What else did you expect?

I am rolling my eyes at the hysterics that have greeted the news that YouTube has banned the Infowars channel in coordination with Apple and Spotify banning its podcasts and Facebook banning its Facebook page.

Paul Joseph Watson✔@PrisonPlanet
The Alex Jones Channel has been permanently DELETED by YouTube. This is a coordinated PURGE. This is political censorship.

Paul Joseph Watson✔@PrisonPlanet
Apple, Spotify, Facebook and now Google (which owns YouTube) – all within 12 hours of each other. A coordinated purge. This is a total abuse of power.

BFD and book-freaking-hoo. When Alex asked me what the next step would be, I told him that they would be deplatforming the Right and attempting to defund it. This was not merely predictable, it was obvious. This is the exact opposite of a surprise. Complaining and crying about it will accomplish precisely nothing.

This is precisely why we have to build our own platforms, as I have been advising for years. This is why you are shortsighted and strategically-challenged if you allow yourself to be dependent in any way on the platforms of your enemy, even if it maximizes your profits, and even if it is in your immediate short-term interests.

Review of Alt-Hero #3

Bounding Into Comics reviews AH#3: Reprisal:

Even with its slower pace, the world that’s being expanded on in Alt-Hero #3 is an interesting one and this issue, more than any before it, sends some harrowing echoes throughout its universe that will, eventually, come to an explosive head. I am thoroughly interested in seeing how this will all play out and I fully expect to see people switching sides before the end. It echoes with shades of the best parts of Marvel’s Civil War storyline (the first one, not that second one) and anyone who takes the time to invest in this new comic universe will, I believe, be as excited as I am for the future. With art that continues to improve every issue and a handful of conflicted heroes fighting for what they believe is right, Arkhaven Comics has a great thing going with Alt-Hero. Issue #3 is less exciting, but no less satisfying.

Just another skull

John Scalzi laments that the Evil Legion of Evil has shown people across the Right that there is no information value in rhetoric and that SJWs exist solely for the skull-taking:

It’s really frustrating to me that more people don’t understand that racist/alt-right people have gamified their rhetoric; they’re not interested in discussion, they’re slapping down cards from a “Debate: The Gathering” stack, and the only goal is taking heads.

They gamify their rhetoric because essentially this shit is a low-stake game for them, whereas for other people it’s their actual lives. That’s an advantage they have. If they lose, they shuffle their cards and go on to the next thing. If others lose, their life takes a hit.

And because their rhetorical strategy is essentially card-based, actual knowledge of issues is unimportant and probably a hinderance. They don’t want or need to understand the issues that affect others, they just need you to play their game so they can win.

I don’t have time anymore to diddle about with children who think other people’s lives are some sort of turn-based game, especially when all they want is to hurt other people. And it bothers me more people, especially those with power, don’t understand this shit.

I’m not going to tell people not to engage with these chuckleheads. But don’t engage with them on their terms. Engage with them on your own. One, they hate that, and two, it exposes what they’re doing as a pointless, hateful exercise, and them as awful people.

In sum: Understand what these folks are doing. Refuse to play along. And if you choose, point out to others the hollowness of their game. Because their “game” is to hurt other people, and then go on to the next target. Their game is other people’s lives.

The amusing thing about this is the complete lack of awareness McRapey shows regarding why we have no stakes in their game. We’ve already been disqualified. We’ve already been counted out. We’ve already been expelled. So we don’t give a quantum of a damn for their opinion, their rules, their careers, or their lives any more. We are coming after them, relentlessly, and it costs us absolutely nothing to do so. Indeed, we will profit by it.

We aren’t interested in discussion. We aren’t interested in debate. And we know they aren’t either. They never were. So now we seek only to expose them, to ruin them, and to take their sad little skulls as trophies. Metaphorically, of course. (whistles innocently, kicks a suspiciously round object out of view of the webcam)

It doesn’t matter how they engage with us. It doesn’t matter if they engage with us. We are winning and we are going to continue to win until they are no more. We’re not locked in here with them, they are locked in here with us. And the VFM are hungry.

