Wednesday, December 30, 2015

It's finally happening: Conservative Christians were right after all

Especially in the United States there's a brand of ultra-conservative highly homophobic Christians who, among other things, have loudly sensationalized how homosexuals are trying to convert children into homosexuality.

This conspiracy theory is quite ridiculous, and I have laughed at it as much as anybody else.

I'm not laughing as hard anymore.

Not exactly homosexuals per se, but feminists are finally making that conspiracy theory actually somewhat true. For instance:

80 primary school pupils a year seeking help to change gender
UK Police Target Schoolchildren As Young as FOUR With Tax Payer Funded, Transgender Propaganda
Boy aged 5 returns to school as a girl

It really is happening.

This is not just a question of raising awareness of transgenderism. It's actually encouraging kids as young as four years old into it.

This crosses the line.

No matter what your stance is on gender identity and transgenderism, it can be medically and scientifically argued that a person cannot know their "true" gender until at the very least completing their puberty. Hormones make all the difference in the world. It can change everything. It can even change things back and forth several times.

No matter how pro-gender-fluidity and pro-transgenderism you may be, you cannot deny this medical and physical fact. 4-year-olds cannot know their "true" gender. Not only have they not developed enough mentally to make informed rational decisions of their own, they haven't even reached puberty, which makes all the difference in the world.

Propaganda like this can make kids make decision that they may later deeply regret. In some cases the decision may be irreversible. Messing up kids' heads in this way is not only highly irresponsible, I would consider it outright criminal.

Consider, for instance, this sentence from that third article: "Children can take drugs to postpone puberty as well as hormone treatment, before NHS gender realignment surgery at 18." This is criminal and should be illegal. It is in no way any less horrible than, for example, performing routine lobotomies on children, which was surprisingly common in a few western countries not so long ago.

I have been saying this for a long time, and I will reiterate it here: Feminism is a dangerous and highly toxic ideology. It should be treated like a dangerous cult.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Why does George Lucas hate the original Star Wars?

What is the highest honor that a movie can receive in the United States?

Lots of Oscars and other film awards? Yeah, sure. However, I would argue that there is an even higher honor that can be bestowed on a movie (although, of course, this is subjective and a matter of opinion): Being inducted into the American National Film Registry.

The Registry was founded in 1988 for the purpose of officially preserving movies that are culturally and historically significant. Only a very, very small selection of movies get this honor: At most 25 movies are selected per year.

Oscar-winning movies are aplenty, and most of them are forgettable. I'm sure that if you try to think of any oscar-winning movies (no matter when they were made), you would remember just a tiny, tiny fraction of them. Only a very small portion of all oscar-winning movies are actually culturally and historically noteworthy.

And the original Star Wars, made in 1977, was this in droves. It was more than just a movie. It was a cultural phenomenon. It shaped moviemaking and culture. We are still talking about it to this day, and it still has huge amounts of avid fans. You cannot talk about popucultural history without talking about Star Wars.

The original Star Wars was among the first 25 movies ever inducted into the National Film Registry, in 1989. However, as per the rules of the Registry, only the original printing of the movie was to be accepted, so they requested it from George Lucas. What did he do?

He refused.

Now let that sink in for a moment. This is, arguably, the highest honor and accolade that a movie could ever receive in the United States. The entire world. This is arguably one of the most influential and culturally significant movies ever made. And he refused.

In 1997 George Lucas offered the Registry the "Special Edition" print of the movie. This was not accepted, because the rules of the Registry require the original print.

To this day, Lucas has refused to give it to them.

Why? Nobody knows. And we will probably never know. It's completely incomprehensible, and to my knowledge he has never given any rational explanation.

Moreover, Lucas has gone the extra mile to stop anybody anywhere from getting these original copies. (To my knowledge the only original print that has ever been available is one single reel, ie. an incomplete section of the movie, from its original theatrical run, which has been preserved by somebody, technically speaking illegally. Even this reel is badly scratched and has other artifacts due to wear and tear.)

"Why does it matter?" one would ask.

It matters because the original movie is an important piece of history. The "special editions" and other subsequent versions are heavily modified versions of the movie. For example, many of the award-winning special effects and costume design have been completely replaced with computer-generated shots, and many scenes and even (award-winning) music have been replaced or altered, and additional shots have been inserted. This heavily modifies and outright destroys the original historical film. (For example, from an academic perspective it would be an interesting subject of study of how movie special effects have changed over the years. One of the most groundbreaking special effects movies, which even got an oscar for it, has been censored and, effectively, self-banned, hindering this kind of research.)

Why does George Lucas hate the original Star Wars so much? Why is he refusing to release the high-quality original prints of the original?

We will probably never know.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Lowering video game graphical quality compared to E3

The game Watch Dogs became very infamous because its final release had quite drastically lowered graphical quality (even at maximum graphical settings) than what was showcased prior to launch at E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo.) People were disappointed that the final version of the game didn't look even nearly as good as what was shown at the expo.

The thing is, the footage shown at E3 was, ostensibly, video of real-time gameplay, not some pre-rendered graphics. In other words, the developers themselves had a PC that could run the game at that graphical fidelity with a good framerate. Therefore most high-end PC gamers likewise would have had a gaming PC capable of running it. Thus these gamers felt a bit cheated and robbed when what they got was visibly of lower graphical quality, even at full settings.

Watch Dogs is not the only example. Other examples of exactly this include Far Cry 3 and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Both of them had E3 pre-launch demo videos with higher graphical quality than what was in the final release.

But why? Why do they do this? What exactly is the purpose? Why show something at E3, usually real-time gameplay footage, and then deliberately lower the graphical quality?

It is not a question of making the game runnable on PC's with lower specs. That can be done with graphics options within the game. There is nothing stopping a video game from having the full quality graphics options showcased in pre-releases, and lower options for slower PC's. The vast majority of PC games do this (including those three mentioned above.) It's just that, for an unknown reason, these games are deliberately crippled before launch, and even the maximum graphical options available in the game lowered.

Many have presented the hypothesis that they do this deliberately in order to bring the PC version graphically closer to the console versions of the game.

There's no way around it: Consoles always have lower specs than the highest-end PC's. (For example, the PlayStation 4, which is essentially the highest-powered game console currently on the market, has a graphics chip that's approximately as powerful as an Nvidia GTX 4xx or GTX 5xx series card, which is laughably old. Even the cheaper modern mid-range Nvidia cards are twice as fast as that.)

The hypothesis is that they don't want the console version of the game looking drastically of lower graphical quality than the high-end PC version, which is why they make the PC version look the same as the console version at its best.

If that's true, the question still remains of why. Maybe it's some kind of marketing tactic (misaimed or effective, who knows.)

It really is kind of a dick move to first tease gamers with awesome-looking graphics, and then take them away, without any possibility of getting them.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Weight loss and feminism

I was watching an episode of the TV series Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition. The episode was about a woman who weighted 133 kg (292 lbs), was in extremely poor shape, suffered from psoriasis mostly caused by her weight, and was extremely unhappy about her life. So unhappy, in fact, that she confessed that she had been seriously considering taking her own life prior to being contacted by the TV show.

(Now, I understand that these American reality TV shows really love to sensationalize things, and create extra drama via editing and coaxing their participants. However, such a thing as suicidal thoughts is so serious that, unless somebody can definitively prove to me otherwise, I'm willing to believe that the woman was being completely serious and honest, rather than being coaxed by the show's producers into telling such a lie, as that would be a new low even for such a TV show.)

During the course of a year she lost weight from 133 kg to 73 kg (162 lbs), which is basically ideal weight for a woman of her height, and she became extremely fit (being able to basically go through a half-triathlon of sorts in a very good time.)

At the end of the year she was clearly extremely happy and enthusiastic about her weight loss, having turned her life around completely. (Again, American reality TV shows like to sensationalize, but once again, unless somebody can prove to me definitively that this was completely staged, I'm willing to believe that she was being genuine. And why wouldn't it be.)

What, however, would have been the end result if rather than a reality-TV show getting to her, and encouraging her to become ideal weight an really fit, it had been modern feminists that would have got to her instead?

She would have been actively discouraged from losing weight and becoming fitter.

"You are beautiful as you are. Don't let the unhealthy images of beauty created by the society and the beauty industry depress you. Society is simply fat-shaming you. Different people are simply different, and have different builds. No people are better than others. You are perfect as you are."

