No one wants Fake News

The media appears to have finally converged itself into a corner:

The mass migration of advertising to U.S. technology giants such as Facebook, Google and Amazon has hammered revenues while more than half the world’s population now has access to news via an internet connection.

But will people actually pay for news?

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism said in its annual Digital News Report that most people would not pay for online news and that there had been only a small increase in the proportion of people willing to do so in the last six years.

Even among those who do pay, there is “subscription fatigue” – many are tired of being asked to pay for so many different subscriptions. Many will opt for films or music rather than pay for news. So some media companies will fail.

“Much of the population is perfectly happy with the news that they can access for free and even amongst those who are willing to pay, the majority are only willing to sign up for one subscription,” Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, director of the Reuters Institute, said by telephone.

“A lot of the public is really alienated from a lot of the journalism that they see – they don’t find it particularly trustworthy, they don’t find it particularly relevant and they don’t find it leaves them in a better place.”

Why would anyone pay to be told what isn’t true? The advertising model propped up the mainstream media and allowed it to fold, spindle, and otherwise mutilate the truth because there was no direct link between the news consumer and the news provider. Now that Google and Facebook have broken the advertising model, and Amazon has taught people to go direct to the source, the ABCNNBCBS cabal is discovering that they don’t actually have any real fans.

People will pay for quality content. People will pay for truthful content. Unauthorized is proof of that. But they won’t pay to be insulted, mocked, despised, and deceived.

“If they want to convince people to pay for their journalism then they must convince people that the journalism they publish has value for them, for the public.”

Good luck with that.

Stripping the assets

It’s just about all over for the major publishers now that Barnes & Noble has been acquired by a hedge fund:

Barnes & Noble Inc said on Friday it would be bought by hedge fund Elliott Management Corp for $475.8 million, marking the end of the once-dominant U.S. book retailer as a public company after years of falling sales.

Shares in the largest U.S. bookstore chain rose 11{d95326ee5ea65e892c2d26437d890471edde2c6e603231f0d9f2e7742fd3a7fa}, after ending up 30{d95326ee5ea65e892c2d26437d890471edde2c6e603231f0d9f2e7742fd3a7fa} on Thursday when reports of a potential deal surfaced.

Listed on the New York Stock Exchange since 1993, Barnes & Noble has struggled to grow its business since the arrival of Inc turned the book sales market on its head. Even the company’s recent efforts to pull in a more tech-savvy audience with its Nook e-book reader failed to compete with Amazon’s Kindle and other tablets.

Elliot’s offer of $6.50 per share, represented a premium of about 42{d95326ee5ea65e892c2d26437d890471edde2c6e603231f0d9f2e7742fd3a7fa} to Wednesday’s close, the day before media reports of a potential transaction first surfaced. Barnes & Noble has been exploring options for a buyout since at least last October, with multiple parties showing interest including founder-chairman Leonard Riggio. Riggio acquired the flagship Barnes & Noble trade name in 1970s, nearly a century after Charles Barnes started the business in his Illinois home. Riggio grew the business, adding several retail stores across the country, but could not sustain the growth in a retail landscape dominated by Amazon.

In 2014, Barnes & Noble closed its New York Fifth Avenue store – once the world’s largest bookstore – and has faced declining sales for at least the last three years. As of this January, it ran 627 retail stores.

I very much doubt that Elliott Management has any interest whatsoever in building up a bookselling business. Instead, it’s going to methodically extract the most valuable pieces of the business, sell them off, and profit from the dismantling of the business. This means that the Big Five publishers will probably merge and reduce themselves to a Big Three, with at least two attempts to set up their own competitor to Amazon, both of which will fail, like Macmillan’s attempt to establish Pronoun, due to their structural inability to ignore the legacy requirements that inhibit their decision-making.

As a onetime Barnes aficionado, I’ll be sorry to see it go away. Most of my dates with Spacebunny, including the first years of our marriage, involved us spending an hour or two in the evening browsing the bookshelves, drinking coffee, and leaving with about $50 worth of books.

The dysgenic civilization

I’ve been warning about the decline of human intelligence for some time now. And contra the uninformed assumptions of the author of the piece, the average intelligence of the residents of the United States has been dropping precipitously for 50 years:

People are getting dumber. That’s not a judgment; it’s a global fact. In a host of leading nations, IQ scores have started to decline.

Though there are legitimate questions about the relationship between IQ and intelligence, and broad recognition that success depends as much on other virtues like grit, IQ tests in use throughout the world today really do seem to capture something meaningful and durable. Decades of research have shown that individual IQ scores predict things such as educational achievement and longevity. More broadly, the average IQ score of a country is linked to economic growth and scientific innovation.

So if IQ scores are really dropping, that could not only mean 15 more seasons of the Kardashians, but also the potential end of progress on all these other fronts, ultimately leading to fewer scientific breakthroughs, stagnant economies and a general dimming of our collective future….Details vary from study to study and from place to place given the available data. IQ shortfalls in Norway and Denmark appear in longstanding tests of military conscripts, whereas information about France is based on a smaller sample and a different test. But the broad pattern has become clearer: Beginning around the turn of the 21st century, many of the most economically advanced nations began experiencing some kind of decline in IQ.

