First of all, Crazy Bernie is a Communist, whether he openly admits to it or not; there are numerous videos of him having come back from Communist regimes in the 1980s and praising up-and-down Commie dictators and their systems-- go look it up if you don't believe me. So any time Bernie makes a statement like this, remember that Communism is his goal, and that like all Communists, he's willing to force his world view on everyone else quite literally at gun point.
But second, even if we play pretend with the "Bernie is just a Democratic Socialist who likes Norway" facade, what about all of the people who wouldn't consent to being robbed blind to pay for some idiot's basket weaving college degree? How about this: rather than falling back on Locke's so-called "consent of the governed" and making assumptions, why not just ask people? Bernie: I don't consent. See, how hard was that? And if my neighbor does consent, tax them to pay for someone else's college, and not me.
Not two days ago, I was watching a regular pilot in my area flying his personal aircraft over my house, as he frequently does. On this occasion for some reason, it struck me just how contrary to today's safety-and-control obsessed society-- and I mean the word "obsessed" in every sense, and to the strongest and most ridiculous degree possible-- that freely sailing through the skies, without a trouble in the world, actually is. Watching his plane reflect the sun's rays as he gently banked back towards the local municipal airport felt almost anachronistic.
I went back into the house and said to wifey, "In our lifetime, the Leftists are going to ban personal air travel. I'm sure of it." She was skeptical. But here we are: a proposal for no personal air travel in the New York City area. And like all things, this will just be the start-- it will be nation-wide at some point.
I recently revamped four of my "Magic: The Gathering" decks, and they went four-for-four against two of my friends yesterday afternoon: decks 1-3 won their respective games in three-way multiplayer, followed by deck 4 winning in a one-on-one match. And these friends are no slouches in their own rights.
The latest evolution in my deck building came from my realization that decks need to be able to win in multiple ways, but without watering down too much their core strategy. In game four, my "Biovisionary" clone deck was never even able to draw either a Biovisionary or a Jarad's Orders-- but still won via its Soul Foundry / Evil Twin combo, which let me keep the battlefield clear, whereupon I won via conventional combat damage dealing.
Most impressively, that last win came against what our group refers to as the "God Deck"-- the name says it all, it's one tough nut to crack.
I've never understood those people who say "video game system 'power' doesn't matter, only the games are important." If that were true, we'd all still be playing the original Game Boy. It's like this weird creed, and if you don't agree with it you get called a "graphics whore" (how is liking graphics technology a bad thing? Who knows)-- notice how Andrew Reiner quickly backpedaled in his own thread: "Oh yeah, the games are everything!!!"
I love how in the interview shown in this Mark Dice video, the interviewer references one of Soph's works (but is too cowardly to call her by name), where she is wearing a Muslim get-up in the thumbnail, saying that the "author" (Soph) was "spewing anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, and homophobic hate..." Hey, douchebag: the video was about tech censorship, not Muslims-- did you even watch it? Thanks for proving her right!
I don't like using coarse language, but I'm sick to death of these people. If you are a pure, unadulterated ideologue who is trying to get people banned without even listening to or offering rebuttal to their content, then "douchebag" is the only word I can use for you.
Incidentally, I did think it was hilarious that the New York Times picked Molyneux as the face to show several times in the montage. They couldn't have picked a funnier person, because out of anyone, all Molyneux does is state facts, offer reasonable theories based on those facts, and openly debate people who disagree with him-- changing his opinions where he's found he's wrong. What a crazy, self-defeating person to pick as the primary straw man!
I also like how the article describes... what, I'm not sure, the "far right", whatever that even means... as being a "soap opera" with a parade of villains, blah blah blah. Meanwhile, the very article itself reads like a melodramatic soap opera, parading villains in a montage picture! Zero self-awareness, as usual.
EDIT: I've since read the article, and I see that they used Molyneux because the dude watched a lot of Molyneux's videos.
All of this, just because Hitlery lost the election. Hah! And it really is just that simple.
In totally unrelated news, Microsoft is bringing back "Flight Simulator"! I used to live in the various versions of that during the late 80s and early 90s.
On another Microsoft note, the history of total bullcrap in video game console releases continues. Remember "Project 64", with games which would "re-program themselves"? Or Sony's "Emotion Engine", with its "real-time Toy Story graphics"? Now we have: Project Scarlett, four times more powerful than the Xbox One X. So that's a, what, 40 teraflops GPU?
I'm sure it'll be a nice video game system, but c'mon.
I'm neither sympathetic nor hateful-- rather, I'm genuinely curious, as my interest in psychology dictates, what the hell happened to this "Carlos Maza" guy during his childhood. His entire life is oriented around getting people he doesn't like kicked off of web sites, for Pete's sake!
Also if you didn't notice from the link, Steven Crowder is on Bitchute! No clue when that happened, but it's great! Another aside: it took me a second to understand "Quarterblack's" costume-- he's a furry! Absolutely hilarious.
Listening to this Molyneux hypothesis makes me wonder if he's hit on the origin of Scott Adams's "two movies" model.
People who are seeing "movie 1" are predominantly those who are dependent on the State, either for direct employment or for some kind of survival-based handout, whether that be food stamps or "Social Security"; conversely, people who are seeing "movie 2" are those who-- like me-- are not particularly dependant on the State in any way, and who thus view that institution not as some kind of savior or protector, but as something more akin to a mafia organization.
I'm going to keep this new Molyneux concept in mind-- it seems superficially plausible. What makes it seem so is that it delves deeper into people's psychology: deep down, do they fundamentally believe that they can survive in a world without the State apparatus? There may even be people privately employed, but who still have little confidence in their abilities, and who live in continual fear of getting laid off-- and I bet they are virtually all Democrats.
Whereas for me, even when I was a dirt poor college student with $50 to his name, and was living off of government-subsidized student loans, I had positively zero fear of the State ever disappearing even though my entire livelihood at that time was dependent on it-- because I knew if it collapsed the next day, so what? I'd quit the stupidly inefficient and largely manipulative college scam, and do something else productive with my time! But my attitude was borne out of confidence in myself. The same thing goes for today: the grid goes down and I can't work on computers anymore? Big deal: I'm smart and enterprising: I'll start farming, or learn a craft.
"Movie 1" people live in fear. So people like me or Molyneux not only trigger jealousy and loathing, but are an enormous threat to their very existence. That's why they have to call me a "white supremacist" when I post a link to a historical video exposing the "intellectual" roots of their ideology. By contrast, "movie 2" people do not live in that state of anxiety, and resent that half or more of society which is extracting their wealth via force.
At present, Google is an astonishing $136 billion dollar company. I've been pondering whether or not to consider its empire built on fraud.
"Fraud" means to misrepresent the terms of a contract. If Joe sells Frank a car on the stated premise that "the car is running perfectly", while secretly knowing that its engine will explode right after Frank drives it off the lot, Joe has not technically lied-- the car was running perfectly at the moment in which Joe stated as such-- but any reasonable person would take "running perfectly" to mean that Joe was not aware of any fatal flaws in the car's condition.
When "GMail" was created in 2004 and was invitation-only, a friend sent me just such an invitation. The service was "free!" I did a little reading and quickly decided not to accept it. To this day, I am not among GMail's 1.4 billion users. Why?
Imagine that instead of a grocery store price tag for a loaf of bread having a dollar amount printed on it, it would say "your date of birth". In the cereal aisle, a box of "Frosted Flakes" would cost "your complete job history". A can of soup would be priced as "the names of all of your children, and their dates of birth." In the next aisle, a frozen pizza's tag would read "your shopping history, including that hemorrhoid cream you bought yesterday." A jelly donut? "Your home address." A package of bacon? "The routes you drive in your car." And so on.
Anecdotally, it doesn't seem that most people would be ok with those terms of exchange when stated up front. Now let's imagine that the grocery store has everything-- the loaf of bread, the "Frosted Flakes", the soup, the frozen pizza-- marked as "free!". But like Joe in the car example earlier, what the store isn't fully disclosing are the tracking microphones and cameras they are slipping onto everyone's clothes as they pass through the store's exit.
Countering the above discourse is the old adage "may the buyer beware". In the fine print of Joe's car sales contract, it does say "sold without warranty". When I received the 2004 GMail invitation, I was able to investigate and discern the company's business model-- so why couldn't other people?
But this is why there are arbitration institutions, private or otherwise: sometimes it's difficult to determine if murder was committed, or in what degree. It seems rational to entertain that perhaps Google built its empire based on the principle spirit of fraud. It would be interesting to see them put into a situation where their actions are put on the scale and weighed against the body of case law.
Both Inzaghi and Tare have re-signed, and the names I'm hearing thrown around-- Wesley, Jony, Kenny Lala-- make me think Lotito has decided it's safe to ratchet the team's wage bill once again, as he's been slowly and surely doing in the entire time he's own the club.
I have what I think are legitimate doubts about Inzaghi, but I really like the work Tare does generally-- and I'm not the only one, his reputation is sterling-- and I've always been a big fan of how Lotito runs the financial aspect of the club.
Given also that we tend to alternate good and bad seasons, it could be a very exciting year for us.
I got a huge laugh out of this article, particularly the stretch from "Are you a Republican" through "Are you just quietly minding your own business". One can't win for losing! Although I wouldn't count on the United States becoming "united" again anytime soon, if it ever was: replacing the "Articles of Confederation" was a mistake from the get-go, and I think the country is headed for Balkanization before anything else-- especially when the next major economic crisis hits in a couple of years; keep an eye on those secession movements!
In other news, at first blush this looks like "Doom 2016" running on Switch: terrible! But looking more closely, it reminds me a little of "Red Faction" on the N-Gage. Cool! The idea of intentionally running a modern game engine with an absurdly low resolution might seem like a weird idea, but I think there is a method to their madness.
I'm part way through this Crowder video from yesterday, and am shaking my head in disbelief at how much of an unprofessional circus Google is. Let me sum it up:
"Look, this video has 'Muslim' in the title! I'm going to spend a whopping twelve seconds copying and pasting the URL into Outlook, then send it to Steven Crowder's actual professional attorney, who has the know-how to sue my company's ass off, as an example of why we removed said Steven Crowder from our 'partners' program-- without having watched the video."
"Alphabet" is a $137 billion company, and this is the kind of Mickey Mouse-league behavior they engage in? Unbelievable! It re-affirms what I wrote in this post from a couple of weeks ago. I think these companies are so arrogant and hubristic that it's going to take a serious day of reckoning in an actual court of law-- maybe even the Supreme Court, where they will be forced to declare "public square" versus "newspaper" status-- to set them straight.
When people base their entire livelihoods on the legal contract that is your "terms of service", and you can't even give them return contact information-- not even kidding, just watch the aforelinked Crowder video-- or articulate coherently how they violated the terms in the first place, then that's a flat-out contract violation-- enforcement of which even Libertarianism suggests is one of the isolated valid functions which the State apparatus performs.
The other thing I want to bring up is that a friend at work asked me about "Google Stadia", and I explained that one of my concerns was that Google would censor which games are allowed on their platform. "That game deals with the American Civil War and has slaves in it? Nope! That's 'hate speech' because it might make some random person uncomfortable!" Or, heaven forbid, what about a game with overt right-wing political viewpoints expressed by an NPC, or as part of a game's story? "Call of Duty" and "Splinter Cell" are thematically nationalistic ("Us" from country A, versus "them" from country B), would those be allowed? And on and on it would go.
Google is worse than Stalinist Russia or modern-day China in terms of how loosely they define-- or fail to!-- their censorship. Companies can change, but given the evidence so far, for anyone who cares about artistic license or expression, Google becoming the dominant force in game streaming would be the medium's worst nightmare.
The third and final thing I want to say about this topic is: who the hell are these weasels pushing for this, and how could they possibly have so little wisdom, that I wouldn't even trust them to do a grocery shopping run for me if I handed them a list?
There's that old adage, "first they came for XYZ, but I wasn't XYZ so I didn't care, then they came for me..." And that's all very valid and true! And then there is the historical track record of public censorship, which inevitably ends in people being physically tossed into gulags. And that's a valid argument too. But a lesser discussed point is this: change can never happen if people aren't made uncomfortable! I know this is a cliched example, but it's true: suggesting that slavery was evil made lots of American Southerners uncomfortable one upon a time. But if everyone is sealed in their stupid little bubble chamber, isolated from "uncomfortable" ideas, the world turns into "Fahrenheit 451".
