Friday, January 01, 2016

Why the "nu-internet" really sucks

The nu-internet -- the one controlled by a few big companies just like old media was -- really sucks because it emphasizes broad appeal instead of niche. The idea of the original internet was that, like in a library, each topic could have its own area. The nu-internet is based on the idea that everyone goes to the same areas and does roughly the same stuff.

I find it makes people hateful, this nu-internet, because in order to get along with people on it, you have to accept bad arguments at face value and ignore people's obvious compensatory behavior. What most people say is dumb and ill-informed, but in order to include them in the group, it must be treated as acceptable. This means that standards are low and any thoughts which are not mere repetitions of one of the dozen acceptable viewpoints will be misunderstood.

That is why the nu-internet produces so many angry people. The smart ones are frustrated and retreat from the field of battle, which leaves the true crazies to communicate with one another. That is why we see Tumblrinas: fat, insignificant people with no real skills or abilities and no defining character traits. Generic people, angry people. Nobodies who want to be God.

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Coincidentally, others have noticed. A Slashdot summary says:

Iranian writer Hossein Derakhshan has a unique perspective on the internet. He got into blogging early on, and sparked the spread of blogs across the Iranian internet. In 2008, this earned him a 20-year jail sentence. Late in 2014, he was released early. Derakhshan was a major participant in the early-2000s web, but missed the social media revolution. Here are his thoughts on the change: "The hyperlink was my currency six years ago. It represented the open, interconnected spirit of the world wide web – a vision that started with its inventor, Tim Berners-Lee. The hyperlink was a way to abandon centralization – all the links, lines and hierarchies – and replace them with something more distributed, a system of nodes and networks. Since I got out of jail, though, I've realized how much the hyperlink has been devalued, almost made obsolete.

But the scariest outcome of the centralization of information in the age of social networks is something else: it is making us all much less powerful in relation to governments and corporations. Surveillance is increasingly imposed on civilized lives, and it gets worse as time goes by. ... I miss when people took time to be exposed to opinions other than their own, and bothered to read more than a paragraph or 140 characters. --Slashdot: "Facebook, Instagram and Twitter Are Killing the Web"

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There is only one solution to SJWs

An anonymous commentator cited in a Breitbart article explains why SJWs are able to exist:

I’ve been lucky enough to grow up in America, so this shit is new to me. But I’m descended from puritans, and I know my history; I know how they treated dissent. I also know how commies treated dissent; I grew up next door to a grizzled old Russian who barely avoided the gulag by smuggling himself out of the country. I know what you petty tyrants have turned into every time you gained enough power.

Worst of all, you turn the very principles of freedom against us. We tolerate you because we believe in free speech and civil discourse, not bullying and violence. But that means we have to watch you advocate against that very freedom. We don’t believe in ruining a stranger’s professional life over an opinion, but that means that we can’t punish your actions.

We believe that the rightness of our actions should speak for itself. You believe in bullying, even as you claim to love the oppressed.

This has been the problem with liberals since the beginning. They advocate insanity, and in the name of sanity, we tolerate them. The "right" thing to do is to be nice and fair to them, which is what the aristocrats of Europe did and were murdered for their grace. Then again, both sane and right are measured here by method, not goal.

This problem has a biological root: our bodies find it hard to throw off parasites, too. The average virus, worm, insect or other creature sucking our blood or giving us cancer succeeds because it is tiny and our conscious minds must oversee a far larger creature. As a result, they ignore the small threats, much as the aristocrats did, but what matters is not the size of the threat, but what it threatens. A mosquito bite is usually harmless, until it carries a pathogen that stops the lungs or gives cancer.

And what motivates liberals?

You do the same evil, in the same pattern, as so many before you, because mob justice, punishing dissent, and repression of others is just fine and dandy so long as the “right” people are doing it to the “wrong” people.

Simple envy. They hate the fact that some were born more-than-equal: more attractive, healthier, smarter, nicer and of better character. SJWs are people who are underconfident because secretly, they recognize their mediocrity, and it makes them fanatical about hiding that. They will only truly be able to hide that mediocrity when they have destroyed those who can tell the difference, hence guillotines, gulags and SJWs.

There is only one solution to SJWs, liberals, Communist, Socialists, Anarchists and Stalinists -- these are variations by degree alone of the same idea -- and that is to not be as vile (I misspelled "evil," perhaps) as they are, but also, to recognize that they are parasites and do not belong around health people.

My solution is simple: put them on boats to the third world. The third world is the place where people who blame others for their problems instead of working together to fix them go. SJWs will be right at home.

