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One Quick Thought on Kaitlin Bennett’s Habit of Posing with Guns

October 19, 2018 7 comments

I am sure that some of you, in the past few months, have come across one or more photo of another new CONservative “celebrity” known as Kaitlin Bennett on Twitter. Her shtick is posing with guns in public places to supposedly defend ‘open carry’ laws. While I am a supporter of the right to bear arms (read some of my older posts), it is hard to ignore that her posing aesthetic is deliberately reminiscent of a particular 12-year long period in 20th century European history.

Here.. take a look and don’t tell me you did notsee this coming. And she know what she is doing.

What do you think? Comments?

Thoughts on Uproar in American Media over Jamal Khashoggi Killing

October 18, 2018 5 comments

As anybody not living under a rock knows by now, the american media is in uproar over killing of Jamal Khashoggi by a team of Saudi “assassins” inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. While there are many things one can say about the level of mental retardation displayed by the idiot who ordered this killing and those who carried it out, I will focus on the parts relevant to the rest of this (hopefully short) post. For starters, it is pretty obvious that this killing was ordered by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad bin Salman. So let me start by giving you a brief overview of this remarkably bizarre character with the quintessential anti-Midas touch.

The Clown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman aka MBS and henceforth referred to as Mohammad Bone Saw reached his current position because his old father ended up as the King through some complicated rules of royal succession in 2015. It is relevant to mention the fact that his 82-year old father is suffering from senile dementia. Long story short, Mohammad Bone Saw used this opportunity to put himself as crown prince, remove many other members of that extended family from their position and torture his relatives to extort about 100 billion dollars out of them.

He has also embarked on a series of failed misadventures such as his failed attempt to bully the almost as loathsome regime in Qatar not to mention the still ongoing attempts to win the “war” in Yemen which has been really an attempt at Genocide for at least last two years. To put it another way, Mohammad Bone Saw is the quintessential failson but one displaying far higher levels of narcissism, overt sociopathy and incompetence. But why does this matter? Hasn’t that “royal” family had many fuckups like him, within their ranks, before?

Well.. yes, he is certainly not the first fuckup born within that family. However the communal nature of that family and how it spread power throughout the extended family ensured that a few fuckups could not screw things up.. at least, too much. Mohammad Bone Saw, on the other hand, under the “tutelage” of the ruler of UAE has decided to run that country as a one man show. To that end- he has eliminated, imprisoned or scared other members of his extended family to give up their money and positions within administration. In other words, what was once a distributed and reasonably de-centralized (albeit hereditary) system has become a one man shitshow.

None of this would have mattered to the rest of world if Mohammad Bone Saw was the ruler of some unimportant and impoverished country. But that is not the case, as Saudi Arabia is one of three largest global producers of crude oil since the 1950s or 1960s. In other words, having a delusional and incompetent person becoming defacto leader of such a country has serious consequences. It does not help that their economy is not doing too well, because of the especially stupid decision made in early 2010s to increase their crude oil production to lower its price.

The original idea behind that particularly disastrous decision was that lower crude oil prices would make fracking (in countries like USA) noncompetitive. While it did some short-term effect, the fracking industry found ways to make that process more cost-effective. Now Saudi Arabia is stuck with low crude oil prices, no alternative source of revenue and a government full of greedy losers who owe their very existence to continued support for USA. Having a large youth population without decent jobs due to high fertility rates during prior decades also does not help things.

The point of this long preamble is as follows: While Mohammad Bone Saw is an exceptionally narcissistic and incompetent idiot, even by the standards of that country, many of the problems faced by Saudi Arabia today began decades ago. It is just the case that they were able to keep papering over them with progressively larger amounts of money and repression. To make matters worse, many of the ‘clever’ decisions they have made over the past decade have backfired pretty badly. Here is a quick list of those self-inflicted disasters..

It is no secret that Saudi Arabia along with UAE, Qatar and Turkey were the biggest funders and facilitators of Islamic terrorism in countries around them. And yes, they had full support of the Obama administration. Groups such as ISIL and the other extremist Sunni groups in Syria are almost entirely their creation. The list of reasons why they did this is long, but centers around their long-time rivalry with Shia Iran and location of oilfields. Hilariously, every attempt made by Saudi Arabia (and others) to support these groups have either failed or blown up in their faces.

