Fun with #GamerGate

Full disclosure:  I don’t really play videogames, and I certainly am not a “gamer.”  And I  hate the -”Gate” construction with the nuclear fire of a thousand suns; just typing it makes me want to punch something.

That said, I’m getting a real kick out of the whole thing.  Like here.  Vox Day has been on this from the start, and you can check his “games” tag if you feel like following the whole sordid tale.  What I’d like to emphasize is the following:

As Vox says, when you boil it down, the left has one — and only one — tactic: Disqualify, disqualify, disqualify.  They can’t win on logic, because their positions are 95% feewings.  They can’t win on facts, because they don’t have many, and the ones they have often don’t say what they think they say.  They can’t defeat the speech, so they must attack the speaker.

Problem is, “gamers” (another phase I white-hot hate) can’t really be disqualified.  They can’t be shamed.  You can’t outgroup someone whose core sense of self is the outgroup.

The SJWs are starting to realize this.  And it’s driving them bonkers.  And oh, how sweet is their suffering.

But more than that, it’s actually costing them money.  It’s not just their pwecious widdle feewings that are getting bruised — as Vox points out in that piece, Intel and Mercedes have pulled their ads from the main anti-GamerGate sites.  “Social justice” is taking cash out of their pockets.  And as we know, cash is liberalism’ great enabler — the only people who engage in SJW nonsense are the ones who can afford to.

I think we’re on the verge of a real change in Smart People’s opinions.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they suddenly find a whole new respect for the sanctity of private opinion, or the operation of the free market, in this one particular instance.

And great shall be the joy I’ll take in pointing out their disgusting hypocrisy, again and again and again and again and again and again and again…. :)


Sonic says it all in the headline.  And follows it up with:

People who don’t want to believe these things about our Smart People betters in government need to mainline an increasing amount of Vox-style propaganda to even function daily. This is what the Vox-style outlets of the internet are really good at, supplying the Believers with propaganda talking-points that they can cling to like a blanket and use to shield their brain from obvious facts and reasoning that threatens their world view. That Voxian infrastructure is needed by a goodly 40% of the population just to function, like a network of ideological methadone clinics.

“Ideological methadone clinics” is the best description of the online left I’ve ever heard, and I plan to shamelessly rip off “sample” it regularly (I’m bloggin’ hip hop style, yo).


Democrats at <50% Favorability

for the first time in the history of polling, Ace says.

And to think, all it took was them unleashing a deadly plague with potentially millions of casualties!

Seriously, though: If this doesn’t shake lots of people’s faith in socialism, we’re doomed.  Like, literally doomed.

Updated with a quick thought that just occurred to me:  I’d better never, ever hear another word out of any lefty’s pie-hole about Hurricane Katrina.

A Return to Monarchy?

The comments on this post are interesting.  I might be checking out some of Mr. Lind’s work in the future.*

Meanwhile, the older I get and the more of the world I see, the more I think Leviathan is the only political science tome you’ll ever need.


*If I can get past the anti-Semitism, of course.  Sigh.  What is it with these “dissident right” folks and their Protocols of the Elders of Zion bullshit?  It’s the main reason I can’t hardly stand to read Steve Sailer anymore, or much of the commentary at Vox’s.  You get a whole bunch of really interesting, meaty ideas to chew on… and then, BOOM! the whole thing veers of into mouth-frothing conspiracy nonsense about flouridated water and chemtrails.

If you’re so up in arms against the rhetorical tactic of “disqualification” — attacking the messenger instead of the message — then do please try not to be so eminently disqualifiable.  Anti-Semitism is the oldest, most blatant case of question-begging in the entire history of the human race.

“The Jooooos! did it”

“Really?  ‘It’ didn’t seem to work out so well for them, whatever ‘it’ is….”

“That’s just what they want you to think!”

et cetera ad nauseam.

For fuck’s sake, people: How is this any different from Marxism?  Socialism is Truth, and if you don’t see it, it’s False Consciousness.  Circular fucking reasoning, boys.  Turtles all the way down.

Oh, wait, I forgot — the Bolsheviks were also Joooooos!.


Witch Hunts

Sniff, sniff. Are you a good anti-Fascist?

-George Orwell

ducking-stool_1673736c[This started as a response to Morgan's post, here.  I didn't want to overrun his comment section so I put  it here.  It's my answer to the question, "why are we still hating Sarah Palin -- who totally doesn't matter -- five years after she ran for office?"]

It’s another heresy hunt.

