Thursday, December 31, 2015

End of 2015 and Looking Ahead

2015 was a year of personal breakthroughs. Things I did and endured this year served to answer long-standing questions about my life and this world I find about me, and while my material condition is no different I have set the stage for next year being one where I can begin to do that (finally) without being undermined by those closest to me (which will be a first).

The Burning of Hugo is not ready, yet. It will be soon. Once I have a complete manuscript, I will write a post here about that and what I'm needing to do vs. what I am able to do regarding that. (To be brief, if I am to get this properly edited and put a good cover on it, I'm going to need help.) However, recent events compelled a delay to revise.

After reading this series on institutional child-raping in SF (I refuse to call it "pedophilia"; it's the predation upon helpless children for slaking sexually and morally depraved purposes, and that none of them have died as condemned men hanging from a rope or worse bothers me.), and seeing what these cultists and degenerates deign to call "reasonable", I've found reason to revise my own positions regarding "Fandom" (as the SocJus cultists therein put it), among others I see this to be the only good course of action in SF now.

There is NOTHING worth saving.

Furthermore, the child-rapers need to be exposed and subject to the full penalty of law. Those alive need to be executed. Those dead should have their estates compelled to compensate the victims or their families. The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but needs to be released to all so we need not repeat this corruption again.

Forget the traditional route. I'm committing to independent publishing. Learning from Mike Cernovich and his mentors, along with others, shows that the additional work is worth the reward of a clear conscious I will have in writing and publishing my own speculative fiction. (I will also go independent when I get around to publishing Wanderer, as the tabletop RPG niche is so rotten with SocJus cultism that it's no longer ethical or moral to bother with traditional routes.)

So, the plan for this coming year:
  • Finish and publish The Burning of Hugo.
  • Finish and publish Part One of my Solador Trilogy.
  • Finish and publish Wanderer.
  • Put together the non-fiction book adaptation of my Master's Thesis, to publish in 2017.
  • Build up readership here, shamelessly copying things that work elsewhere because they work.
I will go through Amazon (Kindle, Createspace, etc.) until I get a better offer.

In the meantime, I see that I am building up quite a body that could become a book to itself. If I see that opening, I'll take it.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Spetsnaz Addresses How to Deal With Failure

This video is by a YouTube user who calls himself "Spetsnaz". He's talking about the psychology of a fighter, but what he's really talking about is failure and how to deal with it- and why his training as a boxer, as a fighter, is so damned beneficial towards that end. Listen to him. Turn off all other attention-getters and focus all of your attention on this video. Heed what he says, and think through what he tells you. There is a very sensible lesson here, something that you can apply to your everyday life.

This is not just good for everyday life. This is good for dealing with Narrative, be it in the mostly-benign form of deliberate fiction intended to entertain first and foremost, or the more malevolent form of Narrative Warfare. From the characters you see before you, to the people presenting it, to the people making it, and you in receiving it- this video has useful things to do about how to deal with it.

Because failure is not just taking a risk to do a thing, it's also not taking a risk to stop a thing being done to you.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

True Companionship: A Thing We Need More Of

Yeah, another post about The Force Awakens. Deal with it.

There is one pair of characters who instantly captured my attention and had me sold on their bond- as this image demonstrates (humorously).

It's so sad that these two had so little time together, but what we saw was fantastic. Poe instantly demonstrating his moral quality by refusing to use Finn's number and instead naming him. Finn instantly recognizing a fellow on the path and helping him out with no expectation of reward. Their bond forged under fire, as battle-brothers, which held even after they got separated. (I want to see Poe's escape from Jakku back to base; he had to have had a noteworthy adventure of his own.)

The joke here is that they're going to be homosexual lovers, but by God this meme needs to die. What Finn found was True Companionship, what in Japanese is known as "Nakima", and Poe being so quick to give it says so much about how great a guy he is- both in his quality of discernment as well as his skill as a leader.

Think about it. Poe correctly assessed that Finn broke through something strong to want to help him, and took a huge risk to do so. That told Poe that--despite present issues--this guy was not your average man, but instead had some mettle to him that had to be acknowledged and respected. By naming Finn, and welcoming him as a friend, Poe succeeded in winning Finn's loyalty and friendship where Captain Phasma and the First Order failed via fear and anxiety.

That is so easily missed, but it is a hell of a condemnation of the Dark Side right there, and that one bright moment by Poe is what allowed Finn to overcome his own fear later on and step up against his former comrades when they attacked Mas Katanta's place in the former temple. There's a lot wrong with the writing of The Force Awakens, but there are parts done right- and this was one of them.

Monday, December 28, 2015

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Scrivener

So, late last night I'm brainstorming possible ways to go with the new Star Wars trilogy now that The Force Awakens is out there and consuming all the box office money as if it were a black hole. Thinking back on what is wrong with the new film, I figure on some way to introduce a means by which those could be fixed.

I accidentally created a viable spin-off series.

It began with the idea that Luke, in the time between Jedi and Awakens made an attempt to resurrect the Jedi Order. He's the only known Jedi, and he's nowhere near the abilities of those who trained him. Neither does he have the resources that the former Order possessed at the time of the Purge. While others survived Order 66 and the Purge, not all of them would survive through to the fall of the Empire and not all would want to rally to Luke thereafter.

This means that there is a noticeable gap in the lore of the Jedi, one that cannot be alleviated by having Leia using her government and society contacts to fund Luke's efforts. No, someone--and it can't be Luke, because he's got students to train--needs to follow up old leads and recover as much Jedi lore and artifacts as can be had. This opens the door to a non-Jedi loremaster and expert being significant to Luke's efforts.

So, we have an Adventurous Scholar sort roaming the galaxy. He explores lost tombs and temples, takes on Imperial remnants and evil cults, deals with solving ancient mysteries and recovering ancient artifacts. In short, we have a way for an Indiana Jones or a Lara Croft sort to become significant. Make it a small group of such figures, one that rotates around as expeditions come and go; the students (and Luke) learn from them about the past of the Order, the Sith, and the Force. Eventually, Luke or others would go along when their talents were necessary.

You see where this goes, right?

Now, one of the big arcs is in putting back together the corpus of the lore on the Force. You do that through critical examination of the history of a thing, and the remnants it left behind (archaeology). This is a big opportunity to take the best parts of the Expanded Universe and bring them back into the canon, address other issues that the films can't handle due to time constraints (like lightsaber construction, or the importance of training), allowing world-building in the space that is otherwise left a void.

And that, folks, is how a creative mind accidentally comes up with a viable series premise while dealing in fan speculation. (Hey, Disney, need another TV series after Rebels?)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Rule of Law is Not a Suicide Pact

Okay, time for some serious talk.

Over the past week, the councilman for Ward 9 for the City of Minneapolis--a Social Justice cultist involved with Black Lives Matter--decided that the rules for data privacy don't apply to her. Instead of privately communicating with those of her constituents that used official channels for the intended purpose of communicating their displeasure in a peaceful and lawful manner, she posted their relevant contact info on her Twitter feed. She fully expects nothing bad to come to her because of this.

