This is How It’s Done

As I said, I have no dog in the fight, fiction-wise.  And the one book of Mr. Correia’s I picked up didn’t do it for me.  But oh my sweet Lord, THIS is how you do a fisking.  I really have to buy one of his books, even if it sits unread for ever, as a thank you for these posts.

My favorite part?  Oh, there are so many, but it’s probably this, when he’s comparing the “privilege” of a rich whiny Trust-Fund Trotsky to his “Portuguese Dairy Farmer Privilege:”

I know when I think of marginalized lives, I think of mooching off your rich friends while playing tourist.

I only say that because I grew up with all that fancy Portuguese Dairy Farmer Privilege, where I got to have an alcoholic mother and a functionally illiterate father (who is way darker skinned than Tempest), where I got to spend my formative years knee deep in cow shit at 3:00 AM, so that I could later work my way through Utah State (only after getting a scholarship for my freshmen year because I knew a whole lot about cows), to then spend my adult life working corporate drone jobs of increasing difficulty and skill requirements, all while writing on the side while I supported my family, until I could make it as a professional author.

Lecture us more about privilege, Tempest. It’s fascinating.

RTWT.

Take Wisdom Where You Find It III

Vox Day also runs a “Game” site, Alpha Game.  Wherein we find this handy checklist.  I can’t swipe the whole thing, but I will point out:

 

  • In the past year you can’t recall a single serious online discussion you were wrong about anything.
  • In the past two years you can’t recall one discussion with any friends or family in which you were wrong about anything.
  • When you are having an argument with someone and it appears you are wrong, the most common belief and defense is the other person simply doesn’t understand what you are saying.
  • When discussing matters with someone and you think you are maybe, possibly being shown to be wrong you start to get snarky, crack lame jokes, and immediately try to change the subject.
  • If someone holds an opinion contrary to yours, and you don’t think you have a good defense immediately to hand you start to look for unrelated ways to disqualify the other person as at least knowledgeable about the subject, and even going so far as to disqualify them as a good person or even a person at all.
  • Definitions are tenuous for you and words can be redefined at leisure during a discussion. If someone quotes the dictionary and it disagrees with your definition they are arguing unfairly and the dictionary is wrong.

Gosh, that sure sounds like some folks we know!  The “Game” community has an almost ivory tower-ish lingo, so it’s hard to determine just what “Gamma,” “Delta,” etc. mean (though I’m sure there’s a list somewhere, and that there have been doctrinal disputes to rival the Council of Nicea).  Let’s just assume that “Gamma” means “twitchy internet troll.”  Browsing through the category might give us some insights as to how these creatures develop, and how they think.

This is a public service announcement.

 

Take Wisdom Where You Find It II

Basically, let me give you my lecture on research. I don’t know if I should say this—but when I hear about all of these complex models that weight the evidence of 70 indicators, that is pure bullshit. I am old enough, I can say that.

Okay, now defend it.

First of all, I defy anyone to find 70 indicators that are specifically independent of each other and that have anything to do with stock prices. If you do, you get the prize. But even if you did, the model would be immense. Let’s just cut that roughly in half, to make it simple, and say we had a 38-factor model. Let’s make it simple again and say that there are only five ways to interpret each factor—very negative, negative, neutral, positive or very positive. So how many different patterns of 38 indicators would you have to recognize to understand the implication of each possible mix of indicators?

A very large number, I’d bet.

The formula is 5 to the 38th power. Now, there is a thing in statistics called degrees of freedom, which says that in order for a model like that to be anything but mush you would need about 2 million years of data. Even if you only have 10 indicators—which brings into the mix just about every macro analyst out there, there still are not enough degrees of freedom to say that the model is worth anything. This is what is so counter-intuitive—the effectiveness of a model is inversely related to the number of factors that are components of that model. The fewer the factors you use, the more reliable the model becomes. This is the exact opposite of what most people think, but if you start with just one factor and then add another you now have 25 different possible outcomes—and it’s possible to measure that accurately, if you have enough data. But if you add another factor, the potential outcomes go up to 300 or so. So my shtick on research is: “Find the one, two or maybe three factors that are the most effective.”

[From the comments at RWCG, here.  The original piece is linked here].

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I give not one single corn-laden shit about “global climate change.”  How many factors would you need to accurately model the temperature of the entire Earth?  A 38-factor model needs 2 million years of data; a whatever-huge-number-of-factors model would need a lot more.  And we’ve got, what, 40 years’ worth of actual climate data?  Even assuming the non-“adjusted” numbers still exist?