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The problem of individualistic parents

The drama over Ethan Couch, the Texas teen whose drunken driving accident killed several people parked in a disabled SUV by the side of the road, began when the Herd found out that he had used an "affluenza" defense in court. His attorneys argued that his parents had induced in him a sense of irresponsibility through wealth.

The big media and talking heads have turned this story into a revenge narrative of anti-affluence bigotry, but underneath the many layers, some interesting material emerges. Ethan Couch had a troubled upbringing because his parents were individualists. Like Baby Boomers tend to be (his father was born in 1965 and his mother 1967) they were individualists, or people for whom there was no higher obligation than the self, and their jobs/shopping, of course.

When Fred and Tonya Couch divorced in 2006, the court ordered psychological evaluations of both parents and Ethan, their only child.

You can tell a news story will be non-stop lugubrious when it launches into such a narrative. It no longer squares with the Narrative, which started back in 1789 when illiterate French peasants decided that their problem was not their own incompetence, but that their leaders had not saved them from themselves. That Narrative continues today because most people are still incompetent, and still want someone to blame for their own dysfunction. Ethan's parents blamed each other. This is a symptom of the classic case of narcissism that currently blights the West, brought on by the legalized individualism of 1789.

He said that his wife, now 48, was addicted to Vicodin and had given the painkiller to their son about five times. She also kept his bed in her room and considered him to be her "protector."

Tonya Couch said the marriage ended because her husband had been verbally and physically abusive. She said there was daily name-calling, that he often grabbed her by the hair and that he once "threw her into a fireplace."

Ethan Couch said his parents had always "yelled at each other a lot," and he wished that they "wouldn't put him in the middle."

They put him in the middle. Every Generation X kid can identify with this situation: your parents are both selfish, narcissistic and withdrawn because of their individualism; to them, others exist for the pleasure of the parent. That includes spouses and children. As a result, they cannot achieve anything resembling love and instead live through a series of dependency relationships.

The social worker for Ethan Couch wrote that his parents had "adultified" Ethan by forcing him to become involved in adult issues and decisions. This is also typical of Baby Boomers: instead of raising children, they controlled them, and the biggest method of that control was to, instead of offering parental advice, ask their children what they wanted. How does a child answer the question "If me and your Mom split, and I hate her, where do you want to live?" -- the answer is that he probably wants to fucking die.

Ethan Couch undoubtedly became a horror. His parents made this horror, but what made the parents? Individualism, the consequence of The Enlightenment.™ When you tell people that they are responsible to themselves alone, and that social order builds around that fundamentally divisive idea, they stop caring about the consequences of their acts. They become non-accountable and irresponsible, and if given money, they are even more abusive.

This makes the real "affluenza" story not so much about the affluence, but the psychological dysfunction that has become "normal" in the West since liberalism fully took over in 1968. Narcissistic parents make desperate, suicidal and drugged zombies out of their children. While all the morons are busy hating the rich, the real story here is how much we hate ourselves.

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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Civilizational roles in open source

I have argued for some time that civilizations are composed of two groups: creators and participants. The creators make a civilization, and then the participants take over, but because they do not understand what the creators did, they then manage to run it into the ground.

Now someone has noticed the same in application development for open source:

There are two roles for any project: starters and maintainers. People may play both roles in their lives, but for some reason I’ve found that for a single project it’s usually different people. Starters are good at taking a big step in a different direction, and maintainers are good at being dedicated to keeping the code alive.

Another big difference is that usually there is a single starter of a project, and there always ends up being multiple maintainers. This is because supporting a project alone is simply not scalable. It will grow in popularity, and there’s a linear correlation to the number of issues, pull requests, and other various requests. For every Nth level of popularity a new maintainer must be added, ideally an existing heavy user. -- J. Longster

Starters (creators) can understand a need and design the basics of a tool; maintainers (participants) know how to apply known techniques to improve it but do not understand the design itself. Without keeping the starters in control, probably by paying all participants and giving the starters management titles, the process winds down through entropy.

The same could be said of our society. The Vikings and frontier settlers started it, but weaker people with degrees have now taken over and are running it into the ground. Do we need to put the starters back in control, in a position of authority above the maintainers?

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The grey area of morality, or why rules are inferior to goals

So some guy hacked a children's service and, in order to reveal exactly how bad it was, downloaded a ton of information and sent it to journalists. While this was overkill, or so it seems, he forced the world to pay attention and now the vulnerability is going to be fixed -- where with less extreme methods, it might not have been.