UPDATE: RIP Whatever:

So, I don’t know if you know this, but next month will mark the 20th anniversary of the existence of Whatever. This is a fact that among other things is causing me both practical and existential reflection on what this place is, and what it means to me, and what is the best way to keep doing it moving forward, particularly in an age where “blogs” are not the center of online gravity that they used to be…. I’m not calling it an official hiatus mostly because I have enough going on that it doesn’t make sense to go away completely, but I also don’t want y’all to worry if you don’t see me posting a lot here between now and September.

WE. ARE. AMUSED. Everyone who remembers the old school blogosphere knows what this post means.

Why Infogalactic matters

Wikipedia, as you would expect, is whitewashing the Sarah Jeong page:

The BBC, which is generally considered a WP:RS around these parts, reports:

The New York Times has defended a new member of its editorial board who wrote racist tweets about white people.[1]
I fail to see why this would not be included in the article. Cheers to all, XavierItzm (talk) 22:50, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

*** @XavierItzm: I have changed your comment, since the BBC changed the article today. For anyone wondering, the BBC used to say “racist” but now says “inflammatory”. You can see somewhere below where I criticize this decision by the BBC, but if they changed it, we have to respect that. wumbolo ^^^ 16:33, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
I’ve reverted this Orwellian change. Changing someone else’s comment on a talk page is not acceptable.2600:1012:B147:F1EA:F559:8E27:8070:B4CB (talk) 09:32, 5 August 2018 (UTC)
I don’t see anyone disagreeing that the tweets are in fact racist. At the very least, we could insert a sentence that says: “Sarah Jeong become the subject of widespread criticism in the media in early August 2018 when, upon her hiring by the New York Times Editorial Board, it was discovered that she had posted a series of racist Twitter messages disparaging white people.” I don’t think any of that is disputed in any way at this point.Ikjbagl (talk) 23:18, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Support inclusion of your sentence as proposed and using the BBC as source. Remember, the page has been locked up and a condition has been imposed that consensus on the sentence and source must be reached. XavierItzm (talk) 23:24, 2 August 2018 (UTC) Whereas I still think the above contribution would have been fine, its simple one-sentence statement of fact was never greenlighted by the powers that be and instead got derailed by suggestions of having an entire paragraph. So now I support an alternate proposal below. Cheers to all. XavierItzm (talk) 06:31, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Just adding that my response here could be used to add two or three more sources to back up that the criticism was “widespread”, with no fewer than 10 major news organizations reporting: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Sarah_Jeong#I_think_that_the_controversy_of_Jeong’s_Tweets_should_be_mentioned{f12d784dcf38f5c874d6442acbbe3c4b723260f34933916497ce8576f95e6112}2E Ikjbagl (talk) 23:32, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Agreed that additional sources could be added later. However, let’s not muddy the waters and see if consensus can be reached. XavierItzm (talk) 00:38, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Support sentence proposed Conveys what occurred concisely, with the article in the BBC I think its nigh impossible to describe the event as not noteworthy. SWL36 (talk) 00:27, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Regarding noteworthiness, the story is now on the Front Page of BBC.com/news, archive link here https://web.archive.org/web/20180803003558/https://www.bbc.com/news Ikjbagl (talk) 00:37, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Oppose per the above stated reasons for waiting to decide whether this should be included at all, and if yes per the sources, then how it should be characterized. We remain WP:NOTNEWS. We look at how a group of sources deal with a topic; decide if it merits inclusion in an encyclopedic account of, in this case, the subject’s biography; then summarize the significant viewpoint or viewspoints. Reiterating the BBC’s version is what news aggregation sites do. We’re not that. Innisfree987 (talk) 01:40, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
I agree with the not news point about Wikipedia, but I disagree with your characterization. All of the reputable sources linked so far deal with the subject in the same way. This single news event is more notable by Wikipedia’s own (secondary-source based) standards than the rest of this person’s career. The other secondary source mentions of her up to this point have all been in blogs, University blogs or lesser known websites (though she was cited by Forbes), and she now has an article on every major news website related to this incident. She has also had a multitude more edits to her page in the past day than she has had in her career. Waiting to see if the event “becomes” notable makes less sense when the event is already more notable than the rest of her page so far constructed. Ikjbagl (talk) 01:55, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Well, I sure would like to work on expanding the rest of it but unfortunately I’ll have to do so by edit request for now! Meanwhile. The number of edits has no bearing, really. We don’t make decisions based on popularity. Other points: the term “racist” is definitely not being used universally; ABC, WashPost, and USNews use the expression “derogatory”. CNN calls “disparaging” and notes many people defending Jeong call them “satirical”. Who knows where it will land when the dust settles–if anywhere worth noting. Beyond word choice, your note above saying I don’t think any of that is disputed in any way at this point is just the issue: as WP:NOTNEWS, we’re not aiming to post an update “at this point” (which would be appropriate, for a news site!), we’re trying to decide if an event is rates a mention of an encyclopedic bio, which I don’t think we can see on a subject like this after one day. I’m not saying this should definitely never be addressed; I’m only saying WP:CRYSTAL applies in understanding the significance of this, or not, in the bigger picture. Innisfree987 (talk) 02:33, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Innisfree987 argues that “Reiterating the BBC’s version is what news aggregation sites do,” as if the BBC were unique in reporting these facts, as if the Beeb were somehow fringe, when in fact, up until yesterday, the BBC was considered a gold standard among WP:RS around the Wikipedia. Innisfree987 also implies that the BBC is somehow unique, when there are other WP:RSs saying the exact same thing.