There are two reasons. First and foremost, immigration. Second, dysgenic social policies discouraging the most intelligent quintile from propagating. The 20th century involved more than a rejection of eugenics across the West, it also witnessed an active and enthusiastic embrace of dysgenics.

The four horsemen of bad science

A scientist addresses the irreproducibility problem presently plaguing what passes for professional “science”:

I think that, in two decades, we will look back on the past 60 years — particularly in biomedical science — and marvel at how much time and money has been wasted on flawed research. How can that be? We know how to formulate and test hypotheses in controlled experiments. We can account for unwanted variation with statistical techniques. We appreciate the need to replicate observations.

Yet many researchers persist in working in a way almost guaranteed not to deliver meaningful results. They ride with what I refer to as the four horsemen of the reproducibility apocalypse: publication bias, low statistical power, P-value hacking and HARKing (hypothesizing after results are known). My generation and the one before us have done little to rein these in.

In 1975, psychologist Anthony Greenwald noted that science is prejudiced against null hypotheses; we even refer to sound work supporting such conclusions as ‘failed experiments’. This prejudice leads to publication bias: researchers are less likely to write up studies that show no effect, and journal editors are less likely to accept them. Consequently, no one can learn from them, and researchers waste time and resources on repeating experiments, redundantly.

It’s fascinating to see how science has not only demonstrated itself to be utterly useless as a device to adjudicate ethics, morals, or philosophy, but has actually corrupted itself in attempting to replace Christian ethics and moral philosophy.

Rule by immigrant

Tucker Carlson correctly identifies the fundamental failure of the US immigration system that was created by the confluence of immigration and excessive democracy:

For the left, whether the country benefits is not the point. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar––herself a symbol of America’s failed immigration system if there ever was one, someone who hates this country coming here at public expense––spent yesterday demanding the abolition of ICE, the decriminalization of illegal immigration itself, and an end to all deportation programs. She demands open borders, the unlimited arrival of anyone who wants to come to America, whether they have anything to contribute or not, and by the way you get to pay for it.

Tom Wolfe saw this coming at the turn of the century. I doubt it escaped his attention that the disastrous 1965 Naturalization Act that destroyed the USA was championed by immigrants and the children of immigrants.

Did anybody high or low look for a Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi to create a new tribute on the order of the Statue of Liberty for the nation that in the twentieth century, even more so than in the nineteenth, opened her arms to people from all over the globe—to Vietnamese, Thais, Cambodians, Laotians, Hmong, Ethiopians, Albanians, Senegalese, Guyanese, Eritreans, Cubans, as well as everybody else—and made sure they enjoyed full civil rights, including the means to take political power in a city the size of Miami if they could muster the votes?

And as soon as American immigration restrictions were relaxed in the 1960s, people of every land, every color, every religion, people from Africa, Asia, South America, and the Caribbean, began pouring into the United States.
– Tom Wolfe, Hooking Up

The Perversion Files

The Boy Scouts of America are now officially deader than a Norwegian parrot pining for the fjords.

More alarming details have surfaced about how many people were listed in the Boy Scouts of America’s “perversion files,” according to lawyers who demand the full release of thousands of names of alleged offenders in the files. Nearly 200 of them are from New York and New Jersey.

Though allegations came to light Monday night, a victims’ rights attorney who compiled an “incomplete” list of former Boy Scout leaders accused of abuse in New York held a press conferences Tuesday to discuss what he claims to be a widespread pattern of abuse. He also asked more victims to come forward.

The victims’ rights attorney, Jeff Anderson, called it a system of denial and cover-ups. He claims the Boy Scouts have files on child abusers within their ranks dating back to the 1940s.

“For many, many years there’s been an excavation of what are called the ‘perversion files’ — those are files held and hoarded at the Boy Scouts of America headquarters,” Anderson said during Tuesday’s New York press conference, adding that “those ‘perversion files’ that they’ve had reflect that they have removed thousands of offenders of childhood sexual abuse over the years and they’ve kept that in files secretly.”

One can’t help but assume that Hollywood is already engaging in a bidding war for the television rights for the tale of these poor, put-upon pedos who were unfairly oppressed for decades before finally successfully fighting for their civil right to take little boys camping without their parents. A real triumph of the human spirit film, bound for Oscar glory. Steven Spielberg to direct.

Predators always go where the prey is. Never, ever lose sight of that.

The filth pigs of San Francisco

Remember, this is how the people who claim to be our moral and intellectual superiors actually live:

Between 2011 and 2018, San Francisco experienced a massive increase in reported incidents of human feces found on public streets. In 2011, just over 5,500 reports were logged by the San Francisco Department of Public Works; in 2018, the number increased to more than 28,000.

The government watchdog Open the Books documented the sharp increase over time in a stunning chart, first spotted by the BuzzFeed editor John Paczkowski. Notably, this is a chart of only documented reports — the actual amount of feces on San Francisco’s streets is likely even higher than these statistics suggest.

