Sunday, April 22, 2018

Predictions for the near future, part 8

Race baiting might become prevalent in the near future, especially in the United States, perhaps in some other "progressive" countries as well.

Here I'm talking about the sort of race baiting where black people (and, possibly, Arabic people, maybe in some cases Hispanic people) will deliberately look for trouble and stir controversy, eg. by taunting people, acting obnoxiously or in a disruptive manner, or any other such manner, baiting for a response. Such as, for example, going to a cafeteria or restaurant and just sit there without buying anything, and see if they are asked to either buy something or leave. (Obviously this is a reference to the recent infamous case. The difference is that people will start doing it deliberately hoping for a reaction from the establishment, such as calling the police.) If just sitting there isn't enough, they will start making a ruckus, making demands, or otherwise act obnoxiously, fishing for a response from the workers or the manager.

The intent with this is, of course, to then play the victim of racism, abusing the fact that the media, and especially social media, is so biased towards supporting them. If the police is called, this will only strengthen their victim narrative.

If this becomes prevalent enough, some companies (such as restaurant chains) may start inventing the most ridiculous policies in order to try to deal with it, and become the butt of jokes.

On a rather different note, there still exist some colleges and universities that have not been invaded and rotten to the core by the neo-marxist regressive leftist social justice ideology. A few of them even have strict pro-free-speech policies, where disruptive protests and harassment are explicitly banned (and may lead to the expulsion of students who engage in them).

If the current trend escalates more and more, and most universities become pretty much nothing more than neo-marxist indoctrination and activism training camps, it may well be that they will not look at those few dissenter universities kindly, and will start putting pressure onto them to convert. And if it so happens that some of these universities refuse to convert, we might even see some form of hostile takeovers, using political, public and economic pressure, and if it escalates enough, perhaps even physical intrusions and violence. (It may start with neo-marxists from one university organizing "protests" in the campus of one of the dissenter universities, and will only escalate from there.)

Many of these neo-marxist indoctrination camps might close down due to a lack of funding and students, but some will prevail. If those hostile takeovers of the remaining universities really end up happening, and it's not successfully stopped by the police forces (eg. if they manage to do it technically within the boundaries of the law), it might mean the closure of those universities as well.

On a third note, historical revisionism will become more and more prevalent.

It will start, and we are currently already seeing a few signs and examples of this, as "historical fiction" works that will depict historically inaccurate history, especially European history, where these works are introducing completely unrealistic amounts of "minorities" into environments where they historically didn't exist, or consisted only of a very small fraction of what is depicted in the work. Most prominently, significant amounts of black people will be introduced in historical settings where there were none, or only extremely rarely. (Also in some cases significant amounts of women will be introduced into settings where they were extremely rare.)

At first it will be attributed to "artistic license", as it will just be "historical fiction", not even "intended" to be an accurate portrayal of actual history. However, as time passes, these excuses will become less and less prominent, and after a time more and more such works will be produced without even giving those excuses, presenting them as actually historically factual.

In fact, this may even transgress the boundaries of just works of fiction, and will be introduced in more serious literature, such as school books. It will probably start at grade school and work its way up all the way to universities eventually.

Also, the actions and attitudes of historic figures, or historic people, may be revised to suit the agenda. Or actions and attitudes will be outright fabricated without any evidence. Most typically, of course, and obviously, white people will become more and more villanous, and non-white people more and more innocent and victimized.

All this might start to be backed up as facts by "historians" and "scholars", who are nothing more than the current-generation students who are currently being indoctrinated in universities.

Friday, April 20, 2018

The Wikipedia Gamergate article, 2018 review

When the Gamergate Wikipedia article was created about four years ago, it took but a few weeks for it to be harnessed as a completely ridiculous left-wing propaganda machine, which resembled more a page from Conservapedia than from Wikipedia. (Conservapedia is rather infamous for consisting mostly of really lengthy articles that consist of almost nothing else then tiny example after tiny example, in an endless list, of whatever the article is propagandize.)

Has the situation become any better in these four years? Of course not. The article has constantly changed, and while it has become slightly more neutral than what it was at its absolute worst, that's only very slightly. It's still partisan and biased as fuck, and still looks like a Conservapedia page.

