The silence of the boards

Everything is quiet. Very quiet. Could it be… the calm before The Storm?

Or perhaps everyone is just conspiracied out for the time being. At this point, I think I’d greet the announcement that a Sino-Pakistani alliance has declared war on India and Japan has announced in response that it is now a full-scale nuclear power with secret missile bases on the Moon with a yawn and a shrug.

Don’t worry about it. Read a book. Learn your culture. Go for a walk. Work out. Get some rest, because it looks like we’re going to be in for an exciting week that begins tomorrow, one way or another.


Strategy vs realism

This article on the differing ontological assumptions of the strategic and realist perspectives won’t be for everyone, but I think it is apt, considering the way in which so many people who are paying attention to the recent election crisis observably struggle to distinguish between strategic planning and the way events subsequently play out.

This article challenges the widespread belief that the classical school of strategic theory shares ontological assumptions with the realist perspective on international politics and foreign policy. This belief has led scholars to treat the strategic and realist perspectives as synonymous, or near-synonymous, thus unintentionally creating conceptual confusion in international studies. For instance, in an introductory textbook on strategy, the editor argues that the strategic perspective ‘is based upon the realist interpretation’ of international relations, as both ‘feature a distinctive world view based on assumptions about the nature of the political environment, the characteristic manner in which political actors interact with each other’. In another textbook, it is claimed that strategic scholars ‘share a set of assumptions about the nature of international political life, and the kind of reasoning that can best handle political-military problems. This set of assumptions is often referred to by the term realism’.

This simplified view of the relationship between the strategic and realist perspectives is also found in many original works from the last decades. Hugh Smith, for example, argues that Carl von Clausewitz belongs to the realist tradition. Moreover, Neta Crawford claims that strategic scholars ‘tend to view international relations from the [realist] perspective of anarchy in a Hobbesian sense’. In addition, Michael Williams links the strategic perspective to a ‘neo-realist framework within which it has traditionally been located’. Furthermore, Tarak Barkawi claims that the strategic perspective ‘logically entails a realist policy science of international politics’, and Isabelle Duyvesteyn and James Worrall argue that the realist ‘paradigm has formed a cornerstone of the field [of strategic studies]’. By others, the strategic perspective has even been described as the ‘military-technical wing’ of realism. 

Despite the widespread belief that the strategic perspective is based on realism, this article presents and elaborates on the argument that the relationship between the two perspectives is, in fact, ambiguous. Therefore, scholars should treat them as separate perspectives, although they do share some key similarities and overlaps. 

There are many reasonable positions one can take at the present time. Perhaps President Trump is under the control of his Deep State captors. Perhaps President Trump is in a protected location directing the US military in a surprise attack against Iran – this is genuine concern among Europeans – or perhaps the surprise attack will be on the Deep State and the election criminals. The most bizarre theory I’ve heard is that President Trump suffered a heart attack after the rally and died on Wednesday, and the panic that the Deep State is now exhibiting is because they are afraid that the American people will never believe their innocence and will return to Capitol Hill to seek retribution.

But the one thing you cannot say without being indistinguishable from a retard is to claim that there was never any plan. Of course there was a plan; the executive order from 2018 alone is enough to prove that there was. The mere existence of a plan does not mean that it will lead to desirable results in the end; Napoleon’s plan to invade Russia shows that even a generally successful plan can end in complete disaster.

There are 12 days left. Trust the plan and trust the President or not, as you see fit, but at least try not to be a complete retard just because you’ve taken the black pill and are lost to despair. As for the rest of us, recall the wise words of Puddleglum. Hope, be it true or be it false, is always better than no hope.

Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things–trees and grass and sun and moon and stars, and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one…. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play-world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia…”

I’m on Trump’s side even if there isn’t any Trump to preside. I’m going to live as like an American as I can even if there isn’t any America.


Important blog concepts

Things that you should know if you wish to comment here. They are inspired, of course, by my favorite scene in the late, great Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum.

