Jun 022022
 

Every single day since the Uvalda shooting, I’ve heard a news story about another mass shooting. And every single time it’s been a personal dispute where someone pulled a gun and murdered another person, not a mass shooting.

Literally just now I heard a story from CNN where the newscaster said “Another mass shooting at a hospital, just days after the high school shooting.” They then threw to audio of a police chief who said in English words:

“This wasn’t an indiscriminate shooting. The killer went to a specific room on the fourth floor of the hospital, sought out specific people, then killed them and himself.”

Back to the newscaster, who says something like ‘this rash of mass shootings is rocking the nation’

Like, dude… We just heard the audio saying the opposite. The media demand for mass shootings is obviously greatly outstripping supply, and they’re making do with whatever substitute goods they can find. And then they’re all “Why doesn’t anyone trust mainstream news outlets? :pikachu_shocked:

This is ghoulish and disgusting just on it’s face. But also:

1 – It may literally increase the amount of mass shootings. They may be inducing a greater supply of mass shootings, and how the hell do you sleep at night if that’s the case?

2 – It’s fucking bizarre. A common definition of mass shooting counts hundreds of normal crimes per year. The media used to simply cite that number and imply that it referred to the sorts of school-shooting-style indiscriminate mass shootings that are terrifying but extremely rare. The media counted on their audience trusting them, rather than thinking “wouldn’t I have heard of 236 Columbines in the last few months if they’d happened?” to give cover to their lies.

But now, they aren’t even doing that. They’re reporting on basic murders, giving direct evidence that these are basic murders, and in the same breath saying “This is an indiscriminate mass shooting!” It feels like I’m in some Kafka story. Maybe (at the risk of cliche) Orwell. Seriously, wtf?



I’m moving to SubStack. Eventually this blog will no longer be updated, so switch on over.

May 302022
 

A couple things about yesterday’s post.

Again, I know there were similar things happening before the cancellation of Roseanne. It was after this incident that cancelling became the default weapon that is wielded to punish political enemies, and the knowledge of how to weild it became widespread and culturally acceptable.

Cancel Culture and Wokeism are not the same thing. I realize they’re often conflated, but they’re seperate phenomena. Wokeism often uses Canceling as a weapon, but so do the assholes on the Right.

Also, I’m not saying there shouldn’t be any consequences for tweeting something racist like that. Some type of censure was definitely needed. In the case of Roseanne, at the time this happened, I thought it was justified. But in retrospect, the rush to destroy her, and the fear that silenced anyone who would say anything in her defence, were definitely bad things. Due process was created to temper passions and prevent us from doing things we may regret after the initial fury has died down, and that seems like it was a wise thing to invent.

May 082022
 

I’m moving to SubStack.

I’ll continue posting all posts here as well as there for at least the rest of this month. Maybe next month too. This site will stay up as an archive for as long as I can afford the yearly fee.

I was convinced by Bryan Caplan’s post Who Should Switch to Substack? He’s a pretty convincing fellow.

I not planning to charge for any posts. It’ll be the same thing as always, just in a more central location, and with easy email subscription.

(note: This is a pinned post. There’s newer posts below it.)

 

May 022022
 

Unsurprisingly, it looks like the Supreme Court will strike down Roe v Wade.

The stop-gap Roe v Wade ruling was necessary for decades, as the US Congress got its shit together enough to realize how important and vital this right is to the existence of Western Civilization. Anyone who doesn’t want to cede our future to commies, religious fundamentalists, fascists, and authoritarians of all stripes, recognizes the primacy of full reproductive control all humans should have over their own geneline.

Abortion must be an option protected by the full force of the law, which any pregnant woman can choose at any point without question or pause.

We can no longer rely on the whims of the courts, or the executive, or congress. We must pass a Constitutional Amendment that enshrines the inalienable right to abortion for everyone within America’s borders. It is as vital a right for the continuation of Western Democracy as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, and the right to bear arms.

The time is now. Don’t rest until it is done.

