The Gods of the Copybook Headings: Profit Motive

I know, I know: Capitalism is eeevil.  Alas, in the real world filled with actual humans, science fiction novels are luxury goods.  The “pink SF” crowd seems determined to learn this the hard way.

I did that with my WIP, swapped the male lead to female, then had the same people read what I had so far. The women loved it, the men hated it, whereas before the men loved it, and the women were just sorta meh about it. Made me decide to leave it as a female lead. I figured, if it was making the men so uncomfortable, then I was doing something right.

Emphasis mine.  This is what the CisHetPat philosophy crowd calls a “category error.”  The point of writing science fiction novels is not to make men uncomfortable.  The point is to GET PAID (a.k.a. the Tao of Larry Correia).  If you’re not writing to reach your audience — and you can tell if you are, because you’re GETTING PAID — then you’re not really a novelist.  You’re a preacher.

Which is fine; the world needs preachers, too, and there are millions of street corners on which to rant.  But don’t expect to be taken seriously as an author of science fiction.  (Same deal with the preacher — a minister whose every homily is about Ringo Rocket’s battle with the Robo-Men of Planet X-22 is going to be minus a congregation).

Settled Science Update

On the many, many problems with “peer review.”

The thing is, most people have no idea how academia works (this is, of course, deliberate).  Most folks who hear that this or that is “peer reviewed” think that other professors have scrupulously followed all the references, and/or actually sat down at the lab bench and replicated the experiments.  I can’t personally vouch for the labwork part of it, but knowing what everyone knows about scientific research — that it costs an insane amount of money, using hugely expensive machines that need to be tightly scheduled — does that assumption pass the smell test?  Can Joe Schmoe the peer reviewer at Flyover State really get some time with the Large Hadron Collider to check some data?

I do have some experience with peer review in the humanities, though.  Everyone who has ever taken a graduate course does.  Here’s how it works: You’re doing some reading for a project and you come across an interesting tidbit.  So you check the footnote.  It says Jones, Marxoblather, page 22.  Hey, so maybe there’s a whole book on this!  Jones probably has much, much more.  So you check Jones out from the library and flip to page 22.  He’s got the same fact, footnoted to Smith, Capitalism is Evil, vol. 2., p. 158.  So you hit the stacks again, pull the copy of Smith, check his reference, and… Williams, Ass-Pulled Assertions, p. 45.

….and quite often, that’s where the trail goes cold: With an ass-pulled assertion in an old book, that gets cited in so many places and in so many ways that the original just kinda disappears.  But here’s the kicker: Even if Williams gives you a beautifully detailed citation to a primary source, you’re still out of luck.  Because, of course, Williams found his evidence in an obscure archive on the other side of the world.  Unless you’ve got the free time and spare change to jet off to the Turkmenistan National Archives (and read Zambezi or whatever language it’s in), you’re SOL.

This is how you end up with things like the Bellesiles Affair.  He simply made up his key evidence, because he knew nobody would check — he was, after all, a member of the Guild, telling other Guild members exactly what they wanted to hear (that the Second Amendment doesn’t mean what it says, basically, because the Founders didn’t really have too many guns and thought guns were icky anyway).  It took an amateur — a software engineer — to point out that hey, the sources don’t say what the professional says they say, in part because there’s no way some of the stuff he cites actually exists.

In effect, “peer review” means “I, who have some kind of degree in a vaguely related area, can’t see any glaring errors in this article I’m skimming in my free time.”

But yeah, we should definitely enact global socialism posthaste, because science.

From the “Cognitive Dissonance is BS” Files

Ace of Spades, on last night’s overnight thread:

When you try to delegitimize somebody’s vote, you don’t change his mind, only his willingness to talk about it.

Ace of Spades, all day every day:

Trump is behind in the polls!  Hillary is inevitable! Doooooom!!!!

How’s that old song from Sesame Street go?  One of these things is not like the others… one of these things just isn’t the same….

The Rules

The college mating game is a great illustration of Leftist ideology’s toxicity.

First: Denial of basic biological reality.  I don’t mean how profs constantly celebrate the whole panoply of deviance (though there’s plenty of that).  I mean basic, Darwin-level stuff.  “Males display, females choose” is the rule throughout the animal kingdom.  Human males, then, are just following their programming when they try to figure out what women want, in order to display it to them.