Readers might wonder about what any of this has to with the Jamal Khashoggi killing? Well.. it is an indirect and second order link. Faced with obvious setbacks and visible blows to their public image due to events outside their countries, the notoriously petty and narcissistic rulers of these countries have resorted to unusually high levels of internal repression to show their subjects that they are still in charge and not impotent on the international stage.

This is the reason Mohammad Bone Saw was itching to invade Qatar last year, even though he had closely worked with them to support ISIL and other murderous religious nutcases in Syria as recently as early-2017. That is why he spent so much money on buying positive media coverage and fawning editorials from himself in the West. This is also why he is still so eager to prosecute the unwinnable war in Yemen, even as it turns into a genocide. Like many idiots, he is trying to win back what he lost on his previous round of poker by placing an even larger bet.

But why did he think that it was possible to get away with having Jamal Khashoggi murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul? Long story short, because western governments and media types had so far been unusually willing to cover up his atrocities and defend him in public. Think about it, how much have you heard about the widespread death, starvation and disease caused by his still unwinnable war in Yemen? How about very little to nothing! Did they even pretend to care about Qatar when he tried and failed to roll over that country in 2017?

How many “mainstream” western media outlets have investigated the billions in money and weapons that he (and his predecessors) gave to ISIL and similar groups operating in Syria and Iraq? Did they condemn him for imprisonment, torture and extortion of his extended family after he came to power? Are you starting to see a pattern? In case you aren’t, here is the pattern: Mohammad Bone Saw does some stupid and horrible thing, western governments and media go quiet about it but keep praising him due to all cash they received. Rinse and repeat..

So what caused the “mainstream” western media types to suddenly sit up and take notice of his multiple failings after the Khashoggi killing? A few things.. firstly, Mohammad Bone Saw associated himself a bit too closely with Trump and Kushner- an especially dumb move at this time. Secondly, he went after a guy who himself came from a very rich and connected family with deep connections both in the West and Saudi Arabia. Need I remind you that his grandfather was the personal physician of Ibn Saud, yes that one. Here are a couple of his more famous relatives: Dodi Fayed and Adnan Khashoggi. Did I also mention that his extended family is on first name terms with members of ruling families in surrounding Arab countries?

Thirdly, and most importantly, he did this stupid thing after suffering multiple public failures and humilaitions. The thing is.. many people will support a successful asshole and murderer, but very few will continue doing so if they see him continuously failing on multiple fronts. It was, therefore, a peculiar combination of circumstances which finally made the phony and self-righteous western “mainstream” media sit up and take notice of something they should have noticed and covered, at least a couple of years ago.

What do you think? Comments?

Halloween Could be Improved by Moving it to the Last Friday in October

October 15, 2018 3 comments

Being a bit bored today, I decided to look around in my list of drafts to see if there was anything topical which could be published with minimum effort. I came across one unusual but relevant concept written while clearly under the influence. Long story short, I am proposing that we move Halloween from the 31st of October (each year) to the last Friday of October. To be fair, I am not the first person to suggest that moving around the date of Halloween a bit would make it a more fun and memorable holiday. More than a few have, in the past, suggested that it should moved to last Saturday in October. But my idea is much better for reasons that are listed below.

1] Halloween, at least in North America, is a highly commercialized “holiday”. Yes.. I am aware that it began as an ancient pagan Celtic celebration which was later appropriated by Christianity. But Halloween in North America has, for decades, become one more occasion for business to sell more cheap candy, mass-produced decorations, kid costumes, booze and slutty costumes for girls who are too old to go trick-or-treating. I guess we can also add releases of supernatural and horror themed movies and special episodes of TV shows to this list. In other words, it is about making money by selling cheap food, plastic kitsch, booze, movie tickets and advertising.