Infogalactic gives you the power to decide upon the relevant facts for yourself: Sarah Jeong. It would be nice if conservatives would simply use Infogalactic instead of constantly whining about Wikipedia doing what Wikipedia always does.

Speaking of stealth-editing, Christina Hoff Sommers notes that there’s “No mention of Sarah Jeong’s demented tweets on her Wikipedia page. Why? A little group of activist editors won’t allow it. Amazing. See them in action here.”

Why? Because the 500+ Wikipedia Admins are all SJWs and they have no intention of allowing any information on Wikipedia that will damage anyone on the Left if they can help it. Speaking of Infogalactic, we’re making some changes to the server that should increase performance considerably on certain tasks. So, if it feels faster to you, you’re not imagining it.

Alt★Hero #3: Reprisal

Alt★Hero #3: Reprisal is now on Amazon. Kindle and KU editions are available.

Michael Martel and the mysterious Immotus have freed Shiloh Summers from the UN’s Superhuman Protective Council, but now Security Director Kulkarni is determined to track them down. So when SPC agents take her mother and father into custody as official persons of interest, Shiloh and her new friends face a difficult choice: fight to free them or find another way to convince the SPC to let them go.

From the first reviews:

  • Every issue of this series is improving on the last. 
  • Been following this latest insurgency in the culture war with mild interest. But they finally got me actually hooked. Art quality has jumped up a notch or three, and the story is starting to go somewhere. 
  • Better than Civil War! Even at their best, back in the old days when Marvel and DC delved into politics and social commentary, they were not as gripping and thought-provoking as this! 
  • Story is AAA! This one was freakin’ goooooood! Best yet of the Arkhaven comics releases. Already, after a total of four issues in this universe (3 Alt-Hero, one Avalon) we’re starting to see an interconnected web. The plot is racing ahead. These characters, these stories, this setting… It is going to be big. Huge. Epic.
  • This is writing one hardly sees in comics anymore, and it’s a slice of awesome. I thought issue 2 was good, but this in many ways is better. And once again, stellar artwork.
One note for backers: the credits page of the backer editions that first went out does NOT have the correct name of the next issue. It turned out that we were considerably further along on a different issue, so the name of Issue #4 is THE WAR IN PARIS.

The inaugural ARKSTREAM also contains a quick look at some of Arkhaven’s future plans. As for Issue #3, it looks as if we’re off to a good start. Three of the top four bestsellers in the category, and four of the top ten, are from Arkhaven. Thanks for your strong support!