Problem is, human males are hardwired to think in straight lines and hard rules.  The easiest way to receive information from other humans is to ask for it, so that’s what most guys do.  But women don’t want what they say they want.  They’ve been trained all their lives, by the entire cultural apparatus, to say precisely the opposite of what they mean.*

Oversimplifying a bit for clarity, they say they want pajamaboys.  So guys pajamafy themselves.  When that doesn’t work, most guys assume that they’re improperly executing the program, not that the program itself is faulty.  Nate Winchester nailed it in a previous discussion:

Let’s face it, these guys are engineers! Their entire life is built on instruction and following said instructions (because failure to do so will lead to a very bad time) so it’s only natural that they engage in social interactions according to the instructions they have available.

We can swap in “all men” for “engineers,” as STEM guys have stereotypically male brains.  Rule-governed behavior makes instinctive sense to us — I’m as un-STEM as you’ll find, but I naturally grasp the point (if not necessarily all the mathematical arcana) of batting average, quarterback rating, leveling up in video games, tabletop gaming, poker… give a guy, any guy, a set of rules and an objective, and he’ll immediately sit down and start doping out strategies.

Moreover, they’ll keep following the rules well past the point of pointlessness.  Back in the days, for instance, my buddies and I used to play these tabletop strategy games based on World War II.  It was possible to win the whole war with the Axis — if you were really good, really lucky, and your opponent(s) screwed up — but individual campaigns were usually exercises in futility for one side or the other.  Germany vs. Poland, for example.  The Polish army isn’t going to beat the Wehrmacht.  “Winning,” for the Polish player, was to stave off defeat for a little longer than the real Poles did.  Talk about futile! And yet, we passed hours and hours and hours this way.

invasion-of-poland-1939-9dd5ce-h900Now… imagine what would happen if you suddenly took those rules away.  If the Poland player could simply declare, “this unit right here is Sardaukar.  And they’ve got a Voltron suit.  We’re landing in Berlin.”  Or the German player could deploy mecha-Hitler from Wolfenstein 3D. Nobody would play, right?

Such is the situation on most every college campus in America today.  What few rules there are don’t work, because they’re self-contradictory… and meanwhile the egghead brigade is constantly denouncing the very concept of rules as so much CisHetPat evil.

What’s a guy to do?  Well, read ’em and weep (trigger warning: HuffPo):

I am 22 and a pioneer in the early age of internet dating. I’ve trawled the online profiles of Lavalife over the previous weeks, occasionally setting up dates with various eligible women. I remember Katherine’s profile picture vividly: long dark hair, a mysterious Mona Lisa smirk, and the cleverness of her username: WHATSADATE. Answer, written below in first line of her dating profile: A date is a small dried fruit.

(additional trigger warning: the whole goddamn thing is in present tense, because that’s this season’s fashionable literary pretension).

A date is a small dried fruit.  There’s your first problem right there, Chief.  Take it from the old married guy, youngsters — beware the superficially clever girl.  You probably think you want a snarky, quick-witted “gamer” girl, because she’s “into” all the same stuff you’re into, which considerably simplifies the interaction process.  Wrong on all counts.  Geek girls are girls first, and — trust me — “geek” is about 257th on her priority list, even if she looks, talks, and acts like Zoe Quinn (of course, if you’re going after that particular profile, fellas, you really ought to consider the cloister).  You’re far better off going for the hottest sorority sister you can find — you’ll approach her as if she’s an extraterrestrial, which of course from your perspective she is.

Much overwrought, purple-prosed noodling follows, then:

These interactions weighed heavy on my soul. I could not make sense of them. On the one hand, each felt appropriate, life-affirming and needed. Surely these could not be considered “cheating.” What was a kiss anyway? On the other hand, such interactions were beyond the boundaries of our monogamous partnership to which Katherine and I had vowed. In my uncertainty, I waited, hoping somehow the situation would resolve itself.

Dude kisses several stereotypically granola girls at uber-SWPL events like Burning Man.  Feels guilty, because he’s “monogamous.”  And here’s the important part:

“I think we should try an open relationship.” I can’t quite believe the words are tumbling from my mouth. Within the paradigm of the dominant culture, the sanctity of monogamous marriage is supreme.

And yet I feel compelled to reconcile the deeper longings of my desire, haunted by the alternative: the vision of a pleasant but passionless coupledom, like so many marriages that choose the facade of stability instead of the fire of truth.

