ALL BLOG POSTS AND COMMENTS COPYRIGHT (C) 2003-2016 VOX DAY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Fighting rhetoric with rhetoric

An author who appears to be in transition one way or the other (it's hard to tell) provides a salutory lesson in how NOT to do it:
As Movement Conservatives consolidated their power in the Republican Party their appeal became more and more emotional and less and less rational. By the time of the George W. Bush administration, it no longer reflected, as one of Bush’s advisers put it, the “reality based community.” But, like any other myth, its lack of reality made it more emotionally powerful than ever. The good guys are pure and virtuous, and they are under attack: Christianity is under siege in a country that is 70 percent Christian, for example, and those who occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge are fighting to kill the big government that gives “subsidies” to lazy black people despite the fact that they themselves have received subsides — and one of the occupiers an outright loan. And the bad guys are really bad. Donald Trump has famously asserted that Mexican immigrants are rapists, and his attacks on black Americans are so inflammatory that the Ku Klux Klan uses them as a recruiting tool. Indeed, all Democrats are demons: Republican presidential candidates Carly Fiorina has asserted—all evidence to the contrary—that Democrats support Planned Parenthood because they want to kill babies and sell their body parts. The emotional punch of these allegations stays with supporters despite the fact they are false.

The national triumph of this Movement Conservative narrative explains the present political moment. Republican leaders who were previously focused on consolidating voting blocs now face two very real voter insurgencies. On one hand, those like Ted Cruz argue that rank-and-file voters feel betrayed because Republicans have not actually shrunk the government. Cruz promises to see that destruction through. On the other, Trump voters have absorbed the racism and sexism in his candidacy and are following it in pure rage. Cruz and Trump have a clear narrative. Republican Party leaders do not.

But, like Republican insiders, establishment Democrats have also suffered for lack of a narrative. The Movement Conservative story has made America a hostile place for minorities, women and those falling behind economically. Democratic voters are angry at leaders who have stayed largely quiet as the government has befriended Wall Street, gutted the middle class, slashed social programs, and endangered their health. While Clinton still works to line up narrow voting blocs, Sanders offers an alternative: a narrative of America that gives Democrats a national vision to counter that of Movement Conservatives.

Voters on both sides are angry, and neither cares much what the political establishment says, especially an establishment that on both sides is notably white, elitist and male—aside from Clinton’s refreshing candidacy– and clearly has no idea what life looks like for those outside its bubble. If establishment figures want to regain leadership, they should try articulating a narrative for their vision of America, a narrative that lets voters choose a direction for their country.

Until then, they are preaching to a choir that has lost its audience.
 The Rhetorical Test:
  1. Is this rhetoric, dialectic, or pseudo-dialectic?
  2. What is the most effective way to refute it? 
  3. Why is this likely to be ineffective?

Labels: ,

Thursday, February 11, 2016

He didn't read the book

Marc Andreessen discovers that an apology is never the end:
Facebook just lost an important legal fight in India, and now one of its board members has complicated its next steps. The mess started when Silicon Valley venture capitalist Marc Andreessen took to Twitter to criticize India's decision to block Facebook from offering free but limited Internet access to poor areas. At one point, when a critic likened Andreessen's position to "Internet colonialism," he shot back, "Anti-colonialism has been economically catastrophic for the Indian people for decades. Why stop now?" recounts the Wall Street Journal. That sentiment drew widespread condemnation and prompted Mark Zuckerberg himself to quickly distance himself from it. And in a series of tweets, Andreessen apologized for his "ill-informed and ill-advised comment."

On his Facebook page, Zuckerberg used stronger language, describing the tweet as "deeply unsettling" and making clear that the company "strongly" rejects it. The controversy revolves around a program called Free Basics. As CNET explains, an Indian court declared that the concept violated Net neutrality rules because it would have provided free access to the Internet but only to a limited number of services.
It's amazing how Mark Zuckerberg continues to find ways to be a prissily annoying little punch-face. I don't care how rich and influential he is; you couldn't pay me to trade places with him. His spineless, parasitical existence strikes me as an absolute living hell.

Labels:

Rabid Puppies 2016: Dramatic Presentation (long)

Although the ancient geezers of fandom don't seem to know it, or are just too old to either know or care about games, both computer and video games are eligible for the Hugo Award for Dramatic Presentation Long Form as they are included in the definition of "any medium of dramatized science fiction or fantasy" that lasts more than 90 minutes. Ergo, my recommendations for the category will probably look a little different than most this year.

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
  • Until Dawn
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • The Martian
I should mention that this is NOT my list of the three best games of the year, because not all games are dramatic presentations nor are they all science fiction and fantasy. These are simply the best dramatic presentations of science fiction and fantasy longer than 90 minutes, three of which happen to be games.

Other 2016 Hugo categories
UPDATE: If you still haven't received your pin number from MidAmericaCon II, email them at hugopin@midamericon2.org and request it.

In other news, lest you doubt that the SJWs in SF will do anything and everything they can to ensure that their stacked decked remains stacked in their favor, the Hugo administrators at MidAmericaCon II have announced, contra previous promises, that they will not release nominating data in any form to anyone... except those to whom they have already given it.
Other than the EPH validation, it is not our intention to release nominating data in any form, even to other people wishing to test software under an NDA.  The Hugo administrators already have sufficient software to handle the needs of the awards even if the nomination counting rules ends up being confirmed as changed at the business meeting in Kansas City.
This statement completely lacks credibility, as do all of the public statements of those to whom the data was given, because "the people they gave the data announced on file 770 that they had not only ran Single Vote Transferable on the data, but had examined the data to count puppy ballots and slate discipline."

The behavior of the Hugo administrators is dishonest and downright antiscientific. If the data is not open and cannot be replicated, it must be ignored. Nothing the Hugo administrators' pet investigators announce should be taken at face value by anyone, pro or con. It can be easily dismissed by a simple statement of fact: "So you say. Where is the evidence to support that?"

I'm not saying this because I oppose EPH. To the contrary, I support it, because EPH enshrines the Rabid Puppies as one of the five primary factions in science fiction and gives us equal status with the Tor Cabal. So, I fully support the decision of the fandom to give the Supreme Dark Lord of the Evil Legion of Evil the right to at least one nomination per category in perpetuity. It gives the Tor Cabal the same, of course (which is why it was a cabal initiative), and initially the other two or three factions will reliably favor Tor in reaction to the establishment of the Puppies, but that will change over time, as deals are made and new alliances are formed.

As I have said, I am a patient man.

Labels: ,

Two down, five to go

Christie and Carly are out of the running for the Republican nomination:
Chris Christie dropped out of the race for president on Wednesday afternoon, two hours after a rival candidate quit. Carly Fiorina, one of only two women in the U.S. presidential race, left her quixotic pursuit of the White House on Wednesday after a seventh-place New Hampshire primary finish in a field of eight candidates.

And Christie, the governor of New Jersey, soon followed suit after rumors of his campaign's demise swirled all day.

Spokeswoman Samantha Smith confirmed the news to the Associated Press, saying that Christie broke the news of his decision to staff at his campaign headquarters in Morristown, New Jersey, late in the afternoon.
Interesting that neither of them endorsed anyone. That either indicates that they think Trump has a chance or the GOPe hasn't settled on its anti-Trump replacement for Jeb Bush.

