Saturday, January 30, 2016

Re: 36 Questions Women Have For Men

Similar to "24 Questions Black People Have For White People" (which I answered in that previous blog post), there's a new buzzfeed video titled "36 Questions Women Have For Men". The level if idiocy has not decreased by a whole lot. But I'll bite.

#1: "How does it feel to be the same sex as Donald Trump?"

How does it feel to be the same sex as Sarah Palin?

What a completely retarded question.

#2: "Why do you hate rom-coms?"

WTF is that? Had to look it up. You mean romantic comedies?

I don't hate all of them. I find most of them boring, uninteresting and shallow. So what? Do you mean that you like every single movie genre in existence? Or are there some that you find boring and uninteresting on average?

#3: "Why do you sit around and make women talk about men in movies, when ya’ll easily just sit around and talk about boobs, for hours?"

I'm baffled by this question. I kind of understand the first half of it, but that second half just throws me off completely. I don't understand what the point is. What?

As for why scriptwriters do what they do, don't ask me. I suppose they write what they think people want to see.

#4: "Why do you automatically assume that you won’t like a TV show or movies starring a female lead?"

I don't. Why do you assume I do? Are you stereotyping?

#5: "Why are you surprised when women are funny?"

Same answer as #4.

#6: "Why do you think we’re so obsessed with you when we hook up?"

Same answer as #4.

#7: "Why can’t I sleep with as many people as I want to without being judged? When men do it, they are congratulated."

You mean like what happened, for example, with Bill Clinton?

You can do whatever you want. I don't care.

#8: "Why do you consider a woman a tease if she doesn’t sleep with you after three dates, but a slut if she sleeps with you after one?"

Same answer as #4.

#9: "In what world does no mean yes?"

Why do you assume I'm a rapist? Now you are just being an a-hole.

#10: "Why do you say that women are “too emotional” to be leaders, then justify cat-calling by saying that men just can’t control themselves?"

Same answer as #4.

(And as a side note, how many "leaders" have you seen cat-calling? A list, please. You do understand that people are different, right?)

#11: "Why do you think that just because you’re nice to me, I owe you my body?"

Same answer as #4. And #9 for that matter.

If, however, I would answer a less strawman'y question, in other words, something like "why do you think I should reciprocate just because you're nice to me", then the question is about socialization and human interaction. If I'm nice to somebody, but they are rude and dismissive, that's not very good social behavior. If I'm polite and nice to somebody and show them respect, it can be reasonably assumed that a well-behaved polite person would reciprocate in kind, rather than, for example, being rude or dismissive. Such a person would be a jerk. It is not a question of "owing" anything; it's a question of being a well-educated responsible adult engaging in normal social interaction with other people. Being polite to polite people can be expected in a normal society, and responding with rudeness is inappropriate behavior.

#12: "Why would you ever send an unsolicited dick-pic?"

Fuck you.

#13: "Why do you think it’s okay to make harassing comments about women, but when it’s your sister, it’s not okay?"

And fuck you. Ok, I'm done. I actually can't do any more of these. They treat men like they were all rapists and molesters. What assholes.


Edit: After calming down a bit, I decided to tackle the rest of the questions. I'll just give a middle finger to all the questions that are needlessly insulting.

#14: "How does it feel to interrupt me when I’m in the middle of making a point at a meeting?"

I can throw the exact same question back at you.

People interrupt people. It's often rude, but it has absolutely nothing to do with sex. You are not a special snowflake. People don't interrupt you because you are a woman. People interrupt you because people interrupt people. You are not special, learn to live with that fact. Would it be nice if people didn't needlessly interrupt others? Of course. But you are needlessly making it a gender issue when it's not.

#15: "Why do you have to sit with your legs so wide open?  I get that you have balls, but I don’t stand around with my arms wide open for my boobs."

This one is just retarded. If you have this little understanding of what the anatomical difference is, then you might want to check your IQ.

#16: "Why are women perceived as the weaker sex?"

Because we are a dimorphic species, and men are on average stronger (significantly stronger) than women. Even most men in poor shape are stronger than most women in good shape. It's biology. It has to do with hormones (most prominently testosterone). No amount of whining is going to change this biological fact.

This doesn't mean that there exists no woman that is stronger than some man. We are talking about overwhelming averages here. I could probably win at least 95% of women out there in an arm-wrestling competition. The percentage would be significantly lower for men out there (probably lower than 50%).

I suspect that you are deliberately interpreting the "weaker" part as "mentally weaker".

#17: "Why is it so bad to show your emotions?"

I'm somewhat stoic by nature. I'm not pretending, or faking it. It's just how I naturally and comfortably are. You might not understand it because you are a woman, but that's just how it is.

