Mailvox: of scraps and subscriptions

An email today from a sane man who finds himself caught up in a crazy world:

I want you to know I appreciate what you are doing. I’m in tech and the number of pozzed out SJW folks I interact with on a daily basis in that capacity is nearly unbearable. It feels like fully 1/5 – 1/4th of all articles, blog posts, and podcast episodes I see out there on most feeds are identity politics bullshit these days. There seems to be an overbearing need for virtue signalling from guys that make six figures and can’t get an attractive girlfriend. It goes all the way up to a number of well-known blogger/podcasters who should have their lives together, based on the amount of income they bring in, but yet continue to white knight for fairly dubious (aka, low value) scraps of female attention.

I must also relate a story. I recently had dinner with a silicon valley startup dude (I say “dude”, because he was allegedly a founder, but not particularly successful) regarding the possibility of Silicon Valley startups outsourcing to other parts of the US (particularly the deep south and rust belt). I pointed out that low ping times, similar timezones and laws, and better optics around outsourcing might eventually make the numbers work well enough for at least some companies to try it out. It was at this point that I was subjected to an extended rant about how his company would never do that as (summarized) “we don’t want to hire people who are going to be bringing racism into the office and wanting to take time off in the fall to duck hunt and f#$% their sisters”. This individual stated this, loudly, in front of numerous witnesses without a hint of fear of consequences. It is this sort of behavior and the cucking I described in the previous paragraph that makes me believe that the alt-tech revolt is just getting started – I know dozens already who are hopping mad about this sort of thing and I send them to your blog. I certainly am motivated to help grease the skids for it.

That is a great observation on the driving force behind Silicon Valley virtue-signaling, and it indicates that it is going to be possible to red-pill some of the seeming SJWs. They are operating on a false paradigm, and moreover, they have to, on some level, know it. I mean, it just isn’t working for them, is it.

But regardless, the Alt-Tech revolt is just getting started. We’ve set the Voxiversity launch date to September 11th, the Alt-Patronstarter site is already fully functional, and I’m putting the subscriptions together now. There will be six levels of monthly subscriptions, from $5 to $500, and while I have most of the rewards identified, I’m interested in hearing additional ideas from those of you intending to support this foray into video production.

The Alt Hero kickstarter will be launched two weeks after Voxiversity. It will not be a subscription, just a straightforward fund-or-kill 30-day campaign.

Share your thoughts.


Google’s gold, Google’s rules

I don’t know why anyone expected it to be any different. Google is paying for results, not research:

The New America Foundation has received more than $21 million from Google; its parent company’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt; and his family’s foundation since the think tank’s founding in 1999. That money helped to establish New America as an elite voice in policy debates on the American left.

But not long after one of New America’s scholars posted a statement on the think tank’s website praising the European Union’s penalty against Google, Mr. Schmidt, who had chaired New America until 2016, communicated his displeasure with the statement to the group’s president, Anne-Marie Slaughter, according to the scholar.

The statement disappeared from New America’s website, only to be reposted without explanation a few hours later. But word of Mr. Schmidt’s displeasure rippled through New America, which employs more than 200 people, including dozens of researchers, writers and scholars, most of whom work in sleek Washington offices where the main conference room is called the “Eric Schmidt Ideas Lab.” The episode left some people concerned that Google intended to discontinue funding, while others worried whether the think tank could truly be independent if it had to worry about offending its donors.

Those worries seemed to be substantiated a couple of days later, when Ms. Slaughter summoned the scholar who wrote the critical statement, Barry Lynn, to her office. He ran a New America initiative called Open Markets that has led a growing chorus of liberal criticism of the market dominance of telecom and tech giants, including Google, which is now part of a larger corporate entity known as Alphabet, for which Mr. Schmidt serves as executive chairman.

Ms. Slaughter told Mr. Lynn that “the time has come for Open Markets and New America to part ways,” according to an email from Ms. Slaughter to Mr. Lynn. The email suggested that the entire Open Markets team — nearly 10 full-time employees and unpaid fellows — would be exiled from New America.

While she asserted in the email, which was reviewed by The New York Times, that the decision was “in no way based on the content of your work,” Ms. Slaughter accused Mr. Lynn of “imperiling the institution as a whole.”

Now we have Fake Funding to go with Fake News, Fake Traffic, and Fake Ads. I don’t have any problem with Google expecting the people it funds to obey them and sing from Google’s songbook, only with the pretense that things were ever going to be otherwise.


