Friday, November 17, 2017

Poland is still the only EU country with some balls

I have written before how Poland seems to be the only EU country that has not gone completely insane, and actually has the balls to say "no" to economic migrants, and to the EU, even at the threat of sanctions.

It seems that Poland is also the only European government that actually listens to its people. The reason why Poland has said "no" to immigrants is because 75% of the citizens said "no" to immigrants, and the government complied.

Of course the other European countries don't like this at all. Recently Poland held a normal annual independence celebration, with something like 75 thousand people participating in it on the streets. Much of European media are calling it a "nazi demonstration". Seriously.

Poland was invaded by nazi Germany, and suffered a big amount of loss because of it. The celebration in question is a normal one held every year, and lots of people participate in it, including war veterans who fought against the nazis. And the western media is calling these war veterans nazis. I'm not making that up.

On a side note, guess how many terrorist attacks by Muslims there have been in Poland. Ever.

If you guessed "zero", you are completely correct.

In this world where country after country is becoming completely insane and self-destructive, it seems that Poland is becoming one of the very few countries that could perhaps be a good place to move to, when everything comes crumbling down eventually.

I just hope Poland has a big enough army to combat the invading Muslim forces, once the EU has come down, and country after country has become a totalitarian islamic hellhole.

The only thing that baffles my mind a bit is why Poland is still in the EU. By this point I would have thought they would have given the middle finger to the EU mafia and left the sinking ship.

I wish Finland did that. But that's completely hopeless.

And fuck the media. If something would need to come crumbling down, is the western media. All of it. They are nothing but a bunch of liars.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The EU mafia is now getting an army

When the European Union was being advertised to European citizens, it was guaranteed that it was merely an economic agreement between the member states that would make travel and trading easier, and that's it. Each country would retain its independence and sovereignty. The fears that many had that the EU would become a nation all of its own, with each member state pretty much losing their independence and own government, is unfounded. Or so they said.

Some of the signs of a country's sovereignty are having its own currency, its own supreme government and justice system, its own constitution, and its own army.

The currency thing has long been gone, of course. The EU has become the top legislative entity controlling every member state, dictating the policies of all countries, and sanctioning countries that do not follow them. (With what authority? Who knows. But goes to show the what the status of sovereignty is). The EU tried to enact its own unified constitution for all member states, but at least that didn't fly (although, one could as if its replacement, the Treaty of Lisbon, is any better).

And, of course, for a long time the EU tried to create its own military.

Curiously, Britain was the strongest opponent to this idea, and it was essentially what held it back for over a decade. However, now that Britain is exiting the EU (at least allegedly), the EU has taken the opportunity and is now creating its own unified army.

If somebody still maintains the illusion that each member country could retain even their own military sovereignty, they are delusional. When the EU creates its own unified military, the top brass, the people at the very top, controlling all armies of all member states, will be assigned by the EU (probably unelected by the people). The EU will have control of all armies of all member states.

I still vividly remember all the talks by Finnish politicians about how EU membership would not mean the loss of any sovereignty, and that Finland would remain completely independent, and the government would stay in Finland.

Well, I suppose Finland will still have a government, for sure. It's just that it won't be fully sovereign. It will have to answer and obey the EU superstate.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Why do they call it the "regressive" left?

The current leftist-feminist social justice cult ideology is often called with the moniker "regressive left" (as a counter-point to their own claims that they are "progressive"). But what does that mean? What's so "regressive" about it?

I think this article is the perfect example of what it means, titled:


This looks like something you could have perhaps seen in the 1950's America. Even as-is.

As a society we have made great progress in the past 50 years, but the "progressive" left is trying very hard to drag us back to the era of open blatant racism and racial discrimination.

But wait, perhaps I'm just ripping a headline out of its context. Maybe the article is exactly how ridiculous such a statement is, and criticizes people who would think like that? Or perhaps it's just a parody?

