Monday, November 16, 2020

Call it a protest.

 Thanksgiving 2020.

I've heard it's getting testy out there.



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Saturday, November 14, 2020

Lockdown psychology

 I'm interested to see what happens with non-lockdown states and countries vs. lock-down states and countries.


I'm in a lock-down state. Our Covid cases and hospitalizations in my state are now through the roof.

What lock-down governors seem not to have understood is that you can't give orders to people who are not choosing to cooperate. Even the military understands this. So many on the progressive left think that the military is orders and obedience. Because they don't understand leadership AT ALL.

It was not GOOD LEADERSHIP to push people through mental torture all summer. Without a reprieve, family, connections, and recreation, people are not ready NOW to do another "two weeks to flatten the curve." Can people who had no chance to regroup, endure another lock down now?

It's not even that people are not willing. It's that they CAN'T.

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Saturday, September 05, 2020

On the Media, Democrats, Compassion and North Korea:


North Korea really exposed priorities of a whole lot of people as far as I'm concerned. The need to tear down Trump was far far more important than the people of North Korea. Who really cares about Kim? No one on the Left. Who cares about the people of North Korea? No one on the Left.

Trump accomplished an unprecedented bringing together of North and South Korean leaders and all of a sudden our media and Democrats wouldn't shut up about how immoral it would be to let Kim get away with past horrors.

The *solution* was to insist that those horrors continue?

Or maybe they wanted us to go in for some international assassination action? But no.

Just months before, just a few months before, the media and Democrats were warning about how Trump wasn't nice enough! They were horrified that Trump insulted "Rocket Man" Kim! And they were praising Kim's elegant, cosmopolitan sister at the Olympic winter games and the *delicious* way she threw shade on Vice President Pence.

The people of North Korea didn't come into the question at all. It's as though they weren't even real to our media or the Democrats.

I mean, if someone wants to point out how doing everything possible to undermine progress with North Korea was showing even the least bit of *compassion* to the people of North Korea, they should go ahead and try.
I found it all horrifying.

And the rhetoric? Oh, if you're not calling for Kim to be arrested and tried for his crimes, you were a horrible person. The self-righteousness of it all. It was breathtaking.

The "journalists" accosting Trump and trying to force him into calling Kim a monster (and he certainly is one) when doing so would have completely destroyed the work that had been done?

I have to believe that real evil exists in the world. On the one side you've got a tyrant like Kim, raised to it. On the other side you've got Journalists wallowing in their self-righteousness but working as actively for the cause of a monster like Kim as if they were raised to it by a monstrous father. So on which side of that does actual evil occupy?

And a few months earlier the exact same people really were gushing over Kim's equally monstrous sister.

They really were.

Saturday, August 01, 2020

The Paradox of Tolerance

The paradox of tolerance nearly disappears if we understand that "tolerate" isn't "celebrate". So "intolerance" isn't a "failure to celebrate."

We've got people proclaiming, as if it's smart and means something, that we ought not "tolerate intolerance." But what they mean is that we must not tolerate those who fail to celebrate...whatever it is thing that they think ought to be celebrated.

"Tolerate" is this...I may hate what you have to say but will defend with my life your right to say it. I can HATE your opinions and your choices, and still defend your right to have your opinions and make your choices.

In the PARADOX the only person I'm allowed to show intolerance for is the person who doesn't allow other people that same freedom to have opinions or choices that they hate or even allow other people to have disapproval or dislike of opinions or choices that they think are right.

We could say the same about "COEXIST".

We can coexist with people we feel are dangerous in their wrong headedness. We can deal with people we feel are leading others astray. We can tolerate and we can coexist with anyone, right up until they will not allow our own opinions and choices because of the excuse that *they* have judged those opinions or choices intolerant and decide that they've got the moral authority to do more than attempt to reason and persuade us.

Notice just how often some people explain that no one should even try to reason or persuade. Pay attention and notice how often some people say that they don't have to educate you. Notice next time someone says that beating people up or starting stuff on fire is better than having a conversation with people who believe bad things.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

The Mary Sue: A Case Study

I previously posted this to Facebook.