Mar 212022
 

A few follow-ups to previous posts:

Capture of Tools, to Crush Your Enemies – In this post I warned about the trend of removing access to common tools as a political punishment. I was commenting on the Canadian Trucker Protest, and the use of payment processor and crowdfunding site bannings. I expected to get some pushback about how this was a slippery-slope argument without any proven slipperiness. I did NOT expect for the leader of a major western democracy to swan-dive right to the bottom of that slope a few days later.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared a state of emergency for the first time* in Canada to quell the Trucker Protest. As part of this, he froze over 200 bank accounts. He did this extra-judicially, with no oversight, due process, or recourse for anyone targetted. The targets were “anyone linked to the protest.”

Again, a reminder that “There are no other constitutional rights in substance without freedom to transact.” Taking away someone’s ability to pay their rent, go to their doctor, and seizing their entire life savings, are not small actions. These are weapons of war. Which was again demonstrated just a few week after THIS, when Russia invaded Ukraine. Freezing Russian assets and destroying their ability to transact were actions taken by western governments as weapons in the Ukrainian war! The same weapons Canada used against it’s own citizens.

I seriously did not expect to be vindicated so thoroughly in such a short period of time. It’s kinda faded to the background, now that the potential for WW3 is looming. But at least it’s uncontestable now.

 

Die Mad About It – since the phrase is supposed to refer to decades of unresolved frustration rather than death, but the “Die” part really draws a lot of attention to the death thing… AND because I’m a transhumanist that is hoping for eventual immortality for everyone… a friend suggested amending the phrase to “Live a thousand years mad about it.” I like this better, though it is a bit less snappy. I think I’m willing to trade off a bit of snappiness to be more explicitly NOT wanting someone to die. But if anyone has ideas to snap it up more while preserving the anti-deathism, I’d love suggestions.

 


* – It is the first national one under the lawchange from 1988, a technicality which can be mooted, but which doesn’t change the conclusion.

Mar 162022
 

This is a follow-up to my previous post, where I expressed ambivalence about supporting Detrans Awareness Day. A friend challenged me on that, and after a fair bit of working things out, I’ve come to the conclusion that I support detrans awareness quite a bit, and that it’s good to do so. Here’s why.

I was very young, but I have a few memories of the 80s. In the 80s, the gays were perverts. The popular conception of them was drug-addled hedonists or creeps that lurked around playgrounds looking for victims. Anyone who supported gays or gay rights was immediately putting themselves in the position of supporting such perverts. If you didn’t want to be giving support to evil, you didn’t speak out about gay rights.

There were a lot of involuntary outings in the 90s. I am not in support of involuntary outing. But the fact that so many people were outted had a huge effect on the popular conception of gayness. Suddenly it wasn’t just the freak perverts–it was your daughter or your brother. It was the friendly choir leader in your church. You KNOW those people, they’re good people.

Awareness Days were made for this reason. They strip away the slander of “only the vile and deplorable support such things” when good and decent people reveal they are in the target class. But this requires people who are brave enough to say “I know you think horrific things about these people, but I’m one, and I’m not horrific.” (Or to be involuntarily outted, unfortunately).

Which brings me to Detrans Awareness Day.

My friend pointed out that attempting to raise awareness of detrans people is very convenient to anti-trans bigots and anti-trans organizations. So convenient, that he presumed almost everyone supporting detrans awareness is actually, in fact, just anti-trans. He felt that likely 90% of the people talking about detrans awareness are hard-core anti-trans bigots.

To test this, he googled “detrans awareness day”. On first page, supporters were: 2 legit groups started and run by detrans people. 1 explicit anti-trans bigotry group. 1 anti-trans youtuber. 1 christian group (presumably antitrans). 1 G&L group (presumable protrans, but further investigation showed they were more on the trans-skeptical side). So not as high a percentage of anti-trans bigotry as he expected, but still not a great ratio.

Shouldn’t this make me avoid Detrans Awareness, so as to avoid being lumped into a group that consists more of anti-trans bigots than people trying to support detrans folks?

I know (well, maybe knew, it’s been a while) one detrans person personally. Also, I run a discord server with a detrans member who mostly lurks. And I have a fair number of trans acquaintances and a close trans friend. I am aware that trans support groups are very close-knit, and strongly supportive of each other. In fact, they are like the gay groups of the 80s in many ways. They are the friends and family when other friends and family have rejected you. They are the social safety net that fully accepts you as you are.

For some people, they are the primary or only social safety net they have. For others, even if they have other social groups and networks, this is the strongest and most emotionally-validating one.

