Mailvox: of scraps and subscriptions

An email today from a sane man who finds himself caught up in a crazy world:

I want you to know I appreciate what you are doing. I’m in tech and the number of pozzed out SJW folks I interact with on a daily basis in that capacity is nearly unbearable. It feels like fully 1/5 – 1/4th of all articles, blog posts, and podcast episodes I see out there on most feeds are identity politics bullshit these days. There seems to be an overbearing need for virtue signalling from guys that make six figures and can’t get an attractive girlfriend. It goes all the way up to a number of well-known blogger/podcasters who should have their lives together, based on the amount of income they bring in, but yet continue to white knight for fairly dubious (aka, low value) scraps of female attention.

I must also relate a story. I recently had dinner with a silicon valley startup dude (I say “dude”, because he was allegedly a founder, but not particularly successful) regarding the possibility of Silicon Valley startups outsourcing to other parts of the US (particularly the deep south and rust belt). I pointed out that low ping times, similar timezones and laws, and better optics around outsourcing might eventually make the numbers work well enough for at least some companies to try it out. It was at this point that I was subjected to an extended rant about how his company would never do that as (summarized) “we don’t want to hire people who are going to be bringing racism into the office and wanting to take time off in the fall to duck hunt and f#$% their sisters”. This individual stated this, loudly, in front of numerous witnesses without a hint of fear of consequences. It is this sort of behavior and the cucking I described in the previous paragraph that makes me believe that the alt-tech revolt is just getting started – I know dozens already who are hopping mad about this sort of thing and I send them to your blog. I certainly am motivated to help grease the skids for it.

That is a great observation on the driving force behind Silicon Valley virtue-signaling, and it indicates that it is going to be possible to red-pill some of the seeming SJWs. They are operating on a false paradigm, and moreover, they have to, on some level, know it. I mean, it just isn’t working for them, is it.

But regardless, the Alt-Tech revolt is just getting started. We’ve set the Voxiversity launch date to September 11th, the Alt-Patronstarter site is already fully functional, and I’m putting the subscriptions together now. There will be six levels of monthly subscriptions, from $5 to $500, and while I have most of the rewards identified, I’m interested in hearing additional ideas from those of you intending to support this foray into video production.

The Alt Hero kickstarter will be launched two weeks after Voxiversity. It will not be a subscription, just a straightforward fund-or-kill 30-day campaign.

Share your thoughts.


Vox Day on vid.me

I’ve created a new channel for my videos on Vid.Me. I’m not certain that we’ll be using it for the forthcoming Voxiversity yet, but if nothing else it is a good place for selected Darkstreams. I’m not sure why the Darkstreams uploaded to YouTube by Judeo Christ appear to be of lower video quality than those uploaded by Open Mind, but hopefully we will sort that out.

Anyhow, I need 36 more followers before I can get verified, so if you’re signed up there and you don’t mind, please follow. I spoke with one of the Vid.Me guys on Twitter today; unlike YouTube, they have a way of limiting content to paid subscribers, the problem is that they don’t yet have a way of allowing the creator to provide paid subscriber access to unpaid subscribers who are supporting the creator through another method like Kickstarter or Patreon.

They also appear to be less converged than YouTube, which is a pretty low bar, of course, but is one reason to utilize them in preference to the current industry standard.

Now, obviously, there will be plenty of free general content for everyone, which will go on the YouTube Voxiversity channel as well as my Vid.Me channel. But if anyone has any ideas on the ideal way to distribute premium video content that is limited to patrons, please feel free to share them.





A History of Strategy chapter 1

A History of Strategy chapter 1 – ProProfs

The embed feature no longer works properly, so just follow the link above and click the big START button. Discuss it and ask any questions you might have in the comments below.

Keep in mind that the idea of the Voxiversity quizzes is not to catch you out or even test your knowledge, they are primarily designed to help you cement the basics of the book in question in your mind. The idea is that if you ace a series of Voxiversity quizzes, you possess the essential knowledge of the book required to understand it. I occasionally go back and retake some of the older Voxiversity quizzes just to ensure that I continue to retain the information involved.

The next quiz will be Chapter 2 on Saturday, 23 May.