Henrietta is super excited for the upcoming "Pokemon" game. I might even play just enough of it myself to be able to write a review, even though those games don't really hold my interest.
It's funny how one's perspective changes depending on what one has been playing. I've been really into wrapping up my long-delayed playthrough of "Horizon Zero Dawn", and actually busted out laughing at the graphics in the "Pokemon Direct"-- I felt like I stepped back twenty years!
To be fair, even by 350 gigaflops Switch standards, it looked pretty rough to me: lousy frame pacing and tons of aliasing.
I've finally cracked the code for why some people are considered "controversial" and "arrogant": it's because those people state facts. Take Yngwie Malmsteen; in this 1988 interview, he said that he "plays better than most of those [competing guitarists] guys-- nearly all those guys out there." Well, was that not true? In 1988 and maybe even today, he's one of the top living guitarists on a planet with seven billion people on it. It's not arrogance-- it's a statement of fact.
I've always considered metal to be the pinnacle of human music to this point, because it takes the peak of composition-- baroque and classic music-- and marries it to the best sound produced so far, that of electric guitar. It was amazing to me to read these words from Malmsteen then: "I like the melodic and harmonic feel of classical music and the logic behind it but I love the aggression, the impact, the noise and the extreme power of metal. I need that in my music. It's not there in classical." Well said! There is nothing "controversial" there.
But then he also said, "Often I'm playing to people who don't understand what's in the music. Sometimes I'm playing way over people's heads. There's nothing I can do about that." Again, it's a statement of pure fact: he really did and is playing over a lot of people's heads! Not everyone can be an expert in music theory, but they may still enjoy his sound for reasons they don't consciously understand.
It's sort of like when Stefan Molyneux says, "I run the best and biggest philosophy show on the internet." Is that not true? Or when an in-prime Randy Moss was asked, "who is the best receiver in the NFL right now?", and he replied, "me!". Was that also not true? Terrell Owens and Marvin Harrison were talented too, but not the extreme virtuoso phenom that Moss was-- not even close. Again, a statement of fact, which was construed by many as "arrogance".
To me, "arrogance" is being really terrible at something, but still thinking you're the best. Like when most people try to talk political theory with me, but they can't even assemble a basic syllogism. "Controversial" is stating an opinion which has no grounding in reason or fact.
Stefan Molyneux will give an entire, one hundred percent sourced, two hour presentation slideshow of nothing but pure evidence to support some hypothesis of his-- like how IQ differences in race cause different nations to develop, differently. I listen to it and say, "nothing here is even remotely controversial-- someone may present a countering case and that's fine, but Molyneux's view is not 'controversial'". And yet when other people hear the same words, they call him "arrogant" and "controversial". It makes no sense.
I think in the end it boils down to thinking versus feeling: if some idea makes them feel upset, then they call the person who said it "arrogant" or "controversial". It's nonsense.
I went through airport "security" just recently, in January of this year. I had to strip off my shoes and belt, empty out the entire contents of my luggage, step arms-up into this huge scanning device, while getting berated by armed goons.
An elderly man in front of me didn't have the strength to hold his arms up, and they were shouting at him-- "sir, arms up! Arms up! Get your ARMS UP". In his distress, he'd forgotten that he'd been holding his phone in one hand, so they proceeded to yell at him about that.
After getting through, hastily putting my shoes on, trying to tuck my shirt back in so I could put my belt back on, while escorting my dumbfounded kids, while getting yelled at to "hurry up" and empty my bin, I thought to myself, "This kind of degradation has no place in a free society."
Now take a look at this, and imagine a world where you're subjected to "body scanning checkpoints" during day-to-day life-- not just at an airport, but almost everywhere.
It's funny seeing Nintendo's since-abandoned ideas being tried elsewhere-- check out the dual-screen laptops!
I for one really liked the 3DS and Wii U concepts. As much as I play my Switch, reverting to just one screen feels like a step backwards. I could see playing an open-world game on one of these laptops, and having the map always available on the bottom screen, as being really fun.
Speaking of bringing back old ideas, I absolutely fell in love with this. I was bummed when wood-panelled electronics went out of style in the 90s, it'd be phenomenal if that idea made a comeback.
I've thought about even doing a-- very, granted-- poor man's version of this for the "CPU" opponents in my Atari ST racing game. It's conceptually not very complicated: the "AI" logic performs some action, and if that action contributed to a desired outcome-- getting a frag in Quake III, for instance-- then prioritize that node. If some other action resulted in an undesirable outcome, then demote that node.
On my Atari ST it would have to be extraordinarily simple: for example, what average speed for a car gave the highest probability of getting a high placement in a race? Then it could write that data to disk after each race, and read it back in at the start of all subsequent races.
On a modern computer though, the number of behavior nodes could be quite vast-- and with contemporary processors, the "AI" would "learn" really quickly. The stated results in the article-- that the "AI" logic, reading from its historical records, could beat human players consistently-- doesn't surprise me at all.
This is the kind of new-style personal transportion I can get behind. As even my six year old son will tell you, Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe-- "numero uno" on the periodic table.
Besides that, flying makes more sense than traveling on the ground: it takes more energy of course, but you know what they say about the fastest route from "point A" to "point B", which is nigh-on impossible without going airborne. And in a place like Minnesota, forget continually plowing and salting all of the surfaces-- just cruise over them.
Another possibility would be resurrecting "ground effect" vehicles: they use less energy than actual aircraft, but still ride aloft.
One of the funnest parts of working at a big company is having to write up "objectives", derived from those above us on the food chain. So we get handed these "corporate-speak buzzword bingo" sentences from the directors, and we have to find clever ways to shoehorn the actual work we trench soldiers will be doing, into that format. It's a lot like this "Dilbert" cartoon.
On top of that, the group I'm currently in within the company has like 19 female managers, and 3 male ones. This gyno-centricity manifests in the performance reviews being oriented around "people" (how many presentations did you give? how many "coffee chats" did you have?), with "oh, uh, did you actually get anything done?" being sort of a foot note. This doesn't jive well with my very introverted "roll up the sleeves and get shit done" personality.
Right now, I'm trying to figure out if "stand up an Elasticsearch 7.x cluster" is more of a "Drive Operational Excellence", or "Leverage Capabilities" kind of thing. Or should it perhaps even be considered a "Delivery of High Value"? Decisions, decisions!
I know I've written about "abortion" (nice euphemism, lulz) before, but I just overheard an argument about it, so I figured I'd re-iterate my take for posterity's sake.
Pro-"abortion" arguments are always made on the basis of property rights: "it's the woman's body, so she gets to use lethal force to expel the interloper at any time of her chosing." But that doesn't stand to reason to me.
If a person with Down Syndrome accidentally stumbles into your house and passes out on the floor, you can't just club the poor fellow's skull in with a baseball bat. Call the cops, wait for them to show up, and have the person removed. Ditto for abortion: just have the baby, and put it up for adoption. Using lethal force unnecessarily is quite literally murder, and should be illegal.
But it's even worse, since the vast majority of abortions are not performed when the mom's life is in danger, or even because she was raped. Most of the time, she voluntarily let someone cum in her, and then wants to murder the baby. That's like inviting the Down Syndrome person in, and then clubbing them to death.
If the Down Syndrome person is about to accidentally knock you into a pit of lava, then fine you can kill them to save yourself if absolutely necessary. But other than saving the mom's life, "abortion" is categorically murder, and should be illegal across the board (delegation of self defense to the State).
I'll be curious to see if Robert Mueller just handed Trump the next election.
Say what you will about Skeletor, but she knows another two years of witch hunt nonsense, which will inevitably end in failure since the Republicans control the Senate, is going to alienate more people from the Democrats, than endear them. That's why she's been so firm in trying to steer her comrades away from the impeachment path.
Besides that, it's zero sum: every moment the Democrats spend building a "platform to nowhere"-- kind of like their "infrastructure" projects incidentally-- is a moment which can't be spent building an actual policy platform, palatable to the average American.
But now thanks to Mueller, Skeletor and Chucky are on the hot seat to drive impeachment proceedings, even if it carries the whole party-- carriages and all-- right off the cliff into oblivion.
I should read Michael Malice's new book; this brief blurb about the book addressing "catastrophic" thinking amongst members of what Malice and others call the "New Right"-- a group which includes me, according to Malice's definition-- caught my ear. I wonder what Malice has to say about economics?
For me, the way it was put in the aforelinked podcast implied emotionalism and panic. But in terms of economics, I think the threat is quite real. There are trillions-- yes, plural, and many times so-- worth of global debt. But it's not as simple as "I owe you $100 and you owe me $100, so we'll just call it even"; rather, it's governments owing governments money, banks owing banks money, governments owing banks money, banks owing ordinary people money, people owing banks money, people owing governments money, governments owing people money, and so on.
Imagine a spider web with billions of threads in it, so dense that the eye can't even make sense of it. Each one of those threads represents someone or something owing someone or something else money. Heck, even the money owed is just debt-- fiat currency-- versus actual assets! Once even handful of the major threads come undone, it's going to be like chain-reaction margin calls on the stock market; "I don't have the money, I need it from Joe, who needs it from Frank, who needs it from Goldman, who needs it from the Greek State, who needs it from the ECB, who needs it from..."
When this happens, entire governments-- right down to or especially local municipalities-- are going to go belly up. Except this time, central banker hands are tied, because they already have inflated balance sheets from the last recession, and interest rates are near or at the zero bound. As a result, it will be more or less total freefall. Picture what happened to Detroit, but this next time on a country-wide or even global scale. Remember "Occupy Wallstreet"? Imagine that, times ten, or fifty, or one hundred.
The average American can't even afford an emergency $500 car repair, and the average state or municipality can't even come close to meeting pension "entitlements" as is-- now imagine 2009 hitting again, but even worse.
So back to Michael Malice and his book: I'd be interested to know if he'd categorize the above as being some kind of irrational discourse. I should also add in the interest of fairness that there is still some rope left with which to hang ourselves: wifey is always saying, "next step will be NIRP", to which I add, "and stock nationalization, like the 'plunge protection team' at the Bank of China". So maybe those two things will "ride us over" the next crisis, to the point where it'll only be "2009 times two"-- then the one after that will be "the big one".
Fun statistics here: I'm a "full stack developer" who made $107,800 last year; I work from home; and I have zero interest in becoming a manager, ever. That puts me right about at the average in terms of pay, part of the 33% who works from home, and a member of the whopping 75% who have no interest in management.
The only clear-cut exceptions to that rule I can fathom are the "DevOps" and "data scientist" ones, since those are pretty specialized careers at this point. For example, my employer has a whole team of just-"DevOps" people, and the "data scientist" ones are embedded directly in business groups, sitting in their Python "notebooks" all day. But for everyone else, the lines are probably pretty blurry.
I once knew a guy who knew one SAP module, and his billing rate was $300 per hour-- the fellow was so specialized that he didn't even know what a web service was! Even though the money is in specialization-- think of it as "division of labor" within "division of labor"-- I can never see myself pidgeon-hole into just one technology, even if it'd mean I'd make a few extra thousand per year. I'd get so bored in my career I'd probably wind up changing careers!
I like flitting around: Android one minute, Elasticsearch the next, 1985-vintage "Basic" programming the next, and so forth. And that's how I'll probably stay.
Fantastic article here about electric cars from-- who else-- Eric Peters. On top of the arguments he makes, he's also embedded this chart, which really tells the tale.
I've always told people that if they want an economical car, look at one of the modern-day tiny-engined conventional cars, like the 3-cylinder Ford Fiesta. These cars get 50 miles per gallon on the highway, yet have all of the benefits of a conventional car: gas it up in two minutes, fun-to-drive manual transmissions, you can take it to any mechanic to get it fixed, you don't need to rob your neighbor to afford one, and so on. Now I can add "oh, and they're better for the environment than an electric car too".
But the zealots don't really care about the environment-- their only concern is virtue signalling. I had a friend once who wanted a "green" car, and when I gave him a list of high gas mileage conventional cars, he almost got aggressive with me-- very angry and defensive, even though I was just trying to help. A few months later, he bought an objectively inferior-in-every-metric $50k+ "Chevy Volt", and was handed thousands of dollars of my tax payer money in the process to artificially lower the MSRP.
