The Exigent Duality
Coming Attractions - 15:32 CDT, 8/10/20 (Sniper)
I feel like I'm watching an MLS game, listening to these clips: very recognizable guises, equally familiar shrill voices and inauthenticity. The soy is strong in both settings.

But it's no laughing matter: as Barr points out, these people are just like the Bolsheviks. A family member of mine recently drove down "Lake Street" here in Murderapolis, and said it looked like a war zone: they had to make sure to drive "the safe way" through the area. Right in the middle of America!

I also read that Chicago is so violent right now, that city officials had to literally raise the draw bridges to keep the barbarians out of downtown! More MLS supporters on the prowl, I guess.

I wrote here that wifey and I are not only stocking up on firearms, but are reluctant to put some much-needed money into our house. This neighborhood is filled with radical Leftist yard signs, of all varieties.
Control Interpretation - 21:20 CDT, 8/08/20 (Sniper)
After I read "Ulysses" several years ago, I had no clue what it was about, despite having completed the novel. I'm in the same boat with Remedy's "Control", having just finished it. Here is my guess, based on the game's dozens of text artifacts, audio logs, and videos. I'm also toying with the notion that maybe the whole game is taking place during a therapy session-- but I'll go with this for now:

Brother and sister have alcoholic and potentially abusive parents, who humiliated the sister by showing embarrassing pictures to people via a slide projector in the home. The kids steal the parent's projector, and take it to the garbage dump to throw it away. An oft-bullied friend from school tags along, together with some other children: seven in all.

Some kind of industrial accident happens at the dump, the children are all injured and wind up in the hospital, in critical condition. The surgeon in the hospital is a fellow named "Dr. Casper". Out of the seven hurt children, there are two prime candidates for survival: the brother and the sister.

The sister recovers, but the brother dies after a brief period in a coma, much to the extreme chagrin of a disheveled Dr. Casper: "he showed so much promise!" Time passes, and as the sister grows into adulthood, she is totally unable to cope with her guilt at having brought her brother, and others, into danger at the dump-- and in fact, as a coping mechanism she maintains that her brother is still alive.

She develops an escapist fantasy world, constructed from Jung's "collective unconscious" elements including popular culture artifacts such as melodramatic detective novels and science fiction films. She tries to take a clerical, secretarial job to support herself, but the daily grind makes her miserable and she quits, incorporating her office experience into her fantasy-- where she's in control, and the boss.

In this fantasy world of hers, paranormal elements caused the accident-- like a glorified ghost story-- while the police and first responders were actually government agents sent to cover things up. Her brother didn't die: he was "abducted". This is a classic coping mechanism, where her subconscious can remove her culpability over what happened.

Her psychiatric condition eventually becomes so severe that she gets committed into a mental institution, and undergoes in-patient therapy sessions.

The therapist tries to get her to admit that the incident was actually an industrial accident, and not some kind of government conspiracy-- and also that the girl's parent's alcoholism was partly responsible for the sister's present-day mental health issues. The sister insists: "No! It was not an industrial accident! My brother is still alive too, and I'm going to go see him!"

Putting that plan into action, she escapes from the psychiatric ward to "see her brother", and works her way Eastward. This is where the game begins. Over the course of the game, she is told by numerous "characters" in her fantasy universe that her brother is actually dead-- but she violently lashes out in denial each time.

Her delusions are so great that like "Flat Earthers", she has to make up totally implausible explanations to cover the gaps in her worldview: for instance, how a building so large it can hold an entire rock quarry inside of it can exist in the middle of New York City without anyone noticing ("it has this veil, where people can't see it!"), and even amusingly exclaims at one point, "they even transported the entire town dump into the building!"

At one point, as she reflects back on her life she visits a room with "photographs" from her past, for example picking books up off the floor in high school. "A-hah!", she says, "All of those years I was insecure, the government really was tracking me! See, I'm not crazy!"

Deep down, even she realizes that she's become like one of the kook "conspiracy theorists" who call into the "America Overnight" radio show. But then, finally and over the course of the game, she ends up back to her home town, and in fact to the very dump where the accident had occurred.

It's only by revisiting this "ground zero" scene that she can finally accept that her brother is dead, as she destroys the "Hedron" in her fantasy. Only after this happens is she able to take control of her life, along with the responsibilities of a well-functioning adult: she becomes "the director".
Rapid Refresh - 14:06 CDT, 8/08/20 (Sniper)
As I wrote about here, between limitations in human vision plus the quality of modern-day anti-aliasing and reconstruction techniques, increasing resolution further is pointless. "But how will electronics makers continue to sell new products?", I asked myself.

Perhaps this will wind up being the answer: ever-higher refresh rates? For me personally, in 90% of applications and unless pointed out to me, I can't tell the difference between 30 and 60 frames per second, let alone outrageous numbers like 120.

For the first time while playing "Control", I actually fired up a framerate counter-- and it was moving along at about 47 frames per second. But, I had vsync enabled, and it looked butter smooth to me: I'm not at all picky about these things. I grew up playing games which ran in the low twenties or even the teens, so 30 frames per second is plenty good.

Lots of people's eyes are more sensitive to fresh rate than mine however, so perhaps it makes sense for those individuals. Of course, this is also assuming that game studios are willing to radically slash visual quality to hit these obscene framerates, which I very much doubt.
Moral Hazard - 19:11 CDT, 8/06/20 (Sniper)
If all goes well with my shipment, I will soon be a proud new owner of one of these: a Springfield Saint Victor AR-15. This will be my second firearm, after the Ruger Blackhawk .357 magnum I bought back in 2013.

But I wasn't finished there: firearm number three followed later in the day, in the form of this Walther PPQ Q5 Match. It was definitely a bit of a naughty, considering the last thing I really need is a premium-priced competition 9mm pistol-- but I fell in love with it at sight.

I hate spending money, and I normally would never have dropped $2200 on firearms like this. But the Fed has created profligacy as a real moral hazard: why not spend it now before it's being carried around in wheelbarrows? Which it will be given the M2's status these days, especially if a civil war breaks out.

