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Archive for May, 2014

A 90s Music Video which, Curiously, Summarizes Elliot Rodger’s Manifesto

May 31, 2014 7 comments

As many of you know, Elliot Rodger left a 141-page manifesto about what led him to do what he did on May 23, 2014. Here is one of the links to that document- if you are interested in reading or downloading it and have not done so yet.

Anyway.. after reading that long and well written document, I could not resist thinking about the lyrics of an almost 20-year old NIN song- “Burn”. I have posted a link to a music video of that song below this paragraph and its lyrics are, in turn, posted below the video. Note that the precise scenarios in that video are less important than the overall sum of the message they convey in combination with the lyrics.

This world rejects me
This world threw me away
This world never gave me a chance
This world gonna have to pay

Well I don’t believe in your institutions
I did what you wanted me to
And like the cancer in your system
I’ve got a little surprise for you

Something inside of me
Has opened up its eyes
Why did you put it there?
Did you not realize?
This thing inside of me
It screams the loudest sound
Sometimes I think I could

Burn

I look down at where you’re standing
Flock of sheep all on display
With all your lies piled up around you
I can take it all away

Something inside of me
Has opened up its eyes
Why did you put it there?
Did you not realize?
This thing inside of me
It screams the loudest sound
Sometimes I think I could

I’m gonna burn this whole world down

I never was a part of you

I am your savior
I am corruption
I am the angel
Of your destruction
I am perversion
Secret desire
I am your future
Swallowed up in fire

What do you think? Comments?

Was Elliot Rodger a Misogynist?

May 30, 2014 33 comments

One week ago, a rather unusual murder spree occurred in Isla Vista, California. The person who carried it out, Elliot Rodger, as well as six others died that day and many more were injured. For reasons that I will go into in more detail later, this story grabbed the attention of national and international media. It has also caused quite a stir in social media and the blogosphere. Much has been written about this incident and Elliot Rodger from a number of often mutually contradictory viewpoints. At this time, I have no interest in listing all of them- suffice to say that pretty much every interest group and ideology is using this incident to further their agenda. This incident has however raised many interesting questions, and based on a search of google news and twitter, it appears that one of them is dominating the public conversation about Elliot Rodger and the Isla Vista killings.

Was Elliot Rodger a Misogynist?

Now many women, especially those in media, seem to have made up their mind about his question- regardless of the rather obvious fact that he killed 4 men and 2 women. I, however, am going to take a methodical approach to this question and try to answer it with the available evidence.

As of today, we have three main sources of evidence about what was going on in Elliot’s mind. They are-

1] His 141 page manifesto (downloaded within minutes of it appearing on scribd.com).
2] His YouTube video (again, downloaded within minutes of his name becoming public).
3] Archived postings on a few message boards.

Of these three, the first two are the most useful as they are the most extensive. With that in mind, let us first define the concept of misogyny. While many people now define misogyny in a very broad and nebulous manner to encompass almost everything they want to, the original and more compact definition is more illuminating.

Misogyny = hatred, dislike or mistrust of women.

With this in mind I decided to perform a text string search of Elliot’s manifesto for words such as “hate”, “hatred”, “dislike”, “mistrust”, distrust” and a number of synonyms for those words such as “bitter”, “bitterness”, “contempt”, “disgust”, “detest”, “envy”, “fear”, “loathing” “loathe” and “revulsion”. I wanted to find out the context of his use of those words.

Here are the results (for the manifesto).

“hate” = uncomfortable socks, sitting cross-legged, Maddy Humpreys, Soumaya, Soumaya, attending Bay Laurel elementary school, going to summer camp, Matt Bordier, Soumaya, skateboarder kids, skateboarder kids, grade 6 classmates, Oren Aks, Lucky Radley, Soumaya, finding about sex, his father being away, Monette Moio, all tween girls in his playcircle, Soumaya, everyone in grade 9, Soumaya, Crespi school, Jesse, going to summer camp, cruel girls, his father’s house, Leo Bubenheim, Polina Bubenheim, Leo Bubenheim, telling where his mother lived, injustices of the world, Soumaya, the world, Addison, Addison, Addison, his father and Soumaya, everyone without anxiety, sexual lives of other people, life, his classmates, Chance (black guy), popular-boy types, people asking him why he was so quiet, a couple at the camino real marketplace, Angel (guy), others realizing how pathetic his life was, others realizing how pathetic his life was, Spencer, guys with beautiful girlfriends, university history class, Vincent, Brittany story’s boyfriend, kids born into wealth, Gary Ross, Gary Ross’s friends, Alexander Ludwig, fraternity jocks, Spencer, being the shameful grandson, obnoxious and boisterous men, girls who liked such men, feeling trapped and lost, guys at a party, the world, Samuel, sorority girls at UCSB.