If feminists had gotten to her instead of this TV show, she would still to this day be extremely overweight, in very poor shape, suffer from psoriasis, and most probably very unhappy about herself and her life. Who knows, maybe she would have committed suicide by now. Not only would have feminists told her that she does not have to lose weight, moreover they would have actively discouraged her from doing so. "You are beautiful as you are. You don't need to change. It's other people's fault, not yours. You are not at fault here. You don't need to change."

Losing weight and becoming fit is not only a question of self-image and self-perceptions. It's a question of health. This woman, after that year, was living a significantly healthier and more fulfilling life than before it. Barring unforeseen diseases, she is probably going to live longer than she would have otherwise. And, more importantly, the quality of her life, both physical and mental, are much better now.

Modern feminism is a dangerous ideology. This is one of the many reason why I vehemently oppose it.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

"Safe spaces" in universities are illegal

In the United States (and some other countries) brave people fought to end racial segregation, which was rampant and really egregious. Today, spoiled privileged entitled rich kids at universities want it back.

They are demanding "safe spaces" at universities, which are effectively "no whites allowed" zones. And the staff of these universities are caving in into every such demand, like sheep.

All these people seem to forget that racial segregation is illegal in the United States. It was criminalized in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (which full text you can read here.)

Here are some relevant excerpts:
"All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, and privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin."
"All persons shall be entitled to be free, at any establishment or place, from discrimination or segregation of any kind on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin, if such discrimination or segregation is or purports to be required by any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, rule, or order of a State or any agency or political subdivision thereof."
"No person shall (a) withhold, deny, or attempt to withhold or deny, or deprive or attempt to deprive, any person of any right or privilege secured by section 201 or 202, or (b) intimidate, threaten, or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person with the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by section 201 or 202, or (c) punish or attempt to punish any person for exercising or attempting to exercise any right or privilege secured by section 201 or 202."
Likewise these self-righteous students are demanding the universities to engage in preferential treatment based on race when hiring university staff, which is also illegal.
"It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer--
(1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; or
(2) to limit, segregate, or classify his employees in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin."
"Safe spaces" are illegal. Discrimination in employment based on race is illegal. Yet they are getting away with it, with impunity. It baffles my mind.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Why men do not want women in their playgroups and teams

Feminist answer: Because men are misogynists.

Actual answer: Because men respect women.

That answer might sound completely nonsensical at first, but let me explain.

(Also, I'm not saying that there exist no men who don't want women in their playgroups because of very sexist reasons. Of course there are. However, I'd argue that those are a minority. In the majority of cases where this happens, the reason is rather different, which I'll explain below.)

Think of it what you want, but on average men's psychology is different from women's. Men do not get easily offended, and are rather stoic. When men who are close friends are engaged in a hobby, they often like to trashtalk. This trashtalk may sometimes even sound highly offensive and insulting to an outsider. Some of it might even be technically speaking "sexist", even though the men aren't actually sexist in the least. That's just trashtalk. And that's just how men's brains work. It's a form of male bonding. It may sound like a cliche, but that's just how it is.

However, immediately when a woman enters the picture, things change completely. Now all the men have to be careful about what they say and do. They have to tread very carefully, so as to not be offensive to the woman and hurt her feelings.

They do not do this out of misogyny. They do this out of respect. They do not want their typical trashtalk to offend the woman.

But the thing is, this sucks the fun out of the whole experience. They cannot let loose. They cannot "take a break" from social norms, and have a fun session of whatever, and of male bonding. Suddenly they have to be serious and respectful... and boring. It's just not fun. Many men do not want this. It just kills the playgroup, the whole idea.

(Of course some men keep trashtalking regardless, often offending the woman in question. But that's usually a minority of cases. Also, I'm not saying that all male playgroups are like that, but many of them are. And of course there are really tomboyish women who are "one of the boys", so to speak, and trashtalk as much as any of the men. Sadly they are also a very, very small minority.)

Of course feminists love to twist the narrative and accuse men of misogyny. Even though it's the exact opposite: Not misogyny, but respect.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The irony of constitutional freedom

Freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom to peacefully congregate to express opinions and so on and so forth are some of the most fundamental core values of a modern free society, most often, in most countries, expressed in the most fundamental guiding document of the government, ie. the so-called "constitution".

The constitution is an attempt to guide and limit the government in order to protect individual rights, freedoms and equality, and stop the government from trampling over and infringing its citizens' fundamental rights.

There's a great irony in this, however. You see, dissemination of anti-constitutional ideologies, ie. ideologies that seek to limit or even annul the country's constitution itself, is, quite ironically, protected by the constitution. (It would indeed be quite contradictory and even hypocritical for a constitution to say, essentially, "all speech is protected, except anti-constitutional speech.")

These basic freedoms allow, for example, muslim extremists in the west to rally their people against constitutional freedoms. They allow social justice warriors to indoctrinate people into thinking that things like freedom of speech and freedom of congregation should be limited. In other words, they are using the very freedoms that the constitution grants them to speak against those freedoms.

And what worries me is that those ideologies are highly "infectious" and "virulent". More and more people are being indoctrinated into them. Especially social justice warriors are appropriating schools and universities, where most of the future leaders, judges, congresspeople and the press are studying, and are indoctrinating them into believing a totalitarian anti-constitutional racist ideology. And more and more people are converted every day.

It's like the constitution is working against itself. It protects the freedom for people to work against the constitution.

It makes me think of how the Nazi part rose to power in Germany in the 1920's and 1930's. They were, after all, a political party elected to the parliament using the regular democratic process.

This attack against the constitution, however, is happening at an even more fundamental level.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Paris attacks: You reap what you sow

On the 18th of September 2015, ie. almost exactly two months ago (as of writing this blog post), I made a comment on Facebook about the European mass refugee immigration, and how Europe has finally lost its mind, pretty much opening its borders to anybody who just wants to come in. I predicted that within six months there will be the first terrorist attack by "refugees" (either actual refugees, or islamic terrorists pretending to be ones.)

Well, it took only two months for my prediction to become true. To the surprise of nobody. (The exact time and place of the attack was of course unpredictable, but not the fact that a terrorist attack in the very near future is inevitable. And what do you know.)

The attack didn't surprise me in the least. However, it does anger me quite a lot. I feel anger for the fact that people have to pay with their lives for this European madness. Citizens whose opinion on the subject of opening the borders was not asked. Citizens whose tax money is used for all this. Now they are dead.

Today it was Paris. Where will the next attack be? How many more people will have to die because of this madness? I'll renew my prediction and say that within the next six months there will be another terrorist attack somewhere in Europe. (And this estimate is cautiously optimistic. I fear that the attack will come much, much sooner than that.)

Yes, open your borders, Europe. Then reap what you sow. We, the regular citizens, have to pay, both with our tax money and our lives.

I'm really angry right now.


Edit: And it took 4 months. I was right once again.

At this point is probably useless to make any more predictions. Terrorist attacks at semi-regular intervals are here to stay. And people have to pay with their lives because of it.

Congratulations Europe, you are completely retarded. And unfortunately I have to live here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Is constitutional free speech coming to an end?

As I wrote in a previous blog post, modern "progressive" feminism is highly authoritarian, and seeks to control, censor, silence, ban and even criminalize dissenting opinion. It is, in fact, becoming more and more frequent for such social justice warriors to outright openly say that free speech is a bad thing, an antiquated concept, and that it should be limited. Many of them aren't even beating around the bush about it, but just outright state it.

The frightening thing is that this exact branch of "progressive" feminism, the highly authoritarian and anti-constitutional kind, is extremely virulent, and extremely powerful. It is represented not only by regular citizens, but all the way to high-ranking officials, politicians, members of the press, university professors, and so on. And in an alarmingly increasing manner.

Feminism, the wrong authoritarian kind, appropriates and invades everything. It's like Scientology: Infiltrate every major branch of our society, including the press, politics, and universities.

At this moment there is, effectively, an "invasion" happening at Yale University. "Progressive" social justice warriors are organizing protests for the slightest of excuses, and demanding for the president of the university to resign. Even though said president has done absolutely nothing wrong. He is not even accused of having done anything concrete. He's just being demanded to resign, because reasons.

Now, I'm not saying that most of them are doing it deliberately, but there is probably a major hidden reasons why they are demanding it: To have him replaced with a more "progressive" feminist.