Another interesting thing: uncertainty kills business investment, and they wind up just sitting on the cash instead. As a corollary, wifey and I have been wanting to sign local contractors to ten-or-more grand worth of projects for the Murderapolis house, which needs a lot of work: but with the political situation, why would we?
Total Math Failures - 07:36 CDT, 8/06/20 (Sniper)
I was veritably crying, laughing so hard at some of these "examples" of how two and two sometimes don't equal four.

For example, if you have two factories with two machines plus half a machine each, and join the factories, now you have two and two machines equaling five! Or how about the people changing bases, and thus somehow saying that math is subjective? "Well in base 2..."

No sweetie, the rules of math are still absolute: comparing one base to another and trying to say "a-hah!" is just a shell game.

That thinking reminds me of the French guy Molyneux debated once, where the former said to the latter "your logical argument isn't universal if you jump through a wormhole into a dimension which doesn't use Euclidian geometry." Molyneux had to continually reign the guy in: "Let's stay in this universe because if you make up infinite fantasy ones we'll be sitting here for the next seventy years."

All of this is why I home school: these are the kinds of people who would be teaching my kids!

It's the tactics of a small child-- get pedantic when you don't like the answer. My son when he doesn't want to do his school work: "You said sit down, you didn't say where."
No More Mr. Nice Guys - 18:56 CDT, 8/03/20 (Sniper)
America was a magical place where anyone could come and live life however they wanted, provided they simply minded their own business. There were almost no laws, almost no government, and basically zero taxes other than some small duties on select goods.

Wanted to work hard and get rich? Wanted to subsistence farm? Wanted to invent crazy flying machines in a shed? Wanted to err towards laziness like this very writer and structure a comfortable, uneventful life?

Nothing was off limits, as long as you just left everyone else alone. In return, they'd grant you the same courtesy.

This attracted people from all over the world, who simply wanted the freedom to pursue their dreams.

And pursue they did.

Because of this almost total, absolute liberalization of every single aspect of life, staggering amounts of wealth was created. This culminated in the last thirty years of the 19th century, where people went from toiling in fields all day, to living in multi-floor apartments not much different from those today.

Live and let live. It was the Golden Rule. It was working. And everyone lived by it. Well, almost everyone.

Almost right from the beginning, there was envy from people in society who were still lived a nice life, but who were not as talented as the millionaires, and thus not as rich.

And there were radical totalitarians ready to promise these envious pariahs to steal from others, to hand to them. This started as early as the late 18th century with Alexander Hamilton and his merry band of banksters and money changers.

But the real alarm bells happened shortly thereafter. A Civil War broke out, because Southerners were not allowed to dissolve what they'd thought was a voluntary union-- which turned out to be anything but. Surprise!

Both the income tax and the Federal Reserve were back-doored in during a lame duck session of Congress in 1913. This allowed the Federal Government to monetize endless conflicts throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, especially with the abolition of Bretton Woods in the early 1970s.

Multiple trillions of dollars were spent on "reparation"-style welfare programs, shuttling money from white men to black women. These programs, euphemestically billed as "New Deals" and "New Societies" impoverished the country, lowering the standard of living for everyone.

Hordes of Communists and Soviet spies took up positions in universities and all levels of government, and began Agitprop operations throughout the country, systematically indoctrinating people into believing that the original Golden Rule was bad, and it was somehow evil to leave other people alone.

Countless millions of immigrants from third-world countries were bulk imported or allowed to skip the border to both provide cheap labor to corporations, but also to change the demographics of the country.

You see, most people from the third world do not believe in the original Golden Rule: they instituted totalitarian dictatorships in their own nations, then the masses fled the aftermath of their own sowing to unwittingly re-create the same environment abroad.

Like Cargo Cultists, they don't understand cause and effect. And there are enough Barack Hussein Obamas, Hillary Clintons, Bernie Sanders's, Kamala Harris's, Chuckie Schumers, and countless other nefarious, power-hungry swamp monsters who are more than happy to leverage this mass-blindness to obtain absolute power for themselves, and their technocrat enablers.

Meanwhile, there are the white alpha and omega males. The net tax payers. The ones who, like Atlas, have always carried and still do carry the country on their shoulders. They still believe in the original Golden Rule: the original vision of America.

And that is their downfall. They are kind. They are gentle. They are forgiving. And they are the ultimate torch-bearers of tolerance. To a fault.

Abraham Lincoln wanted to deport the freed slaves back to Africa. Many modern-day Republicans have fought to limit immigration to those who hold America's original values of leaving others alone. McCarthy wisely tried to feret out the Communists and agitators.

But it wasn't enough.

Today, white males sit around watching Marxist organizations like "Black Lives Matter" burn down cities and re-institute government-sponsored racism in places like California. They watch while many of their wives and girlfriends fall prey to the toxic femininity that is third-wave feminism. They are idle while Communist Agitprop actors like Alexandria Cortez and Ilhan Omar are elected to high-ranking government offices, enshrining the hateful tenets of Cultural Marxism into law.

This America and its $200 trillion in liabilities is doomed: it's too late. Those who fruitlessly try to uphold its original form need to retreat and regroup, probably into the rural outlands for now. But there are lessons to be learned, for posterity.

If the American experiment is ever repeated, a little bit of ruthlessness is going to be required: a bit of steel, to complement the satin.

Strict and absolute border controls will need to be in place, where incomers are screened according to values, then given grace periods ending in a local resident vote on whether to trebuchet the newcomer back over the border or not. Assimilate, or you're gone.

The State, should one be chartered, should not be ammendable: it should be a locked-in-forever, "10 Commandments"-style directive, enshrining absolute negative rights such as private property and free speech.

It needs the opposite of ideological purity: it needs to be an ideological vacuum, as relentlessly void as the vacuum of space.

And in that spirit, the most important tenth commandment: exile for anyone who does not follow the original Golden Rule. No more Mr. Nice Guys.
Game Musings - 17:01 CDT, 7/30/20 (Sniper)
I've been playing a lot of "Grounded" the past couple of nights. Thankfully, it retains the superb design principles demonstrated in their previous title, "The Outer Worlds"-- but does not suffer that game's unsavoury aspects. In fact, among its janky contemporaries-- "Ark", "Conan", and "The Forest" to name a few-- it's extraordinarily polished.

