Saturday, June 6, 2020

My Life As A Writer: On Neo-Patronage

Friends of the Retreat and fellow authors Brian Niemeier and David Stewart got together to talk about the return of patronage in the arts as a way around the Death Cult.

Much of the talk, when not addressing realities of the indie game, talked about the matter of patronage. It was the way cultural works got funded in the days before Big Media, and it will be the way it happens again, especially for dissidents. Well-heeled individuals step up and fund--not invest, not purchase, not commission--the works of artists, writers, etc. whose aesthetics fit their own. Those artists then do so and perform or display their works for the patron first, and eventually for the wider public; how fast it goes from the former to the latter depends on medium.

These days the line between a publisher and a patron can seem thin, which is why neo-patronage centers around crowdfunding at this time; there is a clear distinction between patron and client here that otherwise gets muddied. At this time I rely on this to make Star Knight happen, and I will for some time. It's a far more preferable way than relying on blind luck from an OldPub player to pluck you out of the mire of bloggers posting their original fiction.

The other reason for this inevitable rise is that Amazon's using its market position to take more from authors, but doing so quietly via making success into a pay-to-play model instead of changing the royalty rates for Kindle and Print On Demand publishing. Most smaller authors (like me) lack the time, money, or expertise to make that ad system work for them so the alternative is to rely more on patronage to cover costs of production in return for a timed exclusive or something like that prior to the Amazon listing (which then is more pure profit than anything else).

And I fully expect more authors to retrench to personal sites with an active and daily blog vs. social media they don't control as more and more of them either get shut down by governments or run out of business by competitors or alternatives, coupled with email newsletters for anything significant to announce (and to use newsletters to give out that info before a more public one). For me, for now, I'll stick with this; maybe next year I'll consider building something bigger if it's warranted.

As I said before, another thing that's going to happen more often is offering related merchandise as the costs to do so drop. We're already there with shirts, posters, and mugs; this will become important as services like Patreon continue to converge themselves to death and non-pozzed alternatives like NewProject2 keep getting fucked with by Death Cultists great and small alike.

Patronage is, like it or not, a return to tradition. Get used to it.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Narrative Warfare: Insanity In Action

Some morons, including in local government, want Minneapolis to abolish its police force. Like it or not, this is a bad idea. Let Thomas Wictor explain why (taken from this Twitter thread, first post embedded and the rest reproduced below).

They're NOT saying they'll create a new police force. They're saying they're going to get rid of the police so that criminals can operate in peace. Really.

"Council president Lisa Bender backed Ellison's call, tweeting: 'Yes. We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with a transformative new model of public safety.'"

"'If you are a comfortable white person asking to dismantle the police I invite you to reflect: are you willing to stick with it? Will you be calling in three months to ask about garage break-ins?'"

In other words, crime will be totally allowed. White people must DIE in order to atone for racism. ALL white people.

"'Are you willing to dismantle white supremacy in all systems, including a new system?'"

"'I mean this quite sincerely & seriously: just look at recent conversations about City-funded neighborhood organizations to understand how explicitly we would have to work to establish alternative systems that do not replicate the same problems.'"

"'White ppl need to show up for this.'"

She's saying the the rule of law itself is racist. Therefore Minneapolis will abolish the rule of law. When crimes are committed, the white victims will be summoned to city hall and asked to explain why black people targeted them. What did they do to cause it?

I expect other cities to follow suit. My own, for example. As I said before, the rule of law goes both ways. What's going to happen is that if Minneapolis has no police force, they can't arrest organized armed resistance to criminals. The residents will clandestinely hire trigger pullers to come in and carry out operations against street gangs.

Did you know that Midwesterners had the most violent gangs of WHITE PEOPLE in American history? They bought war-surplus aircraft and used them as bombers. They built turreted armored cars that carried heavy machine guns. They fought with hand grenades. Abolishing police forces opens the door to massive retaliation. Every armed nutter in the country will descend on Minneapolis.

But. People gotta learn things the hard way. Now, once the wars start, the feds will occupy Minneapolis. You'll see armed troops there indefinitely. Until the state goes Republican. Which it will.

Again, political ads are writing themselves. Oh, and wait for every single person with money to flee the city. All businesses will pull out.

I just read about an amazing experiment. A behavioral scientist named John B. Calhoun created a mouse utopia. It was a mouse city with room for 3000 mice. All their needs were met: food, water, living space, safety. It was called Universe 25. The population started with four breeding pairs of mice. The goal was to see if a perfect society would flourish. And dang it! The answer was big, fat, resounding NO.