If and when they reach their goals, it is surely to end up with Yale University spending more and more time and resources in, well, indoctrinating their students into authoritarian "progressive" feminism. Even more than it currently does. (There is, in fact, an amazing amount of "gender studies" and "critical race theory" courses currently at Yale. And these are the major reason why so many of their students see racism and sexism in every little thing, and are absolutely crazy about feminist theory and rhetoric, and why the university has become effectively a totalitarian hellhole. You wouldn't believe how much concepts like "white privilege", "microaggression", "safe spaces" and all kinds of other feminist buzzwords are thrown around there. And you wouldn't believe how much bullying is happening from the part of the feminists against anybody who dares to present a dissenting opinion.)

This is actually scary. Why? Well, consider this description of Yale University from Wikipedia: "Yale has graduated many notable alumni, including five U.S. Presidents, 19 U.S. Supreme Court Justices, 13 living billionaires, and many foreign heads of state. In addition, Yale has graduated hundreds of members of Congress and many high-level U.S. diplomats, including former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and current Secretary of State John Kerry. Fifty-two Nobel laureates have been affiliated with the University as students, faculty, or staff, and 230 Rhodes Scholars graduated from the University."

If you want to conquer a country, infiltrate its leaders, its richest and most influential people, and the media. Control everything.

When the new generation of presidents, congressmen, supreme court justices and so on has been indoctrinated into this feminist "progressive" authoritarianism, an ideology that abhors constitutional freedom of speech and considers it dangerous, what exactly do you think will happen?

I predict now, on November 2015, that in the not-so-distant future more and more acts of free speech and free expression will be criminalized, especially those critical of progressive feminism and subjects closely related to it, in the United States, the United Kingdom, and some other western countries. More and more authoritarian measures will be implemented to combat opinions that they do not like, including technological measures to censor the internet, and implementing laws against people who would express such opinions. And the things which will be criminalized will be more and more mundane and trivial as more laws are passed. People will be incarcerated simply for objecting to this.

Constitutional "free speech" will not be abolished de jure, but it will pretty much de facto. It will be held in name only. Everything that they will criminalize will be declared as "not falling under constitutional free speech". Thus they will keep the charade of upholding the constitution, while still going blatantly against it.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Hatred of the std:: prefix in C++

Among many C++ programmers, there's an extremely strange aversion to using the std:: prefix for names in the standard library (which is why you see C++ code out there littered with the "using namespace std;" statement, and a complete avoidance of the std:: prefix.) There is a common sentiment among these people that the prefix makes the code more unreadable.

This notion is extremely prevalent all the way from complete beginners to university professors teaching C++. Yet I have never seen an actual rational argument for this. It seems to me that these people are just repeating the notion simply because they were taught it, and everybody else is saying it. It's like a form of cargo-cult programming: Hating something for no good reason, simply because everybody else hates it too.

And the thing is, many of these people will defend that notion vehemently, even aggressively. No matter what kind of logical counter-arguments you make, they won't budge.

There is, however, a school of thought that's the polar opposite, and I am a big adherent and promoter of it: Completely avoiding "using namespace std;" and always using the std:: prefix for all standard library names actually makes the code more readable! It also avoids problems.

There are several reasons why this is a good idea.

Firstly, using the std:: prefix for standard library names makes the code more readable for the same reason as code coloring does. You can see at a quick glance where standard library names are being used, and you can more easily see which names are being thus used because they have been "marked" in this manner. Standard library names are thus visually distinct from custom names.

Decades ago I followed the misguided principle of avoiding the prefix, but changed my mind later. And the more I started coding using the prefix, the more I started liking it, and the clearer the code that I wrote became. The "std::" markers really are a very useful visual cue about where and how standard library names are being used, and they distinguish it clearly from my custom names. The more you do this, the more you start liking it, as it really makes the code more readable (which is the exact opposite of the claim.)

Secondly, the prefix actually carries useful information with it. It might not be immediately apparent why, but it really is so. Consider, for instance, this lone line of code:
if ( equal(a, b, c) )
What does this line of code tell us? Not much really. There's a conditional yes, but other than that we have no idea. The "equal()" function could be anything, and we don't know anything about those three parameters. Maybe it's some custom function that compares if three values are equal?

However, contrast it to this:
if ( std::equal(a, b, c) )
Now this is a completely different beast. With the simple addition of the prefix we now know a lot more about this line. Not only do we know now that this is a standard library function, but now we also know that the three parameters are iterators, and we know what this line of code is doing. And even if we didn't know what std::equal() does, we know where to look for that info (rather than going into a wild goose chase in the source code of the program, especially if we are not using an IDE that tells us where that function is declared.)

Thirdly, "using namespace std;" can be problematic because it exposes everything from the standard libraries into the global namespace. This has the danger of causing name collisions. The program might compile now, but just an update to the compiler or its libraries may break it.

POV-Ray is an actual real-life example of this. Prior to C++11, it adhered to the principle of avoiding the prefix, and it used extensively the shared_ptr class from the Boost library. The source code files were littered with these two statements:
using namespace std;
using boost::shared_ptr;
If you are a C++ programmer, you might immediately see what the problem is here.

Somewhere around 2009 or 2010 people started complaining that they couldn't compile POV-Ray from its source code using the latest compilers because of the name collisions between the two versions of shared_ptr. And of course once the C++11 standard was published, it settled the problem for good. Bringing the same name from two different namespaces to the global namespace, just to avoid having to write the prefixes, is a really bad idea.

Yet the hatred of the std:: prefix still prevails to this day. The misinformation and bad practices are being passed from teachers to pupils, and thus they will probably eventually pass this misinformation further, and thus it will be forever perpetuated. This mind virus really needs to stop.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Wearing a burqa is not a personal choice

Whenever there is discussion about the burqa, all such discussion is immediately shut down with people putting their fingers in their ears and shouting "choice" and "religious freedom" and refusing to hear anything else.

However, the fact is that a Muslim woman wearing a burqa is not a personal choice. It may oftentimes (especially in the west) be masqueraded as a personal choice, but in practice it's not.

In Islamic religion and culture, the burqa is a symbol of submission to Islam and Allah, and a sign of purity and modesty. Moreover, not wearing a burqa is in many Islamic cultures a sign that the woman is a prostitute, or at the very least not chaste.

In the most totalitarian Islamic countries a woman not wearing a burqa in public leads to punishment. Even in more liberal Islamic countries it's usually taken as a sign of the woman not being chaste, in other words a "slut", if not outright a prostitute. In many of these countries women who do not wear the burqa are treated like "sluts". Even in the very best cases the attitudes are disrespectful and very sexist. In the worst case scenarios we are talking about brutal rape.

In the west many Islamic communities will outright shun, shame and even punish behind doors any Muslim woman who does not wear the burqa. They are considered sinful and shameful, and essentially sluts.

Women in these Islamic cultures are heavily indoctrinated and shamed into wearing the burqa. They are essentially brainwashed into believing in the virtues of wearing it. They are taught, directly or indirectly, that not wearing it in public is extremely shameful and sinful, and may even lead to punishment, shunning, abuse, or even rape. They are taught from childhood that wearing the Burqa is the will of Allah, and not doing so is a crime against him.

Such women living in the west have learned to defend their burqa. You will basically never find such a woman who will tell you directly that she's wearing the burqa because she has to. She will always tell that she's wearing it because she wants to. But that means nothing. She has been indoctrinated and intimidated into wearing it at all times. It is in no way a persona choice. There is no choice in her community. Either she wears it, or she will be shunned, shamed and even abused.

Wearing a burqa is in no way more acceptable in our modern society than, for example, forcing black people to sit on the back of the bus.

Even if you were to ask such black people if it's their choice to sit on the back of the bus, separated from the white people, and they would answer in the affirmative, it would still make no difference. Such segregation is unacceptable. If they are forced to sit in the back of the bus, sitting in the front leading to punishment, what they say has absolutely no bearing on the morality of the situation. They may say "this is my personal choice" all they want, but that doesn't make any difference: The rule is wrong, and has no place in our society.

In the same way wearing the burqa has no place in our society due to the real reason why they do it. It is not personal choice. It's peer pressure, intimidation and indoctrination, and the punishment imposed by their community for not doing so is completely unjustifiable, even in the best case scenarios.

If a burqa-wearing woman comes to me and tells me that it's her choice, then my answer is rather simple: Ok, if it's just your choice, then try not wearing for a month. After all, if it's just your choice, then there shouldn't be any problem.

She won't. Because she can't.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Chess engines

I find chess engines, and how they have advanced in just the last ten years, really fascinating.

In 1997 the chess computer Deep Blue gained a lot of notoriety for being the first computer to beat a world-reigning chess master, Garry Kasparov, in a tournament of several games with long time controls. (More specifically, 6 games were played, and the score was 3½–2½ in favor of the computer.)

