Monthly Archives: October 2014

Toward Mediocrity and Low Expectations

Had a conversation with a friend the other day whose spouse is a professor.  Every year graduate students look to take “reading” courses and they need a professor to set guidelines, assignments, expectations, and an eventual grade … and this professor would typically take on a couple of these students per semester.

This did not sit well with other professors in the department.  They wanted him to stop … because it made THEM look bad for NOT doing it.

I also know of a woman who cleans apartments in a retirement home for a living.  Tipping is not expected, but some people tip her.

This upsets some of the people living in the retirement home who maybe can’t afford to for not tipping because they feel it makes them look bad.

So they would rather not have people tip this woman, who probably doesn’t make that much money and really appreciates the extra money and who probably understands all to well what it is have limited funds and not be able to afford things — so that they won’t feel bad.

It occurs to me that this is the mentality that drives the liberal drive to the bottom – away from encouraging people to do their best and toward mediocrity.

The liberal solution to this would be for the government to step in, take a mandatory amount of money from certain people, more from those who have more money, and redistribute it to the woman – now in the form of an entitlement and not a reward for a job well done, where the people the money is coming from have no say in how much they “tip” — all so that people who can’t, or people who won’t — can feel better about not doing it.

You see how this attitude drives society down instead of up?

Loading Likes...

I’m Confused…

So a “top administration official,” probably John Kerry, publicly called Benjamin Netanyahu a “chickenshit.”  And then there’s this:

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon traveled to Washington last week expecting to see top Obama administration officials.

Instead, he found himself with a lot of time on his hands.

The White House denied him meetings with Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Adviser Susan Rice. Senior administration officials attributed the snub to numerous negative comments Ya’alon made earlier this year criticizing the administration in general and Kerry in particular

Which, ummm…. ok, I guess.  Insulting one of our oldest and closest allies is something of a hobby for this administration (though I’m sure Queen Elizabeth uses that iPod full of Obola’s speeches if she’s got insomnia).  But…. all those “dissident right” sites inform me that America’s foreign policy is actually Global Judaism’s foreign policy, and that the Pentagon can’t send a single memo without approval from AIPAC and an Orthodox rabbi.  Which makes telling the Israeli Defense Minister to go fuck himself a rather odd move, no?

Yeah yeah, I know — that’s just what they want you to think!!  All part of the dastardly master plan etc.  Maybe if I hold down my caps lock key it’ll all become clear.

Loading Likes...

What’s the Diff?

Popehat points out that GamerGaters are acting exactly like the SJWs they decry.  It’s a useful tonic.

That said, I say: Good.

Cultural Marxism is corrosive.  It degrades everything it touches.  In fact, it’s radioactive — not only does it destroy what it touches, it poisons the environment, the atmosphere.  If your enemy politicizes everything, then you, too, must politicize everything.  If your enemy engages in ideological purges, and uses the machinery of government to destroy opposition and reward friends, then you must do these things, too.  There’s no such thing as principled opposition to Cultural Marxism, because Cultural Marxists have no principles, and because they don’t, you can’t.  It’s a race to the bottom, and the last one down gets stuck with the tab.

Short of strangling Karl Marx in his crib — and Hegel, and Robespierre, and Rousseau, and John Calvin, and a million others — there’s nothing that could’ve been done to stop the invention of Cultural Marxism.  Modern life is “scientific;” it was therefore inevitable that someone would come up with a “scientific” rationalization for envy and hate, just as it’s inevitable that such a rationalization will result in gulags whenever it comes to power.

Just as it will inevitably degrade into a poo-flinging contest when it’s not in power, because it was never anything more than an elaborately rationalized poo-flinging contest in the first place.

It can’t be stopped, but it can be checked, even temporarily reversed.  But it will only be checked when enough people finally realize that this is what it is, this is all it has ever been, this is the only thing it can ever be.  Inquisitions only end when the Inquisitors get the rack.  Make Cultural Marxism painful enough, and it will stop.  That’s the only way it will stop.

And then we can have principles again.

Loading Likes...

GG: Entryism

I saw this at Vox Popoli.  He’s quoting this, from PopeHat.  Yeah yeah, I know, more GamerGate (God, how that -Gate thing makes my eyes bleed), but it’s important, y’all.