Showing emotion is not bad. I just don't feel like it. Why should I? In fact, if I were to act overly emotional, that would be faking it, pretending.

#18: "Why are you always trying to prove your masculinity to me?"

I'm not. I don't need to. But I'll stand for myself if the situations requires it. Not because I'm a show-off, but because I want to and it's part of my personality. If you can't understand that, then too bad for you. Not everybody is a pretty little snowflake, even if you are.

#17: "Why the fuck isn’t it lady-like to cuss?"

Because in our society it's assumed for women to be more empathetic, understanding and polite. Mother figures. That's supposed to be a compliment, and somewhat of a self-deprecating thing for a man to say. If you want to take it as an insult, I can't stop you. Offense is taken, not given.

#18: "Why is it your first instinct to doubt women who are sexually violated or raped?"

It's not. Why would you think it is?

In our justice system, however, every crime must be investigated thoroughly, and the accused is assumed innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. And that's how it should be. This applies to all serious crimes, not just rape. It's not a question of doubt.

#19: "Why do you assume that woman’s angry because she’s on her period?"

I don't. But it seems to be relatively common. And I know this because women have told me so. Should I believe them or not?

#20: "Why do you think that women who wear makeup are false-advertising? We can say the same thing about your dick size."

WTF? Again a question which first half makes some sense, but then goes completely to cloudcuckoo land. It makes zero sense. If you want me to answer questions, make them sensical.

#21: "Why isn’t it weird that there is a room full of white men that are making decisions about what I can and can’t do with my body?"

It's not weird because people elected them there using the democratic process. Half of those voters are women, by the way.

#22: "Why are straight guys so obsessed with lesbians?"

Why are straight women so obsessed with gays? Why do you think? Stupid question.

#23: "How does it feel to get kicked in the balls?"

What, an actual question that's not politically loaded, does not make insulting assumptions nor stereotypes, and actually makes sense? Wow! I'm impressed. One out of 36 isn't bad, I suppose.

Probably no need to actually answer it. Would be rather difficult to describe pain.

#24: "You ever get tired of trying to be manly all the time?"

No. That's just how I am. I don't need to force it, pretend, or fake it. I just act completely naturally. You might not believe it because you have been brainwashed by feminists to think otherwise, but that's just how it is. Get over it.

Also, why are you talking like it's a defect? What exactly is the problem in being manly?

#25: "Why are you so afraid of gender equality?"


#26: "Why do I deserve to be paid less than you?"

For the exact same job, doing the exact same hours? You don't.

#27: "In what world does 77 cents equal a dollar?"
#28: "In what world does 68 cents equal a dollar?"

Can you even make up your mind? Which one is it?

As for why women on average earn less than men on average, it's because of career choices. On average men choose better-paying jobs (such as STEM fields, surgeons, cardiologists, engineers, miners, etc.) while women choose lower-paying jobs (such as pediatricians, kindergarten teachers, veterinarians, etc.) That doesn't mean there aren't any women in those higher-paying jobs; it means that there are less of them than men. And vice-versa.

#29: "How is that fair?"

Because we live in a free society where people can choose their career paths, and are not forced into any specific jobs, but instead can pursue the jobs they want and like. I don't know how much fairer it can get than that.

#30: "Why are you intimidated by a woman who makes more money than you?"

I'm not. Why do you assume I am? Are you stereotyping?

#31: "Why are opinionated women perceived as bitches, when opinionated men are seen as bosses?"

Seen by who? To me it looks like it's women who mostly think of other women as "bitches".

#32: "Why aren’t you speaking up when you hear your friends, behind closed doors, making jokes that are offensive to women?"

Because they don't hurt anybody. I'm not an uptight prick who gets offended on behalf of other people for every little thing. (In other words, I'm not a feminist.)

#33: "Why are you so afraid of recognizing your own privilege? It doesn't mean you are a bad person. Just recognize it and do something about it."

Do what, exactly, about it?

This whole "privilege" thing is such a weak attempt at guilt-tripping that it's just ridiculous. And it's mostly made-up bullshit.

And there aren't any more questions. I suppose they can't even count.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Social justice warriors do not understand what equality means

Feminists and other social justice warriors (is there a difference? not really) always keep repeating how they are for equality and equal rights, over and over and over. Yet time and again they demonstrate how they are not for equality, nor understand what the word means.

Just as a minor example, consider what happens if the ethnicity of an established character of a work of fiction is changed in a newer installment.

Let's put aside the question of whether this is a good thing to do. For the sake of this example, we don't care. Fine, an established character's ethnicity is changed in a newer installment (or a spinoff, or a live-action adaptation, or whatever.)