Since then, however, chess engines have advanced in major leaps.

Note that Deep Blue was a dedicated computer for the sole purpose of playing chess. It could calculate approximately 200 million nodes (ie. chess positions) per second.

Modern top chess engines will run on a regular PC, and their calculation speed on such a PC, even when using eg. 4 cores, is less than 10 million nodes per second, only a small fraction of what Deep Blue was capable of. Yet these modern chess engines, running on a regular PC, are significantly stronger than Deep Blue was, and would easily beat it (and even the strongest chess grandmasters.)

The reason for this is that their search tree pruning and position evaluation functions (and other more minor things) have vastly improved during the last 20 years. They are capable of finding the best moves with significantly less work than Deep Blue was. (It has been estimated that even Deep Blue back in 1997 would have got something like 200 ELO points stronger with some simple modern changes in its pruning functions, which would have made it significantly stronger than Kasparov.)

Modern chess engines do indeed find very easily moves that the best chess engines of just ten years ago would have struggled with (not to talk about engines of 1997). Consider, for example, this position from game 6 of the Kasparov vs. Deep Blue tournament:


Deep Blue is playing white, and Kasparov, as black, has just played h6. What is white's best response?

h6 is, in fact, a bad move. However, seemingly Kasparov played it to try to trick Deep Blue, because the proper response is so difficult that no chess engine of the day would play it. Deep Blue played the correct move, but only because it was in its opening book, not because it calculated it by itself. No engine of the time (or probably even for ten years since) would have found the correct response on their own.

The best move is Nxe6. This is a pure knight-for-pawn sacrifice because there is no immediate regaining of the lost material. It's done purely for positional advantage. It was extremely hard for chess engines to see this move as good, because at first it seems like a pure loss of material with no apparent advantage.

Yet, if you give this position to a modern top chess engine, like Stockfish 6, to analyze (with no opening books or anything), they will find Nxe6 in less than a second.

Or consider this position from the so-called "Kasparov Immortal" game (Kasparov vs. Topalov, 1999):


Black (Topalov) has just played Qd6. What is the best response by white?

The best response by white, and what Kasparov played, is the Rxd4 sacrifice.

I watched a YouTube video something like ten years ago about this game, and the person analyzing the game said that he gave this position to one of the top chess engines of the time (I don't remember which), and it took it over an hour to find Rxd4 as the best move.

If I give that position now to Stockfish to analyze, it finds Rxd4 as the best move in less than a second.

That's not to say that modern chess engines find the solution to all possible problems so fast, even today. For example, consider this very hard and contrived problem: White to play, mate in 6:


While Stockfish extremely quickly evaluates this as being overwhelmingly favorable to white, it nevertheless takes it between 4 and 5 minutes on my computer to find the mate in 6. (Note that it's not specifically mate-searching, just analyzing the position. It might find it faster if it were set to mate-searching.)

Chess engines have become so strong that they easily beat even the strongest human players, even when run on regular PCs rather than dedicated hardware.

But this blog is about things that grind my gears. And there is one such thing about chess engines. More specifically open source chess engines: Most, if not all of them, are horribly designed in terms of programming.

One of the major problems with all these open source chess engines is that they have been hard-coded into being UCI chess engines. This means that they are designed to be compiled into an independent executable which a separate GUI runs in the background.

What this means in practice is that none of them (or at least none I have looked so far), has been designed to work as a library. In other words, something that you can simply compile into your own program, and which you could then easily call from your own code. In other words, they are not reusable code.

They are not modular. In other words, they are not encapsulated eg. into a single class, which you could instantiate in your own code, and interact with through a minimal public interface. Instead, they are designed (ie. hard-coded) to be just a command-line program, rather than a library. Which means that they are just full of global functions and, more damningly, global variables all over the place, with no way to be incorporated into another program, and no clear public interface of any kind that could be called from other code.

Even the best-designed ones are like that. The worst ones are just outright horrible. (The worst one I have seen was one single gigantic source code file containing tens of thousands of lines, and being just a hard-coded command-line program, with absolutely no way of including it into another program, which could call it.)

The best design would be if the chess engine code is tightly encapsulated into a class, with a minimal public interface, and which could be instantiated (several times if so desired) and easily interacted with using its public methods. None of the engines I have looked so far use this design. All of them, instead, even the best ones, are rife with global variables, global functions, and zero library-style design.

(An even better design would be to separate the core engine from the UCI protocol part. These could be completely separate and independent classes, with the UCI class using the core engine class, eg. by inheriting from it, or using it as a member variable. This way a program could just use the core engine part if it does not need the UCI functionality. Also the main UCI command-line program code, ie. containing the main() function etc. ought to be completely separate from the rest of the code, and completely optional.)

This means that these engines are very hard, if not impossible, to use in a custom program. You can't simply compile them into your own program and use them, at least not without heavy modifications (which is often made harder by the fact that all the global functions and global variables are all over the place, rather than tightly encapsulated, and there is usually no easy way to selectively choose which parts of the engine you want into your program and which parts you don't.)

In short, they are very badly designed, in terms of their source code. They are hard, if not impossible, to reuse in and compile into a third-party program, which could benefit from them.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The difference between progressives and liberals

When it comes to political stances, all kinds of words and terms are thrown around, and it can get a bit confusing. There is left, right, conservative, liberal, authoritarian, progressive...

Two terms in particular are often confused and thought as interchangeable. Namely, "liberal" and "progressive". And both are often considered synonyms with "left-wing" (or "left-leaning".) In other words, if your political stance is left-leaning, you are thus a liberal and a progressive.

However, that is not the case. "Liberal" is not a synonym for "left-leaning". Rather, it's the opposite of "authoritarian". It's on an independent axis compared to the left-right categorization. A simplistic but illustrative way of depicting this is with the following "political compass" graph:


Depending on your political opinions and stances, you can locate yourself basically anywhere on that two-dimensional graph.

Where do "progressives" fall in that graph? They fall really, really up, in other words, extremely authoritarian, and the polar opposite of liberalism.

Modern feminism is largely "progressive", and they hold many opinions that go completely opposite to the core principles of libertarianism.

Progressives want to limit freedom of speech. They want to silence, censor, ban, and stop people from peacefully congregating and talking about subjects they do not like. They advocate for laws that will silence and punish those who express opinions they do not like. They advocate banning everything they do not like, from things that even libertarians can somewhat agree with, all the way to completely ridiculous things, and this goes sometimes to extents that are an affront to the core principles of libertarianism and free democratic constitutional societies.

More and more progressives are calling for laws to punish those with the "wrong" opinions, and laws to ban things they don't like. They want to control the public discussion, and censor everything they don't like. They want to remove people's ability to express their opinions, if those opinions are "wrong", to remove any platform they may have to express publicly their opinions. This goes blatantly against the core principles of freedom of expression.

Moreover, progressives want to reverse the burden of proof with certain crimes (in other words, rather than the accused being considered innocent by default, and the accuser having the burden of proving the guilt of the accused, they want to reverse this, and have the accused considered guilty by default, and prove his own innocence.) This is, once again, an affront to the very principles of libertarianism.

Progressives are also collectivists (while liberals are mostly individualists.) This means that they do not treat people as individuals, judging each person individually based on personal merit, but they always see people as members of a demographic group, and will judge people based on that group. They will assign privileges, responsibilities, rights and guilt based on things like gender or ethnicity, rather than the person's own merits. They judge people based on what they are, rather than who they are. They will, for example, assign blame on someone based solely on that person's gender and ethnicity, without any consideration to that person's merits. Or give some people more or less "rights" to something (such as a cultural behavior) based on their ethnicity. Moreover, they do not consider all people equal before the law, but advocate judging people differently depending on things like gender and ethnicity (such as judging white people committing crimes against black people more harshly than the other way around.)

This, of course, goes completely opposite to libertarianism, where judging people on their own merits completely regardless of things like gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation is a sacrosanct core principle.

All of these stances are highly authoritarian. Limiting people's freedoms, silencing, censoring and banning, punishing for "wrong" opinions, controlling the press, public forums and overall the narrative, reversing the burden of proof in criminal trials, and judging people differently based on their demographic, are all core authoritarian values, and the polar opposite of libertarianism.

This is why calling a progressive feminist a "liberal" is absolutely wrong. "Progressivism" is almost exactly the opposite of libertarianism. (While it's the opposite in the vertical direction of the graph, rather than the horizontal direction, it's still the polar opposite nevertheless.)

