The Exigent Duality
Birth and Death of Art - 17:01 CDT, 12/01/23 (Sniper)
This is one of the funnest videos I've ever watched. The guy's presentation is a little cringey-- after all one needs to cater to the Gen Z'ers these days-- but the content is incredible. I can recognize that there is some crazy stuff going on, but to hear a master break it down systematically and explain it in music theory terms is extremely rewarding.

You know what would really blow his mind? Explaining to him that Koshiro not only had to compose the music, but that he had to program the music in assembler, to magically bend the waveforms, to produce the sounds he wanted. And on top of that, he was programming and getting-to-work-together two different chips: the FM synth YM2612, and the PSG. Koshiro isn't just a master composer: he's a superb computer programmer as well.

Regular readers will know I've been desperately trying to explain to everyone that video game music is dead: anyone who reads my reviews knows that I continually bring up how game tunes from the 80s and 90s were composed by geniuses who learned classical piano at ages four and five, whereas today the "songs" are "composed" by jokers with zero talent, who make television commercial music-- there's just no comparison.

My point being, it wasn't just "Streets of Rage 2" which had a soundtrack of this caliber: there are dozens of games from that era I could recommend to him, which have remarkable compositional complexity.

If he likes the dance stuff, how about tracks like this from "One Must Fall: 2097"? Or anything from "Shinobi III"? The "Star Control 2" music does a huge amount of thematically interesting things. Returning to Koshiro, what would this guy make from the opening progression in this track? Or how about what I consider to be the single best video game song of all time, compliments of Tim Follin?

Favorite Metal Albums

While we're on the subject of music, I figured I'd update my favorite metal albums of all time list. I love this stuff for the same reason the aforelinked musician went nuts listening to Yuzo Koshiro: metal has incredible compositional sophistication. But not only that, it produces such an intensely bombastic sound:

  1. Rising Force - Yngwie Malmsteen (1984)
  2. Resurrection - Galneryus (2010)
  3. Invictus - Virgin Steele (1998)
  4. Angel of Salvation - Galneryus (2012)
  5. Rust in Peace - Megadeth (1990)
  6. Dust to Dust - Heavenly (2004)
  7. V: The New Mythology Suite - Symphony X (2000)
  8. Epica - Kamelot (2003)
  9. Images and Words - Dream Theater (1991)
  10. Trilogy - Yngwie Malmsteen (1988)
  11. Hall of the Mountain King - Savatage (1987)
  12. Land of the Free - Gamma Ray (1995)
  13. Crystal Logic - Manilla Road (1983)
  14. Destiny - Stratovarius (1998)
  15. Ecliptica - Sonata Arctica (1999)
  16. Sign of the Winner - Heavenly (2001)
  17. Dawn of Victory - Rhapsody (2000)
  18. Defying the Rules - Hibria (2004)
  19. The Black Halo - Kamelot (2005)
  20. Chapters from a Vale Forlorn - Falconer (2002)


Speaking of art which resonates with me, how about this piece from Akira Toriyama?

I wonder if there is a name for the style: it juxtaposes disproportionate "chibi" characters with realism-- in this image, I get the chills contrasting the driver with the rich detail put into the car itself. Imagine lifting this car and characters, plus a whole slew of corresponding world art, making ultra high-resolution "billboard" sprites out of them, then placing that into a rally driving game with realistic physics?

This is what I mean about modern-day game designers having nothing to offer: I can think of a million ideas like this, which have never been done before-- and I'm not even a generally creative person. Sometimes I think I should start my own game development company. I'd go solo, but I'm a terrible artist so minimally I'd need help with the graphics.

Crime and Race

Here is Vincent James with an excellent breakdown of the relationship between crime and race. This doesn't mean that people should ill-treat individuals poorly simply because of their race-- but the data does suggest which races, if any, should be considered for immigration, and which shouldn't.

On that very note, here is Geert Wilders with a superb explanation as to why people voted for him. He brings up the importance of shared religion, shared language, shared values, and so forth. You can always tell which leaders prioritize their own voters-- Wilders, Nigel Farage, Vladimir Putin, Viktor Orban, and so on-- by how often they invoke this telling argument. They understand that they are the employees, while the citizens are the bosses.

Clot Shot Fallout

I recently saw a clip from a female doctor who, no longer able to contain her conscience, spoke out against the damage the clot shots were causing, based on the explosion of things she and her colleagues were seeing in their practices over the past couple of years, weighed against their prior decades of experience. I can't find that clip at the moment, but this article discusses some of the same material.

Winbloze 12

The combination of the Steam Deck being such an emulation box hit for me thus far with the fact that, for the first time in forty years of playing video games, I don't have any titles I'm looking forward to, means that I'm on the verge of just handing over my gaming PC to the wife and calling it a day.

Now I'm reading that Winbloze 12 is going to be "AI"-based, which means it will have a woke chaperon built right into the OS, probably monitoring all of your documents, deleting stuff off of "OneDrive" if the "AI" system doesn't like it. I've also heard that Winbloze 12 will be subscription-based. Now seems like a good time to bow out of PC gaming, and probably all other contemporary gaming as well.

"Is it weird that I'm worried that I'm failing at being bi if I wind up liking a guy? Like coming out, in my mother's words, was so 'bleeping dramatic' and then I'm just gonna be in a hetero-normative relationship and then I feel guilty about participating in 'bi-erasure'? I'm a mess."

-Actual quote from a modern video game ("Spider-Man 2", on the PlayStation 5)

Death of Xbox, Continued

This is an interesting thread, lots of charts and analysis from the various posters. Some of the comments which jump out at me the most:

  • "The scary thing is they haven't been able to create a new, big IP to match Halo, Gears, or Forza. Starfield was the big chance, but failed spectacularly."

  • "how do you even hope to exist in the console market if your last successful exclusive ip was created in 2006? i mean, that's just genuinely nuts. it almost seems like the odds'd be that they'd've just accidentally come up with one over all that time..."

  • "I don't know how they're going to sustain memberships for another 6 months on the backs of Starfield and Halo Infinite. Honestly, I don't know how GamePass hasn't already imploded except that a lot of people probably have months/years stacked up."

Curiosities - 11:27 CDT, 11/27/23 (Sniper)
I'm not particularly smart or insightful, so why is it I've been correct about everything for the past few years?

  • Fentynl Floyd.
  • The Scamdemic: including-but-not-limited-to masks, lockdowns, "social distancing".
  • The clot shots.
  • Beijing Biden's senility.
  • "January 6th!!!"
  • "Hate speech" and the nature of censorship.
  • The rainbow people "slippery slope".

There are probably other things too, which I'm forgetting right now. On the flip-side, I've vastly-amended my previously-held position on Anarcho Capitalism, and I was totally incorrect in thinking that God did not exist.

But those are both longer-term menu items where my thinking has gradually evolved over time, in light of my receiving new evidence; in the short run, I've been spot on. Perhaps Clot Adams is on to something: in the current period of history, naturally skeptical people such as myself are going to be correct most of the time because unimaginably bad things really are happening everywhere.

Or, it could be that God has blessed me with a tiny modicum of wisdom, so that I can help others onto the right path.

Possible Paths

It seems like America could go one of three ways from here:

  1. Globalist Technocracy: Gavin Nuisance will be selected as the next El Presidente, the UN will implement "the mark of the beast" system of global digital id, and anyone who criticizes the establishment will be "investigated" and jailed for "hate speech" or "misinformation". People will be corralled into ghettos and be treated like livestock, given medical injections against their will, with no realistic ability to travel or leave. This path is a disaster.

  2. Compromise: Get a compromise candidate like RFK Jr. into office, somehow manage to reconcile differences in a relatively peaceful way. Most current arrangements, especially economically, can not go on-- but maybe new arrangements can be installed smoothly in some heretofore-mysterious way. This is the best-case scenario in a naive sort of way, but doesn't actually solve any of the underlying issues, since all of the perpetrators remain in power, with no consequences for their actions.

  3. Strong Man: A Franco-like hard man takes control, cleans house, and sets the country on a new path, pulling out the roots of the problems versus temporarily cutting off the dandelion stem only for it to grow back again in a few days. This approach is high risk, high reward; could solve everything, or the immediate chaos could stretch to infinity.

All three option are bad, but there is no "good" way out of the current situation. Since the third option is the most interesting, I gave some thought as to how it could be accomplished:

  • Create an inner guard of the most loyal men in the military. Lay the groundwork and plan logistics behind the scenes.
  • Come to power by cheating in an election by any means necessary.
  • Strike quickly, execute the plan rapidly; purge all military leaders who are disloyal. Jail or exile them.
  • Systematically raid the offices of all opposition "media" outlets and NGOs. Shut them all down. Jail or exile the leadership.
  • Have the military raid the offices of both the FBI and the CIA. Perform an extensive house cleaning, jailing or exiling all traitors.
  • Put new heads in charge of those departments; use them to execute the remainder of the plan, in close cooperation with the military.
  • Commission a list of all members of the government who are either Jews, or traitors who have expressed primary loyalty to Israel, and expel them immediately.
  • Get a list of all government members who are suspected primary loyalists to any other country apparatus, especially the Communist Chinese Party; jail or exile them.
  • Form new Constitutional Amendments to prevent lawless pluralism from re-shaping. In the chaos, communicate plan to the public to resume Republic's operations in five years, new mission clearly detailed.
  • Begin a military-run voluntary exchange program for all Leftists, Libtards, homosexuals, or other deviants who want out of the country, with any other nation which will have them.
  • Pardon Derek Chauvin plus the other cops involved with Fentanyl Floyd. Also pardon all of the "January 6!!!" patriots.
  • Form a committee directly reporting to the leader to figure out who was behind the "January 6!!!" staging, prison or exile for all of them.
  • Exile everyone in leadership positions who pushed for the clot shots, including Anthony Fauci, Rochelle Walensky, and anyone else of their ilk.
  • Jail the executives of the companies which lied about the clot shots. Give a back-room ultimatum to Donald Trump regarding his role; if he plays ball he stays, if he won't he's exiled.
  • Immediately disband the Federal Reserve and make usury illegal, punishable by prison or exile.
  • Cease all "aid" to foreign countries, starting with Israel. Use that money to pay for medical situations of those injured by the clot shots.
  • Work with creditors to restructure all debt, with concrete payment plans ala Claudio Lotito with Lazio. Eliminate all government departments which do not serve the new mission of the State.
  • Use money saved from department elimination to begin rebuild of energy grid plus key roads, dams, and other infrastructure.
  • Use the military to mass-deport all illegal aliens.
  • Immediately make it illegal to teach or espouse Frankfurt School teachings; jail or exile for violators.
  • Withdraw the military from all foreign bases. Post these units along the perimeter of the land mass, especially both borders.
  • Create the ultimate defense system, including anti-missile domes and the aircraft carrier fleet offshore surrounding the country.
  • Audit the country's gold; repatriate whatever can be recovered.
  • Form a commission to get rid of all laws which are contrary to Christ's teachings. Jail or exile those promoting homosexuality, pedophilia, drag queens, or other disgusting deviances.
  • Make all "abortion" illegal unless the mother is going to die.
  • Install national firewall to block all pornography, focusing first on content with children. Institute severe penalties for child trafficking, plus the production and distribution of underage pornography.
  • Eliminate the Department of Education. Used the money saved to fund home schooling or small-scale, grassroots "charter" or one-room schools.
  • Immediately remove CAFE mandates, all "green" energy subsidies, all anti-consumer and anti-choice regulations regarding automobile manufacture.
  • Ban the development and use of "AI" systems within the country. Jail or exile all violators.
  • Create list of food ingredients with negative health conclusions and immediately ban the manufacture of all such food. Confiscate all farmland owned by Bill Gates and foreign assets. Encourage local farming by patriots.
  • Exile Bill Gates. Confiscate all of his assets.
  • Immediately remove all protections for and State sanctioning for the concept of "corporations"; take any corporation above a certain market cap and bust them into pieces.
  • Ban all trade with pro-Globohomo nations. Create trade agreements with Nationalist, anti-Globohomo countries such as Hungary, China, or El Salvador. Make contracts contingent on continued anti-Globohomo allegiance.
  • Put protectionist limits on import of manufactured goods. Get Americans manufacturing again.

Normally it's better to do things incrementally and via consensus. But in this case, a "big bang, shock and awe" approach is probably required, so as to not let the culprits "get away".