The principle of equality would mean that it makes absolutely no difference what the original and new ethnicities are. White to black, black to white, Asian to white, black to Asian, white to latino... If we consider our society truly equal, and if we hold the principles that all people are equal, then it shouldn't matter in which direction the change is made. That makes sense.

But of course social justice warriors cannot accept this.

You see, if an established white character is changed to a black character, that's a good thing. Obviously. However, if the change is in the other direction, the shit always hits the fan. It's "whitewashing", racism, and all kinds of derogatory terms.

Because, you know, equality and stuff.

That was just one very minor example. There exist plenty of more obnoxious ones. Social justice warriors simply cannot comprehend what the word "equality" means. They demonstrate this time and again. They use the word like a mantra, but they don't understand its meaning.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

"Gender fluidity"

One of the concepts of the progressive feminist religion is the idea of "gender fluidity". I'm not going to delve into whether this is supported by psychology and how much, but there is one thing I would like to talk about.

If you search enough, you will find tons of YouTube videos where teenagers rant about being "gender fluid", and proper pronouns (with a myriad of completely ridiculous made-up pronouns) and so on and so forth.

I posit that at least 99% of these people are not "gender fluid" (even if we fully accepted, for the sake of argument, that that's a real thing.)

Teenagers are by nature rebellious. Their hormones are raging, which makes them want to rebel against their parents, and against social norms.

So what happens when the "cool kids" keep bombarding these rebellious teenagers with a message that traditional gender roles are nothing but an artificial social construct, and that there are no genders, and that you are what you want to be? Add on top of that the fact that the parents of the teenager in question are very likely to be "traditional" in their views. And as you know, in the teenager's mind, parents are always antiquated, old-fashioned and wrong.

So what do you expect to happen? Of course these teenagers are going to embrace the fad, even if it doesn't apply to them at all. Of course they will say that they are "gender fluid" even if they are not, and of course they will start pestering everybody and demanding them to pay attention and use whatever ridiculous terminology the "cool kids" have come up with. This isn't any kind of surprise. It would be much more surprising if it didn't happen at all.

I'm betting that in most cases it will be just a passing fad. At some point most of them will just get tired of it, and grow up (especially after puberty is over and their hormones have stabilized enough that they aren't so strongly driven by them.)

However, if the fad persists in some more stubborn (or brainwashed) individuals, it could become a problem. Why? Because when you pretend to be somebody you are not, for long enough, you are bound to eventually have long-term psychological and personality issues. It leads to a bad self image, self-hatred, and personal insecurities. When you try really hard to be something you are not, but deep inside you know that you really can't, when deep inside you don't feel that it's true, it only erodes the person mentally.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

In defense of "sterotypical" masculinity

One of the tenets of modern progressive feminism, a view strongly held by a significant portion of the movement, is that stereotypical masculinity is a very negative trait, is "toxic", and causes all the problems in our world. They argue that this is why "every man is a potential rapist", and why "rape apology", "rape culture", "misogyny", oppression of women and so on is so "prevalent". They strongly posit that boys should be taught from a young age away from this "toxic masculinity" (and that doing this would somehow magically solve all the "inequalities" that feminists think there exist in our society.)

I would like to present the opposite view, in defense of stereotypically masculine traits. I would posit that our society wouldn't even exist without them, and they are very important. (These traits can, of course, be taken to unhealthy extremes sometimes, but removing them completely, if that were even possible, would be highly detrimental to our society.)

Such stereotypical masculine traits include:

Stoicism

Being cold, calculating and stoic, not clouded nor driven by emotions, is a very important trait in many situations. Being able to assess the situation in a level-headed pragmatic way even in highly stressing situations, making fast and good decisions based in logic and reasoning rather than based on emotion-driven instinct. Being able to function in a rational manner in a very dangerous or stressing situation. Conquering fear, panic and sadness in situations where swift actions are needed.

Being able to do this saves lives, helps others, avoids or minimizes deaths, injuries and property damage, and can help in many non-life-threatening situations, such as when having to make good business decisions. It can also resolve conflicts in social interactions, where people are panicking, fighting, or in despair, especially when such situations could escalate quickly.

Stoicism can also help in many non-urgent social interactions, calming things down, and working as a kind of lightning rod for all the emotions around.

This does not mean that no woman is capable of doing exactly this and being like this. However, stoicism is a typically masculine trait, and one that many of these misguided progressive feminists are fighting against.

Competitiveness

If there is one trait that most girls think about boys, and which they don't like, especially at a younger age, is that boys are significantly more competitive.

Is this a bad thing? No.