Compression and decompression

The producers of A Game of Thrones learned the wrong lessons from George Martin’s mistakes:

Too often over the last three seasons—particularly since “Hardhome” in season five, when the series began to chart its own course—the show’s secondary characters and plots have seemed lost. Game of Thrones just doesn’t have time for anyone who isn’t Jon, Daenerys, or the Night King anymore. The show has shed George R.R. Martin’s most frustrating tics, which ultimately weighed his story down: his insistence on meticulous world-building, on resisting deus ex machina resolutions, and on subverting fantasy tropes. But in racing toward the end—in giving fans the resolution they have demanded—Game of Thrones has over-learned from Martin’s mistakes, taking the story too far in the other direction.

Paradoxically, the show has also become grander, more ambitious than any television series before it. Season seven was cut to only seven episodes, as opposed to the ordinary ten, presumably to pay for all the action. Its showrunners needed money for its first naval battle, a dragon assault on the Lannister army, round two between Jon and the Night King, and, most spectacularly, an undead dragon taking down an 8,000-year-old magic wall made of ice. But for all of their scope and masterful aesthetic execution (particularly in the case of the horribly named “Loot Train Battle”), these scenes all lacked the punch of “Hardhome,” when Jon first confronts the Night King and the show’s stakes at long last come into view.

This is because they were in keeping with the show’s post-“Hardhome” modus operandi: moving pieces around to prepare for a final sprint to the finish. The naval battle at the beginning of season seven served to eliminate the Sand Snakes (who never worked anyway) and kick into gear Theon’s redemption arc (which was then ignored for the next several episodes). The assault on Casterly Rock came about for no other reason than to even the odds by taking the Unsullied out of the picture, though they reappeared in the finale with no explanation.

Most egregiously, the “Frozen Lake Battle” (also horribly named) was necessitated by a plan to capture a wight that made absolutely no sense at all. The reason for its existence was to neatly get things done, in this case to give the Night King a dragon and to provide an excuse for finally bringing all the show’s far-flung characters together. As well-executed as many of these plot developments were, they never arose naturally from the show’s characters—instead they were imposed by the show’s writers, who are suddenly very pressed for time….

The show’s other standouts have been largely abandoned or turned into secondary figures, including the Starks. The culmination of the Littlefinger plot was thrilling, but overall it was narrative thumb-twiddling, a way to take a character off the board while giving something for Arya and Sansa to do while Jon was away.

The sad truth is that this is probably where the novels are going as well. Martin has concocted many of his characters to buy time for his primary story. It is Martin’s great strength that so many of them—including a number who never made it into the show—are so rich and real, but they too are ultimately extraneous to the main plot revolving around Jon and Dany.

Although I am contemptuous of George Martin as an individual, and although I am increasingly confident that ARTS OF DARK AND LIGHT will eventually be seen by most fans of epic fantasy to be considerably superior to A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE once both series are finished, I continue to look on the books and the HBO series alike as a tremendous learning experience, if not an irreplaceable one.

The truth is that I’m grateful to Martin for the various mistakes he has made. Without the tedious debacle that was A Dance with Dragons, I never would have even thought about daring to begin my own epic fantasy. And without his spiraling out of control thanks to the introduction of 13 new perspective characters, bringing him to a total of 22 in one book, I would never have learned the importance of keeping them under such tight discipline. Without his foolish decision to go back and untie the Mereen Knot, I would not have grasped the importance of allowing the greater story to flow naturally, and not getting caught up in always explaining exactly what happened to whom.

Here is what most readers, even most writers, simply don’t realize. Writing epic fantasy is very difficult. I would estimate that it’s about 5x more difficult than writing a novel of normal size, not counting the extra time required to account for the additional length. Not only that, but periodically publishing large books is the exact opposite of what a writer should do if he wants to maximize his book sales in the current environment. So, most writers simply cannot write epic fantasy, and even if they happen to possess the ability, they can’t afford to do so.