We’re both good little liberals.  Rules are for squares!  “The paradigm of the dominant culture” is, of course, CisHetPat.  Which is evil.  By staying monogamous, we’re perpetuating the cycle of violence.  We’re guilty guilty guilty (hooray!!!).  We can’t afford not to open up our relationship.

The dam has broken and the next few months are a blur. I begin using words like polyamorous (meaning “many loves”) and non-monogamy in conversation.

Of course you do. That’s your identity now.  If you’d had a stronger sense of self in the first place, you wouldn’t be here.

You don’t need the rest, because the obvious happens: She boffs some other guy; gets pregnant by him; Pajamaboy of course tries to do the “right” thing by being “supportive” and offering to “co-parent.”  Just as obviously, Pajamaboy is not ok with their “open” relationship; feels guilty for not being open about it; blames society and “the myth of The One” for the utterly predictable consequences of his boringly obvious choices.

The rules are for squares, right?  Riiiiight.  There’s no escaping The Rules — they’re hardwired.  Pajamaboy wasn’t rebelling against The Rules when he “decided” he wanted an open relationship; he was following them perfectly.  Guys will always follow the rules (small -r) of conduct they’ve been taught, to achieve the objective they’ve been assigned.  If the rules don’t work, or contradict themselves, a guy will do almost anything to square the circle.

The trick is to make sure that the rules of conduct we transmit to the young square with reality as much as possible.  Monogamy works for lots of reasons, and it’s a key ingredient in society’s glue (name an advanced society, for any reasonable definition of “advanced,” that is polygamous).  Now that our society has been eroded to atoms by half a century of Cultural Marxism, we’re going to have to think about how to reinstall certain basic notions like monogamy.  You’ll never convince our modern pajamaboys to embrace Christianity, so it’ll have to be by other means….

They — we — want hard-and-fast rules.  Someone’s going to give them to us.  Whoever figures that out first is going to go far…. probably much further than we’d like.  Let’s think it over before it’s too late (if it isn’t already).

 

*Whether or not they do this consciously is, I imagine, much debated among the more reflective PUAs.  Personally, I think “consciousness” is too broad a concept — like most human things, one-size-fits-all obscures more than it illuminates.  From what I’ve seen, women are quite capable of fervently holding two contradictory opinions simultaneously.  I think they actually believe — in their heads — that they want pajamaboys, while just as fervently knowing in their hearts that they want badboys.  If any aspiring PUAs among the Four Regular Readers wants to field test this by gaming hardcore feminists, please leave detailed reports in the comments.

The Accidental Homosexual

Stacy McCain really knocks this one out of the park.

Y’all know that I spend a lot of time around the college demographic.  I see them in something close to their natural habitat.  Feminism — hell, the entire concept of “gender” — is the worst thing to happen to them since nickel beer night.

McCain reports on the travails of one Jill Layton, who on her 30th birthday up and decided that she was a lesbian.  After dating “lots of guys” — her words — she bounced hard off the Wall and into the waiting arms of Sappho.

Bullshit.

McCain then dispenses some advice that should be handed out at every freshman orientation in America this fall:

Most people start dating in high school and, somewhere between age 16 and 19, form their first “serious” relationship. Maybe this adolescent romance doesn’t become Endless Love — cue the Diana Ross-Lionel Richie duet — but if you’re 21 and have never had a relationship that lasted at least a year, you have a problem, and that problem is you. The most common cause of this particular problem is failure to accurately assess your own attractiveness.

Can confirm.  I don’t think, pace Stacy, that Seth Rogen movies are solely to blame, but they’re half the problem.  The other half is that guys are are apparently still taught to consider “personality” a part of their overall attractiveness package.  That is, by being a stereotypical Nice Guy, a boy can elevate his sexual market value (SMV) a few points — a 5, who would be perfectly happy with a female 5, thinks he can pull 7s by being Nice to them.

Gentlemen among the Four Readers: If you have any kind of mentor relationship with a young man —  kid brother, college-age cousin, youth group volunteer, Little League coach — it’s a moral imperative to knock this idea out of his head by any means necessary.

Dreams are dreams, and real life is real life. Sure, there are ugly ducklings and late-bloomers and high-school losers who don’t hit their stride until a little later in life, but as a general rule, by the time a guy is 21, the best-looking girl he has ever dated is likely to be the best-looking girl he will ever date, period. That is to say, if a college senior expects the future to bring a major improvement in the general quality of his female companions, he’s apt to be disappointed. And if you have a problem getting or keeping a girlfriend, the problem is you.