The return of Voxiversity

A number of you have been requesting a new Voxiversity, I’d been thinking it was well past time to do another one, and the potential connection with our hypothetical Brainstorm Club that we’ve been discussing turned it into a no-brainer.

On Saturday, May 16, the next Voxiversity will commence with the first quiz on Martin van Creveld’s A HISTORY OF STRATEGY, which will cover the Foreword, the Introduction, and Chapter 1: Chinese Military Thought. If you haven’t acquired a copy of the book yet, you can get it at Amazon or in EPUB format at Castalia House. The chapters are not long and you will be able to read Chapter 1 at least twice before Saturday. If you want to see what a Voxiversity is like, have a look at the left sidebar for previous ones on works by Thucydides, Dante, and Rothbard, among others.

However, one benefit of selecting a work by a living author is that in addition to the usual quizzes and online discussions in the comments, Dr. van Creveld has agreed to take part in an online videoconference with me that will be open to the Ilk. We haven’t set a date yet, but it will be scheduled sometime during the Voxiversity, which will run for the next eight weeks. I will interview him for the first 30 minutes, after which we will have an open Q&A session. In addition to being the author of EQUALITY: THE IMPOSSIBLE QUEST, as well as The Transformation of War and Technology and War, Dr. van Creveld will be a contributor to RIDING THE RED HORSE V2 and he has written an absolutely fascinating essay on a significant aspect of future war that very few have considered.

The event will be free, but because the number of places are limited (to exactly what, I do not yet know) priority will be given to the members of the Dread Ilk’s Brainstorm Club. While I’m still working out how that is going to operate, my current thinking is that in addition to being able to attend the monthly Brainstorm event, members will get first shot at attending the free online events such as these.


The bright lights of the hrududu

You may recall that I’ve mentioned how the Rabbit People have three basic weapons to which they resort.  One of their most important ones is exclusion; to a herd animal exclusion is the worst of all possible fates because they are incapable of even imagining survival on their own.

Now consider in this light an intriguing one-star review of A THRONE OF BONES that appeared yesterday courtesy of one Virginia Conterato of EdinaMinneapolis.

It’s very difficult to review a book so badly written. The wordiness
attempts to disguise the utter lack of decent storytelling and world
building. There is a whole lot of NOTHING happening along with badly
written dialogue and poorly developed characters. It is not often that I
write negative reviews, but I felt I needed to warn others away from
this terrible book. THis book is truly terrible. Don’t waste your time,
much less your money. 

It’s even harder to convincingly review a book one hasn’t read.  Or, as appears to be the case, even bought.  Isn’t it amazing how strongly some of these one-star reviewers feel they need to “warn others” and save them from exposure to the terrible, horrible, doubleplusungood novel?  As if otherwise, they might inadvertently read such a miniscule tome?  It tends to remind one of McRapey warning his readers not to read this blog or even mention Lord VoldemortRSHD.  This is classic Rabbit People behavior, especially in light of how Mrs. Conterato clearly hasn’t read the book.  You’ll note that attack reviews are usually phrased in the most general of terms; if they do provide details, they usually just happen to come from things that take place in the text selection available on Amazon.  Seriously, is there anyone who genuinely believes that Kay is one of the very few people who bought the hardcover?

Although I have to admit, the idea of an angry little rabbit flipping furiously through all 854 pages just to write a credible-sounding fake review does amuse me.  It’s worse than TIA’s unclimbable Mount Chapter Four.

Now, why would a married woman in her late forties be so upset that she would go to the trouble of posting a fake review at this particular time?  The answer, I suspect, is to be found at Change.org, where last year Kay signed the petition “Senator Amy Klobuchar: Publicly Come Out in Support of Same-Sex Marriage”.  Logic suggests the following scenario: McRapey repeatedly pounds the homophobic drum, Kay’s little rabbit ears perk up, and she bravely hops forth to do battle on behalf of the Whatever warren and her lesbian writer friends at The Loft.

And then the bright lights appeared….