Then factor in the fact that several of those who have actually written epic fantasy have done so in the form of cheap Tolkien knockoffs, which provide no useful lessons to the aspiring epic writer, and perhaps you’ll understand why I appreciate the chance to learn from GRRM in real time. Here is how I rank the writers of epic fantasy:

  1. JRR Tolkien
  2. Stephen Donaldson (Covenant)
  3. Margaret Weis & Terry Hickman (Dragonlance)
  4. David Eddings (Belgariad)
  5. Glen Cook
  6. Steven Erikson
  7. Raymond Feist
  8. George RR Martin
  9. Joe Abercrombie
  10. CS Friedman
  11. Tad Williams
  12. Daniel Abraham
  13. Brandon Sanderson
  14. R. Scott Bakker
  15. Mark Lawrence
  16. Terry Brooks
  17. Robert Jordan
  18. Terry Goodkind

Obviously, your mileage may vary, as may what you consider to be “epic fantasy”. I would have Susan Cooper, Lloyd Alexander, Tanith Lee, and Anne McCaffrey all ranked above Dragonlance, but their work is better categorized in other categories. It’s rather amusing to see how many “best epic fantasy” lists feature works with descriptions that begin “okay, it’s not actually epic fantasy, but [insert other sub-genre here]|.

I don’t know where AODAL will end up once it is complete. Towards the top, I hope. But there is only one way to find out, and that is to finish Vols. II through V.


#BoycottCampingWorld

A Fake American businessman, the CEO of Camping World, does not want Trump-supporting customers:

Marcus Lemonis: If you’re OK with what Trump said, don’t shop at my business

“There’s no doubt that there is probably not many consumers in this country today that are in favor of what has been said in the last couple days and if they are, quite frankly, don’t shop at my business,” said Lemonis, who is CEO of Camping World and host of CNBC’s “The Profit.”

In a chaotic Tuesday news conference, Trump appeared to equate torch-bearing white nationalists with the protesters who demonstrated against them. Trump’s statements led to a wave of CEO resignations from his advisory councils and on Wednesday, Trump abruptly dissolved the councils. Trump’s announcement came shortly after a member of the Strategic and Policy Forum told CNBC the group had decided to disband.

Lemonis told “Power Lunch” he is “horrified” by what he’s been hearing and seeing from this administration.

He said it’s important that CEOs speak for themselves as individuals on policy and also speak for their companies as it relates to policy that affects their businesses. However, they should be very careful, he said. “I’m concerned about certain CEOs dancing on the fence, fearing retaliation or fearing something. It’s scary right now,” Lemonis said.

Now that #BoycottCampingWorld is trending, the Fake American born in Lebanon quickly retreated and apologized, only not really. It’s a pathetic piece of groveling pity theatre in which Lemonis attempts to simultaneously mitigate the damage to his company while continuing to virtue-signal. If the Camping World board has any sense of self-preservation at all, it will demand his resignation before the end of the week.

When I came to this country as an infant I had no idea what would be in store for me. A place where most get a chance to succeed. With a loving family and a ton of luck I was given my shot. Now the road wasn’t as easy as some think. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth but I was more fortunate than others in the sense of having two great parents, a roof, always food and clothing and provided a good education. During those years I had my own internal struggle like most do. Struggles that are kept secret in some cases and others than are out for all to see. As a kid, I was bullied. Now that doesn’t make me special or require any special privilege but it does stick with you. As I grew up I knew I needed to be someone and do something. It was the only way I could prove to myself and others that I was worth more than they thought of me but quite frankly needed for my own mental health. I am much more insecure than people know. I get depressed, sad, scared etc. but who cares we all do.

Over the last 15 years I have been blessed to be part of building a business with people that believed in me. Something new for me. I was given a chance to build something that I could leave as a lasting legacy. Even though I started experiencing success, I never quite felt fulfilled. It’s not about the money. I felt like I needed to do more, to contribute more. Thru those years I made mistakes. A lot of them. Struggled with personal relationships, mistreated friends, etc. I suppose that’s human but I couldn’t understand why. The last five years I spent my time working on my business but also dedicated my life to small business. It was a way for me to help the underdog. I never did it for the money or the attention but rather to fill a void. I felt like I had to do it to payback a place that gave me a break. I made plenty of mistakes during this process as well. Trusted people who I shouldn’t have, made deals I shouldn’t have and sometimes did it for the wrong reason. But who cares, we all make mistakes.

Over the last year I have, or at least I thought had, really grown. It’s funny but in my mind, I had grown up. I felt like I needed to consider how serious things got around here. Everything became intense and confrontational. Skin started to thicken, tensions started to rise and heels dug in. I suppose it’s more of a protective measure for me and probably others as well. Now in this moment no one person was to blame for this. I started having sensory overload. I’m sure over the last year I felt the need to be more careful, be less trusting and I maybe didn’t even know it was happening. You watch tv and everyone is arguing. Yes, everyone. You drive in your car and everyone is aggressive. And mistakes are made. As a child being bullied didn’t make me different or special it made me more sensitive, more forgiving, more focused and helping.