Competitiveness among males is one of the most fundamental traits of our (and many other) species. It probably goes waaaaay back, before our species could even be called hominids. It most probably helped us survive and thrive as a species. It of course has had its negative aspects, but on the other hand it has helped us get where we are now.

Ok, maybe male competitiveness was useful in the distant past. Is it anymore? Is it a relic of evolution that we should abandon? I'd still say no.

I am pretty certain that you wouldn't be using the computer you are using without male competitiveness. If you even existed, you would probably be living in a mud hut instead, and the highest form of technology available to you would probably consist of rocks and primitive spears.

Technology and progress thrives thanks to competitiveness. Thanks to people who want to beat their competition, to become the first to achieve something, to get on the top. Technology and progress does not thrive in a hippie community where everybody is "nice" to each other, nobody is greedy, and nobody wants to hurt anybody else's feelings. If the human species were such a "hippie community" we would  most probably be living in those mud huts.

Technology and progress are good things. It has improved the quality of our lives tremendously. Life expectancy has risen significantly, and we can cure diseases trivially that were lethal in the past. We can help the weaker members of our society thanks to all the technology and progress, rather than let them simply die because we don't have the resources to help them.

Assertiveness

While women can, of course, be very assertive and not take s**t from anybody, this is likewise still a typically masculine trait, while appeasement and submission is more a feminine trait. (This is not intended as any kind of derogatory statement. It's just stating reality, with no judgment or attitude.)

Needless to say, there are many situations were being assertive is more productive than being meek and submissive. The latter often leads to be taken advantage of, and can be very detrimental. Assertiveness can also help others, especially other people who are being taken advantage of. It can help the weaker members of our society.

Of course assertiveness (as anything else) can be taken to an unhealthy extreme, in which case it can become detrimental, but there is still place for it, and the solution to the extreme is not to remove assertiveness completely.

(It is quite ironic that many progressive feminist activists are deeply, deeply assertive, of the detrimental kind. They are angry, and will shout down any criticism and dissenting opinion, and will impose their opinions onto others, silencing them with shouting. These same feminists, mostly female, complain about "toxic masculinity"... while engaging in a highly masculine trait, arguably a toxic one.)

Aggression and strength

Men are on average typically more aggressive than women. (While exceptions to both directions exist in both genders, we are talking about overwhelming averages here.)

The reason why men are on average more aggressive is largely due to the same reason why men are on average much stronger than women: Biology. More specifically hormones (and possibly a few other things.)

Many progressive feminists are in deep denial of the fact that yes, men are by nature stronger than women on average. Humans are a sexually dimorphic species, and one of the differences is the innate difference in strength (caused mainly due to different hormone production.) No amount of whining and complaining is going to change this physical fact.

Men are not only stronger in the sense of physical strength, but also in terms of stamina. Men in top fitness can endure physical stress longer than women in top fitness. (This has been demonstrated time and again in different situations. Such as the United States Navy SEAL training. No woman to date has been able to pass it.) Again, no amount of whining and complaining by feminists is going to change this fact. It's just biology, and you can't change it no matter how "politically incorrect" you may think it is.

Male strength is deeply innate. Even a relative non-fit man can probably overpower almost any woman, no matter how fit they may be.

Male strength is helpful in many situations. As an example, male firefighters can do more than female ones, for the simple reason that they are stronger and have more stamina. They can fight fires for longer, do more acts that require strength, and save more lives.

This same strength and stamina allows them to perform jobs that would be too wearing and stressing for most women (such as construction, mining, and so on. I'm not saying that no woman is capable of these. Once again: I'm talking about averages here.)

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Triple-A games are made by slave labor

Disclaimer: All of the below is pure hearsay. It is not based on hard evidence, but on testimonials of individual people. People can lie and make stuff up. People can troll just for the fun of it.

That being said, I am quite convinced that it is at the very least partially, if not almost completely, true.

There are a few big game companies who are absolutely notorious and infamous about how tyrannical and oppressive they are towards their employees. Perhaps the most notorious one is Electronic Arts. However, they are by far not the only one. (Ubisoft has also gained notoriety on this front in later years, as another example.)

Have you ever thought how some of these companies can publish a dozen or so triple-A games with humongous production values every year? How they can more or less meet deadlines, even though projects of this size are notorious for always going way over timelines and budgets? One way they do is to push their employees to the absolute limit. Up to a point that they could pretty much be called slave labor.

60 or even 70 hour work weeks are common practice. Even 80 hours per week is not unheard of. And since we are talking mostly about the United States here, everything that's over the standard 40 hours is completely and absolutely unpaid. The employees are essentially pressured into working for the company for free (with the threat of firing them if they don't complain.)