The entryism is of the usual type: people with blue/pink ideals join red / gray groups and try to achieve social status with in those groups, then use that social status to push for the admission of – and promotion of – more blue/pink members. Once the blue/pink members achieve a majority they then change the rules of admission to create a lock on their new conquest (in the case of academia, for example, even blue researchers in the Netherlands of all places, were shocked by how blatant the process was).

At Vox’s, this follows a piece on The Bell Curve.  Which got me thinking: We’re probably in the realm of genetics now.

I haven’t had time to think this through yet, but wanted to get it down right away, and hopefully get some help from the gang on this.

We know that a large part of the personality is inherited, right?  Isn’t that one of the core arguments behind HBD, that heritable character traits explain a lot of certain groups’ troubles with industrial society?  If so, “propensity to pinkshirt-ism” might be heritable as well.

It honestly never seems to occur to these people that they can start their own damn clubs, or software development houses, or whatever.  I mean that literally.  A lot of them are trying to wreck yours for money, or petty revenge, or fame, or because they’re angling for a job at Gawker, or for any number of comprehensible (though reprehensible) conscious reasons… but a lot of them aren’t.

And on the other side, a good number of people seemingly can’t see the pinkshirts’ comprehensible-but-reprehensible reasons.  In every GG thread, there’s always one guy doing the Kevin Bacon in Animal House routine — “all is well!”  Or, in this case, “why can’t I just play my game?”

Let’s take, say, model railroading.  I know, I know, the left can politicize anyfuckingthing, but model trains have to be near the bottom of the priority list.  Should a person of Independent temperament (that’s the provisional label I’m going with) discover that the only model railroading club in his town is full of fanatical American Flyer backers and he’s a diehard Lionel man*, he’ll just…. start his own club, and if nobody joined, he’d either quit the hobby altogether, or simply soldier on alone in his garage, the lone Lionel man in a town of American Flyers.  He’d have his internet friends, and while that might not be quite as fun as a club full of flesh-and-blood people, it’s enough.

It would never occur to him ot force the American Flyer club to let him join, then threaten the other members with lawsuits if they didn’t start including some Lionels in their setups.  All of that is, to an Independent, a waste of precious hours he could be model railroading.

The Joiners, meanwhile, work the other way.  Their mental tracks (to stick with an overburdened metaphor) have different switches.  To them, the Toad Suck, Arkansas, model railroad club is the only model railroad club that is, was, or ever could be.  They know there are other clubs out there, of course, but they know it in the same abstract way they know the moon doesn’t really glow with its own light.  And they acknowledge the theoretical right of model railroaders to build with brands other than Lionel.   But meanwhile, there’s the Toad Suck model railroad club right there, hanging in the sky, shining with its own light, plain for all to see.  And they’re doing it wrong.

To this kind of person, a club isn’t a group of likeminded enthusiasts.  I can’t describe exactly how they think — I’m an Independent, obviously — and all the similies I want to use are weird and probably unhelpful.  But I’ll try.  At the risk of alienating everyone with yet another long discourse on academic gobbldygook….

Medieval philosophers were preoccupied with “the problem of universals.”  Plato said that there’s the ideal, perfect Form of a Tree somewhere out there in the ether, and that all real, actual trees growing here on Earth “partake in” it.  Which means they’re all flawed copies of that one Form.**  Another group said no, the Forms don’t really exist — you can’t take a rocket ship out to the edge of the universe and land in the mysterious realm of the Forms, like some bad Star Trek episode.  When we recognize that a beech, a cypress, and a maple are all equally “trees,” it’s just a linguistic convention.  Yeah, all languages do it — it’s “universal” in that sense — but that’s because we need those abstractions to function.  “Run! A bear!”  “Which bear?  The bear with the off-color ear, or the bear that ate Charlie last Wednesday?”

[If you want a woefully modern version of the problem of universals, think of “Mr. Right.”  Is there any real human male who fulfills the 463 bullet point checklist?  Or is that just a linguistic convention women use to gripe about their boyfriends and/or sell a zillion issues of Cosmo?]

Your instinctive answer to “the problem of universals” is, I’m starting to believe, genetic.  We’re all programmed to think one way or the other.  It’s hard to even sense, abstractly, how the other guys think, and almost impossible to actually do it.  I get mental nausea trying to contemplate “Forms” for any length of time, in much the same way that listening to liberals for more than a few minutes makes my brain hurt.  To me — that is, because of the particular genetic configuration of my brain — it is impossible to achieve “increased equality” through fascist means.  You can’t be in favor of free expression when you ruthlessly suppress any expression you disapprove of.