Now, you’d have to have lived in the Twin Cities to fully appreciate what I find funniest about the good doctor’s wife.  You see, when Kay signed the petition, she claimed to live in Edina.  But she doesn’t.  As it happens, in high school I dated a few girls from Edina, including one who lived just down the road from Southdale. Which, you see, is why I happen to know that Kay, like many others in certain parts of Richfield and southwest Minneapolis, only affects to live in the more prestigious city….

I now await, with no little amusement, the declarations of how scary the Rabbit People find it to discover that Lord Voldemort now has the dark and dangerous powers of Google-fu at his disposal.  I have to confess, I’m more than a little tempted to knock on her door and offer to sign her nonexistent hardcover the next time I’m in EdinaMinneapolis.

The other interesting thing, in addition to the fake reviews, is that there are at least two rabbits who are giving helpful ratings to all the negative reviews and rating all of the positive reviews unhelpful.  Given the timing, one of them is likely our little friend Kay.  It’s not so much the review as the rating of the review that is of interest here:

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful

1 out of 5 stars: hard to follow yet very predictable January 21, 2013
By  Tracy

This a long book, very slow read. Not a lot of action or suspense. You can tell whats going to happen almost every step of the way. It is layed out like it is 7 or 8 books stuck together. The chapter titles are just the name of the character that will be prominent for that chapter. Then the next chapter is for the storyline of the next character and so on. After forcing myself to finish the book, it is only a lead up to a second book! It does’t even stand on it’s own! Horrible!  

Helpful indeed.  This is how the Rabbit People fight; it’s all nonsensical, passive-aggressive attacks intended to be plausibly deniable, sniping from behind corners, and appealing to the herd; the correct way to respond is not through reactive passive-aggression, but rather to shine a light on the little critters’s activities.

We are not like them, we are better than them.  They know it.  And they know we know it.  That is why they hate us.

UPDATE: Some are incredulous that I would post information that is freely available to the public about a suspected fraud here on this blog.  Very well, let me be clear.  I am demanding an admission from Mrs. Conterato that she neither purchased the hardcover nor the Kindle version, nor did she read the book in its entirety prior to posting her review.  On a related note, I am requesting the order records from my publisher today; since the book is not available in retail bookstores, I should be able to confirm within days that she did not, in fact, ever purchase the hardcover that she claimed to have reviewed.  I will remove the public information from this post if a) Mrs. Conterato admits she did not buy the book and her review is a fake one, or b) if she proves that she did purchase the book and read it in its entirety.

UPDATE II: I just got an email from the publisher containing a list of the books sent to Minnesota.  None was sent to anyone named Conterato or to the address shown above.  Or to Edina…. This is not yet conclusive proof as one more possibility exists that I am presently having tracked down, but it is a significant step in that direction.


Rabbit man is rabbity

McRapey asks for more mancrushing and I am gracious enough to oblige him.  Although I must warn you, if you are reading this, we are reliably informed that risks making you one of my “merry band of racist
sexist homophobic dipshit readers”.  Otherwise known as… THE DREAD ILK!

On the way home from ConFusion today I received a concerned phone
call from a good friend, who informed me that someone had just posted
something about me online that to his eye was entirely libelous; he then
gave me a brief rundown on the piece. It appears the racist sexist
homophobic dipshit who has an adorable little mancrush on me has been
spinning up his racist sexist homophobic dipshit blog readers yet again
with a typically gibbering gout of stupidity, with my name inserted into
it at some point.

I told my friend not to worry about it. Aside from it being just
another example of this particular racist sexist homophobic dipshit
trying to work out his adorable little mancrush issues in public, it’s
probably not libel. One of the pillars of libel is that what’s being
written has to effect material damage on the person allegedly being
libeled. I experience no material damage in this case, because no one
actually gives a shit what this particular racist sexist homophobic
dipshit has to say about anything, other than his merry band of racist
sexist homophobic dipshit readers. And why would I care what any of
those racist sexist homophoblic dipshits think about me? They’re racist
sexist homophobic dipshits. The racist sexist homophobic dipshit market
is one I’m willing to lose.

I imagine that one day the racist sexist homophobic dipshit with the
adorable little mancrush on me will finally figure himself out. Until
then, I suppose his adorable little mancrush on me is cheaper than
therapy. So mancrush on, you racist sexist homophobic dipshit. Because
it’s adorable, and I get a giggle about just how much you can’t quit me.