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Ahmed Mohamed's "homemade" clock

So there's this incident where a student, of middle-eastern descent, in a Texas high school made a "homemade" clock, put it into a briefcase, and then got arrested because they thought it was a bomb.

When one reads the headlines version of the story, one very easily gets the impression that this is an electronics genius who built an electronic clock from scratch, then went to his school to show it off, and then got arrested mainly because of prejudice and racism (a muslim brings a briefcase with a clock to school, it must be a bomb!)

This story got so much attention that even the president of the United States made supporting comments, and this kid was soon offered scholarships to the most prestigious universities of the country.

However, when you actually dig deeper, the story is a bit different.

Firstly, was calling the police to arrest him overreaction? Definitely. Americans especially, but in increasing amounts westerners in general, are scared shitless of terrorism, and we see this kind of ridiculous overreaction all the time.

Was there prejudice and racism involved? If it had been a white kid, would the same have happened? Was the police called because he was a muslim? Possibly, but I have my doubts. You hear news of similar ridiculous overreactions all the time, regardless of the ethnicity of the "perpetrator".

Secondly, he wasn't arrested because they thought he had a bomb. Both the school and the police knew perfectly well it wasn't a bomb. The reason he got arrested was because they thought he was playing a tasteless, even dangerous prank, similar to going to the bank with a toy gun: It doesn't matter how much of a "prank" it is, you will get arrested. You don't go to a bank with a toy gun, no matter what. In the same way, you don't go to a school with a fake bomb.

Was the arrest still overreaction, even in this light? Definitely. As said, western culture has become scared of its own shadow, and we resort to such ridiculous overreactions. However, the actual reason for the overraction is not as stupid as the headlines version of the story makes it sound.

Thirdly, the scholarships are themselves an overraction. The stories make it sound like he's some kind of electronics genius, who built a homemade clock from scratch in his home.

Reality is much more disappointing than that. In actuality he simply disassembled an alarm clock and put the pieces inside the briefcase, maybe just soldering a few wires, but that's it. This may not be something that every teenager does, but it isn't something especially ingenious or talented either. Any random teenager with even a modicum of interest would be able to do that rather easily. There was nothing special about it. I think that offering him scholarships because of this was a bit rushed.

(Not that there's anything wrong in offering scholarships to anybody. That's just fine. It's just that the reason why they offer scholarships to this particular kid is skewed and misaimed. Other kids in the same school are not likewise offered scholarships, only this one, and only because of this event, rather than because of actual merit.)

There is, in fact, a very real possibility that he did indeed deliberately make it look like a briefcase bomb, just for the lulz. After all, why would you disassemble an alarm clock and put its innards in a briefcase (moreover a briefcase that looks exactly like those used in movies where such briefcase bombs are depicted), even soldering some extra wires for additional effect?

The stories make it sound like he just wanted to show off his hobby. Is that really so? Or did he deliberately make it look like a bomb? After all, there is little sense in using such a briefcase to do this; he could just as well brought it in his regular backpack or whatever.

I am somewhat convinced that he did have a "briefcase bomb" look in mind when he did this little project. He probably didn't understand nor realize that in the modern western zeitgeist, this is a no-no. (It's a rather stupid no-no for certain, but still, it's something you can get in trouble for. He probably didn't understand this.)


Update: Digging even deeper, the situation is even more damning than described above.

Firstly, the notion that he's some kind of electronics genius who built a homemade clock from scratch, or even modified an existing clock, is completely busted. There are videos out there which you can find, where people take the same kind of clock and replicate his version by simply opening the clock, taking its innards, and just putting them into a small briefcase. And that's it. Zero electronics or engineering knowledge needed. The only skill required is the ability to use a screwdriver to remove the screws of the clock's case.

Secondly, he had a history of numerous pranks in that school. (Also his sister had such a history. There are some indications that their father may be somehow involved in this.)

Thirdly, when he first tried to play this prank, he was told to put it away, into his locker. Instead, he kept bringing it to several classes. The point that broke the camel's back was when he set the alarm of the clock to go off in the middle of a class. There was no "a Muslim with a bomb!" mentality. There was a "problem student with a history of pranks and disruptions was told several times to stop it, and he wouldn't stop it, and instead went and disrupted class once again." He was given plenty of opportunity and warnings to stop it.

Fourthly, he was finally reported to the principal, and the principal finally called the police because of zero-tolerance policies in that school. (Yes, "zero-tolerance" is completely stupid, but such policies tie the hands of the teachers and principals. They have to act accordingly, or risk suspensions or losing their jobs.)

Fifthly, the police did not arrest him because they thought he had a bomb. They detained him because he was uncooperative and refused to answer questions.

And playing this prank, which involved zero engineering skills, was rewarded by him being called to the White House, to the UN, and with scholarships to prestigious universities, and showered with free stuff from all kinds of companies.

So yeah. Our society can over-react in both directions, it seems.

And what happened when he noticed that he gets showered by free stuff by playing the victim card? He got greedy and now is suing the state for 15 million dollars. Yes, this kid who got to he White House, the UN, and got showered with prestigious scholarships and free stuff... got so "emotionally distressed" that he's now suing the state for a meager 15 million dollars grand prize.

Assuming he wins the case, where do you think that money will be coming from? The taxpayers. And where do you think that money will be away from? That's right: The education system (which is already struggling in Texas.)

When he was just an unruly schoolkid with a history of playing pranks, and not listening to his teachers, it was understandable. Now he's just a little piece of s**t.

Friday, September 25, 2015

"WeConsent" app

The rape culture in our society (not the imagined feminist "rape culture", but the actual rape culture) has now gone to such ridiculous extremes that some colleges are encouraging their students to use a smartphone app to make affirmative consent "contracts" before sex.

Yes, we are finally going this far. The feminist fear of "rape" has gone to this extreme.

But putting that aside, something particular stands out in that article:
But Jasmin Enriquez, 23, who was date-raped as a student at Pennsylvania State University, branded sex contracts ‘pure evil’, saying: ‘They are nothing more than stunts and money-generating schemes which distract from the real issue which is education. We need to educate students of both sexes. Informed consent is an ongoing, shifting process which cannot be encapsulated in a contract. A contract fails to safeguard a woman who might change her mind after signing it.’
Firstly, notice that it doesn't say "person". It says "woman". It's always "woman" and "she"; it's never "man", "he", or even "person". Because, you know, only a woman can be raped. (As we all know, even if it's the man who got raped, it's still the man who was the rapist and the woman who was the victim.)

Secondly, and more obnoxiously: "who might change her mind after signing it."

What is the problem that this feminist has against this "contract"? That it takes the power away from women to accuse the guy of rape afterwards, if she so decides.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Feminists do not understand "meninism"

There's a recent new meme called "meninism" making the rounds.

"Meninism" is a parody of feminism. It is to feminism what "pastafarianism" is to religion. It's not an actual thing; it's a joke, a parody. It's a parody of feminism (kind of like "what if men acted like radical feminists?" thing). It's deliberately over-the-top, and nobody is seriously a "meninist" (any more than anybody is seriously a "pastafarian".)

The funniest thing about it is, however, that many feminists do not understand that it's just an over-the-top parody, and believe that it's an actual real thing, an actual movement. They take it seriously, and attack and ridicule it, as if it were a real movement, a real sociopolitical philosophy held by some men.

The vast majority of religious people understand that "pastafarianism" and the "Flying Spaghetti Monster" are not a real thing, but just a parody of religion. Many feminists do not understand that "meninism" is not a real thing, but just a parody of feminism. This makes religious people smarter and more intelligent than feminists.

I suppose that in this sense the meme has been highly successful.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Re: 24 Questions Black People Have For White People

There is a video making the rounds because of the astonishingly stereotyping, and sometimes even nonsensical, questions being presented: BuzzFeed's "24 Questions Black People Have For White People". It has gained some notoriety due to how obnoxious and nonsensical it is.

But, I'm a white person, so I suppose these questions are directed to me. So I'll answer:

#1: "Why do you always make such horrible decisions in horror movies? It's not cool to split up."

WTF? I'm not in a horror movie. And what exactly does this have to do with me being white? This question is absolutely nonsensical.

As for fictional characters in horror movies making dumb decisions, it's because of the script. The scriptwriter decided to write them like that. Usually to cause conflict, tension and drama.

But what exactly does this have to do with being white? Are you saying that no black fictional character has ever made any "horrible decision" in a horror movie? I don't get it.

#2: "Why do you freak out when black people are cast to play white fictional characters."