(I prefer that to “witch hunt” since “witch hunt” has been so overused, it’s meaningless, but if it helps, switch it in as needed.  Anyway….)

The point of a heresy hunt is to prop up a ruling power that’s on the verge of collapse.  Since we moderns don’t believe in God anymore, whenever we read about witch burnings and religious persecutions we think it’s one of those incomprehensible medieval arguments about theology.  “Is Jesus co-equal with God, or somehow less, because He was created?  Wow, and they killed people over this?”

But heresy hunts are always entirely secular.  When things are going well — when institutions are strong and cultures are stable — they disappear.  In England, for example, which had strong institutions and remarkably stable government, there were hardly any heresy trials, no witch burnings, and none of those evangelical rebellions that plagued less strong, less stable regions like southern France.  In Germany, where institutions were close to nonexistent, heresy hunts and witch burnings were industrial scale (all the famous apparatus of witch-hunting — the Malleus Maleficarum etc. — were developed in Germany).  Only when the old order began collapsing — in England, under the Tudors and Jacobeans — did you see that kind of thing in other places.

You’ll notice, too, that the reaction is way out of proportion to the crime.  If you read up on the Salem Witchcraft Trials, for instance, you’ll notice that they rarely mention what the witches actually did.  What was the maleficium for which they were killed?  Even the worst witch in the most frenzied trial had a lower body count than the typical village judge. (It’s interesting to note that the Salem Witch Museum’s FAQ page doesn’t even say what the girls did).  Similarly, the actual beliefs for which most “heretics” were burned were bizarre but harmless.

That’s because the crime isn’t the point.

You burn witches and heretics because they are witches and heretics.  The assumption is that their very presence pollutes the social order.  The reasoning is NOT “our crops failed; a witch must’ve done it.”  That’s modern thinking, conditioned by 400 years of the scientific method.  The reasoning is “our crops failed; there must be a witch here.”

It’s a subtle difference, but it’s vitally important.  In a very real sense, witches don’t do; witches are.

Most people who observe the Left for any length of time eventually remark on how atavistic their thinking is.  I’ve done it myself (rather poorly).  I used the word “feudalism” there, just as I’m using the words “heresy” and “witchcraft” here, because I like history and the comparisons seem obvious to me.  But if that doesn’t work for you — and medieval / early modern history is really, really weird — try this one:  ideological autism.

As everyone knows, you can’t reason someone out of leftism.  Their fundamental propositions are self-contradictory — “one can only see the world through the lens of one’s race / class / gender, but somehow I can see it all, since I’m telling you that you can only see the world through the lens of your race / class / gender.”  But that doesn’t bother them at all.  The Ishmael Effect only works on conservatives.

Are you seeing where this is going?  Logically, Sarah Palin is harmless.  She’s a gadfly with a Facebook page.  I’ve never even heard a conservative start a conversation with “you know, Sarah Palin has a really good idea about ____.”  But if you think of her as The Heretic or The Witch, it starts to fall into place.  Like modern-day autistics, pre-modern Europeans had great difficulty grasping nuance.  They were baffled and frightened by the concept that a person could act one way, but actually be another way.  Indeed, at bottom that’s what witches and heretics are – they look just like you and me, but they’re really in league with the Devil.

The social order must be maintained at all costs, in other words, because that’s the only way the world makes sense to them.

Our ideological autists / heresy hunters can’t stand Sarah Palin because she screws up their heuristics.  They function in the world by assigning a certain set of beliefs and behaviors to the category “woman,” and they literally don’t know how to behave if their mental picture doesn’t match up with external reality.  So they fall back on the only thing they know how to do:  Burn the witch!

This has been characteristic of the Left for a long, long time.  I led with an Orwell quote.  Here it is in context:

By 1937 the whole of the intelligentsia was mentally at war. Left-wing thought had narrowed down to ‘anti-Fascism’, i.e. to a negative, and a torrent of hate-literature directed against Germany and the politicians supposedly friendly to Germany was pouring from the Press. The thing that, to me, was truly frightening about the war in Spain was not such violence as I witnessed, nor even the party feuds behind the lines, but the immediate reappearance in left-wing circles of the mental atmosphere of the Great War. The very people who for twenty years had sniggered over their own superiority to war hysteria were the ones who rushed straight back into the mental slum of 1915. All the familiar wartime idiocies, spy-hunting, orthodoxy-sniffing (Sniff, sniff. Are you a good anti-Fascist?), the retailing of atrocity stories, came back into vogue as though the intervening years had never happened. Before the end of the Spanish war, and even before Munich, some of the better of the left-wing writers were beginning to squirm. Neither Auden nor, on the whole, Spender wrote about the Spanish war in quite the vein that was expected of them. Since then there has been a change of feeling and much dismay and confusion, because the actual course of events has made nonsense of the left-wing orthodoxy of the last few years. But then it did not need very great acuteness to see that much of it was nonsense from the start. There is no certainty, therefore, that the next orthodoxy to emerge will be any better than the last.