Did you notice something odd about that list? The major targets of his hate are men who are sexually successful with women and his step-mother, Soumaya. The closest he comes to saying that he hates women are when he talks about girls (or women) who teased and/or ignored him. Curiously, he also mentions several times that he knew or felt that girls hated him. Moving on..

“hatred” = Riley Anapol, Lucky Radley, skateboarding, boys around him at fourteen years of age, Leo Bubenheim, people with a sexual life, people who have sex, people who have sex, seeing young couples, seeing young couples, four thugs who egged him, towards the world, towards life, towards the world and society, Addison, jocks with hot girlfriends, Leo Bubenheim, online people who brag about their girlfriends, towards the world, a young couple, towards the world, a young couple, a guy with a hot girlfriend, Alexander Ludwig, everyone especially women, over not finding a girlfriend, towards all women, behavior of women around him, women, women attracted to other men, female gender, women rejecting him, spoiled and rich USC girls, Samuel, all those women who rejected him.

While he now talks a bit about hating women- he is actually quite precise about what type of woman he hates. Moreover he still hates men who are sexually successful with women far more than he hates women. Also note that he often talks about the hatred towards the rest of the world brewing inside him. My point is that, so far we have not seen any evidence that he hated women (as a group) more than the men who were sexually successful with them. Moving on further..

“dislike” = Keaton Webber, change to his life, staying at his father’s house, being at his father’s house, going to Morocco, low-class students, a teacher, some hotel.

What about girls or women? Isn’t it odd that he spends more time talking about his dislike at staying at his father’s house.. Anyway, let us go to the next word string.

“mistrust” = 0 hits

“bitter” or “bitterness” = irony of his first american friend being a girl, growing up, growing up, not being popular, being teased, WoW players, his father losing money, not meeting women, Addison, struggle against other men, hatred towards the world, at being lonely, online argument, envy of rich kids, not being able to bring a date, Lemelson’s Christmas party, Jazz (guy), Addison, talking to his father’s friends.

Well, not much about girls or women. But he sure hated this Addison guy- he is almost all of the word association lists. Anyhoo. on to the next word string.

“contempt” = Vincent, some couple.

“disgust” = cool kids, Addison, boisterous jocks, girls who like boisterous jocks, humanity.

Addison makes an appearance in another word list. He also talks about how girls probably find him disgusting. and onwards we go..

“detest” = 0 hits.

“envy” = dominate his life, Matt Bordier, Robert Morgan, Julian, Neil Davis, other boys at school when he was 14 years old, Leo Bubenheim, Jeffrey, Leo Bubenheim, Max, anyone with a sex life, Addison, Leo Bubenheim, jock with pretty girlfriend, anybody with a sex life, teenage couples, Julian Ritz-Barr, Julian Ritz-Barr, Vincent, Jazz, jazz, Philip and Addison,

I don’t see any girl or woman in that list.. but I can see Addison.. again! Holy shit.. this guy must be some prick.

“fear” = play, school, cool kids, middle school, middle school, middle school, seeing pictures of naked girls for the first time, of humiliation, around two girls, of girls, of girls, of girls, of getting nervous, never being able to drive, life in Santa Barbara, living independently, never being able to join in on the fun, of couple he threw coffee at, his inability to attract women, going to Isla Vista without friends, of a woman’s judgement, that some one might find out about his plan, fear of not winning the lottery, fear of being caught, lottery result, death but less than living like that, might get into trouble, operation on his ankle, starting college still crippled, of killing his father, of committing mass murder, that cops might discover his plan, cops showing up again.

So he was afraid of women, rather than wanting them to be afraid of him. Isn’t that a bid odd for a highly misogynistic killer. Oh well.. moving on

“loathing” and “loathe” = himself.

“revulsion” = working hard each day for twenty years to make a million or two.

So, there you have it! There is not much in his manifesto to suggest that he hated, disliked or mistrusted women- in any context other than those who rejected him and were having sex with boisterous and popular guys. Also, his hatred for women is far more individual than his hatred of other men. Perhaps more importantly, he has far higher levels of hatred for all those men who are sexually successful with women. If anything, his manifesto suggests that Elliot was misandrist, not misogynist. But who care about that..

Since this post is already almost 1500 words long, it is best to not add to it. Therefore, I will discuss his videos in an upcoming post.

What do you think? Comments?

NSFW Links: May 28, 2014

These links are NSFW.

Impromptu BJs: May 28, 2014 – Cute amateurs giving spontaneous head.

More Impromptu BJs: May 28, 2014 – More cute amateurs giving spontaneous head.

Enjoy! Comments?