Labels:

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Trump is the Great Nationalist

This is why Europeans across the continent are hoping to see Donald Trump win the US presidency:
 "What's happening in Europe can lead to its collapse. It's dramatic what Merkel has allowed to happen, this flood," he said, adding that the "consequences" were being felt around the continent.

"If we don't deal with the situation competently and firmly, then yes, it's the end of Europe," he predicted.

Stopping short of predicting civil war, he said the continent had "real revolutions ahead of you", adding that Europe "won't be spared" a 9/11-style disaster.

"My German friends no longer know where they are. They can't believe their eyes about what is happening…they're desperate," he claimed.

He also warned that if immigration could not be dealt with "in an intelligent, rapid and energetic manner," then Europe was headed for "more than just upheaval, on a scale you can't even imagine."

As for France, Mr Trump warned: "Unfortunately, France isn't what it was, nor Paris". The pro-gun candidate claimed that the Paris terrorist attack of November 13 that killed 130 could have been thwarted if the French had been allowed to bear arms to defend themselves, saying he would have done so.

At the Bataclan (concert hall where 90 died), he said: "The only people who had weapons were the killers...it was 'open bar' for a massacre."

He added: "I always carry a weapon on me. If I'd been at the Bataclan or one of those bars, I would have opened fire. I would have perhaps died, but at least I would have taken a shot. The worst thing is the powerlessness to respond to those who want to kill you," he said.
They don't get a vote, but I think Trump just won over the French and German people. And remember, Trump is married to a European, so he understands the continent much better than most American politicians.

And as for the Americans, notice that he didn't say his bodyguards carried a gun. He does. Not only that, but he is advocating for carry laws in Europe. I expect he is considerably more trustworthy on the 2nd Amendment than any of the Republican establishment candidates.

Labels: ,

Women, science, and sex

The SJWs in science are setting up their favorite damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't scenario for male scientists. If you don't bring young women along with you on your trips, you're a damnable sexist. And if you do, you're a sexual predator.

On a cold evening last March, as researchers descended upon St. Louis, Missouri, for the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA), a dramatic scene unfolded at the rooftop bar of the St. Louis Hilton at the Ballpark, the conference hotel. From here, attendees had spectacular views of the city, including Busch Stadium and the Gateway Arch, but many were riveted by an animated discussion at one table.

Loudly, and apparently without caring who heard her, a research assistant at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City charged that her boss—noted paleoanthropologist Brian Richmond, the museum’s curator of human origins—had “sexually assaulted” her in his hotel room after a meeting the previous September in Florence, Italy. (She requested that her name not appear in this story to protect her privacy.) Over the next several days, as the 1700 conference attendees presented and discussed the latest research, word of the allegations raced through the meeting.

Richmond, who was also at the meeting, has vigorously denied the accusations in a statement to Science and in email responses. (He declined to be interviewed in person or by telephone.) The encounter in the hotel room, he wrote, was “consensual and reciprocal,” adding that “I never sexually assaulted anyone.”

Although the most recent high-profile cases of sexual harassment in science have arisen in astronomy and biology, many researchers say paleoanthropology also has been rife with sexual misconduct for decades. Fieldwork, often in remote places, can throw senior male faculty and young female students together in situations where the rules about appropriate behavior can be stretched to the breaking point. Senior women report years of unwanted sexual attention in the field, at meetings, and on campus. A widely cited anonymous survey of anthropologists and other field scientists, called the SAFE study and published in July 2014 in PLOS ONE, reported that 64% of the 666 respondents had experienced some sort of sexual harassment, from comments to physical contact, while doing fieldwork.

Even a few years ago, the research assistant might not even have aired her complaint, as few women—or men—felt emboldened to speak out about harassment. Of the 139 respondents in the SAFE study who said they experienced unwanted physical contact, only 37 had reported it. Those who remained silent may have feared retaliation. Senior paleoanthropologists control access to field sites and fossils, write letters of recommendation, and might end up as reviewers on papers or grant proposals. “The potential for [senior scientists] to make a phone call and kill a career-making paper feels very real,” says Leslea Hlusko, a paleontologist at the University of California (UC), Berkeley.
It will be interesting to learn if the female scientists entering the field will be sufficient to make up for the male scientists they drive from it. The history of social justice convergence indicates that not only will they fail to make up for it, but that all actual scientific activity will cease once a critical mass is reached.

It's rather remarkable that the Richmond situation is being portrayed as him sexually assaulting her when she was in his hotel room. I suspect that the charge of sexual assault are nothing more than her trying to cover for the fact that she was more or less cheating on her husband. They were out drinking with their colleagues, all of whom would have known that she went back to his room with him.

Remember, it's much better to be deemed a sexist than a sexual assailant. Don't mentor women in person, don't go out of your way to help them, don't befriend them (particularly if you find them attractive), and don't go out to dinner with them alone. If you can't avoid it due to work, insist on lunch. Definitely don't go out for drinks or to a club. Don't hug or kiss them, and don't let them touch you except to shake your hand. Don't ever give the SJWs an opening to take you down.

The SJWs would love nothing better than to try to do to me what they've done to everyone from Jian Gomeshi to James Frenkel. They can't, because I never give them even the slightest molehill out of which to make a mountain.

Labels: ,

Sanders upsets Clinton

When thinking about the way in which Bernie Sanders trounced Hillary Clinton, it's worth noting that as recently as January, Clinton was leading Sanders in the New Hampshire polls:
Sanders didn’t just win in New Hampshire. He undermined Clinton’s campaign so badly, she may never recover.

CONCORD, New Hampshire — Hundreds of Bernie Sanders’s supporters packed into a high school gym here—after waiting outside in frigid temperatures to file through metal detectors one-by-one—to celebrate his big win. Meanwhile, about 20 miles away, a loyal crowd tried to keep its collective chin up as Hillary Clinton conceded defeat in the first Democratic primary contest.

The contrast highlights just how much damage Sanders is doing to Clinton’s campaign. Even though he’s still a longshot to snag the nomination, his candidacy is persuading young voters, women, and progressives that Clinton is in the pocket of big banks and corrupt corporations—and it’s persuading Clinton’s own supporters that they’re on the sadder side of this contest.

It remains to be seen, of course, if Sanders will actually be able to pick up any more wins. Current polls indicate that Sanders’s campaign in the other early states will be much trickier than his efforts in New Hampshire. Clinton’s double-digit leads in South Carolina and Nevada might have given a few of his supporters pause.

But those supporters weren’t in Concord tonight.

The gym his supporters packed into brimmed with unmitigated glee. An eclectic crowd danced, chanted, foot-stomped, and overall whooped it up for the democratic-socialist turned Democratic primary champion.

And the crowd’s devotion to their candidate highlighted just how much damage his candidacy is doing to Clinton’s—even if she’s the party’s ultimate nominee, which still seems all but guaranteed.
Considering that Sanders gained 25 points on Clinton in New Hampshire in just a single month, it seems insane to put any weight at all on Clinton's 29.5 percent advantage in South Carolina that dates back to the week of January 17th.