When the population reached only a QUARTER of what the utopia could hold, there was a total breakdown of societal norms. All the mice went insane. Male mice formed gangs that randomly attacked and killed individual mice for no reason. Female mice abandoned or killed their young, and both males and females stopped breeding. Male mice tried to mate with male mice, and both males and females began practicing cannibalism. Mice crammed themselves into pens, ignoring the empty pens next door.

A small group of male and female mice withdrew from society altogether and went to the highest pens, where all they did was eat, sleep, and groom themselves. These mice lost interest in all social bonds and did not interact with each other.

Within two years, all the mice were dead. The population had never gotten above a quarter of what the utopia could handle. Calhoun called this a "behavioral sink," but he and everyone else drew the wrong lesson from it. He said Universe 25 showed the dangers of overpopulation, revealing his agenda. Of course the reality is that the REAL danger is trying to create utopia. EVERY SINGLE REPETITION OF THE EXPERIMENT HAD THE SAME RESULT.

And the Great Unspoken is that the only real danger is leftism. I believe in humane societies, as do all conservatives. We believe in safety nets for those who can't survive on their own, and we believe in the rule of law. Leftism is diabolically inhumane because it's all about power for a privileged class. Everyone else is enslaved. Even at this late date, people still don't grasp how radical Donald Trump is. Being reelected is child's play for him.

He simply refuses to read from any script. That's why so many can't understand his actions. All his actions serve purposes. He is NEVER impulsive. NEVER. Minneapolis with be the first Universe 25 of the country. But the experiment won't be allowed to continue to the inevitable grisly conclusion. My advice is to ignore almost all of the current analysis. The analysts are from a dead era. END.

Let me add to this from a local perspective.

  • Business would flee the city as soon as it became clear order was lost.
  • Foreign citizens here for work (diplomatic staff, mostly) or school (lots of Chinese at the University of Minnesota) would run like Hell.
  • Kiss the convention scene--and thus most of the business for the hotels--goodbye.
  • Concerts? Nope. Goodbye 1st Ave and the rest of the Minneapolis music scene, and never shall Your Favorite Act perform here again. They may go to St. Paul, but more likely is that you're making roadtrips to Chicago.
  • Affluent residents move out of the city, either across the river to St. Paul or (far more likely) to a suburb. In other words, Detroit repeated.
  • The chaos would be contained if gangs attempted to raid the suburbs because suburban residents are far more likely to be armed and city governments are necessarily more responsive and shitlib politics of appeasement go out the window once its consequences are seen and heard- but the state legislature and the governor could still fuck it all up.
  • The schadenfreude would make the Mississippi overflow for years on end.

And no one can summarize just how insane this is like Jim's good friend on Twitter.

Yeah, if this goes through I could be back in danger, and I'm in no position to relocate for several reasons (least of which being legally banned from driving for lacking a right foot), but I also expect legal challenges to be immediately mounted if this is attempted and to see those challenges prevail in court.

That doesn't make this any less insane.

And making this insanity be out where everyone can see it is one of the great achievements of the God-Emperor. Normies shall reee and he shall win again.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

My Life As A Gamer: Most TRPGs Are Irrelevant

In light of this utterly fucking retarded display of incompetent by WOTC's D&D Lead Rules Designer, it's time to talk tabletop RPGs and why so few matter.

Let's start with a fact most TPRG publishers would rather deny: most TRPGs are irrelevant and can be safely discarded.

The reason is that most TRPGs bring nothing to the table that is truly worthy of attention. They can be--and have been--repackaged as supplements for a TRPG that does matter and do just as well or better commercially than being a stand-alone product. Why? They neither play sufficiently different from a relevant game to be notable, nor do they present a play paradigm that is done better in another medium, and both assume that what's being done is actually entertaining in and of itself.

You can, therefore, pare your TRPG collection down to three titles and cover everything of note that TRPGs as a medium offer you: Dungeons & Dragons, Call of Cthulhu, Traveller. In all three cases, you can even go so far as to not bother with anything but the original version of that game and do fine for the rest of your days.