And if you say you are, you’re lying — either to me, consciously, or to yourself, unconsciously.

But they’re not, I’m starting to think.  They’re just wired differently.

Again, there are lots of people who are lying.  Plenty of “anti-GamerGaters” are just careerists, petty thugs, and wannabe fascists — hence Vox Day’s wonderful term “pinkshirts.”  Just as there are some “GamerGaters” who really are misogynists and sadists who confuse Zoe Quinn etc. for the chick they were hung up on in high school who never even acknowledged their existence.***  But a lot of others are legitimately confused.

Which means this is a fight that will never be won.  The pendulum can be forced to swing back — as it is now, with “GamerGate” — but it will swing back again.  It’s actually painful to think like the other guys, and the minute we’re not forced to, we’ll quit.  The Independents will go back to letting Joiners join their model railroad clubs, because hooray! another model railroading enthusiast.  And the Joiners will continue unconsciously, robotically trying to destroy those model railroad clubs, because there is only One True and Universal way to construct a model railroad.

Tl;dr: Conquest’s Second Law — “any organization not explicitly and constitutionally right-wing will sooner or later become left-wing” — is hardwired in human brains.




*Those are the first two brands I saw when I looked up “model railroading” on the internet.  This should not imply that I endorse one or the other.  I’ve got no beef with you, model railroaders.  I hope you all get to play with your choo-choos free from political interference forever.

**confusingly, this position is called “Realism,” i.e. the proposition that Forms really exist somewhere out there in the ether, not just as universal artifacts in all human minds.  The opposite notion — that this is just how human brains are wired, so it’s only a universal convention of language — is called “Nominalism.”  I’m not going to use the terms here

***Yeah, Zoe Quinn.  It’s often helpful to remember the type of people we’re dealing with here, y’all.  On both sides.

Loading Likes...

Directive Four

Blog-friend Nightfly has revealed something important about the journalism-industrial complex.  Behold Directive 4:

I am struck by something much more primal, however – call it Directive 4, which shuts down all functions in the JournoCops whenever they try to disobey it: “A journalist is always the underdog crusader.”

They are addicted to this narrative and self-image at all costs. They MUST be the eternal Prometheans showing the way to enlightenment at great personal risk – though it cost them all they have they soldier on bravely, bravely, forever fighting The Power of Darkness.

Directive 4 is a mental parasite that colonized the minds of journalists back in the 1920s.  You might recall that some people like to call the period from c. 1890 – c.1930 “the Progressive Era.”  This is also the era in which the first journalism schools were founded.  This is, as Marxists say, no accident.

Before the “Progressive Era,” journalism was nakedly partisan.  You wouldn’t read newspaper to get The News; you’d read it to get the Republican, Democrat, or Socialist news.  Their titles reflected this — even quite small towns would have both the Daily Democrat-Picayune and the Evening Republican-Intelligencer.  Bigger cities would also have a socialist rag and several papers pitched to ethnic communities, written in the language of the old country.

It was only in the “Progressive Era,” when leftists first managed to convince a section of the public that liberal biases were scientific truth, that we developed the myth of the nonpartisan press.

Not that the press can’t actually be nonpartisan if it so chose.  The problem isn’t that humans are incapable of reporting straight news.  It’s just that this would be the most boring job on the planet.  It’s not even stenography — you’re not copying down the President’s remarks verbatim; you’re boiling them down to a paragraph or two and rephrasing them to the lowest common denominator reading level.  Nobody in his right mind would want to do it as a career.

So nobody in his right mind did.  Instead, “Progressives” got into the journo biz specifically to control the public’s access to information explain to the rubes the scientifically-proven benefits of socialism.

They weren’t actively lying, mind you — it took I.F. Stone’s raging hard-on for Stalin for that to happen — but they were, shall we say, rather selective with their reportage, while loudly beating their breasts about their objectivity at every opportunity.

And then World War II came, and the Baby Boom happened, and soon enough The Dumbest Generation of Narcissists in the History of the World was going to j-school.  And they were perfectly ok with lies, noble or otherwise, to advance The Cause, whatever that happened to be this week.