I suspect that Sanders has dealt Hillary her death blow, everyone just hasn't realized it yet. It's not as if Hillary is particularly popular in the South, after all. And let's face it, there wouldn't be all this talk about Biden getting into the race if anyone had any confidence in Hillary, who appears to be the least competent establishment favorite since Bob Dole.

I mean, she managed to lose 83 percent of the young female vote to a 74-year-old gamma male... while running on her vagina. She is spectacularly unlikable; young women openly hate her. And remember, despite all the revised expectations in the new narrative, she was the favorite in New Hampshire until her Iowa debacle.

Labels: ,

There Will Be War Volume IX

In many ways, the first nine volumes of There Will Be War were a chronicle of the Cold War; reading those earlier volumes published in the 1980s is a literal education in both the events and the psychologies of that time. Volume IX, which was originally subtitled After Armageddon, was published just as the Soviet Union was in the process of collapsing, a process that was much more dangerous than most of us were aware at the time, or realize today.

As with the previous eight volumes, Jerry Pournelle assembled a formidable list of contributors for There Will Be War Volume IX, including John Brunner, Edward P. Hughes, Robert Silverberg, Harry Turtledove, and Norman Spinrad, among others. A necessary word of warning to those with younger readers: the Spinrad story "Journals of the Plague Years", while an excellent reminder of the AIDS fears of the late 1980s, is exceedingly dark, violent, and most definitely R-rated.

There Will Be War Volume IX is 433 pages, DRM-free, and retails for $4.99 on Amazon.

Note to New Release subscribers: if you don't have an email in your inbox concerning Volume IX by noon EST and you've been having trouble receiving the emails despite being sure that you're a subscriber, get in touch and I'll send you the link to the bonus book. It is a pre-release version of what I believe is a new Jerry Pournelle book.

Labels:

Mailvox: a brief lesson in mainstream publishing

Dave doesn't understand how publishing works:
Why didn't those same gatekeepers that kept your books from being published disallow the contract offer from the start? How dysfunctional are these publishers that one entity signs you to a book contract but another doesn't allow anything to be published. Did they sign you with the intention to convince you to write something that would be acceptable to the gatekeepers?
  1. Because they didn't know about it.
  2. More dysfunctional than you would believe. 
  3. No.
It's pretty simple. Editors have a good deal of leeway. The vice-presidents, vice-publishers, and marketing executives very seldom know much about the books that are being signed. They won't have seen the book because it hasn't been written yet, so all they know is what the editor, who is the internal champion of the author and the book, tells them.

The usual process was this:
  • Editor runs across one of my books or the blog.
  • Editor reads the book, reads a little of the blog, and contacts me.
  • At editor's request, I come up with a book concept.
  • Editor likes concept, offers book deal.
  • Book deal proceeds, up to and including contract signing.
  • Female director of marketing is asked for input, googles me, throws hissy fit and insists that the project be canceled due to my being "too controversial".
After this happened for the third time in a row, I stopped talking to mainstream publishers. When I am approached by an editor - which has mostly stopped now that they are all familiar with Castalia House - I just tell them that I am not interested in mainstream publication. For me, at any rate, it's a complete waste of time, especially since the rising percentage of SJWs at the editorial level means that the number of left-wing gatekeepers is increasing.

And I suspect most authors who lean to the right are gradually going to come to reach the same conclusion that Mr. Cole and I have, especially as the bookstores continue to die off.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

New Hampshire: Trump, Sanders win

This is your open thread to discuss the New Hampshire results. If Hillary was anyone but Hillary, the media would be pronouncing her dead. I suppose we'll have to wait for Super Tuesday before they can make the definitive case.

UPDATE: Bernie Sanders wins!
Senator Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton among nearly every demographic group in the Democratic New Hampshire primary, according to exit polls.

He carried majorities of both men and women. He won among those with and without college degrees. He won among gun owners and non-gun owners. He beat Mrs. Clinton among previous primary voters and those participating for the first time. And he ran ahead among both moderates and liberals.
Donald Trump also did better than expected.
  • Donald Trump 35.1%
  • John Kasich 15.9%
  • Ted Cruz 11.7%
  • Jeb Bush 11.1%
  • Marco Rubio 10.7%
  • Chris Christie 7.5%
  • Carly Fiorina 4.1%
  • Ben Carson 2.3 
Interesting to see that Carson is apparently willing to throw his support to Trump. As I mentioned previously, Carson could help Trump seal the deal. I expect that will not have escaped Trump's attention and that The Art of the Deal author will be in touch with him sooner rather than later. He won't offer him VP, though, but a Cabinet seat.

Labels:

The SF gatekeepers strike again

Both Sarah Hoyt and I have previously written about the ideological gatekeepers in publishing, a situation that has persisted for at least 20 years and has continually gotten worse over time. The SJWs in science fiction deny it,of course, and they've been able to get away with doing so because most authors are afraid to talk for fear of their careers being destroyed.

But the ability to publish independently is eliminating that fear:
I launched a book this week and I went Indie with it. Indie means I released it on Amazon via Kindle Direct Publishing. I had to. My Publisher, HarperVoyager, refused to publish it because of some of the ideas I wrote about in it. In other words, they were attempting to effectively ban a book because they felt the ideas and concepts I was writing about were dangerous and more importantly, not in keeping with their philosophical ideals. They felt my ideas weren’t socially acceptable and were “guaranteed to lose fifty percent of my audience” as related back to me by my agent. But more importantly… they were "deeply offended"....

apparently advancing the thought that a brand new life form might see us, humanity, as dangerous because we terminate our young, apparently… that’s a ThoughtCrime most heinous over at Harper Collins. Even for one tiny little chapter.

Here’s what happened next. I was not given notes as writers are typically given during the editorial process. I was told by my agent that my editor was upset and “deeply offended” that I had even dared advanced this idea. As though I had no right to have such a thought or even game the idea within a science fiction universe. I was immediately removed from the publication schedule which as far as I know is odd and unprecedented, especially for an author who has had both critical and commercial success. This, being removed from the production schedule, happened before my agent had even communicated the editor’s demand that I immediately change the offending chapter to something more “socially” (read “progressive”) acceptable. That seemed odd. How could they possibly have known that I would or would not change it? It seems reasonable to ask first. And stating that I would lose fifty percent of my readers if I wrote what I wrote, well, they never seem to mind, or worry about losing readers, when other writers publish their progressive-oriented personal agendas on modern morality when they’re on the “right side” of history regarding the anti-religion, gender and sexuality issues.

They don’t worry about those issues because they’re deemed important, especially when they’re ham-handedly jammed into the framework of the story. They must deem it a public service, especially if there is a corresponding Social Justice outcry. It’s for the “greater good” and the critics are just bigots anyways. Isn’t that what they always say? That anyone else who doesn’t think the way they do is just a bigot and a phobic of some kind. What a boorish way to dismiss a counter-viewpoint. Thinking like that made the concentration camps possible. So, maybe they were so upset by what I’d written they forgot to be professional? They merely demanded that I rewrite that chapter not because it was poorly written, or, not supportive of the arc of the novel. No, they demanded it be struck from the record because they hate the idea I’d advanced. They demanded it be deleted without discussion. They felt it was for… the “greater good.” That is censorship, and a violation of everyone’s right to free speech. They demanded it be so or else… I wouldn’t be published.