She's wrong, and she's a fool to think so. Allow me to bring Sir Thomas Moore into this:

Pay close attention to his rebuke to Roper at the end. It is this point: that Man's Law, not God's Law, orders the ordinary operation of Man's societies. This is always an arbitrary affair, as it requires the active enforcement--using force and the threat thereof--for these laws to work as intended, and as such it is inherently dangerous. The alternative is chaos (falsely called "anarchy", but that's another post), which always leads to tyranny by the brutal, and is inherently unstable.

In short, Rule of Law is superior to Rule of Men, but it is superior because the benefits of submission (when coupled with other concepts, such as putting the burden of proof on the prosecution, and other elements of logic and skepticism) outweigh the costs for the goal: to resolve conflicts in a peaceful, lawful, and least-disruptive manner. The reason this foolish woman hasn't been dragged from her home, beaten to a pulp, and then hung from a lamppost is because she benefits from the Rule of Law.

When those wronged feel that the Rule of Law no longer benefits them, that rule ends.

In short, it's not a suicide pact. That chaos I mentioned is Moore's devil turning on Roper once all the laws are hewn flat. Every sector has to see--not believe, know and perceive--that the Rule of Law is a better deal than the historical norm of Rule by Men, better known now as Gangsterism. As much as the contemporary state can and does go wrong, it beats the tyranny of criminal cartels or similar organized gangs. The fall of civilizations comes when this understanding is voided by the actions of one or more parties seeking to shirk the duties while taking the benefits.

Governing bodies do so only so long as those the bodies serve believe it worthwhile to allow it. It doesn't matter what the body calls itself, or what justification it uses for itself and its deeds. It the people do not support it, even divinely-appointed kings end up ganked and shanked by their maids or torn apart by a mob. For her own sake, this foolish woman needs someone she'll heed to sit her ass down and smack some sense into her head; she should, at the least, resign before anything worse comes about due to her moral and professional incompetence. If not that, then I would hope to see her allies desert her and the law do its thing--to have her do a perpwalk and defend herself in court--because the only other option to compel accountability and put a stop to this is just as I described above: the private actions of her fellow city residents taking her out.

This is not desirable. No one of good sense wants that. By her actions, this foolish petty politician shows why she should not only be removed from office, but from ever again seeking office until she repents of her folly; she is too incompetent to be allowed near the levers of power- and too stupid to realize that she is an expendable, fungible, and disposable pawn for her fellow travelers' ends. Once she exceeds her usefulness, she'll be thrown to the wolves baying for her blood. That's how these historical patterns play out if not put down.

May God bring her to her senses, because she won't do so on her own.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Geek Gab Talks "The Force Awakens"

I was there for this when it was live, and participated in the chat, and I'm now going to have some dinner with the folks. Enjoy the show, and if you're looking for additional links try John C. Wright's review which you can find here.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Fallout Accelerates

This is a follow-up post, and it's going to be brief.

See that? That's what happens when people who know what proper characterization looks like also happen to have the words and the tools required to make crystal clear their dissatisfaction, and then broadcast it far and wide. We now have the means to archive everything, communicate instantly, and make competent analysis that a popular audience can grok in a blink of the eye. This is not only effective dialectic, it's also effective rhetoric, and it does what professional "critics" (many of them as useless as so-called "journalists") do in a far more efficient and potent manner.

Expect more of this, and not just about The Force Awakens, as our Internet-based network-centric civilization becomes globally omnipresent.

TL;DR: You fuck up and you will know within hours now just how bad you done goofed.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

My Life as a Shooter: I Insist On Both Kinds of Cool

When it comes to handguns, I am atypical from a lot of my fellow Americans. Having had the opportunity to handle and fire a large number of models, and deciding what to spend my own money on, I found that a lot of the popular choices just don't do it for me. I settled on two, one being very much an improvement upon the other, that I wanted most in my collection.

The Browning Hi Power is the first, and older, of the two designs. I had a sense that single-stack magazine designs weren't a good fit for me, and then I saw one of these with a duo-tone finish at a local gun show. I lamented that I did not have the $700 at the time to take it home, even if it was in that ridiculous .40 Smith & Wesson chambering.

It felt perfect in my hands and pointed so naturally that I knew it would be only a matter of time before I could trade it for one chambered in 9x19mm Parabellum. (That, by the way, is also known as "9mm Luger" and "9mm NATO"; I specific "9x19" because there are three other "9mm" cartridges and they are NOT all the same.) Subsequent handling of other Hi Powers confirms that this was not a fluke; I would, in time, buy a Hi Power knock off to scratch this itch until I could get a real Hi Power (preferably a Practical). Handles perfectly, shoots perfectly, and beautiful to boot; I can't go wrong with a Hi Power.

But I can do better, for cheaper, and that's where the CZ-75B comes in. Most of CZ's handguns are fantastic, and only until recent years did they get into the polymer frames that many other manufacturers use now. The 75 is a service pistol, but it has variants that are compact (the P-01 is one I have my eye on) and bigger variants (like the superb SP-01), and even now you can get a CZ-75B at or just below $500 if you're vigilant (and the Omega version is all I want in a 75B). The black polycoat will take beatings and hold, and chambered in the nigh-ubquitous 9x19mm cartridge it will be useful damn near everywhere in the world. This, and not the Glock, should be the world-standard for handgun design and rollout.

Alas, I don't have one (yet), but I do have a CZ-82 (in many ways the predecessor to the CZ-75 P-01, chambered for 9x18mm Makarov) and that too (as is true of the CZ-83, chambered for .380 Automatic Colt Pistol/9x17mm Browning (aka Short, aka Kurz)) points and shoots so very well for me. I love it, and won't part with it; I'll sell my Hi Power knock-off (an Arcus 98DAC) first. CZ makes some of the best firearms in the world, for prices that are cheap considering their quality, and--as with the CZ 527 Carbine I mentioned previously--I am astounded that they aren't more widely praised in the U.S. shooting community.

I can go without having any Glocks, Smith & Wesson M&Ps, any 1911s, Springfiend XDs, etc.; while respectable, and good for institutional users, if I'm going to spend my own money then I demand both effectiveness and aesthetics (the first and second kinds of cool, respectively), and I get that with Hi Powers and CZs (both of which are ALSO widely used by institutions, so there is no excuse).

I'm going to carry, use, maintain, and otherwise be close with my firearms as I would my cars and my computers- I damn well better be fully satisfied in all respects, because I'll be with them all the time, and I need no niggling flaws to undermine my relations with my gear. If my Norse ancestors went the extra mile to get a spear, axe, or sword that had the full package then I can bother to spend the time to ensure that my firearms are no less worthy.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Jedi Princess Rey is a Terribly-Written Character

Oilver Campbell, like Max Landis, knows a thing or two about storytelling. So, when he comments on that I listen. That Tweet above is part of a thread that began with Max Landis' Tweet below. Max is right: The Force Awakens is nothing more than shit fan-fiction that somehow ascended into the canon. Sure, it's better than the prequels, but that's like saying being not-retarded is better than being retarded. The Social Justice cultists immediately pointed and shrieked, but sane folks have come out in his defense, like this woman below. Listen to what Anna Akana said: Hold female protags to same standards as males.