I almost spit out my coffee on reading that the acronym for the anti-Brexit party in the UK is "CUK". Sounds about right! Incidentally, the CUKs were positively shellacked at the ballot box, failing to win even a single seat evidently.
I see two problems though: first, even as Farage is positively one of my heroes, he's more of a change agent; we saw this after Brexit-- the instant he walked away after the referendum, the whole thing disintegrated into a Theresa May-shaped mess. Now that Nigel's done it again, how will this result carry forward into the desired actions-- what's different this time?
Second, even though immigration is undoubtedly one of Britain's biggest problems-- just ask any of the victims of the Muslim rape "grooming" gangs-- there are a lot of other issues too: they have cameras every three and a half feet in London; they throw journalists into solitary confinement and 150 calories a day for filming on public roads outside of court houses; and they fine and jail people for making YouTube videos.
Even aside from the border issues, the UK seems like a highly undesirable place right now on a lot of fronts. How will this election result impact those pock marks? As it stands, it almost looks like the alternate timeline where Hitler had won World War II, and Britain is accordingly Fascist!
I've been trying to get motivated to refresh some of my skills at home, and it's been a disaster: I wanted to re-write "Gassy Girl", got as far as the USB debugging not working on my phone, and gave up completely; I wanted to learn a new web front-end framework, did one DuckDuckGo search, got bored, and quit; I wanted to learn how "Machine Learning" algorithms work, I started reading, got bored five minutes later, and quit.
It's not that I've lost my passion: it's just that the locus has shifted from myself, to my kids. In other words, my kids are my "outside of work" project for which I have endless energy. It's like playing with technology, with the added bonus of watching their faces absolutely light up when something "clicks". It also has this satisfying "bigger than me" vibe, which is why I think a lot of people turn to religion, or politics: like I'm leaving my own legacy through my children.
Unless I'm looking up a footballer's goal scoring record, I've long-since stopped using Wikipedia for anything; since "Brexit" and the election of Donald Trump in particular, the site is a disgraceful, utterly unreliable source of even remotely objective information.
And on that topic, it's fascinating how "Brexit" had the same impact in the UK as Trump has had in the US: namely, it's made it easy to separate the wheat from the chaff all across society.
In Delingpole's words, Brexit did "...drive quite a few people on the Remain side of the argument completely bonkers", and it has "acted as a touchstone by which you can judge in an instant who is really sound and who belongs to the decaying, corrupt, ideologically bankrupt old order..."
Lazio's season is finally over, and this one last drubbing at the hands of Torino was a fitting end not just to the year, but probably to Inzaghi's time at the helm.
This team was way too talented and lavishly built to finish in mid-table. Inzaghi failed to get even the remote best out of the squad's top players such as Luis Alberto, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, and Ciro Immobile. He was also totally unable to successfully integrate the new additions, such as the highly regarded Riza Durmisi, Milan Badelj, and Valon Berisha. As a consequence, the team had never established any consistency and accrued some shocking results along the way, such as the 2-1 loss to Chievo and a 1-0 loss to SPAL, right when the team should have been the most focused and motivated, as they were still in for fourth place.
If the team hadn't managed to basically knick a result despite having been outplayed in the Coppa Italia final one-off, this season would be viewed universally as one of total collapse.
Along with an inability to consistently focus and motivate the players, Inzaghi also struggled tactically, displaying way too much rigidity in his approach, even when it was obvious that the other teams had figured out how to stop it, and even when it was obvious that our players were having difficulty being successful within it. As an outcome, in certain matches this Lazio team put in some of the worst, most difficult-to-watch football since the infamous Ballardini relegation year, barely able to string more than a few passes together.
Taking his three years in total summary, Inzaghi isn't a bad coach by any stretch no matter how negative the above recounting may sound: he took the team on a deep Europa League run last year, and won the Coppa this season. But he's also hardly irreplaceable.
I think it would be really fun to see what Fabio Liverani could do with this team-- he is one of my favorite players of the Lotito era, and I think his temperament and intelligence make for a compelling coaching profile. Sinisa Mihajlovic is another interesting choice as one who could perhaps do great things with the squad, although I do also recognize that he's pinged around between many teams already in his managerial career.
And I can't write about this season without also mentioning that it's a crucial juncture from a player-retention standpoint: some of the big names-- Alberto and Milinkovic-Savic among them-- may depart, which puts the onus on Igli Tare to find adequate replacements. As such, it would be nice to come to terms with a new coach sooner rather than later, so they can have input into those decisions.
Earlier this week, we had "3rd grader" Henrietta do one of her twice-per-year standardized tests, which we issue to make sure she's tracking. In a test which ranks all the way up through the 12th grade in their charts, she scored in the 69th percentile in reading, and the 76th percentile in math-- putting her at "5th grade fall" and "4th grade spring" levels, respectively.
Not only is she a very bright kid, but this is also a huge affirmation of home schooling. In fact, the whole setup in our house feels so natural that I actually forget it's not "normal", and that other kids go to an actual "school"! If anything is unnatural, it's being bused off en masse to a prison camp to "learn". What a bizarre arrangement!
This kind of stuff is pure propaganda: it takes an assumption-filled "estimate" for the total added corporate tax costs, divides them by the number of American households, and basically says "these tariffs will cost you an extra $831 this year." What if I don't buy any expensive Chinese or Chinese-derived electronics this year? Then the tariffs will cost me $0, or darn close to.
When economics is treated purely as a praxeological analysis of actual human behavior, I find the topic to be fascinating. But as a "field", I wish it had never been "invented" or formalized: it's nothing but a bunch of dweeby pencil-necked control freaks with inferiority complexes using pseudo-science and quasi-math as excuses to meddle in people's lives.
The real world is just too complex and dynamic of a system to know what the hell will happen next, because people's value preferences, behaviors, and world events are constantly changing. The best one can do-- for pure shits and giggles at that-- is understand the praxeological explanations for why people do what they do, and call it a day.
With "Super Mario Maker 2" looking like a disappointment for me-- no way to string levels together still?-- I may pick up a copy of "Dreams". I mean, just look at this-- the character and camera movement is ten times better than any of the actual 3d Sonic games!
Of course, every time something gets "democratized" it turns to crap, and that has included video game development-- so be prepared for the "Dreams" gallery to be filled with billions of pieces of garbage, just like was the case with the first "Super Mario Maker".
But from a purely microcosmic perspective, even if I never play other people's games, I'm always down for a cool new level editor. They were pretty pretentious, but I did play and enjoy the "LittleBigPlanet" games on PS3 and PSP as well, so I have some history with this developer.
Because people on the Right are dominated by logic and reasoning-- you can even see this via brain scans, where proportions are different between self-described "conservatives" and "liberals"-- they keep trying to get a grasp on some kind of rules-based consistency regarding the tech companies' "terms of service". Here is just the latest of dozens of examples-- this time from a guy who actually works at Google, befuddled that his own employer hasn't defined "hate speech".
And every time I read one of these complaints from people on the Right, I just shake my head: there is no logic to understand! That's not how these "let's ban Joe and not Frank" decisions are being made! There are no rules or definitions being used, and so there's nothing to grasp!
What happens is, a Leftist employee at one of these companies gets hot and bothered by something they've read, about which they disagree. Because they're emotions-based, rather than be calm and say "Eh, to each their own", they let their anger short-circuit them, and they frantically recruit other hystericals to their side, until the "offending" person or organization is banned.
When Jack Dorsey was asked by Joe Rogan to explain "why certain accounts got banned" from Twitter, all he could do was stammer "uh... um... uh, terms of service, uh, um". What to do? He certainly can't say "because the account made me angry", even though that's literally all there was to it!
And one of these days in probably the not-so-distant future, these tech corporations are going to be dragged in front of the Supreme Court, and made to decide if they are public squares, or newspapers-- in other words, logical consistency will be forced on them. And that will spell the end of them, because there is no way out from there.
Woke up to a lively assortment of news in my feeds this morning!
Starting with the most mundane, the new BMW "3 Series" sounds terrible to me, in spite of Eric Peters's positive review; no manual transmission, a turbo-four instead of a proper V6, and undoubtedly filled with intrusive nanny tech. No thanks.
Up next we have an article explaining how Progressive Los Angeles is Progressing back to the 18th century-- nothing like rats and typhus! San Francisco evidently isn't the only Californian Leftist bastion in terminal decay. Heck, why limit to California-- look at Chicago and Detroit!
Remember last year's post regarding the "FISA Memo"? Trump is on the verge of declassifying a multitude of documents related to that corruption. And I was just talking about "rats"... grab the popcorn and watch your favorite Democrats line up for the dunk tank!
Finally, recall my "white supremacist" post from a few weeks ago, then read this; "white supremacy" means being a "perfectionist", having good writing skills, seeing things as "right or wrong", being "individualistic", or thinking there is an knowable objective reality. Glad they cleared that term up for me!
This article has a neat chart, which attempts to formulate growth of college majors versus the political ideology of their corresponding faculty. Interestingly, my college major-- way back in the day-- of Computer Science skews slightly conservative, if I'm reading the vertical axis correctly.
The reason I find that mildly surprising is because I had the overwhelming sense my college professors were liberals. And even professionally, the leftist programmers will openly make anti-Trump jokes in meetings. Turns out this is just a case of the liberals being the most vocal, as usual-- and the conservatives keeping their mouths shut, also par for the course.
Sometimes I also wonder if I'm in the right career: look at the explosive growth in Computer Science majors since 2011! I was also alarmed by the "Learn to Code" joke-- notice that it wasn't "Learn to Sew", or "Learn to Jackhammer". I wonder if my field is on the brink of being totally commoditized?
In other political news, and not just to brag, I got another one spot-on; check out Mark Dice's coverage of the breakdown of Google's search results. My prediction is totally coming true: their results are basically worthless for anyone even remotely right-of-center politically, and it's all because of what I laid out in that post.
In other totally unrelated news, my sister sent me this-- it's the 3DO's "The Need for Speed", but corrected to make the car pace match what they would actually be in real life. I passed a couple of cars once in real life going 140 mph in my 350z, so I can attest to the rate at which slower moving traffic comes and is left behind, as shown in the video. Of course, the gearing and speedometer is all broken-- this is just a hack, after all.
But it brings up an interesting game design discussion: the 3DO's NFS is probably the best designed video game I've ever played, from the standpoint of making realism trade-offs in exchange for superior gameplay, but in a way that still feels convincing. A superficial example is that the driver is sitting too high in the game's cockpit view-- so they raised the camera a bit, and it does wonders in improving visibility, while still feeling realistic.
But the best example comes in the form of the game's pacing. "Digital Foundry" did a frametime analysis of the title some years ago, and it only runs at like 13 fps. I was shocked-- how could the game feel so butter smooth at such low framerates? Then it dawned on me: rather than "frameskip", the developers made the engine simply render every frame, then balanced the game so that the distances traveled made sense given the low framerate!
In other words, if you divide the number of kilometers traveled by the amount of ground the car moves each frame, multiplied by the framerate-- such as 13-- the math actually works out! To put it yet another way, they eliminated the framerate issues by just building the entire game's design around that limitation! As for the other cars, they are moving "too fast" relative to the player-- but this was also intentional, because just like the cockpit view situation, the game is way more fun and balanced, while still having satisfying passing maneuvers.
Back to the hack then: the hacker "unbroke" the game and made it "realistic". While it's a fun exercise and a way to explore the game's brilliancy, also notice how it's basically unplayable as a result. It's a cool testament to just how clever of a release 3DO's NFS is.
If anyone ever wondered about the unbridled spread of "division of labor" over the past one hundred and fifty years or so, look no further than how stock market investors award the improvements in efficiency.
Interestingly, the part of that story in which Sony's "PlayStation" team was upset also reminded me of how free wheeling businesses used to be, for better and for worse-- it struck me as refreshing!
I'm going to need to re-evaluate "Civilization VI".
I got it as part of a "Humble Monthly" collection back when it was a relatively new game, played part-way through a single match, and wrote it a glowing review. Just a couple of weeks ago, I got a great deal on the Switch port, and am part-way through my first game there. And now that I'm battling through a major war, some serious balancing issues are emerging.