As the orthodoxies change — as the old regime crumbles — the heresy hunters redouble their efforts.  The good news is that witch hunts always end, usually with the witch-hunters themselves on the rack.  The bad news is that a lot of people suffer needlessly before it’s over.  At the very least, we owe Sarah Palin a small debt of gratitude for taking so much of the venom that might well be directed at us.


I like it!

I especially dig this bit:

For the world of art and literature is largely dominated by the Left, and the Left is dominated by people whose world-view is inherited from their great-grandfathers. In this view, we need labour unions to defend us against the peril of child labour, Big Government to defend us against Standard Oil. America is one false move away from theocracy and Jim Crow; Europe is one false move away from another World War. Nothing can save us except a wonderful new panacea called Socialism, which has never been tried before, and with which nothing can possibly go wrong. These, in the main, are the ideas of the Left even today; and the people who believe these things have the nerve to call themselves Progressives.

They call for progress; but they are still trying to progress from 1914 into 1915. They call for subversion; but the thing they are trying to subvert no longer exists.

As we often say around here, ignorance of history is liberalism’s flux capacitor; it’s what makes faith in socialism possible.

images“Superversion,” if I take their meaning correctly, is restoring what was once “subverted.”  You know, truth, beauty, morality, all the stuff that let Marcel Duchamp stick a title card on a toilet and call it “art.”

Good stuff.


I Guess Our Work Here is Done, Y’all

Here at Rotten Chestnuts, we try to examine some of the stuff “everybody knows” that just ain’t so.  But we can’t know everything.  We are, after all, just people.

Sexy, wonderful people, to be sure, but still just people.

But the eggheads at Vox, now… those guys know everything.  Really.  The Federalist breaks it all down.

We can’t possibly compete with that.  It’s time to pack it in, guys.

Conservatives vs. Libertarians

Matt K. Lewis at The Week breaks it down:

Conservatism and libertarianism are not the same. There are obvious differences on hot-button issues like military intervention (libertarians tend to oppose it while many conservatives tend to favor a robust U.S. military) and immigration reform (libertarians want borders that are a whole lot more open than what conservatives prefer). And there’s also the ever-present tension between freedom and virtue, between order and liberty.

So far, so good, but then we get to this:

Libertarians are full steam in favor of individual-liberty issues like gay marriage and marijuana decriminalization. And while not every conservative thinks these things will be the downfall of Western civilization, we do worry that emphasizing rights over responsibility and radical individualism over community might have unintended consequences.

And there you have it.  The emphasis is mine, because in my fairly extensive experience, those are really the only things “libertarians” are in favor of.

Look, I live in a college town.  “Doctrinaire left-liberal” and “poseur libertarian” are about the only two political identities on offer.  Goateed, fedora-wearing, Cheeto-stained dudes who are just too cool to be in your World of Warcraft guild always opt for the latter, and needless to say they’re not exactly nuanced political thinkers.

These guys would vote for fucking Stalin if he promised to loosen up the pot laws, is what I’m getting at.

Let’s look at that list again.  Libertarians favor:

  • non-intervention
  • open borders
  • gay marriage
  • pot legalization

You know who else thinks all those things are just super great?

indexOf course, he’ll go on about military non-intervention as he’s bombing the living shit out of just about everywhere — we’re up to seven different countries at last count — but you know that if he had his druthers, the (ick!) military would be a glorious coeducational gay-friendly knitting circle.

I’ll start listening to “libertarians” when and only when I see one who doesn’t go full progtard the second he gets a whiff of doobage.

Alinskyism in Action

I’m not a Sean Hannity Show fan … matter of fact I really can’t stand listening to it, though I catch snippets in the car from time to time because I’m too lazy to change the station on the 7 minute ride home (and there aren’t any other stations these days I’d like anyway).  A lot of it is because even though he’s got truth and reason on his side, he can’t seem to focus enough to destroy such a weak guest as Betsy Rodriguez of Green Front, apparently formerly of the ill-fated (because nobody wanted to listen to it) Air America … on “Climate Change/Chaos/Warmening” … Man Bear Pig.  But this isn’t really about Sean, who I probably agree with on a majority of things … it’s about this.

