hardware-- and it's this first let-down that leads me back to the aforementioned "Gears 5".

It runs at some kind of 4K, either native or otherwise, locked at sixty frames per second, with HDR10: so, great news! But it's not exciting either, because it merely provides the identical experience I'd already had with the game long ago compliments of my Ryzen 3600x PC and its RTX 2080 video card.



The second let-down is that there is a huge disconnect between the user interface, and the games themselves. When you hit the controller's Xbox button, you get a dim slider menu, with blurry low-resolution fonts. If you choose the "Home" option, your whole TV has to spend several seconds blanking and flashing as it switches resolutions from 2160p HDR, to 1080p SDR. Then if you choose to resume a game, its the same exercise for your TV but in reverse this time.



Speaking of the dashboard, it is, as mentioned above, 1080p and SDR only: just how dim and outdated it looks compared to the actual games, or even as compared to the PlayStation 4 Pro's interface quite frankly, is also difficult to fully appreciate in photographs. But in person, it looks and feels out of place in 2020.

Curiously, the platform's most advertised system feature-- the so-called "Quick Resume", which apparently keeps several games suspended simultaneously, for instant resumption-- was totally non-functional for me with the two games I tried: flipping between "Gears 5" and "Day of the Tentacle Remastered" caused each game to restart from scratch each time. Go figure.



All-in-all and for better or for worse, nothing shows off Microsoft's commitment to the Agile methodology like the Series X: clearly, their focus "this sprint" was to nail the hardware, and get it out the door. To their credit, they've achieved great success in this department, with a system that is pleasing to the eye, is virtually silent even under full load, and which even triggers a bit of Xbox 360 nostalgia with its user interface sound effects and controller layout, as the console's giant fan gently vents invisible plumes of "new electronics" smell into my office.

Over the next twelve-odd months, I'm certain we'll see "sprint two": a brand new, modern-day 2160p HDR user interface, along with true next-gen game fruit borne of their corcucopia of recent third-party acquisitions. Those twelve-plus teraflop "Big Navi" biceps are there, just waiting to be flexed. Even as-is however, the Series X is the best way on the planet to play multi-platform titles this side of a nice Windows 10 setup, so I would recommend it even today for those with the cash.

Meanwhile, I have a PlayStation 5 showing up via Walmart anywhere from this Thursday to next Monday-- and from what I've read, Sony took a very non-Agile approach in getting all of their ducks in a row right from the get-go. Expect an equivalent blog post regarding that new system in the coming several days.

Edit: I went on to evaluate the system's backwards compatibility mode here.
No Conflicts of Interest - 11:45 CST, 11/09/20 (Sniper)
As of the time of this writing, the latest JP Sears video has a notification below it, injected by the 162 billion dollar mega-conglomerate "Alphabet", which has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to Democrat candidates in exchange for infinite "section 230" and other beneficial State apparatus protections. No conflict of interest here, what kind of an idiot would suggest that?

This notice-- thank the Lord-- makes two absolutely critical points: First, the "Associated Press" has already called the election for Creepy Joe, don't you know that? It's done and dusted! Second, the election had "robust safeguards", you ignoramus! Everything is A-OK! What a bumpkin you are!

Well, guess what Sundar, I've got quite the little surprise up my sleeve for you: "The Exigent Duality" has called the election for Mickey Mouse! Deal with it! As for the "safeguards", I'm sure the election did indeed have those, probably lots of them in fact! What objectives those "safeguards" had is perhaps up for debate though, eh?
Contrasting Styles and Substance - 09:20 CST, 11/09/20 (Sniper)
One thing many Americans haven't yet figured out, in spite of hundreds of affirmative data points over the past four years, is that the United States media apparatus is State-run: it's no different than "DPRK TV" in North Korea. In both cases, the country's wealthy elites sit around tables each morning discussing what narrative they want to produce for that day-- the employees are handed the narrative, after which they construct articles, graphics, and broadcast scripts very carefully worded, pruned, curated, and designed to manufacture the desired effect.

People in North Korea huddle around their 1950's era black and white televisons, breathlessly waiting for word about how the "dear leader" took one hundred percent of the votes in that year's "election". In the same way, Americans sat in front of their televisions this week, excitedly awaiting the word that Creepy Joe had "won" the American Presidential "election"-- despite there being dozens of unresolved court challenges, active recounts occurring, the results haven't been certified yet by the states, and the electors don't actually vote until December.

But no matter! What is "truth" actually anyway? What is "reality"? Aren't "truth" and "reality" formed in each person's mind by what they've been told, whether that told story is objectively real or not?

Speaking of these issues, my mother has been following them very closely. She wrote me just a sampling of what has been uncovered thus far:

  1. States failed to purge voter roles of dead people, by matching them against death records.

  2. There are multiple instances of people who died over the past few years, voting this year.

  3. The poll workers used what they knew were ineffective signature verification methods.

  4. Ballots were repeatedly mailed to seventeen year olds.

  5. Vote center officials required employees to process mail-in ballots that were glaringly deficient.

  6. Voters in Republican-heavy counties in Nevada were prevented from voting due to not having or bringing their ids.

  7. A van load of ballots arrived at one center, where they were unsealed, substituted, then resealed.

  8. In total, more than thirty six hundred reported acts of fraud have been reported so far. The Department of Justice is actively involved in exploring many criminal complaints.

It's all as I discussed here: for rational, principled non-partisans who only seek fairness, confidence probability in the American "election" apparatus is somewhere South of forty percent if not materially lower, and dropping by the day.

It's also worth noting that among the over seventy million torqued off Trump voters in the country at present, not a single riot has started, nor has a single building been burned down, nor has a single freeway been blocked. Meanwhile, on the Left, the "news" anchors are literally crying on air about how their feelings are hurt by the above-listed investigations.

Regardless of what happens, Conservatives can hold their heads high: they are the classy people in the country-- stable, mature, moral, well-adjusted, and rational minded. Their political opponents by contrast are emotional basketcases, hedonistic, amoral, and violent. It's just as Thomas Jefferson once presciently articulated:

"When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as in Europe... The mobs of great cities add just so much to the support of pure government, as sores do to the strength of the human body. It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution."
Super Mario Overcast - 19:06 CST, 11/08/20 (Sniper)
I posted my "Super Mario 3D All-Stars" review earlier today, and found it to be an enjoyable collection overall: I'm glad I'd pre-ordered a physical copy as well, as I can see myself revisiting it many times in the future.

In two ways-- one good, one bad-- the game which surprised me the most was "Super Mario Sunshine". The positive impression was how beautiful and modern it looks, especially on the Switch's screen in handheld mode: if Nintendo added shaders to a few wall surfaces, they could have sold it as a brand new 3D Mario game in 2020. The water effects in particular are wonderful: the way the waves undulate, while simultaneously reflecting their surrounds and still appearing transparent, is pleasing by modern standards, much less in 2002.

Unfortunately, now the negative: everything else about the game reminds me of why I was unable to get "into it" back when it was initially released. The problems start with the grating soundtrack-- especially that ukulele hub song, but even the more innocuous entries such as the "Super Mario Bros." underground remix are stylistically unappealing.

On the gameplay front, the title does not live up to the usual sky-high Nintendo standards. Here is one such episode which summarizes the game in a nutshell:

Ordinarily, the bosses in 3D Nintendo games-- from the 3D "Marios" to "Zeldas" to even the "Splatoon" single player campaign-- have tight designs-- sometimes too tight in fact, to the point of feeling stale: the camera is well positioned, they take place in a constrained area, it's obvious what the player is supposed to do, the difficulty gradually ramps up as the fight progresses, and so forth.

The first time the player fights the boss in the first stage of "Sunshine", it more or less follows that pattern: it's in one room, the player can visually see the boss, and while the camera is a little fussy, the formula more or less works.

The second time the player fights the boss however, the boss is randomly flying over the level, so high that absent locking the camera into "free look" mode-- which is suicide, since the player will then get hit-- the camera quite literally can't pull the boss into view. The only way to know where the boss is, is by following its circular stencil buffered shadow around, while randomly "spraying and praying" the virtual firehose towards spots in the sky, hoping to make the contact necessary to bring the boss to the ground. The action feels "janky" and unrefined.

All while this is going on, Koji Kondo is hammering chords away on his sixty dollar Casio keyboard at lightning speed, like some kind of hyper-caffeinated Bach on his seventh Monster Drink: "Dee-dee-dee-dee dum-dee-dee-dum dee-dee-dee-dee dum-dee-dee-dum", over and over again.

Meanwhile, the level is filled with goop, with those somewhat irritating enemies constantly jumping out, as the boss is firing projectiles from its position off screen. Especially odd is the fact that, in bizarrely un-Nintendo like fashion, the whole stage is open to the player-- the player can in fact wander off someplace else, moving far away from the boss and ignoring it completely!

It's interesting in retrospect that while play testing during the early implementation stages of that battle, someone in the room didn't say, "You know what, this isn't really working... let's try a little different spin." The shame too is that it's not just that one boss, as stated above: rather, the boss is a microcosm of more or less the whole game.

