The Exigent Duality
Dead Space and Monkey Rituals - 07:25 CST, 2/18/23 (Sniper)
One of the best parts of my life these days is how I wake up early, before everyone else, and have sometimes as many as three hours before anyone else is out of bed. It's my favorite part of the day. Today I woke up at 4:00, felt rested, and could just relax. Whiskers-- my favorite all-time cat-- chilled on my lap, purring like crazy, as I caught up on the news and balanced my financial records.

Dead Space Remake

This is a superb compilation and reflection on the woke changes shoe-horned into the "Dead Space" remake. I'd never played the original game and aren't a big survival-horror guy in any event-- but seeing the changes laid out is interesting nonetheless. My favorite part is when he points out that the woke cultural subversion propaganda was inserted into the content of the future dystopia both the original game and the remake present. This is funny on two fronts: first, it's clearly not the effect the remake's purple-haired bozo developers had in mind; and second, it shows just how low IQ they are as writers and artists to not have considered this consequence of their approach.

Military Gone Soft Under Lack of Real Challenges

This audio of the shooting down of what was probably a twelve dollar hobbyist balloon made an impression on me. I hope events don't result in a war with China, but if they do I will watch-- provided the internet stays up-- with curiosity to see how the US military fares in a fight against a loosely approximate power-- versus "fish in a barrel" operations against third-world countries with fields of hopelessly outmatched and burning tanks, such as the two wars against Iraq.

The US military has gone woke, has mandated clot shots, and did an ideological purge of anyone to the right of Mao. Consequently, it can not and is not meeting recruitment goals, and is continually dropping physical standards for admission. But even setting that aside, listen to the mission control dude in the audio: he seems like a really nice guy and is probably great to work with-- but therein lies a potential landmine. You can clearly hear that he's a personality focused on aggreeableness, with a constant and almost corporate-like couching of his language with things like "my recommendation would be...", "we'll see if we can make that work...", and so on.

I don't know who the guy is, but I bet he has a "LinkedIn" page where he's "liking" things and building his "career". There is nothing wrong with that in general, but it gives me a weird vibe in a military context: in a real battle against a powerful opponent-- the kind the US has arguably not had since World War II-- I don't really want Mr. Flower Language corporate career guy with a "LinkedIn" profile politely suggesting potential attack vectors I can maybe follow, if it's ok with me and I feel like it.

Monkeys and Dominance

Once, many years ago when my children were both very young, we stayed at a hotel. I took my kids to the pool. There happened to be a youth basketball team there. The boys were probably around age ten or eleven. I carefully observed their behavior. They had a ball in the pool. One boy would pick up the ball, and hold it up high away from the hands of the other boys, while making an animal-like grunting noise: "Ooof ooof"-- after which the other boys would repeat the sound: "Ooof ooof". Then he would throw the ball, resulting in a splashing, chaotic mad scramble to see who could be the mightiest and retrieve the just-tossed object. The victor would the emerge, head above water, and repeat the whole process: "Ooof ooof!" Ball thrown. Mad scramble. Repeat.

What was striking is that all of this was very obviously subconscious to the boys: "let boys be boys"-- they were playing out primal instincts, the same kind you might seen from a group of wrestling puppies. It was very natural, organic, healthy behavior which children need to develop a sense of the world, themselves, and their place in it. In fact, they were performing a male dominance hierarchy ritual! Who were the alphas, and who should be the followers? Very important for the survival of the tribe. Once again I emphasize, none of this was conscious on their parts-- but it was obvious to me, watching dispassionately from my comfortable pool-side chair.

Despite being a very fit, tall-for-my-age, pacey, and fairly athletic kid who played competitive traveling soccer from early childhood to my late teenage years, I didn't participate in rituals! Had I been in the pool in a similar scenario in my own youth-- and undoubtedly I was in many of those situations-- I would have been the one boy off to the side merely watching. The part of the brain which should activate in those situations, simply didn't and doesn't for me. As a child, I'm certain such rituals were happening all around me, and I was oblivious that they were even happening, much less that I should somehow participate. I think this is why I found it so difficult to integrate with my peers.

It'd be like an animal being born not intrinsically knowing how to walk!

This is also the largest reason why girls probably found me so off-putting as a teenager, in spite of me being very handsome. They were most likely-- subconsciously!-- giving off instinctive cues, to which I was either not responding, or not responding in the way their brains anticipated. Having been lured into an approach by my looks, and despite my having been very polite and friendly in the exchange, they would walk away from me with a vague sense of unease. It frequently came back to me via the grapevine that such-and-such girls thought I was "a total weirdo."

Of course, as an adult things are different: women almost universally find me sociable and even charming. Mostly that is due to my adult levels of self-awareness, and also due to the women having matured.

As an adult I can also see these male rituals happening in real-time, and I can play with the situations and interactions to my amusement. One pattern my father-in-law exhibits-- I wrote about him at the bottom of this post-- is that in three-way conversations with himself, me, and some other male, he takes every opportunity to denigrate me in such a way that he can establish a dominance pattern over me, in the eyes of the other man. He's a monkey in the pool! He has no clue that he does this, which is why I have so much fun with it.

Last night I was in a three-way conversation with him and my step-father. Recognizing the situation, I deliberately teed my father-in-law into as many of those moments as I could, by giving him statements he could construe in a way favorable to the inner-monkey-in-him-- and he fell for it every time! For example, I brought up an old car I'd bought in spite of his advice-at-the-time: "And who told you not to buy it?" I brought up a time when it stormed, and I parked my car on the property where it was least to get hit by hail: "And who told you not to park it there? You got stuck!" From there, like a fisherman I mentioned his garage: "Aren't you happy I built my big garage, otherwise your car would be outside!" The implication is that he is so dominant that his boat would take priority of my car. And on and on.

I may not like my father-in-law, but he can at least be a source of amusement when the mood strikes me.

The Witcher III

I've been playing "The Witcher III", a game I skipped when it originally came out. The game is mediocre so far: sort of a generic fantasy game with all of the usual open world tropes, and middling combat.

From a technical standpoint, the game has huge VRAM leak and overall performance issues. Thankfully, I found a guide which with one exception does a phenomenal job resolving the problems. Unfortunately even with his instructions, "frame generation" is still broken in this title on my PC, as moving into and out of any menu results in several seconds of sub-fifteen FPS stutters. Nonetheless, my 7700X and 4070Ti combination can hold more-or-less sixty FPS with DLSS 2.0 performance mode, albeit I have not been to the game's large city yet.

I also get screen tearing with the feature on. "Frame generation" is interesting overall. Normal means of "vsync" seem to have no effect on it. I wonder if this is because under the hood, vsync is looking at engine frame data-- so actual frames get limited to 60, but the generated-elsewhere-exclusively-on-the-gpu "fake" frames are hence not caught by the mechanism, due to where the limit is occurring in the overall pipeline?