As I continued over the last several months to read, listen and observe I noticed that my conviction was weakening. I felt like I needed to just accept the way things are and move on. Which felt like a mistake. If you have noticed I have said mistake a bunch of times and I’m sure there are typos and grammar mistakes all over this free form written document. Sometimes those mistakes come out of my mouth. The mistake I made in the last week was not being clear. Do I wish that there was more speed of clarity and conviction around the violence? Yes Do I think that hate and violence has taken over everywhere? Yes

Do I think one person is to blame? No Do I think that there are two sides to every story? Yes While I stand strong on my position that violence, hate, bigotry is unacceptable from anyone regardless of what side you are on and that all of us need to be accountable, only I am accountable for my actions.

Last week I gave my opinion on what had happened. I made the mistake of letting my fear and emotion talk about subjects that I shouldn’t have. As the CEO of a business, I am responsible to take care of the people that work there. I opened my mouth and put them in harm’s way. While I know, that the headline published was taken out of context and I have to live with that.  There should have never been a headline and I gave a chance to live.

My apology is sincere. It is to my employees who have been forced to deal with this. I am nothing without you. I am here to serve, guide and protect you. I will work harder. Please forgive me. Please don’t punish them. I apologize to anyone who has supported their cause, their political preference, their candidate, their beliefs. I was Not raised this way and have always been taught to respect everyone. This is a free county and my fears shouldn’t be projected on anyone. I am asking for your forgiveness. I should have not disrespected that and will not again. I apologize to the people who have followed my show for years and have said they have learned so much and are inspired, who now say that have been let down and will never trust me again.

I DO NOT apologize to anyone who is in favor or hate, violence, bigotry or racism. And I will do my part to help eliminate it from both sides. One way I do that is by being an example. You are the reason I made this mistake. You took my common sense away and purpose. I will not let you beat me or beat me down. I am a man of conviction. Most of the time it’s what people like about me. In this case it’s quite the opposite. I have not written this because I worry about what it means to me financially, because that’s normally the response I hear when I say I’m sorry. I have written this because I know what has been my purpose up to now, which is to help people and I want to be able to continue that. People make mistakes. Obviously, this past week I’m the poster child.

They will complain, of course, that we are taking their words out of context. That’s really too bad. But the principle of fair play dictates that both sides are allowed to play by the same rules.


Starbucks is not the answer

Sadly, it turns out that putting a coffee shop and an art gallery on the corner is not the ticket to economic revitalization:

One of the most influential thinkers about cities in postwar America, wants you to know that he got almost everything about cities wrong.

If you live in an urban center in North America, the United Kingdom, or Australia, you are living in Richard Florida’s world. Fifteen years ago, he argued that an influx of what he called the “creative classes” — artists, hipsters, tech workers — were sparking economic growth in places like the Bay Area. Their tolerance, flexibility, and eccentricity dissolved the rigid structures of industrial production and replaced them with the kinds of workplaces and neighborhoods that attracted more young people and, importantly, more investment.

His observations quickly formed the basis of a set of breezy technical solutions. If decaying cities wanted to survive, they had to open cool bars, shabby-chic coffee shops, and art venues that attract young, educated, and tolerant residents. Eventually, the mysterious alchemy of the creative economy would build a new and prosperous urban core.

Today, even Florida recognizes that he was wrong. The rise of the creative class in places like New York, London, and San Francisco created economic growth only for the already rich, displacing the poor and working classes. The problems that once plagued inner cities have moved to the suburbs.

To make his case for the creative class, Florida subjected it to strange quantifications. Combining census data on occupation, education, “coolness factor” (based on the number of young people and the quality of “nightlife and culture”) and, bizarrely, the number of gay male residents, he developed a “Bohemia Index” to calculate this group’s magical effect on urban economic growth.

Florida reassures readers that all human beings are fundamentally creative animals, but only a third of us can make a living that way. The creative classes — to which you may, unknowingly, belong — include journalists, college professors, tech workers, graphic designers, and artists of any kind: basically anyone not working in the repetitious and decidedly uncreative manufacturing or service sectors.

The “creative classes” both diagnosed the present state of cities and offered recommendations for future action. Along with Jane Jacobs, Richard Florida has served as an inspiration for mayors, developers, and planners who pedestrianized streets, built bike lanes, and courted cultural attractions like art galleries and theaters.