You can hear the pod-people comprising the SocJus Cult going REEEEEEEEEEE! from here, as this is something that blasts The Narrative right in the kidneys with a bowcaster. Whatever else can be said about The Force Awakens, this much is certain:


She is a Disney Princess, and the same horrible writing faults (producing these horribly-done characters) that afflict the Disney Princess cult figures in other works apply here:
  • Secret Royalty (since we known Force Sensitivity is a heritable trait)
  • Instant Proficiency (in an absurd manner that not even Anakin had, and he came off as a proto-Gary Stu at times)
  • IWIN Protection (never really vulnerable, in any way, physical or emotional)
  • Reality-Distortion Aura (can do blatantly unreal things, even after accounting for fictional posits)
  • Effortless Victory (wins in the end, just because)
At no time does Rey show any emotional vulnerability, despite being someone who should have severe personality deficits due to being abandoned at a young age. At no time is Rey actually physically vulnerable, despite appearances as well as growing up as an orphan on a desert planet filled with the same sort of people who--in the real world--value courtesy and hospitality as a means of enhancing short and long-term survival. She goes from not having any proficiency with using the Force to being equal in power and proficiency to Jedi-era Luke within the course of a couple of days, if that, and (of course) no fucking training at all.

She's a walking, talking homing beacon for Plot Contrivances- and not at so much as a two-dimensional character of either the Dynamic or Iconic sort. She's a typical fan-fiction protagonist, the archtypical Mary Sue, and differs from other Disney Princesses only in that she (like Disney's Mulan) takes on a lot of plot-carrying that usually goes to male characters. Whatever emoting she does comes off as "script calls for it here", and lacks any authenticity whatsoever.

She undergoes no adversity. She never fails at anything that matters. She suffers no loss. She makes no sacrifice to get what she wants- it's all handed to her Because Reasons. (Hell, she doesn't even really want anything, and so has no motivation for being involved; Rey's just there Because Reasons.) NO MALE CHARACTER CAN DO THIS AND BE ACCEPTABLE!

And I don't blame the actress (Daisy Ridley) for this; that blame belongs to Jar Jar Abrams. Daisy, being a newb, doesn't have the professional experience or the innate confidence (that Harrison Ford, back in the 1970s, did) to (figuratively) grab Abrams by the scruff of his neck and do a "You can write this shit (George), but you can't say it." thing with him that Ford did to Lucas. I hope that Rian Johnson fixes this shit for the next two episodes, but I'm not that hopeful due to SJW Cultist Kathleen Kennedy riding herd on everything to do with Star Wars now that it's a Disney property.

We need better-written characters in our entertainment, and so long as we get Disney Princesses (and Princes, but this film has none) that isn't happening in Star Wars properties. It's really sad when trailers for the MMO are far superior Star Wars products than those charged with what are the load-bearing pillars of the Temple, and we all know what happens when the deception reaches critical mass now, don't we?

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Longest Night and the Rebirth of the Sun

It's the Winter Solstice today, the start of the Yule season, and that means it's a time of regeneration for my ancestors: the Norse. Evergreen trees, Santa Clause, mistletoe, the ham, the gifts- all of it is Norse in origin and appropriated by other cultures much later. Without that original context, most of the symbols and rituals lose their potency and become pointless. Count this among other things I'm making the effort to reconnect to in the years to come: the culture from which I come, the nation to which I belong, the way that brings order to chaos and harmony to existence for me and mine- and served as the basis for the single greatest civilization known to Mankind.

And I find that there is one amongst them that calls out to me more than the others: Tyr.

I'll let Lana of Radio 3Fourteen explain it further. (Hint: It's okay when SJWs appropriate Western Civilization.)

Merry Yule. Merry Christmas. Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

My Life in All Things: My 2016 Resolution

I am not, in general, one for New Year's Resolutions. However, this is an exception: Appendix N.

The aforementioned appendix is from the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons core rulebooks, specifically the Dungeon Master's Guide. It is a list of fantasy and science fiction works that Gary Gygax found very important to the formulation of D&D, and recently one of the contributors to the Castallia House blog explained why it matters to gaming, the SF/F literary field, and the pop-culture derivatives thereof.

My resolution is this simple: to read as many entries on that list as I can in 2016, for the purpose of better understanding the past from which so much that is good (and the cancer that is killing it) comes from, so that I can carry on what is good and know better what is not in my own works.

What pushed me into the commitment was this:
This estrangement between the generations… it isn’t normal. And it’s not just that people in the seventies would have read many of the same science fiction and fantasy authors that their parents and even grandparents did. The scope of things that fall within the black hole of the generation gap seems to be expanding almost exponentially now. Even things like Bugs Bunny and Tom & Jerry– I would have watched the same stuff that my big brother watched when I was a kid… and we were familiar with the same classic cartoons that out parents and grandparents would have watched. But that’s changed now. And it goes beyond these things just sort of quietly dropping off the radar for the moment. Millennials that will admit to never seeing them still “know” somehow that these things were racist or something and deserve to be erased. It might seem silly, maybe, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Read the rest of that post, and then back through the series. I had that connection with my father, who was a closet nerd and introduced to me much that I still enjoy now: James Bond, Monty Python, Doctor Who, J.R.R. Tolkien, Fawlty Towers, and that's just an abbreviated list. I have younger cousins now who struggle to grok much of this stuff; if they weren't grounded in some form of Christianity, it would be alien to them utterly- and it's still not easy.

Cultural transmission, in the proper method, is done from Elder to Junior; you learn at your mother's knee and your father's hand. It's too important to leave in the hands of anyone else, which is why it is vital for people to master media literacy early and hone it often; letting Madison Avenue teach you what your culture is has results no less suicidal than shooting pure heroin into your veins- it just takes longer to wreck yourself. That's why I'm doing this- to take back into my hands what should never have left them, the responsibility to foster my culture and keep it growing to the health and benefit of my nation, country, and civilization- and not let it fall into the hands of crazy cultists who'd rather wipe their asses with it.

In short, to do for something bigger than myself.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Recommendation: Daddy Warpig Does Twitch

Daddy Warpig, the founder and Master of Ceremonies for Geek Gab, is now trying out streaming at Twitch. He's taking the auto-generated Video On Demand and uploading it to the Geek Gab account. Here it is below.

You can find his Twitch channel here. If you set up a Twitch account, and then link it to your Twitter account (or any other social media Twitch uses), then you'll get auto-notifications when Warpig goes live at his Twitch channel.