Since the date of October 31st now has no significance to over 99% of the population, I do not foresee many objecting to a change in the date as long as it still close to the end of that month. As many of you know, Halloween does not even fall on a weekend most of the time. My clever plan would instantly convert a wandering commercial holiday which usually falls on weekdays to one that covers an entire long weekend. Now every single Halloween would be a three-day long affair with two weekend nights for serious partying, drinking and debauchery. Business could sell more booze, food to adults and whatever they are already selling to kids and their parents would not be affected. I see this as a win-win situation for everyone except Wiccans.

2] Currently, most younger adults get drunk/ high and wear costumes on only one day of the weekend before (or on Halloween). My proposal will instantly, and consistently, double available opportunities to get drunk and do stupid shit. It will also instantly doubles the excuses for chicks to dress like sluts and indulge in debauchery. That translates into double the opportunities to hook up with chicks who claim that they “do not do stuff like in that their normal life”. Nobody other than spoilsport feminists and other assorted pearl-clutchers would have a problem with more people getting laid. I say we just ignore those sad losers and keep having a good time.

I should also point out that the Sunday of this new long weekend would provide an adequate opportunity to recover from hangover and fatigue caused by two nights of drinking and general debauchery. Halloween is after all a pagan celebration.. you know. Now I do realize that in 2018, all this excess drinking and partying might increase the number of women claiming sexual assault or unwanted sexual advances. But that also is a good thing (at least under capitalism) because it creates more paid work for some lawyers and doctors not to mention all those administrative busybodies on university campuses and within corporations.

In summary, shifting the date of Halloween from October 31st to the last Friday of that month would create a lot of new commercial opportunities for businesses to sell even more crap to people. It should also significantly increase enjoyment of this holiday by most people (even if they don’t remember it that well) and might even help get some of them laid. The sequelae of this holiday will create new opportunities for some lawyers, doctors and administrative busybodies, thus providing a further boost to the national GDP.

What do you think? Comments?

Some Quick Thoughts on the Pete Davidson – Ariana Grande Breakup

October 14, 2018 4 comments

As many of you know, Twitter has a habit of promoting tabloid-style crap in its feed. It also does not help that news items which catch the attention of its most common users get pushed up in the hot topics lists. Anyway.. came across news of the breakup between Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande earlier today. While I usually ignore such celebrity crap, but one tweet on this subject by a known satirist caught my attention. The screencap posted by him of a gossip rag item about them from last month initially seemed to be photoshopped parody. Well.. turns out, it was not! So here is a montage which summarizes my thoughts on this “news” item. Enjoy..

What do you think? Comments?

Existence of Dark Matter is the Astrophysical Equivalent of Belief in God

October 13, 2018 12 comments

Here is another one of those posts which I started writing a couple of years ago, but did not get around to finishing till today. Before we go any further, let me clarify a few things. The main point of this post is as follows: belief in anything that is not supported by objective evidence (which can be reproduced by others) is no different from traditional religious belief. The uncritical acceptance of ideas about “catastrophic anthropocentric global climate change” based purely on computer models and string theory based on some clever-looking mathematical equations is the equivalent of blaming storms, famines and epidemics on bearded sky dudes or guys with horns, hoofs and spiky tails- and I plan to write about my thoughts on what passes for “climate change” soon.

Now let us get back to the topic at hand, namely belief in existence of dark matter. Some of you might wonder about my reasons for opposing this idea. Do I not believe that it can exist? So let me quickly clarify that point. In my opinion, there is no reason why dark matter should not exist, in the same manner that matter exists. My problem with the idea of dark matter comes down to two aspects of it that are seldom discussed nowadays. Firstly, scientist invoke dark matter to explain the discrepancy between predictions made by their models about how the universe should behave versus how it actually behaves. This is eerily reminiscent of how people living in previous eras invoked the devil to explain everything wrong with the world that they could not explain.

Did I mention that this type of lazy thinking and attribution has a long history in science. Some of you might have read about how scientists in the 1800s thought that all empty space was filled with Luminiferous aether because their contemporary understanding of electromagnetic wave transmission did not work properly under conditions of a true vacuum. I am not implying that every scientist from those decades believed the universe was filled with this mysterious substance possessing almost magical properties. Yet their equations about propagation of electromagnetic radiation did not square with contemporary experimental data without invoking this concept. Aether met its final demise with Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity in 1905.