So, as it turns out, entertainment is not the core of the economy. Someone had better let Disney know the bad news. I suspect they’ll need to come up with some other metric that serves as a more accurate proxy for race.


A disappointment

‘Game Of Thrones’ Audience Disappointed By Season Finale’s Bland, Uninspired Incest

Criticizing the show’s reluctance to explore new creative ground, Game Of Thrones fans reported being disappointed Sunday by the bland, uninspired incest in the HBO drama’s season finale.

“You’d think this far into the show’s run they’d have found some new angles on incestuous relationships, but this was just more of the same, by-the-numbers intercourse between blood relatives we’ve seen before,” said local viewer Jaime Cohn, echoing the views of thousands of fans who complained about the series’ increasingly derivative depiction of sexual relations between siblings and other family members. “In the early seasons, it felt like the show’s creators weren’t afraid to take risks on fresh ideas like incest involving twins or even between multiple generations of the same family, but since then it hasn’t really progressed at all. By this point, they should be experimenting with things like group sex with identical quadruplets, but it’s pretty obvious that the writers are just on autopilot now.” 

Despite their disappointment with the episode’s lackluster incest, fans almost unanimously agreed that the show’s latest season had staked out bold new territory in terms of narrative implausibility.

As for myself, I was a little shocked. There has been no rape at all this entire season. Which would seem impossible for A Game of Thrones, until you recall that the series has passed the material from George RR Martin’s novels. But I’m sure Martin will rectify this shocking and uncharacteristic omission when he finally gets around to writing the novelization of the TV series based on his previous novels.

There is still a long way to go, but I have to admit that I am increasingly confident that ARTS OF DARK AND LIGHT will eventually come to be seen as superior epic fantasy in comparison to A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE.


The Terrible Cowardice

This is a guest post from an occasional contributor who prefers to remain anonymous. Please don’t assume that he speaks for me or that I necessarily agree with any or all of his various assertions and conclusions.

The Terrible Cowardice of the Left

I grew up in England.

I came of age as the Spice Girls were soaring to the top of the hit parade.  ‘I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want’ echoed from every bedroom.  Girls strode around proclaiming the new age of GIRL POWER, boys insisted – unconvincingly  – that they only listened to the Spice Girls for the music.  It was the dawn of a whole new age.

Well, actually it wasn’t.  But we thought it was.

There was a girl at my school who I’ll call Jane.  She was one of the blessed, as far as looks were concerned.  I don’t think there was a single boy who didn’t lust after her.  A smile from her could brighten up your whole day.  She would have been a cheerleader, if we’d had cheerleaders.

There was also a boy who I’ll call Kevin.  He was a nerd.  Spotty, glasses, slightly overweight, maybe not the ugliest boy in the school, but certainly in the bottom ten.  He was the kind of person whose mere existence attracted bullies. I’d known him since I was a child, but we’d never really been friends. People who stood too close to him got bullied too.

So one day, Kevin takes it into his head to ask Jane – yes, JANE – out.  I’d never thought he had it in him. I never dared ask her out. But he did it.

Jane gaped at him, let out an incredulous laugh and told him, in no uncertain terms, that she wouldn’t go out with him if he was the last person on Earth.  She ripped him a whole new one.  Kevin staggered off, looking as though someone had punched him in the head.  Boys laughed, glad that they hadn’t been the target of her wrath; girls laughed and chatted about Girl Power.  Jane’s victory would have made her the most popular girl in the class if she hadn’t already held that title. I imagine Kevin wanted to blink out of existence and die. But he had to keep coming into school for the remaining year. People were rubbing salt into his wounds until we left for university.

There was another person  in this little story.  Gaston – believe me, the name fits – was a football player.  He was handsome, muscular, and had a habit of playing cruel jokes on his victims.  He was the jock’s jock.  He’d once thought it was amusing to shove my head down the toilet, then yank down my trousers when I tried to escape.  He was popular because students preferred to have him on their side than against them. It won’t surprise you to hear that Gaston started to date Jane in our final year of school.

A few weeks before we left the building for the last time, we were in the gym for our regular torture session.  Jane was wearing a skirt an inch or two above the knee, drawing all of our eyes.  And then Gaston takes it into his head to flip her skirt up, exposing her underwear.  We all saw.

Jane let out a nervous little laugh and brushed her skirt back down.