No better example of that is, still, the sheer amount of the words "threat" and "harassment" that appear in the article. The former currently appears 77 times, and the latter 125 times. That's still more appearances of those words alone than some articles have words in total.

As some kind of pinnacle of this, one particular paragraph has the word "harassment" a whopping 11 times. Eleven. One single paragraph of text. When one single paragraph of text has such a strong accusing word that many times, that's a quite clear indication that there's an agenda behind the whole thing.

The funny, and hypocritical, thing is that Wikipedia's editing standards have sections against this kind of thing. And I'm not here referring to the biased partisan propaganda (which it also has sections against), but about that sheer amount of repetition and listing tiny example after tiny example ad nauseam. You see these guideline reminder templates slapped in some other articles sometimes, in a box usually titled "This section has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page." For instance, two of these guidelines are:

"This section relies too much on references to primary sources."
"This section may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may only interest a specific audience."

The Gamergate article is rife with both. But of course it doesn't have any such template messages.

And, of course, one of the major guiding principles of Wikipedia is the Neutral Point of View principle. One of the particular ways to keep a NPoV is using an impartial tone (which is specifically listed at Wikipedia as such, in its Wikipedia NPoV article.) Which, naturally, the Gamergate article breaches to no end. It constantly uses language that makes strong claims about things that haven't been officially verified.

For example, rather than saying "gamergate hashtag users accused Quinn of an unethical relationship with journalist Nathan Grayson", it says "gamergate hashtag users falsely accused Quinn of an unethical relationship with journalist Nathan Grayson". The former would be just a statement of fact. The latter is a strong claim about something that hasn't been officially verified. (And even if it were something that had been officially verified, eg. by a court of law, the wording would still have to be different in order to maintain NPoV, such as saying "a court of law ruled these accusations as being false", rather than the article making the strong assertion that they are false.) It is not the place of a supposedly neutral encyclopedia to make such assertions, which cannot possibly ever be completely verified.

And that's not even the only instance of the article using the word "false" in the same way.

Many people have commented elsewhere that they have tried to edit the article to become more neutral, balanced, shorter, and better sourced, only to have all of their edits immediately reverted. For some reason (that I cannot really grasp) it seems that this particular article is tightly controlled by leftist ideologues, and they are holding all the keys to its locks. No dissenting views are allowed, and even if one gets through the locks, it's immediately removed.

The worst thing about all this is that many journalists, politicians and other influential people put too much trust in Wikipedia, and may make decisions based on it, without realizing that they are getting a biased cherry-picked perspective, often where mere claims made by individuals are presented as facts.

Traffic stops in the United States vs. Finland

There are a lot of videos and web pages out there giving advise on how to behave if you are driving a car in the United States and get stopped by the police. This advise includes keeping your hands always visible on the steering wheel (even and especially while the police officer is walking towards your car), telling the police officer what you are going to do before doing it (such as "it's in my glove compartment, I'm going to reach it", or "it's in my jacket's inside pocket, I'm going to take it out"), not making any sudden moves that may look suspicious (ie. that could be seen by the police officer as you reaching for a hidden gun), and so on and so forth. In fact, police officers themselves often give this advise, and are appreciative if people follow this, for everybody's safety.

The reason for this is, of course, the abundance of gun ownership. Police officers in the United States, especially at some places, are very wary of being attacked by a gun. Every traffic stop is somewhat of a gamble because they never know if it might be eg. some drug junkie or other criminal who might suddenly attack them with a gun. Thus they appreciate when the driver acts calmly, always keeps his hands visible, and always announces what he is going to do instead of doing sudden unexpected moves.

All this sounds completely silly here in Finland. You don't need to do any of this here, nor is the police expecting such things here. And they really don't need to. For the entire history of the Finnish traffic police, I am not aware of even one single incident of a driver attacking a traffic cop with a gun. (Don't get me wrong, such cases might exist. However, even if they do, they are exceedingly rare.)

The Finnish police doesn't need to be so wary and so on their toes all the time. It's just safer for them, and for the citizens in general.

But American conservatives cannot and will not believe nor accept this.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Why do SJW game journalists hate Far Cry 5?

In recent years it has become a trend among regressive leftist video game journalists to choose some random video game and start relentlessly attacking it, often for the stupidest of reasons, sometimes with no apparent reason at all.