Not even Squirty can do that kind of math

Not even Squirty can do that kind of math

Take Wisdom Anywhere You Find It

I’ve been out of the meat market for a long time, so I have no interest in “Game” as a skillset.  But its underlying assumptions — that men and women exhibit biologically-programmed behavior — seem sound, and generate interesting conclusions.  Like this:

Framing is one of the most interesting game concepts, and it’s because it has applicability well beyond the context of picking up girls. The supposed leftoid love for uncertainty and ambiguity is just as accurately expressed as a leftoid fear of judgment. Which, when you think about it, makes survival sense. An effete liberal manlet benefits from a society that refuses to judge it unworthy of inclusion.

Though he’d piss himself if he knew it, “framing” in PUA lingo is pretty much identical to George Lakoff’s political version.  Lakoff, you’ll recall, is the guy who claims that

people view the world through the lens of their metaphors, which he thinks provide them with the framework of their thought. Since the 1980s, liberals have allowed conservative metaphors to take over their own metaphoric framework, so that all discussions or arguments about social policy are carried out on conservative terms. Liberals waste their time and effort in arguing from the evidence (conservatives, of course, can have no evidence); they should instead be working to get conservatives to accept a different metaphoric framework.

As epistemology, it’s junk — the set of policies called {Patriotism Plus} is exactly equal to the set of policies called {Socialism}, and will be rightly rejected by any sane person on the exact same grounds.  But as a tactic for fooling low-info voters, it’s pretty good, and as a tactic for picking up chicks — if the Chateau Heartiste guy(?)* is to be believed, it’s gold.

And, as we saw above, it’s pretty good for protecting the soft, squishy egos of liberal snowflakes, too.  If you assume that all human interactions are at some level contests**, then the person who controls the frame controls the outcome.  In this case, of course, the conflict is between the “effete liberal manlet” (such deliciously vicious phrasing!) and himself, but still — the (correct) perception that he’s a sexual marketplace loser must be beaten down at all costs, and so it’s not “fear of being judged,” it’s “tolerance of ambiguity.”

This “reframing” stuff could be quite useful in political discussions.  Not that it’ll change liberals’ minds, of course — if they could properly perceive reality, they wouldn’t be liberals — but it will cause them to flee in tears, which is the best realistic outcome (and schadenfreudily fun, too).

 

 

 

*The author(s) speak of themselves in the plural, but I saw somewhere that this was once the blog of one guy, who called himself Roissy.  Whether he’s added co-bloggers, or this is just a mocking use of the Royal We, doesn’t really matter.  But I don’t want to misattribute.

**As you’ll recall, this is Foucault’s fundamental (heh) insight.  See what I mean about the kernel of truth in this stuff?  Lefty professors convert kids by introducing beachhead facts — small nuggets of truth — then building giant edifices of bullshit around them.  Their facts are ok, but their conclusions are 180 degrees from reality.  Profs do it to get tenure; lefties in the real world do it because they’re malignant narcissists.

Are They REALLY That Stupid?

Do you even need to ask?

Lefties, who rend their clothes at every opportunity about how much they love The Working Class ™, say Scott Walker’s unqualified to be president because he doesn’t have a college degree.

That oughtta go down great in, say, the Rust Belt swing state of Ohio.  I can see the ads now:

“Are you a union worker?  Did you climb your way up from nothing, fulfilling the American dream?  Well, guess what?  Your own party thinks you’re stupid!  That’s right, my fellow blue collar Americans: Howard Dean said…”

But, alas — no matter how dumb the Dems are, the GOP is always dumber.  They won’t use this, because being The Stupid Party is always more important than actually winning elections.  Still, a fella can dream…..

It Begins? (UPDATE: Never Mind)

UPDATE 2/11/2015:  You can read my original thoughts, below, but they’ve been overtaken by events (as I thought they might; see #1).

From Vox Day:

“Included in his many Facebook ‘likes’ are the Huffington Post, Rachel Maddow, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Freedom from Religion Foundation, Bill Nye ‘The Science Guy,’ Neil deGrasse Tyson, Gay Marriage groups, and a host of anti-conservative/Tea Party pages.”

That’s the last we’ll be hearing about Mr. Hicks, as his Facebook likes clearly render even the “he was mentally ill, expand Obamacare!” storyline inoperative.  He’ll be down the memory hole by Friday.

 

___

 

The Left and the media (BIRM) have been openly drooling for an “anti-Muslim backlash” since 9-11-2001.  If this report from Fox News is even sorta correct, it may have finally happened.  3 things to note here:

1) Can anyone tell me how to do a screen cap?  Because I’m thinking this part is gonna disappear PDQ:

Police have not given a motive for the triple homicide, although a Facebook page in Hicks’ name described him as a supporter of “Atheists for Equality” and in a recent post he asked “why radical Christians and radical Muslims are so opposed to each others’ influence when they agree about so many ideological issues.”

That’s obviously wrong.  Clearly the guy is a Rightwing Christofascist (TM).