Categories: Uncategorized

The Simpsons Show as a Marker of the Demise of Middle-Class America

May 24, 2014 19 comments

Over the last five years, all of us have read a flurry of articles about the slow but certain demise of the american middle-class. While each group of commentators offers different (and often mutually contradictory) explanations for this change, it is obvious that the phenomena they are all talking about is very real. It is also clear that the phenomena in question started 2-3 decades (most likely in the early 1980s) and has been gathering pace since then. Unfortunately most of the well-known explanations for this phenomena are based in presentation of numbers and statistics- perhaps deliberately, to obscure the real extent of this phenomena. I will take a different approach to show how you how far the american middle-class has really fallen.

the-simpsons

I am guessing that most of you have seen more than a few episodes of “The Simpsons”. While many aspects of this show, from its longevity to changes in quality over the years, have been the subject of numerous articles and discussions- a few important ones have largely escaped scrutiny. I wrote about one of those ignored, but important, aspects about two years ago. Recently it struck me that the show was also a commentary, if largely unintentional, about the changing fortunes of middle-class america.

To fully comprehend what I am going to say next, you have to first understand that the show is not set in the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s or the 2010s. So what era is it set in? The first clue comes from the names of the characters. Homer, Marge, Lisa, Maggie and many other characters in that show are named, and partially modeled, after the family members and childhood of the show’s creator- Matt Groening who was born in 1954. It is therefore very likely that Simpsons is actually set in the late 1960s, an era which is now seen as the peak of the american middle-class. This insight also helps us to understand an important, but often ignored feature, of that show.

The simpson family, though clearly working class, enjoys a standard of living which we today associate with the upper middle-class.

Here are a few examples of what I am talking about.

1] Homer Simpson has a decent, if somewhat boring, job at a nuclear power plant. It is noteworthy that he has only finished high school and was hired during a period of rapid expansion. He can also afford, if sometimes barely, to support a family that includes his wife and three kids. The family lives in an old but OK house in a modest but pretty well maintained neighborhood. Sometimes, he even has extra money to spend on some hare-brained scheme or take a family vacation. His job at the power plant is pretty stable, as are the jobs of his co-workers. Sure.. sometimes there is talk of downsizing, reduction of benefits, problems with adequate health insurance etc. But the owner of that power plant, Monty Burns, always relents and ends up keeping things the way they were.

2] One of the main and recurring antagonist of the show, Monty Burns, is the owner of the nuclear power plant. Depicted as an old and greedy WASP, he nonetheless is very different from the type of people who own and run corporations today. For one, he actually owns and runs his own business. He seems to have very few upper management types in the corporation and certainly nobody except his assistant, Smithers, have any significant influence on him. Contrast this to incestuous groups of “professional” CEOs and board members (and their butt-boys) running most corporations today. An even more interesting aspect of Monty Burns is that his main business, the nuclear power plant, produces something real- electricity. It also creates and maintains many non-minimum wage jobs for the locals.

3] The Simpson family, though not wealthy by any standards, has a comfortable lifesyle. The wife, Marge, can afford to be a stay-at-home homemaker except when Homer temporarily loses his job. The family also has enough money to own two used, but reliable, cars. Though they suffer from less than stellar health insurance coverage, they seem to have enough to get by quite well for everything except catastrophic illnesses. The school that Bart and Lisa attend, while not great, is OK- especially when compared to schools in non-upper middle class areas today. They seem to represent an era when decent, if not great, publicly funded social goods were available to almost everyone in the USA (except blacks, of course). Their neighbors, while often annoying, are reasonably decent people of a similar socio-economic class.

The Simpsons is therefore about an era (1946-1979) when even an average, and not particularly, bright guy could get a well-paid and stable blue- or white- collar job and live a pleasant, if not luxurious, life. What was once considered normal for the median person in the USA is now seen as something bestowed by the 1% (or 0.1%) on the 9%.The other 90% are SOL.

The Simpson lifestyle was considered lower-middle class in the 1960s. Today it is considered upper-middle class.

What do you think? Comments?

NSFW Links: May 20, 2014

These links are NSFW.

Artsy Cuties: May 20, 2014 – Nekkid cuties in artsy poses.

More Artsy Cuties: May 20, 2014 – More nekkid cuties in artsy poses.

Enjoy! Comments?

Categories: Uncategorized

NSFW Links: May 12, 2014

These links are NSFW.

Spanked Cuties: May 12, 2014 – Spanked cuties with reddened behinds.

More Spanked Cuties: May 12, 2014 – More spanked cuties with reddened behinds.

Enjoy! Comments?

Categories: Uncategorized

An Example of Conflating Credentials with Competence: SpaceX Hiring

May 10, 2014 27 comments

One of the important, though largely ignored, changes in the last thirty years involves the increasing degree to which societies have begun conflating credentials with actual ability and competence. This trend is now at all levels of society from who gets hired and promoted at some mediocre corporation to who can run for elected office such as the presidency.