The latest victim of this trend appears to be Ubisoft's latest entry in the Far Cry series. Article after article is being written by these journalists, attacking it for the silliest of reasons. For example one of the newest such articles criticizes the game for having a blank-slate silent protagonist. A staple of video games that has been used for many decades.

If one were to skim through these articles, one could easily get the impression that this game somehow glorifies American gun-happy religious ultra-conservatism. But of course that's not the case. As somebody commented somewhere, this game "is apolitical as f***".

It appears to me that what irks these regressive leftist journalists is that the game depicts American conservatives as NPCs, completely neutrally, without taking a political stance, without relentlessly attacking and criticizing them. American SJWs just can't stand that.

(Yes, even in that article I mentioned above, the motivation for criticizing the "blank-slate silent protagonist" is that said protagonist, by virtue of being silent, doesn't retort to nor criticize any of the conservative NPCs he or she encounters. The playable character just encounters them, listens to what they have to say, and doesn't respond anything back, at least not audibly, as is the convention in games with a silent protagonist. As per the convention, a response might be implied, but not explicitly made audible. It's left ambiguous whether there is an in-universe response or not.)

Other articles have criticized the game more explicitly for not criticizing American conservatism. As said, it appears that they just can't stand a work of fiction that depicts conservatives and takes no stance and remains neutral.

From my perspective the funny thing about all this is that these attacks serve as kind of reverse advertisement for the game in question. Rather than driving me away from the game and not want to play it, all these articles have had the exact opposite effect: They have made me interested in the game.

In fact, without these articles I would have done what I normally do with new games: Wait for a sale or price drop before deciding on a purchase. During my life I have purchased literally hundreds and hundreds of games, yet I can count with the fingers of one hand the amount of games I have purchased at full price (ie. the 50+€ range).

I decided to add this game to that very short list. Yes, I purchased it at full price. Just because of all those articles attacking it.

I have played the game for about 20 hours, and so far I'm liking it. In the recent past, for a time I was kind of bored of wide open sandbox games, especially the ones using the Far Cry formula, but recently I have become interested in them once again. I'm actually enjoying this game quite a lot. It might not be the most innovative and mind-blowing game in existence, but I like it nevertheless. It helps that it looks gorgeous, as is traditional with the Far Cry franchise.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Appreciating the working class

I have been thinking lately that the working class is the least appreciated group of people in current western society. Especially those people who are working in the most physically stressing, and sometimes even dangerous jobs.

These are the people who make society work. They build our homes, they build all the infrastructure, such as roads, railroads and bridges, they keep the sewers working, they keep electricity working, they keep public transport working... That house you are living in? These people built it, with their hard physical labor. The fact that you open your water faucet, and water comes pouring out, day after day, year after year? These people are the ones ensuring that keeps happening. The fact that you are using your computer or cellphone right at this moment, reading this? It's thanks to these people, who keep the electric current flowing into your home. The fact that you can drive or take the bus to get wherever you need to get? The fact that that road even exists in the first place, and remains in drivable condition year after year? Yes, it's thanks to these people.

Many of these jobs are physically very requiring and stressing, and sometimes dangerous. Many of these jobs tend to be the ones with the highest rates of job-related accidents and deaths, even with all possible safety measures taken. Many of these people are, technically speaking, literally putting their safety and lives on the line in order to keep society running. Even if the risks are somewhat small, they are still significantly higher than with "cleaner" and easier jobs.

And many of these people are underpaid, and completely underappreciated. Whenever the government and other institutions in power want to virtue-signal in a manner that affects the economy of the country, such as for example taking floods of economic migrants into the country, it's these people of the working class that are usually the ones who often experience the consequences the hardest. Their wages go down, their working conditions and safety go down.

And these are precisely the people who get most vilified and attacked by the regressive leftist cult. They get zero appreciation for what they are doing, and instead get insulted and attacked, for the sole reason that they are just hard-working people who simply want to make a living and support a family.

So, I have been thinking... The next time you see these people out there, like for example construction workers, or a sewer maintenance crew, or whoever who is working a hard physical labor making sure that society works and runs smoothly, perhaps pay some thought to them. At least in your mind appreciate the work that these people are doing. Work that helps you live a life of comfort, luxury and safety.