The game does have full controller support, but something about the analog stick input filtering feels a little off. Between that fact and the reality that the game doesn't leverage Unreal Engine's HDR support makes it a desk plus mouse and keyboard game for me, versus a comfy couch television one.

For being a very first release of an "early access"-style title-- sort of analogous to Minecraft in its 2009 alpha days-- it has a surprising amount of content. The story is very short so far and is essentially a tutorial, but seemingly the whole board is available to explore, and I'm continually unlocking new recipes.

I also purchased a license to Remedy's "Control" during this ongoing Epic Game Store sale. I want to save the bulk of my commentary regarding that title for its eventual review, but in a lot of good ways it feels like a spiritual successor to the 3DO's "Immercenary".

I've been thinking about the upcoming video game systems a lot. Having almost enough cash on hand to go write a check for a brand new Corvette, I have more money than sense at this point-- so wifey is telling me I may as well just pre-order both consoles, once pre-orders are available.

But I was just reading that the aforementioned "Control" barely hits thirty frames per second on the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, which reinforced my notion that while the Series X's 12.5 teraflops might sound like a lot of horsepower now, in twenty four months we'll be right back where we are now: PCs will have 20 teraflop video cards, and the PS5 and Series X will be way behind.

Also remember: neither new system has dedicated AI hardware, which means any kind of DLSS-like reconstruction technique will need to suck up even more GPU cycles. I'm not sure how to compute this exactly, but for games which support DLSS, my current RTX 2080 is already a 20+ teraflops card in terms of pixel quality-to-frame rate.

For example, with full ray tracing enabled, my card runs "Control" like a slideshow at native 2160p. But with DLSS enabled, my card only needs to deal with 1080p, with the nearly-perfect reconstruction to 2160p being done "for free" by the card's so-called Tensor Cores. The Series X would need a lot more than 12.5 teraflops to brute force that level of performance.

In that sense, the new systems are already behind. And as mentioned earlier, just wait until Nvidia and AMD unleash their next generation of GPUs, along with the availability of PCIExpress 5.0 in just a couple of years-- which will support NVMe drives that, even sans compression, will outpace the PlayStation 5's raw throughput.

I think my current plan then is to just sit tight for now, and build a brand new PC probably in 2022. That way I can also pass my components down to my kids. And thanks to "DisplayFusion Pro" and its window position profiles, my biggest Windows 10 annoyance has been eliminated, making that operating system usable.
Atlas of Surveillance - 06:12 CDT, 7/24/20 (Sniper)
I learned from this tool that the parent government county of the location where my Murderapolis home is, uses the following "tools" on its citizens:

  • They track people via cameras, then use facial recognition software to determine your identity.

  • They capture everyone's license plates via cameras and automated license plate readers, which can be used to record citizen movement.

  • They use a Stingray-style spoofing device, which pretends to be a cell site so they can intercept phone calls or implant data on people's phones.

  • They operate two drones, which can be used with the aforementioned facial tracking analysis software.

By contrast, the government county for the bug out house operates a single drone, and the essentially non-existent police forces have Barney Fife, with one squad car and a single bullet.

One more reason to re-locate.
Generational Divide - 20:05 CDT, 7/23/20 (Sniper)
During the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 generation, games started to lose the magic and authenticity which they had during the 70s through 90s. During the subsequent Xbox One and PlayStation 4 era, this trend was continued and compounded when the creativity and risk taking hit which ever-ballooning budgets caused started to become manifest.

Games during these times-- roughly from 2005 to 2019-- were not bad per se, but merely "blah": colorless, uninventive, and drab.

Unfortunately, the video games market is continuing to follow Dante's Virgil-led descent through you-know-where, because for the first time in the history of the medium, this new Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 generation of games is not just boring, or suffering from sequelitis, or any other number of mundane maladies: the games are instead actively terrible.

I sat through Microsoft's dismal "third party showcase" some weeks ago and thought, "ok, so maybe third-party development is in a bad way-- but it's the first-party games which matter more anyhow." I then eagerly watched Sony's PlayStation 5 game presentation, and was astonished to find that other than maybe two titles, the quality of the games on offer was just as poor.

"But that's ok", I convinced myself, "because I'm almost certainly going to get an Xbox Series X anyhow. The July 23rd presentation will be amazing." And here I sit afterwards, with six hundred or even more dollars in hand waiting to throw at one of these two companies, while digesting this reality: they've both talked me out of buying their products.

And when I say "talked me out of", I mean totally blown it. As in, "Giants 41, Vikings 0" blown it. I mean, "SpaceX aluminum foil rocket exploding on the launch pad" blown it. It wouldn't have taken very much today for Microsoft to get my cash, or for Sony likewise a few weeks ago. But even by that low, low bar, they've somehow managed to pull off the impossible: a total and complete Hindenberg, down in flames.

The indiscernable-from-2001 "Halo Infinite", which couldn't be more conservative if it was Rick Santorum supplicating in a confessional, was the lone bright spot in the entire hour-long jank-fest, during which this writer passed the time laughing hysterically at the god-forsaken character designs with faces even a mother couldn't love, and the ceaseless parade of "emotional journey"-style games with stories too immature for a twelve year old eating Cheetos while sitting on his bedroom floor in his Spiderman underwear.

To whom in the world are these games designed to appeal? Other than aforementioned game featuring a "Master Chief" probably old enough to be a card-carrying member of the local AARP chapter by now, the closest we got to seeing actual gameplay were the falling Tetris blocks with the faces of more dysfunctional Millenials than you'd find at the local Starbucks.

And maybe that is exactly what's going on here: a generational divide. There is nothing in the background, history, values, or gameplay sensibilities of someone my age which could make these games on display anything other than absurd.

Even graphically, for all the vendor blustering about ray tracing and teraflops, about SSDs and I/O throughput, about reduced latency and 144 Hz-- the only game I've seen across this entire swathe of "next generation showcases" which looked undeniably like a generational leap, was Gran Turismo 7.