If you're into Geek Gab, and you like the vidya, this is a good opportunity to interact in a manner more specialized than Geek Gab that nonetheless is very social in its nature. Warpig's just getting started, so if you know a thing or two about the technical end of streaming this is the time for you to come help a good man expand his audience.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Razorfist Reviews Fallout 4

This is one of the best personalities on YouTube today, mostly for his game and album reviews. I've highlighted him previously, and he's getting a return engagement because he's so good at what he does that I just want to help the man get a bigger and better audience. God-fucking-speed, Razorfist. God-fucking-speed!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Narrative Warfare: The Law of Sacrifice

"A man can have anything, if he is willing to sacrifice."

In this trailer for the latest expansion to Star Wars: The Old Republic, again by Blur, we have here something I find interesting: the use of a verifiable universal law of the cosmos for the purpose of promoting a product or service. (And, in this case, with some irony involved- but that I leave for another post.) While Bioware uses it to set up a story's chief antagonist, I think it is more important (for this post) to focus your attention on the theme and not who's using it or why.

The very first line, the one I quote above, is the law here. It demands that you answer the implicit question in its structure: "You must pay a price for anything you want. What will you pay with, and how will you pay it?" Do you sacrifice your time and attention, devoting yourself to the process of acquiring the skills and knowledge needed to get what you want by your own efforts? Do you trade for what you what? Do you steal it? In each case, you are making a sacrifice of something and you are either sacrificing of yourself or of others when making it. So far, basic concepts of economics, right?

Not exactly.

Continue watching that trailer. Notice that the lives of both allies and enemies are, as this law demands, offered as sacrifice for the exchange of power and dominion over the galaxy- which, in turn, is sacrificed for a distant father's love and approval. Only when one brother sacrifices the other's life does the seller--the father--accept the sacrifice, the offer, and exchange approval.

If you cannot find the drama (be it comedic or tragic) inherent in this law and the processes it compels by its existence, then you are not paying one whit of attention to any narrative (literary, political, or otherwise) that you have ever encountered. If you cannot find the perfidity in the demands that others pay the price to fulfill the wants of those making the demands, then you are a fool at best. As much as some scoff at it, when one invokes "There no such as as a free lunch!", they're speaking Truth and you're foolish to dismiss it. This is as true for those who create fiction as it is for those who use fiction in reality.

What do you want? What are you willing to offer in exchange for it, and how will you get what you offer? Know the answers to those questions, and you know what the character of that individual or group is and how they will act. Be you a reader, writer, voter, or statesman this law applies; just remember Yoda's admonishment: "No, not more powerful. Quicker, easier, more seductive the Dark Side is."

The Dark Side doesn't endure. Do it right; do it Light.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Blizzard, You Done Goofed: The Level 100 Boost Tutorial Video

The following video, for some reason I can only characterize as "Not even a good idea at the time." because it's such a stupid decision, is not listed; good luck searching for it. Once you finished watching it, you'll see why it was such a stupid decision.

Yes, this short video which tells you everything that you can expect from a feature they currently offer, is NOT LISTED.

You done goofed, Blizzard. This is information that people should be getting from you- not from anywhere else, not even well-trusted sites like WOWhead. Instead, they're getting it (and getting it wrong from) other sources. List the video, and get it on top of the search results ASAP; the foks pre-ordering World of Warcraft: Legion will probably find something else to scream at you for, but this? This is fixable in five minutes or less. Do it. NOW.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Blog Recommendation: Kairos

Up-and-coming independent author Brian Niemeier maintains a blog by the name of Kairos, where he does much as I do (albeit not as often) here, and today he had a hell of a post. The link above goes right to it, so I'll just highlight the conclusion here:
The upshot
American society has stratified into an elite minority (of both parties) who all live in the same places, go to the same schools, work in entertainment, media, academia, and government, and hate the working class.

The rest of the American people have now caught on to this fact and have begun to actively hate the elites back.

There's a rapidly growing realization that the ruling class, universities, and mass media are illegitimate. This sentiment is gaining steam and will increase exponentially.

Liberals of both parties are done. Finished. They overplayed their hand, and people are wise to their game. Many haven't realized it yet, because the Left is dumping all of its remaining power and influence into a propaganda blitz designed to trick people into thinking that the elite are still in control.

Just like countless failed regimes did before lying down to die on the ash heap of history.
You want more details? Read the linked post; Niemeier's logic is sound, and he does link to supporting evidence. This is a good work of dialectical discourse, and he's reliable for that sort of approach to his posting. (And yes, you should read his posts on the publishing business as one of the independents out there; very informative of how it actually works.)

If you're into quality original Science Fiction, and you're finding what's on offer from the established publishers to be lame (or worse) lately, he's someone to follow- if he ain't writing something you like, then he probably knows someone that does.

Kairos delivers.

Monday, December 14, 2015

My Life as a Gamer: Legion Hype - Fury Warrior

I follow Final Boss, the World of Warcraft endgame raiding podcast based out of Twitch. The creator and host, Bay, has access to the Alpha client for the Legion expansion. He does extensive reviews of each of the revised classes and specializations available live on his stream, and then edits these reviews together for a long-form video at the Final Boss YouTube channel.

Well, he got to my main character's class (Warrior) and main specialization (Fury), which has had a severe overhaul (again) for Legion. I'm watching this as I write this post, but having seen others I know what to tell you for expectation: a lot of game talk, a lot of beating upon the test dummies, and a lot of commentary on the state of the class and spec as of the client build where he did the test.

If you're into World of Warcraft, and you have a tolerance for this deep level of theory-crafting and math-working, go for the video for the class and spec you're interested in. If you want videos on the actual play, or other lore-specific parts, you want another video series; this ain't it- try Nobbel the Nobel, Fatboss, LineOfSight Gaming, Belluar Gaming, or HeelvsBabyface instead.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Star Wars: The Franchise Awakens

I remember all of the hype prior to the release of The Phantom Menace in 1999. The prequels, as with the original trilogy, had its all of its marketing and advertising aimed at a primary audience of elementary school students- children aged 6-10 or so. Nevermind the massive numbers of adults who became fans starting with the original film's release in 1977, and stayed with it over the years; by 1999, those of us who were children in 1977 had come of age and began our adult lives- and yet we too came out in droves for the prequels (and those of us with kids brought ours).

Yet, Uncle George insisted that Star Wars was a kids' thing, and all the marketing and advertising (as well as the tie-in shows, comics, etc.) made that crystal clear. You can still see this with the most recent series, Star Wars: Rebels, but I think that is now the last production with this as policy.

There's been a tremor in the Force. If you are at all savvy to public relations, advertising, and marketing then you could not escape noticing it now that The Force Awakens is just days away from its release into theaters. The ads for this film are very, very different than for all of the previous films. There are multiple car ads, branded adult makeup, branded fucking groceries, and the usual stuff aimed at kids- but on shows that are watched primarily by adults.

They're aiming this film at us, the adults.