I could throw the same question right back: Why do you freak out if white people are cast to play black fictional characters?

Accuracy is valued. I don't "freak out" if a black person is cast to play a white character any more than I "freak out" if it's the reverse. If the fictional character is famous and established, changing it to something completely different is bothering, especially to fans and purists.

However, the bigger cause for the dislike of this kind of casting is that it's often done for political reasons, to try to send some kind of political message to the viewers, to shove such a message down their throats whether they like it or not. And that is something worthy of opposition. We are not morons. We do not need to be told what we should or shouldn't think or like.

#3: "Why is a big butt and big lips considered attractive on a white woman, but they are unattractive on a black woman?"

I have never heard or seen this kind of attitude anywhere, by anybody, during my entire life. This is honestly and literally the first time in my life I hear this idea.

As for me personally, I'm not especially attracted by big lips or butts, regardless of skin tone. Anyway, I have no idea what you are talking about with that question.

#4: "Do you really think Miley is the one who invented twerking?"

No. Why?

#5: "Why am I supposed to teach you to twerk? I don't know how to twerk."

What? What are you talking about?

#6: "Why is it that white people always act like they have discovered a new trend when people of color have already been doing it for virtually years?"

I don't do that.

As for other people, who is doing that? And why does it matter? Who cares?

#7: "Why is it that when a black woman wears her hair naturally it's seen as inappropriate, but when a white woman does, it's praised?"

Same answer as to question #3.

You can have your hair however you want. Why should I care? Shave it off if you want, or use a mohawk. You are free to do with your hair whatever you want.

#8: "This is the hair I was born with, so you wearing it as a trend is not cute."

That's not a question. That's being a dick. People have the right to use whatever hairdo they want. You don't own hairdos. If you don't like other people looking like you, then it's your bad. Grow up.

#9: "Like, can you appropriate my student loans? Can you take that off my hands?"

That doesn't make any kind of sense.

The whole concept of "appropriation" is completely racist. You do not own something just because of your skin color. You do not have rights to something just because of your skin color. Claiming rights to something you didn't invent just because of your race, or shaming other people for doing something because of their race, is obnoxious racism.

If we are going the route of "you can't use something invented by people of my race", then you have to stop using cars, computers, and so on. (What? It doesn't work that way? Well, duh. It doesn't matter what the skin color of somebody who invented something was. That's completely inconsequential. Stop being such a racist.)

But even ignoring that, even if I for a moment accepted the notion of "cultural appropriation", the question still makes no sense.

#10: "Why is it that white crime is seen as an isolated incident, but black crime is a representation of my entire community?"

No it isn't. I don't care what the skin color of a criminal is. Everybody ought to be judged based on their own merit and doings.

"When we see a story on TV about a white serial killer, I don't automatically assume that all white people are serial killers too."

But you seem quite keen in assuming that all white people are racists. Hypocrite.

And who exactly thinks that if there's a story on TV about a black serial killer, all black people are serial killers?

#11: "Why does talking about race make you so uncomfortable? Is it because you will be perceived as a racist if you talk about race?"

Yes, that's exactly the reason. At least there's something you understand.

I am being assumed a racist simply because I'm white. If I start talking about races, that will only make those assumptions stronger. Personally I don't have a problem in talking about race all day long (although, to be frank, it would be really boring), but the modern society has made it really difficult.

#12: "You don't really believe that racism is over because we have a black president?"

You are right, I don't. Are you assuming I do? Why?

#13: "Why is it so easy for you to notice when there are no white people around, but you hardly ever notice when there are no black people around?"

Because we notice unusual things. Here like 99% of people are white, and thus everybody being white is normal, and thus one gets naturally accustomed to it. It's only when the pattern is broken when our brain starts noticing that something is different. This is not restricted to white vs. black people.

#14: "Why is your goal to be color-blind?"

Because I'm not a racist, that's why. "Color-blindness" in this context means that I treat and judge people completely equally regardless of what their skin color might be. I "do not see color" when I am in a social interaction with somebody, or form an opinion on somebody. What their skin pigmentation might happen to be is completely inconsequential to this.

A great person once said: "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." I believe you know who this person was.

#15: "Why do you want to say the n-word so badly?"

I don't.

However, I do understand those who do. It's because most people are free-thinkers and do not like being told in an authoritarian, even totalitarian, manner what they should or shouldn't think or say. They don't like orwellian newspeak, where some words are banned and taboo. The more you tell to them that it's a bad word, the more they want to rebel against such authoritarianism. It's human nature. And I tend to agree with it. I myself don't like being told by progressives what I should or shouldn't think or say.

#16: "Why do you always want to touch our hair?"

Same answer as for #3.

Also, why would I even want to touch the hair of a stranger? That makes no sense.

#17: "Why do you feel like having one black friend makes you a cultural expert on other races?"

I don't. And I have never encountered such an attitude anywhere.

#18: "Is your only black friend comfortable being the reason why you can't be racist?"

I'm not a racist, and it has absolutely nothing to do with how many black friends I might or might not have.

"By that logic, then I'm not racist. I have a ton of white friends."

Oh, so you are admitting being racist? I just love this Freudian slip.

#19: "Why do you feel comfortable cursing at your parents?"

I don't. And WTF does this have to do with white people vs. black people? Are you saying that white people typically curse at their parents while black people don't? Are you stereotyping? (Also, I have never even heard of such a stereotype. Are you pulling it from your ass?)

#20: "Why do you kiss your dog on the mouth?"

Same answer as #19.

#21: "How come you can't pronounce black names like Quvenzhané but can say names like Schwarzenegger, Galifianakis and LaBeouf just fine?"

Because those are celebrities whose names are frequently pronounced on TV and everywhere, while that "black name" is something I have never heard before (and it took me quite some googling to find out how it's written.)

I can throw the same question back at you: Why can you pronounce those names, but can't pronounce mine? (I'm Finnish.) What? It doesn't work in this direction? Why not?

Do you see how that question is nonsensical (and has absolutely nothing to do with race)?

#22: "Why do you feel like all lion lives matter but black lives don't?"

This is actually a deeply offensive question. I value human life, all human life, over animals. If I had to choose between the life of a person and the life of a lion, I would choose the person, no questions asked, no matter who that person is.

You are not only accusing me of being racist, but moreover such an overt racist that I would consider lions' lives more valuable than black people's. My response to that is: Fuck you.

#23: "Why is it so hard for you to acknowledge your privilege?"

Ok, I acknowledge my privilege. Now what? What exactly should change about me or how I live my life?

This entire "privilege" thing is such a BS feminist buzzword. It's nothing more than a weak attempt at guilt-tripping people.

#24: "How does it feel to not be the spokesperson for your entire race at any given time?"

Say the people who are obnoxiously generalizing and stereotyping all white people, and asking them questions expecting white people to answer on behalf of all white people.

Hypocrites.

Monday, September 14, 2015

"Syrian" refugees

It seems that Europe has finally snapped, and lost completely any kind of sanity and control.

According to some estimates, at some border entry points where "refugees" from "Syria" are entering by the thousands, approximately 90% of these people have absolutely no proof that they actually come from Syria. And they are still just let in, without question, without control, and without monitoring.

Many of these "refugees" do not act much like actual refugees fleeing from a war, and seeking shelter on a neighboring country. Instead, they act exactly like Muslims like to act in Europe: Rioting, throwing stones, stealing, and raping.

If anybody thinks that every single one of these "refugees" actually comes from Syria, he's being just delusional.

And this unrestricted mass immigration wave will have lasting repercussions. Most European countries are incapable of sending "refugees" back, because that's "wrong", and will grant permits to most of them, simply because they ask for it. No proof of country of origin needed.

Let's see how much rioting and raping will increase in the near future.

Meanwhile, guess how many refugees rich countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have taken. Just take a guess.

Friday, September 4, 2015

When feminists attack their own: The story of Gregory Alan Elliott

I briefly mentioned in a previous blog post about a man who was sued by feminists for the simple reason that the man had criticized those feminists for their doxxing tactics.

I stumbled across a much more detailed description of that story posted by Karen Straughan on a YouTube comment. Because this excellent writing on the case cannot be found anywhere else, and would otherwise be simply buried under the literally billions of other YouTube comments, I decided to quote it here:
A feminist in Toronto named Steph Guthrie, who founded a non-profit called Women in Toronto Politics, put out a call on Twitter a year or three ago for artists willing to donate their work to her organization. A man named Gregory Allen Elliot, a father of four and a graphic/web designer, volunteered to provide her with free art work for her campaigns.