Undoubtedly these machines-- especially Sony's latest offering, because after all it says "PlayStation" on the box-- will fly off store shelves. But to a dinosaur like me, it's probably smarter to just keep the faithful PC-- which can also be used for programming and financial investing and countless other grown-up activities-- up-to-date, because it can also be used to play the very rare modern-day title which actually does look appealing (here is looking at you, Microsoft Flight Simulator).
The WuFlu Boogie - 16:10 CDT, 7/23/20 (Sniper)
I for one am getting extremely bored with the whole WuFlu topic, so unless something even more outrageous than usual happens, I'm going to conclude the subject with this post.

The ninety nine point nine percent of the population who are not eighty five years old and in nursing homes or assisted living would veritably not even have known this virus exists, if it weren't for outlets like CNN blaring watch-bait headlines in an attempt to torpedo Donald Trump's re-election campaign, twenty four hours per day, with massive red ticker counters of the "cases" and one hyper-alarmist guest after another.

Indeed, during the countless previous viral outbreaks such as H1N1, hardly anyone knew anything about it: they went about their daily lives like normal. And for that rare, fraction-of-one-percent population segment who are unusually vulnerable to sickness, they just stayed inside and washed their hands a little more often. Some people died, but fifty million Americans weren't put out of work, and the world kept turning, as it always does.

That's exactly how the WuFlu would have turned out, had it not been an election year, and how it conveniently did while Black Lives Matter were burning down buildings. Instead, before and after the riots, it turned into a twenty-four-seven, government shutdown-reminiscent, air raid siren blowing media blitzkrieg exercise into how whipped up and into a terrified frenzy they could get the population, for what is no more dangerous to the average person than the annual flu season.

This has culminated in an inverted pyramid: in a sane world, the tiny tip of the pyramid-- the vulnerable among us-- would take extraordinary measures, while the glacier-sized mountain of ordinary people would continue to go to school, visit friends, go to the beach, and strengthen their immune systems with low stress and sunlight.

Instead, it's the ninety nine point nine percent of people-- perfectly healthy-- who are being told, at gun point in many cases, that they are the ones who must take the extraordinary measures. The pyramid has been flipped upside down: left is now right, East is now West, two plus two equals five.

This has culminated in many governors, including the one in my home state of Minnesota, decreeing with a magic wand that everyone-- even fit-as-a-fiddle sixteen year olds who are probably more likely to die slipping in the shower that morning than to keel over from the WuFlu-- follow little arrows on the ground, not stand too close by some totally arbitrary distance to other people, cower behind bullet-proof plexiglass at their jobs (if allowed to work at all!), and wear Michael Jackson-style surgical masks while out shopping, or even just enjoying a casual lunch with their friends at the local McDonalds.

Unlike Nazi concentration camp guards or Stanford prison experiment participants, I have never been one to blindly follow orders from people who have no more natural authority over me than my pet dog, and I'm certainly not going to start now. The precedent that the government can now at-will mandate what kinds of clothing people can wear in public is the most dangerous civil liberties development in American society I have seen in my nearly forty years of living in the country.

As such, I refuse to normalize paranoid, mental health mysophobic delusions by wearing any kind of "face covering", and will use every legal loophole and means of resistance at my disposal to ignore the State's edicts, and continue to live my life in a holistically healthy manner, with safety mitigation in proportion to any threats presented-- just like any sane rational person would normally do, and which ordinary people still do in every other facet of their lives.

Right now, Bill Gates is continuing his dangerous vaccine experiments, using poverty-stricken African children as living, breathing human guinea pig-style test subjects. If he gets his way, those experiments-- along with micro-chipping and a Chinese Sesame Credit-like system where only purchasers of his vaccine on their digital certificate will be allowed to get jobs, travel or shop-- will follow, right here in America: the land of the free, or so I thought.

The first step to resisting that kind of future more dystopian than even those George Orwell's lurid imagination could conjure, is by drawing a line now: when the gestapo command to jump, don't respond with "how high"-- rather, tell them where to jump.
Hear Ye, Hear Ye - 07:52 CDT, 7/23/20 (Sniper)
My home state's own little tin pot dictator just mandated, via an "executive order"-- like a king's royal decree-- that people need to wear "face coverings".

Which of course, is like trying to stop a mosquito with a chain link fence, unless you're wearing exactly the right kind of mask, perfectly sealed against your skin, and also wearing tightly-sealed goggles and ear coverings. And, don't forget that if someone sneezes, it'll be on your clothes, in your hair, on your shoe laces, on your glasses, and so forth. Especially if the person who sneezed isn't wearing exactly the right kind of mask.

The only way to be "safe" is to wear a Hazmat suit. But you can't touch it to take it off either, because that will re-contaminate your hands. Drats! Indeed, section 3a. says that the "covering" can even be made of a "bandanna".

The "executive order" also takes lots of things for granted: other than trying to get Trump out of office, why would we want to slow the spread of this, when essentially everyone is going to get it anyway? Wouldn't we want it to spread quickly, especially during these nice warm summer months?

I also searched the document for the words "death" and "fatality". There is one mention of "fatality", which says that Minnesota had one-- singular-- by the twenty first of March, and zero mentions of "death". All it talks about are "cases".

I looked up the overall statistics, and there has only been three hundred and sixty non-nursing home deaths in Minnesota, in a state with five point six million people in it. That's 0.006 percent of the ordinary population who have been waxed. Probably more people died getting out of their bath tubs during that period.

Taken as a total number of cases, the non-nursing home fatality rate is 0.7 percent-- and that's not even broken down by age. And tests have not been issued to one hundred percent of the population either: probably most people have already had it, and didn't even know it-- dropping that fatality rate into the rounding-error fractions of fractions of percents.

No mention of any of that in the "executive order". It says that there have been "disastrous consequences" of re-opening: like what? No explanation given.

The hilarious part about this "executive order" is that it's not even enforceable: section 8a. says that anyone with a "mental health condition" doesn't need to wear one. Well guess what: I was once clinically diagnosed with an anxiety disorder-- so I'm off the hook. Further, section 15c says that no business can make me disclose my underlying condition.

