You opined, we listened

While we’re not always able to be responsive to various peoples’ ideas and requests, we do at least try to be amenable to suggestions for improvement. So, here is a partial list of some of the things the various teams have added lately.

  • You can now use Paypal at the Arkhaven store. Please note that we’d still prefer to have you use your credit card because Paypal’s transaction cost is 2x higher, but if you’re having problems with your card being accepted, Paypal is now a viable option.
  • Castalia House audiobooks sold from the Arkhaven store now come in a high-quality DRM-free single-file MP4 format. The audio quality is approximately 4x that of an Audible audiobook and you can use the file with a broad range of mobile and desktop readers and other media players. We’ve also added an AUDIOBOOKS link on the black bar on the main page to make them easier to find. We intend to eventually put our new audiobooks on Audible as well, but we are waiting to hear back from them about being able to make our 40+ existing audiobooks available on the Arkhaven store.
  • The Darkstream now accepts superchats. So, if you’d like to support it that way, it is now a viable option. We did an initial test last night and it was considerably more successful than I’d imagined.
  • The Darkstream will soon be available in podcast format on iTunes. You can find a few recent podcasts here.
  • The digital editions of Arkhaven and Dark Legion comics are now available in high-resolution CBZ format. Not all of the previously published comics have been converted yet, but all of the new releases will be.
There is a lot more to come in the near future, but this is what we have already implemented and can announce to date. On the Indiegogo front, things are proceeding according to the process, and there is nothing more to say at the present time except that we are aware of the way in which SJWs are putting pressure on Indiegogo to deplatform other creators of whom they do not approve.

Gamma philosophy

An exchange in the Darkstream comments:

Chunky Monkey
Vox has argued that what he calls uniquely high IQ people think holistically, and then turns around and tries to vaguely quantify everything while ironically using that as justification.

There is no quantification involved at all, vaguely or otherwise. You are confusing the concept of “categorization” with “quantification”. They are two different things. As a general rule, don’t try to correct your intellectual superiors, particularly using words you don’t understand.

If you are a Gamma, or even have Gamma tendencies, you simply must learn to resist the urge to correct others, particularly those who are more intelligent than you are. Also, try to keep the adverbs to a minimum. Gammas love adverbs, because adverbs qualify verbs, which permits them to put themselves in the position of implicitly pronouncing judgment on the actions of others.

Categorical thinking is vital to understanding. In fact, categorical thinking is the foundation of Western philosophy, to such an extent that the Stanford Encyclopedia considers Aristotle’s categorical system to be uniquely important.

Aristotle’s Categories is a singularly important work of philosophy. It not only presents the backbone of Aristotle’s own philosophical theorizing, but has exerted an unparalleled influence on the systems of many of the greatest philosophers in the western tradition. The set of doctrines in the Categories, which I will henceforth call categorialism, provides the framework of inquiry for a wide variety of Aristotle’s philosophical investigations, ranging from his discussions of time and change in the Physics, to the science of being qua being in the Metaphysics, and even extending to his rejection of Platonic ethics in the Nicomachean Ethics. Looking beyond his own works, Aristotle’s categorialism has engaged the attention of such diverse philosophers as Plotinus, Porphyry, Aquinas, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Brentano and Heidegger (to mention just a few), who have variously embraced, defended, modified or rejected its central contentions. All, in their different ways, have thought it necessary to come to terms with features of Aristotle’s categorial scheme.

Speaking of irony, it is more than a little ironic, it is downright remarkable that Chunky Monkey would attempt to use such a fundamentally philosophical action as categorical observation as a means of trying to disqualify and discredit someone.

UPDATE: in case you had any doubts whatsoever:

Chunky Monkey
As a rule, don’t try to control definitions and back it up with a mealy mouthed ad hominem attack.  It is unnecessary reductionism and you know that.  I understand you want a catch term to discount people you have no interest in debating, but don’t think many people can’t sense that is what that is.

Chunky Monkey I literally created that definition, which is what the honest observer does rather than pervert existing definitions. Nor is it an ad hominem attack, “mealy mouthed” or otherwise, to observe that you are exhibiting classic gamma behavior. That’s not argumentum ad hominem, because that’s not WHY you are wrong.  You’re just wrong because you don’t know the difference between “categorize” and “quantify”. Your improper use of words you don’t understand, your use of adverbs to try to spin the situation, and your inability to simply admit that you are wrong are all entirely predictable. Because IN ADDITION to being wrong, you are, observably, a gamma male.

Chunky Monkey
Really missing the point. I have seen hundreds of internet personalities create their own version of ‘x’-male: it is a cheap attack, and means nothing. You may as well call me a racist. This is why I made an obvious mischaracterization: only SJWs get triggered over not being able to control definitions. You have spent so much time studying and talking about SJWs and jordan peterson that the abyss has become you. It happens to the best of us, please do not think that because you are smart you somehow transcend your human tendencies.

Every. Single. Time. Secret King wins again!

