Category Archives: Culture

Some ‘Debunked’ Conspiracy Theories May Be True…

A few links here… I thought I’d share… (Which makes me think that although Comet Ping Pong may not be the place, Pizzagate in essence is real…) I don’t have any energy to write about such a gruesome topic, but I will mention that I continue to think (as I told my wife some days ago) that this whole ‘Sexual Harassment Apocalypse‘, the whole media/democrat #MeToo thing, is largely to burn everyone out on hearing about sexual harassment before the really horrible people (the ones that make Brian Singer look humane and moral) get found out. (Also, it makes me wonder if these kinds of rumors (like in the blind item) are what got Andrew Klavan going on A Killer in the Wind…

The Hollywood Rape Machine

Blind Item – The Church

The Last Closet

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Emotional Contagion

Everyone is a propagandist… and cognitive science is scary.

Also, these things seem to be able to be actively encouraged and fomented: Transgender Social Contagion Reminds School Counselor of Salem in 1692

 

Humor

I’m about to poke a wasp’s nest: not one of those 2 hour old ones with, like 5 wasps on it, but a big full one…. Are women funny?

(I was going to just put “Answer: No… :)” here, but I decided that perhaps some people would stop reading immediately then…)

From anecdotal evidence: I have a funny wife (not just claimed to avoid the couch…) a funny mom and a sister who sometimes borders on the amusing. Naturally, I’m the funniest one (NB ‘Eat the Curds of fortitude’ is exhibit A), but yes. On to the article which was… wrong… on the internet…

The article begins with an anecdote about a TA:

A few years ago, Laura Mickes was teaching her regular undergraduate class on childhood psychological disorders at the University of California, San Diego. It was a weighty subject, so occasionally she would inject a sarcastic comment about her own upbringing to lighten the mood. When she collected her professor evaluations at the end of the year, she was startled by one comment in particular:

“She’s not funny,” the student wrote.

We could start to theorize why this women wasn’t found to be funny by her students, but I think as you read the article (which is interesting on several levels) you will start to form a picture as to what might have counted as ‘a sarcastic comment’. (Also note: sarcasm is hard, you have to be very good natured, funny in other ways, and perhaps even self-deprecating to pull off sarcasm in front of students. Like everyone else, students will find untempered sarcasm to be just nastiness, not humor, from male and female alike.)

The article discusses much interesting research into humor, but the odd thing about this article is the tone… It is hard to place at first, and then one finds increasing levels of bitterness. Somewhere closing in on the end comes the moment of enlightenment for the reader.

“If funniness is an implement of power, women deserve access to it, too.”

Welp… that’s your problem right there. Feminism is fundamentally Nietzschean, where the interplay of the sexes is actually a battle for power over each other. Also, apparently humor is only about power.  Women who have spent their lives absorbing all this poison are also women who automatically dismiss criticism from men as sexist and misogynistic. (How can you learn to make men laugh if you assume that the only reason they don’t is that they hate women?) By assuming that every man that doesn’t laugh is a misogynist, these women cut off their learning feedback and so will never actually be funny. They may be adept at mockery and witty spite, but belly laughter will always elude them.

Humor comes from a real desire to have other people laughing and at ease. This can be honed by lots of trial and error, wherein if something makes your audience laugh you do more of it, and if it doesn’t, you take the instant feedback and try something else. Its possible that, if the women who are angry that men don’t think they are funny just tried and tried until they found some things that work… maybe they’d be funny too. If you look at the research discussed in the article, you’ll find that that is how men are perceived to be funny, they just try more times and more things.

Hmm

Makes you wonder how bad it is, that they couldn’t find an excuse to put it off until after the election….

UPDATE: Per the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple, the investigation will be complete prior to Election Day, in “two or three days, max.”

Trying to sort out the byzantine system of injustice that surrounds Hillary… Like maybe Comey was bought, but not that bought… you know… or maybe whats there isn’t anything, and she can crow for the last week on how awesome she is… or what…? We are nearly at Borgia levels of intrigue in our government… and I suspect we will get the whole way there if Hillary becomes president.