They connected over Twitter, met up in person, and arranged for Elliot to provide her with some art.

Then, BAM! A dude named Ben Spurr, who was incensed over Anita Sarkeesian's propagandist take on video games and her huge windfall on Kickstarter, made a video game app called "Beat up Anita", wherein the first several screens of the app indicated the game was a political protest against feminist hypocrisy. The preamble stated, amongst other things, that 99% of the objectified casualties in video games are male, yet somehow, video games, as a whole, are deemed misogynistic in their objectification of women. The game endeavored to treat a woman, Anita Sarkeesian, exactly like a man would be treated. Right or wrong, agree or don't, the intent of the game app was not misogyny. It was, essentially, saying, "let's treat Anita the way we treated Jack Thompson, since Anita is a feminist who is all about equality."

Anyway, Steph Guthrie and some of her feminist friends dug up Ben Spurr's information--his name, address, place of work, etc (he lived in a city not far from Toronto, incidentally). Over Twitter, they organized a campaign to "hold him accountable" for his misogyny. In a subsequent TEDx talk, Guthrie claimed that she "sicced the internet" on Spurr, and the audience applauded her. She and her friends released his details, and encouraged their followers to call his employer, to contact other potential employers in the area, and punish him for his misogyny. The even began talking about making a trip to his home town to poster it with evidence of his horribleness.

Mr. Elliot protested their tactics. He told them, over Twitter, that they had moved beyond justice and into vengeance. He tweeted at them that they were ruining a man's life over one perfectly legal "crime" that offended them. After they blocked him, he kept tweeting about it, and their friends retweeted his tweets, which made his tweets (which would have been invisible to them) visible to the feminists in their feeds.

Keep in mind, Mr. Elliot had been a big enough supporter of feminism and Ms. Guthrie's efforts to empower women politically in Toronto to volunteer his professional services to her for no charge. Having read all the Twitter logs, I could see nothing in his tweets that even disagreed with their position that Mr. Spurr's game was misogynistic -- his only objection was that these three women were prepared to completely annihilate a man socially and economically for the dire sin of offending them.

A very interesting thing happened in the logs, however, after the three women blocked Mr. Elliot. They began making plans to meet in person, to discuss things that could not be discussed over social media. A day or two after that, each of the three women tweeted at Mr. Elliot to stop directing his tweets at them (something he could not do, as he was blocked, but which the women's friends WERE doing every time they retweeted Mr. Elliot).

And then, what do you know? Mr. Elliot was arrested for criminal harassment of Steph Guthrie and her two feminist friends. The irony of this is, his harassment consisted of objecting to their own online and real life campaign of blacklisting and harassment against another person. Mr. Elliot had dared to criticize not their beliefs, cause or ideas, but their behavior and actions. One of the requisite elements of a criminal harassment charge is that the victim(s) must demonstrate that they have endured distress or fear for their safety as a result of the communications. It was alleged by Ms. Guthrie and her co-complainants that they were in fear for their safety because of Mr. Elliot's tweets.

As a condition of his bail, Mr. Elliot was barred from using the internet. This means that this father of four could not work in his trade as a graphic/web designer--he has been unemployed since his arrest. The trial has dragged on for two+ years since his arrest.

And in an odd twist, a few months ago, a private citizen violated judicial protocol to write directly to the judge in the case. This person (I will use "he", for simplicity) claimed in the letter that he was present at this in-person meeting between the three feminist complainants. He observed them conspiring to set Mr. Elliot up and make an example of him. He claimed at the conclusion of the meeting, every person had a set of instructions and a role to play in engineering Mr. Elliot's arrest.

Despite the egregiousness of this breach of judicial protocol, the judge ordered a stay of proceedings and instructed the police to investigate the allegations in the letter, as, if true, the allegations were of a serious nature: criminal conspiracy, perverting the course of justice, filing a false police report, perpetrating a fraud on the court, and perjury.

It has been my opinion that these women were never in fear for their safety. I read the Twitter logs long before the letter to the judge was made public, and it was clear to me from the conversations that these three women were planning on meeting in person to figure out how to fuck over Mr. Elliot but good. The fact that almost immediately after this meeting, they tweeted to him to leave them alone (despite him being blocked) seemed to me to be the feint in a complex combination of moves.

I've been watching this case rather closely, as given the nature of what I discuss online, and the fact that a finding of guilt against Mr. Elliot would set a precedent, I have serious concerns as to the potential implications on my own free expression. One of the most horrifying things is how certain unscrupulous people can manipulate a system that is weaponized and vulnerable to their exploitation, "because misogyny". For someone like me, a guilty verdict would make every comment I reply to through Disqus or Livefyre a potential criminal offence.

When the mainstream is paying any attention at all, they will condemn the harassment, doxxing, trolling of the one side, while completely ignoring even more egregious behavior on the part of the other. And I'm sorry, but as far as I'm concerned, sending poorly spelled, grammatically incorrect and completely non-credible threats to someone, or even "siccing the internet" on them, is not even remotely on par with having them charged with a felony for having the temerity to criticize you.

This is what the SJWs and feminists seem willing to do to people who don't agree with them. It's terrifying.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Visual simplification of user interfaces

There was a time, starting somewhere in the late 90's, and continuing for over a decade, of operating systems and programs using fancier and fancier looking graphics for GUI elements. This was true in all three major operating systems, and the majority of applications followed suit.

However, in later years, for some reason, there has been a trend into the opposite direction. Sometimes to the ridiculous extreme.

Consider, for example, the window decorations in Windows 7 vs. those of Windows 10:


The change into the opposite direction is just outright ridiculous. It goes so far as to be actually detrimental to usability. Of course every single fancy graphical effect is gone, and symbols have become nothing but one-pixel-wide straight lines, but that's not all.

In Windows 10 there is no difference in coloration between the title bar of the active window vs. an inactive window; it's always just pure white. (Applications are supposed to define their own colorations, which no application currently does, of course. Even then, it's just incomprehensible why sensible defaults can't be used.) Also, there is no border for the buttons (a trend that's absolutely detrimental, although it started well before Windows 10. However, now it has crept itself even into title bar buttons.)

Also notice that there is zero visual difference between menu titles (which are interactive elements) and the title of the window. They are all the same. You simply have to know that those are interactive menu buttons, as there is no actual visual distinction otherwise. (Also, in Windows 10 the "click&drag" areas around the borders, which you can use to resize the window, are invisible, outside the visible border of the window. Again, there is no visual indication of where the window could be resized with the mouse.)

The fact that window decorations are so utterly simplistic actually makes it sometimes very hard to use. When you have several windows open, one on top of another, all of them consisting of plain white background and one-pixel-wide borders, it becomes visually hard to distinguish between the windows. Sometimes it's even hard to see where the title bar of one window is. Needless to say, this wasn't a problem in Windows7.

Windows is not the only operating system embracing this trend. In the late 90's and the first decade of the 2000's, Mac OS X went into the direction of making fancier and fancier GUI designs, with all kinds of shiny graphical effects. Now they, too, have been going into the other direction. For example, just compare the upper left corner of Finder in older versions of Mac OS X vs. the current version:


Operating systems are not the only ones doing this. As a curious example, compare how the Google logo has changed over time. There has been a continuous trend towards simplicity there as well. Perhaps the most iconic version was the one used for longest, ie. the one used between 1999 and 2010. Then they simplified it, and simplified it, and simplified it... until the current version (from September 1, 2015) is just ugly. Not only are the shadows and lighting effects gone, but now even the font is a really ugly simplistic sans-serif that removes anything fancy even in the outline of the letters.

I really don't understand where this trend is coming from, and why everybody is embracing it. Sometimes you even see it in casual mobile games, with some games using amazingly simplistic graphics that look like they have been done in MS paint. (And, quite incredibly, a few of these games are some of the best-selling ones... which of course means thousands of copy-cats, who think that it's the simplistic graphics that sell the game.)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

No altruism goes unpunished

Suppose that a semi-wealthy person gets into the habit of helping beggars. These beggars can simply go to that person's home, and get food or even money just like that. Word gets spread around among homeless people about this, and soon enough there's a stream of beggars.

This person then decides that he can't keep doing this anymore, because it's taking too much of his money and time, and the beggars are becoming a nuisance to the neighborhood. So he decides to politely ask the beggars to stop coming.

A very likely outcome of this is, at the very least, protest. At worst it could even go as far as violence.