If you are watching Teen Wolf because I talked about it, don't read this because spoilers. Not awful ones, but I know it wrecks stuff if I'm anticipating something happening. Knocks me out of the story.
Anyhow, I want to talk about the character, Kira. At first she works. And then, in my opinion, she stops working. And she stops working because she's a Mary Sue. Sort of a fake, artificial, logical Mary Sue but the effect ends up being the same. Which I find interesting and possibly important from a writing point of view.
If you've watched, staring in season 3, the character of Kira is introduced. Kira is a kitsune or she's possessed by a kitsune. As it gains power she loses control of it. But in the mean time it confers to her the ability to be a bad-ass sword fighter. She can control electricity as well, but doesn't do anything with it.
Compared to Allyson who's back story is that starting as a very young girl she practiced with a bow and arrow and was proficient enough to be on the National Junior team. Her family also taught her other weapons. Even if they never told her the Big Family Secret, she was trained.
Kira wasn't. And while at first she does a few things that could be instinct or accident, as events progress she simply allows the spirit in her to do all the work. They continue this logically and eventually she has to leave and spend indefinite decades or centuries learning not to be subservient to it. So ultimately it was a recognized thing, that she hadn't earned or learned any of her skills, and in the story it all flows logically and purposefully.
But something else happened, too. She lost agency. Losing agency is not interesting. Fighting to regain and assert agency would be interesting but she doesn't do that. And not being compulsively inquisitive toward her own *self* was not interesting.
It doesn't need to be one of those sequences where the new superhero kid tests to see what his superpowers are, how fast he can run or how high he can jump, but if you could turn on a light bulb, wouldn't you try to see what else you could do?
But the lessons for *story* are still there.
There's a reason that a Mary Sue character doesn't work. And it doesn't work even when it makes sense because the same problems exist. People don't complain when they *expect* a Mary Sue because they don't like a super powered girl character. They complain because they know that this particular failure will ruin a story

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Saturday, July 18, 2020

Interrogate your Shibboleths


Let's have a conversation about what humans DO. Like all other life on Earth we aggressively colonize all available ecological niches. It is, at the end, the PRIMAL VIRTUE of all life. ALL life. All life is intended to reproduce itself. It began in oceans because the water protected life from radiation. Life crawled out to the margins of the continents. Life created the atmosphere and the air to breathe. 

Life COLONIZED every place on Earth from the highest mountain to the deepest, darkest, chemical fueled abyss. Animals pushed their limits to find places to live. The most primitive humans managed to WALK ON THEIR FEET to every extent of the whole world, across the Bering Strait and all the way to the Southern tip of South America. Humans built boats and managed to find their way to tiny DOTS of land in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Every form of life on Earth competes, steals territories, steals them back, steals STUFF, exploits niches that other life pioneered. And humans aren't just an apex predator, we're THE apex adapter. The ability to adapt and to adopt is our most important virtue. And it is a VIRTUE.

Turning adaption and adoption into SINS and turning the primal migratory compulsion of life into a SIN is twisted beyond belief. And it's suicide. Or would be if it was possible to ever make it work though repetition by ding-bats like Tyson.

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Sunday, June 07, 2020

Individualism cures racism.

This article quoted a psychology study that a lot of us probably heard about some few years ago.  All about how all white people have internalized racism because when given pictures of black people we all reacted in a way that indicated the perception of threat.  I can't promise it was the same study as the one cited here, but I'd be willing to put money on it.

The important quote:

"Psychology research tells us that seeing people as individuals, rather than as members of groups, helps reduce social prejudice. The psychologist Susan Fiske showed exactly how easy this is, if we put our minds to it. In a 2005 neuroscience study, she found that when white participants saw photos of black faces and had two seconds to judge whether the people in these photographs were over the age of 21, they showed activity in the area of the brain called the amygdala, which indicates a high level of alertness and emotional arousal. In other words, they saw a threat.

But she discovered a neat trick to defusing this automatic fear response. In some cases, her research team asked the white participants to judge what sort of vegetable the people in the photos would prefer to eat. In those cases, where they were prompted to see the people as individuals with their own personal tastes and preferences, the amygdala activity looked the same as when participants saw white faces, suggesting that they were able to individuate, that is see the faces as individuals, rather than group them into a category perceived as “other.”

Unfortunately, the process of individuating has come under furious assault in recent years. More and more, elites in media and politics are encouraging us to think about ourselves as archetypes of groups rather than as individuals."

 We're bombarded with demands that white people develop "white consciousness" when an honest, thinking person must know that this will lead to more racism, not less.

But it makes sense.  If people started to view individualism as the cure for racism the entire intersectionality empire comes tumbling to the ground.

Is it possible that anyone who makes a living as a full time "Studies" professor was unaware of the second part of this study?  Because I don't see how they could have been.  Is anyone who studies race as their profession following up on this to find out the best ways of changing how people think about race?

Or are they writing another book about how white people are racist if they aren't racist enough?


Link to the study cited.