“I will say there is more feces on the sidewalks than I’ve ever seen growing up here,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed told NBC in a 2018 interview. “That is a huge problem, and we are not just talking about from dogs — we’re talking about from humans.”

As I have repeatedly stated, the choice is not between Right and Left, or between Republican and Democrat, or even between conservative and progressive. The choice is between the Good, the Beautiful, and the True and the Evil, the Disgusting, and the Lie. The choice is between the hope of Jesus Christ and the despair of Satan.

The reasons one should support Christian nationalism and Western civilization aka Christendom is not limited to a personal belief in Jesus Christ as Man’s savior. On the political side, even if you lack religious faith, a mere preference for indoor plumbing will suffice.

This is the dyscivilizational reality of the promised shiny, sexy, science fiction seculartopia that was promised by the progressives. Rivers of blood and public streets lined with shit.

Choking on the salt of debt

This is an interesting article that addresses how the credit bubble has been caught up in the situation I have described as “credit disinflation” and the way it is now bogging down the US and global economies.

In the San Joaquin Valley, vast irrigation networks convey water thousands of miles to make the desert bloom.  But as surface water is conveyed along the open California aqueduct, it both evaporates and collects mineral deposits. The combination of these factors concentrates the water’s salt content.  Then, as it is applied to irrigation, the residual salts collect in the soil.

After decades of this, along with the over-application of fertilizer through mechanized fertigation systems, the salt in the soil has built up so that it strangles the roots of the plants.  To combat this, over-watering is required, because the irrigation water – while salty – is fresher than the salt encrusted soil. By applying excess irrigation water, the soils around the plants are temporarily freshened up so that crops can grow.

Yet, at the same time, this over-watering accelerates the mass quantity of salt being applied to the soil.  There is no outlet for the salt to flush to; the valley is the basin’s terminus.  Thus, in this grand paradox, the relative freshness of the excess water that is keeping the farmland alive is, at the same time, the source of the salt that is killing it.  Reisner further explains:

 “Nowhere is the salinity problem more serious than in the San Joaquin Valley of California, the most productive farming region in the entire world.  There you have a shallow impermeable clay layer, the residual bottom of an ancient sea, underlying a million or so acres of fabulously profitable land.  During the irrigation season, temperatures in the valley fluctuate between 90 and 110 degrees; the good water evaporates as if the sky were a sponge, the junk water goes down, and the problem gets worse and worse. Very little of the water seeps through the Corcoran Clay, so it rises back up to the root zones — in places, the clay is only a few feet down — water logs the land, and kills the crops.”

 So, too, goes the U.S. economy.  After nearly a decade of rapidly expanding its balance sheet, and pumping cheap credit and excess liquidity into financial markets, the Fed has produced a similar paradox.  They must keep expanding the money base to keep the economy afloat… but in doing so they are ultimately killing it.

Both the credit problem and the salinity problem stem from the same cause: short term time preferences. And, as we know, civilization absolutely depends on long term time preferences, on men planting trees in the shade of which they will never sit. 

From neoliberalism to nationalism

The Russians and the Chinese both understand that in keeping with the demographic and economic decline of the USA, the neoliberal world order is failing:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov declared today that the Western, liberal model of society is dying, and a new world order is taking its place. Lavrov made the comments at his annual meeting with students and professors at the Foreign Ministry’s Diplomatic Academy, reported Russian state news agency TASS.

“The Western liberal model of development, which particularly stipulates a partial loss of national sovereignty – this is what our Western colleagues aimed at when they invented what they called globalization – is losing its attractiveness and is no more viewed as a perfect model for all. Moreover, many people in the very western countries are skeptical about it,” Lavrov said.

According to him, global development is guided “by processes aimed at boosting multipolarity and what we call a polycentric world order.”

This is why the neoliberals – and the wolves in sheep’s clothing called the neoconservatives – are so terrified of nationalism and nationalists. Multipolarity is just another word for nationalism and “a polycentric world order” is synonymous with “a balance of power.”

Challenging the USD

It appears that the Russian and Chinese alternative payment systems may be in the process of merging:

Several Russian banks have joined the China International Payments System (CIPS), to ease operations between the two countries, according to a senior official at the Central Bank of Russia (CBR).

“As for the cooperation on payment systems, a range of banks are already connected to CIPS, allowing to facilitate payments routing procedure,” Vladimir Shapovalov, who heads a division dealing with foreign regulators at the CBR’s international cooperation department, said earlier this week during the international Russian-Chinese forum.

Given the fact that Italy recently joined the Chinese Silk Road trade initiative, this decision by Russian banks would appear to presage an eventual merger between CIPS and SPFS, which would make for a powerful, nuclear weapons-backed alternative to the US SWIFT system that the US has been using to impose its will upon countries everywhere from Africa and the Caribbean to Europe and Asia.

The USA destroyed earlier monetary challenges from Iraq and Libya, which only appears to have convinced Iran, China, and Russia of the need to work together in order to free themselves of the neo-liberal financial empire. This may be the first substantial sign of the end of U.S. empire, as we’ll know the beginning of the end has been officially reached when the EU and Switzerland abandon SWIFT in favor of whatever the rival new payment system ends up being called.