"Streets of Rage 2" Insight

This is a fun video. It could have used some more old photos and primary source interview clips, but I did learn a couple of things from it. First, the game was inspired by Street Fighter 2, which makes no sense to me, but who am I to argue with the people who actually made the game. Second, the approach of sitting over the shoulder of a dude hammering out 68k assembler to rapidly prototype ideas is interesting. Rapid prototyping is nothing novel, but doing it in those days, with the primitive development tools and low-level language, really confirms just how good those programmers were.


I could not believe my ears listening to this.

The Sony guy with the Jensen-esque jacket provides a fair synopsis of the PlayStation 5 so far, giving it a "C". Then you get to the chucklehead on the right, who makes a number of astonishing statements: that the new "Forza Motorsport" is "superb", that Microsoft overall has made a "better three year start than he'd originally thought", that they have all of these "amazing services" like the now dead-end "backwards compatibility", and so forth.

I suppose this is why the Series consoles are effectively dead, and getting outsold nine or ten-to-one in myriad countries, thirty-to-forty percent behind the sales rate of the Xbox One, while the PlayStation 5 is handily outpacing the PlayStation 4 in sales so far. It seems like the market has spoken, and the reality is the complete opposite of what this IGN video is trying to present. Around which planet are these guys orbiting?

The "C" score for the PlayStation 5 is perfect-- but the Xbox brand gets a "D-"", and that's if I'm feeling generous. They can't even produce functioning software any more, and they are promoting all of the people who have failed!
Stubborn - 17:00 CDT, 11/26/23 (Sniper)
I've never been sure what to make of Maurizio Sarri, in the sense that he speaks so passively. For instance, in the moments after giving an awful Salernitana their first win in fourteen league matches dating back to last season, Sarri proclaimed that "the team have lost personality, initiative."

He sounds like a bystander-- isn't he the coach?

There are two possibilities: as in Tolstoy's discounting of Napolean's supposed military genius, perhaps coaches don't have as much influence as is routinely assumed, and Sarri is one of the only coaches in the world honest enough to dispense with the bull crap when speaking to the press; or, he's the kind of coach who shirks responsibility.

Either way, a change of module would help. He'd rather "go back to the bank" than not be able to impose his ideas on the game-- but a change in shape would produce more fluid football, because we could get all of our best players on the field at the same time, while also putting them into their most natural habitats. For instance:


Immobile (Castellanos)

Zaccagni (Pedro) - Alberto (Kamada) - Anderson (Isaksen)

Guendouzi (Vecino) - Rovella (Cataldi)

Pellegrini (Hysaj) - Romagnoli (Gila) - Casale (Patric) - Marusic (Lazzari)

Provedel (Sepe)

I assert that neither Alberto nor Kamada can drive the team consistently towards victory, playing the mezzala in a 4-3-3-- they are both trequartistas by trade. This shape would immediately boost goal scoring by having them perform their "bread and butter" roles, dumping some of their defensive responsibilities on the pair behind them.

Rovella is the next Andrea Pirlo, of that I have little doubt. But like Pirlo, he is a light weight and is effective when he has a fighter alongside him, as Pirlo had in Gattuso both at Milan and with the Italian team for many years. Both Guendouzi and Vecino are feisty, combative players with good physique, who can free Rovella to orchestrate the passing.
Steam Deck and Promotions - 14:58 CDT, 11/24/23 (Sniper)
I have encountered the master sophist, someone who would make even the very "best" politician blush with humiliation: take a look at this interview with Ted Bundy, broken down by a psychologist element-by-element. Heck, even without the psychologist's commentary, I can read Bundy like an open book thanks to the practice I had as a youth, which I briefly discussed in this post.

I can see where people who didn't have exposure to rhetoric-in-extemis as I did growing up, would be fooled by Ted Bundy. "He's so charming, he could never do what is claimed he did!" But to me, he's immediately transparent. My father didn't murder women, but he was a "prolific" violent criminal, so it might make sense that there are similarities between the ways in which both of them communicate.

Other Tire Drops

It's exceedingly obvious that the ruling class does not want the plebes to have mobility, a change which is necessary so that the citizens can be farmed into ghettos-- "fifteen minute cities"-- for constant monitoring. The elimination of that mobility will arrive via three phases:

  1. Subsidize-- "artificially goose"-- the production and sale of external combustion engine cars to "prime the pump".

  2. Make it onerous and then illegal to buy at first, then later to drive, internal combustion engine cars.

  3. A few years later, make it onerous and then illegal to buy, then drive, external combustion engine cars.

In New Jersey and elsewhere, the plan has moved into the final part of phase two. Their plan will almost certainly never fully get to phase three because phase two will cause people to actually storm the capitol, where there will be a real insurrection involving stringing traitors up by lamp posts.

People today are passive, and there have been no consequences for the ruling class so far-- which is why the ruling class hasn't stopped. But eliminating the ability for anyone to realistically travel will create so much distress, not to mention logistical impossibilities, that it will be a line even today's normies will not abide.

Failure Promoted

One thing I've noticed in the video game industry is that failure is being promoted upwards. For example, Phil Spencer very recently gave a large promotion to the guy who was the "Vice President of Forza and Fable".

Setting aside for a minute the innovation-killing attitude behind having existing game series names in job titles, this fellow oversaw six years' worth of development of one of the worse games this writer has played in recent years in the form of the new "Forza Motorsport", while his other franchise saw no game releases at all in over ten years!

Meanwhile, the guy who has been overseeing Microsoft's "laughing stock of the entire industry" game studios development, which has been off the rails and essentially not producing anything of merit, or anything at all, for years upon years-- the tongue-in-cheek-named "Matt Booty"-- has also been promoted.

Observe how this year, Xbox sales have fallen off such a sharp cliff that it looks like the twin "Series" consoles are both dead for all purposes, only three years into their life spans. In some countries such as France, Xbox-to-PlayStation market share is 7% versus 93%. Any sober analysis would conclude that a top-to-bottom house cleaning is in order. Instead, everyone involved in the debacle got promoted!

The just-laid-off, original Xbox team member from 2001 gal-- her name is eluding me at the moment-- said recently that the culture there became focused on "who knows whom" versus "how successful you are". External evidence supports her statements.

In a partially non-Microsoft example, here is more of the same. The obviously man-hating woman who blessed the world with the cringey, eye-roll-inducing, universally-reviled "stories" from the last two "Gears of War" games has gotten a new, super high-profile gig at the company which makes the "God of War" titles. Expect the next game to not even have Kratos in it; it'll be focused on Freya and Kratos's low-T, whiny son.

Death of Digital Foundry

Now is a good time to segue into a topic I've been meaning to cover: the collapse in trustworthiness of one of my all-time favorite JewTube channels.

A couple of winters ago, John Linneman had a quasi-meltdown: "There is too much negativity in the world." His boss Richard Leadbetter and Alex Battaglia, John's Lefty weirdo co-worker with a penchant for posting nude photographs of himself online, both agreed. For awhile this shared sentiment took the form of Linneman side-stepping contemporary game culture by producing more videos about older games. But over time, the shift took a new form: positivity, to the point of creating misleading content.

"It's a shame that failed game developers-- who worked so hard, gosh golly!-- have their creations criticized by paying customers. So rather than contribute to that criticism, we're going to almost totally gloss over failures and be 'positive' instead."

Within one minute of starting "Starfield", I noticed that the game's graphics were totally busted. It was soon revealed that the engine only produces 8-bit output-- meaning, output which precludes HDR from even being possible. To any rational person, the graphics were so washed out and atrocious looking, that it would-- and indeed was!-- the centerpiece of lucid analysis: "This needs to be fixed, it's a deal breaker." Any honest pundit would explain that Bethesda lied: the game does not have HDR support, and is leaning instead on "Auto HDR" to fake-map the color gamut.

But how did Digital Foundry handle the subject? Linneman and Battaglia each devoted about one sentence to it, then simply suggested that the users "turn down the brightness on their TVs".

A similar thing happened with the new "Forza Motorsport". The game is an abomination on every level: artistically, mechanically, technologically. Yet if you listened to the Digital Foundry coverage, you'd walk away thinking it was a good game with just a few minor flaws. To prove it's not just a pro-Microsoft bias, Richard Leadbetter recently did a video about the OLED Steam Deck, and it was like listening to an infomercial.

It's to the point now where I don't trust anything I hear on that channel. And seeing as how that's the case, why listen at all?

The reason I bring this up is because I think a similar phenomenon is driving the whole video game industry right now. "I know it's been rough, but Matt Booty is a friend of mine, and he's a really nice guy who needs to pay his bills." Result: Promotion time! "Crunch time is not fun, so let's allow everyone to give absurdly inflated estimates so they can just chill on the job and not feel any stress." Result: Games take six years to make. "I know the team is struggling with the basics of the technology, but we need more women with purple hair and black people here because we have a 'responsibility' to not just make profit." Result: Completely broken software.

This ties into the lack of accountability I discussed regarding the ruling class: they can get away with murder because no one is standing up to them. Similarly, ideology has taken over the video game industry yet people still buy the games, so there are no consequences for failure; as long as the money keeps rolling in, all is well. Eventually both situations will come to a drastic head, and things will change. But it sure is taking a long time.

Nvidia Success

Things are different on the hardware-side. Where-- Apple aside-- computer software is plumbing new depths of failure, computer hardware has never been more impressively-engineered. Take a look at Nvidia's explosive revenue growth in the data center, which dwarfs their income from consumer video cards! And all of it is deserved: they have been making one cool innovation after another, integrating hardware support for "AI" into even their consumer-level gaming graphics cards.

I saw a post recently on a forum, where a bloke said "I feel like we have all of this amazing technology, but we've become too stupid to know what to do with it. It's like we're living in the movie 'Idiocracy'." That about sums up my impressions as well: the PlayStation 5, these new video cards, modern-day CPUs, and so on are fantastically powerful and capable of mind-bending software novelty which would put "Super Mario 64" to shame-- but we're just not getting that somehow.

Part of it is that hardware can't be patched later, so it has to "just work" right from the get-go. But that doesn't explain why modern-day hardware features innovation, while the software side is anywhere from being stuck-in-neutral, to being actively regressive.

OLED Steam Deck

My OLED Steam Deck showed up on Wednesday, and I spent Wednesday night and all-day Thursday figuring out how the whole thing works, and getting it configured the way I desire.

The system runs Valve's "SteamOS", which is Arch Linux with some bolt-ons and custom behavior. The root filesystem is read-only by default: when you install a Steam Deck "update", it is this root filesystem which is being patched. Valve recommends not touching it, since any changes can and probably will be overwritten by their aforementioned updates.

The bulk of the total storage is mounted as a read-write filesystem. Software is installed via Flatpak packages, which go into a special spot in the directory tree. Then within the home directory-- the default user is "deck", so we're talking "/home/deck"-- there is a nested directory tree containing the "safe for Steam Deck users to modify" elements of these packages. For example, the user-space RetroArch files go here: "~deck/.var/app/org.libretro.RetroArch/config/retroarch".

The user experience is divided into two modes: "Gaming", and "Desktop". The first mode is the default. Picture the Switch's UI, or the PlayStation 5's-- it's a similar, basic, very polished experience. I daresay significant amounts of people who buy a Steam Deck will never venture outside of it. There is a "Steam" button to the left of the screen, and pressing it opens a menu. One of the menu options is "Power", and it is within that sub-menu that one sees an option to go to "Desktop" mode.

Almost surrealistically, this dumps you into a full KDE user interface, identical to what you'd get on a full-fledged PC running GNU/Linux. Just like how casual users will never leave the "Gaming" mode, a power user could choose to never leave the "Desktop" mode. A virtual keyboard can be accessed by holding the "Steam" button followed by a press on the "X" button. The keyboard works just like how it did with the old Steam Controllers, where the two touchpads move cursors over their respective sides of the keys.

The screen is touch-enabled, while the right track pad operates like a mouse cursor. Of course, a USB hub can be plugged into the unit's single USB Type-C port, and-- since it's just Arch Linux-- any mice, keyboards, or other devices supported by the Linux kernel can be utilized with the unit.

I popped for the optional, official dock-- which is simply a USB hub, but with the plastic molded at a perfect-fit cradle for the unit. A USB Type-C cable sticks out the back of the dock, and is reached around to the top of the unit, to be plugged in. The back of the dock has a few USB Type-A ports, a Type-C port, plus HDMI and DisplayPort outputs.