If one swapped out the Mario cast for generic characters, many would think "Sunshine" was just another 3rd party genre entry like "Croc", or the 3D "Gex" titles. In other words, "Sunshine" isn't a terrible game-- rather, it's merely serviceable, which is an adjective not normally applied to Nintendo's 3D "Mario" releases.
Confidence Probabilities - 20:16 CST, 11/07/20 (Sniper)
I just put in what amounted to an eleven hour day studying the Presidential "election", and I think I have a pretty complete understanding of how it went down. But first, I need to provide an analogy: I'm sure it's an already well understood game theory phenomenon-- at its heart, it's essentially "trust", with some extras-- but I'm not versed enough in that field to name it, without simply describing it.


Confidence Probabilities

Imagine a deaf person. Let's call her Susan. Susan has never seen a dog before, in a yard, with people walking past. You sign to her, "How confident are you that the dog won't bark when this approaching pedestrian strolls past?" Susan would probably sign back, "I'm not sure; not enough data."

Three pedestrians walk by. The dog barks at all three of them. Susan is unable to verify this herself since she is deaf, but it is communicated to Susan that the dog barked at all three. Now a fourth pedestrian approaches, and the original question is communicated to Susan. Her response this time is, "I have high confidence that the dog will bark." This is a conclusion she logically draws based on her newfound data points.

A fifth pedestrian approaches. This time, it is communicated to Susan that the dog also barked on this occasion-- however, Susan had managed to lean to one side, and saw that the dog's mouth never opened!

A few axioms and logical conclusions can be drawn from this story. Starting with the most obvious, information is only as reliable as trust in the messenger: if the recipient has any reason to distrust the messenger, then all information communicated may be factually incorrect.

Another obvious conclusion is that people's willingness to bet on a positive assertion is directly related to the data they've previously collected on prior, similar occasions; the degree to which Susan was willing to bet that the dog would bark on future occasions was directly correlated to her knowledge of how often the dog barked on past occasions, multiplied by her trust in the messenger-- high trust in the messenger would reinforce her conclusion, while low trust would cause a negative bias.

But now, here are two not-as-obvious-- but even more important-- axioms: just because the dog barked previously does not necessarily mean it will bark in the future. Similarly, just because the messenger lied in the past, does not necessarily mean they will always lie in the future.


The Election

I spent three-and-a-half hours today painstakingly studying the so-named "Transition Integrity Project". I will make a separate post about that, and upload the document to my own web server, in a couple or few days once I am back in Murderapolis.

The good news is that I don't think this election was top-down planned or organized, crime syndicate style: I do think Creepy Joe had some small inkling or intuition that things would be afoot-- hence his pre-election Freudian slip about having formed the "greatest voting fraud organization in the history of politics"-- but it's obvious from reading the report that the "TIP" participants had no more clue what was going to happen than I did: some of their predictions are hilariously off in fact, although I hope that's not due to me simply not being patient enough...

The bad news is that this election was lost due to the same psychology which made an entire town start burning witches, and young girls become totally convinced that they were in fact possessed by demons: the same psychology which has made entire civilizations start sticking Binky the Clown noses to their faces and wrapping garlic around their necks, to ward off something less annoying to contract than the common cold.

It's called "collective delusion". It's the same phenomenon that drives seances, where whole rooms claim to simultaneous hear ghostly voices from beyond. When people are in this mode, they sometimes violently dismiss every piece of factual information which counters their subjective perception, and even accuse the fact bearer of suffering from delusion himself!

Over the past four years, Leftists were literally howling at the moon when Donald Trump got elected. They started calling him a "Fascist", a "racist", a "xenophobe", a "dummy"; they accused him of having colluded with Russia, when they in fact had colluded with Russians to produce the "Steele Dossier", and while Joe Biden was making tens of millions of dollars via "pay to play" political schemes with Russians and even Chinese.

When you study Donald Trump's history and actual policy positions, it's obvious that he is quite literally none of the adjectives thrown at him, nor is he "extreme" in any way. Meanwhile, the "Steele Dossier" was factually fake, while the Bidens were caught red-handed, thanks to Hunter's laptop and literally eyewitness testimony, factually making money selling access to Joe, while he was Vice President, and after knowing that he might soon be President.

Creepy Joe has a long track record of groping women, groping little girls, playing with their hair, whispering in their ears-- one time he even sexually assaulted a staffer by shoving his finger up her vagina. Meanwhile, Cameltoe Harris was sleeping around to garner political favor, tossing people in jail for petty crimes, suppressing evidence which proved a suspect's innocence, running interference for a falsified confession, openly encouraging violent rioting, and all manner of other things.

But none of this mattered during election day, and the couple of days after: tens and tens of millions of Americans, suffering from "Trump Derangement Syndrome", legally and rightfully voted against the bizarre bogey strawman they'd constructed in their minds.

But they didn't just vote: some of these "TDS" sufferers were mail carriers, and managers of mail carriers-- and they were more than happy to "do their part" in whatever ways they could, harvesting "return to sender" ballots, while back-dating whole stacks of ballots which came days late from who-knows-where.

Some of the "TDS" sufferers were state governors, or in the state courts: they "did their part" by last-minute changing the state election rules, in obviously unconstitutional ways.

Other "TDS" sufferers were the people counting the ballots: at strange times in the middle of election night, Creepy Joe would make odd "jumps" in the number of votes. These were blamed on "data ingestion problems"-- but the election was called for Creepy Joe, by the media, before these "ingestion" claims and "fixes" could be audited.

Some of the "TDS" sufferers were straight-up ballot harvesters, a pair of which were caught red-handed by "Project Veritas" potentially swinging entire counties in favor of Creepy Joe, via undercover videos. To my knowledge, no investigations were made into these literal confessions, nor were the relevant congressional races suspended. One of these instances involved the representative from my own district: she was awarded the election even though it obviously was fraudulent-- not to mention it was also revealed that her campaign was bankrolled by a foreign Palestinian activist-- and to my knowledge not one question was even asked about it by the authorities.

Finally, many "TDS" sufferers worked in the media, which has been shamelessly lying non-stop for the past four years, and which is no different than the DPRK-run television in North Korea at this point. Before any of the dozens of court cases could be resolved, and indeed before votes in many states had even been conclusively settled, all of the tiny handful of major media mega-conglomerates-- which own virtually every newspaper and television network in the country-- simultaneously anointed Creepy Joe as the new President.


Tying It All Together

In conclusion, this election was a true, authentic "grassroots victory" for Creepy Joe and Cameltoe Harris, in that tens upon tens of millions of people, operating under years of programming from the media that Trump was somehow the second coming of Hitler, engaged in full-on action: much of it legal, much of it illegal-- whatever it took to get "their guy" over the top.

Several of the potential issues I discussed here wound up-- thankfully!-- having perfectly rational explanations: for example, Michigan officials covered the windows because a horde of people were banging on them, trying to illegally record the results, while Sharpies were handed out because they in fact work better with the tabulation machines. Others, however, such as the strange statistical anomalies and red-handed ballot harvesting catches could have had a very material impact on the election, depending on how widespread they were. In the latter case, one man acting almost entirely by himself discovered two major instances of ballot fraud; we'll never know how many of them there were nationally, because "TDS"-corrupted authority figures would not investigate.

How does all of this relate to the "Confidence Probabilities" discussion above then? To find out, let's plug some numbers into our analogy.

Susan has been told that the dog barked nine of ten times a pedestrian walked past. However, she was able to see that in three of those nine cases, the dog in fact didn't open its mouth. To the best of her knowledge, the dog actually barked six-of-ten times.

However, the messenger was also provably unreliable: did the dog actually bark those other times? When asked "will the dog bark at the eleventh pedestrian", she has a maximum probability of 60%, of being correct with a "yes" response, with a minimum probability of a zero. So, between 0% and 60%. But now you factor in the messenger, who she caught lying 30% of the time. That keeps her minimum at 0%, but lowers her maximum to 40%.

Her final response to the "eleventh pedestrian" question will almost certainly be "no". She can't prove that the dog won't bark-- it may very well!-- and she also can't prove that the messenger will lie again-- he may very well tell the truth!-- but there is enough evidence to reduce her confidence to a "no" trust answer; she'd been to Vegas, 40% odds aren't great.

And that's where I stand with not just this election, but the American election system in general: when factoring in messenging, it has something between a 0% and 40% chance of producing a result I could confidently say is legitimate. Needless to say, I won't be voting in one again.

This also means that, just based on elections alone, the entire government apparatus has a no greater than 40% chance of being legitimate-- and that's not getting to natural rights theory, an exploration of the so-called "social contract theory", or anything else. Belief in the State is pure mysticism at best.

As for individual politicians, Creepy Joe repeatedly said "China is our friend! We should lift them up!", before we found out that he was making "pay to play" business deals with them under the table, for cash. The probability of taking anything a politician says at face value is probably much less than 40%.