I can imagine just how humiliated she must have felt, at that moment.  If I – a boy – hated having my bottom exposed, it must have been far worse for her.  Everyone had been looking at her bum.  I expected her to tear into Gaston with all the vitriol she’d hurled at Kevin.  Girl Power, you know?

She didn’t, of course.  She tried to pass it off as a joke, but I could tell she was upset.

But why didn’t she light into Gaston?  Why didn’t she dump his ass on the spot?

She was scared.  Kevin might have been a boy, but he was no threat to her.  There were plenty of girls who could have beaten him up, in that school.  Gaston could have broken her effortlessly.  He’d beaten me up, once or twice.  No one wanted to get on his bad side, even if it meant accepting public humiliation.  She let him get away with it.

No one else tried to stop him either.  Gaston committed blatant sexual assault and got away with it.  And who could blame them?  The teachers had very little power to discipline their charges.  None of the boys or girls wanted to make an enemy of him …

I have no idea what happened to any of them, after I left school.  And I don’t really care.

A brave man or woman is someone who stands up to great odds, accepting the risk of serious injury, or even death, in the name of their cause.  Sometimes, this is as simple as standing up in front of an angry crowd and speaking the truth; sometimes, it is as complex as multi-leveled combat operations.  Many on the Left say that they are brave, that they are putting everything on the line.  But is that actually true?

It is easy to stand up to someone as puny as Kevin.  Jane was in no danger.  Even if Kevin was strong enough to hurt her, I have no doubt that all the boys would have piled onto him before he could do real harm.  We didn’t have virtue-signalling in those days, but we certainly did have white knighting.  Gaston?  It’s a great deal harder to stand up to someone so strong, so popular, so entrenched as the good guy that it would be difficult to undermine him.

The thing I’ve noticed about the Left these days is that it is largely composed of cowards.

Pretend, for the moment, that you’re a feminist.  You believe, very firmly, that women should have equal rights to men.  You may even believe that women are superior to men.  So tell me, why aren’t you protesting the migrant crisis in Europe?  Why aren’t you standing up for the rights of Muslim women?  Why do you not see Radical Islam as a threat to your very existence?

One possible answer, of course, is that feminists are more concerned with problems closer to home.  (Which ignores the fact that this problem is moving increasingly closer to home.)  But another is far darker.  Feminists are scared.  Western men do not, in general, have a habit of beating or shooting women who defy them.  And those who do are not regarded as heroes by the rest of the male population.  But Islamists?  Radical Muslims regard feminism – the radical notion that women are human beings, as Marie Shear put it – as poison.  They do NOT regard women as human beings.

This problem is deeper than you might suppose.  A person raised in a different culture might have very different ideas about the way the world works than yourself.  The idea that a woman who doesn’t cover herself from head to toe is just asking for it is horrific, as far as I am concerned, but that doesn’t mean that migrants don’t have that opinion.  And the idea that they are going to instantly change, the moment they set foot in the West, is laughable.

All the concepts we take for granted, that a woman can say ‘no,’ that underage children are not to be touched, are not graven in stone.  They’re cultural norms that have become part of our lives so much that it is hard to believe that others don’t share them.  But they don’t.

Or pretend that you’re a homosexual.  Conservatives may dislike homosexuals, but radical Muslims throw homosexuals off buildings.  Which one of these is the true threat to homosexuals?  Why aren’t homosexuals protesting migrants?

Because they’re scared.

On one level, the political elites in both Europe and America managed to declare discussions about immigration taboo.  This had the effect, for better or worse, of pushing such matters into the hands of the far-right.  But it also made it impossible for feminists or homosexuals or other liberal groups to oppose immigration without being branded racists or worse.  And while a person from the Right may shrug off the charge of racism, a person from the Left would take it far more seriously.  The Descending Hierarchy of Victimhood puts Muslims below feminists and homosexuals, thus providing cover for anything they do to anyone above them.  Anyone who challenges Muslims is ‘punching down.’

But on another level, people who question radical Muslims, people who oppose them, are threatened, attacked and sometimes killed.  This is a very real problem.  Feminists and homosexuals and leftists in general are scared of being hurt and killed.  And who could blame them?  No one is immune to fear.  It is difficult to muster the bravery to fight back when you know that everyone will side against you, that  authority, however defined, will not protect you.  Instead, they choose to deny reality and attack people who can’t – who won’t – hit back.