The over-arching (har har) process I followed to get my Steam Deck set up went like this:

  1. After initial setup, I jumped straight into "Desktop" mode and set up the panels, launchers, wallpaper, etc.

  2. I installed RetroArch via its official "Flatpak" package. I accomplished this through a "Software Center"-style application which ships with the deck's SteamOS installation.

  3. Via "Konsole", I used SFTP to log into my server. From there, I copied all of my ROMS plus ISOs, along with various RetroArch configuration files and its entire "thumbnails" directory, to the Deck.

  4. I got RetroArch working with the Steam Deck's integrated controller. This was tricky to get correct, as I had to use the Steam client-- the same one full-on PC users know and love-- to remove some of the "assign this Steam Deck button to this keyboard key" mappings. Eventually I nailed it, and discovered that 3DO emulation performance was flawless, and looked dazzling on the display. This new Deck's screen has even better colors than my LG C3.

  5. From there, I plugged the Deck into the dock, and ran my "DisplayPort-to-S-Video" contraption to the television. No picture! I switched to the dock's HDMI port instead, and it worked. Is my dock's DisplayPort port broken? More investigation is warranted. I set the resolution to 640x480, 60 Hz.

  6. As I anticipated, the CRT output was radically overscanned. The "Gaming" mode has a "scale" slider built right into the UI-- but for "Desktop" mode, I could find no equivalent within the KDE settings. So, I wrote a little "xrandr" shell script, which gets executed by my ".bashrc" file upon login. You can see the contents of the script in the first picture below.

  7. Using KDE's "Display" icon in the notification area, I set up the TV to be "extended right" of the Deck's display. For normal usage, one would probably want to pick the option to only use the external display (the TV), so as to not create burn-in on the Deck's OLED screen.

  8. I plugged my cheap Logitech wireless keyboard / touchpad combo into the Dock, and it worked immediately. I also plugged my "8BitDo SN30 Pro" and "8BitDo M30 Gamepad" into the dock, one at a time. Very oddly, neither controller worked in RetroArch! Both produced errors such as, "'8BitDo SN30 Pro' controller not detected; using fallback", or something along those lines.

  9. This kicked off hours of tinkering and investigation. The eventual solution wound up being two-fold: every time I dock the Deck, I will need to do a fresh reboot with the controllers plugged in for them to work. Second, I had to manually copy-and-rename an appropriate "autoconfig" RetroArch controller file, to match exactly the name given in the "fallback" error message. Once this was accomplished, I could remap buttons within RetroArch, and successfully save / overwrite those controller profile files.

  10. Finally: within the "Desktop mode" Steam client, I added RetroArch as a non-Steam application. I flipped back to the "Gaming" mode, and sure enough I was able to leverage the super polished mode while playing 3DO games! For instance, I had a download of "Diablo IV" going, while playing "Gex". While navigating the menus and watching the download, I could still hear the "Gex" music seamlessly in the background. Absolutely surreal!

The first picture is the Deck, docked, running on the CRT with the displays extended. I don't know the first thing about photography, so excuse the weird coloring on the TV. I think it's a shutter speed camera problem. Also and as with all of these pictures, click for a beautiful full-resolution version:

This second picture shows the OLED Switch and the OLED Steam Deck, side-by-side, with both displays at full brightness, displaying the same content. For some reason the camera made it look like the Switch's display has better colors-- but in person, the Deck has a significant advantage in this area:

Here is the Steam Deck showing off its desktop mode. Click through to the high resolution image to read the contents of my CRT overscan-correction script:

Finally, this picture shows 3DO emulation via RetroArch running in the "Gaming" mode, and how it seamlessly works within the user-friendly interface:

The next thing for me to evaluate is what the experience is like playing contemporary games. I understand that the Steam Deck is sort of like a half-Xbox Series S: same Zen 2-based APU, but with 10 "compute units" instead of 20. In terms of math processing:

  • Xbox Series S: ~4 teraflops.
  • PlayStation 4: ~1.8 teraflops.
  • Steam Deck: ~1.6 teraflops.
  • Switch Docked: ~400 gigaflops.
  • Xbox 360: ~250 gigaflops.
  • Switch Undocked: ~160 gigaflops.

Obviously this isn't taking into account memory bandwidth, architecture bottlenecks of the various platforms, and so forth-- but it's a nice rough ballpark to help with expectation setting. I don't think one would be far off by thinking of the Switch as a portable Xbox 360, and the Steam Deck as a portable PlayStation 4. Mostly, I'm curious to see if modern games on the Deck look like a smeary mess as they do on the Switch.
The Wealth Pump - 07:06 CDT, 11/16/23 (Sniper)
I have a tough time taking articles like this one seriously: a "wealth pump from the poor to the rich" that we need to "turn off"-- but without mentioning Jews, Freemasonry, or any of the rest.

If one does mention these elements, one is immediately attacked as either "anti-Semitic" or a "conspiracy theorist". That's why I tend to worry we're going to head through a truly dystopian period before the ship gets righted: most people are so engrained with the phony baloney post-WWII narratives that it's going to take violent men with rifles personally confiscating their property, or something equally drastic, before they "wake up". And even then, they may point fingers at the wrong culprits and still not figure it out.

The only way to "turn off" the "wealth pump" is to go after the people who put it in place, and-- to stick with their metaphor-- squeeze the handle every day. But to go after them, you first need to identify who they are.

Foreign Powers

On that note, I have two links to share. The first shows how not only did Gavin Nuisance clean up San Francisco overnight, after years and years of saying it wasn't possible, but he and the Biden regime made the place look like downtown Beijing. Just watch the second-to-last video embedded in this article, with the motorcade: it's so surreal, I had to pinch myself.

The second relevant anecdote is at the 20:47 mark of this video. The Jewish speaker is exactly correct, but is cleverly leaving out the why. Nationalism means you put your country's interests first. Liberalism means you have a brain disease where you bend over and let yourself be destroyed by holding "pluralism" as a first principle.

The guy says that Jews are "safest" in countries with "liberal values". Meaning, where they can run amok and sow anti-Christianity, hedonism, pornography, homosexuality, globalism, and invasions by veritably unlimited amounts of illegal aliens. In fact, notice how he's speaking next to a placard which reads "This World". The opposite of liberalism is Nationalism. In Nationalistic countries where the nation's interests are put first, Jews get tossed out-- as they have in dozens of countries throughout history-- because they deliberately try to undermine the nation's values.

The speaker is exhibiting a form of dishonesty: he is saying something nominally true, but leaving out important context and framing. More broadly, both his words plus the Gavin Nuisance instance demonstrate how America is completely under the control of non-Americans: the Israelis and the Chinese, foremost among them.


I saw the other day that there was a Bishop who was forcefully removed by Pope Francis, because he was speaking out about concerns regarding the direction of the Church. I looked up what his key objections are, and they boil down primarily to opening the door to "rainbow people", and to allowing the laity too much say.

Sound familiar? There is that old expression, "You know who controls you by who you're not allowed to criticize". This Bishop stumbled on a close corollary about criticizing the ideas of the people who control him. Apparently you can be a priest, sister, or bishop who proposes that gay pedophile drag queens should be permitted the priesthood in total contradiction to scripture, and you're fine. But suggest that the Church follow the Bible? Unacceptable.

I'll let the Bishop speak for himself:

"The only answer I have to that [why he was removed] is because the forces in the Church right now don't want the truth of the Gospel. There are people in the Church, rather than glorifying in the truth of Christ, they want to delete significant portions of Sacred Scripture and say, 'Oh, we got that wrong,' or 'We're just going to ignore it.' [The Truth], it's perennial, it's everlasting, it's glorious. And if you want it to change, then I'm the problem."

New Reviewer

On a lighter note, a fellow I speak with frequently on Gab proposed that I cross-post his reviews on the 'Wharf! Back when I started that site, my idea was to accumulate a roster of reviewers-- and in fact, I wrote the site to support multiple reviewers right from the first day. Unfortunately, I could never convince any of my friends to write anything!

You can read more about him here, at the bottom of the page. Currently, he's working on a project to-- ideally-- review every single Game Boy Advance title, provided life doesn't get in the way of course. So far he's covered three games, which you can take a look at here: "Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga", "The Polar Express", and "Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf".
The Church Running Aground - 14:32 CDT, 11/10/23 (Sniper)
Whenever I'm troubled, I tend to dream about airplanes crashing.

Sometimes I'm in a desert, and there is a huge airliner trying desperately to climb, like an insect in futility, scrambling up the slippery camber of an animal's water dish, only for the plane to ultimately lose its hard-fought battle against gravity, crashing into the Earth in a huge fireball, right in front of me, hundreds of passengers dead in an instant. Other times it's a mid-sized twin engine plane, propellers roaring, doing aerobatics, the pilot pushing the envelope, swooping ever and ever closer to the ground, and death-- only to one time push things too far, smashing the plane into smithereens onto the unyielding turf.

Last night I had five separate dreams of airplanes crashing, one after the other. I would wake up, startled. Drift back to sleep, there goes another plane, even closer to me this time. When dawn broke, I snapped awake for good, groggy and distraught, like Rolf in the opening to Phantasy Star II.

Every Thursday evening, I attend my wife's "RCIA" class. For those not in the know, "RCIA" stands for the "Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults". It's how adults become Catholic. Our local version of this class takes place in the huge Catholic church, in the nearest major town to our home. It's a modernistic looking facility, with a lobby of enormous walls of glass windows looking in on the Church proper-- with its sanctuary and altar bizarrely situated in the center of the room, like the pupil of a gigantic eyeball, surrounded by pews of various elevations, tabernacle nowhere in sight.

Attached to this facility is a Catholic school. Unlike the humble two-hallwayed, musty smelling building of my own Catholic elementary upbringing, this school is modern and high budget-- brick walls, concrete steps with rubberized coatings, those industrial wooden-style doors with little thatch-pattern windows in them. It looks more like a public school than what I associate with Catholic tradition. We meet for class in the school's library-- an anachronistic room with a multi-thousand dollar Macintosh computer on the desk, an abstract art set of metal rails and-- interestingly-- airplanes hanging overhead, right alongside a shelf of ancient bound Bibles and Christian children's books.

Rectangle tables pushed together, we sit. Among the usual suspects: a soft-spoken priest in his eighties, with a 1940's-style swept cut of silver hair; a sister with a delightfully goofy sense of humor, who has been a nun for seventy years; a thin, handsome, young bearded Parochial Vicar in his early thirties-- a personal friend of mine; and a mixture of candidates, some of them old and there to learn more than anything else, along with others-- barely adults, even-- just getting started in life and on their spiritual journeys. Then there are those such as myself who aren't candidates at all, but present to support loved ones who are working their way through the process.

The sister always talks about progress... progress. "The world never stands still, and we as the Church need to move along with it." She brings up women, always women, and how they should be given more authority in the Church. "I love being around all of you great women in this room! Well... and the men too, I guess" she adds, giggling. "Jesus was a... was a Socialist, really!" she remarked in one session, a few weeks ago. It's that kind of "socialism", where the invoker simply means what the word doesn't mean: egalitarianism and being friendly to one another. This versus men with rifles, lining up the "haves" in front of ditches, rifles at the ready, shooting the bodies into mass grave ditches.

Last night's class was unusual. The sister was there, but the two ordinary priests were not present. In their stead was a short, thin, bald man-- a retired priest from a nearby diocese, as he so introduced himself. His job for the night was to cover the week's printed and bound material: teaching the candidates about the hierarchy of the Church. The material explained that there is the Pope, the theological descendent of Jesus Himself, then the Bishops who had their authority delegated throughout the ages by the original Apostles. Of course there are Cardinals, who vote for new Popes, along with Deacons, religious orders, laity, and so on.

This strange new priest, after a big sigh and a settling into his chair, spoke at length. "You see, the Catholic Church has this 'hierarchy', but it's... it's very loose. There are other Catholic Churches, like in South America, that have none at all! But we are Roman Catholic. So they have this hierarchy... people are tribal and territorial, so they just want to protect what is 'theirs'. And they are hung up on 'we do things this way only because it has always been done this way.'" He went on and on, pouring cold water on the Church as he dryly intoned.