If you are one of these people who is working in a hard physical job, my hat goes off to you. What you are doing is valuable and important.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Misconceptions about male vs. female suffrage

Many people, especially (and of course) feminists, have this notion that historically men have had the right to vote for a long, long time, and that women getting the right to vote is, relative to that, a very recent development, and the result of a hard-fought battle.

If you ever encounter a person thinking like that, ask that person when exactly men got the right to vote. I'm somewhat certain that he will get stumped.

Voting is a democratic process, and democracies in general are quite a new thing. The funny thing is that this pretty common knowledge, ie. that for the vast majority of history governments were oligarchic and based on inherited royalty and nobility, not based on democracy. For the longest time nobody had the right to vote, especially not the peasants nor the working class, because there was no democratic voting process. Government was owned by nobility, not elected. The funny thing about this is that people seem to forget that they know this quite well.

Even when there was some kind of voting process, for the longest time it was restricted to the upper classes only. The working class couldn't vote. And even then, especially in some countries, when this started phasing out, voting was still restricted to the richer part of the population.

The right for every citizen to vote regardless of social status (even if it was restricted to men) is called "universal suffrage", and it has not existed since forever. It is, in fact, a rather new thing. Just like women's suffrage.

In fact, if you look at the history of universal suffrage in many countries, the timespan between all men (regardless of social status) to vote, and this right being extended to women, can be surprisingly short. In some countries (eg. Finland, since its independence) this right was given immediately. In other countries this right was extended in just a couple of decades (eg. 14 years in the case of New Zealand.). About 40 to 50 years seems to be the average.

Sure, that's in itself a relatively long time, but not even nearly as much as people seem to think it was. People don't really cite any numbers, but when you hear them talk about it, they seem to think that this took something like hundreds and hundreds of years. Even though they know that universal suffrage in the fist place is a recent development, even for men. They just forget about that.

HTC Vive Pro... and HTC hasn't learned anything

As I have commented many, many times, one of the major reasons why VR turned out to be an almost complete failure was the exorbitant prices of the headsets at launch. When the headset costs more than a pretty decent gaming PC, and more than a high-quality 4k display (heck, you could even get a pretty decent gaming PC and a quite good-quality lower-resolution display for cheaper than a Vive), and when its use is much, much more niche than either one of those, people aren't going to exactly rush to buy one.

As I have commented previously, I can guarantee that if the VR headsets costed eg. like 200€ at launch, they would have seen significantly more success (perhaps an order of magnitude bigger, perhaps even more). I don't know nor care how that would have been possible, but it's what was needed. But since eg. the HTC Vive costed 900€ at launch, there was a snowball's chance in hell for it to become successful.

So, HTC is publishing an upgraded version of the headset, the HTC Vive Pro (what an imaginative name). Higher resolution (but still has a screendoor effect and relatively narrow field of view problem), bulkier but a bit more ergonomic design...

Did HTC learn from their past mistakes, and develop the headset to be significantly cheaper than the first version?

Of course not. In fact, the HTC Vive Pro is even more expensive than the first version at launch. About 970€.

And get this: That's the price of the headset alone. The tracking sensors and the controllers aren't included. Those will be sold separately later. (The most inexplicable thing about this is that the headset is pretty much completely useless without the tracking stations. You could use it without the controllers in games that do not need them, but the tracking stations are an essential component for it to function.)

In other words, the total price of the whole thing will be much higher than that 970€. (The total price is still to be announced, but it's probably going to be well beyond 1000€. Perhaps in the ballpark of 1100€ to 1200€, or so?)

So yeah, HTC has learned absolutely nothing from their past mistakes. And when you don't learn from past mistakes, you are doomed to repeat them. People didn't buy the first Vive when it was priced at 900€. They aren't buying it even today, when its price has been dropped to 700€.

If people aren't buying the Vive at 700€, in what universe does HTC think they are going to buy for over 1000€?

At this point it's quite clear that HTC isn't even making the headsets for the average consumer. They are making them for corporations who are using them for tech demos, entertainment services, and some applications. I have my doubts, however, about how lucrative that's gong to be for HTC. I doubt that even with all such corporations put together, they are going to exactly sell millions of units.