But before I get to that, let me say that my current match-- played as "Cleopatra", on the "Warlord" (third) difficulty-- is more emergent and ludo-narratively rich than any match of "Civ" I've ever played, and I've been at the series since "IV" was brand new, fourteen years ago. I have "Phillip" of Spain adopt Judaism, followed by Montezuma and his Catholic empire, both on my continent waging war against one another. Hilarious, those damned crazy Catholic Aztecs!
After some really exciting early game shuffling, a prolific Montezuma was in pole position via the "Religion" victory condition-- which forced me into allying with those nutty Spanish Jews to do a joint war against the aforementioned cross-bearing jungle guys. I was even able to use the game's phenomenal city state mechanics to recruit an extra army for my use! And hence, the fighting began.
And that is also where the problems began.
Before I started the war with feather outfit-adorned Montezuma, I checked his resources: no ability to make iron or gun powder-based units, and only seven gold to his name. His army consisted of crappy "Eagle Warrior" units, which were no match for my knights, swordsmen, and crossbowmen. "No problem", I thought: at that point in the game, it takes several turns just to make a single new unit.
Not five turns into the battling-- whereupon I rapidly razed one of his cities-- a knight approached. Then another. Then another. Then another. In just a few turns, he was able to make an entirely new army of powerful units, filling the screen. With seven gold. How?! So I did a bit of investigation online, and found this forum thread. Apparently when you turn up the difficulty, the only thing which changes is that the AI cheats! One comment even explicitly states: "Difficulty level = cheat level".
I bet if I had some magic code to turn off the fog of war, the AI was spawning one or two Montezuma knights per turn, just off screen, maybe even in the middle of a plains or something.
Apparently the AI in this series has always worked that way to some degree-- but I've never encountered anything as egregious as this Montezuma war. I remember the game taking flak when it was brand new for the AI being "too easy", and I wonder the developers panicked and patched in "AI can spawn infinite units" code, just to superficially make the game more challenging?
The whole point of a strategy game is to test the player's ability to plan-- and "Civilization VI" gives you a myriad of amazing screens and tools via which to do just that. And they're all pointless, because the rules of the game will pseudo-arbitrarily change as soon as the AI starts to lose-- it's like "Mario Kart 8 blue shell" crap, in a different genre. Frustrating!
I've read that the Switch port is several patch versions behind the PC version-- so maybe they've improved the AI situation more recently, and Nintendo's platform will benefit from that eventually? I hope so, because this handheld adaptation is amazing: the controller interface is fantastic, the graphics are essentially identical to the PC original's, and even the performance is wonderful! And nothing beat having Ghandi almost randomly and hilariously finger-waving at me after I'd declared war: "You're so evil..."
In a lot of ways-- number of supporters, all-time points table, and typical squad value, to name a few-- Lazio are the sixth "best" club in the Italian football pyramid. Interestingly though, in terms of trophies Lazio are fourth, behind only Juventus, Milan, and Inter.
This is an interesting macrocosm to my personal experiences as a die-hard Lazio fan for the past fifteen years, where Lazio have mildly overachieved in terms of actual outcomes, versus their means. Turns out, despite down periods this has historically been true of the club.
Speaking of the final itself, for those who missed it here is the club's highlight reel, and here is the league's-- between the two you can get a good picture of what went on. Regarding the "missed" Bastos penalty situation, eagle-eyed wifey pointed out something even I hadn't realized: "Uh, that shot was going way wide-- the hand took it towards goal, which is probably why VAR watched and ignored it."
At the very end of the league reel, just check out the absolutely surreal imagery with "Olimpia", the team's eagle, adorned in sky blue and white, behind the trophy: Lazio are the coolest football club in the world!
This is another example of Tom Woods at his best: a "real deal" academic PhD historian and ultra well-connected with facts and the Libertarian community, but also one of the most down-to-Earth chummy people I've ever encountered, who takes the time to explain complicated multi-faceted historical and economic concepts in the kind of plain manner which anyone can follow.
He's one of the very first people I always steer others onto when they express an interest in Libertarianism.
We did it! So proud of the team today, they worked ultra hard from the opening whistle to the dying seconds. That ninety five yard counter attacking solo Correa goal put a serious exclamation mark on an exciting and deserved seventh Coppa Championship in our fine club's history. Forza Lazio!
Due to the inflationary "debt is money" fractional-reserve banking "financialization magic" Monopoly money scam era, plus car-specific "safety" and "green" State gunpoint-enforced laws, cars are now entering into the realm of apartment buildings: too expensive for the common plebe to own, leaving renting as the only option.
It's not only yet another example of the ever-diminishing standard of living for people in the West, but will further "income inequality", because it's yet another thing "commoners" will be spending money on simply to service their standard of living, rather than accumulate ownership of their own wealth. It's like another form of usury.
Notice how video games are going this way too: big publishers are now "leasing" access to an ownership of a game as a "service", whether via server access or streaming; gamers pay their dues for months and years, spending the traditional cost of buying a game many times over, while never winding up with an actual copy of the game to have in perpetuity.
One of my favorite topics-- that of so-called "animal rights"-- came up during this session, and I wasn't entirely pleased with Stefan's answer. I don't want to belabor the point-- since regular readers will know I've written about this topic many times before, even offering up for mental digestion a bullet or two in my summary post-- but I feel compelled to wrap a better bow on the issue than did Molyneux.
I look at the world through the lense of "natural rights", not the "non-aggression principle". Non-human animals and plant life don't have the ability to formulate or will maxims, so the body of natural law-- both on the "accountability" and "granting of self-defense rights" ends-- does not apply to them. Molyneux gets this part right, offering up a similar line of reasoning, but adapted to the "non-aggression principle".
Where he goes wrong is that he fails to articulate that this is a one hundred percent, absolutely pure question about categories: humans have the capacity for reason-- to formulate and will maxims-- whereas non-human animals and plants do not. The questioner poses, "what if a plague reduced all human intelligence to a low level"-- then yes, absolutely "natural rights" would no longer apply to humans either! Because humans would no longer belong to the category of rational beings.
For some reason Molyneux didn't want or think to answer this inquiry with its totally obvious answer, which is why I wasn't satisfied with his treatment of the issue.
On the concept of "outliers", a person with Down Syndrome, or someone who is drunk or asleep, still falls under the "natural rights" umbrella, in the sense that they are a part of the category "human". Similarly, an unusually intelligent ape does not. However, taxonomical categories are not "forever"-- indeed, humans were not always rational beings. And perhaps some day in a million odd years, the category of "dolphin" or something along those lines will need to be re-evaluated, once the intelligent "outliers" are no longer "outliers".
Of course, I recognize that all of this is lofty and abstract, and that in the real world things are complicated, messy, and often unclear. That's why murder trials often have hours or even days of jury deliberation, to determine not only whether murder occurred, but to what degree-- none of which obviates the abstract principles underpinning the concept of murder.
Applied then to the case of this "animal rights" issue, if a person with Down Syndrome commits a brutal murder in the messy real world, the specifics of that case-- did the perpetrator even understand, and to how far of a degree, what they'd done?-- would need to be examined. Similarly, if a super-human intelligence-level monkey, with an "Ape Escape" Spector-like brainiac helmet suddenly appears and commits human genocide, then the specifics of culpability in that case too would need to be analyzed.
And I'm not merely "weaselling out" through a logical consistency escape hatch here: in all morality, classifications and generalizations need to be used to establish guiding principles-- but in the end game called "real life", necessity dictates that it's individual organisms and circumstances which need to be acted upon.
Last "Soph" post, I promise-- I've just been on a kick with her content today. The reason I've been on a kick is because her stuff is downright profound! Just check out this, and this. These are as packed full of "truth bombs" as any of Ayn Rand's works, or Stefan Molyneux's videos. That's high praise coming from me, because both of those people have been very influential on my way of thinking.
Of course, having been around for awhile I've heard all of these arguments before, having formed many of them independently a long time ago from my own experiences with parental observations and my experiences in school. But the unbelievably content-dense way in which she delivers them is remarkable! And for viewers freshly exposed to the concepts... I can see why she has such a following.
Picked up Taco Bell for lunch today, and the cashier asked if I wanted to "donate one dollar for scholarships something-or-another." I instinctively said "no, thanks"-- why would I want to voluntarily funnel money into the pump-and-dump college debt scam cartel?
Shortly after, I noticed a poster they had up advertising the promotion, which I just now found online. As you can see, it's a hispanic (of course) thot "political science" major (i.e. nutjob) with hair extensions who has a "passion for justice" (translation: racist sexist). The only money I'd put toward this is that she's not going to be a "next generation innovator", whatever that even means; more like a regressive Nazi SS watch dog. Of course, she's probably just a paid actress "fake person" anyway.
On to a different topic: provided she's not the "dumb one" in her family (distinct possibility), I'm sure Susan Wojcicki scores well on IQ tests, considering she comes from a lineage of Jewish PhDs. But holy buckets does she have zero wisdom or common sense! First, she doesn't understand that the political ideologies she's pushing are quite literally Fascist, and lead to police state despotism. Second, she's leading her company off a cliff and into major financial losses through sheer foolhardiness. Classic "book smark but total idiot" type.
On the latter point, she gets taken apart by my new favorite online personality, who makes the following arguments: Susan Wojcicki doesn't want pressure, so she's thinking extreme short-term "how can I relieve the pressure"; she's doing this by continually appeasing the censorship mob-- who will never be appeased, because they'll just keep shifting the goal posts; doing this paints her into a corner long-term, because the mob is too fickle to be reliable revenue generators, and the censorship only alienates the reliable content creators. Logically sound take if I've ever heard one.
Regarding "Count Dankula", even if he were still a Communist and even if I did find his dog "Roman salute" ironic joke distasteful (I thought it was hilarious-- reminded me of something you would have seen in a classic "Monty Python" skit), I'd still support him and his cause just as much. Because people like me want the same consistent rules applied even to people with whom we disagree. And a free society simply cannot function if people don't have the ability to criticize, critique, debate with, and poke fun at others.
Regarding "gen Z": I thought the generations were just getting dumber and dumber-- but as it turns out, I think the "millenials" were just a blippy low-point. For example, Zero Hedge posted this article recently, which shows even as "gen Z" people start to become wage earners, they do idiotic things with their money at lower rates than do "millenials". This is anecdotal, but I've also heard several "gen z" commentators online say that in their schools, huge swathes of their peers are highly suspicious of the State, conservative in their values (save money, be responsible, deferred gratification, etc.), and think "millenials" are idiots.
I don't know that I've ever had these acting skills, but if I were fourteen years old today instead of back in 1995, I'd probably be a lot like this girl. At that age, I too was very tech-savvy, sardonic, and had strong linguistic skills. I even had brown hair, blue eyes, and braces.
For me, my frustrations took the form of "blogging"-- years before the term was even coined-- after I'd taught myself HTML 1.0, and hanging out on IRC and Usenet with fellow rambunctious teenagers. I've actually preserved the oldest surviving example of my writing, when I was just a few years older than her. The bitter "l33t h@x0r sp3@k" was strong with me at that time.
I wasn't nearly as politically aware as she is, but the "internet" wasn't even remotely the same back then, so I didn't have the resources she has. Which is why I say I'd be just like her today, given apples-to-apples time periods. In a way, for people like me and her, this is the best time in human history to grow up, because of the today's 'net. Maybe I was born just a smidgen too early. Specifically, I would have benefited greatly from exposure to "MGTOW"-- it would have explained and resolved one of my greatest frustrations back then. I spot-listened to a few of her videos, and even though she's a girl she definitely understands the toxic role women traditionally play in sex relations, which is very instrumental for someone her age.
Of course, I also wonder what's going on in her home life. I was being raised by not one, buttwo narcissistic parents. I spent my entire life, up until a few months ago (yes, age 37) caught in the parental "drama triangle" shown in the second link, without knowing why I was so anxious all of the time. Both of my siblings also have dealt with depression and anxiety their whole lives. So, I hope this girl is doing ok, I'm happy she has a healthy internet-based outlet for self-expresion, like I did as a teenager.