But what does any of this have to do with belief in the existence of Dark Matter? Well.. let us start by going back in history to see how this idea came into being. To make a long story short, it all started when astronomers and astrophysicists realized that there might be a discrepancy between mass of observable stars in a given galaxy and their movement within that particular galaxy. Of course, these early observations were full of questionable assumptions and performed using inadequate instrumentation. It was only in the 1970s that astronomers were finally able to say with a high degree of certainty that radial velocity of stars within galaxies (around its center) was far higher than calculated using the approximate mass of all stars or even hydrogen which could be visually observed or measured within each system.

Some other phenomena discovered later such as gravitational lensing of background objects by galaxy clusters, temperature distribution of hot gas in galaxies and clusters and pattern of anisotropies (unevenness) in cosmic microwave background have also been attributed to the presence of dark matter. There are, of course, alternative explanations for these effects, most of which rely on the idea that gravity does not scale like other fundamental forces in the universe. I am not going to go into all of them and their variations, suffice to say that the underlying concept holds reasonably well but many of the derivative ‘complete theories’ do not. But let us be honest about something.. conventional theories about mass, gravity and relativity are also unable to explain observations unless you invoke its Deus ex machina aka Dark Matter.

Which brings me to my second objection to belief in Dark Matter. Simply put, we have not found unambiguous proof for its existence after searching really hard for almost 40 years! And this is really weird because calculations suggest that it should be at least 6-10 times more abundant in the universe than ordinary matter. In other words, we somehow cannot find the majority of mass in the universe even after thousands of academics and their far more numerous slave laborers.. I mean postdocs and graduate students have spent tons of research money, built and operated many new instruments and spent millions of hours on trying to solve this problem. And we are still as far from finding incontrovertible evidence of dark matters, especially its composition, as the day we started down that path. Isn’t that odd?

But.. but.. you might say “wasn’t experimental evidence for existence of neutrons, neutrinos, anti-matter, controlled nuclear fission, nuclear transmutation of elements etc found years after theoretical predictions”? Well.. yes, that is quite correct but with a major caveat. Experimental evidence for all these and more successful came within a decade or so of the first solid theoretical predictions. Moreover, it occurred in an era when there were far fewer scientists and far less research money. Today we have robust and easy accessible instruments to measure them, not to mention that anti-matter emitting and transmuted radioactive elements are routinely used in diagnostic medicine and controlled nuclear fission is used to generate electricity.

So far, first person shooter video games such as Half Life 2 and really mediocre sci-fi shows such as StarGate are the only places where you can see Dark Matter. Do you realize that experimental evidence for the existence and composition of Dark Matter is as scarce as for the ‘Holy Grail’? But why is that such a bad thing, you might ask? Well.. for one, it has become a respectable dogma that justifies the existence of an entire ecosystem of priests and apprentices engaged in constant search for proof. Try getting a job in astrophysics without professing your acceptance of this hypothesis. Better still, try getting funded if you somehow manage to land a job without first expressing your sincere and continuing faith in the existence of Dark Matter.

What do you think? Comments?

Use of Adblock Blockers by Print Media is Speeding their Final Demise

October 11, 2018 3 comments

This is one of those posts that I started writing a couple of years ago, but didn’t get around to finishing till today. While it is almost certain that most of you know what I am talking about, let me write-up a quick introduction. It is common knowledge that print media, especially in USA, is on its last legs. Sure.. the election of Trump in 2016 has resulted in some improvement in profit margin for a few major quasi-national outlets such as the NYT and WP- for reasons that are all too obvious. Yet it is painfully obvious that most traditional outlets for print journalism are on the path of terminal decline. But why is that so, given their long history?