2) If true, that’s ONE incident in FOURTEEN years.  One.  In fourteen.  Despite the best — and often successful — attempts of jihadis to murder us pretty much around the clock.  Being rabbits, and therefore unable to grasp logical consequences, the rank-and-file Left will never understand that most people get tired of being called racists, sexists, Islamophobes, etc. on the slightest pretext.  And that certain folks operate on the principle of “If I’m gonna be accused of it anyway, I might as well be guilty.”  Alinskyites, however, know it all too well — which is why they’ve been banging this drum for fourteen years.  Which leads to

3) It’ll be extremely interesting to see who comes down on what side of this, should the media decide* to go with “anti-Muslim hate crime OMG!”  The usual suspects will blast off into hyper-partisan hyperspace, of course, but the cooler heads’ reactions will tell us a lot about how things will go after 2016.  The Alinskyites will press for more and more restrictions on liberty — that’s a given — but what will the people at large do?  I suspect that a lot of people will mentally shrug their shoulders and say “meh,” and a few will do so openly.  If large numbers of people openly say “meh,” we’ll know that the polarization of America is nearly complete.  That’s bad…. but it’s inevitable.  If true, this “hate crime” will tell us how advanced the process is.

 

*Yeah, it IS a decision.  Jared Loughner was obviously mad as a hatter, but the media decided to play him as a right-wing zealot anyway, for fun and profit.  But this guy has that whole atheist thing, the same way that school shooter — ol’ Whatzisface — was known as the campus socialist.  If this guy is an obvious Leftie — and how many evangelical atheist rightwingers have you met? — I expect the storyline will be something along the lines of “lone wolf psychotic gunman shows need for expanded mental health services; expand Obamacare.”

Explaining Academia: A Big Hairy Smelly WHAT?!?

I’d bet long money that every single person involved in this little dust-up has a graduate degree.

Warning: NSFW.  Not that there are pictures or anything — and thank Allah for that!! — but the big, hairy, smelly thing in question is what you think it is.  Male-to-female transsexuals, you see, claim to think of themselves as “real women” despite not having the requisite parts, and radical feminists ain’t havin’ none of that:

This is a struggle—laden with a hilarious level of acrimony—between men who insist they’re women and women who insist that the most crucial part of being a woman involves popping out of your mother’s vagina with a vagina of your own. The latter group is disparagingly referred to as TERFs—Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists—due to the fact that they feel male-to-female trannies are trying to party-crash their struggle against historical oppression. The TERFs argue that for men to pretend they’re women is insulting to real women. To them, it is a genital form of blackface.

And if that ain’t bad enough, there’s an argument about the smell:

The newly carved-out orifices of male-bodied transgenders do not resemble vaginas [and] create new microbial habitats in which infections develop and cause serious smell issues for their owners.

Ummm…. ok.

I don’t have much to add to this — Jim Goad sums it up pretty well, and Ace of Spades (from whence I got the link) has some funny commentary.  I’d just like to note that all of this grotesquerie is a perfectly logical outcome of fundamental ivory tower premises.

As we saw yesterday, the Enlightenment kicked the idea of essences, or fundamentals, or whatever you want to call them, to the curb.  It would never have occurred to, say, Condorcet to attempt turning a biological male into a biological female, but if you held his feet to the fire about it, he’d eventually have to declare that yes, this is within the bounds of science, because everything is within the bounds of science.  Only the rules of math are absolute.

Please note: This is the least repugnant position for an Enlightened to hold.

If you take it one step further — as, we’ll soon see, postmodernists do — you’ll quickly end up arguing that even the rules of math aren’t absolute.  They, too, are “social constructions” (no, really — read this Wiki summary of Paul Feyerabend.  Bring lots of Tylenol).  And if that’s the case, then yes, trannies are “real women,” because “real women” are whatever entities who lay claim to the title “real woman” say they are.

In effect, it all comes down to politics.  The “community of meaning” which prevails will eventually do so by forcing governments to pass laws, and forcing courts to interpret those laws.  The TERF wars are ultimately about who’s going to grab the political megaphone first.  Which, again, is perfectly logical given the initial premises.

It’s a tempest in a teapot, then, since all blue-on-blue battles boil down to the hand on the megaphone.  But it’s interesting for our purposes, in that for a moment the mask has slipped.  Normally, you’d only hear about something like this buried five layers deep in impenetrable academic jargon.  But just this once, the eggheads are speaking English… and it turns out that what they’re talking about is crotch funk.

