T-shirts and whatnot

After nearly 10 years of requests for Ilk-related paraphenalia, we’re finally going to make t-shirts available through a Dread Ilk vendor. These are not going to be the usual Cafe Press junk, but custom designs and select t-shirt styles. There are only going to be 12 designs available at any one time, so once we rotate a design out, it may not be back.

The first five are going to be:

  • [Redacted] for original Big Fork supporters only. Sold at cost + shipping. Limited time.
  • [Redacted] for anyone.
  • Trumpsl!de
  • Whip It Out (Harambe)
I’m interested in knowing which designs are of most interest to the Ilk. So, here are a few random ideas; let me know which would be of the most interest to you, assuming that the designs are well-executed. Or if you have any other ideas, feel free to throw them out.
  • Evil Legion of Evil (member’s edition)
  • Evil Legion of Evil (Red Meat cartoon)
  • Vile Faceless Minion
  • Dread Ilk
  • Rabid Puppies 2015
  • Rabid Puppies 2016
  • Vox Day Che
  • Just Say N20 (Psykosonik lyrics on back)
  • Spacebunny (cartoon logo)
  • Supreme Dark Lord (Altar of Hate mask logo)
  • SJWAL cover
  • Cuckservative cover with 1790 law quote
  • That Red Dot On Your Chest Means My Daddy Is Watching
  • Castalia House logo “Restoring Science Fiction Since 2014”
  • There Will Be War
  • The Missionaries
I’m hoping that we’ll do some caps at some point too, but I am very, very picky about my caps, so that may take a while. We can also discuss this a bit at the Brainstorm tonight; don’t forget, if you’re an O[BF] you are also invited.

Brainstorm: who is next?

It’s about time to do another literary Open Brainstorm session, so with which Castalia House author would you most like to discuss his works? I don’t count, so leave me out of it. We’ll save John C. Wright for after his next two books come out too, so don’t select him either. One thing we’re going to do differently than before is to allow people to submit their questions for the author ahead of time, which should help keep things rolling and allow us to address more topics in more detail.

Go ahead and suggest away, and whoever is most in demand at the moment will be invited first. If they can’t do it for one reason or another, we’ll work our way down the list. Remember, this isn’t about your favorite Castalia author, or who you think is the best Castalia author, only the author for whom you’ve got the most burning questions.

Brainstorm members, the transcript for the Richard Spencer session is being prepared and will be going out to you this weekend. It will not be made generally available.

UPDATE: David the Good it is, assuming he’s not too busy with his new hobby of extreme body-modification.

So that’s settled

Richard B. Spencer ‏@RichardBSpencer
I might quibble here and there, but @voxday’s definition of the #AltRight is quite sound.

Richard was a great guest at Brainstorm tonight. The surprising – and frankly, somewhat alarming – thing, was the discovery that the noble Person of Color was somewhat more out there on several of the Alt-Right aspects we discussed than the No Good Very Bad Nazi White Supremacist With Great Fashy Hair.

One of the great strengths of the Alt-Right is that it is not only intellectually inclined, but that it is open-minded and honest. We didn’t agree on everything, in fact, it was clear that my outlook is considerably more pessimistic (or if you prefer, less pollyannish) than Richard’s. It’s also more European and ethnonationalist than his more American and civic-nationalist perspective.

But regardless, it was a good, substantive discussion.

June Brainstorm

If you’re a member, check your email for the registration information. We’ll be meeting tomorrow night at 7 PM EST. Author Nick Cole will be the guest, as we will be talking about some SIGNIFICANT new developments in the publishing world, how they relate to Castalia House and independent publishing, and how we plan to respond to them. I’ll also be providing an update on the progress of Big Fork.

This is the monthly Members Only event. And speaking of email and Castalia House, those who are New Release subscribers should check your email tomorrow morning.

If you’re not a member of Brainstorm and you want to take part as well as support the open events, information on how to join is on the left sidebar. It is not cheap, but the general consensus appears to be that it is well worth it.

Mailvox: Free speech isn’t free

Neither is Brainstorm, but if you’re a Brainstorm member, you do get the occasional free book. One gentleman just finished Roosh’s latest, which he asked me to send out gratis to every Brainstorm member.

Thank you for e-mailing this book.  It has more profound advice on crowd psychology and cultural adversaries than I have ever seen other than SJWs Always Lie.

Along with your website and Mike Cernovich’s, I’m seeing just how important your work and their work is.