New haters, new fans

Some of the low-status lobsters were very upset to discover that humanity’s greatest thinker, Jordan Peterson, was literally too stupid for law school.

  • i like his construction much better than yours. in terms of contribution to human experience, he trumps your nonsense. did you just call him a moron? someone who saved lives of so many men? turned their lives for the better? how can you disregard all that robot?
  • “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”  Unfortunately, you are majorly lacking humility.  I get what you’re saying but the posturing with your scores and outbursts toward the audience exposes your arrogance.  Arrogance is inherently unintelligent especially when as it relates to effective communication. Can’t imagine this trait has played out well in your personal relationships. How can you pretend to be a Christ follower even though this displayed your utter contempt for anyone not on your intellectual level?  Are you not a charlatan by claiming you are a Christian and explicitly going against a directive by God to be humble?
  • Let it go man! We get it… you think you’re smarter than Peterson and you deeply resent him being celebrated and rich instead of you. Why don’t you use that IQ of yours to figure out how to overcome your wounded ego?
  • I guess we should not listen to JP ? Please tell me how his message will make this god aweful intellectual MESS of a worldview worse?(post moderism) If you find nothing positive in what he says then…Why attack him? Why not show some of that obviously high powered intellect and present something that makes makes better sense? I don’t give a fart in a whirlwind what JPs IQ is. And you have not impressed me in the least. He does not strike me as a pompous asd.
  • Joe rogan was a large part of why jordan blew up. I saw him on there and I have gotten at least half a dozen ppl to follow him. Whats not organic about that. Ur a bitter bald man. Lol owen Benjamin smarter than peterson? U are bitter my friend.
  • Your smart enough to figure out how to make a buck off someone else’s success, and your doing it by simply providing a contrary position and picking random holes in an othewise positive doctin for the sake of itself. Your a just a critic and thats easy low IQ territory. Thats what you bring to the table. Petsrsons maps od meaning is difficult to undetstand for you becauae yout not interested in doing the ground work to really understand what he is saying, and you dont want to understand because then you would have nothing to talk about. Bravo. How about adding something positive or constructive to the conversation?

On the other hand, people who are actually listening to the new audiobook – now available exclusively at the Arkhaven store – have found the case it presents to be conclusive, if not downright lethal.

  • I wasn’t impressed with Jordanetics until about chapter six when I realized I was listening to an intellectual murder, and the first few chapters had simply been you setting up your kill room. Thanks for writing the book, and for breaking it down in such an easy-to-follow way.
  • I finally received the book. It’s brutal. Some sections are probably in violation of the Geneva Conventions.
I found the first review to be particularly amusing, as it reminded me of the late Bane’s review of The Irrational Atheist almost exactly 11 years ago.

It is the kind of writing that compels me to write, and he does all of your thinking for you, so you don’t have to do anything but lay back and enjoy it. So far. And what a work of art it is. So far. It grabs you by the nose with velvet gloved fingers, pulls you around where it wants you to go…I am reminded of the Francis Dollarhyde character in Manhunter, when he is giving the slide show to the creep reporter Freddy Lounds, saying “Do you see?” as he takes Freddy from one scene of horror to the next.

I rather like the title of “Intellectual Serial Killer”. All the fun and none of the mess.

Darkstream: The rise of fake nationalism

If you’re wondering why I selected Dennis Prager as the example of a Fake Nationalist in tonight’s Darkstream, just read this paragraph from a column on “nationalism” he wrote in 2015.

In the United States, however, a national American identity has always been a major part of what it means to be an American. The three pillars of Americanism, constituting what I have called the “American Trinity” — are found on every American coin and banknote: “Liberty,” “In God We Trust” and “e pluribus unum.” The latter is Latin for “out of many, one.” Because America has always been a nation of immigrants, it has no ethnic identity. Therefore, unlike almost all other nations, America could not depend on an ethnic identity to keep its people together. In fact, if all Americans retained their ethnic identities, America would simply splinter. So a non-ethnic American national identity had to be forged and preserved.

Count the lies. America was not, is not, and could never be “a nation of immigrants”. The claim is as false for Americans as it is for the English, the Germans, or the Swedes. The British colonists did not emigrate to the American Indian nations of the New World. One might as reasonably declare that “Palestine is a nation of immigrants” and insist on referring to Israelis as “Jewish-Palestinians”.

Fake Nationalists rely on the same sort of wizardry that the New Atheists and Jordan Peterson utilize. They substitute “nation” for “state”, then declare that if you have the right piece of paper, that somehow eliminates every tie of blood, birth, and DNA that connects you to your actual nation. Of course, a Fake American is no more a genuine American than a fake woman is a genuine woman, no matter what the state-granted paperwork says.

The state does not define reality. The state does not define sex. The state does not define gravity. And the state does not define nationhood. It may defy these realities, but it will not do so forever.

The Gilded Path

Last night’s Darkstream was on the media’s made men, including Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro:

As evidence that I’m not simply conjuring these observations out of thin air, consider this graphic on Ben Shapiro’s “gilded path to prominence”.