The key is that all three games use separate, distinct, and novel gameplay paradigms that are entertaining in and of themselves without needing to resort to borrowing from narrative media in any way. D&D is properly focused on the exploration of dungeons and the recovery of treasure as a microcosm of exploring a frontier and claiming its resources for your settlement. COC is properly focused on investigating the paranormal and dealing with the consequences of encountering that which is beyond Man's ability to comprehend. Traveller is all about making your way as an intersteller actor in the far-future, with subsets focusing on merchant and military activities as most action involves one or the other most of the time.

Other well-known properties can be slotted into one of these three, and some hybridize them. Cyberpunk 2020 takes Traveller and scales it down into a single city. Borderlands blends COC and D&D, while Shadowrun blends D&D with Traveller. Some properties can be straight-up recreated within an existing property. (e.g. BattleTech w/ Traveller) Others offer nothing more than a novel sub-system and call itself a full game. (e.g. Champions, and superhero gaming generally)

I can go on for paragraphs, but the rubric above shows just how pointless most TRPGs are. The best thing that could be done is to identify what novel and entertaining bits a property possesses, and then rebuild it as a third-party supplement for one of those three games. (Successfully done with Legend of the Five Rings, not so well with Star Wars, both referring to their d20 System versions.) It is an expression of hubris to continue to insist otherwise when we have 45 years of data to show this to be the case, especially with regard to games chasing the D&D end of things.

This medium has shown via generations of revealed preference what works and what does not. If it were not for the lack of barriers to entry, most of these products would cease to exist by now, forcing either product redesign that conforms to the reality of the market situation or the creation of a Brand Cult that leverage the psychology of worship to compensate for the lack of product relevance.

TRPGs are products. Products exist to solve problems. It turns out that the problems solved by D&D, COC, & Traveller are what exists to be solved within the tabletop RPG medium as any other successful would-be solution ends up spinning off to another medium entirely- usually tabletop wargaming, LARPs, or some sort of videogame. This will be the case unless and until a new problem of entertaining gameplay is identified and addressed with a new, novel and in-itself-entertaining TRPG.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Admin: Riot Report Returns

The riots in Minneapolis have died down. Since the weekend, the burning and violence has ended. Instead the protests--while loud and massive--are peaceful and mostly kept under control. Whatever happened to the street operatives organizing the criminality, they're gone and the Antifa remaining are also-rans that didn't get snatched or weren't told to get out; they're being spotted and exposed by the protesters before being expelled.

In short, I am not in any danger for now. I'll get back to that below.

The livestreams of the protests are lead by organizers focused around the usual local sources of street-level Commie faggotry: our university campuses and related NGOs. They're the ones organizing the protests and controlling the messaging, so observing them is a wise thing to do since I bet that they are tied to Antifa if not a front therefor because they (including the organized livestreamers like Unicorn Riot) believe that they can still get what they want because they have amenable authorities on the inside to fix things for them.

That's not just Minnesota At tourney General Keith Ellison, who is an Antifa supporter and whose son is an avowed member, but also Governor Tim Walz and U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (both have adult children involved involved), and both Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey as well as St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter are fellow travelers. Ellison is now the point-man for the prosecution of the former Minneapolis police officer accused of killing the would-be martyr. Ellison is being pressured to upgrade the charge from Murder in the 3rd Degree to Murder in the 1st Degree; the higher the degree, the higher the threshold for achieving conviction due to the greater severity of the charge, and thus pressure of this sort produces counter-intuitive results- it increases the odds of acquital.

And that will likely spark a new round of rioting if there is a new street-level team ready to launch them.

If.

I have good reason to believe that this is not the case. At most there will be some violence that local authorities will be able to quell easily. The designation of Antifa as a terrorist organization (not "domestic", just "terrorist") allows U.S. Attorney General Barr to assign all 56 Joint Terrorism Task Forces to deal with Antifa and roll up its entire operational network. This includes people not formally affliated with the group, associates of the group, and so on; the sudden and wholly unexpected spread of the rioting to foreign countries makes a very strong case for international ties as men and material (especially money) has to cross those borders to make that happen, and that means a re-designation to "international terrorist" which makes things even worse for the criminals.

This threat, despite the theater, is waning as I write this. The rioting will end in the United States before the month of June is over, but that is not all that will be done; because the God-Emperor is insisting that this be handed by the mayors and governors, despite his mustering of Federal resources, he is exposing how these local and state officials are incompetent at their jobs or are actively treasonous to their citizens. The "catch and release" policies are now being highlighted as contributing to the problem where things are worst, and as such the optics for the G-E's enemies worsens by the day as other enemies flush themselves out in irrational bursts of heresy and sedition. (e.g. the heretical witches crying about Trump's visit to St. John's in D.C.)