  • Inquisitional autoimpedimentation: the art of asking me for tech support in order to be able to comment on the blog.
  • Pertinaxic adverselectational taciturnitation: the science of silencing yourself by regularly taking positions that are so predictably contrarian that you get yourself banned.
  • Atromonomaniaical exiliation: The art of removing yourself from the commentary pool by exhibiting an obsessive fixation on a single subject, regardless of the topic being discussed.
  • Civilostentatious animic angustiation: The act of putting your psychological trauma on public display through your commentary.

This isn’t that hard

Please note that the comments here are moderated. If you post your comment twice because you are concerned that your Very Important Comment might not have gone through when it fails to appear immediately, both of them will be deleted. If you post the same comment three or more times, all of them will be spammed, which significantly decreases the possibility that you will ever be able to successfully comment here.

Please also note that I don’t care in the slightest if you think this policy is unfair and that I am not interested in being informed about whether you knew the comments were moderated or not when you posted your Very Important Comment six times in a row. This blog has been here for more than 17 years. Its existence does not depend upon those who first starting visiting it in the last six months. It neither requires nor desires your Very Important Comments. The comments are provided as a courtesy to the regular readers who requested them many years ago, but neither they nor I are particularly interested in the opinions of newcomers or passers-by.

You may also wish to note that everyone here has the same access to Twitter, the Associated Press, and the Drudge Report that you do. Before you post any very exciting news that you have uncovered through your diligent digging through these obscure Internet sites that no one else has ever seen before, it may behoove you to a) look over the posts from the past 2-3 days and b) read the most recent comments before posting your Very Exciting Breaking News. The fact that I have not posted about something should never be confused with the idea that I have not heard about it; as it happens, I don’t post about the vast majority of things that happen around the world.


A warning, not a concession

 The President issues a veiled warning to the Supreme Court:

President Donald Trump acknowledged his vanishing path to overturning the results of the 2020 election in court on Sunday during his first full interview since losing to President-elect Joe Biden earlier this month.

“Well, the problem is, it’s hard to get into the Supreme Court,” Trump said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” after host Maria Bartiromo asked him when he expected his challenges to make it to the justices. “I’ve got the best Supreme Court advocates, lawyers, that want to argue the case, if it gets there. They said, ‘It’s very hard to get a case up there,’” Trump added. “Can you imagine, Donald Trump, president of the United States, files a case, and I probably can’t get a case.”

Trump said that his cases, which legal experts have described as far-fetched, should make it to the high court, but did not predict that they would.

“It sounds like if you can’t be heard by the Supreme Court, you lose. Do you believe you will win this?” Bartiromo asked at one point.

“We should be heard by the Supreme Court. Something has to be able to get up there, otherwise, what is the Supreme Court?” Trump said.

Apparently neither an obstacle or a path to victory. That sounds a bit like… a splashing sound? And this was an interesting choice of words in the article.

Trump also insisted that he can prove the voting machines were used by Democrats to fraudulently win the election for Biden – but he did not yet offer any solid evidence. 

So, he knows he can prove it, but hasn’t offered any solid evidence – yet. Which means they know he can prove it too. My guess is that they are assuming he will cuck and concede rather than break the system they have corrupted, and the court rulings are essentially one big call of his bluff.

But I think President Trump loves America too much to lay down his arms rather than cross the Rubicon if that’s what is required. And greatness is never achieved without risk.

UPDATE: Some people have been saying that they thought Trump sounded defeated in the interview, or at least lacking in his usual high energy. I suspect he is just frustrated that his enemies are stubbornly pushing him to the point where he has to destroy them instead of simply defeating them. If, as I believe, he knows he is holding all the cards, he finds it hard to believe that they are stupid and stubborn enough to insist on playing through the charade.

But one thing I have learned is that evil is not really stupid. Foolish and short-sighted, yes, but not exactly stupid. It has a certain animal cunning that gives it uncanny insight into the reluctance of its foes to finish it off. Evil doesn’t believe you can’t win, but it very sincerely believes you won’t choose to win, and therefore it will call your every bluff and ignore your every threat and warning, no matter how credible they might be.