No. It's serious. The article says, for example:
"As against our gauzy national hopes, I will teach my boys to have profound doubts that friendship with white people is possible."
Profound doubts that friendship with white people is possible... Just all white people as a collective. As if they all were a monolithic group, almost like its own species of wild animal. You know, like the racist ideas of over 50 years ago?

Oh, but surely I just ripped that off from some random blog somewhere? Who cares what some lunatic bigot has to say on some random blog where anybody can write whatever they want without supervision? Or perhaps it's just some extremist radical black activist publication somewhere? Surely something completely fringe.

No. It's in The New York Times. You know, one of the biggest news corporations in the world.

That's why they call it the regressive left.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Facebook planning to collect people's nude photos

So there's this satirical publication called The Onion that makes up outrageous stories to trick people, and they published a story about Facebook planning to ask people to send them nude photos of themselves, in order to combat "revenge porn", and people left and right are falling for it, and...

wait...

What? It isn't a satirical article made up by The Onion? It's real? Facebook actually is doing that?

It's really hard to believe, but all major news networks are writing about it, including USA Today, CNBC, The Guardian, The Telegraph, CNN, Fortune, and the list goes on and on and on.

Maybe they all fell for the same prank? But if they did, I can't find any evidence it's so. Usually if you make a google search for something, you'll probably quickly find if it's real or not, even if it's being parroted by major news networks. Some article or press release denouncing it as a hoax. But I can't find anything.

For all I know, this appears to be real. It really seems that Facebook is planning to ask people to send their nude photos. And apparently they are doing this in cooperation with the government agencies of some countries.

It gets creepier in that some of those articles reveal that, according to Facebook, actual human staff members will be looking at those photos. It won't solely be something like a client-side app calculating a one-way hash of the photo on the user's computer, and only sending that hash to the Facebook servers. No; the plan is to ask users to send nude photos of themselves as-is, raw, unencrypted and unhashed, and for Facebook staff members to look at those photos.

And it gets even creepier than that. Protection against the dissemination of nude photos of underage people is mentioned.

That's right, in order to protect underage people from their photos being sent through Facebook, those underage people, it seems, will be asked to send their nude photos for Facebook staff members to look.

Apparently the Facebook lawyers are ok with this plan, at least deducing from the fact that they allowed Facebook to announce the plan in public.

Have they gone absolutely insane?

If tomorrow it's announced that this is all just a big hoax, and that Facebook didn't really make any such announcement nor have ever made such plans, and that all the news organizations just fell for a massive joke, I would actually be relieved. It would restore my faith in humanity just a tiny bit.

"Rape" and "sexual assault" mean nothing anymore

In their misguided eagerness to... I don't even know exactly what... perhaps take some kind of odd "revenge" against men, I suppose... feminism has diluted in an ever-increasing manner the concepts of "rape" and "sexual assault" to the point that they mean almost nothing anymore.

To give an illustrative example, consider these two cases:

1) A man brutally rapes a woman completely against her will, beating her almost to death, and repeatedly forcing himself onto her, leaving long-lasting physical and psychological trauma that will severely impair her life for years to come.

2) Somebody feels a bit nervous and uncomfortable the first time they have a sexual encounter. They are willing at first, but get a bit nervous as the thing progresses, but go with it anyway. Weeks/months/years later they think back at that first-time, and they slightly regret it.

To progressive feminists, both are "sexual assault". I'm not kidding. And I didn't actually make up that second example: It's from an actual feminist video (incidentally, a male feminist, who claims he's the "victim" of "sexual assault" because his first time sexual act was like that. You know, because never in the history of humanity have virgin men been a bit nervous when they have sex for the first time.)

Almost anything is "rape" and "sexual assault" to feminists. Some drunkard briefly touched their butt in a bar and then went away? Sexual assault. Some guy approached them in the bar and proposed sex, and did not immediately back off when denied, but continued for a minute or two before eventually going away? Sexual assault. Somebody shouted something suggestive at them on the street? Sexual assault. And I'm not even making these up.

The problem with this is that feminists are trivializing rape and sexual assault. They are lumping everything into the the same category. Brutal physical rape, or uncomfortable situations involving some sexual innuendo... it's all the same.