In other words, and like all things related to the Wuflu, it's pure theater: people signalling that they're on Team Blue.
Robert Kennedy Jr. - 07:41 CDT, 7/22/20 (Sniper)
I talk a lot about the aburd things Letists think and do, and even explain why they do those things via studies and scientific evidence, as long-time readers will attest. What I don't often point out-- and maybe I should-- is that there are a lot of great Lefties out there too.

Check out this interview with Robert Kennedy Jr. I got so wrapped up in it, that I listened to all two hours and twenty minutes of it. I went in extremely skeptical, having previously not been particularly impressed with Judy Mikovits-- but instead found him to be eminently believable.

As a walking fact book, he made probably two hundred claims in the video, and while I haven't and never will be able to cross-check all of them, what impressed me was how balanced his views are, and how independent of a thinker he very obviously is: this guy strikes me as someone like myself, who neutrally does their own research on every issue one at a time, and comes to their own conclusion.

I don't sense any particular axe to grind. Nor was or is he opposed to vaccines, generally speaking. Nor does he dislike people like Bill Gates, about whom he had effusive praise-- I might write a blog post about that topic specifically, because in my opinion he's flat-out wrong in that praise. But back to the point, he's clearly not ideologically-motivated; rather, he simply went where the evidence led him.

He's also nominally a Democrat, but I picked up on opinions from all across the political spectrum, including Libertarian. In fact, the author even delves into that topic a bit: "you don't sound like a Democrat." He also covers his family: I had a vagely negative notion of the Kennedy family, having grown up in a Republican household-- but it actually sounds like there was a lot of great things about them, and the way they raised their many kids.

In summary then, I probably disagree with him about many things-- but he's one of those people about whom I completely respect their opinion and thought process, even if they arrived at different conclusions than myself.
Does Not Compute - 15:48 CDT, 7/21/20 (Sniper)
I saw this in my news feeds, and wondered: how in the world could six million Jews have supposedly died at the hands of the Nazis, when there are only fourteen million of them today, and the world's population has increased over three-fold since the 1930s?

I looked up the modern numbers, and they say that the Jewish population was seventeen million before the war, then eleven after-- perfectly matching that perfect "six million dead" claim. Which still seems dubious-- was over one third of the world's Jewish population even within reach of the Third Reich, much less murdered? I thought there were a lot more Jews on the planet period-- but let's even set that aside.

What about period population and census data? It actually shows that the Jewish population went up slightly during the war. That's not to say that Jews didn't die at the hands of the Nazis-- evidently, about one hundred and thirty six thousand of them did. But just that the Jews elsewhere in the world made up for it in terms of new births.

I've also played with numbers in a spreadsheet in the past. To kill six million people over the four and a half years Auschwitz was open, for example, comes out to nearly three people killed, every single minute of every single hour of every single day, for four and a half years straight. It's possible-- but seems far-fetched to me.

That's still genocide, and that's still a lot of people killed! But the "six million" claim seems implausible to me, and was probably used as an ex post facto justification for the formation of Israel (six million was prophesized in scripture!), when it became apparent that the Israel situation was morphing into somewhat of a disaster.

In general, "The Holocaust" has always struck me as one of those half-truth, half tall tales, like the stories told about "Thanksgiving" or Abraham Lincoln or the evils of the "Gilded Age": there is a kernel of truth in that the events did happen, but the details are all wrong-- meant to tell a common story or parable rather than be historically accurate.
Not Inclusive - 14:27 CDT, 7/21/20 (Sniper)
Here is an example of what people are being subjected to at work on an almost daily basis, in large corporations:

All three images are screenshots I took from work, just today. I redacted any references to the company name, of course.

The top two came from a FAQ, posted on the company's intranet site. Regarding the first one, you're allowed to state your political opinions at work, as long as it's the same opinion they have: you're allowed to praise "Black Lives Matter", but not criticize it; you're permitted to say the company should be engaged in political activism, but not to say that it shouldn't; you're allowed to praise homosexuals, but not express religious objections.

As for the second, my employer's CEO-- so, right from the top-- has been subjecting his tens of thousands of employees to political video diatribes, posted above the fold on the intranet site. Did he ask each employee if they were interested in the topic? Doesn't he think that his videos might be a distraction, taking up brain cycles for even people who agree with him, much less disagree? As an employee, how do I tell him that I'm not interested in the topic, and that he should drop it?

As for the bottom-most pair of images, those were being used as backgrounds during a division-wide meeting, by the senior-most leaders of that division. Meanwhile, they were asking-- in a call with one hundred and eight people, where they had these rainbow backgrounds and even brought in a "guest speaker" to talk about George Floyd-- whether our brands should have political messaging. Given the setting, who in their right mind would un-mute their microphone, and say even something mild like the brands should be apolitical? Potential career-ending move.

My co-workers are good people: they are smart and I enjoy working with them. I think the company does a lot of great work, both in the market place and through charity, which is why I've been there for fifteen years. But like most Leftists, this same vocal minority of employees has very low levels of self-awareness, and a lot of obvious-to-me double standards, about the impact of political speech in the workplace, and how that creates a hostile unwelcoming environment for maybe as many as half of the company's employees. Sadly, they are caught in a monoculture vortex of groupthink, so they haven't yet been able to see it that way.

What's more, they haven't thought this political messaging through: if someone is at the store and my company's product has a "Black Lives Matter" logo on it, half of the people in the country would put it back on the shelf in disgust: "they burnt half my city down, are tearing down statues, and are doxing and attacking anyone who disagrees with them-- but now I have a multi-billion dollar corporation setting me straight about BLM, thank goodness!" It's not going to change anyone's minds: only alienate potential customers.

I bring this up because it's happening all across corporate America, not just at my company-- yet when I tell people who aren't in those environments, they often don't believe me, or think I'm exaggerating. So, here is a concrete example.
Fake Objectivity - 07:24 CDT, 7/21/20 (Sniper)
There is a web site called "Rational Wiki", which was created as a direct response to, and is the Left-equivalent of, the "Conservapedia". Notice how "Conservapedia" is a portmanteau including the word "Conservative", whereas the Left-equivalent misleadingly labels itself as "rational"?