That’s how they threatened a writer with a signed contract.

I refused.
I am a writer.
No. One. Will Ever. Bully. Me.
Ever.
I've had four - FOUR - book contracts either paid off or canceled myself because a gatekeeper inside the publishing house disliked the ideological content of a book that the editor had wanted to sign. In fairness, this hasn't always been an SJW gatekeeper, as Media Whores was killed by a conservative publishing house after they learned that I was not solely targeting the left-wing media whores, but had written a chapter on Bill O'Reilly.

But in three out of the four cases, it was an SJW playing thought police. Publishing, as an industry, has largely been converged, which is why so much of it is so unreadable these days. They are genuinely less interested in selling books and making money than advancing their social justice cause.

Labels: ,

The shortchanging of House Hufflepuff

In which one of the non-quidditch related shortcomings of JK Rowling's Harry Potter series is explained:
    For instance, Slytherin
    Took only pure-blood wizards
    Of great cunning, just like him,
    And those of sharpest mind
    Were taught by Ravenclaw
    While the bravest and the boldest
    Went to daring Gryffindor.
    Good Hufflepuff, she took the rest,
    And taught them all she knew,
    Thus the Houses and their founders
    Retained friendships firm and true.



“She took the rest”

“She took the rest”


Okay. So maybe Hufflepuff doesn’t pick students with dependable, useful, non-flashy but underrated qualities. Apparently, Hufflepuff just takes the rejects.

Yeah.

We’ve hit, by the way, on the biggest flaw of Rowling’s House system. She pays lip service to people overcoming the expectations set by the house they’re sorted in, but in reality characters who are part of Slytherin are evil, characters who are in Gryffindor are good, and the middle two houses don’t matter. Rowling at least has the decency to add in Luna Lovegood, a Ravenclaw and one of the series’ most interesting and beloved characters, but in Hufflepuff…well, there’s Tonks. Except that we’re never actually told Tonks is a Hufflepuff until after the series is over. And let’s not even get into all of the problems with Rowling’s portrayal of Slytherin House.
I could never figure out what Hermione was doing in Gryffindor when she was an obvious Ravensclaw. I mean, being intelligent and studious to the point of being annoying about it was the primary aspect of her personality.

But as I pointed out many years ago, Rowling isn't any good with coherent plots or worldbuilding; nearly everything about Harry Potter is entirely nonsensical. What she's good at is creating vivid characters and appealing to the lowest common denominator in children. And that, quite frankly, is a considerably more valuable skill than mere logic or literary talent.

Labels:

New heights of convergence

Twitter, as per the second law, doubles down on social justice convergence:
To ensure people can continue to express themselves freely and safely on Twitter, we must provide more tools and policies. With hundreds of millions of Tweets sent per day, the volume of content on Twitter is massive, which makes it extraordinarily complex to strike the right balance between fighting abuse and speaking truth to power. It requires a multi-layered approach where each of our 320 million users has a part to play, as do the community of experts working for safety and free expression.

That’s why we are announcing the formation of the Twitter Trust & Safety Council, a new and foundational part of our strategy to ensure that people feel safe expressing themselves on Twitter.

As we develop products, policies, and programs, our Trust & Safety Council will help us tap into the expertise and input of organizations at the intersection of these issues more efficiently and quickly. In developing the Council, we are taking a global and inclusive approach so that we can hear a diversity of voices from organizations including:
  • Feminist Frequency
  • GLAAD
  • The Anti-Defamation League

It's as if they are literally Hell-bent on self-destruction. This is truly remarkable! I have never been more confident about the Alt Right's ability to seize the cultural high ground. There are more opportunities presenting themselves than we can possibly address at once.

Labels: ,

Rabid Puppies 2016: Best Editor (short-form)

There is only one possible candidate this year. There isn't anyone else who even merits comparison.
It is a serious indictment of the award system, bordering on the criminal, that the creator and editor of the best SF anthology series of the last 30 years - and arguably the most original and significant as well - has never been nominated for a Best Editor award.

How is that even possible, considering some of the lightweights and mediocrities who have been nominated, both in the past and in recent years?

Fortunately, there is still time to rectify that ludicrous historical injustice, because Volume X is second only to the epic Volume II in the classic series.


Other 2016 Hugo categories

Labels: ,

PFT Commenter goes to the Super Bowl

I just thought this account of a taxi ride at the Super Bowl was funny:
My first night here I deicded to skip dinner in lieu of drinking, which yes, its a common theme for me- but you stick with the devil that you know, and with all the foofooraw about E Coli these days I figured it was better to drink brown liquor instead of eating red meat. It was a great meal and then I got a ride home from a cab driver who immedately started talking politics. Guess I just give of that vibe of a professonal political pundent. Lots of folks consider Frisco to be a extremeley liberal city but this guy started in with the "we need to build a wall" stuff and it kiond of snowballed from there untill by the end of the ride he was educationg me about how Bernie Sanders is a pawn by the Jews to install one of there Elite banker friends as the head of the United States so they can take over the world. Went a little to far for my taste in a 10-minute cab ride. Thats more of a 30 minute cab ride conversaton that you break out as soon as you've covered the weather, favorite sports teams, and which colleges his kids are thinking about going to. Very cool guy.
It's both exciting and strange to see the X-Files back. Hearing Mulder go on about a conspiracy of human globalists makes me wonder if Chris Carter has been reading this blog over the last ten years. Anyhow, my thoughts on Denver's recent Super Bowl victory:
  • Manning had less to do with it than Lizzi the cheerleader did. Lizzi was also at the game and she threw for as many touchdowns and one less dumb interception than Peyton did. I'm just glad they didn't give him the MVP because quarterback.
  • Apparently the difference between the #1 defense and the #3 defense was considerably larger than I had appreciated.
  • Wade Phillips is probably the best defensive coordinator in the league. He should stick with that; why be a mediocre head coach when you can be a great coordinator? Stacking five on the line to keep the running game in check while trusting the three corners to shut down Carolina's unimpressive receivers was a great game plan.
  • Cam is a frontrunner. That's not a bad thing, it's just a reality.  It will be interesting to see how he comes back from this.
  • People getting on Cam about not diving on the football forget that a QBs first, second, and third responsibility is to not get injured. Yes, it was the Super Bowl. That doesn't change the fact that the guy has had it repeatedly drilled into his head that he is NEVER supposed to a) dive into the pile or b) try to tackle anyone. See: Andy Dalton. I suspect that training is why he instinctively started to go after the ball, then checked himself.
  • I think Ted Ginn may have cost Carolina the game. For me, the most crucial play was when he burned Talib across the middle, then ran out of bounds for a 40-yard gain instead of a) trying to beat the safety down the sideline, or b) cutting back inside him. Ginn is supposedly among the faster players in the league, and it looked to me as if a) was a legitimate option. That may have cost the Panthers 7 points, given the way Gano missed the subsequent FG attempt.
  • If Manning doesn't ride off into the sunset with his second Super Bowl ring, he's lost the plot. It's a great ending... so let it be the ending and retire.