On and on he went. Eventually, even the progressive sister felt compelled to reel him back in. Gently, drawing his attention once again to the actual printed material: "Well, Father, you know, when people think of the Church's hierarchy, they are thinking of the Pope, and Bishops, and things like that. Right?"

"Yes, yes, I suppose that is true", he reflected. Then, cue immediately discarded as his mind wandered again, "Did you know", he continued in his meandering, soft-spoken rambling way, "there there is a synod going on right now? Why, they are discussing all sorts of important matters! Like letting priests get married, giving women major roles in authority, and even allowing in gays and lesbians... uhhh, whatever that series of letters is."

The sister couldn't resist. Material totally abandoned even by her now, she excitedly added: "And they are even asking women to be at the table! At the synod, instead of sitting facing authority, they are all at tables facing each other, eight or nine apiece, and everyone gets a say! Can you imagine it!"

Homosexuality, pedophilia, pornography, extreme representations of violence, hedonism, nihilism, "anything goes if it feels right". It's in the movies; it's in the video games; it's in the water cooler conversations at work; it's on the news; it's in the Protestant churches and their "rainbow creeds"; it's supported by every trillion and billion dollar corporation from Apple to Microsoft to Goldman Sachs; the rainbow flags are on the capitol buildings; they are in the military recruitment ads; they are supported by every newspaper, radio station, and institution.

In a world like that, why would someone enter candidacy into the "RCIA" program? Why would someone want to become Catholic? What is fundamentally different about the Catholic Church versus Protestant churches, or the rest of the present-day world, that would serve as a lure to these fish?

Face feeling flush, heat rising within me, I spoke up for the benefit of the candidates in the room. "I don't mean to sound like a contrarian...", I paused briefly to collect myself, shy as I am, "...but the Church needs to be careful. Everything within it should be based on scripture. While I appreciate that they would would want laypeople such as myself at the table, my opinion shouldn't count as much as a Priest's or a Bishop's."

As I spoke, I thought of the wisdom of the Founding Fathers: abstraction layers... people don't vote for laws, they vote for representatives who vote for laws... people don't vote for President, electors do... The sister rushed in to reassure me. "You wouldn't need to worry-- that's why there are eight other people at the table with you!"

It was around this point where one of the candidates-- a timid young lady, red in the cheeks-- bashfully raised her hand. "Why does the Church say that priests can't be married?", she asked with genuine innocence. The bald Father, smilingly: "You know, three quarters of priests would ask the same question. People just don't like change, and..."

Again, I felt compelled to provide balance to the discourse-- the hairs raising on the back of my neck, that all-too-familiar urge when I know, despite not wanting to draw attention to myself, that I need to say something:

"But there is wisdom to the idea. When I was in my twenties before I had kids, I could devote myself wholly to my profession. In my thirties after I had them, one of them would need a drive to the doctor, or there would be some school activity, or they would be home sick... I've seen the same pattern work both ways throughout my whole career." For good measure, I added: "For a priest, it should be himself, God, and his flock. A family is simply too distracting."

The priest's reply? "Well, you'd be surprised at even then how much creeps in. Besides, I once knew an ordained priest who had ten kids!"

There is a special kind of diseased thinking, where pluralism is seen as not just a most noble goal, but as the First Principle, held aloft, the end all, in and of itself. Anything goes... priests can be married? Sure. They can be women? Certainly. Maybe they can even be homosexual? Perhaps even convicted rapists? How about drag queen priests-- we wouldn't want to leave them out, naturally?

Yes, there is this verse in the Gospels, or that verse over there. But what does it matter-- it's malleable. The Church needs to move on with the times-- with what people want today. After all, Jesus was a fun-loving hippy, right? Love thy neighbor, isn't that what he said?

Amongst the infected, no thought is given to human nature; to power structures; to trojan horses; to economics; to psychology; to game theory. No careful review of history is performed; no consideration given to possible unintended outcomes. Not a brain cell devoted to, "something different is not necessarily something better."

That maybe God's Word is eternal-- and will as we might, as badly as the ever-changing whims of the laity sitting around their synodal tables of all women, eights and nines facing each other, with lots of lesbians and transgenders and queers there for good measure, want to alter the Church's teachings-- that maybe throughout the stormy seas engulfing the world, the rapture, the crests and the foam, the thunder and the clouds, the torrents of rain, maybe, just maybe, the Church should offer something different: a rock, solid atop the Word of God Himself, for those who seek the truth, to cling to so as to not get washed away into the infinite expanses?

That maybe the Church should leave the "Sodom and Gomorrah" stuff to the rest of the world-- which is doing it quite prolifically, mind you-- and offer an alternative?

This compulsion to constantly deconstruct from within-- to tear down the existing, to build something brand new, baby with the bathwater and all. To claim to "value inclusion", by taking away the space from the people who are already there, and who call it home. By making the "something" identical to all of the other "somethings", with no regard as to what makes that "something" noteworthy in the first place.

It's full-speed ahead. Where "ahead" might be back into the darkness from which we came-- like a train track in the shape of a Möbius strip. Around and around we go. With blinders on. Performing endless aerobatics, like an airplane grazing ever and ever closer to ground level, cutting the daisies before inevitably pushing them up...
Nearly Arrived - 16:01 CDT, 11/09/23 (Sniper)
I'm inching ever closer to my quasi-sabbatical, which begins on November 23 and ends on January 2. I hoarded all of my vacation days this year, and am burning them all at once. I think over all of this time off, I will catch up on my gaming backlog including finishing "Tears of the Kingdom", "God of War Ragnarok", plus "Rise of the Dragon" on Sega CD; I will carry on with my theological studies; and I will start on some kind of game project, probably using HaxeFlixel.

Models Abound

No, not these kinds of models: intellectual models!

This is a video where the creator puts forth the following: that when creating film, one can entropy, or de-entropy. The act of de-entropy is characterized as distilling down an idea to its core-most element, and having a razor focus on it. He uses the Star Wars "light saber" as one of the best possible examples: it intimates close-quarters person combat, it's elegant, it's color-coded-- remember, Darth Vader's is red-- and serves as a movie prop-equivalent metaphor for the whole film's premise.

Adding entropy, by contrast, involves splintering your idea by adding obnoxious ironic self-aware bits where they are inappropriate, having meta references to absolutely nowhere, or blindly serving up nostalgia in a hollow way. He uses the example from the second Star Trek reboot film, where Benedict Cumberbatch's character says his name is "Khan"-- even though none of the characters in that version of the timeline even know who Khan is. It's a shameless nostalgia grab which serves no purpose for the film itself: it's entropy.

I couldn't even make it all the way through that particular film before I shut it off. This video creator's model explains why the film felt so silly and impossible for me to take seriously. He describes that film today is made by corporate passion, versus creative passion: today's films are't intended to be good art-- rather, they are designed to fill a niche in a publisher's product portfolio, to sell merchandise, to tick a box for a streaming service, and so forth.

Sound familiar? Every single thing he discusses applies to contemporary video games as well. Maybe I'll write a future post, building on that premise-- although it's largely self-explanatory for my regular readers who also play modern video games. It's also interesting that he follows up on the "is it me, or the content?" question in the same ways that I have, many times.

Three Ways to Reply

A second model I'd like to discuss comes from a book I've just started reading: "Theology and Sanity", by Frank Sheed. The premise is that if I say to you, "What is over there?" while looking at a desk, you have three ways of replying:

  1. You can see what is there: "Yup, it's a desk."
  2. You can not see what is there: "I don't see anything."
  3. You see what's not there: "No, that's a chair!"

People living along with you in The Real World will reply with the first option. People who are blind to the truth or perhaps who have their heads in the sand will reply with the second option, which he calls "darkness"-- the inability to see what's there. The third option is reserved for those are live in their own unreality, in delusion-- a situation he calls "double darkness".

I just turned forty two years old. Over those decades I've seen a pattern-- like making a gradient in PhotoShop or The Gimp: in my younger years people spoke predominantly in the first manner; then things shifted to denial, as people increasingly were being unable or unwilling to confront the truth; nowadays, it's a fifty-fifty shot that I'll get the third kind of reply, where people are so far off into the weeds that it's like they are living in a another, parallel dimension.

But that's an ephemeral "Fourth Turning" artifact. Let's return to Frank Sheed's model: he explains that "nothing" does not have form; God created us from nothing; thus, the only thing retaining our form is God's will; if God were to cease willing it, we would disappear back into nothingness instantly.

People who do not recognize God-- my example might be a materialist scientist-- are thus not living in reality: they can recognize accidents of reality, like atoms or light photons, but they are ultimately not able to see the whole. He equates it to an expert in eyeballs, who has never seen a face: without the context of the face, the beauty and ultimate form of the eyeball is not available. Meanwhile, people who actively reject God fall into the forth category: they profer strange delusions in place of reality.

GR Corolla Driving Impressions

I haven't discussed the new car much yet.

Size-wise, it's comparable to the WRX-- perhaps ever-so-slightly larger. But it gives off similar proportions as the Subaru, when standing next to it. The seating position is similar as well: upright, sitting "high up" as compared to my old 350z or my current GR86. There is a huge amount of headroom-- a weird amount, almost.

Like my 86, to start the engine you depress the clutch and brake pedals both, then hit the GR-branded "Start" button. Immediately, three things become obvious: the engine exhaust note almost sounds like a diesel truck, as it's very deep and oddly coarse; the clutch pedal has a lot of travel and is very communicative as to where it catches; and the car feels very "busy", with lots of flashing animations on the digital gauge cluster, and across the touch screen's user interface.

The GR86 has a touch screen and digital gauge cluster too, but it has none of the Danger Features-- er, I mean, "Safety Features"-- which characterize the GR Corolla. The 86 leaves you alone; the GR Corolla has mazes of nested "Settings" menus where you can tell the car not to ding at you if a bicycle is coming, or not to steal the steering from you if you shift in the lane, among several other dangerous and distracting modes and behaviors-- all of which have bizarre, impossible-to-recollect acronyms.

Thankfully, those features seem to stay off, with the exception of the "slam on the brakes" Danger Feature, which not only re-enables itself on every car start, but which puts a large orange light on the cluster when disengaged-- it's like having a "Check Engine" light on all of the time. Further, the cruise control needs to be manually flipped to the normal cruise mode on every car start, as opposed to the default meat sack "automatically be just as maddeningly inconsistent as the idiot in front of me" mode.

Pre-flight checklist complete, the driving can commence: and it's superb! Just as in the 86, the GR Corolla's electric steering rack manages to feel almost hydraulic. The car does not have much power down low, but still feels significantly more torquey than the 2014 WRX at, let's say, 2500 rpm. It has two drive modes, "Normal" and "Sport"-- I couldn't tell what the heck the difference was. There is also a "Custom" and "Eco", neither of which I care to bother with.

The brakes feel great. Progressive, and strong.

Like the old-- God rest its soul-- WRX STI, the GR Corolla has different diff modes. The "Track" 50/50 mode feels just like the also-50/50 2014 WRX-- the car rotates at high speed in the same kind of neutral, pleasant manner. The 60/40 mode is intended for normal cruising, and does not feel neutral at high speed. Meanwhile, the 30/70 mode is disappointing: the rear-wheel drive "emulation" just feels awkward and unnatural in a car with a 58/42 front/rear weight bias.

Where the 86 gets sideways at the mere suggestion, the GR Corolla is planted. Even with the stock summer tires, on a wet road, in the cold, I was unable to get even a hint of movement out of it.

I have no clue how quick this car is, being only 120-odd miles into a ~600 mile engine break-in period. On paper it can do quarter mile in the low-13s, which is quicker than anything I've personally owned before.

Overall, the car is great. Where the GR86-- at least initially, the car has grown on me significantly-- feels like it has economy car parts grafted together into an entry-level vehicle, the GR Corolla feels more premium. It has heated mirrors, heated wipers, heated steering wheel, a leather interior, a wireless phone charger, wireless Apple CarPlay support, a heavy-duty and notchy feeling shifter, and myriad other characteristics. It feels more "custom" and less "budget", like the 86.

My only criticism is that it is too computerized for my taste. It's not as obnoxious as my mother-in-law's ~2020 Subaru Forester, a car I feel I am guiding, like a horse, versus being in control of-- but it's still a bit too far in that direction, to the point where I feel its obtrusively-placed touch screen (the 86's is recessed down below the dashboard-- out of the way) and hyperactive gauge cluster are distracting.