Trivializing sexual assault in this manner is only detrimental. When somebody, especially a feminist, says that she's the victim of sexual assault, you have no way of knowing if it's just one of those cases where somebody just remarked something slightly inappropriate to them, or if they just slightly regretted a consensual sexual act afterwards, or whether they indeed were brutally raped against their will. (Invariably if you ask for details, they will refuse to answer, which only makes the suspicions worse.)

This has a "crying wolf" effect. When more and more feminists are claiming that they are "victims" of sexual assault, and it turns out to have been one of those rather innocuous cases completely overblown by the feminist rhetoric, it removes credibility from all people who make such claims, especially including those who are actual victims of real rape.

Ironically, this is exactly the opposite effect of what feminist claim they want. They want victims of rape to be taken more seriously, not less. But with their complete diluting of these terms they are getting the opposite of what they (claim they) want.

Doubly ironically, in fact this is however exactly what they want, even if they don't themselves fully realize it. Deep inside they want to deliberately "cry wolf" in order to make society more suspicious of all rape claims, because this way they justify their own activism. They can point their finger to society and say "see? See? People are disbelieving rape victims. Our activism is needed!"

Friday, November 10, 2017

Shadow-banning... is it good or bad?

Normally in forums, social media sites, online chats, comment sections and so on, spammers, trolls, vandals (who usually try to disrupt the conversation with copious amounts of flooding), abusive people, etc. are quickly banned. Their account gets suspended or restricted so that they can't post anymore (either for a period of time, or permanently), or just outright removed.

Shadow-banning goes a step further than this. Rather than just inform the perpetrator that he can't post anymore because he has been banned, or even that his account doesn't exist anymore, the backend software hides this information from the perpetrator and makes it look to him like everything is normal. All of his posts appear to him as normal, as if he wasn't banned at all. They just don't appear for anybody else. Nobody else can see what he's posting.

One idea behind this is that this way the perpetrator will not notice that he has been banned, and thus will not try to bypass the ban (eg. by trying to create another account). For example this can fool a spam bot into thinking that it can still post to the site as normal, and thus it might avoid informing the bot software that its posts aren't going through (and thus, perhaps, avoid triggering a condition that will make it try to create another account, to keep spamming).

Likewise trolls and abusive people might not notice that nobody else is seeing what they are posting, and thus will be unaware of it, and will perhaps not try to circumvent the ban.

That sounds all well and good... in theory.

In practice it can lead to abuse. It would of course be nice if all forum/chat moderators were perfect, just and fair people, who always deal with problems in the fairest and most reasonable way, only resorting to bans when it's absolutely necessary and justified (such as to stop spambots, flooding, or people who are genuinely and excessively abusive towards others.)

But most people are not like that. There's a saying that "power corrupts", and it's very true. Experiment after experiment has shown that just regular everyday people, who are normally nice, polite and reasonable, tend to slowly become abusive when they get in a position of power, where they can control other people, and freely impose restrictions and punishments on them, especially if any such restrictions or punishment can be done with no repercussions whatsoever to deter abuse of power. It may happen quickly or slowly, but a good portion of people who would otherwise never behave like that in normal life, start slowly, even inadvertently, get "drunk with power" and start abusing it more and more, as time passes by, if none of their ever-increasingly abusive behavior has any repercussions. Of course, and definitely, not all people are like that, but many are.

So what happens if a discussion medium has a shadow-banning feature, and one of the moderators simply doesn't like some user, or dislikes his opinions, or heavily disagrees with him eg. on politics? Or what if a user writes criticism about the moderator in question, eg. about his behavior, and the moderator gets offended or pissed off about it? This can easily lead to abuse of power, where the moderator shadow-bans that user, just out of spite, or because of an ideological motivation.

Shadow-banning someone in this kind of situation can be quite devious, because that user may not notice it, and thus might not know to complain to the other moderators or administrators about the situation.