That, actually, gives me a bit of hope that J.J. Abrams won't fuck this up. Sure, the film seems to be built on the same structure as A New Hope, but that's not necessarily bad; after what Uncle George did in the prequels, this film franchise needs a return to the Monomyth roots of Joseph Campbell. Furthermore, what I'm seeing in the trailers and TV spots confirms what I heard last Summer when I got word of what the shooting script was and what happened there. (No, no spoilers here; if you want to know, go look for yourself.)

And yes, that means we're going to rely a fuck of a lot on J.J. and company executing this film properly to make it work. If the delivery blows harder than a black hole, then Rogue One and Episode 8 are going to be in trouble. I want them to deliver, because I want to see where J.J. and company are going now that Uncle George is finally in retirement.

May the Force be with you, The Force Awakens, because you need all the help you can get.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Worldbuilding Best Practices: Exception-Based is Best

When it comes to world-building, I find that best practices follow the Exception-Based Design principle. You start with the real world, and then you start making exceptions to it until you iterate your way into what you want. You wouldn't think to be the norm, but I dare you to run to your shelf and start analyzing the settings of your games and stories. Even something very far out there will be built upon the real world as a foundation, and then iterated outward into the final form you receive.

There's a reason for doing it. That reason is obvious as a brick to the face when you think it through: it gives you a reliable fallback for when your fictive postulates don't cover a situation. That's why this is "exception-based"; you use the real world to determine results when fictional elements cannot or do not handle it.

Let's consider an example, taken from one of my own gaming campaign settings:
  • This is a D&D setting, using the classic Basic D&D (Mentzer) ruleset. That right there imposes some unstated postulates.
  • Non-humans exist, but are not available as playable characters.
  • Gunpowder works, but the technology is not well-developed yet. Firearms are smoothbore flicklock muskets and cannon using black powder.
  • Magic exists, but those who use it don't truly comprehend what this power is or how it truly works. (This knowledge is, effectively, a form of treasure.)
  • Player-characters come from a not-Europe that just concluded a not-30 Years War, and your character was on the losing side. This is your way out, as a colonist to a land heretofore unknown.
So far, not that odd, right?

Look, it's this simple. When I don't know what to do, I look at the real historical parallel and apply that as best I can to the matter. That's why I stick with exception-based world-building design. It's the same for my fiction, no matter how fantastic it may be. It's classic--Homer, Tolkien, Howard, and more went this way over the ages--and it works. That's why it's a Best Practice.

Friday, December 11, 2015

It's Not Your Call To Make.

This sort of thing, fundamentally, is what got me involved. Crazed cultists crashed into my my turf and started telling me what I can do with my time and my property because reasons. Fuck that, and fuck them. Y'all done poked the bear, and now you're getting mauled by the bear. Get the fuck out, and stay the fuck out, or you ain't going home. Don't go where you're not wanted, unless you're looking for a fight.

Oh, and Daddy Warpig appeared with the Honey Badgers today. Here's the YouTube posting:

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Cosmic Order: The Citadel

There is a very simple, and universal, foundation for social organization. I call it "The Citadel Paradigm".

Get yourself a pencil and a piece of paper. You're going to draw what I describe.
  1. In the center, draw a small circle--trace a US quarter-dollar coin if you like--about 1 inch (or its Metric equivalent) across in diameter. Inside this, write "Hearth".
  2. Draw a second circle, about 2 inches across in diameter using the center of the first circle as its center. In the space between the first circle and the outer edge of this second circle, write "Bawn".
  3. Outside the second circle, write "Here Be Monsters".
  4. Across the outer edge of the second circle, write "Outer Border"; across the first circle's edge, write "Inner Border".
Before the current era, human social organization increasingly relies on specialization of necessary labor to fulfill the requirements for human existence. This division split along obvious lines of sex and age; women, children, and the infirm stayed as close to the Hearth as they could, going into the Bawn only as required while men and older boys would pacify the Bawn and guard the Outer Borders against external threats while using the Inner Border as a fallback position. This is a persistent emergent phenomenon, appearing regardless of time or place; we can confidently call it "Natural Law".

Only with the massive changes wrought by industrialization are we now able to entertain, and for some time sustain, deviations from this norm; the current weakened traditional division can only persist so long as the technology does, and without the old ways will rush in like the water after a broken dam. Even so, those who adhere to this pattern thrive and prosper in a resilient manner across the generations while those that fall away find that their end is like that of a drug addict: broken, ruined, and wasted due to the consequences of their folly taking their toll.

This paradigm is fractal. You can see it in the form of an individual household or homestead. You can scale it up infinitely; this works for the border fort and its surrounding farmlands, the nascent country and the empire it broke away from, and even interstellar--yes, even cosmic--scale organizations like the Galactic Empire and the Time Lords of Gallifrey. You can easily discern how well it will go by focusing upon how well the nation(s) within it appreciate and adhere to its premises; weakening and degenerate forms allow violations of the premises for one false reason or another, while healthy and prospering ones strictly adhere to it and exterminate threats to it.

Be it a tool for real-world socio-political analysis, or as a tool for world-building when creating fictional milieu for literature or gaming purposes, you will never fail to go wrong by remembering that we are a species that works around creating defensible spaces for our young and infirm (and those who care for them), surrounding them with the spaces we use to cultivate our economic resources, and then defining what the line--the perimeter--between Our Land and Monster Land is by patrolling it with our fighting-ready men and boys. (Because, at the last, losing those to enemy attacks is recoverable if infrequent enough; men remain the disposible, expendable, and fungible sex in Mankind.)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Gun Control is Obsolete

While the usual suspects are, again, conspiring to commit treason and sedition in the Human Rights violation that is gun control I find myself well at ease.

You see, the technology to ensure that firearms and ammunition will forevermore be in the hands of the people already exists. It no longer matters what the ink squiggles on paper or parchment says, let alone what those waiving them about as they proclaim their secular blasphemies proclaim, for the very concept is now obsolete.

Decentralized manufacturing is here, and now coming in idiot-proof forms ready to plug-and-play. The Ghost Gunner device will finish any 80% Lower Receiver, and can easily be configured to do one from a whole billet. Load in the right program and it will produce fresh new brass casings in whatever caliber you want or need; it's Open Source, so that too is just a matter of spending the time to find (or code) such a thing.

Yes, making smokeless powder is more difficult, but that knowledge too is freely available and the tools to make it aren't that hard to find- and, with tools like the Ghost Gunner, can be made. As for the projectiles themselves? Ridiculously easy to make at home, as both the materials as well as the tools are freely available (and yes, can be made at home now).

It no longer matters what the political scrum does. The ship has sailed, and left the eunuch that is the law code behind. We are so far gone now that we can replicate the very technologies that make this possible, and the knowledge is online--and the Internet is forever--so it can only go dark should repression occur.

The only sensible political and legal option now is to surrender to reality, repeal all of the infringements previously pushed through, and then forever ban any future attempts to do so as a recognition of that futility.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

It's Trump's Election to Lose

If you're attentive, you noticed a shift in the American political scene yesterday.