Bonus Analogy

Let's say I have ten peanut butter cups on my desk. You say, "Hey Sniper, look-- a comet!" I turn back, and now my desk only has nine peanut butter cups on it. You then say, "Hey Sniper, look-- a T-Rex!" I turn back, and only eight peanut butter cups remain. I say to you, "You bastard, stop stealing my candy!", to which you respond, "There's no evidence to support that claim."
Republic Circle of Life - 12:58 CST, 11/07/20 (Sniper)
They haven't even obtained power yet, and they are already starting the purges! That didn't take long!

I signed up for their mailing list, but what I'm really looking for is a form where I can submit myself for punishment. Where is it? How do I volunteer to go on the list? Why do they make it so difficult to sign up?

I've already been the target of threats and cancel culture: I'm not afraid of anyone-- go ahead and put me and all the other Trump voters in the country on any list you want. There are seventy million of us strong, with even household names like Mark Levin and Newt Gingrich behind us.

I like how the media is now coronating Biden as the new King, as if he actually won the election. Hah! Not until every single one of these questions, and others, are answered. If the investigations are done fairly and the result stands, then I will support it-- but not before.

My worry is that the Trump movement will take the form of "well let's just vote in our guy next time"-- right after we just established that there is no longer a functioning election system! What idiocy!

This isn't a "we'll get 'em next time, slugger!" situation: if this election isn't resolved in a totally transparent, fair manner, then America is over. There is no such thing as a Representative Republic, without a functioning election system, by definition.

The next step is secession: it's starting to look inevitable, and if so it can't be delayed any longer, or it'll be too late: the literal purges will have already begun, the military will be lost, and the window will be closed forever.
Maybe I'll Just Stay Indoors - 10:08 CST, 11/07/20 (Sniper)
I'm at the bug out house this weekend, awaiting the delivery of my Taco Bell Series X prize. It's unfathomably quiet, peaceful, and beautiful here, to the point where sometimes on my walks it's difficult to believe I actually own a fully-functional home in an area that is considered to be an exotic cabin get-away for most people.

However, it's not utopia by any stretch: during this on-going Presidential election, thirty-five percent of the people in this county voted for Cameltoe. Sure, it's a far cry-- half, exactly-- from the whopping seventy percent who voted for her in my Murderapolis county: but thirty five percent is still a non-trivial number of people.

And sure enough, on my very walk this morning, as I was walking on the shoulder of a paved country road, not unlike one you'd find in the cities, bordered by private property owned by people I know and who either personally or loosely know who I am, carrying my giant purple water bottle from which I frequently swig water, in broad daylight, I was accosted by an elderly couple in a shitty old pick-up truck, who are undoubtedly two members of that number.

  • Random pick-up truck slows down, passes me. An elderly woman shouts out her window, almost howling with frustration: "You're too hard to see!" I can see her face: she has the gummy, barking sounding voice and inflections commonly heard from low IQ women, to go along with the sort of unattractive flabby cheeks and completely recessed-in-skin-and-fat jawline typical of homely, elderly women.
  • "Excuse me?" I shout back.
  • "Minnesota state law says you need to wear an orange hat during hunting season!"
  • I respond, as dryly as possible: "Is that so."
  • Clearly not satisfied with my attitude, the husband barks, "It's the law!", to which the woman flabs, "It's Minnesota law you have to wear orange!"
  • I reply again, as dryly as before: "Interesting."
  • Clearly having expected me to profusely thank her for her wisdom and direction in life while deferentially apologizing for not having obeyed "the law", and not at all having had her expectations fulfilled, she re-states a third time: "You know it's Minnesota law, during hunting season you know!"
  • Seconds go past, with no further comment from me, who has merely continued his walk. Finally: "You know, we're just trying to keep you safe!"
  • My reply: "I see."
  • And finally, "Enjoy your walk", as the truck drove away.

These types of Karens and Kens are so transparent it's not even funny: if you're legitimately trying to keep someone safe, you don't start, continue, and end the conversation by aggressively threatening that person with violence for having "broken the law." "I don't want you to get shot, so I'm going to send government goons to shoot you!"

Instead, you'd broach the subject with a different tone: "Just a heads-up, brighter clothes might be a good idea if you happen to walk through a wooded area." Or better yet: mind your own freaking business! It was clear in this context that I wasn't military-style proning my way through bushes in the middle of the woods with fake antlers strapped to my head. Let me assume my own risk: I'll mind my business, and you mind yours!

Any hunter who would look through the scope of his crossbow or rifle, see a bi-pedal dude with glasses and a bright purple water bottle, walking along a paved, lined county road with cars zooming past in broad daylight, and conclude "A-hah, a deer!" probably would be too stupid to be able to tie his shoes, much less operate a firearm and go hunting.

This was like the rural equivalent of the WuFlu face diapers and Corona Karens. Where can I go to just be left alone, and treated like an adult? I bet if I moved to a deserted tropical island, I'd get UN coastal boats or something telling me I'd built my lean-to too close to a palm tree, violating international ordinances!
Illegitimate Election - 07:39 CST, 11/06/20 (Sniper)
The Democrats-of-late have had a tendency to declare anything they don't like-- such as the perfectly legal, absolutely precedented Amy Coney Barrett nomination-- as being "illegitimate". Meanwhile, there is something actually illegitimate going on right now, and I haven't heard a mention of it from the lot of them. Why is that?

Let's say this hypothetical scenario unfolded:

  • Before the election, Donald Trump made a Freudian slip during an online interview: "We've assembled the most massive voter fraud system in the history of elections." Eyebrows were raised.

  • Also just before the election, a significant Republican congresswoman was caught red handed in a major ballot harvesting operation-- and where her race was allowed to just go on anyway, no investigation whatsoever-- along with undercover reporting exposing widespread Republican ballot harvesting in other states as well.

  • Cameltoe had commanding leads in all of the battleground states, and was cruising to victory. Then, suddenly in the middle of the night, the ballot counting was "frozen", followed by a seemingly random "unfreeze", followed by Donald Trump immediately having picked up literally 100% of hundreds of thousands of fresh ballots, in several of those states, all at once.

  • One of these instances was explained away as a "data ingestion" problem, which was immediately "fixed"-- which means that some IT guy, rather than an election official, was tinkering with flat files, maybe manually creating deltas, and who knows what else. Was his work audited? Who was observing? What controls were in place?

  • It's observed that only in the battleground states, there were significant, material differences between the numbers who voted for Donald Trump and the Republican senatorial candidate-- but not between Cameltoe and the Democratic senatorial candidate.

  • Generally speaking, Donald Trump did worse than Bush in essentially every metro area, other than Milwaukee, Detroit, Atlanta, and Philadelphia, where he somehow did better than Reagan during re-election, adjusted for population size.

  • Following these scenarios and observations, reports started flowing out of Arizona that masses of Cameltoe supporters were instructed to vote with instruments which the poll administrators knew couldn't be registered by the machine.

  • Right in the thick of the action, Michigan officials boarded up the windows, so poll watchers could no longer observe what was going on. Simultaneously, official poll watchers in Philadelphia were literally chased away from the tables, not allowed within thirty feet.

  • Whistleblowers from several USPS offices around the country leaked that their bosses gave them these instructions: "A big batch of ballots is going to arrive soon-- they will be dated November 5th and 6th; stamp them as having arrived on the 3rd, and send them through express."

  • Another USPS worker was caught on camera explaining that there were tons of "return-to-sender" or otherwise unfilled ballots floating around the system-- he said he'd be happy to swipe a stack of them, and hand them over for illegal purposes. How widespread was this?

Can you imagine the outrage from Democrats? They would be saying-- as Hitlery actually did before the election-- that the Democrats should "not accept the results no matter what". And if the above scenario happened, you know who would be right there beside them? Me.

This isn't a partisan issue to me: I'd be just as bemused if the shoe were on the other foot.

This "election" is Epstein all over again: maybe he really did strangle himself with toilet paper while the guards somehow fell asleep at the same time, the cameras magically malfunctioned right at that instant, just after he was taken off of suicide watch and his cellmate was removed.

While there's no smoking gun, "c'mon man!"-- all of this stretches credulity beyond its breaking point.

If I were Donald Trump-- and I'd be saying the same thing to Cameltoe in the reverse-- I would file lawsuits for every single one of these instances, and would not concede until every last one of them had a rational explanation. If the lawsuits got the same crooked treatment as the election itself, I would start a secessionary movement, and try to get the military on my side, while kicking off the drafting of a Constitution for the new government.
Pyrrhic at Best - 09:30 CST, 11/05/20 (Sniper)
Even if Cameltoe winds up winning the Presidential race, the Democrats are surprisingly gloomy right now. Here is the sentiment I'm hearing from Van Jones and others:

  • There is no mandate to govern: rather than be a repudiation of the last four years, millions of additional people voted for Trump now than in 2016! Obtaining the Presidency is technically a victory, but it sure doesn't feel like a win.

  • Not only did the Democrats not retake the Senate, but they lost ground in the House. Again, this feels like an affirmation of Trumpism rather than a repudiation. And having Republicans in control of the Senate means two-of-four years of "progress" being totally stymied.