The Left has long since cast aside its ability to make moral judgments.  It is incapable of understanding that a person who has had a bad upbringing – or whatever – still needs to suffer the consequences of their actions.  Instead, it has created a situation where real threats are ignored and imaginary threats are blown out of all proportion.  Few on the left dare to oppose it for fear of being smeared by the ‘racist’ brush.  And it has betrayed its own people.

The good thing about this is that more and more people are becoming aware that the emperor has no clothes.  The bad thing about this is that a great many innocent people, feminists and homosexuals and everything else, will suffer for the Left’s cowardice in the face of the true enemy.


It appears diplomacy failed

North Korea fires a missile over Japan:

North Korea has fired a missile that passed over northern Japan today. The government’s J-Alert text message warning system advised people in the area to take precautions and move to a ‘sturdy building or basement’.

The Japanese military did not attempt to shoot down the missile, which passed over Japanese territory around 6.06am local time. It broke into three pieces off the coast of Hokkaido and landed in the Pacific Ocean, around 700 miles east of Cape Erimo, after travelling 1,700m in eight minutes. It is the first time North Korea has fired a projectile over Japan since 2009.

The launch, from Pyongyang, comes after Seoul’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) told South Korean lawmakers at a closed door parliamentary session that it has detected signs of the secretive state preparing for another nuclear test at its Punggye-ri underground test site.

How fortunate that the USA has pledged to send more troops to Afghanistan. That should totally help, especially given the fact that the Navy is on stand-down due to its demonstrated inability to avoid deadly, high-speed cargo ships.


How SJWs react to defeat

An attempt to converge Node.js was successfully beaten back. But the SJWs who attacked it aren’t giving up.

After years of battling a string of systematic failures of governance and leadership, the Node.js community, one of the largest collectives of software developers on the internet, reached a breaking point.

Node.js steers the ship for the powerful open-source web technology. It’s relied on by dozens of Fortune 500 companies, like Microsoft, Netflix, and PayPal, for their critical infrastructure and core operations.

Its stable governance isn’t just necessary for the businesses that rely on it, but also the core community that develops and advanced the widely-used technology.

But Monday saw a stream of resignations, one after the other throughout the day from Node.js’ technical steering committee (TSC), a group that manages the day-to-day governance for the Node.js project. A third of the committee had quit their positions by the end of the day, including its first woman member. Three of the resigned members said they will stay on the core technical committee (CTC), which oversees the project’s core collaborators and code contributors. One person has left the project entirely….

The community’s reliance on a code of conduct acts as the de facto HR department for the project, which lets participants and members contribute while treating others with respect. It’s meant to ensure a workplace free from harassment and unacceptable behavior, while promoting sharing of ideas in a constructive way, and to foster community growth.

But that code of conduct, as Kapke pointed out, doesn’t allow the stifling of free speech or marginalizing of people’s views or opinions that might be disagreed with. It’s designed to bring together a diverse range of people from different cultures, beliefs, genders, and backgrounds from across the world to work on a project and be treated fairly — a core value of any global collaborative open source project.

“There’s better value in having diversity than having some individual have the free speech that would work against others,” he said.

That toxic culture in Node.js’ governance has led to an inclusivity problem.

Williams’ began an inclusivity group of about a dozen people, an initiative aimed at ensuring fairness for everyone who wants to contribute to the community. The group eventually disbanded, accusing the leadership of “continued derailment” and opposition to proposals that the group argued would make the community more cohesive.

All the women and non-binary people left the group, as did several men, following the disbandment last August. Many have decided to leave the Node.js community altogether.

“Driving away contributors can be fatal in the open source world where most developers are essentially using their free time and volunteering to contribute,” said Rudolf Olah, a web developer, in a blog post. “It is already difficult enough to attract contributors to smaller projects, and larger projects, such as Node.js, need to be careful to make all contributors feel welcome,” he said.

Note that they left the “inclusivity group” immediately after their attempt to unseat a former director from the steering committe failed. Now they’re switching tactics, attempting to create pressure from outside, while at the same time trying – again – to fork the project.

Moments after the failed leadership vote, Kat Marchán pushed the button that created Ayo.js, a new open-source project forked from Node.js. Ayo.js — a hat-tip to the Io.js (pronounced the same) project that forked from Node.js three years ago over a similar disenchantment over the software’s stewardship under its founding company Joyent — was born this week.

Days old, it’s already got a dozen developers and over a hundred people involved on the project’s chat platform, said Marchán.