Look, folks. I'm going to lay this out for you in plain English: Donald Trump will become President of the United States. It's his election to lose, and the only people who could stop him won't because they're paralyzed with indecision over their inability to comprehend what the hell is going on. (In other words, they are incompetent.) Once he's up against Hillary (because Sanders doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell; the DNC is already in the tank for Hillary, and they'll rig things to ensure she gets the nomination) he'll steamroll her on his way into the White House.

"But wait!" you say, "Trump did (thing)! DISQUALIFY!"


Two books, both from Castallia House, explain the how and why behind why Trump's got this on lockdown:

Trump knows, better than everyone else in this contest, that politics is about rhetoric. Rhetoric is about the feels, not the reals; it's there to persuade and manipulate, not to instruct (that's Dialectic). Therefore it's about commanding the attention of the audience and selling them what they want, something Trump has made his career doing. He's taken the commanding position with his claims, forcing everyone else to react to him and define themselves by the frame he sets. That's effective Rhetoric.

Trump sees this election as another business deal. He sees an issue--the toxic influence of SJWs and their fake conservative counterparts--and finds an opportunity that he's willing and able to exploit. He offers the potential clients his services, and they are clamoring to sign on with what he's got to offer. It's business. Want more insight, read his own book where he laid out (decades ago) what he's doing now, how, and why it works: The Art of the Deal.

The others in this race don't get politics as Trump does. They NEED the party machines and a compliant media establishment to win. Trump doesn't. Trump demonstrates just how independent he is with every so-called "gaff" he makes (that nonetheless increase his appeal, extend his lead, and make his victory all the more obvious), which is synergistic with what he actually says and does as indicators of being the best President available. It's effective Rhetoric. This is why he says he can deal with Putin; he's not bluffing- he gets Putin, and no other candidate does.

The others are just talk. Trump's walking the walk NOW, demonstrating to an electorate wanting a decisive strong patriarch to lead the nation that he is the leader that they desire- and offering to be that leader in return for their support. That's the deal on offer, and a critical mass of voters are already on board. The Establishment has to commit treason to stop him now, and they're too cowardly and incompetent to do it; they will neither assassinate him nor rig the election for Hillary.

And if there is one more--just one more--terrorism-related incident before this is over, then there is NOTHING the Establishment can do to stop him. Not even rigging the election will do. The momentum will carry him into office, and we're now looking at Trump until 2024. (That the other part of being successful- knowing what your victory conditions are, and when they are most attainable.) If the current administration does just one little thing other than the straight-and-narrow approach required by law, they are fucked and so is everyone but Trump; it's brilliant campaigning, and future generations will see it as such.

(And yes, there's some Narrative Warfare going on; that's for another post.)

Monday, December 7, 2015

Pearl Harbor Day 2015

Today is Pearl Harbor Day. For me, as it is for many others, this day is more personal than other such commemorations.

You see, my grandfather's younger brother--Fritzhof Holm, of Clarksfield, MN--died on the U.S.S. Oklahoma. When my uncle Blair finally got the Department of the Navy to provide a headstone for the town cemetery a few years ago (as his remains are stuck in the wreck and cannot be recovered), I got to meet a man who knew Great Uncle Fritzhof.

Well, it turns out that he not only remembered the man, but that he survived the attack because Great Uncle Fritzhof got him out of the flooding compartment at the last moment. This heroism would be what got Fritzhof killed, but as ways to die go this is far from the worst. It's a death one can admire, for there are worse fates than death and not all deaths are equal.

Great Uncle Fritzhof would be one of many American soldiers, airmen, and sailors to die in combat that day. He would be the first cohort of many more to die executing the U.S.'s contribution to the Allied efforts in World War 2. The peace we've enjoyed--more or less-since 1945 came at the cost (paid in blood, bone, and fire) of millions of men like Great Uncle Fritzhof.

We are now again careening towards the sort of global warfare that Great Uncle Fritzhof encountered to his cost over 70 years ago. As the wise and principled attempt to prevent a third World War, it is wise to remember the past generations who had to deal with such an event. The peace bought by the lives of others endures only so long as those succeeding the buyers remember the cost and do the minimal effort required to keep so dearly purchased a peace.

There are forms of peace, however, that are worse than risking one's life--and dying--in a war like that of World War 2. Those willing to risk World War 3 seek to exploit the desire for peace at any cost by impugning the buyers of the present peace, falsely equating senseless butchery with necessary and just warfare. The other thing that today brings forth is that, yes, there are things worth fighting--worth killing, worth dying--for and only those who dream themselves your masters dare claim otherwise. Total Pacifism is for suckers; it's Narrative Warfare.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

John C. Wright Explains the Basis for Contemporary Narrative Warfare

Sometimes I come across something so profound that I have to spend a post boosting it. Today, it's what I saw at Vox Day's blog, where he did the same thing regarding a post at the blog of John C. Wright: Point Deer, Make Horse.

How long until the Left wake up? The answer is: NEVER.

The Left will never wake up to reality for precisely the reason that Leftism is a mental system of excuses and psychological tricks and traps meant to allow the Leftist to escape from reality.

That is what all their rigmarole, jabberwocky, lies and evasions, all their complex obfuscations, and penning endless tomes of endless nonsense from Marx to Keynes to Al Gore, all their riots, marches, protests, sit-ins, think-tanks, media moguls, money laundering, awards shows, convulsions, antics, stunts, clamor, libel, slander, and cacophony is for: Reality avoidance.

That is all that it is for.

It was not always thus. Perhaps a generation ago, there were Leftists who joined the Democrat Party for what were political reasons, to promote labor unions, impose regulation on banks and businesses in response to some threat, real or imaginary, posed by the free market, or to encourage the welfare state to help the poor.

Perhaps two generations ago, there were real Marxists who really believed that socialism was more efficient and more productive of human wealth than the free market. But after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, no honest person can maintain that socialism is more efficient at encouraging wealth and creating and distributing goods and services than a free market.

All socialism produces are mounds of corpses in mass graves, and gulag-states surrounded by barbed wire, with all guns pointed inward.

Even Bill Clinton, a weasel without an honest bone in his body, announced the era of big government to be over, and took the first step to dismantling the American version of Marxism, Johnson’s Great Society. If he saw socialism as a failure, anyone can see it.

And so the criticism changed strategy. In the shadow of the Holocaust of Jews by the Nazis, where Nazism became the synonym for evil in a world which has ceased to speak of the Devil, racism was identified as the main scourge and flaw of the West, and attempts to eradicate racism by means of embracing multiculturalism became the norm.

This is ironic. Tribalism, racism, and the presumed superiority of one’s own bloodline over any foreigners is the norm of human existence, and only the Christian religion gives anyone any reason to condemn it. Here in the West and here alone is anyone even concerned at calling it evil or trying to eliminate it. It would be like the West trying to wipe out polygamy, when we are the only ones whose culture rejects polygamy. No one else sees it as wrong.