Here is a recent example: Can I get a job at SpaceX after graduating from a low-ranked engineering program? I have quoted the most important and relevant parts below.

I ran recruiting at SpaceX for almost 6 years; everything about how they recruit is part of the footprint myself and my team created – so hopefully you’ll find this input helpful, though it will only magnify the challenge that lies before you. SpaceX aggressively pursues top collegiate talent; but because the hiring bar (mandate per Elon) is top 1% of the human population – we focus on top ranked engineering programs because their strict acceptance requirements are a good prefilter and remove 90% of the bell curve, thereby automatically bringing us to about top 10% of the college population; making our haystack much smaller and thus easier to find the proverbial needles.

The rest of that answer is full of the usual crap that almost all of you must have encountered in any basic interaction with HR personal in pretty much every single corporation. FYI- this particular piece caught my attention because I know a thing or two about rocket engine and launcher technology etc.

Here is what you should know: Modern rocket engine and launcher technology was mostly developed and perfected between 1939 and late-1970s. There has been no breakthrough in the area of chemical rocket engine (fuel or mechanics) in the last forty years. SpaceX is basically trying to build what both the Russians and the Americans perfected over four decades ago. The business model of SpaceX can be best summarized as building relatively inexpensive medium-large LOX-kerosene fueled rocket launchers and accessories in the USA.

The funny wrinkle in their vision of low-cost rocketry is that the ESA, RFSA and the CNSA already offer dollars-per-kg rates that are comparable to those promised by SpaceX.

I should also point out that ESA, the RFSA and its soviet-era predecessor, the CNSA and ISRO were able to develop to develop all that technology and hardware without hiring ivy-league graduates. There is also the troublesome question of why would you want to hire so called “top level” talent to copy 40-year old technology. Well.. actually that is not quite true. SpaceX currently does not even have the technology found in older russian LOX/Kerosene engines such as the RD-180, which itself is a half-sized version the 1970s-era RD-170.

So what is going on? Why can’t SpaceX achieve what the Russians did without much fanfare (and electronic computers) four decades ago? Is it the lack of resources? Is it the lack of government help- both technical and financial? Or is it a basic conflict between their corporate ideology and reality? In my opinion, the problem is largely due to the unbridgeable gap between corporate thinking and reality. Let me explain..

American corporations have for the last few decades been increasingly run by managers, lawyers and other assorted CONartists. The people who make decisions, policy and control money in american corporations have therefore little or no understanding of either the underlying technologies or what it takes to makes things work in the real world. They are mentally incapable of grasping the world that lies beyond PowerPoint presentations, Excel sheets, frequent meetings, committees and subcommittees, buzzwords and endless political scheming.

But what does any of this have to do with the inability of american companies to even properly copy 40-year old technology?

Well.. it comes down to who they hire. People who do not understand the technology behind the products made by the corporations they lead try to cover up their ignorance by going for impressive sounding names, brands and ideas. They therefore hire people who graduated from institution with impressive sounding names and believe that doing so will magically result in some new product or breakthrough. So, why does it not work like that? Why are the graduates of ivy-league and other “prestigious” institutions almost always inferior to their more “common” counterparts at actual innovation or even just getting things done?

Let me answer that question by posing another question- Who is admitted into “prestigious” educational institutions and on what criteria? Here is my answer.. Such institutions admit people who are 1] good at taking tests 2] good at self promotion and 3] good at social interactions. Do you see the problem? Well, if you did not.. here it is.

“Prestigious” universities discriminate against those with technical ability and competence.

Therefore the graduates of such institutions tend to be less than competent and yet simultaneously full of belief in their innate superiority. It does not help that the “prestige” of their institutions allows them to shift blame for their incompetence onto the people who work for them. They are mostly driven by fads, trends, buzzwords and delusions of grandeur rather than anything approximating reality. The end result of hiring a lot of such people is that your research and development programs don’t progress as expected and you cannot even replicate what the soviet space program achieved four decades ago.

But none of this matters to the people in charge of companies like SpaceX, because breaking out their familiar thinking patterns would shatter the fragile (yet internally self-consistent) bubble of lies they inhabit- and nobody wants to rock the boat.

What do you think? Comments?

A Funny Spoof about Old White Racists: May 5, 2014

May 5, 2014 13 comments

Enjoy this funny clip from the second season of “Inside Amy Schumer” while I try to finish a few longish posts about more abstract ideas.

Comments?

Categories: LOL, YouTube

NSFW Links: May 1, 2014

These links are NSFW. Will post a couple of new articles tomorrow.

Slim Cuties: May 1, 2014 – Artsy pictures of slim, young and nekkid cuties.

More Slim Cuties: May 1, 2014 – More artsy pictures of slim, young and nekkid cuties.

Enjoy! Comments?

Categories: Uncategorized