All the same, I think with more driving time behind the wheel, I'll become more acclimatized and able to enjoy the car's mechanical advantages, which seem plentiful.
Noticing - 11:00 CDT, 11/08/23 (Sniper)
Absolute doofus Phil Spencer, the head of one of the "big three" video game houses, who seemingly doesn't know anything about anything and has driven his entire division into the ground to the point where they can't even create functional software any more, "mentors" games "journalists"-- the group which is supposed to be keeping guys like Spencer honest-- in a "self-deprecating" way, as if the guy is some kind of guru or sage regarding journalism of all things, and is humbling them by his austere presence.

Then on top of it, the "Tweet" bringing this to light is from a guy named, I kid you not, "Harold Goldberg". I wound my way over to his Twatter profile, and lo and behold he's pushing black supremacy in his banner image, where some of the blacks are also wearing gay mafia propaganda shirts with rainbows on them.

Some might say, "every time." But not me, of course! I realize that it's wrong to notice things.

Speaking of "journalism", I saw a clip recently of Glenn Beck begging for citizenship to Israel, in the most pathetic, cringe-worthy display I think I've ever seen. It was so saccharine, so sappy, so misplaced, so idiotic, I could barely make it through the sequence. So when I read Eric Peters complaining about Beck peddling products, I'd say that's the least of that dishonest hack's problems.
JDM Real-Life Photo Mode - 19:18 CDT, 11/04/23 (Sniper)
I was surprised yesterday by a call from my sales manager buddy: "I've got good news about that GR Corolla..." By the end of the day, I found myself driving through the inky dark-- homeward bound in a brand new car.

Today has been a full day of ordering and preparing: new all-season tires to replace the stock summer ones; duplicate micro fiber clothes, tire pressure gauges, ice brushes, a K&N air filter-- alas, I'd never owned three vehicles until now! And, washing the two older cars in preparation for what you see below.

I came up with the idea of doing a "Gran Turismo 7 'scapes' photo mode", but in real life! Why not, after all, since I actually own three cars in the real world, which in fact are fairly well correlated with each other-- being all famous contemporary Japanese performance cars with small engines and outsized personalities?

Without further ado, some specs and then some images! Please do click on the pictures to get lovely high resolution versions.

2014 Subaru Impreza WRX Base2023 Toyota GR86 Base2023 Toyota GR Corolla Circuit Edition
Engine2.5L Boxer-Four2.4L 4-Cyl Boxer-Four1.6L Inline-Three
Transmission5-Speed Manual6-Speed Manual6-Speed Manual
Bhp265 (mfg)256 (est)300 (mfg)
Torque (lb/ft)244 (mfg)220 (est)273 (mfg)
Curb Weight (lbs)324128383269
Standing 0-60 (sec)
Standing 1.4 Mile (sec)13.914.013.3
300-ft Skidpad (g)0.870.980.94

All Dead Ends - 18:43 CDT, 10/30/23 (Sniper)
I saw a thread on a gaming forum recently where people were asked to name "The Three", and the first thoughts which came to mind. Here is my take:

  • Sony: Woke Hollywood walking simulators.

  • Microsoft: Woke and broken software.

  • Nintendo: Lousy hardware, shamelessly milking cash cows.

On that note, take a look at this list of the stuff Sony is currently working on. See anything interesting? I sure don't. It reminds me of when Microsoft went off the rails with their software development several years ago-- eerily reminiscent, in fact.

On the Nintendo side, they were on a tear during the early Wii U years, but I'm struggling to think of a game they've released over the past three or four years which has particularly impressed me. More and more rumors seem to hint that, as I've suspected all along but have hoped I'll be wrong, the "Switch 2" is going to be anything but. They never do the same thing twice, and it looks like that pattern will continue.

With Atari, Sega, and 3DO all dead, I've been a nomad since the Dreamcast's death-- but whether it was the Xbox or the PSP or the 360 or the Wii U, I've tended to find someplace within the medium to make do. Now it's not so clear-- there doesn't seem to be any viable path forward.

Meanwhile PC can be microcosm'd by "Cities: Skylines II": sitting in the menu with nothing happening, the game pegs my son's GPU at one hundred percent utilization: modern game programmers no longer have any clue how to write properly-functioning software. I've also heard that Microsoft is going to make Winbloze 12 subscription-based-- so that will formally be the end of the PC as a platform.

Maybe Apple will step in and salvage things. Or the End Times.
Speedy Gonzales - 10:21 CDT, 10/28/23 (Sniper)
This past week has been very busy: had to drive to Murderapolis to spend a couple of days in the office, which threw off my entire routine.

I couldn't get over how fast everyone drives there! I spent my entire life there up until a couple of years ago, and people-- myself included-- have always driven aggressively in that area. But just in the past twenty four months it seems as though things have amped up to eleven: I took the wife's WRX, which is no slouch in terms of acceleration-- but every single driver around me would floor it at every single light! I was the slowest moving vehicle in the entire pack.

Apparently it's not just the driving. My mother is working with a lawyer for a particular matter, and the lawyer lives in St. Paul. The other day he asked her, "Boy, isn't it scary when you get carjacked? It's really scary!" He was shocked to hear that my mother in fact had never been carjacked. "Wow! Well, me and everyone I know has had it happen at least once!" I am also seeing lots of stories such as this, where black kids in the schools are starting these huge brawls, beating up the other students. And I thought going to school was obnoxious when I was a teenager.

Home schooling, vindicated.

How the EeeVee Dies?

The bottom is falling out of the entire EeeVee "market"-- if one can call it a "market", when car companies like Ford are losing tens of thousands of dollars per sale, and when the government is handing over thousands of dollars of tax money to people who are coerced into buying an EeeVee. Evidently, despite having every single multi-billion dollar corporation, every single media outlet, and every single politician pushing The Message, people still aren't buying EeeVees.

From the article: "A great product is not enough in the EV business anymore... we have to be totally competitive on cost." Good luck with that: $80k loss per vehicle sold, incoming? More: "We know prices will come down, and as that happens, we will have a bigger ramp-up of EVs." Prices for EeeVees have been going up, not down, as the rare Earth minerals are already proving to be a crippling constraint! The only price drops which have occurred have been down to car companies-- er, I'm sorry, "mobility" companies-- swallowing unfathomable losses per vehicle sold.

From Honda's CEO: "After studying this for a year, we decided that this would be difficult as a business, so at the moment we are ending development of an affordable EV." Probably because it's not possible to build an "affordable" one: it would be tiny and slow, which hardly anyone wants. EeeVees are like "tulip mania": all of these people have gotten caught up in this irrational state of mind, and hardly anyone wants to point out the obvious, that the emperor is naked.

Microsoft Re-Org

If I were to make a list of the issues facing Microsoft's "game studios" development, it would look something like this:

  1. Super woke: They can't make a game which just has characters in them-- they all need to be crazy haired black lesbians, square-jawed androgynous creatures from the black lagoon, and so forth. Yuck.

  2. Broken software: I recently saw someone write, "They released Redfall, then broken-graphics Starfield, then Redfall with cars", and that about sums it up. They can't even produce functional software anymore.

  3. Lack of creativity: Their games play everything way too safe. The gameplay systems are formulaic; the menus are bland; the music sucks. There is nothing "imagination capturing" about their game releases.

Microsoft just re-orged their gaming division. Surely, they dumped the Cultural Marxism, hired based purely on meritocracy, and put in charge a super technical engineering-type, right? Nope! "Look at all of these strong empowered womyn, and we even installed a black one as president!"

People have been pointing out lately that game companies are outsourcing much of their "creative" process to firms such as this. That explains a lot, as documented in this hilarious video, and elsewhere. Remember: these people don't care about video games-- they are activists: "Everything Within the Ideology, Nothing Against the Ideology, Nothing Outside the Ideology."
Ideologies and Abstractions - 12:43 CDT, 10/21/23 (Sniper)
I was really looking forward to "Spider-Man 2" on the PS5, but this looks like yet another game I will wait and buy used so the publisher doesn't get a dime out of me.

"Miles Morales" was bad enough, but more details are coming out from "Spider-Man 2", and it looks like it's more of the same. That second example is especially annoying-- Mary Jane figured very prominently in my montage of "Spider-Man Remastered" from a couple of years ago, and for good reason: she had a "pretty gal from next door" kind of vibe, and she livened up every scene within the game in which she was present. For them to ruin her character by turning her face into some kind of distracting golem really irks me.

We are in an age of total, dystopian authoritarianism: no longer do the peasants tell the politicians what to do, and no longer do the consumers drive what the corporations make. Now it's the opposite: the politicians tell the plebes what is going to happen, and the corporations tell the consumers that this is what they are going to get-- whether they want it or not, in both cases!

It all boils down to the Cultural Marxist, Frankfurt School framework: "Everything Within the Ideology, Nothing Against the Ideology, Nothing Outside the Ideology."

"Why is Mary Moriarty's office more concerned with criminals than victims of crime?", this person wonders. Eric Peters asks how you can "make losses", such as the $30k-$60k "losses made" per vehicle on EeeVees which hardly anyone wants. Here, Vee asks why game companies are making art that ninety-nine percent of people despise. What's the common thread between these superficially unrelated things? They further the ideology. The politicians and CEOs don't care what you want: like a child, you'll get what's "good for you", in this case because it gives them power and control.

Outside of Alex Battaglia and six radical whackjobs on RetardEra, no one wants Mary Jane to look like an alien Neanderthal troglodyte: I bet if you polled gamers, almost one hundred percent of them would choose the "pretty" Mary Jane. But a pretty Mary Jane is outside and against the ideology, so it is not permitted.


Recently, psychopaths Mark Levin-- eyes twitching madly as he spoke-- and that little "Micro Machines Man" hobgoblin Ben Shapiro both played the "nice country you have there, be a shame if something happened to it"-style card: when pressed on why the US "needs" to provide arms-- or more-- to Israel, they both gave answers like this: "Well, I'm not saying this would be good, tsk tsk, but if Israel's backs are to the wall, who knows what they might do!" Mark Levin went on to elaborate: "They don't have a nuclear arsenal for it to collect dust, after all!"

Veil, meet threat.

Recall my categorization of Jews here. I'd always assumed Micro Machines Motormouth was one of the Orthodox religious. But listen to him at the 24:33 mark here! Seeing as he's a Jew, I can understand him not believing in Christ's miracles-- but to not believe that God parted the sea for Moses when the latter raised his staff is surely pure apostasy within the Jewish Faith: the Torah is a cornerstone of their entire belief system, and the scripture is very clear that it was a miracle.

Motormouth offering a materialist explanation for the event tells me that he doesn't even believe in God: he's one of the Bolshevist Atheist Jews! I suppose that explains much of his behavior, going back decades.

Nvidia Way Ahead

I was explaining to my friend earlier this week about how far ahead of AMD Nvidia is. I explained that they got so far ahead because they had and have an army of PhD data scientists working on machine learning and "AI"-- that in fact, their company isn't really a consumer graphics firm at heart; that's just one thing they do.

In any event, listen to the description of his own company here from Jensen Huang himself: none of it has anything to do with video cards. Instead, it worked in reverse: "Hey, we already have all of this machine learning capability, what if we were to retrofit it into our consumer graphics card division somehow?" That's how we got "Tensor Cores", DLSS, and all of the rest-- all of the things which buried AMD down to less than ten percent market share.

One interesting thing I wish the interviewers would have asked him: I was living and breathing the 3D accelerator wars in the mid-to-late 90s, and my recollection was that Nvidia's early products were a joke: the NV1 was terrible, nor do I recall anyone owning or any publications recommending the Riva 128 over the Voodoo. It was the Riva TNT where I recall Nvidia turning from "yet another tiny, unheard of company making 3D accelerators" into a dominant player.

I bought a TNT when they came out, and absolutely loved it. In fact, I still have it and used it in a comparison shot for this post. It was slower than a Voodoo 2, but it was a 2D-3D-in-one card, which was very novel at the time, and it could do 32-bit color: no more dithering artifacts! But back to Jensen: it would have been interesting to ask him roughly what the sales numbers were: maybe the 128 sold better than I thought it had.


My priest friend recommended Frank Sheed's "Theology and Sanity" as a good introductory book-- I have it on order. He also pointed me to a site where I can look up Bible verses online, such as this one-- or the same scene here, as described by Mark.