Speaking of that, I laugh at the famous "liberal compassion", yiking like a bunch of dumb dogs for YouTube to take down her channel because of her political views, versus being happy that a hurting teen has a medium to vent stuff out of her system, and to develop skills while making a few bucks at the same time. It would have been like my parents or a nosy neighbor taking away my computer back when I was that age.
Dragon's Dogma is a pretty fun RPG. It's a weird mix of "The Elder Scrolls" and "Demon's Souls". A few years ago, I played part-way through and reviewed the game on Windows. Of course, on PC I was playing at a native 2160p, at a locked 60 fps.
Maybe I'll buy the Switch port some day, and actually finish the game! I don't remember why I dropped my first playthrough-- I think I just got busy with other stuff.
I laugh hysterically every time some tech company boss says, "I know you don't trust us currently, but just look at these new privacy controls we built into our product!" It's so illogical it makes my brain hurt.
Unless the hen house is either Free or independently audited by a trustworthy third party, and not the fox, it simply can't be trusted; it's trivially easy to have button event handling code do nothing.
It's really funny how, when you dig into the various highly-promoted and publicized scare-mongering reports or even historical records, there is invariably tons of history behind them.
In this case, it turns out that the "50,000 species per year" number has a long past of nonsense, to the point of getting laughed at. Then it suddenly gets resurrected, and people who have known about it for years can only roll their eyes. It reminds me of the "six million Jews gassed by Hitler" deal.
Hah, regarding the "tweet" in this article: unless you're some form of anarchist, you sure did consent to facial recognition scanning at the airport, according to your own logic! Statists say that simply by being born, you "consent" to "lawmakers" making "laws" which must be followed.
I remember having this debate with my father some years ago; I was arguing that you can only consent to delegation of rights that you have as an individual-- as in, I can't delegate to my friend to have a party in your house, because I don't have that right myself. "Nope", he argued, "you are delegating to them the right to make 'laws'!" And my father is nominally a minarchist, not some kind of nutty commie!
So when a non-anarchist complains about some kind of usurpation of power by the State, I just smile. Hoisted on one's own petard indeed.
"Minecraft", "Freedom Planet", "Sonic Mania", and... that's about it-- the only three games of the past decade I've liked without reservations. I think there is about to be a fourth...
Marriage of 16:9 pixel-perfect art without even a sniff of bearded hipsterville craft beer pretentiousness? Check. Early-90s style DSP-esque music, but without chippy obnoxiousness? Check. Complete absence of SJW or Dudebro themes? Check. Hell, this basically looks like a modern-day "Neo Geo" game, made back then!
The only thing it sort of has is the "evil capitalist" thing, with the premise of the game being that you extort protection money as a sort of simulation mechanic. But I'm just going to treat it as a "government establishment simulator"-- can I extort 100% of the people like governments do? "Pay your 'property taxes' or die, biznatch!"
It technically comes out tomorrow, but seeing as how this looks like a potential "ActRaiser" or "Dragon Force" to me, I'm going to wait for a "physical" edition so I can have a case and game card.
Remember when I recently wrote about how uninteresting the games are on the current platforms, versus the consoles in any other prior generation? Take a gander at this collection of peoples' top PlayStation 4 games. Other than "Monster Hunter World", which shows up in a few instances... blegh!
I was thinking today about that topic of so-called "externalities", which are so often used to justify the State apparatus. The principle is that people's actions sometimes cause unintended consequences on others, and so pre-emptive laws are required to stop people from causing potential harm.
But aren't the laws used to "govern the externalities" creating externalities of their own? In fact, if you just look at your own lived experiences, which set of others' behaviors cause you the most unintended unpleasantness: someone inadvertently polluting your water, or police officers constantly hounding you every time you drive a car, the thousands of laws governing what you can do with your property, taxes, and so forth?
In other words-- and which seems to always be the case when it comes to justifications for the State-- the consequences of the State's presence are always significantly more harmful than the problems they are apparently meant to stave off. In this case, the State is by a mile the biggest creator of "externalities" of them all!
The announcers in the Lazio-Atalanta match are driving me nuts. They're complaining about Wallace getting booed, after he essentially and single-handedly committed his dozenth match-losing embarrassment. Then out of frustration, they pulled the "all Lazio fans are racist" card: "Well it's not the worst thing Lazio fans have done recently!"
Footballers are entertainers who middle and lower class people pay their hard-earned money to go and watch. Between transfer fee and wages, Wallace has cost the club millions of Euro, and he's done nothing but make stupid mistake after stupid mistake. It'd be a travesty if he wasn't booed! If a Shakespearan actor kept flubbing his lines, he'd get booed too, and this isn't any different.
In any event, the only reason I'm even watching Lazio still this season is to see which individual players are even worth keeping. It's like one extended pre-season at this point.
Songs like this make me laugh: it's one of many examples of a metal composer and musician doing pop music ten times better than actual, full-time pop composers and musicians.
Like all pop music the mid-tempo song structure and the repetitiveness of it all is as basic as it gets-- but just listen to the contrast between the major and minor keyed sections! It gives the song a ton of character. The transition chord itself actually gives off Castlevania vibes. Not to mention the insane guitar solo.
The sports equivalent would be like LeBron James trying his hand at football and being instantly better than Cristiano Ronaldo. Embarrassing!
This is somewhat scummy, in that knowing the enthusiast community as I do, people would definitely have shopped around with this in mind had they been aware. I know I would have! Interestingly, I got lucky anyway: my card has the "A" variant.
The funniest thing about so-called "Social Security" to me is that its "trust fund" is exclusively made up of US Treasuries! It would be like having your 401k consist of your credit card bills.
If you don't believe me, just read the "program's" actual FAQ, question "How are the trust funds invested?" Also check out the question about the rate of return: 2.988 percent for 2017! My cat could invest better than that!
Also note that all "social security" taxes go into the Treasury's general fund, to get blown by people in congress like Cow Farts Cortez-- they are not saved or earmarked specifically for the "program" in any way!
But back to the debt thing: only in this crazy world is a promise to pay yourself in the future counted on the books as an "asset". Of course, it only works this way for the State: no private bank would accept the outstanding balance of my mortgage as collateral for a loan application which I'm filling out. The loan officer would laugh me out of their cubicle!
About "social security" in general, setting aside some kind of doomsday scenario I'm set for retirement without a penny of it: I planned it that way from the get-go. So the whole scheme can go up in smoke tomorrow for all I care.
On a somewhat related note, I also saw this article in my feeds this morning.
Young people today, who are apparently being called "generation Z", want a magical college degree to get them a life-long six-figure earning management job, into which they'll get promoted six months after they start working. Boy are they in for a rude awakening if this movie plays out the way I suspect it might.
Meanwhile over in good old "millenial-ville", a provider of endless comedy, they say that they do not even "care about money". Oh really, that's interesting: Bernie Sanders's largest base is made up of "millenial" voters. And his exclusive appeal is that he steals money with his left hand, then hands out "free college" and other goodies with his right hand. Translation: millenials don't "care about earning money."
I'm equivalently at a level of mental retardation when it comes to fine motor skills. I once dropped a horseback riding class after just the second session, because I recognized that it was unfair for me to be holding up twenty other people from getting their money's worth, while waiting for me to get fifteen straight minutes of one-on-one help simply bridling the animal, every single session. I understood and understand this limitation about myself, and do my best to avoid situations where I'm just going to cause problems.
When it comes to logic, very nearly every other person on the planet is at a mental retardation level compared to me. Even fellow IT professionals, who are high IQ people overall-- much less the average person!-- are embarassingly bad at achieving even basic competency when it comes to reasoning and cogency.
But unlike how I remove myself from situations where my limitations are going to cause serious frustration, inconvenience, or even danger to others, other people have absolutely no conception at just how limited they are when it comes to rationality. They have no reservations about shouting their opinions from the roof tops, bossing people around, or making career path choices where they actively impede the business from functioning well.
My former horseback riding instructor undoubtedly had to exert great effort to be patient with me, probably even wondering "is this guy for real?" My equivalent needs to be, when working with others, making a conscious mental acknowledgement that I'm essentially dealing with Down Syndrome individuals: rather than get frustrated, I need to do better at taking deep breaths, smiling, and being patient. But my goodness is it difficult!
I like Lisa Su and I think she's done a good job with AMD: from a personal standpoint, I've been all-in on their CPUs for two years now. But at the same time, CEO talk in general contains a lot of BS: "it's all about the journey!" Pffft.
For example, a big reason why AMD is doing well is because of Ryzen. And my understanding is that the reason Ryzen exists at all in the successful form it does is because Jim Keller had decided to re-join AMD.
In other words, if it weren't for one guy unexpectedly and suddenly going to work in the trenches, she's not sitting there two years later giving this fluffy CNBC interview, talking about her "well thought out long-term plans"-- it's total bunk.
Lisa Su did not design a single circuit in Ryzen, nor did she do any of the marketing, nor any of the manufacturing. I think Tolstoy is right, in that historians and observers in general give way too much credit to "leaders" for things over which they actually had very little to do.
I just watched the "Get Smart" episode "The Groovy Guru", and it seriously makes me wonder if Larry Storch's character, or maybe even the entire episode, was a huge inspiration for the premise of "Jet Set Radio"!
As someone who was gobsmacked by the original in the arcades in 1992, and who absolutely adores and still regularly plays the 32X port, I almost fell out of my chair at how butter smooth and high resolution the Switch rendition is. I'll certainly be buying it as soon as it's released in the US "eShop".
That said, it will be tough to go back to not having the added 32X content: the two new tracks were the best of the bunch, and I love using the Le Mans prototype cars. On top of that, the colors on the Switch version are seriously distracting: it sounds like a bug, so hopefully they'll be able to fix that. I also strongly prefer the 32X version's audio to the arcade's. In other words: it'll be a fun port but one with a lot of tradeoffs, versus the "ultimate" version for which I would have hoped.
In fact, I wasn't aware of that PS2 port-- I prefer the aesthetic of that one over even the Switch rendition!
This was an interesting read. During childhood, my friends and I-- born in 1981, or 1982-- were "in between": we bicycled around a bit in groups by ourselves, but individually we were helicopter-parented until maybe age twelve. As for "saaaaafety", I've never worn a bicycle helmet even once in my entire life.
I was a bit later in getting my driver's license-- 19-- but almost all of my friends drove at 15 and 16. Which is part of why I never bothered, since I had all of my buddies to gladly tool me around-- which we did, all over the place, almost every day after high school. I had the freedom, without the expense or responsibility, and I definitely did not want to go through the government's mandatory-- for those under 18-- "behind the wheel" training. It made sense for me to just wait and bypass that crap.
Once I did start driving, I quickly became an "enthusiast", and I do credit prolific bicycle riding as a kid, along with increasingly realistic video games like the 3DO's "The Need for Speed", with the early development of spatial judgement and awareness. So I think his observations there are spot-on.
As for my parenting style, I do not let my kids-- 9, and 6-- bicycle around by themselves. And that's not because I'm paranoid or "helicoptery"-- I'm a pretty hands-off parent actually, letting them resolve conflicts on their own before I step in. But rather, it's because today's American communities are flat-out dangerous: there are areas a ten minute bike ride from my house where I won't go as an adult without legitimate worries of harassment. Even in the very early 2000s when I was in college at the University of Minnesota-- not particularly far from my house-- I got hounded by frauds and other fringe elements on pretty much a daily basis. My best friend at the time got mugged at knife-point on the East-West bank bridge.
Yes, there are lots of over-reactive helicopter parents: when I take my kids to the park, I'm the only parent there who isn't literally walking around guiding their kid around. The park itself is rubber-matted, and has signs at each piece of equipment detailing the recommended age ranges! It's revolting.
At the same time though, neighborhoods aren't the same monocultures they were when Eric Peters was a kid. The realm of "this is where I live" has effectively shrunk from a neighborhood to a yard.
Is this from where most of the Donald Trump misconceptions arise? Make sure not to miss this link near the bottom of the article.
I see Trump in Scott Adams's second category. But that's because when I read stuff, I go straight to the source material to get the full context, even for people I don't like, such as Occasional Cortex: I don't trust the headlines or incomplete quotes, whether they're from conservative or liberal media. Scott Adams looks to be the same way.
The facts as I see them: Trump personality-wise is a straight shooter who says what's on his mind, yet who knows his audience from his decades in the entertainment business, and often plays "4D chess" to corner his opponents, to great effect.