Her whole argument, and I’m not exaggerating here, was this:

  • Planetary Crisis
  • 99% of Climate Scientists
  • Oh…. come on.
  • Have you noticed the weather is extreme? Hurricane Sandy? (The 2012 which hit Cuba as a Cat 3 storm quickly fell back to a Cat 1 and was a tropical storm by the time it hit the northeast.  It was little more than a coincidental combination of a tropical and extra-tropical storm as it moved out of the tropics, hyped by the media and pounced upon by AGW activists)
  • Oh my goodness gracious! (dismissing a scientist from University of Pennsylvania as soon as his name is mentioned)
  • What planet do you live on?
  • You guys are fossil fools! You are the deni-o-saurs! I didn’t think you’d show your face after 4,000,000 people from around the country and the world came here.
  • What??? (to the fact there’s been no warming for 18 years)
  • 98% of scientists … (guess she lost a percent.  They were probably listening to the show)

The most telling… when the East Anglian University emails were brought up….

  • Oh my gosh, we’re not going to go back to that!?  Oh my gosh! That is such old news!
  • Not true. Proven not true. Really. Go on to the next argument. Al Gore and his plane, and East Aglia, what do you have that’s new… for me? Come on!

So pretty much ridicule and buzz-word dropping and repeating that debunked 99 98 97% Climate Scientist claim.  I especially loved “fossil fools” and “deni-o-saurs”.  Which is why I came up with Al-warmist (An Al Gore Warmist Alarmist).  To kind of answer that kind of stuff. They’ve been at it longer, though.

And of course, the vehement dismissal of Climategate and an almost panicked urgency to NOT talk about it.

In the end, though, rather than forcing her to stay on topic and defend her positions against cited facts, the conversation went on to less relevant tit-for-tat even though Sean had a well-informed guest who could have destroyed her on air if he’d been given a chance to speak without her interruptions and Sean changing the subjects so quickly.


The Thiel Question

From RWCG:

“What important truth do very few people agree with you on?”

Sonic’s answer is well worth pondering.  Here’s mine:

People are always rational, but only intermittently reasonable. 

The individual’s basic rationality is the cornerstone of Western philosophy.  All Plato’s dialogues show Socrates leading an individual from ignorance to truth through their own unaided reason.  Hobbes based his whole theory of human nature on it.  Even the Calvinists, who preached the total depravity of mankind, believed it — next to the Bible itself, the most quoted works among the Puritans were the logical works of Petrus Ramus.

But people always seem to forget that second part, even though everyone knows it’s true.  People always pursue what they perceive to be the good.  Key word: Perceive.  Smashing that guy in the face, stealing that car, smoking that joint, screwing that girl… all of these seemed like the best idea at the time, under the circumstances.  What’s rational is not necessarily what’s reasonable.  This is how Hobbes arrived at an authoritarian political system from the basic rationality of mankind.

Indeed, many people would find my Thiel Answer self-contradictory.  The Stoics, for instance, seemed to believe that the universe was Reason; to act “in accordance with nature,” as their commandment put it, was to be simultaneously rational and reasonable at all times.  The French Revolutionaries believed that, too, as these grotesqueries attest.  And Our Betters, the liberals, certainly seem to believe it — if only we saw things from their Olympian perspective, we’re constantly told, we’d be socialists too.

But it’s not trueIt’s certainly not true on the level of individuals.  If it were, there’d be no obesity epidemic in America — all you’d have to do is show the fatties pictures of clogged aortas.  Satisfying an immediate, overpowering urge is always rational; it’s just not always reasonable.

It’s not true on the macro level, either, and even Our Betters know it.  They all pretend to understand chaos theory, for instance, and they’ll happily tell you that you can’t predict even something as simple as a billiard shot with perfect accuracy — there are just too many initial conditions to consider.  It is rational, in other words, to declare that we could make a 100% accurate prediction IFF we knew all the initial conditions.  It’s just not reasonable to attempt such predictions in real life, because we’ll never know them all.  You have to fudge and guess and assume and retcon and pull stuff out of your ass.  Ask Squirty how that’s working out.

Uncertainty makes Squirty cry

Uncertainty makes Squirty cry

What’s your answer to the Thiel Question?