Following his departure from Breitbart. Shapiro quickly founded the Daily Wire with funding from its owners, brothers Farris and Dan Wilks, Texas fracking billionaires who supported Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the 2016 Republican presidential primary. The brothers and their wives combined to donate $15 million to a pro-Cruz super PAC in the early election season.

YAF has “Young Americans for Freedom” student chapters at colleges and universities around the country. The nonprofit helps organize and sponsor campus lectures, and Shapiro is one of YAF’s most prolific college speakers. Since 2015, YAF has organized over 35 Shapiro speaking gigs, according to the organization. In November 2017, YAF announced that it would be the “exclusive home” of Shapiro’s 2018–2019 college speaking tour, funded by Fred R. Allen. (It’s unclear who Fred Allen is, and YAF did not return an inquiry about his identity.) The group announced on July 25 that six universities will host Shapiro this fall with the headline, “LOOK OUT SNOWFLAKES.”

The chart below clearly demonstrates the difference between organic popularity and manufactured fake popularity. Or, as one commenter noted, the difference between those who have sold their souls and those who have not. Keep in mind that the yellow line represents Stefan Molyneaux, who has 889,759 YouTube subscribers compared to Ben Shapiro’s 444,386. It’s difficult to see from this graph, but note that for 11 years, from 2004 until early 2016, my Google Trends profile was reliably higher than Shapiro’s despite the best efforts of those propping him up.

And no, I’m not envious at all. I’ve been calling out Shapiro since 2005. Why would I ever envy a cowardly little creature who couldn’t compete with me without selling his soul? I know the price of “success” like that and it is not one that I would ever be willing to pay.

The inaugural Bookstream

The inaugural Bookstream includes a discussion of the sex predators in science fiction and a preview of the audiobook version of THE LAST CLOSET, narrated by author Moira Greyland, now available in MP3 format for $19.99 in the Arkhaven store. 14 hours and includes the ebook in EPUB and Kindle formats.

Now that we’re getting more serious about audiobooks, I’m going to do a weekly Bookstream. Some will be book reviews, others will be previews of our new audiobooks, and if I can ever get the stream to permit a live second party, we may even do author interviews.

One thing that we are considering is developing our own combined ebook/audiobook reader app that is integrated with the Arkhaven store. We’d probably crowdfund it to test the demand, so let me know a) what features would be of interest and b) what rewards would make crowdfunding such an app of interest to you, if any.

It occurred to me that emulating Whispersync’s ability to keep track of where you are in the same book across formats would be a lot easier if you used the same app to read the book or listen to the book on your phone or tablet, especially since we plan to include the ebooks with our audiobooks. So, that’s an obvious feature, one that is less obvious but absolutely vital to me would be the ability to export notes and highlights; it is a never-ending source of aggravation to me that Aldiko lets me highlight portions of the text, but I can’t export them to a text file. We’d also want to incorporate MoonReader’s ability to connect to the GoldenDict dictionary apps, for easy foreign language translations while reading.

Please note that we have NOT yet decided to do this, as while the initial response to our direct audiobook sales has been promising, it doesn’t justify this level of support yet. It’s simply us thinking about where we want to go strategically in 2019 and how we can best arrange to get there. Anyhow, if you have any ideas, feel free to share them here.

Note: if you’re using the Arkhaven store, be sure to turn off NoScript in your browser, as we’ve been informed that may be a contributing factor to charges being declined.

Darkstream: NN Taleb and the importance of intelligence

From the transcript of the Darkstream: now 1 million views strong:

So, Taleb says IQ measures “an inferior form of intelligence stripped of second-order effects meant to select paper shufflers obedient intellectual yet idiots. This is a true statement followed by a falsehood, well, actually, it’s all false. IQ doesn’t actually measure intelligence at all, it is a proxy for intelligence, okay? Intelligence is not something that we know well enough to quantify how many one has. We know exactly what an inch is, so we can measure exactly how tall you are but we don’t know exactly what an IQ point is, and so to say it measures an inferior form of intelligence, no, I don’t think that’s correct.

Q- What do you think is the average and max IQ of your fan base is?
A- Well, I know that there are several dozen people with IQs in excess of 150, so if you simply do the math, I’ll have to work it out, but I would say that the average is probably around 110, which is actually extremely high if you work out the math. Maybe a little bit more.

Darkstream: the Mandela Effect

It is fascinating to see how many people find it less improbable to posit that most people have faulty memories than believe the possibility that an influential organization might be running a large-scale experiment on the limits of historical revisionism. In tonight’s Darkstream, I discuss five possible explanations for the dichotomy between human memory and the current physical evidence with regards to a series of children’s books.

But the diverse reactions to the Mandela Effect tends to underline the wisdom of Jesus Christ’s explaination for why God seldom sees fit to show Himself to people. Very, very few people are capable of even entertaining the possibility of anything that violates the narrative they currently accept, let alone believing it, on the mere testimony of others. And any mind with sufficient knowledge of the human heart would know that.