This caused one journalist to wonder if "grey hat" methods -- those which do not regulate themselves based on moral categories of "good" and "bad" -- might be good if the results are good:

But here’s the paradox of it all – the individual was worried that if he privately disclosed the security issue, he wouldn’t be taken seriously and many times, that’s exactly what happens. Either that or VTech wouldn’t act promptly or comprehensively review their systems (they had a heap of issues across many different assets). As much as the attacker (and that’s a fair word under the circumstances) did the wrong thing in the way he went about this, nothing gets an organisation to sit up and pay attention faster than an incident like this.

Here’s where it gets even greyer: if he did indeed only share the data with the reporter and he in turn only shared it with me, are we as a society actually now better off? Think about it – the airtime this incident received has caused millions of parents to think twice about putting their kids’ data online. It must have as the story has been splashed all over the mainstream media for weeks now. Parents should think twice about where they share their kids’ identities, but without this incident going public in the way it did, their views would be no different to what they were before it hit the news. -- WindowsITPro

While this analysis focuses on a specific event, the moral argument might be made larger: perhaps good and evil are useless categories, and we should look at intent and results instead. His intent here was to expose a risk, and he achieved that, so that all are better off. Perhaps the hackers have been right all along: rules are obsolete, results triumph, and all ethics are situational after all.

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Twitter goes full libnanny with ban on "hateful conduct"

Another commercial giant bows to the fears of the herd:

Twitter has updated their site rules to prohibit "behavior intended to harass, intimidate, or use fear to silence another user's voice." According to the new rules, "You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability or disease." This follows criticism that Twitter (and other social networks) haven't done enough to prevent the ramblings of the Islamic State and other terrorist groups. -- Slashdot

As usual, the glitch here is a lack of definitions and examples. How do we know what was intended to "harass, intimidate or use fear to silence another user's voice"? That's a subjective (which means "nonsense") definition because it is interpreted by the user who is feeling the offense. That offense varies with their mental state, intelligence and mortal fortitude. For some users, simply disagreeing with them will provoke fear. For others, it is use of the "wrong" pronoun -- xe will be offended. Publishing facts, statistics and viewpoints regarding touchstones like race, sexual identity and religion could also create this fear, harassment and intimidation.

Again, I say: the wrong way to censor speech is by content. The right way is by form, saying that facts and logical arguments are OK, but slurs directed at specific users are not. Then again, Twitter has the ability to block people, so it's unlikely that even that is needed. And if ISIS -- the paper tiger bogeyman of the day -- is using it to organize, that's part of the nature of online services. Suzy uses it to plan parties, Dave uses it to organize beer pong nights, and Achmed -- well, he has his hobbies too. Deal with it. The whole world needs to grow a pair and quit being so twitchy.

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The longing for myth and its revival

Our time is hungry for heroes, quests and most of all... purpose.

Start with the tropes. Disney properties, whi ch include everything from “Thor” to “Toy Story”, draw on well-worn devices of mythic structure to give their stories cultural resonance. Walt Disney himself had an intuitive grasp of the power of fables. George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, is an avid student of the work of Joseph Campbell, an American comparative mythologist who outlined the “monomyth” structure in which a hero answers a call, is assisted by a mentor figure, voyages to another world, survives various trials and emerges triumphant. Both film-makers merrily plundered ancient mythology and folklore. The Marvel universe goes even further, directly appropriating chunks of Greco-Roman and Norse mythology. (This makes Disney’s enthusiasm for fierce enforcement of intellectual-property laws, and the seemingly perpetual extension of copyright, somewhat ironic.)

...Ultimately, however, these modern myths are so compelling because they tap primordial human urges—for refuge, redemption and harmony. In this respect they are like social-media platforms, which use technology to industrialise social interaction. Similarly, modern myth-making, reliant though it is on new tools and techniques, is really just pushing the same old buttons in stone-age brains. That is something that Walt Disney understood instinctively—and that the company he founded is now exploiting so proficiently. - The Economist

The recent explosion of "superhero" movies also gives rise to this observation. People are desperate for stories of good beating evil, which requires we know what is good, despite that being mostly concealed by the left-wing media and government apparat which seeks to hide such things.