Even if it's just protest, it's rather inappropriate behavior. It's almost as if when that person started doing charity, and he got known by doing that, now he, somehow, has some kind of duty to keep doing it. If he stops doing it, the beggars will start protesting and even rebelling. If he had never started his charitable work, nobody would care. It's only because he started the charitable work that he is now the target of protest, perhaps even violence. Moreover, none of his neighbors would probably be the target of this; only he is, because he did charity in the past.

There's this very strange psychology in the human mind, that if someone starts being altruistic, that person now somehow is duty-bound to keep doing it, and if he stops, he's somehow being a bad person, or at the very least a person deserving of protest and scorn.

Well, this psychological phenomenon isn't limited to individual people. It goes all the way up to entire nations, and even larger alliances of nations.

Europe is the perfect example. Because Europe has had this charity complex for some time now, it seems that everybody is now demanding Europe to keep doing it, regardless of whether the nations can afford it or not. If some nation doesn't want to keep doing it, it will be the target of protest, scorn and vilification.

Yet we have other nations that are at least as rich as most European countries, like Saudi Arabia, and nobody expects anything from those, because they haven't done any charity in the past. If, for example, Saudi Arabia denies access to refugees, nobody gives a flying fuck. They are the neighbor that never did any charity to begin with, and thus nobody cares about them. Everybody cares only about those who did charity in the past, and would want to stop now. Somehow, if you do charity, it now becomes your moral duty to continue it, by some strange twisted logic.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Re: 35 Practical Steps Men Can Take To Support Feminism

I think that this article at xojane.com really demonstrates the problem with modern feminism: "35 Practical Steps Men Can Take To Support Feminism". I'm going to briefly comment on these "steps". (I'm not going to fully quote the text, to keep this shorter, and to avoid copyright issues. You can read the full text from that link.)

1. Do 50% (or more) of housework. 

WTF do you mean "or more"? Really? I thought feminism is about equality.

Besides, the amount of housework done by people is none of your business. It's their business. Spouses can agree on the amount of housework done by each, which may depend on things like how much other work each has to do. They can also agree on who wants to do what. (For example, if one spouse would want more housework to be done than the other, they ought to reach a compromise. If there's something that eg. the woman would want to be done and the man doesn't, then perhaps the woman should do what she wants.)

2. Do 50% (or more) of emotional support work in your intimate relationships and friendships.

This "emotional labor" is one of these modern academic feminist bullshit things. There is no such a thing as "emotional labor". That's a completely made-up concept.

Like it or not, men and women are, on average, different. Their brains are wired differently. You might try to deny it, but that doesn't change reality. Most men just aren't as emotional as most women. Live with it. (Also, no matter how much you don't like the idea, there are women who prefer strong stoic men over weak emotional ones.)

3. Consume cultural products produced by women.

Why? I appreciate people by their merits, not by their gender. I do not engage in preferential treatment based on gender. Feminists do, I don't. If a woman creates a work of art that I appreciate, then great. However, I appreciate it because of its merits, not because it was made by a woman. Stop being so sexist.

4. Give women space.

This is one of the most obnoxious ones. Just read it:
"If a seat is available on public transit next to a man, take that seat rather than one next to a woman. If you are walking outside in the dark close to a woman walking alone, cross the street so that she doesn’t have to worry someone is following her. If a woman is standing alone on a subway platform, stand some distance away from her."
What the fuck are you talking about? Cross the street if a woman is walking alone? Do you even understand how amazingly obnoxious that sounds?

If you don't, then just replace "man" with "white person" and "woman" with "black person". Do you have any idea how sexist this is?

If a woman is prejudiced against me solely because I'm a man, that's her problem, not mine. She is the prejudiced one, not me. I don't have the slightest obligation to submit to other people's prejudices.

5. … but insert yourself into spaces where you can use your maleness to interrupt sexism. 

Pamela, Pamela, Pamela... you don't even know what you are doing here. You are perpetuating the notion of women as weak, as damsels in distress, and in need for protection from men, their knights in shining armor.

Oh, what's that? Feminist rhetoric doesn't work when it's aimed at a feminist? Right. Double standards for the win.

6. When a woman tells you something is sexist, believe her.

No, because I'm not a sexist. I evaluate claims on their own right, based on merit, not based on who makes those claims. My acceptance of your claims is completely independent on what gender you might be, I'm sorry.

7. Educate yourself about sexual consent and make sure there is clear, unambiguous communication of consent in all your sexual relationships.

In other words, educate yourself about what feminists consider "rape" this week.

Of course this is a completely futile endeavor. No matter how much and how clearly she gave consent, if she accuses you of rape, you are fucked. Even if the police investigation clears you of all charges, you are still fucked. Because feminism.

8. Be responsible for contraception.

This is a complex issue, but this part is just obnoxious: "Assume financial responsibility for any costs related to contraception." What the fuck?


9. Get the HPV vaccine.

"as a matter of fairness men should be the ones who at least assume the potential risks of getting vaccinated."
WTF? Do I even need to comment how twisted this whole paragraph is?


10. Have progressive name politics.

"If having a common surname with your spouse is important to you, be willing to change your surname and treat this as a preferable option to your spouse changing hers."
And then they claim that feminism is about equality. I think we are seeing a pattern in this article.

You know what? This list is so incredibly stupid, that I am going to stop here, or else this will be just repeating the same thing over and over.

A solution to the "wage gap" problem

Feminists just love to sensationalize the "wage gap". It's an enormous problem affecting the entire world, and needs to be fixed urgently. Well, let me propose a solution:

Firstly, if too many women are applying for lower-paying jobs, we stop them and force them to take higher-paying jobs. For example, if too many women are applying for the position of pediatrician, then we put a limit to how many women can apply to it, and force the excess to apply for the position of surgeons, cardiologists, and so on. (Naturally they will have to study those degrees, but we can force them to do that as well.) Or if, for example, too many women are becoming hair stylists or kindergarten teachers, we put a limit on that, and force the excess to become construction workers, miners, electrical engineers, and so on.

Of course this has to work in the other direction as well (else there will still be an imbalance.) In other words, if too many men are applying for the position of cardiac surgeons, electrical engineers and so on and so forth, we put a limit to it, and instead force them to become pediatricians, kindergarten teachers and hair stylists.

You know, because personal choice does not matter. Only the "wage gap" does.

However, that's not still enough. Secondly, we have to force women to do the same amount of hours as men, whether they want it or not. After all, it doesn't help if they are doing the same jobs, they also have to do the same amount, in order to earn the same.

So, for example, we look at how many hours on average male miners are doing, and force all female miners to do the same hours, even if they don't want to. If male miners are doing, let's say, 50 hours a week, then we force female miners to do 50 hours a week. (This might sound a bit like slave labor, but that doesn't matter. What matters is the "wage gap".)

Thirdly, maternity leave has to go. Sorry, but if you want to earn the same amount of money as men, you can't take time off, else your yearly work hours won't match.

On that same note, you can't be a stay-at-home mom. You have to earn the same as men in order to close the "wage gap", therefore you will be forced to go to that construction site or that mine, and do the same job as men do, in order to earn the same salary. You have no choice in this matter. Closing the "wage gap" is much more important than your personal choices.

Alternatively, we could force some men to be "stay-at-home dads" and force the mothers to go to work, whether they want it or not. (Naturally the mom needs to study the requirements for the job to be qualified. For example, if the father was a neurosurgeon, we'll have to force the mother to become a neurosurgeon instead. Because personal choice is not important in this situation, only the "wage gap".)

But how can we achieve this utopia where there is no "wage gap" anymore? How can we remove people's freedoms and force them to do jobs that they might not want? Well, the only possible solution to this is to create a world-wide totalitarian dictatorship, and annul all constitutions and declarations of human rights. This way we can use slave labor and force people to earn the same amount of money each year. Dissenters could be put in concentration camps to teach them a lesson. I think we can really learn from how North Korea does these things.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Barbershop quartets

I love polyphony in music, especially in singing. For example one of the main reasons why I love the song The Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel is precisely the awesome polyphonic singing.

Naturally I thus also like acapella groups and choirs, as they usually use polyphony (an example.)

It should logically follow, that I would like barbershop quartets. They are highly polished acapella groups that use polyphony to its maximum effect for singing.

But somehow, I don't. And I have no idea why. I don't mean I hate it; it's quite ok. I'm just not crazy about it. I just somehow don't dig it as much. I don't know what it is; I just can't put my finger on what the problem is, but it just doesn't work, somehow.

Perhaps the most irritating thing about this is precisely that I don't know why. My reason says that I should love it, but I just don't. What could possibly be the reason for this?