I thought these passages carried some interesting implications:

  1. People at different times in the grand scheme of human progress will react violently to certain messages, but be "ready for those messages" later on, or in another time or place.

  2. God is perfect.

  3. Because God is perfect, He is omniscient.

  4. Because He's omniscient, He knows all possible future timelines.

  5. Because He knows all future timelines, He inspired Moses to relax enforcement of certain rules so that Moses wouldn't be harmed, or so that people wouldn't simply "rebel" and ignore the teachings altogether.

  6. He sent His Son to more strictly enforce those same previously-relaxed rules. Because He knows all future timelines, this was a path He, as both Father and Son, knew would cause a certain reaction among the Jews.

  7. Because He knew what the reaction would be, it demonstrates the love that He has for us, that He would send his son to die for us.

In other words, I think it's demonstrable in scripture that God tailors messaging differently at different times-- and from that, there are certain possible inferences available for exploration.

My friend warned me against going too far down this rabbit hole: "Remember, God didn't commit suicide." That was a crucial clarification, and I'm glad he brought it up. But to me, framing God's actions as suicide would be silly in any case: suicide is an attempt to end one's own existence-- but God can not cease to exist, nor could He ever wish for his own end since He's perfect, and since the action wouldn't be possible to perform anyway.

I also struggle grasping, how closely is God directing things?

I know that He gave us free will and that we have to thus choose Him. Therefore, in bullet six above, I'm under the assumption that He is "letting" the Jews persecute and crucify Jesus, operating out of their free will-- but that He (Father and Son, as one) knew what would happen. Or, was it that the Holy Spirit was somehow orchestrating the Jews to take those actions, independent variously of their volition?

Finally, another thing which makes me pause: to me it seems that God is so complex that He is literally unfathomable to the human mind. Thus it logically follows that any model-- even one delivered directly from God Himself-- which can be understood by the human mind is a vast oversimplification. How closely does the Trinity "Father", "Son", "Holy Spirit" metaphor get towards reflecting the reality of what God actually is?

It seems like a leaky abstraction-- but how leaky? I know that being perfect, God would give us the most perfect model, which can "fit" within our tiny human brains. But pondering the true nature of God-- even knowing that it's impossible for me to know-- is something I really enjoy.
Family Friends Visit - 15:54 CDT, 10/20/23 (Sniper)
The wife has had a particular gaming friend for the past fifteen years whom she had never met in person. Last weekend, this friend and his wife packed up their two young children and their dog into a rental car, and made the long road trip to spend this entire past week with us. Incidentally, that's why I haven't posted here in several days.

Some interesting observations: I hadn't spoken too much with this fellow before, but immediately felt like I'd been friends with him for years. We got talking Myers-Briggs among myriad other topics-- it's almost unprecedented for me to meet someone whose brain is wired the same way mine is, and it was interesting spending time very nearly talking to a veritable clone of myself.

His wife was also incredibly charming: wearing a dress, child on one hip, second child in tow, cooking food, hanging out and making conversation. She's one of the least pretentious people I've ever met: salt of the Earth, very genuine, brain stacked with all manner of little tricks, home remedies, and the like. It was also fun having two very young kids around: I miss when my children were that age, and I could explain to them shapes, colors, the alphabet, and so on. I even got attached to the hip with their dog, a beautiful Alaskan Malamute-- her sweet temperament took me back to the Samoyeds I had growing up.

But back to the meat of the post: one topic of discussion involved firearms. We did some shooting yesterday: he'd brought his 9mm self-defense pistol and one other gun, which I will discuss momentarily. Meanwhile, I pulled the Ruger New Model Blackhawk .357 magnum plus my never-before-fired Walther PPQ Q5 Match out of the closet. But now, on to the showpiece:

This was his grandfather's standard issue rifle from World War II! It's an "M1 Garand", in wonderful condition. I had a go with it, and it was a real honor to handle such a piece of history. It must be sort of like how pilots feel when they get to fly a re-conditioned WWII fighter.

In fact, the most amazing part was how modern it felt! It was light, had minimal recoil, and was operated in a very similar way as a contemporary, let's say, AR-15. It must have felt somewhat futuristic to American fighters at that time. I can see why US adversaries in that period, with their much older-designed bolt action rifles, struggled in direct combat.

The plan is that as soon as he can prepare and sell his house, they will pack up and move within a five-odd minute drive of my home. It was incredible how quickly our two families integrated, seamlessly. Once he's here permanently, I'd like to get into "Dungeons & Dragons" along with "Warhammer". He's also a huge fan of old games, and I had a lot of fun showing him some of the 3DO's best software.

The plan is to also start a sort of joint-farming operation. I will be publishing a web site for it in the future, and will do frequent blog and possibly vlog commentary therein-- so look forward to that at some point, hopefully in the next year or two if things go according to plan!
Off to the Races - 14:40 CDT, 10/13/23 (Sniper)
Every one of my news feeds today is warning about a Muslim "day of rage". Vincent James ran the source video through a translator, and turns out it's just a generic "make your voices heard" sort of rally. Go to the 45:10 segment here to see the translation. Zero Hedge posted a written statement which mirrors what was said in the video. No mention of the word "rage", no call to violence, or anything of the sort. This appears to be Western propaganda, playing out in real-time.

Video Game Music

In other news, I saw this ant-themed game in my feeds today. The graphics look cool, but what in the heck is with the awful music in ninety-five-plus percent of modern video games? For reference, I was a huge fan of SimAnt on DOS in 1991-- it has not the best-programmed OPL synth made by any stretch, but it's at least highly memorable: I almost certainly won't ever forget the theme song, considering it's already been etched into my brain for thirty two years.

Every modern game composer I look up has the identical biographical information: "Known for writing music for commercials." Oh goody. Whereas when I was a kid, video game musicians were classically-trained pianists from age three-- that's why the songs were so good. When a new "Halo" or "Gears of War" or "Spider-Man" game is being made, why don't they call up someone like Yuzo Koshiro? Even if they want orchestra music, I can guarantee someone like him can create something very memorable and interesting to listen to.

The last time I remember one of these style composers being on a major triple-A budget game was Nobuo Uematsu on the Xbox 360's "Lost Odyssey", way the heck back in 2007-- and just listen to it. Who wouldn't want music this good in every video game? All the triple-A developers need to do is pick up the phone and call these guys. Instead they phone the person who made Home Depot commercials. I don't understand it. It can't be a money thing; is it some kind of new "old boys" club, where it's about "who knows whom" versus a meritocracy?

Racing Games

With the enormous disappointment that is the new Forza Motorsport, I started thinking about some other "simcade" racers I could try. One option which came to mind: I wonder what the status is of "Project CARS 2" running on PlayStation 5? I quite liked the original game, but I'm hearing conflicting reports that it "runs fine", or that it has "visual artifacts". I could also buy a license for the Windows version from "CD Keys" for 28 USD, but PC gaming is such a hassle I'd rather just pop a disc into my PS5.

A second option involves the port of Codemasters's "GRID Autosport" that the Switch received four-or-so years ago. Unfortunately it never got a physical release, and I don't really like "buying" digital games. Nonetheless, it would set me back 35 USD if I went that route. It's a "lift and shift" of the PlayStation 3 game, and I recall that it has native 1080p / 720p output in docked / handheld modes respectively, along with a rock solid thirty frames-per-second mode, with all of the post-processing of the original title. It would also be really novel to play that style of game on a handheld.
Off a Cliff - 20:02 CDT, 10/10/23 (Sniper)
Forza Motorsport 8 is the most depressing, soul-sucking game I've ever played. I played it for three hours; I want my three hours back:

  • The game starts in a bordered window, with the Windows "Not Responding" text in the title bar. Windows 11 says that "Auto HDR" is enabled. Is this a repeat of "Starfield", with no native HDR implementation?

  • Eventually the game snaps into a borderless fullscreen mode, and begins reading text in that obnoxious robot voice we all know and love: performative virtual signaling nonsense.

  • The first real bit of user interface pops up: "Accessibility Options." As we know, that's one of the core foundational pillars of Wokeness. The option right at the top says it will help blind people play. Why would a blind person play a video game? Such is the clown world we live in.

  • I went into the graphics menu right off. It's nonsensical! Beyond that, it kept forgetting my DLSS selection when I would exit it and go back in.

  • The in-menu music is straight out of a Pfizer commercial. It's the kind of generic soaring shit you hear when the advertisement is showing an interracial couple smiling in slow motion while the narrator reads off the five hundred side effects.

  • There is this stupid cunt who condescendingly talks throughout the whole game. You select "Buy Cars", and she enlightens you: "This is where you can buy cars!" During the races she's constantly jabbering away: "Final lap, push it!" While introducing the cups, she engages in cringe-worthy banalities such as, "Better buckle up, it's going to get wild!" Of course, notice in the first place how the narrator is a woman, and second how the game designers treat the player like a toddler.

  • When you get to the point where you can pick your driver, they have the "body type" nonsense going on. Of course, the female selection is the default, wearing a pink racing suit.

  • The next place I went was into the shop menu to look at the car models. See the top screenshot, below.

  • Then the race started, and it did a pan of the track. See the second screenshot.

  • The driving itself seems fine, if not a little floaty. But little details "felt" off; the driving seating position was weird, some of the cars had no shifting animation when changing gears, and the clutch button seemed to "stick on" so when you got back on the throttle the engine would bang off the rev limiter for a second or two.

I'll write my review this week, and probably just uninstall the game. It's so awful I never want to play it again.


I was assured recently by Newt Gingrich that Kevin McCarthy was as conservative as one could get. A real conservative among conservatives, and that anyone who opposed him was a traitor. So why then is Mr. McCarthy trying to start World War III over Israel? A "new evil axis", made up of "Iran, Russia, and China"? You mean, the same "Iran" as the one from the 90s-vintage Wolfowitz Doctrine? What a coincidence! And I thought Dubbya's old "axis of evil" was pretty ambitious-- watch out, because now the US politicians want to depose the Chinese government!

Nothing nutty about that at all, I assure you!

In fact, almost all of the "conservative" punditry and politicians are trying to get us all killed, and with utmost fervor: "Eyepatch McCain" Dan Crenshaw of course, then there is John Nolte and Neal Pollak who think Israel should basically turn Gaza into glass; Nikki Haley, obviously! Victor Davis Hanson says that Israel needs to stop the Hamas "global propaganda machine"-- that's a hot take full of self-awareness if I've ever heard one.

And on and on it goes.

Even the footballing world isn't immune: Aurelio De Laurentiis says he "doesn't like the way Arabs treat women". Well guess what Aurelio: the Arabs don't like the way Italians handle women. Maybe they should fund a Mediterranian invasion from Libya to knock you off your high moral horse?

The only non-terrifying people I've heard on this topic are Eric Peters, who points out that the new speaker is the same as the old speaker; Peter Schiff, who considers that the US can't afford peace much less war; Vivek Rama-whatever who explains that the American politician's moral authority begins and ends with the American people; and Vincent James, the only guy I've yet found on the entire internet who doesn't withhold the uncomfortable truths.

As for me...

The Bolshevist Jews, as I identified here, have spent the past hundred years or more: controlling the banking system; creating a money supply racket to make themselves unfathomably rich at our expense; running the entire foreign policy apparatus of my own country; pushing homosexuality, pedophilia, and every other kind of hedonism on my culture; opening my country's borders wide open while simultaneously saying that closed borders are needed for their country to protect their culture, their heritage, and so on; and running companies like Blackrock, buying up majority share positions in every corporation to undermine white Christian culture.

They lied about World War I; they lied about World War II; they lied about the "holocaust" and the "six million prophecy fulfillment"; they lied about "9/11"; their news organizations lied about BLM; about George Floyd; about the origins of the WuFlu; they pushed experimental clot shots on half the world's population causing millions upon millions of excess deaths, and causing countless other millions to suffer debilitating side effects; they created Hamas!

And let's also not forget: they are also almost certainly lying that Mossad didn't see these attacks coming. Try chewing on those implications.

That's not to say by-the-by that these Hamas fellows aren't nutjobs. There are no "good guys" in this conflict. I've seen tons of videos from their own body cams of them running into crowds, shooting civilians in the back, rolling grenades into civilian bomb shelters-- these aren't nice people. I'm also not lacking in empathy for the murdered or threatened "normie" Jews who have nothing to do with any of this: who don't support the Zionist globalist agenda; who are perhaps on my side of the issues, but just happen to have been born in Israel and are tied there due to family and circumstance.