Brainstorm may be the world’s most expensive book club, but the members appear to appreciate it anyhow. Anyhow, I would echo his advice. Free Speech Isn’t Free is more than a good book, it is a useful one.

Brainstorm: Free Trade debate

At 7:30 PM Eastern time on Friday, June 17th, I will be debating Free Trade with Austrian economist Robert Murphy. Another notable figure of the Austrian School, Thomas Woods, will moderate the debate concerning the following resolution:

RESOLVED: Free trade is always economically beneficial in the long term,
and the more free trade is practiced by a country, the higher the
standard of living of its inhabitants will be.

The event is open and you may register for it here. The debate format will be as follows:

10-minute Bob opening statement
10-minute Vox opening statement
3-minute Bob rebuttal
3-minute Vox rebuttal
3 minutes for one Q&A between Bob and Tom
3 minutes for one Q&A between Vox and Tom
5 minutes: Bob asks Vox a question; Vox answers
5 minutes: Vox asks Bob a question; Bob answers
20 minutes: audience questions
3-minute Bob closing statement
3-minute Vox closing statement
1-minute wrap-up by Tom

Please don’t bother telling me what you think I should or should not do. You are not debating the subject. I am. The purpose of this post is not to gather new ideas or information. Moreover, it is not fair to the other participant to have multiple parties ganging up on him. Any suggestions or advice concerning free trade will be deleted.

Closed Brainstorm tomorrow night

This is just an FYI. We’re having the May Members Only Brainstorm event tomorrow night from 7 PM to 8:30 PM EST. This is going to be a general strategy session; there is a lot to discuss as we’re rapidly moving towards the next stage on one major front and poised for a lot of activity on another one. Bring your thinking cap and keep your mind open. I’ll also be providing information on Castalia’s upcoming releases, including at least one that will surprise you.

I’ll be sending out the invites later today, so keep an eye on your email if you’re a member. The Keen transcript is still being cleaned up, but I’m hoping to get the Cernovich one out with the invite. It’s remarkably good; practically a mini-mindset book in itself.

Economics as religion

Steve Keen explained why the mainstream economists have completely failed to learn from their past failures at Brainstorm:

VOX: Why do you think the mainstream economists failed to learn anything from the 2008 crisis, given the fact that these minor school economists, the post-Keynesians and the Austrians in particular, have been correct about the crisis coming? Generally speaking, isn’t the idea that if the predictive model works, maybe we should pay attention to it?

KEEN: The reality is that economics is basically a set of competing religious schools. The case of the post-Keynesians predicting a crisis and some Austrians getting their heads around it as well and the Neoclassicals not predicting it is like saying the Muslims had discovered the body of Jesus Christ. The apt reply back from the Vatican is, no, you haven’t, because it isn’t here, it’s in heaven. So, in that sense, the religious side of it came out and they have their own interpretation of the crisis. It was an exogenous shock.

VOX: From where, Mars?

KEEN: Yeah, they were looking for the meteor right now to see where it landed. It was an exogenous shock from outside the solar system! So this idea of an exogenous shock became their explanation. There’s a classic paper over it by a guy who I think is named Peter Ireland, he’s actually from Boston College, and he began a paperback in 2010 saying that we failed to see the crisis coming but it doesn’t mean our models are useless. He dismissed the type of dynamic modeling that I do while simultaneously showing that he didn’t understand my modeling. He wasn’t reading a paper of mine, he was just saying that you can’t make a deterministic model of this sort of phenomenon, showing he knew nothing about complex systems. But he then said what actually caused the crisis was an exogenous shock just like those that caused the 1992 crisis. However, the shocks lasted longer and they got bigger. Which means, of course, that a randomly distributed variable, which is what the exogenous shocks have to be, remained permanently negative and got bigger while still remaining randomly distributed.

So therefore there has to be, at some point, a really big shock in the opposite direction which hasn’t arrived yet. So they just went back into saying that – and I have seen this happen so many times – that you can’t predict the crisis because in our model a crisis can only occur if there’s a large exogenous shock. Which, by definition can’t be predicted, therefore, you can’t predict it.

Now it really reminds me of one of the little questions I had in my mind. I said, how did Ptolemic astronomers explain comets? And it finally was explained to me that in that era, comets were considered an astronomic phenomenon because of course comets couldn’t occur in the heavens because the heavens are perfect. It’s the same thing with neoclassicals.