Labels:

Monday, February 08, 2016

Mailvox: PHP jobs

Some job opportunities for the Ilk near San Francisco:
I'm a REDACTED at a well-funded startup in the Bay Area, and we're in serious need of PHP developers/engineers to expand our business. I've noticed that you've posted job opportunities occasionally on VP so I'm hoping you'd be willing to post this as well.

We're looking for anyone with PHP experience, from intern level to PHP expert. There's enough work available to keep anyone busy, regardless of their level of PHP expertise. Candidates would ideally live within commuting distance of the San Jose area or Peninsula, but we would be willing to consider expert-level developers living out-of-area or even out-of-state.
If you are interested and want me to pass your resume along, sent an intro email to me with PHP in the subject.

Labels:

Convergence at GitHub

We don't use GitHub; although GitLab does have a Code of Conduct it does not yet have any other signs of SJW infestation. But the convergence at GitHub, which was apparent when its former CEO was forced out in 2014 over a "sexual-harassment scandal by a female employee who quit", appears to have shifted into a higher gear.

  • Cofounder CEO Chris Wanstrath, with support from the board, is radically changing the company's culture: Out with flat org structure based purely on meritocracy, in with supervisors and middle managers. This has ticked off many people in the old guard.
  • Its once famous remote-employee culture has been rolled back. Senior managers are no longer allowed to live afar and must report to the office. This was one reason why some senior execs departed or were asked to leave, one person close to the company told us.
  • Others tell us that key technical people from the old days like CTO Ted Nyman and third cofounder PJ Hyett are mostly absent from the office and not contributing much technically.
  • GitHub has hit "hypergrowth," growing from about 300 to nearly 500 employees in less than a year, with over 70 people joining last quarter alone.
  • Some longer-term employees feel like there's a "culture of fear" where people who don't support all the changes are being ousted.
  • In addition to previously reported executive departures, Business Insider has learned that Ryan Day, VP of business development; Adam Zimman, senior director of technology partnerships; and Scott Buxton, controller, have all left in the last six months. Buxton departed in January.
And what are all these changes? The usual diversity-and-inclusivity nonsense.
One insider criticized GitHub's "social impact team," which is in charge of figuring out how to use the product to tackle social issues, including diversity within the company itself. It's led by Nicole Sanchez, vice president of social impact, who joined GitHub in May after working as a diversity consultant.

While people inside the company approve of the goal to hire a more diverse workforce, some think the team is contributing to the internal cultural battle.

"They are trying to control culture, interviewing and firing. Scary times at the company without a seasoned leader. While their efforts are admirable it is very hard to even interview people who are 'white' which makes things challenging," this person said.

Sanchez is known for some strong views about diversity. She wrote an article for USA Today shortly before she joined GitHub titled, "More white women does not equal tech diversity."

At one diversity training talk held at a different company and geared toward people of color, she came on a bit stronger with a point that says, "Some of the biggest barriers to progress are white women."
I suspect there is more than a little confusion between correlation and confusion taking place there; Facebook is fully SJW-converged, therefore full SJW convergence equals revenue growth, profit, and massive equity overvaluations.

But, as Mike Cernovich noted, it's the SJWs at the venture capital firms who are aggressively pushing this by throwing large sums of money at the converged firms and inflating their values. Does that model still work? Probably not now that the Federal Reserve is out of bullets, but we'll see.

Labels: ,

Rabid Puppies 2016: Best Editor (Long-form)

The preliminary recommendations for the endangered Patrick Nielsen Hayden consolation prize.
  • Anne Sowards, Penguin
  • Bryan Thomas Schmidt, independent
  • Mike Braff, Del Rey
  • Toni Weisskopf, Baen Books
  • Vox Day, Castalia House
In case you weren't aware, this category only exists because Patrick Nielsen Hayden cried publicly about not being able to win Best Editor against the likes of Gardner Dozois, but since virtually no one except the writer edited has the ability to tell what an editor has done to a manuscript, let alone how well he has done it, it's been little more than a Tor Editor Appreciation Prize since its inception.

(In fairness, David Hartwell told me that he managed to persuade a reluctant PNH to stand down one year so four-time bridesmaid Lou Anders could win an award. So, it must be admitted that PNH was willing to share the precious. On occasion, if reluctantly. But not - most definitely NOT - with Toni Weisskopf. We hates her, precious, we hates her forever!)

That being said, there is one relevant, if subjective, way to reasonably judge editors and that is by asking those few writers who have been edited by multiple editors of note to compare those by whom they have been edited. Perhaps those with the sufficient historical chops should try doing that sometime.


Other 2016 Hugo categories

Labels: ,

Transcript: RooshV press conference 6/2/16

This is the complete transcript from Roosh's press conference in Washington DC on Friday night. It is abundantly evident that the only thing Roosh has ever raped is the media's narrative. Roosh explains his take on the press conference on his own site.

Roosh: All right, are you ready? Is that a yes? Oh, we have a new one. Where do you work from?

Female Reporter: Um, Martha Stewart?

Roosh: Martha Stewart?

Female Reporter: Yes.

(Laughter)

Roosh: Okay, yeah, sure. I don't know how she got in here. Someone must have told her. All right, so first I'm going to make a statement and then you can ask me anything. Cool?

All right, so the world has gone insane in the past week. Why? Number one, I had organized meet ups around the world for men to enjoy a social happy hour to meet in private and talk about anything. Work, politics, girls, just to meet. Okay? Number two, a year ago I wrote an article How to Stop Rape. This article, to a 10-year-old, was obvious that I didn't intend to legalize rape or cause harm against women. But starting on Sunday, a lot of you have lied by saying that I am a pro-rape advocate. He wants women to get hurt! And then the third thing, you said the meet ups are about rapists. They want to gather to learn how to rape. They are going to exchange tips. Some of you have called it a rape rally! What the hell is that? A rape rally? So because of that I've been all over the world in terms of the news. Over 100 articles have been written.

The result is what? I'm currently the most hated man in the world. Governments from all over the world have talked about me. Australia has tried to keep me out. They called up their Navy to keep me out because they thought that I was going to get in through a private yacht. So the Navy got called up. In England, the House of Commons debated me for half an hour to say how I'm a bad man who shouldn't be allowed entry. Mayors from everywhere, Canada, have said were going to keep him out (like they could anyway they are just a mayor, a mayor can't keep someone out). The governor of Texas said the same thing. Police from everywhere said that all meetups will be monitored. A private meetup for men is going to be monitored. 1984 is here.

Worst of all, my family's address was put on the Internet through the hacking group Anonymous and your colleagues at the Daily Mail confirmed the doxx and say that I my mom's meatloaf everyday. Dozens of threats have come in. Someone said that they're going to burn my house down but save my mom. So I'm glad, but you have to understand that your work and the work of your own colleagues have incited a mob based on lies that has put my family in danger. If they get hurt right now, God forbid, it's because of you. It's because you didn't read a damn article, you misinterpreted, and now we have this rage mob to where, as you can see, I had to hide this. I told you don't tell anyone.