Never trust a (((conservative)))

Perfidious fake conservative (((Jennifer Rubin))) urges the future shunning of the White House Press Secretary:

Conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin tore into White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Sunday, saying she should be shunned from her next job for her false and misleading claims.

“Sarah Huckabee Sanders is so concerned that people aren’t nice to her,” Rubin told MSNBC’s Joy Reid on “AM Joy.” “And people like me think that — not that she should be harassed — but that she should be shunned. The reason is that she lies. She attacks our free press and no respectable employer should hire her after this term,” Rubin continued. “Also, no university and no news outlet. She has lied and she has endangered the lives of reporters and that’s why she should be shunned. Not harassed — shunned.”

Earlier this week, the columnist declared in a scathing editorial that the GOP “isn’t fit to govern.”

If lying is justification for being shunned, then why is anyone on the planet talking to Rubin? Before moving into fake conservative opinion writing to derail Republicans, Rubin was “a labor and employment lawyer in Los Angeles, working for Hollywood studios, for 20 years.”

Rubin is as legitimately of the political Right as Richard Dawkins is an evangelical Christian. And she’s as about as American as Li Keqiang.

Darkstream: Generation Shapiro or Generation Zyklon?

From the transcript of the Darkstream:

I didn’t really think about Shapiro at all until 2005, when I dubbed him the Littlest Chickenhawk, and the reason I did so – remember this is back in 2005 okay – and what Shapiro did, despite the fact that he was of an age to join the military, he wrote and claimed that invading Iraq and invading Iran and basically invading the entire Middle East and establishing an American empire that would be democratic was the most most vital issue of our time. It was the absolute priority for the United States of America, and yet he didn’t join the military! It was more important for him to go to college and go to law school. I mean, this is the literal definition of a chickenhawk, somebody who demands the country go to war but refuses to do so himself.

So back in 2005 I dubbed him the Littlest Chickenhawk after he tried to justify himself and defend himself and it was absolutely, totally inept. Totally unconvincing, you know, and it really astonished me that anyone took him seriously after that. I mean, Shapiro has no intellectual integrity at all! He prides himself, his supporters talk about how he’s supposed to be this fearsome debater, he’s written a little pamphlet on how to destroy liberals in an argument, but here’s the thing. He ran away from the opportunity to debate Milo Yiannopoulos. Twice he talked about a general debate challenge, I  contacted him and said, “Ben, I’ll be happy to debate you.” Once it was on economics, I don’t recall what the other one was.

Both times he practically left tracks fleeing in the opposite direction, and so you know the guy is a complete and utter fraud.

Did Iraq pose an immediate threat to our nation? Perhaps not. But toppling Saddam Hussein and democratizing Iraq prevent his future ascendance and end his material support for future threats globally. The same principle holds true for Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Pakistan and others: Pre-emption is the chief weapon of a global empire. No one said empire was easy, but it is right and good, both for Americans and for the world.
– Benjamin Shapiro, WorldNetDaily, Aug. 11, 2005

The media is the enemy

The God-Emperor makes it perfectly clear for everyone: the media is the enemy of the American people.

Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump
 The Fake News hates me saying that they are the Enemy of the People only because they know it’s TRUE. I am providing a great service by explaining this to the American People. They purposely cause great division & distrust. They can also cause War! They are very dangerous & sick!

Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump
“Too bad a large portion of the Media refuses to report the lies and corruption having to do with the Rigged Witch Hunt – but that is why we call them FAKE NEWS!”

I could not agree more. The mainstream media is, without question, the enemy of the American people, and it has been for decades. Literally nothing they do or say is in the interests of the American people. And if the God-Emperor’s well-justified criticism of them happens to lead to bad outcomes for journalists, I expect the vast majority of Americans will applaud.