And that’s when Directive Four was born.  As we know, the Boomers’ original, unforgivable sin is fetishizing rebellion.  Like all adolescents, they thought their first time doing or thinking or saying ____ was the first time ___ had ever been done, thought, or said, in all of human history.  Unlike normal adolescents, though, they never grew out of it.  They took Philip Larkin’s vicious mockery of their attitudes at face value:

Sexual intercourse began
In nineteen sixty-three
(which was rather late for me) –
Between the end of the Chatterley ban
And the Beatles’ first LP.

And thus you see bent, stooped, gray old people running around in rock band t-shirts and smoking dope and telling everyone to question authority, maaaaaan, even though he’s a hedge fund manager and she’s got a law degree and they live in a $500,000 McMansion in a gated suburb.

Such a person literally can’t function in reality.  He can’t be The Man — even though he is, and has been since about 1982 — because his whole self-concept comes from sticking it to The Man.

These are the people who man the editorial boards at newspapers nationwide.

And the kids who work under them are Gen Xers, those special little snowflakes, and now even some Millennials, aka the specialist snowflakes that ever were or ever could be, are getting into the act.  Thought has deteriorated accordingly.  The original “Progressives” at least made a nod to reason and evidence; it’s what led them to socialism.  Even the Boomers acknowledged that, by and large, reason and evidence were desirable, though of course any evidence that argued against sex, drugs, rock’n’roll, and/or socialism didn’t really count as evidence.

But these snowflakes, the Occupy generation… these fucking kids honestly don’t know the difference between fact and opinion.  They are the specialist snowflakes that ever were or ever could be, and they’ve never heard a bad word about anything they’ve said or done in their entire lives.  Endlessly pampered and mollycoddled and helicopter-parented, they truly believe the world owes them a favor for rolling out of bed in the morning.  If the world doesn’t line up with their whims, then damn it, something’s wrong with the world, and they’re going to whine and moan and Voxsplain until the universe finally gets its act together.

Directive Four.  It explains the entire media.  God help us all.

Loading Likes...

Consistency is the Hobgoblin of Little Minds

This is delicious.  Slurp up the sweet schadenfreude.

In case you don’t feel like reading a long “GamerGate” piece (I don’t blame you in the slightest), here’s the short short version.  Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:

A group of activists coordinates their protests against a large corporation, because said corporation does not advance the social policy that the activists favor.  The protests are successful, causing the company to reverse course.

Mozilla and Brendan Eich?  Sadly, no — this time it’s Intel and GamerGate, and that makes Social Justice Warriors so mad they could just spit.

The issue, as always, is the hypocrisy.  The point of Gawker’s piece isn’t “c’mon, Intel, sack up and don’t give in to harassment.”  No, no.  It’s that harassment itself is out of bounds, dirty pool, a contemptible low blow:

On October 1, the computing giant Intel pulled its ads from Gamasutra, a trade website for game developers, over an essay called “‘Gamers’ don’t have to be your audience. ‘Gamers’ are over” by a journalist named Leigh Alexander….Unable to run Alexander out of game writing, as they had with the writer Jenn Frank, or force her from her home, as they did to the developer Brianna Wu, or threaten her from public engagements, as they did the following week to the critic and activist Anita Sarkeesian, Gamergate went after her publisher. And, in an unbelievable and embarrassing act of ignorance and cowardice, Intel capitulated. The company’s laughable “apology,” released late on that Friday afternoon, didn’t cover up the fact of Gamergate’s victory: Intel was not replacing its ads.

Isn’t that just the most schadenfreudily savory thing you’ve ever read?  An eeeeevil corporation changed its policy thanks to pressure from a group of activists threatening it with social and financial harm.  Phil Robertson just called to ask, “U mad bro?”

Ain’t that always the way with Our Betters, the liberals?  They’ll politicize the shit out of anything and everything, but when you politicize their politicization, they suddenly discover that politicizing things is a hate crime.

If cognitive dissonance weren’t bullshit (sorry, Gary), the machine-gun rattle of SJW heads exploding would be deafening.

Loading Likes...

Science Update

Internet trolls are awful, psychologically damaged people.

“… the associations between sadism and GAIT (Global Assessment of Internet Trolling) scores were so strong that it might be said that online trolls are prototypical everyday sadists.” [emphasis added]

Trolls truly enjoy making you feel bad. To quote the authors once more (because this is a truly quotable article): “Both trolls and sadists feel sadistic glee at the distress of others. Sadists just want to have fun … and the Internet is their playground!”