"Wikipedia" is essentially another "Rational Wiki" these days, to the point where its own co-founder thinks the site is a joke. I remember trying to study philosophers via that site, and it was a post-modernist love-fest; even video game "articles" are starting to have editorial biases. So when I saw this in my news this morning, it came as no surprise. I don't use Wikipedia for anything anymore.

More generally, it's also suspicious to me that Wikipedia's "editors" dislike citing blog posts.

What's the difference between a "blog post" and an "article" on the New York Times website-- other than the fact that the blog posts are ten times better cited and more reliable? They are both words; they are both HTML, delivered by web servers; they can be equally evaluated for the presence of well-cited sources; to me they are the same-- either meritorious, or not.
Nintendo Switch Montage - 10:13 CDT, 7/18/20 (Sniper)
I've been taking and accumulating hundreds of screenshots and videos on my Switch-- I finally decided to clean them up and put some of them online, as I've been apt to do with other games and platforms.

For anyone interested, make sure all of your captured stuff is copied to your memory card via the Switch's dashboard, pop the memory card into your PC, and use the following Bash command to flatten the "Album" directory tree:

find Album -mindepth 2 -type f -exec cp -t Album -i '{}' +

In addition to the screenshots below, I made a video montage which you can view here. Enjoy!

Real-Life Evil Corporations - 08:20 CDT, 7/18/20 (Sniper)
Long-time readers will know that I get as tired of the "evil corporation" cliches in video games as much as anyone: but if this isn't positively spine-tingling, then I don't know what is.

This is Bill Gates and a twelve-and-a-half billion dollar credit card company experimenting on poor African kids. Market pressure and five hundred million privately-owned firearms will hopefully prevent this from becoming a full-on "The Outer Worlds" situation in America.
Bowling Balls - 17:08 CDT, 7/17/20 (Sniper)
Forget Molyneux, forget Crowder, forget Paul Joseph Watson-- I found someone even crazier than Vee, for Pete's sake: TechLead.

I just got done listening to Molyneux explain the notion of "fuck you money", and nothing screams that concept more than content like this: he's nuts! He's so financially independent, that he can quite literally flip the bird to the entire world, and say whatever he wants!

His combination of "Asian male" stereotypes, Silicon Valley background, deadpan delivery, and politically incorrect content is almost surreal-- I've never seen someone straddle the "is this guy for real?" line like this dude.
Hankey Pankey - 10:45 CDT, 7/17/20 (Sniper)
Apply the discourse in this post to the job of a mail man: such a job requires touching thousands of pieces of paper, which were each touched-- and even licked, in many cases-- by random other people, not hours or even minutes before; then it involves opening hundreds of gates, mailboxes, and even manhandling door knobs; it also necessitates operating a mail delivery vehicle, which was sneezed in by other mail carriers, plus countless other employees such as maintenance workers.

If you're a mail man, you're going to get and probably have already had the corrronnna, along with dozens of other illnesses each year and this year, which your immune system fights off without you even realizing it.

But, nope: today I happened to be in my yard, and the mail man refused to hand me my mail over the fence! In a pompous tone: "I won't hand mail directly to people." In bypassing such a contact-less maneuver, he'd decided to touch my gate and mailbox instead. Ok... and no, he wasn't wearing gloves.

This led to a conversation with my daughter, where I explained to her what this is really about; sneak preview-- it has nothing to do with saaafety: rather and first, it permits people to show others-- virtue signal-- how much they supposedly care about others. This while destroying the livelihoods of tens of millions of their fellow Americans, of course: square that one. Second, it makes them feel morally superior: they get to look down their noses at people who have different opinions than them (herd immunity, baby).

If you don't believe me, consider this punchline: the mail man didn't have anything to deliver for my house today anyway-- he never tried to enter my yard, and he never circled back. Rather than just say "nothing for you today, have a nice weekend!", he went out of his way to communicate to me how much he "cared" by not handing me non-existent mail.

And if you still don't believe me, once very recently when out on one of my countless daily walks, I saw a woman open the door to him-- he very obviously made a look around to see if anyone was watching, then entered. I didn't realize the virus wasn't communicable via hankey-pankey!

And if you still don't believe me, there was another occasion just a couple of months ago, where he followed a neighbor into their back yard, and was chatting with them standing not two feet away, so he could get a free set of golf clubs! Free shit? Bring on the corrronna!

And for those Virus Totalitarians who really do "feel scared" and thus like to tell people who don't "feel unsafe" to bow down and that such individuals are being "selfish"-- in a typical lack of self-awareness, they don't see that they are the selfish ones: if you don't feel safe, then stay home-- don't expect everyone else to join bread lines or dress like Michael Jackson because you have mysophobia.
Getting There - 07:43 CDT, 7/17/20 (Sniper)
It's kind of painful to listen to for people like me and my readership, who have been all over this topic for years-- it's like someone who just discovered gravity, and is talking about it with great interest: but bear with it, because this guy is so, so close: he is one step away from the red pill, which is "Cultural Marxism".

Right now, he's at the stage where he's seeing the evil acts, but he's baffled by the causes: "I thought these programs were supposed to make things 'inclusive'?" He's in for quite the surprise as he continues to peel away this onion, and finds out that there is a trillion-ton ice berg beneath the superficial tip that is Oracle's internship program, or whatever.

It'd be like watching a cross-section comic, where a guy is pulling at a stick in what he thinks is the ground: "what is this?", meanwhile the comic's viewer can see that it's an eyebrow hair of a mile-tall giant.
Moolah - 15:21 CDT, 7/16/20 (Sniper)
Hah, this is easy for Phil Spencer to say: his entire business model is getting people onto "Game Pass"-- to him, it doesn't matter if people buy the "Series X" or just keep playing on their PCs. But with this kind of quote, he puts Sony into a bit of a corner, because they'll look petty for wanting everyone to buy "their piece of plastic". Very clever bit of politics, in this microcosmic little video game world.