I get it. Sucks for them-- and I really mean that.

But let George Soros, Larry Fink, and the rest of them buy Israel some missiles-- they have combined ill-begotten wealth more than many small nations. Not another red cent should flow to them or their idiotic country, and if the whole thing collapses in a heap and falls to the Arabs, then so be it. If China invaded the United States, would I try to obligate Libyans or Iraqis to bankrupt their country and risk nuclear warfare to come rescue me? I'm no hypocrite: I work it both ways. I'd expect them to instead grab the popcorn-- and wouldn't fault them for that attitude.

Before I end this post, for anyone who is going to say, "But Sniper, what about you, as a Christian?" First: evidence strongly suggests that the tribes of Israel went to Europe-- that the people currently in Israel are imposters. Second: even if that wasn't the case, Jesus made obsolete the Old Covenant! He brought in the gentiles, and made the whole universe "Israel", and all who would follow Him the "chosen people". Christians are under no theological obligation to support the state of Israel. But nice try anyway.
Poetic - 09:52 CDT, 10/07/23 (Sniper)
My son really enjoys writing poetry. Here is an example of one he wrote a few days ago:


To prepare for the snow
And the time of the cold
Some leaves turn golden yellow,
And others turn crimson red

But then the leaves let go,
And float down from their branches,
Then scatter on the ground and make
A big, colorful bed.

Here is another one he just sent me:


Sin may try to take you from God,
But you must avoid it and praise the Lord,
For sin will be your fall.

Every part of nature shows
God’s love, beauty, and mercy,
But Earth is just a small part of all.

His love will stand through the strongest storms,
And He will love you forever,
So you should listen and answer His call.

Ordinarily in the house we associate my son more with math, where he is so far into the ninety-ninth percentile among ten year-olds that it's not even accurately measurable-- but I would argue his poetic skills are perhaps even stronger.

GR Corolla Movement

There are no guarantees, but my sales manager friend might be able to sell me this car by the end of the year:

Almost unbelievably, his boss just obtained this specimen via a "shot in the dark" lottery, so-to-speak, but already owns a Corvette and some other cool cars. My buddy is really working the guy over: "Let me sell it! I have the customer all lined up!" What may happen-- crossing fingers-- is that the fellow will drive it for a couple of months, then hand it over to my friend to sell to me.

What's particularly neat about this specimen is that it's a limited edition "Circuit Edition". This trim has some added aero and a carbon fiber roof panel, along with some other non-mechanical extras. It would be a real coup if I could land it. It also happens to be in white, which is the color my wife has been hoping she could get.

Incidentally, I adore the "GR-FOUR" branding. It reminds me of something which would have been seen in the 90s. If things work out, this car will be the perfect successor to my wife's current 2014 WRX-- which is going to the kids by the by, as my daughter is almost driving age.

Of course, this timeline would mean I won't be getting a GR Supra. But that's ok: the 86 has grown on me so much that it would be really difficult for me to see it go. Besides, I've grown to love thirty miles-per-gallon gas mileage, and also having back seats as I'm able to drive my kids around, in my vehicle. It would be tough to go back to two seats only and poor gas mileage, on top of the Supra's other shortcomings like "adaptive" cruise control, a mediocre electric steering rack, and numb road feel like my old 350z.

Scam Scheme

Take a gander at this article. Apparently involving the "World Economic Forum"-- notice the clever title, sort of like "Federal" Reserve-- things work as follows:

  1. I make up some B.S. horror story and terrify kids with it. "The planet is doomed! You're all going to die in ten years!"

  2. I tell the kids to join the ranks of my "Hitler's Youth"-style organization.

  3. I create a fake "court" system, and appoint myself as judge, jury, and executioner.

  4. The "Hitler's Youth"-esque organization "sues" governments via my fake "court".

  5. I pen an article like the above: "This 'trial' is unprecedented!"

Quite the scam they have going on.
Lazio Circus - 13:39 CDT, 10/03/23 (Sniper)
The drama surrounding Lazio right now is growing really tiresome, on multiple levels. We have actual issues; there is no need to compound them with fake ones.

The first case involves Ciro Immobile. He'll be thirty four on his next birthday; meanwhile the ravages of time come for everyone: he's not the player he was even just a couple of years ago, and in fact the writing was on the wall last year-- which is why Sarri did nothing but complain all season about not having a "vice-Ciro". So Lotito delivered him a "vice-Ciro" over the summer: Taty Castellanos. The idea was that Castellanos could "spell" Immobile for stretches of the season, so the latter could stay fresh.

Instead, Sarri has played Ciro almost every minute of the season so far, across multiple competitions-- theoretically, in the hope that Immobile will play himself into form, or something along those lines. Further, a narrative has developed that during the rare minutes when Ciro isn't playing, that he's been "benched".

Every football team on the planet rotates players, at every position. At Lazio, we routinely rest Casale or Romagnoli, and let Patric play; or we give Marusic a rest, and put in Hysaj; or we rest Cataldi, or Zaccagni, or Felipe, and put others in those spots. The logic shouldn't be any different for Ciro, and indeed I see all sorts of other football clubs resting their star center forwards, even when those players are significantly younger than Immobile.

Even though Ciro is not playing well, the "controversy" surrounding his situation is contrived.

The second case involves this past loss, to Milan. We went thirty years-- three decades-- without winning against Milan at the San Siro. Even though we finally "broke that duck" recently, that's one victory in over thirty attempts. I knew that, statistically speaking, we'd probably take nothing from the game-- indeed, I was more interested in how we played, not what the result was. And the outcome was positive!

Sure we were outclassed, which is no surprise going against a team which has run massive deficits for a zillion years prior, and which has a huge payroll. But the important point was that we look like we're starting to figure things out: we actually knew how to move the ball around, and Sarri has come to a definitive conclusion that if we play Kamada and Alberto together, the midfield becomes too light weight

A rational analysis concludes that a loss to Milan was unsurprising, and that we showed positive signs of growth. Instead? "We lost to Milan, the sky is falling!"

Also lost in that conclusion is that if you compare the results from this year to last year in terms of equivalent fixtures, the results are almost identical! The fact is, the league screwed us-- whether deliberately or not-- by making the opening of this season's schedule a worst-case, nightmare scenario. Based on the improvement we've had since the season opener, I think we'll be competing for a solid sixth place this year when all is said and done.

The third case involves the transfer window. Sarri took a shot at Lotito after the Milan game, indicating that the president didn't give him the players he'd wanted: "I wanted Berardi and Zielinski and Frattesi!"

Taken one at a time: Sassuolo were asking thirty million for a soon-to-be-thirty Berardi; it was so unenticing, that numerous other clubs with significantly larger coffers than ours declined-- and guess where Berardi is still playing, this season? Zielinski is even more irritating: he said a hundred times that he had zero interest in playing for us; what was Lotito supposed to do-- kidnap the guy, put him into a sack, throw him into the trunk of a car, and drive him to Formello against his wishes? Frattesi was a similar situation-- he did not want to come here, and when Inter were put on his plate as a possibility, he gobbled it up instantly!

If I hear Maurizio Sarri say the name "Zielinski" one more time, I will personally fly to Italy and find a new coach for the team. He needs to let it go, and work with the-- rather excellent, I might add-- players he was given: Rovella looks like freaking Andrea Pirlo, while it's arguable that Kamada and Guendouzi are just as good of footballers as "Invisible half the time" Sergej was: they are different footballers, for sure, but it's the coach's job adapt the tactics to suit their unique skills!

Which all comes full circle back to Immobile: part of why Ciro has such terrible stats is because of the dastardly "Sarriball" 4-3-3, which puts every single player miles away from his teammates, each on his own little island, expected to create magic all by himself. Every time we get the ball into the final third, Immobile is standing in the box by himself, surrounded by five opposition players: how is he supposed to get the freaking ball, much less create any shooting opportunities?

I see positive signs that "The System" is working much better than it was at the beginning of the season. But everyone in and around the Lazio camp needs to chill out, and stop creating problems we don't have.
Anime List So Far - 12:48 CDT, 10/01/23 (Sniper)
The kids and I just wrapped up "Death Note" last night, what a series! So far this is every anime series I've seen and how I rank them. The quality is so high that even the ones at the bottom of the list were enjoyable, with the exception of the last one which was ruined by the kind of obnoxious, abrasive feminist characters I've become accustomed to in Western media:

  1. Neon Genesis Evangelion
  2. My Hero Academia
  3. The Promised Neverland (Season One)
  4. Hunter x Hunter
  5. Death Note
  6. Cowboy Bebop
  7. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
  8. The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.
  9. Samurai Champloo
  10. Spy x Family
  11. The Promised Neverland (Season Two)
  12. Jujutsu Kaisen

I thought "Death Note" was phenomenal-- the fact that it could only fit in at fifth in my list is a testament to how good some of these shows have been.

Starfield Captures

As is my wont, I made one of my traditional montages for "Starfield", which you can watch here. It was a difficult game to capture good footage for, what with the washed out broken HDR appearance, plus the fact that the Xbox Game Bar was capturing the whole buffer, not just the part with the 75% FSR2-scaled portion with the actual game in it, meaning I had to manually crop each clip in "iMovie" as I went.

All the same, I tried to demonstrate some of the game's myriad gameplay elements. The below screenshots are likewise washed out and with bizarre contrast issues, but they hopefully at least show off how detailed the environments are. Click on any of them for the original Xbox Game Bar PNG version.

Expect a full review sometime this week. It's like a "lite" version of many games, jammed into one package.

Hard to Believe

I read earlier this week that a bit more than fifty percent of the population has essentially no ability to have an inner monologue. I believe it even though it's difficult to believe such an astonishing thing! How is it even possible? How do they arrive at any conclusions? How do they formulate ideas? How do they make sense of the world, and others? What is it even like in their minds then, on a moment-to-moment basis?

I sought an answer to that lattermost question in particular, and found it described thusly: some stimulus happens, then they do something. Then some other stimulus occurs, and they do some other action. This explains so much to me of how the world works, and how little self-awareness the average person has!

For me, my brain constantly-- without even a moment's interruption-- has at least one "conversation" going on within it, involving my mind "discussing" some idea with one or more fictitious entity or entities. Sometimes there are two and even three such "conversations" happening all at once. On top of that, I always-- one hundred percent of the time-- can "hear" a song playing on loop in my head.

This is why I often appear distracted, or absent-minded: there is a noisy party going on in my brain all of the time! My mind is a happy place-- but it's also a hopping place.

But back to the subject at hand: these "conversations" produce results in the form of final analysis on some topic or issue, which create my entire way of understanding the world around me. I very often "speak" some of these conversations out loud under my breath, which helps me follow their threads. A few times in my life I've been caught "talking to myself" while out on walks by the surprise appearance of random strangers, such as from around a corner, or kneeling in their lawn inconspicuously trimming a shrub. Instances like those are embarrassing, but I wouldn't give up the way my mind works for anything.

I'm so self-aware, that my life takes place in quasi-third person. I obviously don't see myself in the third-person, but in my "mind's eye": it's like playing "Resident Evil" or something along those lines, where I can see the room, where I am in it with relation to others, and the impression I'm making via the interactions I'm having with the other people there. It's like I'm not just in reality, but I'm having the whole thing simultaneously reflected back to me as well.

In total contrast, my father-in-law came up to me two evenings ago, sternly: "Don't step on the mower deck." Having zero clue what he was even babbling about, I replied smilingly, "I didn't, but maybe you did while it was in the garage?" Anyone with an ounce of self-reflection would have immediately grasped, "Touché, good point-- I guess I did baselessly accuse him." But because my father-in-law is-- and I'm absolutely certain of it-- one of the people with no inner monologue, he could only receive the stimulus of my statement literally. He replied angrily, "I didn't! Not the way it's positioned in the garage especially!" After which, he stormed off as he always does.

Of course, I realize perhaps half of my audience here also has this particular issue. But don't take offense: I recognize that it's probably "on a spectrum", as they like to say: it depends on how much connective tissue between the different relevant parts of the brain are operating, which undoubtedly controls to what extent people have a "mind's eye" and inner monologues.

Tim Cain Stories

I thought this video from Tim Cain was interesting, it's well worth a listen. Of course, he's absolutely right-- young people today are absurdly risk averse, which is part-- along with a simple lack of talent-- of why modern games are soulless, and need to lean on the crutch of cheap, hipsterish, easy-to-write, tiresome self-congratulatory ironic self-awareness.