Explaining Academia: Apologia, Part II

Ace of Spades notes another liberal bailing out on PC, a la Jonathan Chait.  This dude is an academic at Purdue, and an out-n-proud left winger:

I have seen, with my own two eyes, a 19 year old white woman — smart, well-meaning, passionate — literally run crying from a classroom because she was so ruthlessly brow-beaten for using the word “disabled.” Not repeatedly. Not with malice. Not because of privilege. She used the word once and was excoriated for it. She never came back. I watched that happen…

…These things aren’t hypothetical. This isn’t some thought experiment. This is where I live, where I have lived. These and many, many more depressing stories of good people pushed out and marginalized in left-wing circles because they didn’t use the proper set of social and class signals to satisfy the world of intersectional politics.

The question then becomes: What are we, the Right, going to do with this information?

Because I’ve seen incidents like this, too, and I’ll tell you what happens to the girl who flees the classroom in tears:  She doesn’t become a conservative.  She doesn’t think “oh, those Lefties and their awful, hateful attitudes.”  That’s what she should think, we’d argue — correctly — but it doesn’t happen.

hqdefaultWhat happens is: she gets turned off the whole idea of ideas. Since this kind of thing happens in college classrooms — where the most vocal minority of the students, and the professor, agree 100% with the PC thugs — she assumes that this is what politics IS.  That this is what college IS.  That this — a poo-flinging two minutes’ hate — IS intellectual debate.

These hooligans haven’t made a new conservative; they’ve minted a bright shiny new Low-Info Voter.  She will now take her political cues entirely from The View and Jon Stewart, because those are the bare minimum acceptable opinions for her not to get screamed at again.

And that’s why I write these things.  This girl needs to know that this is not what college is — it’s what Leftwing politics are.  “Intersectional politics,” as they put it, IS a poo-flinging two minutes’ hate — nothing more, nothing less.  Because here’s the kicker:

By the way: in these incidents, and dozens and dozens of more like it, which I have witnessed as a 30-hour-a-week antiwar activist for three years and as a blogger for the last seven and as a grad student for the past six, the culprits overwhelmingly were not women of color. That’s always how this conversation goes down: if you say, hey, we appear to have a real problem with how we talk to other people, we are losing potential allies left and right, then the response is always “stop lecturing women of color.” But these codes aren’t enforced by women of color, in the overwhelming majority of the time. They’re enforced by the children of privilege. I know. I live here. I am on campus. I have been in the activist meetings and the lefty coffee houses. My perspective goes beyond the same 200 people who write the entire Cool Kid Progressive Media.

Just so.  The entire apparatus of academic-leftist discourse, stem to stern, top to bottom, exists solely to justify the raging narcissism of rich white kids.  They have everything in the world, yet still feel empty inside.  They’re deathly afraid that they only exist because of their massive head start in life, and they’ll do anything to ease that pain.  If you’re endlessly searching for “microaggressions,” and you’re the ever-vigilant champion of the oppressed, you’ll never, ever have to be alone with your own thoughts.

And that’s academia in a nutshell.

Just Be Wrong!

At least 33% of what’s wrong with American culture is encapsulated by this statement, from “Sports Guy” Bill Simmons*:

And again, I appreciate 99 percent of the New Era of Sports Thinking. We’re unquestionably and undeniably smarter now. But you also read and hear so much more hedging, so much more stammering, so much presenting-both-sides-of-the-picture, so many timid arguments because writers don’t want their opinions thrown back in their face later. It also enables certain radio hosts and television hosts to take comically strong stands, one way or the other, simply because everyone else is setting up shop somewhere in the rational middle. They don’t have to be right; they just have to stand out. It’s much easier to stand out in 2015, that’s for sure.

In a more sensible era, the folks who took “comically strong stands” would be rightly regarded as comics.  More importantly, note the rationale: “writers don’t want their opinions thrown back in their face later.”  Again, in a more sensible era, this would be rational — a pundit who regularly got big things wrong would lose his job (“10 Reasons Why Wally Pipp Will Be the 1926 MVP!”).  But this is the internet era, and as Vox has shown, making fun of idiots who get literally everything wrong all the time is a viable business model for both the critics and the idiots.

The problems we face aren’t amenable to timid, middle of the road arguments.  More importantly, they can’t be solved by people with mingy, timid characters.  Be wrong!  And if you’re wrong, admit it like a man.  That’s the true middle ground between weak sauce and hyperbole, and if more people embraced it, a lot of our problems would be a lot less pressing.

 

*I really can’t stand Simmons, but Grantland.com is fascinating.  Its schtick seems to be “we’re middle-aged men pretending to be teenage girls,” and it does what David Stove said JS Mill did — it performs the valuable service of making important mistakes clearly.

Backlash….

Ace of Spades posts this Tweet re: Charlie Hebdo:

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This is the nth mass murder jihadi scum have perpetrated on the west, and that “anti-Muslim backlash” the Left and the media (BIRM) are drooling with anticipation for keep fretting about hasn’t happened yet.

One wonders how long this state of affairs will continue.