I must state right now that not a single woman has been hurt by me. I've never been accused of rape. I've never been charged. No follower of mine has read something by me and then gone to rape because I know if they did hurt a woman it would be all over the news. Not a single woman has been hurt. Yet, there is a real rape mob somewhere and there is media from the country where that mob is. Who wants to volunteer what country has an active rape mob? What happened on New Year's Eve in Cologne? Does anyone know? Someone? On New Year's Eve mobs of men assaulted women, they raped them, and what did you guys do? You covered it up. So when a real rape happens that goes against the agenda of your boss, you actually hide it. But then when no rapes happen and I try to do a meetup you lose your shit.

So I just wanted to come here just to state that not only are you guys not honest in your reporting of me but that no one has been harmed and when real harm takes place you don't say anything. That is not right and not fair. I pray to God that nothing happens to anyone that is close to me and if it does it's your fault. That's my statement.

All right, is there anything else?

Reporter: Why do you think people think of you as a rapist?

Roosh: They need a target to get all the rage that the citizens have to put it on someone that doesn't conflict with the agenda of your bosses and the ruling establishment. Roosh, go after him, it doesn't matter if he gets hurt but we can't go against our immigrant agenda. We can't go against the feminist agenda. So we need to get the masses (the idiots who believe the stuff that you write) and put it on to something else. So you put it on me. I'm just a scapegoat. They are just using me. But, I'm going to harness this. I'm going to harness all this coverage that you guys are giving me and convert it to money and women. That's what I'm going to do. That's the job that I have to do. I'm getting emails from a lot of girls right now and I plan (once this drama dies down if I can survive it) I may have to get in touch with them. That's what you given me. You have made me one of the most famous men in the world. Granted, it was a lie. It was a lie. But hey, this is where we are right now so I'm going to work with what you gave me.

Female Reporter: Do you acknowledge that any of your writing might be genuinely offensive or upsetting to some people?

Roosh: So what?

Female Reporter: Do you blame all of their reaction solely on media misinterpretation?

Roosh: I blame them for not reading what I write, for taking the mentality of a 10-year-old kid.

Female Reporter: Your writing is offensive on its face.

Roosh: So what? So what? I have freedom of speech. Be offended, good, that means my writing got you.

Female Reporter: So you acknowledge that you did provoke some of this yourself.

Roosh: I acknowledge that as a writer my job is to get attention and I did it. Right? But so what if you are offended. So what if I make fun of you? Is that we're at right now that we can't write things that hurt people's feelings? Good, get offended, feel something, but don't lie. Don't lie. And that's what you guys have done.

Male Reporter: So do you consider yourself a victim in this scenario?

Roosh: You know what? No. I take full responsibility for everything that I have done but that doesn't mean that I can't state what you did wrong. I'm not saying "oh, I wish I could turn back the hands of time. I wish I didn't write that article." No, I wrote it. It came from my mind and it's going to stay. But if you did something wrong then I get to  call you out on it too. Right?

Female Reporter: So, do you have any regrets about publishing the article?

Roosh: None. None.

Read more »

Labels:

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Super Bowl L

Let's revisit what I said on Championship Weekend:

New School NFL over Old School NFL for the 50th Anniversary Super Bowl, thereby symbolically denoting the transformation of America into the New America. Predictive programming calls for Carolina.

It's Peyton's Last Ride rather than the Dynamic Duo's Last Hurrah, but the symbolic narrative remains the same. Ergo, Carolina.

This happens to be supported by the football analysis: great defense plus good offense beats great defense plus mediocre offense. Considering that Denver couldn't beat Seattle when Peyton Manning was just as wily but his arm was still good, I don't see how Denver is going to beat Carolina.

I expect a reasonably comfortable Carolina win, and because I am an old school NFC fan, I would welcome that. But regardless, this is your Super Bowl 50 thread.

Labels:

Mailvox: a woman's take on female suffrage

It's nice to see a woman actually reflect upon the issue rather than reacting emotionally to it. Ironically, only women who could most likely be trusted with the vote are able to do so. I've yet to run into a woman who is able to even try to defend female suffrage on any basis beyond a) personal feelings, b) "fairness", and c) an appeal to the Unicorn of Equality.
I read “Mailvox: Stampeding the Sheep” with great interest.  The first time I ever heard someone suggest that women should not vote was my mother when I was a child.  I am 47 years old so it was some years ago.  The second time I heard this was from you.  I use to think my mom was just nuts, but her words left me wondering.  Here’s why:
  • Invincible:  I believed I could do everything a man could.  I graduated from the United States Air Force Academy, served as an intel and targeting officer for 7 years before realizing my true vocation was wife and mother.  Although my mom despised women in general, she hated the idea that I married (right after graduating) and started to have kids.  She was terrified I would be completely dependent on a man like she was.  Why is this important?  Simply because the feminists have ingrained in my generation a complete (and unreasonable) fear of male dominance.
  • Vote:  Why should women not vote?  I thought about this for years.  I consider myself more intelligent, more politically astute, and more educated/well-read than most men.  However, that does not outweigh one important limitation:  emotion.  This is what you brought up in your post.  Unlike men, women must be TAUGHT not to act on their emotions.  For us, this is an immediate response to whatever happens around us (perhaps this is one of the reasons we immediately bond with our babies so it’s not a bad thing if used correctly).  Men, on the other hand, hold back their emotions, but if they do not eventually act, they explode.  My experience tells me women explode immediately without thought and men explode later with thought.  Most women vote because of how they FEEL.  Bad move.  It has destroyed our societies and made us completely dependent on government.
  • Need: Women also have an innate need to be cared for, protected, and loved.  This is why the male European inaction regarding the Muslim invasion is so appalling.  The problem is the Baby Boomers are responsible for two generations (Gen X and the Millennials) that are incapable of doing anything (Yes, I blame the Baby Boomers, but I also blame the so called Greatest Generation who coddled, spoiled, and raised them).  Women just replaced their men with a colder, harsher, less faithful spouse, the government.  Unfortunately, while men are neutered, women think they are Black Widow.
  • Black Widow:  I really believed I could be as strong, as fast, and as fierce as any man.  I just had to work hard.  Why?  Because the feminists who indoctrinated me said so.  I’m ex military, dabbled in martial arts, love cross-fit, and keep a personal trainer.  No matter what I try to do physically, I CANNOT compete with a man (OK, I can compete with the young teenage boys).  The only thing that evens out this playing field is a gun (arm up feminists because men aren’t going to help you).  The feminists set their little darling daughters up for complete failure.  We could not compete in this way, but our mom’s insisted our self-worth must be measured against a man’s.  What did that mean?  ALL women are failures by this standard.  That reality hit me hard because it meant women are useless (this kind of supports the Muslim teachings doesn’t it?  Thanks, feminists.  No wonder you are silent with Islamic FGM)
  • Baby Making:  Yep.  This is what completes a woman.  It is not to say that some women cannot succeed in careers.  Many have exceptional skills and should pursue their God given talent.  However, the feminists told us making babies is for stupid women (you know, the surrogates they pay to have their babies for them).  That’s NOT true.  The first time I felt that I actually accomplished something, was the day I first held my daughter. 
  • Men:  My fear of only men having the vote was unfounded.  My man would NEVER vote against his family’s best interest.  Neither would any man I know.  There is a trade off, however.  Men, you need to man up and demand your rights.  That means putting women in their place which, according to my Catholic teaching, is above you. This is what distinguishes the Christian West from the rest of the world.  As life-bearers, women continue life, nurture it, and sustain it.  We pass on culture, tradition, and history.  This is why Islam cannot coincide with Christians:  they hate, despise, and denigrate women.  I believe the primary reason the Islamic world is such a hellhole is because the proper role of women was annihilated.  Well, the West has also harmed the proper role of women, just not to the same degree as Islam (Islam also has the benefit of more than 1000 years to make their brain damage permanent).  Men must reassert their proper place and women need to climb back onto their pedestal. 
I have so much more to say, but I am grateful if you read this.  Mr. Day, you are right and if more men stand up, women will be much happier.  Most of my generation don’t even know what happened because we never saw what the Baby Boomers had (their moms in their proper and much happier roles in the home).  I’ve seen both sides of this issue.  The feminists built a very dark place for their daughters.  Will we recognize what they did before it comes crashing down?  I doubt it.  Perhaps Islam will open women’s eyes to what they have and thank God everyday for Christianity.  If we want men to protect us, we cannot vote against them.  They alone must have this power.
The reality is that female suffrage can only be eliminated through despotism, most likely of the sort that comes about through societal collapse. The one possible non-catastrophic solution, which is probably already too late now that Obama and Mutti Merkel have combined to unleash a Muslim invasion of the West, is direct democracy.