And even those paid 40 hours aren't necessarily that lucrative. In many cases these employees are actually being paid less than mandatory minimum wage, when you take into account all the hours they do.

They might, might, get a bonus once the project is completed, but said bonus will seldom be even near worth all those extra unpaid hours. Only a small fraction of it.

At some places there has even formed a group psychology between the employees themselves. Anybody who leaves the workplace too soon, before the others, will be scoffed at, and considered a traitor. Many of these employees do so many hours every day that even a factory worker of the late 1800's would have thought it too much.

And do you know what happens to many of the employees once the project is completed? They get fired. Just like that. (Again, since we are talking mostly about the United States here, employees have essentially zero governmental protection, and employers can do pretty much whatever they like.) I suppose that, somehow, these companies think that it's cheaper to employ new college freshmen to replace the older employees, than keep the old ones.

This is pretty much slave labor. The amount of unpaid work hours is just amazing. Sometimes even as much as 50% of all the work that these people do is completely unpaid for. And they are effectively forced to do it (or face getting fired).

Of course not all game companies are like that. Some are (or at least claim to be) very fair and pay for every minute of work, and have reasonable working hours. But these seem to be more the exception than the rule, at least when we are talking about the major game companies who produce tons of triple-A games.

It is no wonder that many indie developers are ex-employees of these huge companies. Either they got fed up and left, or were fired (often for no reason at all, other than to save money.)

Anita Sarkeesian's "depression"

Let's briefly recap who Anita Sarkeesian is: In 2012 she created a kickstarter project to raise money to make a video series about sexism in video games from a feminist perspective. She promised something like two dozen videos within a year, or so. She pledged for some tens of thousands of dollars. She got over 160 thousand.

The way she misrepresented both video games and gamers in her videos angered quite many people, and spawned a lot of criticism. Anita Sarkeesian, like so many big-name feminists, took the opportunity to play the victim. Perhaps the most prominent and most successful ploy was when she cancelled a speech due to a non-credible "bomb threat". Because of this act, she was donated over 300 thousand dollars in a very short period of time. She is, possibly, the person who has been given the most money for canceling a speech in the entirety of human history.

So, she pledged for some tens of thousands of dollars. She has been donated approximately a half million dollars. Did she fulfill her promise of making the two dozen videos within a year?

No. After over three years she has made less than half of the promised videos. Even though she has been donated over ten times the money she originally pledged for. She has been making one video per 5 or 6 months. (In contrast, many high-quality big-name YouTube video producers are making at least one video per week with only a tiny fraction of the budget, but with at the very least, and often higher production quality than her videos.)

To my knowledge she has never, ever disclosed where all that money has gone or what it has been used for.

And now she has announced that she is quitting the video series. In other words, not only has she not delivered the promised videos in the promised time, she is now announcing that she is not making them at all. In other words, she is not using the money she was donated to do the work she promised to do. Will she be returning the money to the donators who gave it to her to make the videos, but are now not getting what was promised? (Perhaps, the day that pigs fly.)

She says that she is quitting because of all the criticism and the "depression" she has got because of it.

I don't know about that. However, I have my suspicions. Has she run out of money, and is this simply yet another ploy to get even more pity money? How much money will she be donated due to this stunt? What better medicine for her "depression" than a couple hundred thousand bucks?

I'll make a prediction here: In a few months, most probably within a year, when the stream of cash from donors stops, she'll make a "comeback". She'll probably play the part of a hero. She cannot "abandon" her fans, and must continue the fight for equality and against sexism. So she'll bite the bullet and make a comeback to continue the video series regardless of all the criticism and abuse.

And, naturally, she'll need more money to do so. So keep those donations running. You know her kickstarter address. Maybe this time she'll make the other half of the videos she promised. Maybe. (And please don't pay attention to all the money she already got, including the money she will get during this "I'm so depressed" hiatus. That money doesn't count. She needs new money. Because reasons.)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Why I oppose progressive feminism

Here is a concise statement of why I oppose progressive feminism.

Progressive feminism seeks to silence, censor, ban, stifle and criminalize dissenting opinions and criticism, and opinions and views that feminists do not like. This goes blatantly against the constitution of basically any country that has a constitution, and against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 19).

Progressive feminism seeks to hinder and stop people from peacefully assembling in order to discuss views and opinions that feminists do not like. This goes blatantly against most constitutions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (articles 19 and 20.1).

Progressive feminism seeks to reverse the burden of proof with certain crimes (in other words, it seeks for the accused to be considered guilty by default, and the burden of proving his innocence to fall on the accused.) This goes blatantly against the most fundamental principles of our justice system, against most constitutions, and against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 11.1).