Let us face ourselves. We are Hyperboreans; we know very well how far off we live. 'Neither by land nor by sea will you find the way to the Hyperboreans'—Pindar already knew this about us. Beyond the north, ice, and death—our life, our happiness. We have discovered happiness, we know the way, we have found the exit out of the labyrinth of thousands of years. Who else has found it? Modern man perhaps? 'I have got lost; I am everything that has got lost,' sighs modern man. This modernity was our sickness: lazy peace, cowardly compromise, the whole virtuous uncleanliness of the modern Yes and No. … Rather live in the ice than among modern virtues and other south winds! We were intrepid enough, we spared neither ourselves nor others; but for a long time we did not know where to turn with our intrepidity. We became gloomy, we were called fatalists. Our fatum—abundance, tension, the damming of strength. We thirsted for lightning and deeds and were most remote from the happiness of the weakling, 'resignation.' In our atmosphere was a thunderstorm; the nature we are became dark—for we saw no way. Formula for our happiness: a Yes, a No, a straight line, a goal. -- Fred Nietzsche, The Anti-Christ

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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A sophomoric era

We live in an era where people have new access to information, and less ability than ever before to make sense of it. People for the most part cannot tell the difference between a logical argument and total gibberish so long as the surface qualities are the same. If you put nonsense next to sanity, and neither has misspellings, the herd cannot tell the difference.

Witness the exchange above. Each person is being industriously individualistic in expressing an opinion that he thinks is unique to him, will reflect well on him, and will have "won" the argument through the eyes of others. They proudly, almost compulsively offer these, because each opportunity is a chance for them to become popular.

And yet, what they have typed in are non sequiturs. Either tangential, a deflection, a partial answer, a distraction or a linguistic but not logical rebuttal, each of these replies stands out and on first glance, seems appealing. Analysis reveals none of them have anything to offer, but each will -- like advertisements on signs, stores in strip malls, or hotels on lonely freeway -- snag a certain percentage of those reading, who will think these "look right."

In addition to the great American competence gap, we have a sanity gap and a wisdom gap. People cannot recognize wisdom because they do not know how to parse language and form arguments. They lack analytical skills, not linguistic or political ones. As a result, the kind of gibberish you see above is the norm, even among the upper echelons. Collapse is not far away.

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Finally, equality in our time!

We are told that in the West we are vile oppressors and that the only profundity comes from the brown people of the third world. And now, those brown people have shown us the way:

Created about 18 months ago, the Al-Khansaa brigade includes women from North Africa, Gulf Arabs, Iraqis, Chechens, and western Europeans.

Up to 60 British women are thought to have joined the psychotic group, with 20-year-old Glaswegian Aqsa Mahmood understood to be a key member.

The all-female brigade appear to be particularly ruthless towards mums.

Only when women are doing the exact same things as men, and all people are equal in the sense of identical behavior and abilities, will we be free from the underconfidence created by Darwinism, in which (trigger warning) some rise above others due to natural competence and this (hate speech warning) becomes encoded into their DNA, making some people more adapted than others.

The egalitarians will not be happy until posts like this one are considered a "hate crime," because the egalitarians have a lot to hide: they are in denial of nature and Darwin, of common sense and plain logic, and even of their own behavior which shows favoritism toward the naturally-talented over the congenitally-average herd. But if you point that out, it's hate speech.

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Reddit: "we've always banned hate speech, and we always will."

Fred Nietzsche says that we should be careful when fighting bad things because those bad things can take over our minds:

“Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster... for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.”

He must have had Reddit in mind, because in the name of fighting "hate speech" -- a term never defined and conveniently expanded to eliminate whatever admins or mods find offensive, that day -- Reddit has become the very "hatred" (correct word) that it fears.

In that revealing comment, Reddit admin spez reveals the reason Reddit is rapidly becoming more SJW and insane: Reddit supports "free speech," but that does not include any speech which can be construed as "hate speech."

And a definition, or at least a limit to, "hate speech"? Keep looking, for it will never be found. It is the magic get-out-of-jail-free card for Reddit censors. If someone posts something you don't like, find a way to say that it is "hate speech," and you are immune to criticism. (Not only that, but the sheep will thank you for "protecting" them).

This reveals the difference between American-style "first amendment" "free speech," which is not a liberal or social justice idea, and the 1968 hippie-style "free speech" which is assimilated by the concept of "be cool, man," meaning that the only speech which is acceptable is that which offends no one.

Now Reddit revels in increasing censorship, but refuses to admit its ideological nature:

“We didn’t ban them for being racist,” he added. “We banned them because we have to spend a disproportionate amount of time dealing with them. If we want to improve Reddit, we need more people, but CT’s existence and popularity has also made recruiting here more difficult.”

This shows us the future of net censorship: target undesirable speech by claiming it is causing problems, while ignoring desirable speech that causes problems, and it's censorship by convenience not ideology. Cute, but can anyone trust admins who are this deceptive and dishonest?