But you knew that already.

The study didn’t specifically mention ink-squirting and tentacles, but they’re strongly implied.

H/T Ace’s overnight thread.

Loading Likes...

Fun with #GamerGate: Gay Marriage Edition

As I’ve said many times, I don’t care about computer games (and I loathe the -Gate construction).  But the whole show is an object lesson, for any who choose to learn, about the limits of cultural Marxism.

The left has one, and only one, tactic: Outgrouping.  Call it “disqualification,” or “shaming,” or RC favorite “point-and-hoot,” that’s really all there is to it.

And so far, sadly, that’s been sufficient.

Take “gay marriage.”  According to recent polls, the left have been able to point-and-hoot a bare majority of Americans into pretending that sodomagy is “marriage.”  They’ve been able to point-and-hoot some state and municipal governments into violating the religious freedom provisions of the Constitution.  But since there are still some reactionary legislatures out there, and because there are still a few brave souls in the judicial system that believe in constitutional governance, there is still so much more pointing-and-hooting left to do.

They’ve yet to experience their limits in this area.

With gamers, by contrast, they’ve hit the wall.  They’ve been able to point-and-hoot some game development companies into creating a few make-work jobs for the girls out on the periphery.  Zoe Quinn, the whore whose whoring kicked the whole thing off, even managed to point-and-hoot a company into publishing her sub-Zork queef of a game, DepressionQuest.  But that wasn’t enough for them.  Now the SJWs insist that not only shall games like DepressionQuest be published, but that gamers shall actually play them.

This is the equivalent of mandating that not only must we allow gay marriage, we must also enjoy gay sex.

Which is a whole ‘nother ballgame.

It’s easy to force the publication of games like DepressionQuest.  Hell, it’d be a snap to force people to buy them (just treat it like health insurance, and slap a punitive tax on anyone who doesn’t download it).  But you cannot force people to play it, or enjoy it, in the same way that no amount of point-and-hoot will ever be able to make a straight guy get an erection for a gay guy.

Point-and-hoot absolutely fails in the face of basic biology, just as it absolutely fails in the face of people who take positive pride in being pointed- and hooted-at.

They’re finally learning this.  And it’s driving them so wonderfully, hilariously bonkers.

Loading Likes...

More Fun with #GamerGate: The Echo Chamber [UPDATED]

Note the “logic” here: Because lefty sites are repeating lefty talking points, the people who don’t mindlessly parrot the left’s talking points are — gasp! — irrelevant.

Look, there’s a reason I don’t read Rolling Stone, the Daily Beast, the Guardian, the Huffington Post, Slate, The New Yorker, et al — I already know what they’re going to say.  About anything and everything.  I’ve heard it all already — on Facebook, on tv, in my work email, on the radio, in the lunchroom.  They’re all just iterations of “Air America.”  Unless I’m a little low on my USRDA of smugness and hipster douchebaggery, there’s zero reason for me to click over to any of them.

Which, you know, is all fine and good.  Some people need their ideological methadone clinics.  But — and this is the crucial thing — “gamers” never gave a shit about those sites in the first place.  And “gamers” are the ones that matter, because — get this — they’re the ones actually buying the games.

They’re not irrelevant.  They’re literally the only people who are relevant.  The software company which doesn’t make gamers’ opinions the alpha and the omega of their corporate existence will swiftly become an ex-company.  Money talks, bullshit walks.

I have to say, I never thought I’d give the slightest thought to what Cheeto-stained dudes who are one or two World of Warcraft sessions away from developing rickets had to say about anything.  But this is delicious fun.  It’s the clearest possible proof — if any more were needed — that the left’s sole debate tactic is: Point-and-hoot.  Disqualify, disqualify, disqualify.  Punish the nonbeliever.  Shun the rabbit right out of the warren.

Problem is, that doesn’t work on people who self-identify as “outside the warren.”  Your serious “gamer” takes it as a point of pride that people who read Rolling Stone think he’s weird and antisocial.  Point-and-hoot is actually an affirmation to these guys.

The SJWs don’t — can’t — understand that.  And it’s driving them so wonderfully, hilariously bonkers.

UPDATED 10/21/14: John C. Wright noticed the same thing, but expressed it much, much better.  As professional writers do.

Loading Likes...