Progressive feminism divides people into groups based on things like gender, race and sexual orientation, and assigns privileges, rights and responsibilities differently to people based on which group they belong to, completely disregarding personal merit and achievements. (As an example, progressive feminism promotes the existence of what they call "cultural appropriation." With this feminists give more or less rights to people based on, for example, their race, completely disregarding personal merit. In other words, if a person belongs to a certain race, that person is automatically entitled to certain things, like certain cultural norms, while people of a different race are not.) Assigning different privileges, rights, limitations and responsibilities to people based on things like race and gender is textbook racism and sexism, against most constitutions, and against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (articles 2, 7 and 27.1).

Progressive feminism seeks to reinstate gender and racial segregation (in the form of what they call "safe spaces" based on gender and/or race). This goes blatantly against the law and constitution of most countries, and against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (articles 2, 13.1, and others).

Progressive feminism endorses hiring quotas, favoritism and discrimination in hiring based on things like gender, race and sexual orientation. This includes hiring policies at entities like private companies, university staff, and the government. This is textbook racism and sexism, and goes blatantly against most constitutions, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (articles 2, 7, 21.1, 23.1, and others).

For these reasons, among others, I cannot in good conscience support, endorse or promote progressive feminism. On the contrary, I oppose it vehemently and on principle.

I do understand that not all feminists, not even progressive ones, endorse all of the above. However, the ones with the most influence and power in our society do, the ones with the power to do the most damage, which is why I cannot support the movement as a whole, and have to oppose it on principle.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Oculus Rift is here... and I'm not gonna buy it

On June of last year, I wrote a blog post about how too much development on useless features of virtual reality headsets can ostensibly be detrimental because it will increase their price for no tangible benefit. I concluded the post with:
I appreciate that they are taking their time and want to make it right the first time, rather than publishing half-finished products and using the consumers as beta testers. However, I do not appreciate them spending time, effort and money on useless features that will only make the device more expensive for no benefit.
Well, the long-awaited Oculus Rift is finally here! Or at least you can finally preorder it!

For 599 USD.

And with tons of useless crap bundled with it. Such an Xbox One controller, a custom pair of controllers (that will work only with games that directly support them), tons of IR sensors that allow you to walk around the room, a remote control... and who knows what other useless crap that you will play with for a half hour before you get bored.

Now, don't get me wrong, I can appreciate the fact that having not one, but two OLED displays, each with a resolution if 1080x1200 (thus making up a total resolution of 2160x1200), at a refresh rate of 90 Hz, is not exactly cheap, and them getting it to 599 USD even with all the other included useless crap is commendable in itself. But still... 599 USD.

I have been really excited for the Oculus Rift for the past two or three years. But that just kills it for me. I'm not going to spend 600 dollars on a device that I might actually not end up using all that much after all. It's just too much. I'd rather spend that kind of money for example on a g-sync capable high quality monitor. (And in fact I think those are even cheaper than that.)

Add to that the fact that my PC doesn't exactly meet the minimum specs (given that these specs include an Nvidia GTX 970; I have a GTX 770), which means that proper usage of the device may end up costing significantly more in practice.

And I already have plenty of controllers. I don't need a new one.

It doesn't exactly help that they are already planning on a successor... even before the actual device is on the market proper. It almost feels like they are obsoleting the device even before they are starting to ship it.

My enthusiasm and anticipation have been pretty much killed. I'll wait and see if they'll release a more bare-bones "value pack" version for significantly cheaper. (I still want the 2160x1200 resolution, at least at 60 Hz, and obviously the accurate head tracking, but all the other ancillary crap can go. I don't need it.)

The spoiler that nobody noticed (Terminator 2)

The 1984 movie The Terminator by James Cameron was a big hit in the 80's. While sci-fi movies with killer robots was nothing new (them going back probably at least to the 50's or even earlier), this was a movie that got really popular, and which transcended other sillier movies of the genre. It was gritty, it was thrilling, and it's an integral part of not only the 1980's cinematography but also culture.

Probably everybody knows the basic premise (and with this kind of movie it's probably rather useless to warn about spoilers): Nigh indestructible and unstoppable killer robot travels back in time from the future in order to kill the mother of the leader of the human resistance. The resistance also sends back a soldier, Kyle Reese, to protect the woman from the terminator. The film is stock full of grand scale chase sequences, and enormous amounts of violence and explosions (iow. it's one of the most iconic action thrillers of movie history.)

The killer robot, a "terminator", was played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, and it's by far one of his most iconic and memorable roles. If you don't know Arnold from any other role, you most probably know him at the very least from this one.