And that is why I am an advocate of direct democracy with full female suffrage: it is both possible as well as an improvement on a system that is clearly incompatible with societal survival and Western civilization.

Labels: , ,

Bring the 3rd World, become the 3rd World

Western civilization is contracting before our eyes in France:
From the air it appears as an urban sprawl, fanning in all directions, gobbling up every available scrap of land.

With its schools, theatre, nightclub, shops and restaurants, the migrants’ camp known as the Jungle has now become a thriving Calais suburb, albeit a ramshackle one.

As our aerial pictures show, the camp on the edge of the French port has expanded beyond recognition in six months.

Last summer it was home to about 3,000 people awaiting their chance of a new life across the Channel in the UK. Now its population, made up of 22 nationalities, edges towards 7,000. But while there are some vestiges of basic infrastructure, conditions in the camp remain dangerous and unsanitary.
Civilization is not land or buildings. It is not technology or infrastructure. It is people. The Greeks understood this. The Romans understood this. Import enough uncivilized people, allow enough barbarians entry, and your society will become uncivilized.

This doesn't mean civilization is dying, as some would have it. Such barbarization is not merely reversible, it is easily reversed. It merely requires changing the authorities that presently rule the West, which will happen. The only question is when.

And before any Americans complacently predict the end of France, I suggest having a look at what southern and central California look like now, or reading Victor Davis Hanson's mournful dirges for the land of his youth.

Labels: ,

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Roosh's press conference

Roosh prison-rapes the media at his press conference.

Roosh: "What happened in Cologne on New Years Eve? What happened in Cologne? Who can tell me what happened there?"

Media: silence

Roosh: "When a real rape happens, that goes against the agenda of your boss, you guys hide it."

Media: silence

Roosh: "Not only are you guys not honest... when real harm takes place, you guys don't say anything. And that is not fair. That is not right."
Let me know when a transcript is available and I'll put it up here in its entirety.

Reporter: Do you consider yourself a victim in this scenario?

Roosh: No.... but if you did something wrong, I get to call you out on it.

Labels:

The curation challenge

This is an excellent article that underlines the importance of what we are presently doing with Castalia House and REDACTED. It's not about production or distribution anymore, but curation. And while the SJWs in possession of the cultural high ground understand this, they fortunately do not understand how to properly utilize it in a manner that will permit them to hold onto it.
For thousands of years, media was a privilege of the elite, concentrated in cities and confined to a single moment in time. With Edison’s phonograph, music had become non-rivalrous, infinitely replicable and indefinite. Yes, it took decades until the average family could afford a record player or radio, but the dawn of democratized consumption had arrived.

Unfortunately, however, this same trend led to an ossification in content creation and distribution. Records, after all, cost money. Production was expensive – as was distribution, marketing and promotion. So expensive, in fact, that almost every artist lacked the capital required to actually release their music – a need that paved the way for record labels (or TV studios, film studios, publishers etc.) that would finance said efforts in exchange for hefty royalty fees and content rights. These money men though wouldn’t and couldn’t afford to invest in every artist with a dream. Given the upfront cost of talent development and distribution, labels invested in “Arts & Repertoire” men, whose job it was to sift through countless musicians in order to identify the select few with “commercial viability”. Potential artists were then further cut down in number when it came time to actually distributing their content – and then again via marketing/promotional support. Underlying this fact was an unavoidable truth: content publishers had scale-related disincentives to support more than a handful of artists. Why record, distribute, market and promote 15 albums if you can achieve the same unit sales with 10?

Though this system was far from ideal, it was the inevitable outcome of a market in which talent was abundant, capital limited, distribution bandwidth (e.g. shelf-space, broadcast spectrum, print layouts) scarce, barriers high, and the cost of failure significant. But as a result, the content industry slowly shaped itself around a mysterious cabal of financiers and executive tastemakers that essentially programmed the national media identity. And anyone who wanted in had to move to New York, LA or Nashville, pay their dues and hope to work their way up until they could call the shots.

Of course, the music business was far from alone. The more expensive the medium, the more constrained the supply, the smaller the community and more homogenous the content. Local disc jockeys, newspapers and TV affiliates did have the opportunity to repackage and reprogram – to imprint their personality or take, if you will – but this was limited in scope, drew upon only the content that was already distributed, had to fit within an existing corporate identity and, again, depended on access to capital or infrastructure.

Over time, however, technology did what it does best: production costs fell, quality went up and distribution bandwidth increased. Economics, in turn, improved, as did the industry’s carrying capacity – the number of artists, titles, and pieces of content that could be supported. The media business was beginning to loosen up.

But it took until the late 2000s – more than a century after the phonograph – for creation and distribution to truly democratize. With the Internet, distribution became free and truly non-rival (if a bit non-excludable), while the proliferation of low-cost media equipment, mobile devices, and powerful editing software dramatically lowered the costs of production. The rise of creator-based consumption platforms and crowd-funding platforms, meanwhile, eliminated many of the remaining barriers hindering independent content creation. This meant that content could not only be created by those outside the business, but that commercializing this content became significantly less expensive and risky. This led to a massive increase in available, indexed and distributed content.

While the media business benefited from many of these changes, the consequences have been fundamentally destabilizing. The television industry has experienced such a surge in original content that annual cancellation rates have quintupled over the past 15 years (twice as many original scripted series were cancelled last year than even aired in 2000). Since 1985, the indie film industry has seen a nearly twentyfold increase in the number of theatrical releases even though ticket sales have remained flat (in 2014, the Head of SXSW’s film festival decried that “the impulse to make a film had far outrun the impulse to go out and watch one”). Plummeting music sales and unprecedented competition have made launching a new artist so expensive that catalogue sales now make up more than 200% of major label profits (in 2014, David Goldberg privately encouraged Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton to essentially halt A&R efforts, as well as investments in actually making new music). With the democratization of media creation, it’s easier than ever to make content but harder than ever to make a hit.