This is the weakness of the good man. He wants a civil surrender, he doesn’t want to win a no-quarter war. He is reluctant to accept that the enemy always gets a vote and he doesn’t understand that evil men have always relied upon good men failing to do what they observably have the ability to do. Machiavelli, however, understood this.

Men do not know how to be either entirely wicked or entirely good… they do not know how to employ violent measures which are honourable in themselves, and as a result, remaining undecided, between their own indecision and their ambiguity they are eliminated.

Remember, this is how the president knew from the very start.

Sidney Powell Confirms Rumor Is True: Trump Was Watching The Fraud Happen In Realtime On Election Night From Eisenhower Building SCIF!


A note to new readers

Dear New Reader,

If you are someone who “doesn’t want to get your hopes up” or “is afraid to be disappointed” or “is concerned that it might be a trap” or “seriously hope you’re wrong”, or sees doom in every direction, then this is not the place for you. I’m not saying that you’re a bad person or that anyone here wishes you ill. I’m simply stating a simple fact: this is not the place for you.

No one here is interested in your fears, your worries, your psychological vagaries, or your concerns, least of all me. And if you’re going to talk about them, then your comments will be deleted and eventually you will find yourself banished, because this place is not about your feelings.

This is the place for those who hope even when all hope is gone. This is the place for those who are willing to fight to the last man. This is the place for those who will stab Godzilla in the foot with a butterknife when he steps on them. This is the place for those who remember the Alamo and consider the Americans who died there to be the real victors. This is the place for those who will fight in the shade of the enemy’s arrows. This is the place for those who will say to the world, “no, you move.”

This place is not for you.

With regards,

Vox

PS: Epstein didn’t kill himself.

PPS: Biden didn’t win.


200 Million Views

 

I’m pleased to report that today, 17 years and 10 days after the initial post, the Vox Popoli blog has exceeded 200,000,000 pageviews. The blog now consists of 22,968 posts and 1,181,070 comments, although the number of comments does not include those left during the years when the two previous comment systems were utilized. In the interest of clarity, note that these numbers do not include the 26 million views at Alpha Game or the 150k views at DevGame.

A few observations about this traffic milestone. First, it underlines the importance of consistency. If you’re not going to post at least 3-4 times per day, you’re much better off contributing regularly to a group site. Very, very few one-man blogs have survived the demise of what used to be known as the Blogosphere. Second, with an average of 169 views per comment, it proves that the commentariat is not even close to synonymous with the overall readership. Third, it demonstrates that the media narratives about who and what are “popular”, and who and what are not, are largely false. 

Fourth, and most importantly, it emphasizes what I’ve said about the ticket. If you refuse to take the ticket when it is offered, not only will no amount of success or talent open any important doors for you, but the media will remain resolutely silent about anything and everything you achieve unless it provides them with an excuse to try to take you down.

I would, of course, be remiss if I did not express my deep personal appreciation to all the investigative reporters, intelligence agencies, science fiction social justice warriors, and self-appointed thought police for their assistance in making this possible. It literally could not have been done without you.


Murakami on the meaning of life

The great Japanese novelist’s answer demonstrates, as you can probably imagine, an interesting and unusual perspective:

“Mr. Murakami, how would you respond if someone were to ask you, ‘What is the meaning of life?’ I would say, ‘There is no meaning to anyone’s life. It’s enough to be free,’ but I wonder if this shows a lack of responsibility or human emotion.”

“My answer would be ‘That’s something to think about after you die.’ While we’re still in the middle of being alive, it’s hard to really see the meaning behind it. We’re all busy, and we get caught up in all sorts of situations. So let’s think it over at our leisure after we pass away. I don’t think it’s too late to come to a conclusion after that.”