Be that as it may. Multiculturalism is not a doctrine, it is an attitude: the attitude is to praise inferior and savage societies in any ways in which they differ from Christendom, and to blame, scold, vilify and upbraid Christendom for any ways in which we differ from Utopia. It is the attitude of a nagging wife unwilling to divorce a hard-working husband and provider she hates and loathes. Multiculturalism is nagging.

The nagging is based on the idea that all cultures are equal, and all equally provide for human liberty and human happiness. Skyscraper and yurt: the same. Cathedral and igloo: the same. Wright Brothers and the Cargo Cult of Melanesia: the same. American cosmetics industry and pre-Western Chinese practice of breaking the bones in baby girls’ feet for footbinding: the same. Western abolition of slavery and Hindu caste system: the same. Medical Doctors and Witch-Doctors: the same. Scientific agriculture and Maori cannibalism: the same. Progress and stagnation: the same. Christian martyr and Muslim suicide bomber: the same. Jesus and Mohammed: the same.

See how it works?

The Christian West, with our industrial and scientific revolutions (the byproduct of our Christian metaphysics, university system and Christian individualism) not to mention our legal and juridical advances are held by hypothesis not to have made any particular advances in human liberty and happiness.

Any use of discriminatory judgment between the cultures of, say, the British Empire and he Aztec Empire is the product of bigotry, bias, or race-hatred.

After 9/11, it became clear that not all cultures equally provide for human liberty and happiness. Indeed, it is clear enough to any honest observer that come cultures are productive of vast misery and vast oppression, especially oppression of women, of children, of the weak and helpless. The growing slave trade in underage boys used as catamites by the Muslim is a clear enough sign of this, as well as the rape statistics that follow Muslim migrants entering Europe.

In recent years, with the cult of multiculturalism dead, and Marxism rightfully tossed into the crematorium of dead yet stupid ideas, the only thing left for the Left to do was to break all ties with honesty.

Political Correctness has its roots in Stalinism, and is as old as Marx himself, as old as the first lie every told by a snake in Eden. But since 9/11, with both their idols of multiculturalism and socialism smashed, the press and the Left generally expelled their less extreme elements from their midst, or shamed them into silence, and embraced falsehood as the source and summit of all good.

This is what I call ‘the Unreality Principle’ which is the principle that a lie is better than the truth because to lie and to believe a lie proves one’s loyalty. To lie and believe lies is morally superior than to tell and believe the truth, and the more outrageous the lie, the greater the moral superiority one can award oneself.

(Note: This is how you do Dialectic. Wright wrote here to instruct, which is the core of Dialectical discourse. The best part is that every claim made here is verifiable, if you are willing to put in some work to do it yourself. Some would cry foul over the lack of links to supporting claims, or a lack of footnotes; that's for academic publishing, not blogging, and is a clear Rhetorical counter-attack meant to start a disqualification circle-jerk. Now, on with it.)

John C. Wright explains here the psychological pillar upon which the current regime of Narrative Warfare arose and grew into the cancerous thing it is now. All the blatant denial and defiance of Natural Law, all the virtue-signalling, all of the doubling-down as well as the projection- this is its foundation. It's the same source of Vox's Three Laws of Social Justice Warriors.

This is why they do what they do, because when left bare before the forces of the cosmos they fold faster than Superman on laundry day; they are spoiled children demanding that Great Father Government make the bad things that make them feel bad go away, when they should be punished by being forced to confront these cosmic forces (as their predecessors did) instead.

What Mr. Wright briefly showed (because it wasn't relevant to his point) is that this insanity is not new. The anecdote about previous manifestations in China's past shows that this is not a new problem, but a persistently recurring one; it just takes new forms now and again, usually after a previous one's collapse sometime just outside of living memory. The remedy remains the same: abide by Natural Law, and the problem withers and dies in the face of its own impotence. This, I say, is what "law-abiding" really means.

Therefore, to seek and hold power one must wage permanent Narrative Warfare so that the lies keep coming (and changing) faster than the truth destroys them. This is, in reality, nothing more than futility; at best it buys time for some to escape the consequences of their fraud before its full impact hits--rats fleeing a sinking ship--and often it just delays the inevitable.

We are now in a time of revealing, and the big reveal is that a lot of the current log of lies (and liars) are about to get cut down by a force greater than any that Man commands- again. Nature always wins, God will not be mocked, and the truth always escapes the thieves who try to steal it.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Follow-Up on Failure

Sometimes the best advice just isn’t that great to hear. It’s really fun to plan for the times when everything is working perfectly… but sometimes things just don’t go how you want them to.

This might not be the most popular topic… and it certainly isn’t the most fun — but it’s absolutely essential.

You need to know when it’s time to quit and move on... and that’s what this video is all about — how to make the best of those uncomfortable situations.

Jeff Walker (no relation) is one of the guys Mike Cernovich recommends to his readers. Jeff's one of those honest guys in the game of teaching folks how to be successful, and this video is one of those reasons. Here he is talking about failure, and what he's talking about here is the idea of "failing fast": honing your discernment as to the reality of your efforts, admitting to yourself when you done goofed as soon as you can, and then cutting losses swiftly so you can mitigate the consequences and recover faster.

Threading the needle between where most people are (unable to take risks due to consequences being catastrophic) and where many wish to go (the sort of prosperity and happiness Jeff enjoys) is not just a matter of risk mitigation. Go watch that video again; go to his YouTube channel and watch others. There's a clear pattern to what he--and the other honest guys like Mike--are about: Knowing Yourself. This is where Mike, Jeff, and others like them get their "mindset" concept (and why it works).

The other thing that they acknowledge is that it (as is said) often takes 10-15 years to become an overnight success. Yes, there are exceptions (my friend Scott Lynch is one of them, and he still nearly blew it), but there's a reason the hot world-class young stars in their mid-20s got started shortly after they mastered walking and running: that's how long it reliably takes to go from Newbie to World Class, assuming that you've got that degree of potential (and most don't) at all.

Focusing on mindset also means focusing on the process and not a distant goal; Scott Adams goes into this at his blog often. I recommend reading them, if only become we are coming into a time where avoiding risk will become impractical, so building up the resources--including the mind--needed to take risks responsibly is necessary.

Friday, December 4, 2015

A Timely Reminder of the Reason for the Season

Today I received a rather large parcel from one of my aunts, an older sister of my mother's, who'd been in the habit of making quilts for as many of the children and grand-children of her siblings as she can. Mine is big enough to cover a King-sized bed, made of blue denim and other patches of fabric. It's heavy enough to had real impact if thrown, enough to knock down a small child or an enfeebled adult easily, and I will appreciate it through this Winter.

I had no idea that the package was on its way until my mother told me last night after dinner to look for it. This is the sort of pleasant surprise that is often lacking during this season anymore, especially one consisting of a hand-made artifact that's good for the rest of my life (and able to be passed down a couple of generations; with sensible care, denim wears very well). Since my aunt is well into retirement, she's got all sorts of time (and with frugality a habit, the means) to do this as an everyday thing. (My mother has a similar pursuit, making hand-made winter garb like hats and scarfs; I proudly wear what she's made for me.)