Ironically, the increasing difficulty in creating hits has not bolstered the “hit maker” system but rather further weakened it instead. In 2013, Macklemore became the first unsigned artist since 1994 to have a number-one single in the United States – a feat he repeated just three months later. Mega-star Taylor Swift has been with an independent label since her debut album and multi-platinum groups such as The Eagles and Radiohead have left the majors to start their own. The struggles of print publishing are well-known, but the uniqueness of some of “print’s” recent successes are worth mentioning. The 50 Shades of Grey trilogy, which has outsold The Harry Potter septet on Amazon in the United Kingdom and made author E.L. James 2012’s highest-earning author, became a viral hit on FanFiction.net long before it was picked up in print (and it’s unlikely a publisher would have bought the rights upfront). Andy Weir’s The Martian is another self-publishing success story.

This metamorphosis is about far more than ever increasing amounts of content and a handful of stars existing outside the traditional media ecosystem. The entire media business is inverting. For decades, scarce capital and constrained distribution capacity meant that the media’s industry bottlenecks sat in the middle of the value chain. Today, however, the bottleneck has moved to the very end: consumer attention. This shifts the balance of power from determining what should be made to finding a way to convince people what to watch, listen to or read in a world of infinitely abundant content.

The preeminence of this challenge has given to the rise of a new type of aggregator-distributor, including news content sites like Gawker, the Huffington Post and BuzzFeed; video and music aggregation services like Netflix, YouTube and Pandora; and even physical products subscription offerings like Birchbox and Lootcrate. What’s more, it enabled the major social networks to use their customer data to build massive stickiness, launch their own publishing platforms and become traffic kingmakers. More broadly, this shift has swung the balance of power from programmers with the ability to greenlight content to curators with the ability to get that content heard, seen or read. Of course, the old programming and financing guard remain important, but with the democratization of production and the explosion of content creation, the power of 1st party programming is quickly being eclipsed by the ascendance of 3rd party content curation. The gatekeepers are still manning their posts, but the city outgrew the walls and the barbarians circumvented the gates entirely.
Content is still king, but distribution is no longer the gate at which the gatekeepers can control it. That doesn't mean there will be no more gates or gatekeepers, but content will now be influenced rather than controlled, and the influencers will be different people with very different skill sets.

It's easy to produce content now. It's easy to distribute now too. But how do you reach the consumers, let them know your content exists, and convince them to try it instead of the myriad other options? That's the curation challenge.

Labels: ,

The Third Law at work

Oliver Keyes of the Wikimedia Foundation doesn't like the fact that people have noticed his attempt to enforce SJW thought-policing on the R Foundation:
In which Oliver Keyes Sciences the Shit Out of the Arseholes on his Blog.

Every time you make a web request (with some exceptions we won't get into here) browsers send along to the new page or server the place you're coming from. If you click from here to this Wikipedia link, the Wikipedia request logs will show you came from my website.

Similarly, if you come from another site to my website, most of the time I can work out where that other site is. So I took the referers for people leaving comments. Then I turned them into human-readable text, stripped out those referers with fewer than 5 distinct users, and the results look a little something like:

suck it, MRAs

Unsurprisingly, Vox Day's readers are arseholes. Not just some of them, but all of them: every one of them who managed to painfully peck at their keyboard and hit save was a pillock of the highest calibre, contributing absolutely nothing of value to to the conversation.
But given that it is Mr. Keyes who is speaking of "arseholes", one should probably consider the source:
In a shocking decision today, the English Wikipedia's highest volunteer governing body, the Arbitration Committee, has defrocked a Wikimedia Foundation paid contract staff member, Oliver Keyes, for "conduct unbecoming an administrator, and for bringing the project into disrepute".

This morning, August 12th, the seventh straight unopposed vote to remove the administrator tools from Mr. Keyes was leveled by Scottish arbitrator, AGK. Recall, that Examiner reported several weeks ago that Keyes had uttered some rather crude and offensive remarks on Wikimedia Foundation discussion channels -- including a suggestion that another Wikipedia editor should be set on fire, and a recommendation that someone should stab a particular woman in the throat with a pen, then look on "as her attempts to wave for help got increasingly feeble".
This brings the Third Law of SJW to mind: SJWs always project. Which raises the obvious question: why is this guy still working at the Wikimedia Foundation? Does the Wikimedia Foundation endorse stabbing women in the throat?

Labels: ,

Rabid Puppies 2016: Best Semiprozine

The preliminary recommendations for Best Semiprozine category:
  • Abyss & Apex
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies
  • Daily Science Fiction
  • Sci-Phi Journal
  • Strange Horizons
On a related note, Mike Glyer of File 770 replies to demands that he repudiate my recommendation of his site for Best Fanzine.
People I respect have suggested I publicly demand that Vox Day remove File770 from the Rabid Puppies slate. Then having done so, if Day fails to comply and I ultimately receive a Hugo nomination, they feel I can accept it with a clear conscience.

If I understand Steve Davidson correctly, he wants everyone to make a public statement repudiating slates. I don’t think people are unclear on how I feel about slates, thus it really becomes a question whether — by modeling that behavior — I want to encourage Steve to go around hammering people who don’t post the equivalent of an oath. I don’t.

Consider this point. I have been planning to nominate Black Gate because I’ve been reading it since last year’s Hugo contretemps brought it to my attention, and think they do a terrific job. What if they don’t make a public declaration? Should I leave them off my ballot? And thereby fail to do what I tell every other Hugo voter to do, nominate the stuff they think is the best?

I’m not voting for Black Gate because of a slate, and I don’t intend to be prevented from voting for it by a factor that has nothing to do with what I think about the quality of its work. That’s also why I’m choosing not to follow the advice I received about handling File 770’s appearance on the slate, though the advice is well intended.
As I have repeatedly stated, what I recommend is no one else's concern or responsibility, regardless of why I chose to recommend it. Mike is doing the right thing by simply playing it straight, letting the cards fall where they may, and not worrying about how many people happen to share my preferences.


Other 2016 Hugo categories

Labels: ,

Mailvox: stampeding the sheep

It's amazing to see how the media was able to whip up a fearstorm on the basis of absolutely nothing, not even a dubious accusation.
I'm a long time lurker at your site. Today i got a panicked call from my daughter who goes to Boston University. The rumor on campus is that a dangerous group of men were planning to form a mob and rape women this evening. She wanted to know what to do to be safe. She sent me this link from facebook

I assured her that it was a hoax and that she had nothing to worry about from Roosh and company.

I thought that you might be interested to see this going around social media and that students are genuinely concerned.
This may be the most cogent argument against female suffrage ever presented. Especially considering that many, if not most, of the same young women will blithely insist that importing one million Muslim migrants can't possibly cause any problems.

One would think these easily stampeded young women would be far more concerned about a man who has written about his own stalkerish tendencies. And remember, we have been reliably informed that "writing something that shows you're a horrible person and then proclaiming "it's satire!" neither makes it satire or excuses you."


Labels: , ,

Older Posts
cdn title