And as for Trump, I don't care that your pet cause isn't being catered to--VDare, Gab, etc., that means you--because bigger stakes are on the table and the G-E is playing to win; grunts don't get to gainsay the boss, and you're all grunts. Pray you're not among the casualties when it's over, shut the fuck up, and shoot Left.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Narrative Warfare: When You Mistake The Tank For A Support

Tucker went after Jared Kurshner by name last night on his Fox News show. Tucker, like other media bros like the folks at VDare, think Jared runs Trump like Cheney ran Bush 43, denying Trump his agency while crediting him with successes in a bizarre round of double-think.

In short, they think Jared is Grimma Wormtongue whispering poison into Trump's ears.

He's not. Jared is Paul von Oberstein.

Oberstein is the character whose focus on Realpolitik and relentless discipline thereupon acts as a counterbalance to the Romanticism of the rest of the Imperial cast in Legend of the Galactic Heroes, and as such his role as majordomo and chief advisor is to voice and argue for the necessary politics that guarantee the success of his master and the security of the state Reinhard builds- even if it costs the lives of supporters (and, in the end, that includes himself to his own approval).

The necessary consequence of this role, which Oberstein embraces, is to be the face of each and every Bad Optic decision ever made. "Blame me. I did it, not him." is something Oberstein actually does when a man who lost family over a necessary decision by Reinhard confronts him about it. (And like all good lies, it's half-true; Oberstein did do it, but leaves out that Reinhard did nothing to stop him.)

That's Jared's role, and Rightie media bros fall for like suckers every single time. That Jared is a Jew makes it into irresistible bait. The reality is that Trump, knowing he's fighting a war, accepts that wars inevitably result in casualties. He does what he can to reduce them, but knows that there is an irreducible number above zero and he's just got to live with it. Jared tanks the heat those moves inevitably make, saving Trump face so he can do what needs to be done. It's an unenviable role, but a necessary one, and better to volunteer for it than be drafted; at least volunteers can prepare for the hits and recover faster after the fact, whereas draftees often cannot.

This, of course, is why I don't take many Rightie media bros that seriously. They have, for honest actors, a very narrow range of competency and too often exceed that niche; within it, worth heeding and without it you might as well mute. This includes folks who ought to know better (Cernovich), which is disappointing but unfortunately not unexpected.

And then there are the grifting faggot liars. That's for another post, but Razorfist cut a good video on Ann Coulter the other day; she's to be ignored entirely.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Narrative Warfare: Nice Job Giving Trump The Win, Antifa

The God-Emperor has been very good at beating the traps his opponents set for him. This is no different.

It is the same trap. His enemies want him to overreach so they can impeach him again, and this time get the cucks in the Senate to sell him out. It's not going to happen, and it's not going to happen because Trump has already moved to put an end to the chaos: Antifa is a terrorist organization officially now. That means all 56 Joint Terrorism Task Forces are now mobilized officially to tackle the network and bring it to heel, and once the international ties are exposed--and they will be--additional measures are available and will be used.

No, you won't hear about it. No, you won't see anything until it's done and Trump is ready to announce results. Stop with "Trump is weak!" because you're demanding political theater out of a man who knows the game better than you do, and shows his mastery--his amused mastery--by how non-nonchalantly he displays his results. Just as he made good on his boast that Corona-chan's world tour would end by now (and it has), so will his plan to tackle Antifa and the rest of the Commie network defang his enemies.

The results are already happening, but you didn't recognize it because it didn't meet your expectations.

That's Thomas Wictor, by the way. Just be nice and don't say so to his face; he'll deny it and that doesn't help.

Between Wictor, Brian Cates (@drawandstrike), and a few others like Undercover Huber you get to see how Trump actually operates. It's Sun Tzu in action.

"All Warfare Is Deception."

This means such discipline that OpSec is never a concern, led by a man who carefully crafted a persona so strong that even brilliant minds (e.g. Vox Day) are fooled by it. The reason for this emphasis on OpSec is that it is clear that, as journalist David Hines so often says, Righties are incompetent at it while Lefties are not. (Why? It's a byproduct of organizing and operating networks in hostile territory.) This includes non-Lefty media figures both accepted and dissident such as Mike Cernovich, Vdare, Ram Z. Paul, Ann Coulter, and so on; all of them (including Vox Day) expected--and still do--uniformed soldiers backed by armored vehicles to march down the street in rifle lines and mow down the protestors.