  • Senior leadership heads are going to roll as a result of this, starting but by no means ending with Nancy Pelosi: this quasi-debacle quagmire requires new leadership to be navigated out of.

It's all surprisingly honest analysis: Trump had a 96 mile caravan in Arizona, and tens of thousands of people at rallies all over the place shouting "we love you" to him-- the Democrats are going to need to move way to the center if they hope to get anything accomplished, at least over the next two years if not beyond, as my understanding is that the opposition party usually gains legislative ground during mid-terms: probably, a Republican senate until 2024, at least.

To add another bullet, this time containing something which I think they're overlooking: their entire support base was animated by one thing-- a hatred of Trump. That hatred is the only reason a pedophiliac with Alzheimer's who sexually assaulted a staffer could possibly have won-- by four votes casted by dead people, but still-- a national election.

When Trump is gone, there will be nothing to fuel their notoriously fickle, traditionally politically-absent support base. Who is to say Trump, or someone like him, won't avalanche to victory in 2024? For Conservativism-at-large, it might be better if Cameltoe does win this election: Trump could wind up like Grover Cleveland, serving two-but-not-consecutive terms-- granted he'd be pretty old by 2024, but it's still possible.
Best Times - 06:57 CST, 11/05/20 (Sniper)
My son is super excited for "Dirt 5", which is looking absolutely fabulous-- we're buying him a copy of the PlayStation 5 version for Christmas (don't tell him!). I think we may be entering into a new "golden age" of gaming: the titles still don't scratch my quasi-Autistic side like the old ones, but countering that point is the most innovation I've seen in the medium in ages.

My kiddos more or less stick to "Minecraft", "Cities: Skylines", and "Roblox": fine by me as a parent, as they are creating full 3d environments in "Roblox Studio" and even fiddling with professional tools like "Blender", importing their models into the latter two titles-- just to give the flavor. But at the same time, it'll be fun to see if I can increasingly pull my kids into some more modern games on these new platforms.

On this very topic, I was pondering the other day about the question of, in terms of technology, when was the best time to be born? I think I've narrowed it down to these three periods, in order from best-to-worst.

  1. Circa 1970: This meant that you got to be dazzled by the 8-bit micros as a child, programming your own games, while as a teenager you were able to experience the golden age of microcomputing in the 80s. You're hitting retirement age right at the early doors of robotics and Machine Learning-- lots of time to tinker.

  2. Circa 2010: Children born around this time-- such as my two kids-- got to create their own videos, levels, 3d models, sound effects, music, and entire worlds with gratis tools, and share them with their friends in real-time. I can't even imagine having this stuff when I was a child. Soon, these kids-cum-teenagers will even be able to hook up Machine Learning algorithms with some simple instructions.

  3. Circa 1980: Born in 1981, I got to experience 1980s micros and the birth of the IBM PC as a child. Then as I moved into teenager-dom, I was there-- online!-- for the de facto birth of the World Wide Web. I published my first web site in 1995, and was one of the first probably thousand people to ever play Deathmatch over the internet proper, via QTest hours after release. I've preserved some of my old web site content from the 90s, and it's obvious I was a true first-generation script kiddie.
Better Than Tacos - 15:42 CST, 11/04/20 (Sniper)
Holy toledo: that Series X I won is already arriving this upcoming Monday! It's truly bizarre that I'm receiving one prior to it actually coming out-- furthering that sensation I got with the PlayStation 5 controller.

Maybe I need to go work for "Digital Foundry": I've got all of this hardware on the bleeding edge!

Anticipating potential social unrest, I'd used the bug out house as the destination address when I'd registered for the promotion-- which means I'll be making a trip up there regardless of what happens-or-doesn't in Murderapolis.
Biggest Distraction - 11:39 CST, 11/04/20 (Sniper)
My employer's CEO just can't help himself: below is a letter he spammed tens of thousands of employees with this morning.

As always, I've redacted details which in any even remote way, shape, or form could identify him, or the identity of my employer. And also as always, there is not a single way on the entire web for anyone to link me or this blog to him, or my employer. I was in HR when the company drafted their "social media policy", and I am not only fully compliant with every word, but completely support the policy itself.

Treat this post then as a mere vent, as I've got nowhere else other than my own blog to express these frustrations. Without further ado then:

"Hello [Redacted],

While the results of the U.S. election are still being tabulated, it is important that we put last night in its proper context. On one hand, it was a historic election simply in terms of electoral turnout, the highest the U.S. has seen in over a century. But in many other respects, last night was also not historic. Despite voiced concerns about possible chaos or even violence on election day, the 2020 election was like most before; the logistics of voting went by mostly without a hitch. And while we start this day still not knowing the winner, we must remember that not knowing the outcome of the Presidential contest on election night is not an anomaly in our nation. It has occurred several times over the course of our history, with the ultimate outcome sometimes taking days or weeks – and in one case, months – to be known.

Of course, this was also an election where voters were more emotionally invested than in any other election in recent memory. And while we are in this period of uncertainty together, it is important that we recognize this simple truth: whatever the outcome, some of your coworkers will be happy and others will be deeply disappointed. Regardless of whether your candidate won or lost, we must treat each other with civility and respect.

This is more critical today than ever. Yesterday's election is part of a larger period of emotional strain and anxiety. All of us have been working under the shadow of a global pandemic. We have been touched by a long overdue conversation on systemic racism. And all of this is atop whatever stress may be particular to each of us as individuals.

Against the emotionally charged and divisive backdrop of today, we must remember that there is more that unites us than divides us. I have spent a [Redacted] with this company and I know, without any doubt, that we have genuine care for one another. That we come to our workplace – even if virtually for some – with a dedication to respecting and celebrating our differences. The measure of a great company is not whether all its employees always agree; but whether they treat one another respectfully when they inevitably do not.

And caring for others begins with caring for yourself. No matter what emotions you may be feeling today, I would strongly encourage you to take the time for personal reflection. For all the reasons noted above, this is a time when enhanced self-care is simply not optional. As you are processing today, take the time to recognize what you need. And if you are looking to connect with others, please do so with the understanding that they may be experiencing different emotions or have a different point of view. Some may not want to engage at all – and we must respect everyone's right to privacy.

Amidst the uncertainty of today, there is one thing that is certain: we have a purpose to fulfill. We are still living through unusual times and the world is counting on us to do our part to [Redacted]. People are counting on us – and, as we have for over [Redacted] and especially over [Redacted], we are going to deliver.

Thank you and stay safe."


I personally know his political orientation: before George Floyd's body was even cold-- before the autopsy, before we knew basically any facts about the incident-- he was spamming the employees with what amount to personal vlogs, calling the case "murder", "unacceptable", "racist", and so forth.

Knowing this about him, while also acknowledging that he's not factually incorrect about previous Presidential elections being contested in some form, I can see that he's merely parroting CNN talking points, opening the door for "mail-in ballot" schenanigans, like the kinds people were screenshotting all night (not a single vote for candidates other than Cameltoe for hours, more people suddenly and supposedly voting in Wisconsin than are even registered, and so forth).

In other words, he's not thinking with his own brain: he's a hyper-partisan "useful idiot".

The people who work at my employer are highly paid professionals, who are extremely qualified for their jobs, and who are-- in my fifteen years of working there-- essentially immune from the forces of office politics, to a degree unlike anyplace else I've ever worked. They are high quality individuals across-the-board, who are self-motivated and who keep it classy.

Over time, the CEO has repeatedly pushed a narrative-- with quite literally zero supporting evidence-- that these same employees have so-called "unconscious bias", and are engaged in "systemic racism". He supports managers who create policies explicitly biased-- as in, openly stated right in group meetings-- to hire and promote people based on their sex or race. He also supports HR policies which allow people to support Leftist causes-- like "BLM"-- but not criticize them.

Not only that, but he treats these same employees as a bunch of unprofessional babies, who-- absent his great wisdom-- can't "cope" with a stupid political election without engaging in vile, retributional behavior against their co-workers-- something I've not seen once in my entire period of employment.

In conclusion then, this is the kind of classic projection for which Lefties are notorious: he's anxious about the election, he holds his own employees-- especially the silent Conservative "systemically racist" ones he knows are there-- in extreme disdain, and he lacks the self awareness to understand that the employees have no way to "disengage" from him. Why doesn't he respect our privacy?

It's this kind of elitist, hypocritical, almost parental-like "looking down the nose" condescension that is becoming an ever-increasing annoyance to hundreds of millions of Americans, undoubtedly many of my co-workers among them.
Mysophobic Reaction - 08:20 CST, 11/04/20 (Sniper)
I hope I'm wrong, but I think Trump is doomed: wide-spread mysophobia among Democrats regarding the WuFlu combined with undoubted mass ballot fraud means essentially all of the mail-ins are going to head in Cameltoe's direction-- totally flipping the electoral math away from Trump, which indicated he was on the verge of winning the election.
Twins - 06:33 CST, 11/03/20 (Sniper)
Back in 1999, I rented a Dreamcast from the long-since-defunct "Hollywood Video" chain, months before Sega's latest hardware was officially released in the US-- in fact, I even one-hundred-percented that beta version of "Sonic Adventure" (you thought the camera was fussy in the shipped rendition?).