Of course, the SJW fork is going to fail – again – because people who are diverse and inclusive aren’t capable of running projects without the straight white males they disdain. If they could, they wouldn’t have to use codes of conduct, inclusivity groups, and trust & safety councils to take over existing projects.

The steering committee really needs to clean house and encourage all the SJWs to move over to the fork as quickly as possible.


Fake Ads

As Facebook has already been caught multiple times, Google has been caught faking ad traffic:

The WSJ is reporting that Google is issuing refunds to advertisers over “fake traffic,” and are now working on new safeguards against the issue.

Google’s refunds amount to only a fraction of the total ad spending served to invalid traffic, which has left some advertising executives unsatisfied, the people familiar with the situation said. Google has offered to repay its “platform fee,” which ad buyers said typically ranges from about 7% to 10% of the total ad buy.

The company says this is appropriate, because it doesn’t control the rest of the money. Typically, advertisers use DoubleClick Bid Manager to target audiences across vast numbers of websites in seconds by connecting to dozens of online ad exchanges, marketplaces that connect buyers and publishers through real-time auctions.

As we at Adland have argued for years now, digital paid media is a fraud due to the many incidents of fake traffic, bots, and the smoke and mirrors that blind the less tech savvy clients. Last year, Russian bots earned 180 million by fake-watching ads all over the Google empire.

Google has participated in efforts to clean up the digital market, joining the industry initiative Ads.txt project launched back in May by the Interactive Advertising Bureau. They’re hoping to bring trust back into the digital ecosystem. But in the arms race between consumers who use ad blockers and ad networks making ads unblockable, unskippable and even more intrusive, the consumers are staying one step ahead. More importantly with each new fraud brought to light and the hundreds of millions wasted, it’s hard to believe clients take Google at face value much longer. Advertisers are finally figuring out that this is a house of cards, built by pretty graphs in slick interfaces that look great on paper but in reality does very little to drive sales.

Google’s latest crisis comes at the same time that it is removing content creators from the ability to monetize their content, policing Youtube like never before. Google’s policing doesn’t end there, however. In Professor Jordan Peterson’s case, they banned him from his entire account, including mail and calendar.

Bloomberg reports that Google has just begun their biggest crackdown on “extremist content”

The new restrictions, which target what Walker called “inflammatory religious or supremacist content,” are expected to hit a small fraction of videos, according to person familiar with the company. YouTube says it uploads over 400 hours of video a minute. Videos tagged by its new policy won’t be able to run ads or have comments posted, and won’t appear in any recommended lists on the video site. A warning screen will also appear before the videos, which will not be able to play when embedded on external websites. YouTube will let video creators contest the restrictions through an appeals process, a spokeswoman said.

If the appeals process is anything like what Adland encountered, then it will be labyrinthian, time-consuming and arbitrary. The only reason we were un-banned from Adsense the first time around, was because we knew someone who knew someone that worked at Google in Ireland. These days, the only replies we get are automatic. Adland.tv the domain has even been delisted from Google search completely, which we managed to fix, and we’re currently being heavily deranked for no apparent reason. Or perhaps these articles are the reason.

In dealing with international brand boycott of Google advertising, and cleaning house so that they no longer fund terrorism by running pre-roll Super Bowl ads on ISIS videos, Google is now again apologising and “tweaking” their system.

The ad economy is increasingly a) monopolistic and b) fraudulent. I have never used AdSense or Facebook ads because I have never seen any indication whatsoever that they are effective or reliable. I did try using BookBub four times, but after they rejected both A THRONE OF BONES as well as Jerry Pournelle’s THERE WILL BE WAR for ad campaigns, I stopped using them.

What I have found to be effective is a) this blog, b) Larry Correia’s book bombs, c) the Amazon giveaways, and d) the two mailing lists. In other words, direct marketing. Indirect marketing, be it advertising in magazines or the various social media ad schemes, only appear to benefit the owner of the advertising vehicle rather than the advertiser.

Notice that YouTube still puts ads on videos it has demonetized. Such as those produced by Ron Paul.

Former US Congressman Ron Paul has joined a growing list of independent political journalists and commentators who’re being economically punished by YouTube despite producing videos that routinely receive hundreds of thousands of views. In a tweet published Saturday, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange tweeted a screenshot of Paul’s “Liberty Report” page showing that his videos had been labeled “not suitable” for all advertisers by YouTube’s content arbiters.