One has to also wonder how effective shadow-banning truly is for its "genuine" purpose. After all, an experienced troll, harasser or spammer can quickly check if his posts are going through by simply checking the site with another browser where he is not logged in with his usual account, and see if the posts from his actual account are becoming visible. If they aren't, it's quite clear what has happened. The effectiveness of shadow-banning may be much less than one might think at first.

When you think about it, shadow-banning seems more like a tool designed to be abused. It almost begs to be used to spite people that a moderator doesn't like, eg. for ideological or political reasons, rather than for any genuine purpose.

On the contrary, with trolls and abusive people it might even have the opposite effect from the intended. If such a person is just outright banned in the normal way, they might just leave it at that. They had their fun, or had their anger fit, got banned, and that's it. However, if they find out that they were shadow-banned instead, they might get pissed off and now genuinely try to circumvent the ban.

Ultimately, shadow-banning is a disingenuous technique, designed to fool people. It's not honest, open and up-front, instead using deviousness and dishonesty. It's not telling people "you committed a transgression against the rules of this site, therefore you are not allowed to post anymore"; instead, it's tricking them disingenuously.

I would say that shadow-banning has a lot more negatives than potential positives, and only leads to abuse and disingenuous behavior, giving too much power to people to abuse it for ideological reasons.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Individualism vs. collectivism

In sociopolitical thinking, individualism is the fundamental notion (invariably espoused by constitutions and human rights agreements) that every person should be treated equally as an individual person, and judged solely on personal merits, achievements, qualifications, opinions and actions. People should not be treated differently based on physical traits of that person that the person cannot help (unless the reason for differential treatment can be rationally justified, for example for medical reasons, such as giving special treatment to people with physical disabilities in certain situations, to help them get or achieve things that they normally would have difficulties with due to their physical disability.)

How this is usually worded (in things like human rights declarations) is that every person should be treated equally, and have the same rights, regardless of characteristics like age, sex, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, country of origin, and so on and so forth. One example of this is hiring: People should be hired based on their qualifications, not based on, for instance, their race.

Collectivism, however, classifies people into groups based on those listed things (and often many other things), and assigns rights, privileges, responsibilities and guilt onto people based on which such group they belong to. Collectivism tends to be hierarchical in this sense, for instance assigning more rights and privileges to a person than to others, based on how many such groups that person belongs to (and how high in the "stack" those groups are). For example, collectivists might assign more rights and privileges to black lesbian disabled women than to, let's say, black heterosexual men, because the former people belong to more of the "oppressed" groups than the latter.

More fundamentally, to collectivists the most important characteristic of a person is which demographic group that person belongs to. Personal merits and achievements are only secondary (and often even ignored in many situations).

The differences between the two forms of thinking go in fact deeper than that.

Collectivists tend to think of those groups as completely homogeneous, not only in their physical characteristics and their status in society, but also in their thinking. In contrast, individualists recognize that people may have very different views, opinions and perspectives (besides knowledge and experience) even if they do happen to belong to the same demographic.

One situations where this comes up is the regressive leftist idea of "diversity is strength", for example in the context of the workplace. They seem to have this idea that if, let's say, a company consists solely of white people, it will be limited in their ideas, perspectives and views. Thus if they hire a lot of, for example, black people, they will start getting different and fresh ideas and perspectives, allowing them to diversify in their creativity and productivity.

That is not just an idea. It's an ideology. It's such a strong ideology that when, for example, the head of diversity at Apple (who happens to be a black woman) stated that there can be diversity even in a room full of white men, the regressive leftist mob got so angry that they bullied her to make a public apology.

That's right, the very idea that a group of white men could have a diversity of ideas and perspectives is so fundamentally offensive to the regressive left, that they can't stand it, and must bully and force the poor woman to retract what she said and issue and apology.

Collectivists not only divide people into groups based on gender, race and other such characteristics, assigning rights and privileges to people based on that, but they also think of them as a hive mind, as a homogeneous monolith that can only think in one way, and has only one perspective on things. And when somebody challenges this ideology, they get furious.