When I got this in the mail yesterday, it evoked that memory for me: I have a PlayStation 5 controller, before the system is even out! The controller has a really premium feeling to it: nice plastics, good heft, excellent ergonomics, and a very fine button and d-pad feeling. It's also quite eye-catching.

And it even came with a bonus cat!



But the even weirder development is that moments ago, I won a Series X from the Taco Bell promotion. Insane! I've been dutifully plugging in those three codes every day, and it actually paid off.



I feel like it's 1995, and I have both a PSX and a Saturn incoming! Expect absolute tons of not just game comparisons between the two ecosystems, but also thorough hardware impressions and pictures.
The Case for Trump - 15:47 CST, 11/02/20 (Sniper)
I tell you, the headlines are writing themselves these days.

In all seriousness though, I jotted down some of the accomplishments which Trump had during his first term. These are just off the top of my head, I'm sure there are many more:

  • US with the highest corporate tax rate in OECD for aeons-- then in one term, Trump fixes it. Lo and behold, for the first meaningful time in many years the labor force participation rate reversed trend. What was that about Obama wondering where the "magic wand" was?

  • He managed to slow-down-to-molasses the government's absurd "CAFE" mandates, hopefully buying time for them to be eliminated altogether.

  • Trump got the United States out of the even more absurd "Paris Climate Accords."

  • He put the kibosh on those Faux Trade "deals" like NAFTA and the TPP.

  • For every new regulation his Federal agencies put in place, he instructed them to cut ten.

  • Trump went to war against the racist, sexist anti-Civil Rights Act "Cultural Marxist" movement, defunding government departments if they didn't cease those programs.

  • He majorly espoused law and order principles, both using the bully pulpit to set the direction, but also in offering Federal support to governors and mayors to quell Biden-voting rioters.

  • Trump repeatedly condemned any group, Left or Right wing, which do not judge each individual on the merits of their respective characters. Martin Luther King Jr. would have undoubtedly been a Trump voter.

  • He kept the United States from having any kind of national "lockdown" or face diaper mandate, while simultaneously taking prudent moves-- such as shutting down travel from China-- back when we didn't know much about the WuFlu yet.

  • Trump took major steps towards enforcing the immigration laws on the books, stemming the tide of illegal aliens entering the country. Not only that, but he made substantial progress on the Southern border wall.

  • When Trump took office, North Korea was actively beligerent on a nearly daily basis. When is the last time you've heard them in the news cycle? His relationship with Kim Jong Un got them to almost totally back down.

  • He is making extreme, unprecedented progress towards the Israelis and Arabs having some semblance of peace.

  • Perhaps most importantly, Trump didn't get the country tangled in any new wars.

  • He has been firm with and called out China for their B.S., in a time when it seems like three quarters of the US establishment is "on the take"-- yet he also hasn't instigated an armed conflict with them: once again, prudence.

  • He has stood up to the corrupt media establishment, causing them to have their panties in a bundle on a daily basis.

  • Trump is putting intense pressure on the corrupt social media companies, who have donated tens and tens of millions of dollars to defeat him, and who have created an internet culture of mass censorship, repression, reprisal, and fear.

I know this post may sound like a planted Trump advertisement-- but everything in the above list actually happened. Trump's first term really has been that positive-- and this compliment is coming from me, of all people, who ordinarily despises politicians of all stripes.

I'm still not with him on his Keynesian economics and trillions-dollars deficits, but in terms of operating with the hand dealt him-- including being attacked on virtually all sides, incessantly, from before he even technically took office-- I give him an easy "A", and that's no joke.

Contrast the above list with Creepy Joe's platform... hah! I don't know when was the last time America had such an obviously great choice, in opposition to such a hilariously bad choice.

How anyone could be on the fence about this election, or vote for Creepy Joe, is utterly beyond my comprehension in its irrationality.
Easy - 19:02 CST, 10/30/20 (Sniper)
I ordinarily think politician's speeches are a total waste of time-- but we're at such a bizarre point in history that Trump's speeches write themselves! He doesn't even need to resort to the usual politician's tricks of hyperbole and half-truths: all he needs to do is rattle off the Democrat's actual platform.

He was far from my first choice during the 2016 cycle primaries-- I was more of a Ben Carson or Rand Paul kind of a guy-- but I find myself doing nothing but nodding when I hear him talk, as I think any sensible person would do.
Video Medley - 18:36 CST, 10/30/20 (Sniper)
Excellent analysis here from Vee; I'm sure Ted Cruz has interviewed drug addicts on the stand who have more logical answers than Jack Dorsey! "Can Twitter impact elections?" "No." "Then why bother suppressing anything?" "Because we have policies."

It's interesting that Vee sees this situation as a criticism of anarcho-capitalism, when in reality it affirms that position.

More than anyone, anarcho-capitalists understand that corporations can be evil-- that's why it's so important to not charter a monopoly-on-force apparatus to begin with: like moths to flames, sociopaths will find a way to co-opt it one way or the other, and you'll have done all the hard work for them! Which is exactly what we're seeing with these social media companies swinging elections.

Albeit, I think he has more of a problem with the "selective an-caps": I've listened to him long enough to know that he highly values logical consistency, versus double standards and hypocrisy.

Setting that abstract, philosophical debate aside and going back to our present reality, he and I might also disagree about the law itself: I'm not convinced the protection needs to be removed-- rather, I think the existing law needs to be enforced: the social media companies should be made to make a choice-- are they newspapers, or public squares / communication media? Right now they are skirting around that decision because the law is not even being applied.

No matter which route they would take, major internal reforms would be required to become compliant: if they were to go the newspaper route, then they could be sued, and would cease to be social media web sites at all-- whereas if they went the public square / communication media route, then the phone company analogy would come into play, and they wouldn't be able to control what people can or can not post, provided the content itself isn't illegal.

I'd be fine with either one: letting them have their cake and eat it too is what bothers me.

Changing notes, this Paul Joseph Watson video is predictably great, as all of his content is.

It's possible for two groups to have incompatible values. I'm seemingly one of the only people empathetic enough to be able to put myself into everyone's shoes: hardcore Muslims and hardcore Christians can not coexist in the same society without irresolvable, non-negotiable conflicts. The only sensible solution is for them to just live in different places! Not only is there nothing wrong with that, but it'd actively be a good thing. They can still engage in trade, even as separate countries.

On a related note, I fundamentally don't get why people are so afraid of being called names-- because I think that's a huge reason why the average individual doesn't hold more sensible positions. Styx recently said that he was diagnosed with "Oppositional Defiant Disorder as a child, while apparently years ago he also explained that he is an Aspie.

It invokes that one scientist's view-- I can't recall his name at the moment-- that in one contrarian way of thinking, Asperger's is the next evolutionary stage of humans: "it's not what you say, it's what they hear"-- fuck that! Listen to the actual freaking words coming out of my mouth! Aspies aren't consumed with the need for tribalism and acceptance, so they quite often see things how they actually are.

Back to Mr. Watson, one of my myriad worries if Cameltoe becomes President is that she'll import hundreds of thousands of immigrants from third-world, low-IQ populations, and that it will-- daily basis-- make it unsafe to walk around in the already-tenuous Murderapolis area: sort of like that Somali guy who horrifyingly threw a child over a third-story railing at the Mall of America a few years ago, but more widespread.

I'm by no means saying all Somalis or people from the third world are bad: they should all be vetted as individuals, based on their own merits. But in general, I'd rather be importing people from Norway, Japan, or South Korea than Zimbabwe, Ecuador, or Nigeria.

On a lighter note, this is interesting to look back on. Where in the body of natural law or Constitution does it say "senior citizens have the right to do laundry 'in peace'?" Hah! And what about the senior citizens who liked the games? Or best yet, what about the actual right of a private property owner to put whatever the hell kind of machine they want, into their own building, without armed government goons showing up to break their knee caps?

To the news station's credits, they did squeeze a kid's opinion in there-- which was more rational than the adults', by and large! "People would just be out there smoking weed!"
Strong Impression - 14:29 CST, 10/29/20 (Sniper)
As I wrote about here, this PlayStation 5 release is the first time I've been excited for a system launch since 2005, when both the PSP and the Xbox 360 hit. But where I talked in the aforelinked blog post about the hardware and system software, lately I've been thinking about the "launch window" games, as Sony and the developers have been releasing more and more information about them:

  • Astro's Playroom: John Linneman published an excellent summary video about this game yesterday, comparing it to "Wii Sports"-- that's high praise, and I won't be surprised if it lives up to that standard once I get a chance to play it myself.

  • Bugsnax: Transplant this game onto a system like the Dreamcast or Gamecube, and I could see it being one of those sleeper "cult classics". They're giving it away to PlayStation 5 owners, and both of my kids have expressed an interest in playing through it with me.