When the sequel came around in 1991, there was quite a lot of hype about it. Basically nobody could avoid hearing or reading about Arnold's new role in it: A good terminator. A terminator that now comes back in time to protect, rather than to kill.

And that was, in fact, a huge, huge spoiler... which basically nobody noticed. Not back then at least.

You see, Terminator 2 actually starts as if the same basic premise happens as in the first movie. It starts very similarly: It looks like an Arnold-looking terminator again travels from the future to the present and starts looking for John Connor, the future leader of the resistance. It also shows another man arriving. The movie sets it up to look like this man is another "Kyle Reese" sent this time to protect John Connor.

A good chunk of the beginning of the movie keeps their actual roles completely ambiguous. Someone who has seen the first movie, and has not been spoiled in any way, very easily gets the impression that the Arnold-looking terminator is the villain once again.

This ends up in a climactic scene where both the Arnold-looking terminator and the other guy find the young Connor at the same time, and it looks like the terminator is going to shoot him... And here is where the reveal, the twist, happens: It turns out that it was the other guy who was trying to kill him, and the Arnold-terminator is actually protecting him.

This is clearly intended to be a surprising twist... which ended up basically surprising nobody, because everybody had been spoiled. And curiously, nobody realized that it was a spoiler, and that this was supposed to be a surprise plot twist. (The reason for this is that the beginning is so ambiguous that it works the other way too. In other words, if you know in advance that Arnold-terminator is the "good guy", the beginning still makes perfect sense. Thus it doesn't feel odd and there isn't anything out of ordinary.)

It was a huge twist that basically everybody missed. Because everybody was spoiled by the hype and the advertising campaigns.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Feminists are the biggest rape apologists

Do you know who in our society are the biggest rape apologists? Progressive feminists.

Whenever a group of Muslims rapes women, as sure as the Sun raises in the morning, the progressive feminist mob will hurry to make up excuses for them, mitigate the gravity of the crime, shift blame away from the perpetrators, and veer the discussion away from the actual crime as much as possible.

In other words, they will act exactly like they claim that our western society does when dealing with rape.

Feminists are nothing but a bunch of hypocrites. They are the masters of rape apology and rape culture.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Higher production values ruining web series

I have noticed a trend in some web series: The series is started by a very talented individual who does typically reviews of something (such as video games or movies). Because this person happens to be really talented and entertaining at it, they get a really big fanbase, and their videos start getting hundreds of thousands, if not even millions of views. In other words, they become internet celebrities.

With celebrity comes money. And with money comes higher production values to the videos. It usually starts with better recording equipment, ie. better cameras, microphones, editing software, lighting, and so on. But once those are top notch, and the money still keeps pouring in, the production values are increased in other ways. Such as props, costumes, sometimes even hired people to act as secondary characters. And, of course, more complex scripts.

And this is were sometimes the project starts falling apart. Or perhaps not falling apart per se, but the series starts becoming less interesting.

Being talented at sitting in front of the camera and making an interesting and entertaining review of something, does not automatically mean that you are talented at making a more complex scripted show with higher production values. A talented comedian is not necessarily a good director, producer and actor. Once a comedian starts making their own complex production, things can go downhill fast.

The result is not necessarily horrible. It can be watchable. But the charm is not there. The original talent is overwhelmed with too much "acting", too complex scripts, needlessly complex stories, and too many crappy props and effects. It often becomes a jumbled mess. And it changes too much what made the original series so enjoyable to watch. It's now a very different show. These people try to reach too high, and fall short, and in the process they end up simply hiding their own original talent, distracting themselves from what they are really good at.

These higher production values are usually completely unneeded. There's no reason to have them. They don't really add anything to the show. There is no need to change the original show to something different, to something that it is not.

Often these people do it because the love doing it. There's no question about that. However, their original charm and entertainment is lost in the process. Or, rather than "lost", more like hidden under all the needless cruft.

Two prominent examples of this are the Nostalgia Critic and the Angry Video Game Nerd (and his spinoff shows). Don't get me wrong: These shows are ok and somewhat enjoyable even with all the production values. However, at least in my books, much less so than in the past.

Doug Walker (ie. "Nostalgia Critic") is a very talented internet reviewer. His review videos are some of the best out there. However, I don't consider him a very talented scriptwriter, director and producer to make any other kind of show. I don't mean to say he's bad at it, but he's not very good at it either. I'm sorry, but he just isn't. His other types of show (and even the Nostalgia Critic episodes that veer too much away from the original idea) are not very good. This was clearly seen in the fiasco that was his "Demo Reel" show attempt, which was so universally panned by fans that he ended it short (especially since he ended Nostalgia Critic in order to make this project.) Unfortunately, it seems that he's obsessed with making that kind of shows because he's turning Nostalgia Critic into what's essentially Demo Reel. And his most "Demo Reel"-like Nostalgia Critic episodes (especially the ones where he doesn't even show any footage of the movie he's parodying) are really boring to watch.