He frequently engages in totally obvious comical facetiousness, which modern-day Leftists are socially unequipped to pick up on-- sort of like how they need "satire" in the headlines of obvious parody pieces because they can't "get it" otherwise, or how they constantly "fact check" hilarious things like "CNN buying a washing machine to spin the news."
In fact, this is a big reason for the gap in perception regarding Trump I suspect, because this incessant tongue-in-cheek dialogue is such a huge part of his character. And Trump never bothers correcting them: he thinks their lack of perception is just as funny as I do, and besides he correctly reasons that they're not going to like him no matter what he does, whereas to the people who matter, they understand his sense of humor perfectly.
Policy-wise, Trump is a Democrat from the 1990s or 2000s, before that party went off the deep end: tough on borders and crime, and a big believer in Keynesian-style cheap money and fiscal stimulus. Even as I strongly disagree with that school of economics, absolutely nothing in Trump's policy platform is even remotely controversial prior to as recent as 2010, maybe even a bit later.
Ron Paul, I could see Leftists getting their underwear in a bundle. But Donald Trump for Pete's sake? His positions are about as mainstream as you can get.
In a nutshell then, I think all of this unhinged "Trump Derangement Syndrome" comes from the media constantly taking every word he says out of context, like what the "Daily Show" did to Peter Schiff some years ago, then bombarding people with it 24/7/365.
Good luck with this one Steven; regular readers will recall with amusement how I was once perma-banned from a popular gaming forum as a "white supremacist" simply for posting a link to a historical video about the origins of "Cultural Marxism"-- which had about as much to do with "white supremacy" as a gardening how-to.
The term means, "thinks that the white race is superior and should rule over all other races"-- forgetting of course what the "white race" even is, or the fact that all of three people on the entire planet even hold that view. Really, it's just one of those expressions used by scared despots-- like the people on the gaming forum-- to shut down ideas which threaten their power.
In my case, people understanding how unhinged the "Frankfurt School" arguments are was a big deal, and it took the admins about forty five seconds to disable my account: too dangerous of a video to have lurking out there. But also by their rules, essentially calling me a KKK member was ok. Objectively, that's a far worse thing, but it tightens their control so it's ok, versus loosening it. See how it works?
I've had an NVMe solid state drive in my Ryzen PC for the past couple of years, and it works great. But I never once considered that the NVMe portion of the stack could go over TCP-- that whole concept is mind blowing to me.
In other news, Charles Hugh Smith is my goto guy for "state of the world"-style observations, and he's in fine form with this piece. The article relates somewhat to what I wrote here; we're not in a "capitalism" kind of world like other commentators seem to think. In general, I like Hugh Smith's work because out of all the analysts, his takes seem most consistent with what I see in the world around me at the given time.
And finally, after having not bought any for almost three years, I finally splurged on $70 of "Magic the Gathering" cards, refining the various decks I already have built with straight-up superior replacement elements, re-balancing, and some new Planeswalkers. The new additions should arrive via snail mail sometime next week.
My roughly two year old "Wraith Spire" cooler fan would no longer spin at anything exceeding 820 rpm, which meant I was seeing "ramp all the way to 100 deg F" on full-core 100% stress tests. Even in outdated game engines like the one used by "Pro Evo 2019", the CPU would get all the way up to 74 deg F.
I installed one of these a couple of days ago, and now I'm idling in the 30s, with 100% 12-thread stress testing topping off at 67 deg F, even after running for over ten minutes straight! In "Pro Evo" I'm sitting in the 50s. Talk about an improvement!
I love the NFL Draft. Wifey teases me that I like the draft more than the actual games, and she might be right.
Vikings's first pick reminds me of calling the plumber: least sexy choice ever, but it sure is nice to have a flushing toilet again. Their line has been so unbelievably bad that they just needed basic competency in the interior! It's like taking a big step back to square one: "let's just get someone who can re-form our fundamentals."
One other little draft-related side note: every single black player drafted who has named a role model, has either cited their mother, or their grandfather (mom's dad undoubtedly). Remember, 72% of black kids born out of wedlock...
And by the way, this woman is downright dangerous: she's actively encouraging children and their parents to be fat, when the entire Western world is in the midst of an endemic obesity crisis. And all to satisfy her own ego and unsatisfied inner psychological deficiencies. Super selfish.
Oh, and lady: no relationship between weight and blood pressure, are you kidding me? At 240 lbs, my blood pressure was routinely 140 / 105. One time at work, it tested at 170 / 120. That's stroke territory. So I lost ninety pounds, and at 150 lbs my blood pressure is now 115 over 80. Losing that weight saved my life, and means I have a chance to be there for my kids as they move into adulthood down the road.
Even setting aside the fact that the product is just a disgustingly glorified corporate quarterly-numbers customer wallet milking machine masquerading as a game, I don't get why people think it's "gorgeous". I think it looks pretty generic and outdated actually.
Stepping back even further and for contrast, "Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3" had waybetter image fidelity, and it was from 1995! You could also use "Way of the Warrior" as a reference point.
In short, why does everything need to be polygonal these days? Can you imagine how realistic this latest entry would be if it had digitized sprites? It'd quite literally be photo-realistic!
Forget the commentary even: this CNN "town hall" is so scripted feeling that it's creepy: from her hair-do to the questions getting asked to who is asking the questions to her answers to when the audience claps and for which amount of time... it's straight-up propaganda, a 100% pre-planned production. And that's just the Elizabeth Warren part, I'm only twenty minutes in.
Remember my recent "hobby snatchers" post? This Gamespot-contributing thot is a case in point.
I skimmed her Twitter feed for thirty seconds and felt my IQ drop by twenty points: "how do you separate reviewing a game from their labor practices? Like, OMG!" In another post, she complains about "self-righteousness". Hah!
What did thots like her do prior to, let's say, 2010? Whatever it was, I wish she and her ilk would go back there.
I've been listening to the most recent Crowder episode in the background as I work, and I have mixed thoughts.
Let me preface this by saying that a lot of statistics do seem to indicate that-- this time-- the lowering "headline" U3 unemployment does seem to be, at least to some degree, reflective of a rising labor force participation rate. I think it's safe for Donald Trump and his tax program, plus his de-regulation push at the agency level, to take some credit there. So I'm far from one of those permanently-unhappy doom mongerers: where it's occurring, more people working and rising wages thrill me; it's phenomenal!
What I think Crowder and his crew are missing-- ignoring?-- though is that today's "income inequality" is not the traditional libertarian, organic "a rising tide lifts all boats" kind of deal. Where that has been in the case in the past, I'm with them: who cares about "income inequality"? Rather, this time around, central banks have created trillions in brand new currency, then doled it out to the most connected people, who then cashed in by loaning out and subsequently collecting interest on those trillions.
When you aggregate and roll up that behavior into a chart, you get those 2019 "income inequality" graphs! In other words, it's "money changers" on steroids: artificial central banking liquidity enriching a handful of people while everyone else is inundated with record-setting levels of global debt. And at least to me, that seems morally bankrupt.
Yet in Crowder's show, I have never heard the Federal Reserve mentioned once. How you could have a discussion about "income inequality" and not even just name drop fractional reserve banking is beyond me.
They also continue to blanket-mock the question about whether Jewish people, who seriously and disproportionaly are over-represented in media corporations, banks, and state advisors, can legitimately serve two masters-- Israel and the United States-- where their best interests are in direct opposition. To me, that's a conversation at least worth having.
When I started regularly reading Eric Peters, I was hoping for someone with reliable opinions, who shared my tastes in cars. Not only did I get that, but I found someone who is phenomenally gifted-- Henry Hazlitt-like in fact-- at explaining moral principles in writing. Bold emphasis is mine:
"But enforceable arbitrary speed limits are a moral affront because they are no different than any other arbitrary rule - and laws ought to be premised on moral right/moral wrong.
It's obviously wrong to just walk up to someone and hit them – and the law proscribing (and punishing) this when done is morally correct. Everyone understands this. We have a victim – someone who has been harmed. And we have a deliberate act, an intent to harm.
These are the basic elements of a crime.
Breaking a rule is not a crime - and treating a rule-breaker as a criminal is tyrannical. The rule-breaker who is punished becomes the victim of the government – that is to say, the busybodies and control freaks who constitute 'the government' – are the criminals."
I've written extensively about this very premise myself. But Eric writes in such a way that it's impressively concise and easy to grasp, which is a rare and wonderful skill.
In other car news, I haven't looked up this study in detail to see if it's reliable or not, but I wouldn't be surprised if their math was correct. A conventional car is "internal combustion". It combusts just enough energy from pseudo-refined raw material as needed to propel only itself. Whereas an electric car is "external combustion", meaning the energy is produced/combusted at a mass scale within a power plant, then shipped to and stored in batteries within the car. Plus with a normal car, power is converted directly to horsepower-- other than the alternator, it doesn't need the intermediate conversion step to electricity.
Based on that model, my knowledge of business and physics tells me that having hundreds of pounds of batteries per car, which need to be manufactured and which weigh down the car, is significantly uneconomical. On the flip-side, I wonder what the CO2 emissions are for gas refining? Also, I wonder if there are "division of labor" and "economies of scale" efficiencies by mass producing energy in one central place, versus everyone doing it themselves? I just don't know enough about the problem yet to say for sure which principles outweigh the others here.
Or maybe none of this matters anyway, since young people often don't buy cars anyway! And I don't really blame them: as much as I love my 350z and wifey's WRX, cutting that $1800 insurance check once every year is painful, as are the $150 oil changes. Interestingly though, there isn't a day which goes by where both of my kids ask me when I can start teaching them to drive-- it's one of the things in life for which they're the most excited. So they'll undoubtedly buck the trends of their generation!
I know I'm working through a translation here, but I hate Inzaghi's response to yesterday's Chievo humiliation, and it tells me a lot about why the team has been in the doldrums since-- really-- dating back to the back portion of last season.
The game was not "tainted by the expulsion"-- Sergej didn't get sent off until the 34th minute. Inzaghi was using that as an excuse to get himself off the hook. In that entire third of the match with Sergej on the pitch, I saw some of the worst football I've ever seen Lazio play, and that includes the "which circle of hell are we in" Ballardini season. It wasn't until Parolo came on that I saw a player in blue who had absolutely any interest in acting professionally. In other words, I think we would have lost the match even had we been on eleven men!
As for Sergej, if I were manager I would sit him in the Milan Coppa match. I know it's a huge fixture for us, but no player is bigger than the team, no player is bigger than the manager. There are no excuses not just for what he did to get sent off, but how he was behaving even prior to that. I'm really getting the vibe that it's this lack of accountability in Lazio which is causing this team to be so very poor. Randy Moss was deliberately misconstrued when he supposedly said "I play when I want to play"-- but in Inzaghi's Lazio, that quote is accurate, and not just of Milinkovic-Savic!
If I owned the club, and once this dreadful season is over, I would take an "all of the above" approach: for starters, clean house with this roster, even if it meant not getting "top dollar" on the sales. Surely someone out there would pay a few million for even someone like Wallace; Luis Alberto and Sergej would both be gone; I'd use that cash to go shopping for a new play maker, and a pacey and dangerous wide player, who can also play wingback. And then I'd start making a list of the most exciting young managers in Europe, and have Inzaghi re-interview for his position.
I just can't take a Leftist seriously when they express anti-violence sentiments.
Crazy Bernie has been in the news denouncing "war", and stating that police departments "shouldn't look like invading armies." What does he think his world view, if implemented, would look like to those who peacefully say "thanks but no thanks" to participation in their getting filched?
Only Libertarians can take anti-militarization stands and not be total hypocrites, because they logically follow those principles even in their own lives and prescriptions.
At long last-- years of anxiousness, frankly-- I've figured out one of they key reasons why I'm so discontented with my non-career personal life, specifically as it pertains to my seeming lack of identity, and my hobbies more specifically.
A few days ago I posted a link to this, and as happens so many times when I'm performing menial physical labor, I had a significant revelation hit me while I was out washing the WRX not an hour ago. But before I spring the punch line, let me first isolate for inspection a few themes of mine which regular readers of both this blog and my reviews will no doubt find familiar.