In which I vociferously disagree

While it gives me great pain to publicly take exception with the greatest living science fiction writer, I have no choice but to do so with regards to what these days is an unfortunately all-too-pertinent literary matter:

A reader named Bellomy had a comment of dazzling insight I wanted to reprint by way of applause and emphatic agreement.

I learned the secret to what makes a character a Mary Sue.

You see, being great everything doesn’t make one a Mary Sue. John Carter of Mars is that. Batman is that. Wonder Woman, for a female example, is that.

What makes one a Mary Sue is the fundamental dishonesty in how the character is treated.

No, no, no! A thousand times no! A Mary Sue may well be a fundamentally dishonest character. Certainly most of them are. But a Mary Sue may also be an entirely honest character. The reader named Bellomy is confusing the observable fact that most Mary Sues are fundamentally dishonest characters with the basic nature of the Mary Sue.

The correct definition of the Mary Sue is very straightforward: a Mary Sue is a literary character who is an idealized stand-in for the author.

For example, the commenter HMSLion is correct in identifying Owen Pitt, from the Monster Hunter International novels, as an exemplary Mary Sue. Owen Pitt, the oversized accountant highly skilled with guns, who successfully steals the tall, beautiful dark-haired girl from his wealthy, popular, better-educated and more handsome rival, is a wonderful character because Larry Correia is himself a wonderful character. But there can be no doubt that Owen Pitt began as an unmitigated Mary Sue.

Authors have a tendency to reveal more about themselves than they realize, and often, more than they would like, when they write themselves into their stories. Consider the subconscious confessions contained in the two following quotes:

ITEM #1: She was beautiful. In fact she was possibly the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. She was tall, with dark black hair, light skin, and big brown eyes. Her face was beautiful, not fake beautiful like a model or an actress, because she was obviously a real person, but rather Helen of Troy, launch-a-thousand-ships kind of good-looking. She wore glasses, and I was a sucker for a girl in corrective eyewear. Since I was ugly it was probably some sort of subconscious reaction in the hope that I might have a chance with a cute girl who couldn’t see very well. She was dressed in a conservative business suit, but unlike most women I knew, she made it look good. If I were to guess I would have said that she was in her mid-twenties.

“Mr. Pitt?” she asked. Even her voice was pretty. She was a goddess.

I tried to answer, but no words would come out. Talk, idiot! “Um… Hi.” Smooth… So far so good, keep going, big guy.

“You can, um… my name is… Owen. My friends call me Z. Because of my middle name. It starts with a Z. Or whatever works for you. Come in. Please!”

Well, so much for smooth.

ITEM #2: I could not help but gloat a little as I smiled for my nemesis. Grant Jefferson. The smug bastard had only been able to do it in 2.5, which was still pretty respectable, but not even close to as fast as mine. And the best part was that he knew it. He was the one who said my first run had been a fluke. Grant was not used to being bested at anything. I enjoyed watching as he stomped off in frustration. He did not like me, and the feeling was mutual. I handed the shotgun over for the next shooter.

Grant was no Newbie. He was a full-fledged member of MHI, and also one of our instructors, though he was the junior man on Harbinger’s team. He had only come out to shoot in the hopes of showing us poor folks how it was done. Grant was totally my opposite. Lean and handsome, witty, charming, a product of the finest schools, and descended from the oldest established (as in super wealthy) New England families. He even had nice hair. He was the type of person everybody liked, and everybody wanted to be liked by.

I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him. I thought he was a pompous ass from the moment I had met him, and I felt the primal and instinctual need to beat him up and take his lunch money.

But the real reason that I hated his guts was that he was Julie Shackleford’s boyfriend.

Now, would you like to bet against the surmise that there are real-life analogues to Julie Shackleford and Grant Jefferson? I would not recommend it. The line about “fake beautiful like a model” is particularly informative. Of course, as Larry Correia has improved as a writer, he is no longer reliant upon his own experiences and emotions to create credible characters, which is why Owen Pitt has grown beyond his origins as a Mary Sue.