I just had my annual performance review. I've always done well on those, but this year's might be my best-ever-- which means my bonus is positively ridiculous. I can't tell you why exactly, but I've been eyeing up one of these: I may just buy one when they come out, and then wifey will be the enthusiastic recipient of my still-superb "Samsung Galaxy S8+" from a few years ago.
Narrow-Minded - 07:33 CDT, 7/16/20 (Sniper)
For years, I've been doing opinion panels: they're an easy source of Amazon gift cards, and an insight into how the political Left is thinking at any given time, since essentially every survey comes straight from academia, and has the whiff of "let's see how crazy these wacky Conservatives are."

I just got done completing the second in a pair of Corrronnna-related inventories, and-- as a case-in-point to how interesting they can be-- every single question regarding face masks, so-called "social distancing", and a potential future vaccine were centered around Jonathan Haidt's "Care / Harm" moral consideration:

  • If you wear a mask, will it make it less likely that grandma suffers a gruesome death?

  • If you "social distance", will it keep your "community" safe?

  • If you get a vaccine, will it help prevent your children from keeling over in your arms?

A couple of the questions were fishing for why people aren't doing the above, and even those were "Care / Harm" oriented: "Do you think a vaccine will be a financial burden? Do you think a vaccine will have unintended health side effects?"

Anyone who has read Haidt's "The Righteous Mind" can tell you that this survey will totally baffle the researcher who constructed it: "Conservatives acknowledge that wearing a mask might help people not get sick, yet my survey gives me zero clue as to why they aren't doing it." The only rational conclusion they can come to then, is that Conservatives are selfish, heartless, and so forth.

When in reality, where Lefties are single-track "Care / Harm" machines, Conservatives take a very nuanced, wide breadth view of any given situation, carefully weighing all of the factors-- including "Care / Harm", but not limited to it. In this case, and just to list a few non-"Care / Harm" considerations:

  • Wearing a mask might make me mildly less likely to get someone sick, but what about the cost and precedent regarding current and future civil liberties?

  • What kind of unintended consequences will there be for normalizing mysophobic rituals, en masse, when the actual threat doesn't warrant those kinds of behaviors?

  • What kind of signal does this send politicians, where one second they say "crawl" and we crawl, the next they say "dance", and we all dance, right on cue?

  • All people are intrinsically self-interested, including Anthony Fauci and the Marxist agitator guy in charge of the "WHO". Their motives warrant healthy suspicion.

The only one of those the survey addressed was the fourth one-- which is also probably the least relevant consideration for the average Conservative, regarding this issue.

Also throw into the mix the fact that Conservatives consistently score higher than Lefties on scientific literacy tests:

"Morbidity rates for this virus for ordinary people are a small fraction of one tenth of one percent; rather than forcing thirty, forty, or fifty million people into unemployment, or to dress like Michael Jackson, or to crush the social lives of nascent emotionally-developing children, why not just have the tiny percentage of vulnerable people, largely in nursing homes, focus on keeping themselves safe?"
Pricey and Underpowered - 08:35 CDT, 7/11/20 (Sniper)
I wonder why the latest wave of Japanese sports cars are so absurdly expensive? Add the Supra to the list: forty two thousand bucks gets you a four cylinder engine-- and the damned thing doesn't even come with a manual transmission! Incidentally, I love how in promotional videos, they always show the test driver jerking the automatic stalk around-- Park-Reverse-Drive-Reverse-Drive-- to make it look like he's operating a manual, hah!

By contrast, Ford sells a four cylinder Mustang for twenty six grand. And you can get the over four hundred horse power V8 version for thirty five thousand-- seven grand less than the four cylinder Supra, and with a manual to boot! Meanwhile, a V8 Camaro with a manual sells for thirty five grand. Nissan will even still sell you a brand new three hundred thirty horse power 370z, with a manual transmission, for thirty grand only!

Yes, the government is jacking car prices up with all of its mandates-- but that's not the whole story I don't think. Today, if you want a newly-designed Japanese sports car for thirty grand or under-- meaning, a car payment even a six figure income earner like me can realistically afford-- you're looking at an MX-5 with barely more horsepower than the old front-wheel drive econobox 2006 Scion tC I used to own. What a joke!
On Cue - 07:22 CDT, 7/10/20 (Sniper)
Remember when I penned this recent post about Tim Sweeney? Eight days later... hah! The expression "whoring for cash" comes to mind.

One worry I have about the Xbox Series X is just how shoddy Microsoft's software quality is these days: I've experienced more bugs in Windows 10 than ME and Vista put together; their big games such as Gears 5 and Minecraft have major, game-breaking technical issues; and absolutely everyone I know who owns an Xbox One complains about the lousy dashboard, which will still be in place on the Series X.

It all makes me wonder if the Series X and its games are going to be in constant patch mode, with lots of quirky annoyances like missing HDMI signals, updates which won't download, and so forth.
Hamsters in Balls - 07:00 CDT, 7/10/20 (Sniper)
For some time now, Scott Adams has been using a "two movies" analogy, where people in America can't even agree about basic facts despite sitting in the same theater. It's clearly because of this, which is a microcosmic example; where the Right are constantly inundated by and have overlapping values with Leftist opinions-- see Jonathan Haidt for more details-- the Left are in a total echo chamber, getting fed constant misinformation and "fake news", while simultaneously being not able to comprehend alternative viewpoints.

A good example is Corrronnna: people like myself were very cautious at first as the facts were unknown-- but because we read news from a variety of sources, we quickly realized that the threat was wildly overblown. Thus, millions of us started saying "nah" when it came to things like wearing what I began calling "Fear Masks", which were obviously being ordered by politicians for political opportunism, not "public health".

People on the Left, by contrast, mocked and ridiculed anyone who wore a mask on Monday, but then on Tuesday started mocking and ridiculing anyone who didn't wear them. Quite literally the only thing which changed between days A and B was a government decree. Then, because Lefties are incapable of comprehending anything outside of their immediate sphere, they started pathologizing people who were basing their decisions on science and facts, versus government mandates.