VOX: Yeah, it’s interesting to me how in any field of science or even quasi-science, you can almost always tell whose models are ineffective and who really doesn’t know what they’re talking about because they always have to bring in some sort of bizarre epicycle to explain things away. The more epicycles and explanations that they have to come up with, the more certain you can be, even if you have no idea what they’re talking about, the mere fact that they are engaging in the circles and epicycles means that you can be pretty confident that they’re going to be wrong.

I thought this was an unusually good event, even by the high standards of Brainstorm. We’ll try to get the transcript cleaned up and out to the members within the next two weeks or so.

Brainstorm: Murphy vs Day

I’m pleased to announce that on Friday, June 17th at 7 PM Eastern, Brainstorm and the Tom Woods Show will be co-hosting an all-Austrian free trade debate between the well-known Austrian School economist Robert Murphy and Austrian School heretic Vox Day. The debate will be moderated by the noted Austrian School economist Thomas Woods.

It’s too soon to open registrations, but as always, Brainstorm members will have first crack at seats to the event. A transcript will be made available to Brainstorm members and the audio will be available via the Tom Woods Show.

Trial, error, and antifragility

I was looking for the transcript for the Brainstorm event with Christopher Hallpike when I came across the one from last October with Mike Cernovich. I started looking it over, and before I knew it, I found myself 14 pages in. It’s full of good advice from Mike, and it includes me talking about how I’ve applied his advice, both from Gorilla Mindset and from watching his example.

Here is a brief selection from it. I should be able to send it out in epub format to the Brainstorm members next week. The transcript for the Steve Keen event will probably go out around the same time.

QUESTION: I am reading Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb and find the way of going through life by trial and error interesting. Will you both agree on that?

MIKE: My two-part answer to that would be, and I talked about this at the seminar I had the other day, is that life is not like a dance but a wrestling match. That’s a quote from Mark Twain. As for trial and error, you have to let life push back. A lot of people say how do I find my talents? How do I find what I am good at? How do I find my passion? Reality is going to push back at you, and that is where you are going to figure out whether you are good or not. That is where trial and error comes in. So, yeah, I am a huge believer in trial and error. Vox has talked about failing quickly, which is another thing that I believe in.

Let’s say, for example, you want to be really good at something. This is the way that I think you need to go about things. You need to try a lot of things until you find out something that you have the potential to be world-class at. I think everybody has the potential to be really good at something. It might not be the same thing, but there is something inside of you. Everybody has a gift if you try everything, but if you don’t try enough things then you are not going to find out what you are good at and what you’re not good at. For example, I always liked boxing. I was pretty good at boxing, but I would never have been an elite guy. Maybe if I fought really hard I could have been on ESPN once or twice on an undercard, but I never would have been a world-class boxer. So I said, well I am not going to get my head beaten in much longer for something I will never be elite at. How my business model works is that every time I get negative attention, every time I get conflict, I get stronger, my websites get stronger, and I sell more books.

VOX: I think that for both of us, being antifragile is particularly important because we are so targeted by SJWs who are constantly trying to disqualify, discredit, and disemploye. They can’t fire you from your job. They can’t fire me from my job. It is just not possible. That is exactly what being antifragile is.

MIKE: But more than that, the more they attack, the more your web traffic grows.

VOX: That is true as well, but the important thing, the important concept, is to allow yourself to live life in an antifragile way, because antifragility is about more than politics and personal enemies. You want to be antifragile with regards to the economy, changes in your personal life, and even the people around you. For me, the trial and error concept is vital because one of the biggest flaws that I see in a lot of the intelligent people around me is that they are constantly trying to work out the perfect plan. That just doesn’t work. Like Mike Tyson said, everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. That is the situation that most of us are in with our businesses, or with our jobs. We all have a plan, and we all try to come up with an idea that will work, but then reality so often throws you a curveball that you can’t plan for.

MIKE: I was just re-emphasizing that point which is you’re not going to know what you’re good at until life decides what you’re good at. We don’t really have unlimited potential for anything. Some things we are going to be better at and some things we are going to be terrible at and some things no matter how hard you try, how hard you practice, you’re never going to be great at. That is why instead of sitting around thinking well in ten years here is what I am going to be, you need to be thinking in ten minutes here is what I am going to do and I am going to do it. You will find out real quick if that is going to work out for you.

I highly recommend both Antifragile and Gorilla Mindset. They are very, very different books, but they will both affect your thinking in positive ways. And speaking of Brainstorm, we’ll probably hold the monthly closed event sometime next week. There is much to discuss.