To begin, there is my absolute contempt of much of modern gaming's artwork. You can find me complaining in reviews like this. Indeed, there are non-emotional aesthetic taste reasons why I've always loved Claude Monet and harbored distaste for Picasso. But it's deeper than just that, because when I say "contempt", that doesn't even encompass the complete sensation: playing "Rayman Legends" made me physically nauseous at first, and viscerally angry second.
Next, there is my borderline preternatural hatred of hipsters and social justice warriors. I have very pragmatic, mostly political reasons (such as, them want to put a literal government gun to my head) for not liking these people. But as was the case previously, it goes deeper than that, so deep that I in fact wrote a post reflecting on that emnity. I even admitted via that discourse-- and the urge is still very real-- that every time I play Switch, I want to smash the screen as hard as possible into the nearest sharp surface.
Now let's flip over to an extended quote, with added bold emphasis, from the afore-linked Reddit discussion. I think you, dear reader, will piece it together yourself given the above preface, but in case not, I will elaborate below. But first::
"I used to go to a comic book shop that was the second floor of a tattoo parlor, and every Friday i would play magic the gathering with a lot of different types of people. There were students, there were people who after a long work week wanted to sit down and enjoy their hobby, there were people with disabilities, people on the autism/ Asperger spectrum that used this as their only social outlet. We all played and laugh together, would open card packs and get jealous of other people's cards, it was fun, and our outside lives were only really mentioned in passing.
Then when gaming was more mainstream, it was great! More people enjoyed the hobby i liked, and i didn't feel as ashamed about talking about said hobbies in front of people. But at some point, people wanted to move nerd culture away from the 'greasy nerds' that started it. What happened then is that the very people who shunned the 'greasy nerds' starting invading the culture that they weren't really invested in and trying to change it to suit them. People wondered why the nerds were so against 'gamer grrlls' and attributed it to mysoginy, when a more palpable reason would be that these nerds (mostly male at the time) would probably be shunned for openly enjoying their hobby by the opposite sex, so they probably felt pissed about the girls being celebrated for enjoying it.
Nerd culture started as a gathering of people that came to escape reality together, to do away from the politics of the every day lives. But then with it becoming mainstream, the original people who started the hobby are being shunned and kicked out of the space that they created, and worse of, saying that they don't deserve to have their own space even though they get ridiculed the spaces they share with others. Then they see their hobby, get changed and warped by the political ideologies and personal preferences of people who don't really have an investment in it to begin with."
Growing up, I had significant social issues relating to kids, who were my age. My earliest best friend was the probably seventy year-old bus driver I had in kindergarten, with whom I used to talk "Star Trek".
On top of that, my way of visualizing the world and perceiving reality, combined with my totally naive open-mindedness and non-judgemental nature, caused me relentless teasing and bullying all throughout childhood. As my kindergarten year progressed, I made best friends with a kid who, looking back and even at him as an adult, I swear is an Aspie-- he has every one of the traits, to a fairly significant degree as well.
He and I were notorious for being the "twin loners". We spent every single recess period for nine years-- kindergarten through eighth grade-- walking around the perimeter of the fenced-in church parking lot which our school used as the playground, talking about computers, video games, and logic puzzles. We even got our first jobs at ages 15, washing dishes together as a tandem at the same restaurant.
I can, and I'm sure my friend could as well, one hundred percent relate to the above discourse. Video games and computers were our "escape" to a place where things were more logical, and made more sense to us. And because borderline Autism spectrum people like us were the primary people who played games back then, the games were designed and marketed directly to people like us! It was a place in the world where we belonged: a little oasis of familiarity in the middle of a strange and alien world.
"That experience, and all the others besides, formed a core of shared experiences that pervades nerd culture. There was a discussion on slashdot right after Columbine, with thousands and thousands of posters all sharing the same reaction: 'I could never condone what they did.... but I get it.'"
This was exactly my reaction as the Columbine aftermath unfolded: I abhored violence, but boy could I understand what caused them to go through with it! I hated them for what they did, but also had empathy for my fallen "comrades" of sorts.
And some disjointed but insightful remarks regarding hipsters specifically:
"Hipster douchebags and SJWs are generally incapable of producing anything of merit (or even judging it) and therefore have to co-opt someone else's culture to have any at all.
Cultural appropriation your culture belongs to hipsters now. You can't have it back until they find something to replace it with but by then you won't want it anymore.
...they ruin every culture they invade. Whether it be sci fi and fantasy, indie music, gaming, anime, tabletop. You name the subculture, if it becomes trendy, hipsters will latch into it abd ruin it."
The thing which characterizes hipsters is a total lack of authenticity, in everything they do: the way they dress (all alike), the way they wear their hair (all alike), the stupid glasses they don (all identical), and so on. The odds of all of these people totally independently, coincidentally, and in a free-thinking manner swarming to the exact same neck beard style and hobbies is impossible.
Like a toxic mold spreading across an encrusted bathroom sink, at some point in the past decade a critical mass of these people started flocking to crafted beers, soccer, and-- you guessed it-- video games. But because they all hopped on the video game train simply because it was what all of the other hipsters were doing, they fundamentally don't understand the medium.
I once heard "The Big Bang Theory" described as the "blackface of nerds". There is a kind of correlary which also represents the hideous creations of these hipsters, as they started founding and taking over game studios: "look mom! I made a 'retro' game with 'chiptune' music!" Their games are pretentious and cargo-culty because they're in the business to make themselves socially acceptable to their peers, not because they are particularly invested in the medium, or even really understand what makes a game-- or any work of art good for that matter-- good in the first place.
And this is why I've spent years yo-yo'ing between buying and being unhappy with 4K HDR televisions one minute, and purchasing and being dissatisfied with old Atari ST's the next: I've been trying desperately to escape to "my space", but it's all been totally lacking in fulfillment, because I haven't understood the root of why I was unhappy! Stefan Molyneux once said, "do what you're going to do-- just make sure you understand why you're doing what you're doing." Maybe I can just relax and get on with enjoying myself, now that I have this new-found awareness.
Finally then: why do I feel compelled to run my Nintendo Switch over with my car? Go back now and watch the initial reveal video, but through the lense I've laid out above. Boom.
Sometimes I get curious about people with whom I work, and I decide to look them up online.
One I checked on this morning has a Twitter feed. They are: opposed to having a wall on the border (despite perhaps having a fenced yard?), posted tributes to war criminal John McCain, are pushing for "gun control", "re-tweeted" quotes from Moochelle (or should I say "Michael") Obozo telling kids to "reach new heights" (?), and on top of it posted that they "admire" Elon Musk, and have "empathy" for him.
I officially have the third fastest video card chipset on the planet. And interestingly, in terms of raw clocks it has the highest boost frequency of any of the chipsets.
In other news, done with work for the night, got the grocery shopping done already, and the house all picked up. The kids have had dinner, and are on their PCs. Time to figure out what to do! All of this Champions League action has made me want to boot into Windows to continue my "Pro Evo 2019" Master League team.
The last action I took was buying Matthijs de Ligt with almost every transfer kitty Euro I'd saved up over three full seasons. I was astonished that I was able to complete that transfer, since he was only three stars' worth of keen-ness to join me. But now I've got him and Mukiele as my first-choice centerhalf pairing, which is phenomenal.
My Minnesota United team (with real kits!) right now, 4-2-3-1 formation. Also, there are some famous names in my team-- those are re-spawned retired players, one of my favorite long-standing options in the series:
GK: Justo Villar (17 yo, 74), Beto (17 yo, 72)
LB: Teixeira (18 yo, 74), Ayovi (16 yo, 75)
LCB: De Ligt (21 yo, 83), Panzo (20 yo, 72)
RCB: Mukiele (23 yo, 81), Dainelli (17 yo, 73)
RB: McDowall (19 yo, 70), Glen Johnson (17 yo, 73)
LMF: Luis Sinisterra (21 yo, 77), Levi Garcia (23 yo, 75)
AMF: Mott (25 yo, 78, Captain), Lincoln (22 yo, 77)
RMF: Matheus Cunha (21 yo, 77), Diego Villar (17 yo, 76)
CF: Nicolas Gonzalez (22 yo, 78), Kucic (17 yo, 75)
It's been fun watching Ajax in this year's Champions League, because they remind me exactly of my "Pro Evo" team: super young and pacey side which plays crazy one-touch passing in the opponent's final third-- but which also sometimes can be naive and get caught on the break.
Funnily though, Nicolas Gonzalez in-game reminds me a lot of Cristiano Ronaldo when the latter was at Manchester United at about the same age: kind of inconsistent, but has phenomenal physique, pace, and technique.
I've been playing video games since the Atari 2600, and have been a platform early adopter more times than I can even recall. Video game technology is one of the things in life which really gets me going-- so I'm really trying hard to be excited while watching this. But I'm just not.
I was just flipping through my Xbox One and PlayStation 4 reviews, and there's so precious little in terms of games which really got me going, or which seemed particularly iconic or defining for their platforms, that it's kind of depressing. Over the past several years, the only two games I played on either system which I really liked were Doom 2016, and Sonic Mania. That's it.
Contrast this with the Xbox 360 days, when I remember not being able to sleep at night because I was so excited for Dead Rising, Blue Dragon, Fable 2, Gears of War, Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, Lost Odyssey, Mass Effect, and Oblivion. When I got a PlayStation 3, I absolutely had to have 3d Dot Game Heroes, Gran Turismo 5, LittleBigPlanet, and Valkyria Chronicles. I never would have dreamed of putting either system in a box for months on end-- yet that's exactly where my PlayStation 4 Pro has been for ages.
And what makes things extra sad is that back during the time, I correctly observed, with bucket loads of specific concrete examples, just how bad that period was versus the golden ages of the 70s through 90s. But through 2019's lens, the Xbox 360 looks like a smorgasbord of creativity by comparison to the hyper-commoditized, absurdly conservative stuff we get today. In other words, things have only gotten worse since 2011. The kinds of tech-pushing "triple A" games I prefer are down to like three genres now.
And this isn't even getting to the $800 I dropped on my RTX 2080-- on which I've played about three hours of games in the entire time I've owned it.
Interestingly and by this metric, Nintendo is a completely different story-- almost the total opposite. For me, the Wii was their dark age, and the Wii U and Switch have been their renaissance. But the problem there is that the technology is so boring! It's that intersection of cutting-edge technology married to games I want to play which gets me going, not just one or the other. The Switch is hardly more powerful than the aforementioned Xbox 360, from 2005!
My worry is that I'll be so tempted, out of pure habit and momentum, into buying a PlayStation 5, or whatever Microsoft's next console is, that I'll lose sight of the risk that those too will wind up boxed in the cellar because there are no games up my alley. What a waste of money! The only hope is that those companies have Nintendo-like revivals-- but given that I suspect increased development budgets due to the technology may be the reason creativity has fallen off a cliff, odds are the next platforms will be even worse.
Stepping back, I suppose this just kind of sums up the state of the world for me today, which seems to be leaving me and my values behind: modern cinema and television shows are ADHD "in your face" with cinematography, and have lots of obnoxious "social justice" themes; cars are commoditized like toasters, with nearly identical specs, and are hell-bent on moving towards hideous "external combustion" self-driving electric designs; computers are so mainstream-oriented and polished that they have long-since ceased scratching my hardcore "geek" itch; and video games... well, read the above.
I mean, just look at when you search for "geeks in underwear"! Chads and thots. None of you are geeks. This is a geek in underwear-- the real deal. Hell, this could have been a direct picture of me in high school, and I'm damned proud of it, albeit I was never quite as heavy as this guy. It's called "authenticity".
I'm really curious to hear what the "real nerds" like me are doing for hobbies these days. But they're surprisingly difficult to find! Although once in awhile I do run across a post somewhere like this, which nails the sequence of events, and how I feel.
First words from the immortal Mark Cerny related to the "PlayStation 5", or whatever it's going to be called: it'll use a Ryzen CPU and a Navi GPU, the latter of which will apparently have some sort of hardware ray tracing implementation. Cool! The system is slated for a 2020 release at the earliest.
Of course, those high-level specs basically describe the PC I have right now, just replace the AMD GPU with an Nvidia RTX 2080. But to the extent consoles support ray tracing is the degree towards which that technology will get wider PC support. So I benefit too in an indirect sort of way.