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Victimhood status is rape...for those who are not Victims

Under democracy, only Victims are safe because they have been wronged and society owes it to them to come up with a fix. The result of this is that non-Victims are forced to compensate Victims. Those who cannot immediately produce some reason why they are Victims -- sexual, racial, religious or ethnic minorities -- are a marginalized population.

Witness this tale of a young man who accidentally dates a person who, born male, wants to be female but retains the male equipment.

I was on Tinder and matched with a girl we'll call Crystal, that seemed interesting and relatively nice. We met, had a great first date, and she told me that she didn't believe in having sex right away and that she wanted to get to know me first. I say that's fine with me seeing as I'm probably the 1 percent of dudes on Tinder that isn't looking for a one night hook-up. We started just hanging out for the next several weeks and everything was going pretty well...until she stayed over one night after an evening of heavy drinking. I loaned her a pair of my PJs and let her use my room to change, but when I knocked and walked back in to check on her after awhile, I saw right away that she wasn't a biological woman. I didn't explode, I didn't get angry, but I did help her finish getting dressed and helped her get into my bed. I slept on the couch.

At the risk of sounding like an asshole, I'm not attracted to penis. I don't care who it's attached to. I made up my mind right away that I didn't want this relationship to progress and in the morning, I told Crystal this. I told her that I didn't mind the fact that she was transgendered at all, but it is what it is, and it was best that we didn't stay romantically involved. Crystal got extremely pissed and told me that I was being hateful, that it wasn't right that I was excited to be with her when I thought she was a biological female, and that I was encouraging hate mongering by refusing to accept her for who she is. The entire thing derailed into a VERY long argument in which I told her that I didn't appreciate her deceiving me and that while it is 2015, other straight guys might not be as accepting as others if they have to find out about her through less than straight forward means. She stormed out after that.

The past couple weeks I've been bombarded with nasty texts, calls, and e-mails from Crystal and some of her friends. They're threatening to expose me as a "bigot", and e-mail intimate photos I sent Crystal to my family and friends. Some of my Facebook friends have gotten nasty messages from these people about my "bigotry" and warning them to stay away from me.

The post was removed by Reddit because it does not fit into their concept of a "safe space," or place where Victims are protected from criticism, triggering bad stimulus, bad memories and anything else that might shock someone who takes more seriously their emotional state than reality.

While the intentions behind "safe spaces" -- if we believe what we are told, which I never do -- seem noble, the reality is that safe spaces are just another way for Victims to push non-Victims around and extract tribute from them. The proof is in the censorship of this entirely normal request. It is not a political statement, except to Victims, who see it as an assault on their right to demand tribute from non-Victims everywhere. And thus it is taboo and must be removed, stat.

At this point, it seems dubious that Victims are actually Victims, or at least, that they should get special status, since Victims are victimizing non-Victims. Perhaps we need another different model than "bad versus good" in these absolute, rigid containers based on whoever is not successful being the holy Victim, and everyone else having to serve them?

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America has a competence problem

We have democratized our society in the idea that equality means greater competence. What it actually means is promoting people that couldn't figure it out in the first place to levels where their incompetence is dangerous.

Witness the destruction of a historic bridge by a truck driver who had no idea how much her truck weighed.

Ms. Lambright was aware of the iron bridge stating she had driven on it several times in her personal vehicle and was also aware of the posted signage “no semis, weight limit of 6 tons”. When asked by Paoli Police why she continued through the bridge knowing the weight limit was only 6 tons she admitted to not knowing how many pounds that was. She was advised the weight of the vehicle at the time of the crash was close to 30 tons. - the police report

This is not a small problem. Truckers need to know the weight and height of their vehicles as a routine matter because many roads, bridges, and turnarounds are regulated by these measurements for good reason; exceeding the limit in either can cause a crash including one that may endanger many other people.

If the claim is that the mathematics of understanding weight in tons is too hard, consider what this driver knew:

Officials say 23-year-old Mary Lambright was driving a semi-truck on Christmas night with a 53-foot box trailer carrying 43,000 pounds of bottled water when the accident happened.

...She told police she was aware of the signage but was unaware of the truck’s actual weight.

Police say when she entered the bridge, the trailer’s top began ripping because it was taller than the top of the bridge. As the vehicle attempted to cross, the weight of the vehicle caused the bridge to collapse. - WHAS11

We have an Idiocracy moment here, folks. But there are many of late. We have successfully promoted many fools out of the poverty they deserve, and now, we will pay the price.

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