And no, it's not only white men that they think are like this. They think like this about all such groups. For instance, they simply can't stand it if, let's say, a black woman does not agree with their ideas, and criticizes them. They will furiously attack that person, and try to bully her into submission. A black woman cannot have independent, differing thoughts; she must submit to the collective, and think the same way as everybody else in the same group.

As said, individualists recognize that every person is different, and every person can have wildly different ideas, opinions and perspectives, regardless of their physical traits. A room full of white men can indeed be extremely diverse, in opinions, perspectives, and ideas, be their political, social, personal, or whatever. A room full of white men can be extremely diverse in their expertise, knowledge, strengths and weaknesses, qualifications, merits, and actions. And so can a room full of black women, or Mexicans, or whatever. It doesn't matter what their sex, ethnicity, or whatever may be, they are all individuals, and should be treated as such.

It seems to me that the only homogeneous hive mind collective is the regressive leftist social justice warriors. They are the ones that do not tolerate diversity, and will violently subjugate anybody who shows any independent thought, if it differs from the message of the collective.

People protest Trump, and don't even know why

I have commented several times that Trump protesters make all kinds of claims about him, how he's racist and islamophobic, and hates gays and Mexicans, and what not, but when asked about specific details, about something specific that he has said or done that would warrant such accusations, the protesters often can't give any.

I think this video by the youtuber Nuance Bro is the absolutely perfect example of this: ANTIFA November 4th Protest To Remove Trump/Pence.

It's almost hilarious how he asks protesters why they are there, and then asks for specific examples, and when they can't give any, they start refusing to answer any more questions. A few even outright admit, when asked tough questions, that "I have not done the research".

I think that says it all.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Some speedrunning video recording practices I hate

I love watching speedruns. Quite often when I have played a game through I will search for the current world record speedrun of it, to watch it (which most often than not can be found on speedrun.com).

Sometimes (of course not always, but way too often), however, I find the video recording of the speedrun pretty much unwatchable. So much that I can't even watch the video.

One thing that can make the video almost unwatchable is abysmal video quality. As in, a video encoding bitrate that's way, way too low, making the video full of artifacts. The worst examples I have seen have so many compression artifacts due to low bitrate that at points it actually becomes hard to distinguish what's happening.

I do understand that in at least a few cases it may be due to the technical limitations of the computer and/or internet connection of the speedrunner. Not every person has a top-of-the-line super gaming PC with the latest bells and whistles, and a super-fast internet connection allowing him to stream the speedrun to twitch.tv at BluRay quality. Sometimes the PC simply is lower-end, and can't capture video that efficiently, or the internet connection is slow, and simply can't stream the video at high quality. I understand that. But that doesn't change the fact that it can make watching the video a pain.

Another, even worse flaw, is when the video lacks the original sounds from the game. I know this might sound trivial and perhaps even strange to some, but it just bothers me a lot when the video lacks sound (or the sound has been completely replaced or swamped by something else, such as custom music).

Here also there are situations where the speedrunner himself isn't at fault. Sometimes eg. twitch.tv will mute the soundtrack of the stream because of copyright reasons. There's little that can be done about that. Othertimes there might have been a technical issue with the recording or streaming which caused the soundtrack to become heavily broken, and thus the speedrunner just muted it. (Or perhaps the technical issue caused the stream not to have a sound in the first place, at least not from the game itself.) There have been examples of such speedruns I have encountered. Still, like above, this knowledge doesn't help much.

However, oftentimes the sound isn't lacking because of some technical issue, but because the speedrunner deliberately muted it, or swamped it with something else (such as unrelated music). In a way this is even more bothering.

These things often ruin the watching experience so much that I just can't watch. Which is a pity, since I love speedruns.

I know this is a nitpicky first-world problem, but heck, I created this blog precisely to rant about things like this, so you'll have to bear it.

The Finnish Constitution vs. the United States Constitution

Finland, as a country, at some level prides itself as being a free constitutional democracy, where people have strong constitutional human rights, and where the constitution itself is good, well-crafted, and something to be proud of.