While there are many who blame technological “disruption” the real reasons are far more prosaic. To be clear, I am not saying that technological disruption had no role in ongoing demise of print media. It is, however, more like the 2nd or 3rd last nail in its coffin than what put it in there in the first place. Confused? Allow me to explain.. Print media has been on a downward slope since widespread introduction of Television in the 1950s. But why then, did it appear to be doing OK until the early 2000s, or at least the late 1990s? Two words.. Advertising Revenue. For many decades, the business model of print media has centered around advertising revenue.

Why then did TV or Radio not affect their revenue model as seriously as the Internet? Well.. both legacy media formats did hurt print advertising revenues but neither one could really replace it for certain classes of advertisements. You could not (for example) put personal advertisements, flyers, catalogs or advertise the detailed technical specifications of a product on TV or Radio. But the more important point is that most print media outlets stopped caring about real journalism a long time ago. If you don’t believe me, just Google/Bing/Duckduckgo a scanned newspaper from the 1990s. It is pretty easy to see that most “news” was wire service reprints, syndicated content from larger outlets and what is euphemistically described as paid journalism.

But how is any of this linked to the ongoing demise of print media? For starters, people are still interested in good journalism, opinion pieces, gossip and even activism. Have a look at Twitter (and its alternatives), YouTube channels devoted to opinionated commentary, Reddit (or any its alternatives) and you will see that people today are just as interested in what print journalism was supposed to be about. OK.. let’s cut to the chase- print journalism (especially in USA) lost its soul a long time because it embraced deference to elites, pretense of objectivity, tone policing and other advertiser and corporate friendly policies for decades.

Print media, you see, has been living for borrowed time for decades. The internet merely knocked away the crutches of guaranteed local advertising revenues which had allowed it to forestall its inevitable and terminal decline. This does not mean that it will disappear for ever, as some parts such as large quasi-national newspapers are likely to survive- at least in a recognizable form for the near future. But what does any of this have to do with the topic of this post? As it turns out, a lot more than you think. Regular readers might remember that more than a few of my previous posts say something to the effect of “large institutions in terminal decline often speed up that process by making increasingly disastrous decisions”. And this is not a new idea either.

We have all seen the USA make increasingly disastrous foreign and domestic decisions since the early 1990s. Whether it was extending NATO into Eastern Europe, de-industrialization of flyover country, involvement in disastrous (and highly expensive) wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, using the dollar payment system as a weapon of war, ignoring domestic problems such as increasingly decrepit infrastructure, rising costs of what passes for ‘healthcare’ and higher education etc. In a similar manner, print media has made a series of increasingly disastrous mistakes which have accelerated the speed of its demise rather than stabilizing the situation.

We have all seen those auto-playing videos, increasingly buggy and atrocious user interfaces, click-bait which masquerades as journalism and publishing barely concealed press releases as news items. I could go about their obsession with website views, metric of engagement and anything else that allows them to not fix their core problem, which is the lack of high quality, controversial and adversarial journalism. Now let us turn to their latest fuckup. As many of you might have noticed the proliferation of disruptive and malware ridden ads since 2012-2014 created a huge market for adblocking extensions for web browsers.

Long story short, the poor quality control of ads by Google and other ad-serving networks makes its mandatory for any non-retarded person to use adblocking software. But how has the print media responded to this apparent reduction in revenue from serving horrible auto-playing ads and malware? As it turns out, they decided to the most ‘logical’ thing and alienate their viewers even further. You must have seen popups on many print media that either try nagging you to turn your adblocker off, whitelist them or buy a subscription. But does it really work, especially in the medium to long-term? Of course not!

Only the old or naive are usually trusting enough to fall for such bullshit, and even they stop doing that after being burned out by one too many autoplaying ads and malware infestations. Most other people either apply counter-counter measures or simply stop visiting that site. There are many other places on the Internet where they can get news from Twitter and FakeBook feeds, certain YouTube channels, newsgroups and forums including Reddit, Podcasts etc. The use of measures to counter adblocking software ends up reducing the number of repeat viewers who will keep visiting their site. Sure.. it might appear to increase their profitability for a couple of quarters, but after that it is an even steeper fall.

