Category Archives: Current News

Cycles of history / family

Years ago I read with fascination about the brutal back-stabbery and infighting for power in the court of ancient Persia, how so many siblings committed fratricide and patricide seeking power. But also it was interesting how many extended family groups sought to off their non-family competitors and lock competent people out of the halls of power because of personal ambition, even when the results were clearly not in the best interest of the people of the empire. Continue reading Cycles of history / family

Random thought on freedom

Facebook is a social media platform.

Facebook proposed its own crypto-currency, the Libra.

Facebook often locks people out of their accounts, or suspends them indefinitely, for posting things they deem “problematic.”

Would that constitute theft if said locked-out user had any Libra crypto he couldn’t access? Or, as an alternative construction, would using Libra, even a small amount of it, force FB to play fair and not ever lock you out of your FB account (because presumably you need to log in to FB to actually use Libra).

Power of the laugh track

Pointed to it from Vox Day’s blog, I just finished listening to Owen Benjamin’s description (show number 494) of the sit-com Seinfeld and how the laugh track destroyed our culture. Pretty deep  stuff. But is it over the top? One thing that it brought to mind was how the Japanese military conditioned their soldiers.

It’s not a normal act to stick a blade into someone and be OK with it. So they’d tie up a prisoner (POW or civilian, made no difference to them), perhaps put them in a trench where they could not run away or retreat, and order a soldier to bayonet the victim to death. While he did that, his squad-mates would be standing around him, cheering him on, laughing, clapping, making a joke or game of it. They’d already done the same, or soon would be. It conditioned them to think it was normal, and fun, and it dehumanized the victim. But it was the cheering, laughing, and open mocking of the dead and dying while their mate butchered a man… or woman, or child… that made it such a powerful social pressure.

It was murder with a laugh track, and it was undeniably successful at its intended mission.

Yes, what Owen says is spot on. Not over the top. It’s psychos conditioning a whole generation. No wonder there are so many people today who need a shrink. Or, better yet, to purge their lives of screens.

Stolen idea

Sometimes when someone “steals” your idea, it’s not all bad. Plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery, etc. In that light, via an email from a very helpful reader, I hear of Steve Bannon – yes, the famous one – supporting something like my idea from Heretics.

A “gladiator school” of sorts. Not identical, of course, and the CBS writers get some of the normal things wrong that they always do when describing anything remotely right of left-wing, but some good ideas, too.

h/t to Portly Pirate

Trump, guns, Parkland, Pavlov, and character(s)

In the real world, people tend to be true to their nature. Good writing reflects that, and characters act in ways that are internally consistent and believable. You may or may not like the characters, but if the various players in the story each are true to their own worldview, education, upbringing, etc., they are believable. In much the same way, various actors on the world stage – politicians, bureaucratic organizations, lawyers, televangelists, etc. – all play sadly repetitious, if not completely predictable, parts. Continue reading Trump, guns, Parkland, Pavlov, and character(s)