Yup.  There’s only one other major cause of lack-of-girlfriend in the college years: One-itis.  If this condition actually made the medical books, I’d be in there.  I really screwed the pooch on that one, didn’t I?  I was lucky enough to get out of college just as this PC, gender studies crap was cranking up.  Looking back, I can think of half a dozen girls just off the top of my head who probably would’ve gone out with me, had I only asked…

Nowadays, of course, men are trained by feminists to gamma-fy themselves, and one-itis gets you hauled before the Kampus Kangaroo Kourt as a stalker / rapist-in-waiting.

Women, of course, suffer from a different problem.  McCain again:

Remember that Eternal Soulmate fantasy, where Jill Layton waxed poetic about a relationship “where two people love each other unconditionally, want to spend all of their time together and are attracted to each other in every way possible”? That’s the chick version of loser guys dreaming of a Meg Ryan lookalike. However intense the attraction between two people, however unconditional their love, real relationships require realistic expectations. It takes more than mere sentiment to hang in there during the hard times and, while people don’t pay me for advice, I would advise parents to warn their daughters against expecting real relationships to be the way romance is portrayed in novels, movies and TV shows.

It’s a twofold problem, of which unrealistic expectations is only a part.  The other part is one of the Gods of the Copybook Headings: be careful what you wish for, as you just might get it.

Women claim they want wussy betaboy “male feminists.”  They don’t.  This

B-uDP6fWkAE9mr8will always lose out to this:

ssmannSuch is the nature of the human animal.  Alas, the entire educational system has been almost exclusively dedicated to churning out the former, for the last six decades or so.  Dating pajamaboys is basically the same as going lesbian….

…except that pajamaboys could theoretically butch up, disrupting the whole tofu-and-cats household dynamic.  Why risk it?

I’m not saying that every guy needs to be an Alpha Male, or that “Game” is the solution to all society’s ills.  But Gender Studies is, without question, one of the deadliest intellectual pathogens of our age.  Take any socio-sexual weirdo on the internet: furries, bronies, asexuals, what have you.  I’d bet a MacArthur Genius Grant that 99.9% of these people were just garden-variety losers in high school (I speak as a former garden-variety high school loser).  High school sucks, but it’s also a Darwinian feedback mechanism — up your Game, or get weeded out of the gene pool….

At least, that’s what it was.  Nowadays it’s easy to convince yourself that you’re not a loser — you’re just a brony, furry, lesbian, whatever.  Embrace this junk, and you’ll be miserable for the rest of your life.  But there will be a zillion pompous people with fancy-sounding degrees telling you that you’re doing the right thing, you’re just being true to yourself….

….and by the time you figure out it’s all lies, it’s way too late.

Pyrrhic Victory?

I’m glad the British people chose freedom last night.  Every other nation in the EU is boned, though.  The lesson globalist politicians will take from this is: Never, ever allow the people a vote.

As Z Man notes, the EU will now begin the arduous process of “forming a committee to study the process of forming a committee to appoint a board to review Britain’s exit request.”  Providing the whole thing doesn’t get overturned in one of a zillion courts — the ballots weren’t printed in Tagalog or something — it won’t happen for years, if ever.

Or maybe not.  European politicians are greedy, incompetent, and almost unfathomably corrupt — they’re the Democrats of the Old World — but they’re not stupid.  They know the people have always had a DIY anti-tyranny kit: rope, lamppost, some assembly required.  You can only screw them over so often before something snaps.

Here’s hoping it works out well.  And cheers to our cousins across the pond!

Time for Prohibition?

This has been my experience, too.  It’s the testimony of a cop in a college town, re: reported vs. prosecuted sexual assaults.

People who are removed from the social scene of young adults today can’t really comprehend how out of control alcohol abuse is among college students and other young people looking to party….these kids today don’t want to just drink to get buzzed and have a good time. They drink with the goal of a black out.

Yup.  I lived in a college town until just recently, and I’ve been in undergrad bars during prime hookup hours.  A good number of these kids — maybe half, maybe more — deliberately set out to get puking, shitfaced, blackout drunk.  Of them, at least a quarter are nearing that stage when they arrive at the bar.

So by last call, they’ve had anywhere from five to God only knows how many drinks in about a four hour period. In a 115 pound sorority sister, that’s a hell of a lot of alcohol.