But the most bizarre part of these corporate policies involves the remarkable lack of thought behind their implementation. Think about it.. would you keep going to restaurants or bars which served very mediocre food and drink but were constantly trying to upsell, even to the point of not letting you enjoy your stay there? Would you keep going to a restaurant where the furniture was full of bedbugs and fleas? Would you go to a restaurant which required an annual membership fee to even look at their menu? Would you go to a restaurant which sold your contact information to telemarketers? So why would you return to print media websites that served autoplaying ads, sold your contact information to spammers and infected your computer with malware- especially if there were other safer and better options to get news, opinions and adversarial journalism?

What do you think? Comments?

Request for Feedback from Readers on Topics for Two Upcoming Series

October 9, 2018 14 comments

While writing an upcoming installment for the series about how Varna and Jati aka ‘caste’ system was hugely damaging to Indians, it occurred to me that comparing how (and why) things turned out the way they did in India and China after 1945 would be an interesting idea. But why is that relevant? Well.. because most people who had acquaintance with the state of both countries in aftermath of WW2 would have put their money on India becoming the more prosperous and developed economy. However that has not been the case for last 40 years, and as things stand today- China had overtaken India on pretty much every single measure of human achievement (technological, military, geopolitical) by truly massive margins.

Sad white losers, like Steve Sailer, might want to believe that this has something do with ‘IQ’ or whatever bullshit he is into nowadays. I, however, see a very different cause for this massive divergence in destinies. In my opinion, it comes down to culture- specifically China being able to get rid of any part of its traditional culture and belief systems which hindered economic and social development. They learned all the right lessons from their ‘century of humiliation’. India, on the other hand, did not learn much (if anything) from being colonized by the British for almost 160 years. I don’t think they ever understood the concept of ‘humiliation’ given their continued eagerness to play the stupid sidekick for any western power who pretends to care.

Sadly, a large number of people in (and many from) India still live in almost total denial of this obvious fact. They keep telling themselves that all the technological and social progress they see in China is not real, or that it is somehow temporary or based on some fraud that will come crashing down any day. They have been repeating this bullshit to themselves and each other for over three decades now. Meanwhile in the real world, China has kept moving past India on almost every single front- even the ones they used to visibly lag as late as the early 1990s. And yet for some reason, most people in India still believe that prostrating them in front of the dying West is a path to prosperity and progress.

I am not suggesting that every action taken by the Chinese systems is sound or worth emulating. It would, however, be stupid to ignore the fact that whatever they are doing has worked infinitely better than whatever Indians are doing. I would go so far as to say that their system has, in aggregate, worked better than any other system we know. There are some in the West who want to believe that China stole jobs and technology from them, and you know what.. they are right. But we forget that the West stole entire continents and a lot of natural resources during age of colonization. The fact that China could modernize so quickly without overt colonization or stealing resources on a large-scale from other nations merely validates the superiority of their system.

The other series I want to write is about how modern environmentalism is a secular doomsday cult. Once again, I have written a few posts mentioning that topic in the past (link 1, link 2 and link 3), but none comes even remotely close to what I really think about that wretched belief system. I mean.. is it not obvious that a belief system based in apocalyptic thinking which requires its believers to constantly feel guilty and perform endless sacrifice and penance to obtain absolution from their alleged sins, headed by white-robed priests who never practice what they preach, is a sad secular reboot of Catholicism?

And how exactly are all those people heading various end-of-the-world cults different from white-robed people doing the same based on esoteric revealed “knowledge” aka computer simulations. Can you say, with a straight face, that running simulations engineered to produce whatever results you want and based on whatever inputs you choose, is science- let alone good science? FYI- I run computer simulations of far simpler, defined and understood physical systems for a living, and am well aware of their limitations even when the results are usually quite close to experimental observations. Anybody who tells you that we can model complex physical reality with very high or total certainty is lying through his or her teeth.

Anyway.. over the next 1-2 weeks, I plan to start series tackling both those issues. Is there a particular issue or sub-topic within those two which you would like me to address in more detail? Feel free to bring them up in the comments. It is getting late and I have to get some sleep now.

What do you think? Comments?