The reason that most Mary Sues are dishonest is because most authors are not interesting and accomplished individuals like Larry Correia. Therefore, in order to make their characters appear attractive, successful, and interesting, they have no choice but to present them in a dishonest fashion, winning every argument and succeeding in every challenge with the greatest of ease. But that does not make a dishonest character, like Rey from the latest Star Wars abominations, a Mary Sue. She is not a stand-in for the various authors, she is merely a dishonest feminist archetype.

The genius of Poe

Despite being a mild Edgar Allen Poe aficionado, I wasn’t familiar with his Eureka, which is a sort of brilliant stream-of-consciousness intellectual exploration that is almost exactly what Jordan Peterson, in his fevered, cousin-devouring dreams, must have imagined his Maps of Meaning would be. I’ve been reading Eureka and finding it to be an absolute delight, particularly in Poe’s prophetic anticipation of the instrinsic limitations of the methodology of modern science, which he described in the summary of a letter said to have been written in 2848.

“Well, Aries Tottle flourished supreme, until the advent of one Hog, surnamed ‘the Ettrick shepherd,’ who preached an entirely different system, which he called the à posteriori or inductive. His plan referred altogether to sensation. He proceeded by observing, analyzing, and classifying facts—instantiæ Naturæ, as they were somewhat affectedly called—and arranging them into general laws. In a word, while the mode of Aries rested on noumena, that of Hog depended on phenomena; and so great was the admiration excited by this latter system that, at its first introduction, Aries fell into general disrepute. Finally, however, he recovered ground, and was permitted to divide the empire of Philosophy with his more modern rival:—the savans contenting themselves with proscribing all other competitors, past, present, and to come; putting an end to all controversy on the topic by the promulgation of a Median law, to the effect that the Aristotelian and Baconian roads are, and of right ought to be, the solo possible avenues to knowledge:—‘Baconian,’ you must know, my dear friend,” adds the letter-writer at this point, “was an adjective invented as equivalent to Hog-ian, and at the same time more dignified and euphonious.

“Now I do assure you most positively”—proceeds the epistle—“that I represent these matters fairly; and you can easily understand how restrictions so absurd on their very face must have operated, in those days, to retard the progress of true Science, which makes its most important advances—as all History will show—by seemingly intuitive leaps. These ancient ideas confined investigation to crawling; and I need not suggest to you that crawling, among varieties of locomotion, is a very capital thing of its kind;—but because the tortoise is sure of foot, for this reason must we clip the wings of the eagles? For many centuries, so great was the infatuation, about Hog especially, that a virtual stop was put to all thinking, properly so called. No man dared utter a truth for which he felt himself indebted to his soul alone. It mattered not whether the truth was even demonstrably such; for the dogmatizing philosophers of that epoch regarded only the road by which it professed to have been attained. The end, with them, was a point of no moment, whatever:—‘the means!’ they vociferated—‘let us look at the means!’—and if, on scrutiny of the means, it was found to come neither under the category Hog, nor under the category Aries (which means ram), why then the savans went no farther, but, calling the thinker a fool and branding him a ‘theorist,’ would never, thenceforward, have any thing to do either with him or with his truths.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. It’s also fascinating to see how the Mozart-Salieri relationship seems to play out again and again over time, the inevitable public rivalries between the original thinkers with integrity and talent and the popular pretenders with neither. Sometimes the Mozarts win out, sometimes the Griswolds do. But time always eventually exposes the latter, as your complete failure to recognize the name of Poe’s bitter would-be rival should suffice to demonstrate.

On a possibly-but-not-necessarily-unrelated note, I found this email from a reader to be more than a little amusing.

I was over at my sister’s place today and saw a copy of The Irrational Atheist in their library. When I asked about it, her husband, who is a recent MDiv graduate, told me that it was assigned reading in seminary. Amen. 

Anyhow, “Hogian” is an apt description of the science-loving dogmatists who demand “proof” and “evidence” for event the simplest and most straightforward claims. They inevitably confuse the means with the end, and not infrequently go so far to claim, without any apparent sense of irony intended, that any factual statement made without evidential support and reliable sourcing being subsequently provided is inherently untrue.