You’ve never seen drunk like sorority-sister drunk.  Or you have, and know this is the truth.  I’ve seen girls down amounts of booze that would’ve hospitalized me, and I’m a big guy who came up in an industry where the ability to hold liquor was practically a job requirement.  Vodka Sam isn’t the norm at undergrad bars… but she’s not so far off the norm, either.

Oh, and did I mention how many of them are on medications that are contraindicated for alcohol? Given our pill-popping culture in general, I’ll just round up and say that all of them are. Especially mood altering medications and most especially Ambien.

Ambien, my God, the Ambien. Maybe it’s a regional thing, but sometimes it seems like they get it given to them like candy around here. Ambien, of course, intensifies the effects of alcohol, yet these kids pop their daily prescribed dose before or during the pregame, effectively “roofieing” themselves before they even leave the house.

Can confirm.  I once made the mistake of having a drink on Ambien.  One drink.  As I am an adult, I was prescribed Ambien because I couldn’t sleep, to the point where I was doing stuff like leaving the burner on my coffee pot running all day because I’d turned it on without actually putting any water in there.  So when I went to meet a friend who was having a rough time for a drink, I forgot I’d taken the damn thing.  The rest of the evening is a complete and utter blank.  Evidently I helped my buddy, as he told me all about our conversation, stopping for a snack, hanging out at my place, watching tv…. all of which never made it into my memory.  It was fucking terrifying.

Now, this self-intoxication by the victims does not excuse rape. But what gets reported to us isn’t “rape- rape” most of the time.

What gets reported is “Well, me and my girlfriends met at Lisa’s apartment to pre- game. I had a beer and a shot there. Then we went to This Bar and That Bar and I had three shots at the first place and an Appletini at the second place plus this guy gave me half his beer. So, we were dancing and then Lisa and Cindy left. So the guy who gave me half his beer said we should go to This Other Bar to meet his friend and we did. And I had two shots and then he bought me this mixed drink… I don’t remember what it was called or what was in it. And then I had another beer and we danced and I remember we were making out at one point in the bathroom and I gave him a blow job. Then I remember we left This Other bar-”

Needle scratch. Wait a minute. You gave him oral sex?

“Well, yeah…”

Can confirm.  I personally wasn’t on either end of it, but I’ve seen it — more than once — and heard about it dozens of times.  You’d be amazed what drunk kids talk about with complete strangers while you’re having a late-night snack, or when you’re the early bird in the coffee shop and they walk in with sledgehammer hangovers.

Years ago I took a class on Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. One of the illustrations that the instructor used was that of the “Triangle of Crime.” In order to have a crime, you need three things: A Criminal, a Victim, and a Place for the crime to happen. Eliminate any one of those pieces and no crime occurs.

Eliminate the binge drinking and hook- up cultures that a vast, vast majority of reported sexual assault victims willingly participate in, and you would eliminate practically all reported sexual assaults in this country. Eighty percent of them at least would disappear because you would eliminate the victim side of the crime triangle.

Need we say more?

I used to say I enjoy a drink as much as the next man, and maybe I do…. if the next man is a responsible adult.  Whatever these students are, they’re not responsible adults.  Prohibition?  I’m against it in principle, but I can’t see how a society that makes children ride in car seats practically into their teens could possibly justify letting this kind of thing happen night after night, in pretty much every college town in America.

Something to think about, anyway.

“Demolish the Notion of Biological Sex”

Via John C. Wright, the great state of Massachusetts has made basic human biology illegal.

The Massachusetts House of Representatives voted 116-36 Wednesday to legally demolish the notion of biological sex in favor of “gender identity.” A similar bill passed the Massachusetts Senate last month. Gov. Charlie Baker has already said he’ll sign the bill.

Have you ever seen the German movie Downfall, about the very last days of WWII in Europe?  Even as the Red Army is a mere two city blocks away, the Berlin authorities still find time to hang starving civilians for “defeatism,” while in the bunker Hitler fumes and rages while moving imaginary divisions around and the rest of the high command frantically drinks, dances, and fornicates.

That’s where liberalism is in 2016 — gibbering in the fuhrerbunker as economic reality shells their last crumbling fortifications.  I’d expect much more of this type of thing between Obama’s fall and Trump’s reelection campaign.

[If you’re tempted to smile at liberalism’s death throes, don’t — notice that it’s The Red Army who delivered the coup de grace in Berlin.  That’s strictly an American thing, this assumption that bad guys losing always means good guys winning.  History shows that bad guys are much more often defeated by even worse guys].