My answer, as both a Christian and a gamer, is this: “The meaning of life is to prepare for Level Two.” Which is why I don’t think we’ll necessarily have a lot of leisure to think over the past, unless we’ve been cast out into Outer Darkness.


Bye, Gamma

Now, I understand that in this age of direct communications, it is sometimes easier to go directly to someone you know happens to have the information than proceed through the conventional channels, which can be slow and inefficient. That’s suboptimal, but it’s more or less fine. And I understand that not everyone reads every email, or post, or SocialGalactic update; despite our best efforts to keep everyone informed, someone is always going to fall through the cracks. 

But I am neither sales support nor technical support. If you send an email to my personal address, then you are going to get a personal response. You will not receive a professional or a corporate one. It may be helpful and informative, or it may not be. 

Translation: if you’re expecting some sort of “the customer is always right” posture from me, you’re in for a serious surprise. You’re not my customer and I’m not whatever the Hell you appear to think I am. If you suspect you’re inclined to flounce away in a snit because you think my failure to sufficiently kowtow to the Blessed and Thrice-Sanctified Customer is some sort of insult, just save us all the trouble and go away now. And if you have a problem with that, I suggest sending an email to Bill Gates about your problem printing from OpenOffice Writer in Windows 10, or to Scott Shannon at Penguin Random House about your inability to open your newly purchased ebook, for the sake of comparison.

Forget Pareto, one thing I’ve learned over 30+ years in the workforce is that one percent of the customers cause 95 percent of the trouble. Let this be henceforth known as the Day Principle of Customer Service. Logic dictates that an operation should seek to get rid of that one percent as expeditiously as possible in order to focus on making the products and services better for the 99 percent who just want quality goods and functional services.

What is particularly annoying about this to me is that this sort of idiot customer invariably expects a much higher standard of sales and technical support from startups with few hands on deck and limited resources than they do from giant corporations with tens of thousands of employees and near-infinite financial resources. Would they actually prefer it if we imitated the tech giants, hid our emails, and directed all communications to a call center staffed with third-worlders who have no information and no hope of being able to resolve any problem?


Mailvox: the ideas, they spread

 Readers note some familiar ideas popping up in some unfamiliar places.

Holy cow, Michael Anton’s new book reads like he’s been swiping you for years. In fact I’m shocked at how far he and the Claremont Institute are pushing the envelope.

“In sum, America is for the Americans—just as France is for the French, India for the Indians, Israel for the Israelis, Japan for the Japanese, Mexico for the Mexicans, and each of the world’s countries for its particular people. That’s not to say, necessarily, that America should never take in immigrants—though I personally think that, after fifty-five years and at least ninety million newcomers and their descendants, a moratorium is warranted, not least in order to assimilate this latest wave. It is to say that America is not the common property of all mankind, that every one of the world’s nearly eight billion people is not “more American than the Americans.” If everyone in the world is American—actually or potentially—then no one is. The logic of immigration absolutism leads to its own unraveling: in insisting on the universality of Americanness, it strips Americanism of all distinction or meaning. The ruling class welcomes that outcome. Have any of the “conservatives” thought it through?”

It sounds as if he might have read Cuckservative. And then there are these observations on the effects of social justice on an organization:

People like @GadSaad, @ConceptualJames and @PeterBoghossian have been saying once you let social justice in an organization it will eventually destroy it. (Even if well intentioned, it deviates from the core org goals.)

– Dave Rubin

I believe that’s what is called “convergence”. Someone may have written a book or two about it. 

I’m not at all bothered at the fact that the popularizers will be credited for these ideas, as Friedrich von Hayek recognized the problem with social justice and J.S. Mill decades before I did, and the idea that American universality is self-negating is logically inescapable. Anyone who actually thinks the matter through will necessarily reach the same conclusion. We don’t create truth, we can only observe it.

Anyhow, I’m very pleased to observe that my personal radioactivity is proving insufficient to prevent these ideas, and more, from escaping this particular intellectual ghetto and permeating the mainstream discourse.