For anyone to realize they aren’t happy as trans can be terrifying if it means losing their closest friends. It can be crippling if that’s their only serious support group. They may fear losing all of that if they come out as detrans.

Our friends should know that we all still support them, and will not ostracize or belittle them, if they detransition. If they are told that only anti-trans bigots support detrans awareness, they are hearing the opposite message. That only the perverts and hate-filled would support a day that tells the world that they exist.

Our trans friends should know they will have support from trans-friendly people even if they stop being trans. Not just from hardcore anti-trans bigots! They don’t need to be driven into the darkness. We know that they are the same people they were the day before. They will remain our friends, and we will still support them, no matter what body they are in.

For this reason, I support Detrans Awareness Day. And you should too, so the armies of the compassionate vastly outnumber the ranks of the hateful.

Mar 132022
 

On March 13th 2020, then-president Trump declared a national emergency in response to the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The nation reacted rapidly. Many public businesses and gatherings were shut down. Those who could work from home did so, rather than come into the office. Those who could leave the cities often did. Schools shut down and children stayed home. In high-population areas, nearly everyone wore masks in public.

Private citizens pitched in. Hobbyist costumers, tailors(?), etc created cloth masks at home en masse to make up for PPE shortages. Distilleries converted from creating drinking-alcohol to hand-sanitizers. Billionaires built excess factories to prepare for eventual vaccine production. We all learned how to use a bit less toilet paper.

The medical industry went into overdrive. Spurred by Operation Warp Speed, the government’s insanely successful program of fast-tracking human trials and promising to buy 300 million vaccines, they created multiple vaccines in a matter of months. This shattered the previous record, the mumps vaccine, which took four years from development to deployment. It used cutting edge mRNA technology, which had barely even existed a decade prior.

We paid a massive price, fighting this war. Globally, estimated 18 Trillion Dollars(US) were lost. ~900 US/Mexico Border Walls. Tens of millions were out of work. Social isolation skyrocketed, hundreds of millions suffered mental and psychological damage. Social shockwaves are still echoing.

But we beat this thing. We beat it HARD. Using the USA’s massively distributed pharmacy infrastructure, everyone in the nation that wanted a vaccine was fully vaccinated less than a year and a half after the declaration of the emergency. UK scientists recently found that, in the UK, COVID is less deadly than the flu. Around the US and Europe, everything is opening back up.

It’s hard to know when to declare victory in a war without a human opponent to sign a surrender. But a victory should be announced at some point, so that everyone knows we are free. The dark times are over. We can begin to right our lives, clearing away the debris and rebuilding where needed.

March 13th was the day that the US declared its national emergency, and all of us began the fight in earnest. It is fitting that March 13th, two years later, should be the day we declare our victory.

Have a party, or raise a glass, or just hug your family. Today we are free. March 13th is Victory over Covid-19 Day.

 

Mar 082022
 

Mary Elizabeth Coleman of the Missouri House of Representatives has introduced a provision that would allow private citizens to sue anyone who helps a Missouri resident obtain an abortion out of state.

It is my belief that modern society is dependent on full reproductive freedom for women, and as such, Coleman is an enemy of our way of life and an enemy of civilization. This is a proposed law in a state that most of us don’t live in, so there’s not much we can do right now except boo and hope. If you do live in Missouri, spread the word about her, and vote against her if you are in her district.

A few years ago I would have believed that such a law is clearly unconstitutional and would never be anything more than empty posturing. The world has gone crazy though, so I’m not nearly so certain anymore.

This highlights a few things to me. First, the American Constitution is badly outdated in this regard. This right is as important as any of the rights protected in the constitution, and is in the top three most important rights in my opinion. As soon as it is feasible, the constitution must be amended to include abortion rights. I know this won’t be any time soon. Which brings me to the second highlight.

The nation is insanely divided. Such an amendment could incite many states into secession. The moral absurdity of this cannot be understated. People would risk civil war in order to uphold laws that morally reprehensible and destructive to society. This is what people who saw states seceding in order to retain slavery must have felt like.