Not wanting to offend, Tim Cain immediately then transitions into the oh-so-common "But look at how creative the 'indie space' is, that's the good news!" Anyone who has browsed through the sixty thousand pixelshit "It's like Super Metroid and Soulsborne!" games on Steam and elsewhere will know that indie games are just as creatively bankrupt as the triple-A titles are. And just as woke, on top of it.

Slightly off topic, I would love to ask Tim how all of the woke garbage wound up in "The Outer Worlds". You'd think an older white guy like himself would have fought against it. Then again, he is evidently a homosexual, so maybe he's "all in" with John Money's "theories"-- who knows.
Comprehension - 15:17 CDT, 9/28/23 (Sniper)
One of the few forms of contemporary entertainment even worth my time these days is anime. As Vee has been documenting, the Left are now trying to topple it, as it's one of the very few remaining dominoes.

I remember when they came for the NFL, and it was all about: "The athletes, they are getting hurt! We need to put our trust and safety HR people in place to save them!" Two minutes later there was "Stop Racism" text on the field, every team had rainbows on their websites, the players had "social justice" cleats, the league was donating money to the domestic terrorist organization "BLM", meanwhile the whole concussions "current thing" disappeared instantly because it had served its purpose.

With corporations, they said: "We need to make sure all of our employees feel included!" Two minutes later they fired anyone who disagreed with their politics, and put in hiring plus promotion policies which openly started replacing all of the men and white people with "oppressed minorities".

Now with anime, they are saying: "We care about the children! Anyone who likes beautiful anime characters is a pedophile!" This is the same Left which encourages children to attend so-called "pride" parades with dildo sippy cups, where men dressed only in thongs bend over and whip each other; which encourages children to go to gay strip clubs and tip the "performers"; which encourages children to go to libraries so "drag queens" can expose their junk to the kids.

The Left doesn't care about NFL players getting hurt, it doesn't care about people "feeling included", and it sure as heck doesn't care about pedophiles or kids getting sexualized: it cares about taking control. And it will use whatever concern trolling rhetoric it needs to, depending on the situation and the nature of the institution, to trick gullible normies into handing over the keys.

Sharia Law

I thought this clip was interesting. Indeed, the goal of Sharia Law as I understand it is for it to be spread and applied everywhere. It's a form of Fascism, where I define Fascism as "the values of the nation should be enshrined as laws, and enforced by the State". In the Muslim's case, things such as apostasy and blasphemy are punishable by death.

The Christian convert is correct: Jesus showed up and replaced the Old Covenant, whereas Islam never had that moment. Of course, they both agree and are correct in concluding that the Western secular liberal Democratic order is not friendly to Islam; how many bombs have been dropped on the Middle East, plus the fact that Israel runs the entire Western global order.

I think both sides can agree that pluralism is not the correct choice for producing coherent, happy, productive societies: Christians should have their countries, and Muslims should as well. Segregation is a good idea, I think, not a negative one. The only conflict which ever gets introduced regarding it is when someone at the top forces two groups together-- then the people saying "we are incompatible, let's split" get demonized by the Jews in charge.

Categorizing the Jews

Speaking of them, I've noticed that they seem to have three main sub-groups:

  1. The Orthodox: These are the dudes with the long beards, who preach Talmudic concepts like goyim, and how there are two separate sets of moral rules for how you can treat a Jew versus a goy non-Jew.

  2. The Bolshevists: These are the atheist academic types, like those who created the Frankfurt School, the ones who run the Fed, the ones in parliaments, or the ones who wind up running the newspapers and media companies.

  3. The Normies: Your run-of-the-mill people who just happen to be a Jews. They may visit the synagogue once in a while, but aren't particularly religious and don't think too deeply about things.

The second group is the meddling one constantly trying to take over the world, then subsequently getting their entire Jewish racial group kicked out of country after country. They are hardcore atheists, but use the Talmud and teachings of the first group as a means of convincing the third group, plus the goy, that there is a fulfillment of divine prophecy justifying the Bolshevist's actions.

They don't actually believe the concept of "prophecy" and sure as heck don't think God exists, but use theology as a useful tool to manipulate the masses.

It could be more complex than this, but I think the above model is a useful starting point for understanding their actions. As with any group, it's the bad apples that make the whole group look bad. But the bad apples are so much more aggressive than the ordinary person, that they wind up being able to impose their will on the more passive average people.

IQ and Persuasion

This is a fun model. It purports that the reason "average" ideas dominate society is because the average IQ for whites is 100, and they can't really follow the arguments of someone with an IQ of, let's say, 140 or 160. Therefore, politicians with IQs of maybe 120 wind up running things because 100 IQ people can comprehend them. The trouble is, 120 IQ isn't enough for the formulation of truly good ideas.

The 120 IQ politicians can follow the arguments of someone with an IQ of 140 perhaps-- but even if they try then to translate that concept to the IQ 100 people, the notion loses its essence in the "Chinese whispers", as the English would say.

I don't think the model is particularly useful however: it's too simply deterministic. Most of the worst ideas I've ever heard originated from extremely high IQ people. It's like my mother-in-law used to say: "When people go get their master's degree, the first thing the school does is suck their brains out." I'll take the traditional, "common sense" ideas from salt-of-the-Earth people any day.

All the same, this idea was a novel concept for me I hadn't thought of before. Maybe there is some truthiness to it, in certain select settings or instances.

Politicians and Philosophy

It was refreshing to hear a contemporary politician who actually has some kind of philosophical underpinning to his platform. It seems like this was more common in the past, when politicians were more intelligent and thoughtful. Then again, those politicians often went on to murder tens of millions of people... maybe I should be careful what I ask for.

I'm only joking: this guy is a hardcore Ron Paulian Libertarian NAP dude, I doubt he'd hurt a fly. Of course, I doubt he'd be able to retain power-- Libertarianism seems self-defeating: "I'll cede control over all of the power levers", which just creates a power vacuum, which people who hate and will destroy you immediately fill. I do also notice that he wants to become a Jew: I'm not sure how you run an actual Libertarian system with the crooked central bankers and financiers still in play.

More Black Bill Nye

Here he is again! Apparently my news feeds are like a light for a moth, because this guy just keeps showing up. I don't understand why exactly he's seemingly on the podcast tour, because every time he does such an appearance he just gets angry at anyone who disagrees with him-- hands shaking, brow profusely sweating-- and also gets increasingly mocked by everyone watching for making stupid arguments.

I actually don't mind his "weight class" analog in this instance: maybe every sport could just become co-ed, then you'd have some set of criteria to place athletes, men and women, into different "slices" as he suggests? Of course, nature has already pretty much done this: it's called "men and women".

Of course, the root cause of all of this is the two-fold combination of: plastics and chemicals plummeting T levels to the point where men get confused and think they are girls; and, Bolshevist atheistic Jews, like the kind I mentioned earlier in this post, created radical nonsense ideas out of thin air to undermine capitalism, then got the gullible idiots like this Neil Tyson guy to perpetuate those ideas.

In the case of the entire body of "gender studies", John Money wrote the whole book. All of these terms like "gender fluid" were coined by him. He knew it was all baloney! But he was a serial child molester, and came up with the "ideas" as a perverse form of cover, so he could fulfill his own sexual fantasies with his child "patients", some of which he drove to suicide, as is well documented.

Clearly, if a man walks into a doctor's office and thinks he's a girl, he either needs major psychiatric help, hormone therapy, or both. I mean this in a sympathetic way: he should get help. The idea of letting him into women's sports or dressing rooms is nuts. It'd be like my uncle declaring that he's a potted plant, and needs to be moved into the sunlit corner of the room and watered twice per day. If I went to enter him into a horticulture competition at the State Fair as a plant, should they let him? It's the same level of goofiness, pretending a man is a woman or vice-versa.

But back to the Neil Tyson link: he claims in the interview to enjoy looking for "root causes"-- but I think he'd have a brain hemorrhage if I pointed the above two elements out to him.
Coach in Poor Form - 13:50 CDT, 9/25/23 (Sniper)
I'm surprised at how Maurizio Sarri is mis-managing Lazio. I thought I had him pegged:

  • Tactics: "If I can't use my system, I may as well go back to the bank." Since at least 2016, Sarri comes part-and-parcel with his "vertical tiki-taka" 4-3-3 system, which I discuss in detail here; if you don't like his system, don't hire him. Even though he focuses purely on aesthetics, Sarri's system does more often than not get results as well.

  • Man Management: Excellent at keeping players motivated. Players routinely say they enjoy how he "standing still, you move here, then you go here" drills them in training. Is good at gathering the players all around, and expressing himself in a way where they will work hard to fulfill the ideals of The System.

The best you would get from him would be a Scudetto. The worst you would get from him is that his system is ticking over leading to some great results overall, but opponents would have stymied it variously in different matches.

Instead, what I am seeing this season is that tactically his team isn't even attempting his "vertical tiki-taka" system anymore, with the quick balls to advanced areas, and is instead playing the ball wide to Zaccagni or a drifting Luis Alberto, then hoping they can out-dribble defenders. Meanwhile on the man management side, numerous players are reportedly in mutiny mode, starting but certainly not ending with Lazzari and Basic.

In other words, Sarri is totally unable to implement his tactical setup, and is simultaneously in the process of losing the dressing room. My previously-thought "worst case" has been replaced with, "we look worse than during the beginning of the Ballardini year." Indeed, mathematically this is tied with 2001 for our worst league start in the three point era, if one can believe it.

I have no sympathy for Toma Basic. He was told repeatedly by everyone that he was not wanted, and I watched with total amazement as he committed career suicide by turning down numerous possibilities to go out on loan. But Manuel Lazzari has a right to complain: I forgot he was even on the team, he's been used so seldomly, and I don't understand why because he's a real weapon when he plays.

The one which really gets me is the Taty Castellanos situation. All Sarri did last year was-- justifiably-- complain about not having been given a vice-Ciro. Now he has one, and he has played the guy a total of 37 minutes out of 540+ available. Castellanos had other offers: he's no doubt wondering, "Why in the heck did they even bring me, if I'm never going to play?" It'd be one thing if Ciro looked like even one tenth of his younger self, but that isn't reality. What do we have to lose by giving Ciro chances to catch his breath?

The only guy on the team who seems to be having fun is Luis Alberto. I have never seen a player with such a permanent smile on his face, constantly joking with opponents, and so forth. And why not? With Sergej gone, he's been handed the keys.

Sarri has said repeatedly in recent press conferences that he doesn't know what's going wrong, exactly. I think we should take him at face value: he does not know how to resolve the current situation. If he can't get the wheels back on, at some point Lotito is going to need to start looking for alternatives.
Money - 10:14 CDT, 9/23/23 (Sniper)
"Yakuza: Like a Dragon" was one of the best games I'd played since the year 2000, and the sequel is shaping up to be a potential masterpiece. They are really leaning into the goofiness, I must have rewound the "Crazy Taxi on a bike" Engrish part with the "Supa Cdazy Derivry!" ten times. The dating simulation with the "Pokemon Snap" mechanic also looks hilarious. By contrast though, I'm also sure that the game will feature a very dramatic, serious story with a lot of emotional impact, just like the previous release. I'm hoping we wind up with a perfect "peanut butter and jelly" contrast between seriousness and comic relief.

Financialization and Budgets

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

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

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

Watch out below!

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

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

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

Microsoft and Gaming

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Starfield and Champions League

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

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

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

Microsoft Leaks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Big Two, Plus One

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

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

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

Switch 2 Pro Deluxe Ultra

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unskilled Sophist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's Artificial, That's For Sure

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

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

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

Watered Down

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

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

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

Starfield Fun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Strange and annoying, but it is 2023 after all.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh well.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Artificial "Intelligence"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Late-Stage "Capitalism"

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

The final point for now in this litany of bad news: if the mandated kill switch wasn't enough to get you to buy a "new car of forever" prior to 2026, how about this nonsense? Look, I get that this woman is grief stricken, and I'm sorry for her loss. I would be devastated if this happened to either of my kids. But this is "my child got struck by lightning and died, therefore we need to ban all human beings from going outside" territory. Bad things happen in the world: that doesn't give you the moral latitude to then foist your insecurities on the rest of us.