 

 

The ‘Obscure Move’ rule

Many of you are familiar with Chesterton’s fence: wherein he will not allow anyone who says ‘I don’t see the purpose for that gate’ to take the fence down. Rather, the man who understands why the fence is there might be permitted to take it down.

I propose a variation on that theme, but with the mechanisms of a political campaign. But I need a new analogy, and so I will use the game of go.

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We will call this the ‘obscure move’ rule. For this example, perhaps some knowledge of go ranking will be helpful. There are amateur ranks called ‘kyu’ and there are professional ranks called ‘dan’. At the IGS (a go server) that I play on sometimes the ‘amateur’ levels start at ‘beginner’ and then the first ranked ones are 17k at the bottom and 1k at the top. These are roughly 10 in steps of 10 point differences in skill. I play at about the 9k level currently (though I have been up closer to the 6k before I got rusty). So, say for example, that I am playing a 2k… and as we play the 2k plays a move that makes no sense to me. There are all sorts of moves on the board that seem to me to be more important to play at this point. I know from experience (when playing a 12k for example) that the most common response form most people is to assume that the better player just made a mistake. I, on the other hand, will spend as much time as I can afford on the game timer trying to figure out why that move was so important to the better player. I assume that I don’t understand the move because the player sees things that I cannot.

To take this a little further, lets say you are an average person… (by definition, this is the most likely place to find people, intellectually or in go playing ability…) and lets say that you are watching two people play a game of go and as far as you can tell the game seems tied. Then black makes a move that seems to be unimportant or a mistake to you. This move is obscure to you, it is the eponymous ‘Obscure Move’ and you want to rant about why it makes no sense.If your criticism is: ‘I don’t know why black just did that, but these other moves were much better’ I shall ignore you and all your subsequent analysis. You haven’t even tried to understand the move. If, on the other hand, you go and think for a while and come back with ‘I think black was trying to accomplish so and such but these moves would have yielded a better outcome’ I shall give you my full attention.

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That is from Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight election forecast. And I am tired of hearing people say ‘I don’t know why Trump doesn’t have a ground game… I don’t know why he doesn’t buy ads… I don’t know why he doesn’t have tons of paid staffers for his campaign! He will clearly lose without these things! Obviously! Because Romney dumped a ton of money and lost, so obviously more money must be spent to win!’ Perhaps these people are right, perhaps Trump has no idea what he is doing. But before they speak so stridently, these strange people who insist that Republicans must continue to run their campaigns the same way they keep losing their elections really ought to at least try to come up with a reasonable explanation for the ‘Obscure Moves’ they are criticizing.

As for me, if money and ads won elections, the Republican Nominee would be named Bush. And perhaps staffers are actually parasites on the funds raised for their political cause… If anyone would do a cost/benefit analysis one would think that Trump might have done so, and decided that the return on investment for staffers is nil. As for the ads… I suspect that Trump might be the only candidate who really groks the American people’s short attention span. If ads actually yield a return on investment, perhaps all the conventional wisdom of ‘define your opponent early’ is wrong, and most Americans decide based on the last 2-3 weeks… maybe Trump is letting the voters get sick of Hillary ads and is deciding which states actually make sense to play ads in. Maybe this is an electoral version of holding ones fire until you can see the whites of the eyes… Maybe not. Maybe Trump is incompetent, but at least I don’t start with that assumption and then presume that the strategic choices are incompetent. I look for the possible competent/intelligent strategy possibilities first, then make a judgement as to the possible efficacy of the strategy.

So, when you encounter an ‘Obscure Move’ take your time to try and understand why it might be a good or even brilliant move before you conclude that it was a mistake.

Compassion

Here I sit, listening to Bruce Springsteen… yeah… ok, on with the thought.

A while ago I wrote for Independence Day that we do not live in a Christian nation, and neither do we really live in the free country that we dream of: all that is left is the dream. I said that I  was afraid that we have already slipped so far down the slope into despotism that the options to clamber back out as a nation are grim and few. We are passing, what the Tocqueville critical mass… In that same post I shared a poem (a just ok sort of poem) where I wrote this:

O Lord I know not if to pray
For justice swift and soon today,
Or if like Abraham, to plead
For yet more time and grace indeed!