Two movies: in this case, the people acting like Michael Jackson-esque mysophobes thinking other people are the ones with mental illnesses! Interestingly, I saw this article today too-- I wonder how Lefties would square it; are entire countries mentally ill now as well? But I thought the psychological explanation was Bible Belt ignoramuses in rural American areas?
Journalistic Crash - 05:46 CDT, 7/09/20 (Sniper)
I've never been a huge television watcher, but once upon a time CNN's web site was in my news feeds, and I read it daily. Now I remember why: that network wasn't alway crazy-- just check out this video clip of Don Lemon, from just 2013!

The most striking thing to me isn't even the content of the segment: it's his presentation, which is clear and clean and professional-- it's more like watching Stewart Cheifet from "Computer Chronicles" than present-day Don Lemon.
Not Far Enough - 19:25 CDT, 7/08/20 (Sniper)
I'd take this one step further: I haven't run the formula exactly, but as a mathematical approximation you need to be sitting practically inches from a sixty inch display to see the difference between "4K" and "8K", especially when you factor in the quality of modern anti-aliasing and reconstructive techniques. Heck, native "4K" is already pointless with the advent of DLSS-- who the heck needs "8K"?

In other words, not only will "mid-gen" refreshes be unnecessary, but in terms of raw processing prowess we'll very soon hit the "GPU of forever" point, similar to how we hit the "video card of forever" 2d mark in the 90's, where RAMDAC speed as a concept became irrelevant almost overnight. The cool part is that we're not far away from this "GPU of forever" being able to fit in a handheld: the Nintendo Switch concept came five or ten years too early.

The only way companies like Nvidia, or television makers for that matter, will survive is by diversifying into new ventures. Eventually, the world will shift away from texture-mapped polygons altogether I'm sure, and replace it with augmented reality point clouds or something-- at which point the innovation race will be on again, with or without the current industry players, depending on how well those companies play their cards; will Nvidia be Nvidia again, or will it be 3dfx or Matrox?
Interrelated - 17:18 CDT, 7/08/20 (Sniper)
The kids and I are studying rocketry, and as part of that research we just got done watching this video. It's a superb and entertaining primer, other than perhaps the presenter's glossing over of how hybrid engines work. But maybe even more interestingly, and as always happens with home schooling, the video led to a divergent discussion-- in this case, regarding human evolution.

Startled at such a good example of the latter, I immediately froze the frame with the shot of the audience here, and asked the kids: describe to me what the men are doing in this shot. "They're watching and smiling; they think it's cool." Then I asked, "And what are the women doing?" "Covering their ears and faces; they look scared." I froze frame a bit later, here, and asked who were giving the more enthusiastic claps: the men, or the women? "The women", my kids answered.

This led to an explanation of how women, who were tied up having and caring for babies for hundreds of thousands of years, developed to be both risk averse, and also to highly value social harmony: they are better at empathizing, and worse at systematizing. After all, if women took risks and the babies died, or the tribe lost its mojo, it would cease to exist. Men, by contrast, were the hunters: they had to be brave and strong to overcome the risks-- so to this day, they accept and even enjoy risk, being excellent systematizers, but poor empathizers; not enough time to be all feely when you're about to get eaten.

On a note I didn't discuss with the kids, are that those lines are becoming blurred as testosterone levels plummet across the Western world: so while men are still less risk averse than women on average, their out-of-whack hormonal balances are causing them to become more risk averse, and also to value social harmony more highly-- in other words, they are becoming more like women. This is why the political balance is shifting less towards principles, rational logic, and risk taking, and more towards emotional appeals and fear. It's also why men are more willing to "cuck" these days, throwing their principles overboard to "get along": there are fewer and fewer hills they see worth dying on, so to speak, weighed against their ever-increasing woman-like desire for social harmony.
Contrasts - 20:39 CDT, 7/07/20 (Sniper)
I watch a lot of "Digital Foundry" content, and I got a new appreciation for Audi Sorlie listening to this: just in this one video I learned that the guy is from Norway originally, was in the music industry in his teens and twenties, lived in South America speaking Spanish spending a year in a wrestling school and becoming an expert in "luche libre" celebrities, then moved to Japan and became fluent in Japanese.

It's interesting to contrast that with my life: at twelve years old, my plan was to go to university for Computer Science, get married, have kids, and support that family as a professional programmer, working with the same big company for thirty years, then retiring early on a pension and saved funds. It's kind of amazing to me that I had that template at such a young age, and have followed it so precisely-- in fact, I'm exactly half-way through the thirty years now: so far, so good.

In other news, I've seen more than my fair share of dismal Lazio collapses in my many, many years following the club-- but today's loss to Lecce may have been the single worst performance I've yet witnessed, when taking the context into account: the two clubs were more than forty points apart in the table, and had a more than seventy differential in goal difference. Last season, Lazio were pretty terrible-- then electric in the new season with the same players and coach-- now dismal again in this "new" season, once again with the same players and coach. It's inexplicable how the same group can be as hot as Venus, and as cold as Neptune, with zero quantifiable alterations.
Rushmore - 07:21 CDT, 7/04/20 (Sniper)
Start listening to the President Trump Mount Rushmore speech at this point. As always, it's incredible hearing someone in such an influential position be so red pilled: he "gets it".

By contrast, can you imagine what this speech would have sounded like had Hitlery given it? She'd have encouraged the violence: "some good things about America, but mostly bad-- we have a duty to re-create the country for 'social justice'", blah blah.

Trump calls out "cancel culture" by name, using that term; he describes the current (bowel) movement as "far-Left Fascism"-- yes, the Left are the Fascists; and he also recognized that this cult is a religion, with rituals, mantras, and commandments.

Regarding his comments about indoctrination in schools, wifey and I were just having that conversation the other day: "if the mainstream culture is so Bozo the Clown, what in the world do you think they will be telling school kids this upcoming school year? The depth of the programming and ranting 'teachers' will be breathtaking." Thank goodness for home schooling.

Unfortunately, that's more or less where President Trump stopped, the rest of the speech being a somewhat lethargically-delivered history lesson, along with generic platitudes. I would have rather that he actually call out Cultural Marxism by name, and explain how crazy it is. But I'll take the small victories where I can get them.

Oh, and about the monument defacers he had arrested: I hope he provided some playpens and coloring books for them in prison!