  • Demon's Souls: I have extremely fond memories of the original, I preferred it to "Dark Souls". I would love to get this, but I have a tough time controlling my temper with this series-- either way, it's going to be a phenomenally meaty experience for those who do dive into it.

  • Dirt 5: One of my first PSX games-- recall, I didn't get one until 1997, after the 3DO was dead-- was "Rally Cross". Me and my best friend at the time used to sit for hours in two-player, driving right at each other keeping score for how many times we could flip each other over. "Dirt 5" looks like a modern-day spiritual successor to that game, and my son-- who loves racing games-- really wants me to get it so we can make our own levels.

  • Gran Turismo 7: Most impressive graphics in a racing game since "The Need for Speed" on 3DO. I've probably watched the trailer fifty times: the synth music, the corny menu music, the dorky people's faces ("Rupert", lol), the menu aesthetics, and-- by far most of all-- that in-game racing footage makes this look like not only a return to form, but a thorough "next gen" kind of experience that really gets my blood pumping. I can't wait.

  • Hogwarts Legacy: My sister-in-law and little brothers used to play the old "Harry Potter" games on the original Xbox, and if this new one doesn't invoke those memories for me, my name isn't Sniper. My daughter is going to get this on Windows 10-- so her and I will be playing it in parallel, just on different platforms.

  • Horizon Forbidden West: I don't generally like icon-filled open world games, but for the first time in my entire history with that genre, the original "Horizon" kept me glued to my TV for almost triple-digit hours. After "Gran Turismo 7", this is my next most anticipated game.

  • Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales: Having been busy with other platforms, I missed the PlayStation 4 original-- and I'm glad I did, because this "two games in one" pseudo-collection will be an awesome title to show off the system's ray-tracing capabilities and fast loading times. I really liked the old "Arkham" games, so if this plays anything like those, I'm sure I'll enjoy it.

  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart: The only game in this series I played was the mediocre PSP entry-- but the trailer really has my interest piqued, with "top three" best graphics I've ever seen in a video game, and what looks like fun character and level designs. I'll definitely be getting this when it comes out.

  • Sackboy: This is "Super Mario 3D World", but with modern-day graphics, and a refreshing "I'm fatigued with the Mario universe" aesthetic. My kids and I are really looking forward to co-op: I wouldn't be surprised if this winds up being something of a classic in the genre.

  • Temtem: It looked a little too "woke" for me when it initially came out on PC-- but the more gameplay I watch, the more it grows on me. As someone who didn't grow up with "Pokemon"-- I was practically an adult already when "Red and Blue" hit-- but who enjoyed "Sword and Shield" enough to wish it had been better, I'm interested in jumping into this on the PlayStation 5. It has some kind of co-op support too, and my daughter and I had a lot of fun with that concept in "Let's Go".

That's eleven games potentially all within the first several months of the platform being out. While there isn't much there which is revolutionary like "Flight Simulator", it's still the largest list of interesting games I can remember a video game system having, this early on.

The scary part is that this is just Sony's ecosystem: I have Microsoft equally covered thanks to my PC (expect a massive "Forza Motorsport 8 vs. Gran Turismo 7" post in 2021), and Nintendo as well via the Switch ("Monster Hunter Rise").
Laughs - 20:00 CST, 10/28/20 (Sniper)
Here is a funny parody piece from Ann Coulter. As good of a writer as she is, though, I actually think I have her bettered in one regard: I write some mean pieces of satire myself.
Swinging - 16:05 CST, 10/27/20 (Sniper)
There is a lot to be said for this. I remember when I started driving, and my father told me to always use my brain: "lines are just paint on the pavement"-- this is a useful metaphor for life in general.

Of course, my father took that mode a little too far, as he's not a moral person to put it mildly... but that can be a story for another day.

Another lesson, which my mother always drove into me from a young age, was to be a "leader, not a follower." As a young child, I watched as my classmates and even teachers did the most idiotic things, and vowed to always do what made sense, not what everyone else was doing.

In other news, I went from assuming Creepy Joe would be victorious to a point where I'll be shocked if Trump doesn't win the electoral math again, and serve a second term. Just listen to this latest Hunter audio, for Pete's sake! And that "ban fracking and fossil fuels" thing is a debacle-and-a-half even without the unfolding Hunter disasters.

About this latest audio, it's no wonder Sleepy Joe won't say anything bad about China, and even praises them, saying that the US should be helping them to rise!

Whenever someone does business dealings with China-- look at Hollywood, the NBA, Blizzard, and Joe Biden-- those people and organizations become totally "captured", censoring commentary regarding the CCP's myriad human rights abuses, while simultaneously ramping up anti-American rhetoric.

My employer is attempting to crank up their presence in the Chinese market. I'm wondering if criticism of China will become yet another "verboten" topic in my workplace, to go along with "Black Lives Matter", "social justice", and Cultural Marxism skepticism?

But back to Creepy Joe, here are a small subset of things we've found out:

  • Hunter has been making shady business dealings in foreign countries, trading political access to his father in exchange for money, with Joe's full knowledge.

  • Hunter then doles out the cash to his family-- even "pop"-- who are all fully aware of where it came from. The family dynamics remind me of the sitcom "Arrested Development".

  • Hunter used that leverage to systematically groom and molest his underage niece.

  • Jill knew of the molestation, and so banned Hunter from being around the kid alone. Joe and Joe's brother also knew of it-- both vowed to run interference for Hunter, if the story ever went public.


Hunter's drug-addled prostitute porno videos, where he's screwing what sometimes look like underage girls-- even possibly Molly Obama (who actually was legal age at the time, mind you)-- while smoking a crack pipe and watching his dad on TV at the same time, is a window into the pedophilic bizarro-world which Washington and global elites exist.

It's a land so far beyond the conception of the average, decent person that they can barely conceive of it even while watching recordings from it. Yet there it is, in full view-- if you catch my drift! If an ordinary person did even a fraction of these behaviors, they'd be in a Federal prison faster than you can say "Biden"-- but for these people, they are above the law and every moral concern to boot.

Enough of that for now.

Totally off topic: I pulled my analytics data for the past few years, and I found that I'm having a record year in terms of traffic, however meager. I'm not sure what possessed me to even look at this: I've never taken any efforts to "SEO-optimize" the site, or promote it in any way, as I don't really care whether anyone reads it. I certainly don't make a penny off of it-- in fact the domain, dynamic DNS service, and electricity cost me money, albeit not much.

First numbers are unique visitors, second numbers are sessions:

  • 2016: 962, 2.8k
  • 2017: 491, 2.8k
  • 2018: 365, 3.2k
  • 2019: 902, 3.5k
  • 2020: 1300, 3.1k
Not GPL Compatible - 12:53 CST, 10/25/20 (Sniper)
I don't see how mass-secession isn't inevitable in the United States: take a look at the mainstream, official Democratic platform planks-- there are Earth-shattering, fundamental, down-to-the-core irreconcilable differences between how people in America think.

Politics is no longer quibbling about the tax rate, or how many regulations there should be: seventy five to ninety percent of the stuff in their platform I will not go along with: I quite literally have not worn a face diaper once, so take me at my word when I say I will stick to my principles.

And there are tens upon tens of millions of people who see it the way I do: I met many up North just this past week. A country where one side wants to pass "one size fits all", gunpoint-enforced laws against another half who sees those laws as the anathema to existence itself, is simply not going to hold together.
Even More TDS - 12:21 CST, 10/25/20 (Sniper)
As a companion concept to what I wrote about here regarding Cameltoe Harris, the latest thing I've been hearing from Democrats is another TDS-driven delusion that Joe Biden is a "nice person".

Right off the top of my head, he jammed his finger into the vagina of a staffer in the 1990s; he has a many decades-long history of groping women, pulling them down on his lap against their will, and even inappropriately touching little girls; and he took untold illicit millions from Chinese and Russian sources, while Vice President.

Joe Biden is a lot of things: a "nice person" is not one of them.
Tiresome Monoculture - 09:06 CST, 10/24/20 (Sniper)
I thought to myself, "A console port of 'Planet Coaster', sounds interesting-- let's watch a 'developer diary' video":



Er, ok, how about not.

Coworkers often try to send me to this guy's videos-- even people who are a little more technical just can't stop miming the cuckface:



"But look Snipes, isn't it petty and superficial of you to care about how people look?"

I don't care what people look like-- as long as they are being their authentic selves. The people in the gaming industry today are not doing that: they are carbon-copy SJW hipsters.

It goes deeper than looks too-- in most cases, you can figure out someone's entire worldview just by looking at them:



I could spend hours, days, weeks, months going through every games journalist or developer's Twitter feed, compiling images like that: 99% of them are utter and complete libtards.

They don't just copy and paste "the look"-- they copy and paste and their entire way of viewing the world! They outsource their thinking. "The look" tells you everything you need to know about them.

You can't tell me that deep down these people all share the literally identical opinions, and lack any kind of free thinking or individuality. They are phonies and frauds.