Friday, June 05, 2020

The Intersectionalist High Church

           It seems to me that the "conversation" about Black Lives that is focused on intersectionality is focused on doctrine to the exclusion of life itself; the exclusion of physical, actionable life itself. Rather than focus on how people live or even what they think and feel, the focus is on confession, language, and conversion to a doctrine.
           Someone asked if what was going on was a religion.
           Not only is it a religion but it can't even really be discussed without using religious terms.
           There's a Church, now, more concerned with exclusivity than with reform. More concerned with an Inquisition than with reform. It's not that some people are going to do it all wrong, are going to address Black Lives wrong, but that anyone outside of the Fellowship can not be ALLOWED to address problems which nearly everyone, to a person, agrees upon.
           Not because their ideas are bad.
           Not because they don't hate racism.
           Not because they aren't focused on practical or even utilitarian change.
           But because they aren't "of the body". They haven't confessed the faith.
           I've said before and often that "woke" and SJW's, the ideas of White Privilege are toxic, harmful, self-important and ultimately disastrous ideologies. There's no *mechanism* for reform. Only confession and a sort of public theater where the "believers" hammer out the number of angels on the head of a pin, except they really mean it instead of viewing it in a Historically accurate way as a game of logic and intellectual practice. As IF perfection of doctrine will spark a spontaneous regeneration of human nature.
          This is instead of focusing on the personal, the individual, the practical, and sometimes messy. This is instead of allowing chaos and heresy and a true LOW CHURCH solution to a profoundly human and fundamental problem.
          And when someone wants to pick up the issue of the day with a practical sensibility they're called racist or other names by people so tied up in their OWN value that they can't imagine sitting down in the dirt and simply *being* with other people and trying to win a single soul.

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Monday, March 09, 2020

Efficient Lies

Distributed systems are always more flexible and more responsive than centralized systems. It doesn't matter what the subject is, this is always true. The current push towards centralized decision-making and authority, to emphasize groups and government instead of individuals, and to insist on the assumption that one overarching enormous system is more efficient than distributed, duplicated, and independent systems, is profoundly untrue and terrifyingly dangerous.

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Sunday, March 01, 2020

When Evil Pretends That It's Good, or How Dare You Not Be White.

A friend is reading a book about critical race theory or some stupid stuff. A white author writing to a white audience. The author INSISTS that it's racist to avoid having a white racial consciousness. We're SUPPOSED to have a white racial consciousness, and she knows that makes white people uncomfortable because we've been taught that this is racist, but we have to get past that and learn to identify as and think about our whiteness as our identity.
Just reading a paragraph, yeah, sure, it made me more than uncomfortable. It made me angry. Yeah, sure, we've been taught that we're not supposed to do this. But part of the anger I felt was that I recognized in my own self a growing desire to give her just precisely what she was demanding of me. Good. And. Hard.

I wanted to shout, FINE, I'm going to Be White, now. I'm going to think of myself that way and I'm going to LOVE IT.

Idiots. Complete and utter idiots. They don't want an end to racism, they want to insist upon it. They want white racial identity to be the most important parts of our lives. They want white people to band together according to their race and identify and value their race.

You know, like white supremacists do.

And when they get what they want they're going to feel like the Good Guys about it. Because they're fully and profoundly evil. All of them.

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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Watercolor

Elijah 2019 - a freckled elf.   My kids are remarkably talented. (I've just been informed this isn't completed yet.  So maybe I'll get to post an update.)

Update:

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Thursday, December 19, 2019

"Unthought" by John Worthington


Text © John Worthington
Images © Synova
Linking to this post permitted. Not copying, storing and/or re-posting without express permission.


Monday, December 09, 2019

Salvation Army

The current thing seems to be the burning moral need to oppose charities for wrong think. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The Last Jedi Sucks


The never-ending saga of people insisting that you must love the dumpster fire of The Last Jedi goes on and on.  A "real" comic artist just wrote up a four panel comic warning women of "red flags" about guys they meet in fandom and proposed a test... find out if they loved The Last Jedi.  Points?  1) Was Canto Bight pointless.  2) Should Holdo have told Poe her plan.  and 3) Was Rose Tico useless and poorly acted.

These three things prove that 1) A person doesn't understand the connection of theme and plot.  2) Men need to face the consequences of their actions, and 3) he's probably a racist who hates women.

I will never tire of explaining all the myriad ways that The Last Jedi sucks. 

Was Canto Bight pointless?  In one sense it was one of the more fun parts and it was the only planet hopping that really happened in a franchise known for ridiculous planet hopping.  But what ever potential it had was wasted.  Part of the cringe were the words that the script put in Rose's mouth.  This was not her fault.

Was Holdo a stupidly stupid excuse for a leader?  Yes.  And having had even a smidge of military experience made her character and actions nearly unbearable.  Again, not the actor.  That a war hero was on the base originally meant that it was *impossible* that she and Poe didn't know each other. They would have *dined*.  This is not up for disagreement.  That she was a war hero with apparently no ability to manage a garden variety "hot shot" is absurd.  In fact, in the end, every single plot necessary action she took was in service to Poe's ham handed character arc, in service to the male character who seems to be one of the very few with an actual character arc.  It was, in the end, all about Poe.  But it was stupid.

Was Rose pointless and poorly acted?  No.  She was pointless and poorly *written*.  The writers and the director of The Last Jedi chose to "ship" the minority characters and turn both Rose and Fen (who had the potential to be *significant*to the story line,) into comedy relief.  And they stuck Rose with the single most horrifyingly saccharine line in the whole movie and had her deliver it in a contrived scene that made no sense at all... because of *course* she was going to stop Fen from being heroic because of *course* she didn't even notice all the people behind her getting slaughtered, people she'd known for years.  She knew them, even if we didn't.  And that's what the writers and director decided to do with it all.

The movie sucks.