When you dig deeper, however, it turns out that the Finnish Constitution is surprisingly weak, non-authoritative, and even largely nondescript, full of effectively null statements that may sound superficially good, but mean nothing.

Freedom of religion and speech


I always like to contrast it with the United States Constitution, which has a significantly stronger role in the law-making of that country.

One key difference is the very wording of these two documents. For example, consider the wording of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution (emphasis mine):
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
The equivalent sections (11 and 12) of the Finnish Constitution state (translation and emphasis mine):
"Everybody has freedom of religion and conscience.

Freedom of religion and conscience include the right to avow and practice religion, the right to express a conviction and the right to be a member of any or no religious group. Nobody is required to participate in the exercise of a religion against their conscience."
and:
"Everybody has freedom of speech.  Freedom of speech includes the right to express, publish and receive any information, opinions and other messages unimpeded by anybody. More specific regulations on the exercise of free speech is decreed by law."
Notice how the approach is fundamentally different. The United States Constitution is talking to congress, to the government, categorically forbidding it from creating laws that establish a religion, or forbid people from exercising a religion, or reduce people's freedom of speech, freedom of the press, or the right of people to peaceably assemble.

The Finnish Constitution, on the other hand, does not forbid anything. It simply gives a much more vague principle that "everybody has freedom of religion" and "everybody has freedom of speech", without actually imposing any limitations on the government itself to regulate those.

On the very contrary, the statute on freedom of religion explicitly does not forbid the government from having a state church, and the statute on freedom of speech, rather obnoxiously, explicitly gives carte blanche for the law to restrict free speech as the lawmakers wish.

And indeed, Finland does have an official state church (the Lutheran Church of Finland). This church has special privileges among all other denominations and religions (among other things, it can collect non-voluntary taxes from its members, backed by the government. No other denomination nor religion can do this, of course; not with the blessing of the government.)

The statute on freedom of speech is even more obnoxious. It's effectively saying "everybody can say whatever they want, unless it's forbidden by law." Which means pretty much nothing. You are allowed to do whatever is not illegal. But no restriction is put onto what is or isn't made illegal. How is this different from any totalitarian banana republic dictatorship?

And no, I'm not just ranting on some hypothetical scenarios that might happen. Finland has surprisingly totalitarian, and arbitrary, policies with regards to free speech.

For example, in the United States you can burn or otherwise deface a Bible and a Koran, and the government will not do anything to you. Heck, you could build a bonfire out of them. It's part of free speech. In Finland, however, if you do that, you will get jailtime. And this is not just theoretical; it has happened (for example there was this infamous case of a man who got over two years of jail because of drawing a picture of a Koran and defacing it. He didn't have an actual Koran, he just drew a picture of one himself.)

Similarly, people have been prosecuted and fined for criticizing Islam. There are actual cases.

On a different note, some years ago the copyright law of Finland was heavily reformed, and one thing that was made illegal was distributing information on how to crack copy protections on digital media. The issue was raised that this law was unconstitutional (because the constitution says that everybody has the right to distribute and receive any information without being impeded by anybody). The government's constitutional committee didn't agree, and allowed that part of the law to pass as-is. And why not: As said, the Finnish constitution gives lawmakers carte blanche to restrict free speech as they see fit. So, technically speaking, the law is not unconstitutional, because no law restricting free speech can be.

Deporting Finnish citizens


But it gets worse. Oh man, does it get worse.

Previously, section 9, subsection 3 of the Finnish constitution said (translation mine):
"A citizen of Finland cannot be stopped from entering the country, deported from the country, or against their will extradited or moved to another country."
Unusually clear and definitive. No exemptions, no buts, perhaps or maybes.

In 2004 there was a very infamous case where the two children of a woman (Kerstin Campoy), who were Finnish citizens, were extradited by a judge to their father in the United States, against the will of the mother and the children. The case became especially infamous in that it involved the police going to the woman's home and forcefully removing the children from there, in order to be forcefully extradited to the US.