The interesting thing about gammas is that they don’t realize that what scalds their souls doesn’t bother those higher in the socio-sexual hierarchy in the slightest.  Still less those who are comfortable outside the social hierarchy.  But it’s a lovely attempt at playing “ha ha ha, see if I care cuz I don’t” through the tears.  I have to confess, it stings a little to be accused of homophobia when John keeps putting delectable, mancrushable eye candy like this on display.  Can you honestly blame me for my adorable little mancrush?  I really think he’s created a whole new category of hotness, the “doughy-sexy”!  But I’m very glad to hear that he gets “a giggle” about it, because, let’s face it, we all know that I will never quit him until his gamma antics cease to provide amusement, which should happen right around the time Heimdall blows his horn.  Mancrushes may not be legal in Ohio, but this is a committed one nevertheless.

One should appreciate the way McRapey keeps trying to work “libel” into his responses?  Not that he would ever threaten anyone with it, because he totally believes in free speech… but he’s got to mention it, you know, just because.  This reminds me of the scrawny little seventh-grader who can’t fight his way out of a paper bag, who froths at the mouth and tells the high school bullies not to mess with him because he’s crazy.  CRAAAZY!  But I find the most interesting thing to be how he thinks that simply pointing out the attack on female-oriented urban fantasy covers is a misguided attack on female preferences amounts to “a typically gibbering gout of stupidity”.

In that vein, this comment from a Whatever reader pretty much says it all about the Rabbit People: “I found the RSHD after Scalzi’s piece on the mind of a rapist. The RSHD decided that this post meant that Salzi himself was a rapist. The rest of his thought is on a par with this gem. I’ve been looking at his blog with a kind of horrified fascination ever since. I find him thoroughly dispiriting, rather frightening, and in the end
just inexplicable. He presents as a well-educated, articulate,
functioning kind of guy, and yet he traffics in vile racism, a sexism so
absolute that women seem not to exist as real people, weird conspiracy
theories, and general religious crackpottery. I don’t get it at all. Is
he insane? I wonder. Are all his readers insane as well?”

Frightening and inexplicable stupidity.  That concept summarizes the midwitted limits of this particular warren of Rabbit People.  They literally cannot imagine that their worldview is incorrect or is not in line with observable reality.  Anything that is over their heads or beyond them has to be either stupid or crazy, or perhaps both.  And, of course, scary.  They also fail to realize how their responses and accusations betray their own psychologies. John Scalzi is obviously engaging in satire, but I could not possibly be doing anything of the sort.  I must be the insecure and upset one even though it is McRapey who refuses to link to or even identify the RSHD he is nominally addressing.  He even requests that his fellow rabbits follow his lead, whereas I am content to simply shine a light on his creepy, crawly gamma antics and don’t concern myself with what anyone else does.  He deletes or “subverts” the comments of any of those favorable to me who comment on his blog while I both permit and respond to comments by those favorable to him.

 The Rabbit People think I am obsessed, and yet they rush to call his freaking phone simply because I mentioned him in a post.  And my failure to recoil in horror and flee in terror from the VERY BADDEST WORDS THEY CAN POSSIBLY IMAGINE leaves them not only bewildered, but scared.

“He didn’t react to the H word.  And I already called him stupid.  And crazy. What now?”
“Did you try the S word?”
“Yeah, good idea… ZOMG, that didn’t work either!”
“Very well, he leaves us no choice.  I don’t like it, but he totally asked for it.”
“You don’t mean….”
“I do.  The R word.”
“Wow.  I pity him.  I really do.  Here goes… OMFG, NOTHING HAPPENED!”
“What?  That can’t be!  Try it again… TRY IT AGAIN!”
“R word!  S word! H word! Stupid!  Crazy!  R WORD!  S WORD!  R WORD!  DAMMIT, IT’S NOT WORKING!”
“AAAUUUGGH!  RUN!  SAVE YOURSELVES!  WHERE IS THE SAND?  WHERE IS THE SAND?” (thunk) (thunk)

Later that day, sounds are heard emanating from a pair of seemingly headless bodies.