He himself knows this perfectly well. He recently made a Nostalgia Critic episode that was pretty much a commentary on this very thing. (It was an episode where his Nostalgia Critic character temporarily wanted to go back to the good old days of just reviewing a movie solo, with no production values, no actors, just him and the camera. A past version of himself, now in the present, made direct comments on how his show has become something completely different, and that episodes are not even reviews anymore.) It's not like he's in denial. He's perfectly aware of the criticism, even to the point of parodying it. But so far it seems that he's not going to stop going in the wrong direction. I hope he does, but it isn't looking very good.

The yearly specials produced by Doug Walker and the site's other producers are another perfect example of this. Year after year the production values of the specials have gone up, and their entertainment quality and fan feedback have gone down. Ironically (or perhaps not), the special with by far the highest production values had by far the worst public reaction and feedback.

James Rolfe (ie "the AVGN") is quite similar in this regard. He made lots and lots of videos parodying and criticizing old bad video games, and he was really, really popular. After something like 50 videos, the production values creep started showing. Not a whole lot, but a bit. It was still quite enjoyable for another 50 episodes or so. Then he started making the AVGN movie, and the show was pretty much shoved aside, with individual episodes being made really rarely.

What's worse, the show has been toned down enormously. His shtick of the cursing angry nerd is but a shadow of its former self. It just isn't there anymore. The show really has gone completely downhill. He makes episodes very infrequently, and they feel half-assed. Like his heart is not in it anymore.

The "production values creep" can be seen even more strongly in some of his spinoff shows. Just watch the first episodes of "Board James", and the latest ones. The contrast is quite drastic. And the latest ones I find really boring. There just isn't that original charm anymore. (I actually didn't even watch his "Nightmare" board game episode but about half-way through. It was just too boring and uninteresting.)

Higher production values do not always ruin an online review show. There are examples of the contrary as well. However, they really require a special talent, and a good balance between the actual reviewing and the production values, in order to stop the latter from swamping the former. (One example that I can think of where this balance is good is he Angry Joe Show. For a perfect example, check his review of Alien Isolation.)

Friday, January 8, 2016

Steam controller fist impressions

Bought a Steam Controller, and here are some first impressions.

As you might know, originally the Steam Controller was designed to be more like this prototype:

Direction controls were to be handled exclusively with the two touchpads, and the four standard ABXY buttons were to be arranged like in that prototype, close to the touchpads. At the center of the controller it was envisioned to be a touchscreen with freely configurable content; the same idea as with smartphones. The standard "start" and "select" buttons were probably going to be at the bottom, as in the above prototype.

The final retail version, however, is a bit different (probably having gone through dozens of different iterations, based on actual testing):

The three most prominent changes are the removal of the proposed touchscreen, the addition of a traditional thumbstick, and the rearrangement of the ABXY buttons in a more traditional pattern. (The touchpads are also larger, as is the controller overall.)

I always felt that this arrangement, however, is quite awkward. In the prototype the ABXY buttons are not in the traditional formation, but they are very close to the touchpads, making them easy to reach. In this arrangement, however, they are quite far from the right touchpad. Especially the most important button, ie. the A button, is relatively speaking really far. (Of course you can map the buttons however you like, but it still feels awkward.)

The idea of the touchpads being the main mode of control was kind of thrown out of the window and defeated by the addition of the thumbstick. (You can still, of course, configure the controller to have the left touchpad act as a thumbstick, but given that you have an actual thumbstick, probably nobody is going to do that.)

There is nothing inherently wrong in that (ie. having a thumbstick.) There is a problem in its positioning, though. The controller still seems to consider the touchpads to be the main modes of control, while the thumbstick is relegated to a secondary role, a bit awkardly positioned. (It's even more awkwardly positioned than in the PS4 controller, which has a similar positioning for the left thumbstick.)

Given that people (and most games by default) are going to use the thumbstick for movement anyway, why not put it in the natural position? Likewise I think that the ABXY buttons should have been put into their natural position, rather than awkwardly shoved where they are now.

In other words, I really think that the different controls should have been arranged like this:

This would have been, in fact, closer to the standard Xbox controller, with the left thumbstick on the upper left corner, and the "right thumbstick" (ie. the right touchpad in this case) in the lower-right "corner", with the ABXY buttons conveniently at the top-right of it.

As it is in the actual controller, it feels awkward to use the right touchpad and the ABXY buttons. As well as the left thumbstick.