The big question for me is, I'm still not sold on Cerny as a hardware designer: he took things super conservative with the Vita, and it was basically a total failure on the market. Then he took the same path with the PlayStation 4-- a boring black box with a disc drive that plays games via a 1998 controller design-- and won by default, because both Microsoft and Nintendo shot themselves in the feet simultaneously, ceding the entire market to Sony. Now he's treading the same "safe" path a third time: will it be another Vita, or a PlayStation 4 in terms of sales?
When I first saw this story, I thought it was a piece of satire-- a quick follow-up search revealed that it's apparently true, as it's being picked up absolutely everywhere! People are so insane today that it's almost impossible to tell parody from the real thing. Bold emphasis is mine:
"A bed bug was spotted April 12 in a manager's office after several weeks of other bug sights... there was a mass exodus... employees were freaking out they felt really unsafe. Employees claim the first bed bug was spotted three to four weeks ago after a corner had to be roped off during the overnight hours."
"Oh my gaaaawd, it might get on my turtleneck, someone please help me, help me!" But hey, I'll never have to worry about people like this infesting my farm house up North: there are mice, deer, and even asian beetles in the vicinity!
Remember: these are the same people who want to take away your cars, your guns, and make it illegal for you to eat meat.
The Left in America today simply can't be honest about anything! Anything at all! Mark Dice covered Candace Owens's statements recently. No one can open-mindedly listen to what she had to say and not admit-- however hard that might be for some people-- that she's right.
So how does the media cover her? How about this headline: "YouTube tested, Trump approved: How Candace Owens suddenly became the loudest voice on the far right".
"YouTube"-- that evil, evil social media site, which needs to censor people like her. Trump-- that evil, evil bigot. "Loudest", meaning obnoxious. "Far right", a vacuous term with no literal meaning, but with negative connotations for Leftists-- and thus their favorite ad hominem. How much propaganda can you fit into a simple headline? When every word is so carefully chosen, quite a bit!
If you can't fight the battle of ideas on a level playing field, you need to put your hand on the scale. And that's the situation in which the American Left finds itself today. That's why at the very hearing, Ted Lieu had to roll out a totally taken-out-of-context video clip!
Sometimes I swear I should go into youth football coaching.
At work, I routinely see "big picture" stuff that others miss-- and when Correa went off today, I could see after five minutes that Immobile and Caicedo were not dropping off into pockets of space, leaving Bakayoko and Kessie to double-mark Alberto. But no adjustment ever came from Inzaghi, we had zero shots the entire second half, and we went on to lose 1-0. Why could he not see what I saw immediately? But it wasn't just that match-- it happens a lot when I watch football.
I think the answer is that coaches are often hyper-emotional, living every tackle, living every pass. Instead of making obvious (to me anyway) tactical adjustments, Inzaghi was too busy getting himself sent to the stands by walking onto the pitch, shouting and gesticulating wildly at the referee. See what I mean? No one in that state of mind can see the forest for the trees. So now it's one point from the last nine: Lazio don't deserve Europa League, much less Champions League.
Now I'm watching Minnesota United in their first ever match in their 250 million USD stadium. They're drawn 2-2 before 25 minutes even, after watching the best defending in the world in the Lazio match, I'm seeing the worst now. In general, Adrian Heath drives me nuts related to the above. He has the tactical understanding of a junior high coach. His "big message" to the players today? "Go win the game!"
My problems with coaching would be dealing with the obnoxious parents-- "get lost, I'm the boss here"-- and not wanting to run the training: I'd want a parent to basically handle the practice logistics, so I could focus on note-taking so I could put each player into the best tactical and instructional position to succeed.
The two mostrecent Digital Foundry videos are perfect examples of how there is basically zero intersection these days between cool technology innovation, and actual games.
In the first place, that "Hellblade" looks like the dumbest thing I've ever seen: what is it, a walking simulator? A corny cut-scene generator? Or is it even playable at all, and it's just one big terribad movie? The engine technology would be the perfect way to show off the Switch, but who the heck would want to sit through that pile of crap otherwise?
In the second example, this new "Tomb Raider" game is one of those cheesy early-90s Sega CD "FMV" games! You just watch pre-baked sequences, and once in awhile you have to press a few buttons in the right order to get the thing to keep playing. As with "Hellblade", the engine technology looks super cool, but the "game" the developers built with it can hardly be called as such!
Firing up "Bug!" on the Saturn-- a brand new game for me-- a few days ago was like a breath of fresh air: the game just drops you into the first level, and boom, you're off exploring with zero interruptions. And on top of that, it seriously pushes what the Saturn is capable of, with absolutely insane sprite (quad) scaling and rotation happening all over. In one part, dozens of grasshoppers start careening from the background, to the foreground! Why can't modern games be like "Bug!"-- marry cool technology with pure gameplay?
In any event and on the complete flip-side of the technology-gameplay coin, I picked up the $40 "Labo VR" kit this morning, and the mini games are super fun to play, but the technology isn't that interesting. I've used the Vive, Rift, PSVR, Google Cardboard, and now "Labo VR", and in terms of capability they go exactly in that order.
The redeeming attribute of Nintendo's offering is that the software has tons of charm-- my kids were going absolutely nuts just booting a football around the "make sure things are working" opening demo scene! And also to Nintendo's credit, the visual experience is kind of neat in a "has character" sort of way; there is aggressive anti-aliasing, yes, but I'd say the overall sensation is that there are large "gaps" between the pixels, almost giving the impression of an interlaced CRT!
The other funny thing about "Labo VR" is that it led to a refresher course on "inflation" between Henrietta and I. "When I was a boy, Sega and others had simple, affordable VR headsets like this, but they were made out of actual plastic, and you didn't need to take hours assembling them yourself!" Nintendo tried to turn lemons into lemonaid by painting their margin-protection not as a bug, but a feature: "It's fun to build!"
Personally, I'm not convinced: I think it's boring as hell, and wish it came pre-assembled in the box. And I wasn't the only one: Duncan sat for five minutes, shrugged, and said "call me in once it's all done".
The other limitation is that it's only "four degrees of freedom": Duncan was walking around my room expecting the camera to track with him, and I had to explain that this didn't have that capability. All the same, the platformer and racing mini games are so cool that I hope the incoming "Pro" Switch is indeed VR-focused (made out of actual plastic, and with a head strap this time), like I hypothesized earlier it might be, because it would be neat to see Nintendo design full game experiences around this foundation.
In any event, I'm going to start on the "blaster" toy, then watch Lazio and Minnesota United very nearly back-to-back.
This is all said in jest, but as a former WNBA fan with Minnesota Lynx season tickets for several seasons, I think it's a legitimate concern.
First, the league has always marketed itself as very liberal to its heavily lesbian audience-- and I don't say that as any sort of attack, I'm merely stating a fact: a huge chunk of the players and punditry are open lesbians, and probably half of the adult attendees when I used to go to the Lynx games at the "Target Center" were women with short hair cuts, holding hands. There is zero possibility the league could say no to letting trans people in: it would be political and financial suicide.
Second, I remember the fawning idolatry the league's punditry had for Lisa Leslie: she was the league's dominant center at 6 ft 5 in, 170 lbs. They loved her in some part because she could (barely) dunk. If she was that dominant, imagine introducing a 7 ft 2 in 250 lbs former-NBA player into the league. How would the league's "girls rule, men drool" commentary react when said player was putting up fifty points and fifteen blocks per game? Would they just go along with it and pretend that the person was a biological female? Would they rebel and feel like it was an invasion?
Third, it wouldn't even necessarily need to be an NBA-caliber player: in football (soccer), boy's high school teams routinely beat women's professional sides-- there is that big of a descrepancy between males and females. All it would take to destroy any sense of competitiveness in the WNBA is for even two or three trans people to go in: those two or three teams would be so dominant, they'd be impossible to stop! And if you think that's an exaggeration, think of how many WNBA games are decided by just a few points: having "Lisa Lesie x2" would virtually guarantee a championship.
The only way I could see it working would be to have a requirement that the trans individual has been on hormones: then they could very well have lost height and muscle mass. But based on all of the precedent in other sports, that is almost certainly not that route things would take.
Now the new server is having sporadic disk failures! Apache and MySQL must be hard drive assassins or something! So if the blog goes down for a few days again, that means I'm cutting over to server fifty seven.
There are tons of videos of Tesla autopilot-related crashes circulating online. In fact, I've seen two crazyones just in the past couple of weeks! As I wrote in great detail here, there are just too many variables in the real world for cars to safely drive themselves.
Not to mention, this whole situation is an excellent example of the State abrogating its "delegation of self-defense" duties for an expansion of its own power-- in this case, by pushing not just electric cars, but autonomous vehicles. Tesla gets a two-fer free pass!
I have a new server all set up and going, so no more "site goes down when Sniper boots into Windows". Perfect! I also re-wrote the three missing reviews, so I'm one hundred percent caught back up to where I was.
I got unlazy and fixed the timestamps for the re-created posts. All that's left now is to re-write those few missing reviews.
And you take your life into your own hands going grocery shopping this late: the store was filled to the brim with nothing but rapper mutha black guys, super obese pink-haired white women in spandex, and the odd buttcrack-revealing old dude. I often wonder what someone from, let's say, 1910 would think if you were to time-travel them to the present.
Disaster has struck again: my "ghetto" server setup has had yet another catastrophic disk failure, and this time I hadn't backed up the database in three weeks. I managed to recover the blog posts from a browser cache on my work laptop, but any reviews I'd published in that period are long gone. I think it was only three: "Sega Rally", "Burning Rangers", and the "Bloodstained" game on Switch.
As for the blog content, I manually re-posted all of the missing items, but I'm too lazy to go back and manually set the dates on them. So it just looks like I wrote two dozen posts in the span of twenty minutes: hey, I'm just that productive, what can I say?
Also, I'm back to running the blog off of my PC again until I can figure out what to do next, so every time I boot into Windows to play a game, the site will go down. So much for up-time!
Totally off topic, but it wouldn't surprise me if the incoming "Switch Pro" was in fact a VR-focused model. Maybe it would even have custom "joy-cons" ("head-cons") with attached headstraps, and additional hardware to improve motion tracking.
My theory fits, in the sense that the rumors say this rendition would be focused on hardcore players-- and rather than just make a marginally faster Switch for the hell of it, a VR-centric approach just seems like the kind of off the wall thing the company would do. Also, then Nintendo could position "Labo VR" as the entry-level experience to get people in the door for the upgrade to the full product.
And in yet other other news, this whole concept of a "freelancer" cracks me up. For example: "Millenials hate the 9 to 5 schedule! When are we supposed to go hiking or drink craft beer???" Or this site: "How to face sexism while doing yoga on a mountain!" Or what about here? "Best parts are freedom! Worst parts are actually having to work to earn the money!"
Like all things, some truths there: bandwidth is so widely available now that most corporate people can work from home way more easily than from the office (which is what I do)-- you don't even need to walk between rooms for meetings. And I find that I do exercise a lot more when I work from home, because I can just mix it in as I have time.
But based on other statistics about millenials, my guess is that most of these "freelancers" are basically treating it as a kindergarten where they can play at grown-up, to make their mommies and daddies happy. Think "Gob Bluth" from "Arrested Development".
Juxtapose this kind of absolutely insane dishonesty from the mainstream media, with Pollak's latest editorial, and you can see how batshit crazy the Democratic Party is right now.
Killing babies after they're born, tearing down existing border walls, playing Russian witch hunt for years and not turning up anything, replacing every building in the country, banning people from eating meat... the list of top-drawer nuthouse ideas just goes on and on.
Crowder was recently saying that all Trump needs to do to win in 2020 is to just stand back and let the Democrats talk. I think I agree with him.
I went through this when I was sixteen, almost identical story; spent over a week in the hospital, surgeon was non-commital to my parents that I'd survive, had tubes down my throat draining my stomach because my digestive system had shut down, could barely walk when I was released, and so on. Took months before I was back to normal again.
In unrelated news, this headline made me think the NFL was trying to find ways to speed up the game. Instead, it's about them adding new replay scenarios-- all because Saints fans threw a hissy fit about a missed call in a single game. NFL games already only have 11 minutes of action in an over 3 hour broadcast, and now they want to stop the game every time there is a roughing the passer or pass interference call? Good grief!