As God is my witness, these people don't get the optics game, and yes the optics do matter. The very real trap relies on just that expectation being fulfilled.

So Trump does what he did with Corona-chan: fall back on the legal structure of the United States and its principle of Federalism. This principle places the primary responsibility on the most local officials, and those further up the chain cannot unilaterally act without either official request from the more local official or by statutory provision in law. It is on the mayors, first and foremost, to handle the rioting. County official are next, then state, and finally Trump.

Furthermore, Trump is (and has been with Corona-chan) using the same method he uses in foreign policy: a firm commitment to provide support and intelligence, and an outright refusal to do the locals' job for them. This is consistent with Federalism, avoids the trap his enemies put to him, and allows him to distract attention away from what he's actually doing that requires secrecy.

Look back to that Tweet. Let me summarize Wictor's thread: the Antifa agitator got snatched by a team of Federal agents in plain clothes working undercover, embedding themselves into the protest beforehand. They took the suspect across police lines and handed him to local officers to process. He will be interrogated and made to disclose his associates and other relevant intelligence. He may be turned into a double-agent and redeployed as a Judas Goat; savvy Antifa should be aware of this possibility, which can have dire consequences.

(Side Note: Jared Kushner isn't a Wormtongue. He's an Oberstein. Blaming him means you fell for another magician's trick.)

And such Federal counter-insurgency operations are here in Minneapolis. They swept in over the weekend and cleared out the operatives behind the violence here, leaving the remaining dupes to be cleaned up by local authorities and the Minnesota National Guard. (Note: The protestors are being left alone even if they violate curfew; the order allows for imprisonment to be an option, so most will just be cited and fined- and fines can be delivered after the fact in the mail as if they got hit by a speed camera. Better optics to just let them sit around and pontificate if that's all they do.)

Did you hear about this in the press? No, you didn't. You won't until long after it's all over.

So why operate this way? For the same way he does abroad: it allows for face-saving optics to be maintained, thus paving the way for peace since the psychological pressures are relieved and actual solutions that actually work can be faithfully and properly implemented. The use of force is focused on removing the capacity to do violence. It does not require the destruction of a people. It does not require conquest and occupation. It does not require putting boots to necks. All it requires is to take out the few actors capable of doing harm and destruction of the material means to do so; it is 4th Generation Warfare, and Trump's displayed mastery of it that no one expected.

No, not even Vox Day, and he's on first-name terms with the man who literally wrote the book on it.

No, I am not concerned with the rioting. This is a very desperate play by a very desperate enemy and it's already backfiring. Watch as Trump turns this back on his enemies, first and foremost by giving the protestors being exploited both the incentive and the opportunity to turn on Antifa and expose them to the world--these folks routinely stream their actions on the streets, so they'll do it--and once they do that then it's a short hop to get them to turn out the bad actors actually doing the burning and looting (those that aren't arrested because the chips in what they stole lead cops to them).

By no means will the CivNat Dream come about, but neither is this as dire as it seems. All this did is gurantee Trumpslide 2020 and you'll see it come November.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Narrative Warfare: No, It's Antifa

The God-Emperor has done what we all knew was coming.

Why did it take this long?

Normies.

No, I'm not kidding. You can blame your normie neighbors, co-workers, and relatives for this.

The issue is optics. Normies didn't even perceive that Antifa exists; none of my globally-extended family did. Of my friends, some did- and they're going to interrogated by the FBI soon.

The political support for going after Antifa didn't exist before these riots. The political support necessary for a whole swath of political actions necessary to prevent more of this from happening did not exist before these riots. The reason is that the arguments for giving that support rested on the ability of normies to perceive Antifa and that which enables it as a threat, and those arguments involve places they don't know or go to and interactions with people they don't know or perceive as threats. It was far too abstract a concept. So, since there was no direct smear-your-face-in-shit experience with the problem, there was no support.

Now they have it, so here it comes.

What's going to happen now is that the G-E acts swiftly and decisively to address the threat, and then follow that up with policies that will make it harder if not impossible to do it again as we've seen. Watch Barr tie this, successfully, to hostile foreigners and illegal immigration (justifying acceleration of the Wall and immigration restrictions) and more in that vein soon.

And watch the support for Antifa out itself trying to defend it from the G-E and his wrath. This narrative shift is about to backfire on them. Sun Tzu and Machievelli would be proud.