(muffled) “Mmff.  Well, we sure showed him!”
(muffled) “Yeah, now everyone will see he’s evil and bad, and sooner or later, the emptiness and loneliness of the social rejection that will surely follow will make him say he’s sorry and that we’re really good people who only want to help everyone.  Also, hugs.”
(muffled) “Do you think he’ll pat us on the head too?”
(muffled) “That would be nice.”

 I am aware there are a few who still believe I post about McRapey due to jealousy, and it is to them I direct this question: what part of Award-Winning Cruelty Artist do you not understand?  This is not an obsession.  This is a Voxiversity course.  And if you still don’t grasp that, you’re not passing it.


End this depression I

I’m going to take a slightly different approach to reviewing Paul Krugman’s latest book, End This Depression Now!.  Ever since writing TIA, I have found it frustrating to read a book, accurately summarize the arguments it contains, critique those arguments, and then find myself addressing various complaints about my summaries and critiques from those who readily admit they have not read the book.  This is particularly annoying because the percentage of people who actually bother to read a book appears to be a small fraction of those who are interested in discussing its contents and its implications.

So, instead of writing a general review and critiquing the summarized arguments, what I’m going to with this book is systematically highlight the 16 sections that I bookmarked and identify the specific claims being made as well as any fundamental flaws I believe are thereby revealed.  This approach should make it easier for people to understand exactly what Krugman has written and reduce any derailing of the discussion on the basis of the supposed inaccuracy of my summaries.  One could, if one liked, also consider this a 101 level course on Krugmanomics.

In Chapter Two, Depression Economics, Krugman explains his thesis:

“The central message of all this work is that this doesn’t have to be happening. In that same essay Keynes declared that the economy was suffering from “magneto trouble,” an old-­fashioned term for problems with a car’s electrical system. A more modern and arguably more accurate analogy might be that we’ve suffered a software crash. Either way, the point is that the problem isn’t with the economic engine, which is as powerful as ever. Instead, we’re talking about what is basically a technical problem, a problem of organization and coordination—a “colossal muddle,” as Keynes put it. Solve this technical problem, and the economy will roar back to life.

Now, many people find this message fundamentally implausible, even offensive. It seems only natural to suppose that large problems must have large causes, that mass unemployment must be the result of something deeper than a mere muddle. That’s why Keynes used his magneto analogy. We all know that sometimes a $100 battery replacement is all it takes to get a stalled $30,000 car back on the road, and he hoped to convince readers that a similar disproportion between cause and effect can apply to depressions. But this point was and is hard for many people, including those who believe themselves well-informed, to accept….

What I hope to do in this chapter is convince you that we do, in fact, have magneto trouble. The sources of our suffering are relatively trivial in the scheme of things, and could be fixed quickly and fairly easily if enough people in positions of power understood the realities. Moreover, for the great majority of people the process of fixing the economy would not be painful and involve sacrifices; on the contrary, ending this depression would be a feel-good experience for almost everyone except those who are politically, emotionally, and professionally invested in wrongheaded economic doctrines….

Think of it this way: suppose that your husband has, for whatever reason, refused to maintain the family car’s electrical system over the years. Now the car won’t start, but he refuses even to consider replacing the battery, in part because that would mean admitting that he was wrong before, and he insists instead that the family must learn to walk and take buses. Clearly, you have a problem, and it may even be an insoluble problem as far as you are concerned. But it’s a problem with your husband, not with the family car, which could and should be easily fixed.”

In summary, Krugman is aggressively asserting that the problems with the U.S. economy are trivial, technical, and easily solved by the economic equivalent of changing a car battery by people in positions of power.  He sees no serious structural economic problems stemming from the trade deficit, the demographic changes in the population, the educational system, the financial system, the shift to a service economy, or the record levels of public and private debt.  He also expects that the process of fixing it will be close to painless for nearly everyone in the country.  He does not, however, claim that it will be politically easy to solve the problem, in fact, the solution is a political one and primarily concerns overcoming those who are “invested in wrongheaded economic doctrines.”

Is everyone clear on this?  Does anyone see any reason to take exception to this summary or claim I am erecting a strawman?  I’ll also be interested to know your opinion of whether this approach is effective or not.