I put a lot of weight to the songs that people listen to, and to what they say. And while listening to ‘The River’ I put words to a long held thought.

With the key verse being:

“I got a job working construction for the Johnstown Company
But lately there ain’t been much work on account of the economy
Now all them things that seemed so important
Well mister they vanished right into the air
Now I just act like I don’t remember
Mary acts like she don’t care”

And suddenly, it was clear that many (or most) Republicans have given up on Republicans… the voters don’t trust any of the people running for office, and there are so very many tired people: people who have slid the most of the way into the final nihilism of Godlessness that they are like the monopoly player against whom the rules now feel stacked, who cannot win no matter what, and they flip the table. At least Trump doesn’t pretend to be truthful… at least he doesn’t pretend to be moral. He is the candidate for the guy in ‘The River’. These people who vote for Trump, who support Trump, deserve… compassion.  They do not need or deserve condescension or hatred or bitterness for their support of the ‘kick the table over’ candidate. Any opportunists jumping on the Trump-train for their own benefit deserve excoriated… but the normal Trump voter has been abandoned by the education system (Almost no one is well educated, even with a Bachelor’s degree) and trapped into unproductive lives, and have largely abandoned Christ. They believe that if they are good, God will give them good things, and therefore: since they are miserable, they prefer to not think about God at all rather than follow the logic to its end.

They need, like most people in this sick and wicked world, compassion, and the preaching of the Law out of compassion, so that their ears are ready for the Gospel.

(And, perhaps the hardest thing to accept is that, despite the stink of nihilism and despair, perhaps they are right about one thing – perhaps America has past the point of no return on the path to despotism, and that a reformer (Cruz) wont be able to do any good, and that the only option left is to kick over the table and draw the steel at ones side. … In which case the proper response is probably to buy ammo… and step into the storm with with the ‘joy of Giants, the joy without a cause’)

 

((You should really click through and read that last link… Kurt Schlichter appears to be one of the last sane people on the Internet… so click through and read the other stuff he writes too.))

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PS… if Kasich doesn’t do well in IN today, and Cruz wins… I predict that Kasich will drop out and endorse Trump within a week…. 

Trump: A True Conservative

Well, it appears that Donald Trump must be a true conservative: a real Republican. There is so much evidence for that, it barely requires enumerating, but for the logically challenged among us, I will deign to do so. The evidence falls into three categories. First, high profile supporters, second, the type of people who vote for him in the primary and third, stated policy positions.

Just look and marvel in awe at the huge amazing list of rock-ribbed conservatives, social and economic, that support him! I mean, Chris Christie… I mean just look at the admiration Christie has for Barack Obama!

obama-hugs-christie_zps918ebbae

And then there is Ben Carson: my what a conservative stalwart there! (Except for his longstanding and recently memory-holed support of gun-control…)

And of course, there is Ann Coulter! Whew, I mean who wouldn’t just take her word for it… when she dubs someone a true conservative, well there can be no more debate there (except that apparently by her book Romney is somehow the best conservative ever).

Well, if that wasn’t enough, the people who repeatedly vote for Lamar Alexander voted for Trump in the primary. The people who supported Schwarzenegger in CA support Trump at this point. And in Wisconsin, those known squishy RINOs who support the establishment Trojan horse Scott Walker from constant assault from the leftists in the state, those people voted for that other establishment fraud Ted Cruz… who lies and stuff…

And look! Trump says things about abortion… like six different things… one of them has to have been the conservative response! Even Rudy Giuliani (known pro-lifer…) supports Trump!

What more evidence do you need? If Trump and his plurality won delegates (He won all 50 SC delegates with a lower vote share than he lost 36/42 in WI)  don’t win at the convention, the nomination was STOLEN!

(Seriously now… when did ‘conservative’ come to mean ‘Trump Supporter’ rather than ‘Scott Walker’ … and ‘Establishment’ come to mean anyone other than people like Christie? Totally weird. This primary is like the Republicans are drunk, in a carnival hall of mirrors… and I’m not sure if people like Limbaugh  will ever really recover… Who will trust them now?)