This is the sort of expression of love, in the filial and brotherly sense, that this season is really about- and you need not be a crafter to do it. Taking, as best you can, the needs and wants of those who you seek to gift for is not difficult. Making certain that any charitable giving you do actually goes where you want it to is harder, but not impractical to do. Just put some thought into it; you're well ahead of the curve if you do.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Watch a Narrative Evolve in Real Time

By now you've likely heard of the shooting in San Bernadino, California. If you didn't pay close attention to the media narrative as events unfolded, I don't blame you; while the media establishment fumbled about trying to get and vet the facts (and by did they fumble), the narrative was also in flux.

If you needed any further convincing that there is a massive, institutional Narrative Warfare campaign going on then all you need to do is go back through the Twitter feeds of several prominent people during yesterday's events. Immediately the Social Justice Warriors and their political allies went to the Evil White Male Christian Patriarchy narrative due to the location and the apparent signs of workplace violence.

Mike Cernovich aptly put my take on the whiplash when it turned out that the shooters were Arab Muslims enacting a pre-meditated attack upon a soft target:

As for that media establishment incompetence, here you are- a failure to vet alleged sources of a grossly stupid nature:

Today the scramble is real. There is no acknowledgement that preliminary claims were wrong, no confession of being wrong, just throwing all of that down the Memory Hole ("The Past is Irrelevant!" screams the Crazy Cat Lady, "Take me as I am!") and shifting their narrative as if it always was that way. They're worse than cats like that.

Instead, the narrative is about the guns- with only minimal acknowledgement of race or religion at this point. (Expect that to shift soon.) Fools great and small parrot talking points as if they got memos emailed to them this morning. (Likely a literal thing for the politically-connected.) I hear the emphasis being on "legally acquired", and I know someone (a) doesn't know Federal or California regulations and (b) doesn't care to look them up.
  • It is illegal to buy a firearms of any kind if you are not the final recipient. This is a "Straw Purchase", and it's a Felony offense. Until the provenence of the sales are vetted and confirmed, it is irresponsible to comment on the legality of the sale. That they do so anyway is meant to be poison-pill talk to propagandize the listener to anti-gun views.
  • The rifles, as reported so far, operated in a manner contrary to what is allowed under California's regulations (the most anti-gun in the US) regarding semi-automatic rifles. This makes the possession illegal; the reason is that Federal regulation disallows the cross-state in-person sale of semi-automatic rifles without the intervention of a Federal Firearms Licensee to perform the mandated paperwork for transfer at sale as well as one in the buyer's home state to receive the rifle (the buyer can't take it home himself), and out-of-state sellers must conform to the regulations of the buyer's state. (This is why a lot of online retailers do not sell to California buyers.)
  • Looking these facts up are as simple as going to the FAQ page of the ATF's website, something every journalist can do while guzzling coffee and donuts on their break time.
So, what we see here is yet another act of virtual human sacrifice: the exploitation of the lives of innocents to give power to a ritual working of one's will in order to bend reality to conform to one's desires. (In this case, political changes meant to screw the same innocents in favor of those conducting the ritual.) I find this abhorrent, as I would expect others still possessed of sound moral fiber, but that is what Narrative Warfare does. Now that we know what it is, and how it works, I would hope that we have both the will and skill to wreck it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

My Life as a Writer: Still Burning Hugo

I'm working on The Burning of Hugo. As of this post, I'm at 1/8th completion of the manuscript in revision. I should finish by Christmas Day.

My aim is to publish via Kindle before New Year's Day, and POD via CreateSpace sometime next year. It won't be pretty, but I aim to have it up and available for your post-Christmas reading when you need a little something to round out that Amazon order using the gift card your folks got for you.

The overall objective is to start building momentum. Mike Cernovich said this earlier today:

I'm choosing to write. It's already gotten me one manuscript (that needs revision), and it's getting me another right now. This builds momentum for me, momentum being far more important than fussing over the details. I'm in a position right now where I can afford to fail, but only if I keep the cost for any individual project low enough, a position where the concept of "Fail Faster" is most useful.

(Summarized: Be aware of when a specific attempt can't hit your objectives. If that happens, cut losses immediately to minimize damage, and push on to try again at best speed.)

I know what kind of fiction book I want to write, and it's the sort of book I grew up with: fast-paced adventure stories featuring iconic heroes, as often as possible to be well within the SF/F realm, that fit inside your jacket pocket and sold back in the early-to-mid '80s for a couple of dollars. The sort of books I got from reading E.E. Smith or E.R. Burroughs, instead of Hickman & Weiss or the other increasingly-obese speculative fiction works. (I save the bigger books for my non-fiction work, where that space is better employed.)

I'll have a post by the end of the month explaining what I intend to finish and publish next year. Hopefully, by then I'll also have The Burning of Hugo available for sale. Knock on wood, folks. I'll take all the good luck I can get.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

On the Matter of Failure

Yes, but...

Failure has consequences. You have to survive to learn from it, and you have to survive such that you can recover in a timely manner so that you can make proper use of what you learn from your failure. Guess what the vast majority of people that are alive now, or have ever lived, are in no position to do.

That fear of failure isn't bullshit. Failure is a luxury that most people cannot afford. That's why they take the sureshot. That's why they avoid risk like the Plague. That's why they gladly choose security over all other concerns. They literally cannot afford the price of failure. The common man knows that the majority of risk takers end up like Porkins and not Skywalker.

In case you forgot.

Get into any serious reading or talking by successful folks and you do hear the failure survival stories. What the honest ones will also tell you is that they (a) had seriously good luck going for them, (b) had properly prepared for disaster ahead of time so the downside (and downtime) would be minimized before setting off on the next attempt, or (c) both. Guess what the vast majority of people don't have.

This is where my criticism of what "success culture" and its emphasis on "Abundance Mentality" over "Scarcity Mentality" rests. People are not afraid of success. They are afraid of failure, and rightly so, because taking a risk when you're not in a solid position to absorb consequences for failing routinely wreck--even kill--people. It's bad enough when your life is your own, but it is utterly fucking irresponsible when others are depending upon you to support them.

You want an explanation for why people don't start their own businesses? That's why. Why don't they rise up against the dictator or the crime syndicate? That's why. The price for failure is far too fucking high. The secure life of a corporate drone, a government agent, or some similar counterpart is preferable (however disliked) to the certain demise that comes from a failed attempt at one's own ambitions for most people.

This is why the real factor in success comes from the steps taken to eliminate the cost of failure. When failure's consequences are minimized, the mood shifts and the desire to act on less-than-certain options rises with that mood. For every success story, there are a legion of corpses (literal and otherwise) left to the carrion to feast upon. Remember that before you decide to follow old Obi-Wan on some damn fool idealistic crusade. Otherwise, risk only becomes acceptable when it's the least bad of all available options.

So, next time you see someone succeed look past the platitudes and dig into their actual resources and support network. Copy what they do, not what they say.