The monoculture is so bad that it was finally called out earlier this year. I actively spent time this morning trying to find conservative games journalists. Good luck on that one.
Ten Minutes - 07:54 CST, 10/23/20 (Sniper)
I made it about three questions into the "debate" last night before I stopped watching and read more Kafka-- "The Castle" is immense so far, incidentally, I'll do an entire Kafka post at some point in the future.

Of course, topico numero uno for the fear mongering media was the WuFlu. All I personally want is a guarantee of no national face diaper or vaccine mandate-- one simple yes or no question, and I couldn't care less about the topic otherwise.

Instead, I got stuff like this: Trump pointed out the ninety nine-plus percent survival, and the "moderator" couldn't help herself: "The CDC says young people can get sick from it too."

The young "can" also get hurt or killed by falling space junk, or run over by a stampede of wild elephants in the middle of Times Square. It was at that point I realized the feed would be a waste of my time, and I closed the window.

The other issue with the way the WuFlu topic is framed, is that-- thanks to the aforementioned fear mongering media-- massive segments of the population are walking around thinking the virus is the second coming of the Bubonic Plague.

So even Trump himself-- who I'm sure in a private moment would one hundred percent agree with me-- has to engage in all of these absurd claims and theatrics: "Don't worry, we'll have a vaccine in ten minutes!", while pretending that two hundred thousand deaths in a country of three hundred and fifty million is some kind of big deal, when most of those two hundred thousand people would probably have died anyway judging by the median age of the deaths almost matching the median age of death period.

Not to mention however many tens or hundreds of thousands increase in suicides, drug overdoses, or depression-related deaths, due to the government's reaction to the WuFlu-- a reaction Creepy Joe would only want to double down on.

But point any of that out, and you get an immediate pushback onto the defensive ("why won't you wear a face diaper?"), even though the burden of proof should be on the irrational side ("why the hell are you wearing a face diaper?") acting like Michael Jackson, and wanting to force millions of people to live in their basements in bubble wrap, unemployed and starving to death.

On that note, not one single freaking person wears masks in the bug out house area. For the first time since Minnesota's governor put in his "mandate", I was able to go into an actual building which wasn't my own house, to pick up food at a restaurant: whole place full of staff and customers, not one face diaper to be seen anywhere! In confidence, I quietly thanked the waitress in just specific enough terms for her to get what I was referring to-- she just gave me a wink and a smile.

Not only that, but every contractor I met with enthusiastically shook hands with me, with no hesitation. It felt like normal life had returned! Until I got back to Murderapolis again, and saw people with speedos strapped to their faces while driving in their cars by themselves.

Speaking of Minnesota's governor, it's hilarious to hear him try to side with the same mob which will basically lynch him if the heart attack-stricken "George Floyd"-related trial doesn't go the rioters' way: "Uh, don't worry people, this is a great step for, uh, justice!", as the totally unhinged Lefties stand around with their torches and pitchforks.

Well, not pitchforks-- that would imply these people know how to farm, or do anything else productive... maybe, Molotovs and soy-latte Frappuccinos? I also wonder if these Democrats-- also recall the soyboy tight jeans Minneapolis mayor getting unceremoniously, summarily, and hilariously dismissed by a mob-- get cognitive dissonance, or like they are trying to harness the devil's energy, which is more likely to harm themselves than their political opponents?
Dictionaries Politicized - 15:07 CST, 10/22/20 (Sniper)
A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that it was impossible to find objective information about Republican politicians. Now it's so bad that dictionaries can't even be trusted.

Are we going to now need a "Conservictionary"? Or "DictionaryChute"? I mentioned this to wifey and her reply was, "They would probably wind up like Gab-- needing to host their own servers, getting their financing cut off, just for running a dictionary with actual, objective definitions."
Spasmodic - 13:24 CST, 10/22/20 (Sniper)
I hurt my back several days ago and haven't really been able to sit in a chair without spasms until today-- hence the inactivity on this site. Besides that, I've been at the bug out house meeting with contractors, trying to organize a potential addition for that home-- a project which has been taking up a ton of my time.

In any event, I've been on a roll with Styx lately, it's no wonder he has such a following: he really knows his stuff. He's obviously extremely bright and absorbs information by the bucket loads-- here he is discussing virology, a topic he probably knows more about than many doctors at this point.

Other than that, just been playing a lot of Flight Simulator, practicing with different planes, and working through the second-of-three bush trips. Also very excited for the PlayStation 5: getting close now.
TDS Pandemic - 08:05 CST, 10/17/20 (Sniper)
I've been listening to Styx a bit lately, and while he could very well be right that the polls are cooked, he could also be underestimating TDS.

I know a few people who are so deranged, trying to find any possible excuse to vote against Trump, that they've even gone so far as to-- in their brains-- not only make this election a referendum on the vice-presidential tickets, but to somehow contort themselves into a pretzel by claiming that Cameltoe is somehow preferable to Pence!

Lots of women don't like Pence because he doesn't support brutally murdering unborn babies and then vacuuming the body part remains out of the womb-- I get it, and the Democrat politicians feed off of that mass "I want abortion as birth control so I can lead an irresponsible, immoral, profligate bar-hopping one-night-stand lifestyle so common with young women like me these days" sentiment. That's the heart of why the mainstream media dumps on Pence, and why he has a negative reputation among some voters. Abortion is a massive special interests power lever for the Democrats.

But even for people who somehow favor abortion, Cameltoe has far more views and actual historical actions which that same abortion-loving crowd would undoubtedly find highly objectionable-- such as massive penalties for petty drug possession or suppressing evidence which would set innocent people free. Not only that, but when put up against Pence in absolutely any other regard-- statesman-like qualities, temperament, experience, and job qualifications just to name a few-- the two aren't even on the same planet. Thinking that Cameltoe is somehow the better vice-presidential material is insane.

So back to Styx then: the TDS pandemic is very real. If it's so potent that people will resort to this degree of mental gymnastics, then all bets are off. The only hope is that it's not as widespread as I fear it may be.
NFL Diseased - 17:36 CST, 10/15/20 (Sniper)
If this were coming from someplace other than ESPN-- where they seemingly have zero sense of humor-- I would have thought it was satirical: the NFL is prohibiting players from participating even if they test negative for the WuFlu!

They give the example of Adrian Peterson, who was "not practicing Thursday due to an illness unrelated to COVID-19"-- as in, they knew it wasn't the WuFlu, and still wouldn't let him play! "We're always going to err on the side of safety..." These people would literally fail a basic logic test: "A = B, A = C, so B = D"-- they can't even extrapolate their own stated principle, to see how silly it is.

Not to mention, their entire sport involves smashing your body into other human beings at top speed, and busting them to the ground as hard as you can. Err on the side of safety...?

But then again, this is the same league that has broken the kickoff yet leaves it in place, which arbitrarily made field goals tougher to make, made it virtually impossible to tackle someone or defend a pass without breaking the rules, and which decided to have an already stop-start game stop-start with extra video replays every three minutes-- among dozens of other sport-ruining alterations.

It's a league long-governed by hyper-emotional over-reactionaries.
Return to Form - 11:00 CST, 10/15/20 (Sniper)
Richard Leadbetter has mentioned several times that where the current generation of dedicated video game systems-- made in an era where people thought tablets were the future-- were created with conservatism in mind, this incoming crop of systems have been formulated with optimism as the key ingredient: dedicated to pushing hardware envelopes to the bleeding cost-performance red line. He's correct: but it goes even further than that.

In 2012, I sold a PlayStation 3, with which I was bored, and bought a Wii U, simply for lack of anything more interesting to spend the Gamestop store credit on. I liked the Wii U more or less, and in fact it was the first time-- however briefly, in the Wii U's case-- since the Nintendo 64 that the Big N had the most powerful console on the market.

But in general, the Wii U was never anything more than a "well why not" purchase, versus a system I was particularly passionate about. When the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One landed a year later, I simply couldn't have been less interested in those: they felt like marginal upgrades from the Wii U, the software in the hobby felt very derivative and lacking in innovation, while the experience in general had the overwhelming sensation of "more of the same, with a slightly prettier coat of paint."

I did eventually buy a used Xbox One at a low price, but got bored with it quickly, and sold it. "What happened to the days of the Xbox 360?", I wondered?

The Xbox 360 was an incredibly innovative machine: it had full 16:9 HDTV support across the board; it invented the concept of "Achievements"; it invented the concept of having a parallel library of smaller, digital games ("Xbox Live Arcade"); and the graphics were a jaw-dropping leap over the original Xbox-- remember "Oblivion", or the spider crawling out of the cave ceiling in "Gears of War"?

When I watched this; video earlier today, it immediately invoked the sensation that these new systems are on the Xbox 360 side of the spectrum, versus the opposing PlayStation 4 end-- to put it mildly: many of these new user interface features are absolutely game changing, and simply would not have been possible at any earlier junction.

And that's not even getting to the hardware: RTX 2070-to-2080 levels of performance, with real-time ray tracing, and better-than-PC levels of IO and memory bandwidth. Obviously "Ampere" puts them to shame, and with DLSS even "Turing" is faster in supported games-- but the leap from the PlayStation 4 Pro to the PlayStation 5 is substantial, as I realized yesterday while flipping through my catalog of screenshots on the former. And that's before the ever-present "targeted one set of specs console-specific" enhancements are taken into account.