It also revealed a number of things to me about myself. In my linked post explaining my position on abortion, I state that this is my number one issue on all political questions “until the point that something else becomes a bigger threat to our way of life. I get the feeling it’ll be a long time before that happens.” Earlier in the post I identified “Freedom of Speech” as one of the other fundamental rights our society rests on. I still think abortion rights are more threatened, and equally vital, so it remains my primary concern. But I am no longer at all sure that it’ll be a “long time” until another right is as threatened. What even worse is that neither of the two major political parties care about freedom of speech anymore. There is no longer a win condition that is simply “support the side protecting vital freedoms,” now the win condition must also include “help reform the side you are supporting so it’ll return to protecting all vital freedoms.” This is much harder.

I used to think people trying to destroy freedoms were Bad in some fundamental way. Now that I’ve seen many people I care for turn against one of the fundamental freedoms, it’s made me rethink that. I cannot think they are bad people, because I know them, and I know they aren’t. They’re just wrong about certain things that have led them into massive moral error. I hope to get them back some day (or to discover that *I* am wrong, and I should join them, of course). If that’s the case for people who are working to destroy freedom of speech, it may be the case for those working to destroy reproductive freedom. If I hope to reach one group, I should hope to reach both.

I also, nine years ago, said “the government is supposed to pass laws for the good of the society is governs.” At the time I thought the government was fundamentally Good, and trying to do its best for The People. This perspective is now so foreign to me, that I didn’t remember holding it. I had to read those words, be shocked by them, and really dredge up the memories of those emotions and that mindstate. I feel naive now. I feel betrayed by those who taught me this. I regret that the world isn’t how I thought it was… the world of my imagination was a better world. I’m glad I still have this blog to look back on, and see the ways I used to think, and track how I’ve changed. It’s eye-opening.

A public service reminder – mifepristone and misoprostol are safe abortion pills that will induce an abortion up to 10 weeks into pregnancy. They are safe enough that they’re sold over the counter in many foreign countries, and you can get them mailed to you door with a bit of Googling. As of this writing, AidAccess is available to make this even easier. And services like ipostal1 will forward mail from other states.

Jan 272022
 

This post is snippets of an informal conversation with Mr K, which I’m posting while on vacation. I don’t necessarily endorse any of these views, and may oppose some of them. I won’t be around to respond to comments for a couple weeks.

 

The whole problem is people like Trump
look, Trump is simply a major piece in a large grassroots movement
or a large fascist movement if you will
Trump may be a farcical pseudofascist, but the next person like him will not be a farce
that is what we need to avoid
and that is the trajectory we’re currently headed towards, because like it or not, the woke oligarchy is on its last legs
the thing about fascism is that it essentially consists of mass movements, with the fascist dictators needing the continual support of this mass movement
 and in order to have this support base, they must also have a political counterpole
and outgroup which is the enemy of the fascist regime

a mass movement does not even need elections to be successful
elections, in their current form, are basically a way of rendering mass movements less effective.
the raid on the capitol is not part of the electoral process, for example
but it is clearly part of a mass movement
if you have a genuinely highly energised mass movement that also constitutes the majority population
then, if they want, they can just sorta declare an election whenever they want

mass movements run basically on mob mentality, whether these mass movements are revolutions, civil wars, mob justice, boycotts, or something else

you need to protect private property because people need to be able to set up means of production, which requires them to have a reasonable expectation that it will pay off
if you have a complex economy, it is necessary for each productive good to have an unambiguous owner
because otherwise the constant power struggles will completely cripple the ability to use the productive goods
this is the case whether the owner is a private person or whether it is the government
you cannot really decentralise long term planning. You can delegate some aspects of it, but the delegation itself will need to be centralised
literally any organisation that functions works like this
if you drive a car, your car was made by a monarchy. If you go to a good restaurant, the restaurant is a monarchy.
the New York Times is a fifth generation hereditary absolute monarchy
you cannot get rid of this power structure, no matter how hard you try
it’s gonna keep popping up basically everywhere
I think we’re headed towards a dictatorship that will either have the character of fascism or the character of monarchy. I hope for the latter, in no small part because I kinda wanna avoid fascism actually
I know a lot of people don’t have this model of neoreactionaries but actually I would very much like to avoid a fascist dictatorship
I think this regime is already unravelling, and I think that when it deteriorates sufficiently, a dictatorship of some kind is basically inevitable.