But there's even more: for the first time in my entire life, "old" games really are feeling "old"; the real-time Machine Learning and AI integration in the new "Flight Simulator" has totally opened my eyes, and for the first time since the shift to texture-mapped polygons, I think we're going to see game software match the sentiment I laid out above regarding system software: these new kinds of games will fundamentally, at their most basic levels, not have been possible at any earlier point in history.

I'll forever love the sheer artistry, authenticity, and originality of games like "Sonic the Hedgehog" or "Star Control II"-- and I think those will always be the ageless classics I continue to replay over and over as the years roll by. But on the flip side, I've noticed that 2020 is the first year where I've found myself playing very few old games on a day-to-day basis, relatively-- and I think that's a testament to new games finally starting to do fresh things again.
Variety - 06:54 CST, 10/15/20 (Sniper)
My parents listened to a lot of pop music on the radio when I was a child in the 1980s, and I remember there being great amounts of variety. Today by contrast, whenever someone has the radio on it's either endless repeats of 60s-80s music, or it's "rap" music of some kind. Sure enough, the Billboard charts are dominated by ghetto music.

Pop music has always been very simplistic: when I try to listen to Michael Jackson today-- I was a huge fan of his as a kid-- I can't get over how basic it is. However, on a sophistication level this modern-day hip-hop stuff is like cave men banging two rocks together, as compared to the music theory on offer from previous eras.

Incidentally, I wonder how many of the people on this Billboard list are convicted felons? I've heard that's a major problem with many of today's "musicians", to the point where some of them wind up dead before their songs even hit the charts!

Changing subjects, someone recently equated Hitlery with Cameltoe Harris to me, and I don't think that comparison fits.

As someone who called for-- minimally-- a Western Hemisphere government, and who didn't see a trade "deal" she didn't like, Hitlery was a firm believer in One World Government, and the New World Order "Great Reset" kind of stuff. She had a vision for where the world should go, and she stuck to it until the bitter end.

You could say she was in fact a greatly principled person-- in the same way that Stalin and Mao were principled. That's why I call her "Hitlery": she wanted Fascism, but across the whole world-- she was the Ultimate Fascist. She desired a global State apparatus "coordinating" with a small handful of international mega-conglomerates to shepherd the cattle.

Cameltoe by contrast is a very different person: she has no principles whatsoever-- rather, she'll do or say absolutely anything to further her own personal goals. There is no idea too quack, no concept too insane, no notion too crazy, that you couldn't whisper in her ear-- and if she thought it was politically tenable, and it would get her where she personally wanted to go, she would jump on the concept whole hog.

It's like two different flavors of sociopathy. One may taste like years-unwashed socks and the other like motor oil-- but at least they taste different.

Cameltoe's approach is more effective for whatever that's worth, since it'll almost certainly make her defacto President in a month or two, despite the fact that everyone-- whites, blacks, Hispanics, criminals, business people, even her fellow politicians-- hate her, to the point where she was polling in low-single digits during the primaries this cycle. Whereas, Hitlery stuck to her guns and-- thankfully-- went down with the ship four years ago.
Socrates - 06:48 CST, 10/13/20 (Sniper)
Surreal: I just saw someone online mention the company name "VTech", and after an immediate swing over to Wikipedia, I found it-- the educational video game system my parents bought me in the late 80s!

I've had this song bouncing around my head for decades, but could never find it because I had no clue what the system was called. I used to spend a lot of time in the drawing program specifically: I remembered that the thing was so slow, you could see it painting with the "fill" tool one line of pixels at a time!

It also had some kind of crossword puzzle thing. I remember waking up early one weekend, and pretending I was an old person like my grandmother, doing the crossword puzzle at the crack of a dawn on a Saturday.
Future and Past - 16:37 CST, 10/12/20 (Sniper)
I repeatedly hear people calling 2020 the worst year of their lives. I can relate to the sentiment in principle: it's certainly been a bad ten months to date. But those statements also tripped some self-reflection: how has 2020 stacked up versus other years in my life?

1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002 were all fairly nightmarish-- for personal reasons I won't go into here. The past fifteen years have also been rather poor for me generally, lowlighted by 2010 and a maddening 2016, which was the most stressful professional year of my life by a wide margin.

Personally then, I would rate 2020 as the eigth worst year of my life: it's been bad, but things could definitely be worse.

By contrast and to put a positive spin on things, the best years of my life were 1989, 1995, 1996, and 2003: those were glorious times. Generally speaking, my elementary school years were the best, culminating in junior high. 2003 was the year I got married, and wifey and I got our first apartment together.

On the balance then, I've lived for 38 years so far. 16 of those years I'd rate as "A" and "B"-- childhood; 14 of those years I'd rate as "C". And 8 of those years I'd rate as "F". That gives me both an average and a median yearly quality of "C".

Fortunately, I've structured my life so that it really begins at age 50: both houses will be paid off, the kids will be independent, and I will be completely debt free-- which means I'll be able to quasi-retire into a super low stress, low paying job. That will give me, let's say, twenty five years to relax and fiddle with computers for fun, like I used to.
Sports Anecdotes - 08:01 CST, 10/12/20 (Sniper)
I've been very loosely following the current Vikings season, and this chart gave me a huge laugh.

In Lazio-related news, there were a couple of surprises for me from this graphic: first, that Inter's payroll isn't even larger than it is given the players they bring off the bench against us-- and second, that Atalanta has a lower payroll than Bologna for Pete's sake.

More on that second note: Atalanta must be the best-managed club in the world. I think they're better than Juventus, at five and a half times less money. I've never seen anything like it. A potential first-place finish with the eleventh payroll is astonishing value.

As for Lazio, every single way you look at them-- all-time wins, size of fanbase, squad value, and here in payroll-- we are sixth. We are the most solidly-established sixth team in probably any league or sport in the world. We're number six! We're number six!

I know Tare gets a lot of praise generally, but in looking at this, our squad is only slightly above average value.

We finished fourth last season with-- I'm sure-- the sixth-sized squad then. Looking at individual players, I'm not sure the productivity of players like Sergej and Correa-- as good as they can be on their day-- are good value for those wages.

In short, I think Tare is good at his job, but not great.
COMCOLD-27 - 13:58 CST, 10/11/20 (Sniper)
"I have bad news George: I think we've both caught the COMCOLD-27! I had some sniffles last night, and I saw you sneeze yesterday! With such a dangerous, debilitating disease, we'd better make sure to not leave our house for at least two years.

And you know the craziest thing? The governor of our state mandated beekeeper hats, clown shoes, and bunny years, which we've been dutifully wearing-- and we caught it anyway! Maybe we should have taped some toilet paper to front of the hats to make them more effective? Lord knows-- if we believed in god, ha ha-- we have enough toilet paper stockpiled!

Speaking of the mandate, our governor is such an altruistic person! He deeply cares about us: not an ulterior motive in his bones. He just cares about public health! And it's important to show how much we care too by wearing our bunny ears everywhere we go, to protect us from the virus. In this household, we believe that science is real. And that love conquers hate.

Unlike those selfish people who won't wear their beekeeper hat, or even their clown shoes! I hate those people! I hate them so much! I just want to punch them in the face! Bunch of feckless Nazis! I hope they all die!

Oh, oh, sorry about that George, sometimes I get carried away-- would you pass me my Soylent and coloring book? Always calms me down!

Did you see that Canderson Oopser segment on FUD last night? He showed the President on TV not wearing his Binky the Clown nose! How irresponsible! This at a time when the number of cases of COMCOLD-27 is at an all time high. Think of all of that occasional sinus congestion! They need to lock this country down, and now! We really need to start following the governance models of sensible countries, like North Korea.

Later that night on FUD-- boy do I love that channel-- Lon Demon showed some joggers and peaceful protestors burning down an orphanage full of white kids: thank goodness, way too much colonialism and patriarchy in this country! It was also great to see that the protestors didn't need to wear their beekeeper hats for that-- how would they have breathed properly with all of that smoke? Let's use a little common sense here, thank you!

I think everyone deserves to know the truth about COMCOLD-27, it's the worst disease in the history of not just Earth frankly, but the entire multiverse. That's why I'm so happy that Google buried the search results that showed COMCOLD-27 is no more dangerous than-- get this-- the common cold. Fake news!

But there is hope, light at the end of this tunnel of madness, an oasis amidst a sea of crazy: Oopser also said that if Frankly Beatdown (who couldn't remember his own name during the interview-- isn't he cute?) wins the election, he'll make it illegal for anyone to leave their bedrooms without being entombed in pillows-- thank goodness! If it saves even one life!

Well, I'm going to prepare my kale for dinner and grab my Kombucha. I know you'll be out (too bad about not charging the Tesla because of the rolling blackouts-- the walking will do you good!), but I won't get too lonely eating in the house by myself. I'll admit it will be a little tough to eat through my beekeeper hat, but at least the drink pours right through!