This is one of the most egregious and blatant breaches of the Finnish constitution in the history of Finland. Forcefully extraditing Finnish citizens to another country against their will was so clearly and blatantly unconstitutional that it became a scandal.

So, what happened then? What happened is that three years later the government retroactively amended the above subsection to make the extradition legal, after the fact. That's what.

That's right. A judge blatantly ignores the Finnish Constitution and makes a judgment that's egregiously against it, the government and the police backs it up, them likewise ignoring the constitutional rights of those citizens, and then three years later the government goes and changes the constitution in order to retroactively justify their actions.

The subsection was amended by adding this to the end of it (translation mine):
"However, by law it can be decreed that a Finnish citizen, because of a crime, a trial, or a judgment pertaining the custody of children, can be extradited to a country where their human and legal rights are guaranteed."
Because that's how it works in Finland. The constitution does not restrict what lawmakers and judges ought to do. Instead, lawmakers and judges decide what the constitution should allow them to do. And if it doesn't, they can go and patch it in.

Unequal treatment of people


Section 6 is another perfect example of a null statement that means nothing and dictates nothing. It says (translation mine):
"People are equal before the law.

Nobody can be, without a justified reason, be put in a different position based on gender, age, origin, language, religion, conviction, opinion, health status, disability or any other personal characteristic."
Sounds great, right? Except that there's that exemption of "without a justified reason".

And who decides what's a "justified reason"? The government, of course. So whatever the government decides, it's A-ok according to the constitution.

For example Finnish Universities regularly engage in student quotas based on ethnicity and origin. Unconstitutional? No, because the government deems it "justified".

Once again the Finnish Constitution does not restrict what the government does. If the government decides "this is a justifiable reason to discriminate against people based on these external characteristics", that's allowed. Which means that pretty much any sort of discrimination by the government is allowed, as long as they justify it somehow.

How about that part saying that people are equal before the law regardless of their opinion? Does that mean that if somebody has a negative opinion of a group of people A, and another person has a negative opinion of a group of people B, both should be treated equally before the law? In other words, either both are punished in the same way, or neither is?

Of course it doesn't work that way. If you express, for example, heavy criticism of Christianity, you probably won't get anything. But if you express heavy criticism of Islam, expect consequences (even up to being fined or even jailed). Of if you have a negative opinion of Americans, vs. if you have a negative opinion of, let's say, Africans. (Again, actual real-life cases.)

You know, because it's justified.

The most null statement of them all


I find this absolute null statement to be the most hilarious in the entire Finnish constitution, found in section 2 (translation mine):
"The acts of the government must be based on the law. All actions taken by the government must strictly follow the law."
Why is this a completely null statement?

Well, who exactly is it that decides what the law is, that the government must follow? Well, the government itself. The government decides what rules it must follow.

Which means absolutely nothing. Heck, as seen previously, the government can even go and change the constitution itself to justify its own actions. Do something blatantly unconstitutional? No problemo, just change the law and the constitution itself to match.

Constitutional democracy my ass.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Biased attitudes towards terrorist attacks

On June of 2016, a Muslim man committed a mass shooting in a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 people, and wounding 58. He made his motivations completely clear prior to, and even during the shooting (via a phonecall to 9-1-1). He committed the mass murder because of ISIS and his religion.

On October of 2017, a Muslim man plowed into a crowd of people in New York with a truck, killing 8. Once again he made his motivations completely and absolutely clear: ISIS and his religion.

These are just two prominent recent examples of similar attacks. The actual number of such attacks is actually staggering.

ISIS itself has made their motivations completely clear and unambiguous: They hate the west because they are non-Muslims and engage in all sorts of behaviors that are condemned by Islam. They have published several publications making this completely and absolutely clear, without the shadow of a doubt. Their major motivation is the secularism, liberal values, and non-Islamic beliefs of the west. They will not stop until the west has been subjugated under Islam. Attacks by the west on Islamic countries is only a secondary motivation. (This is not interpretation, or making it up. It's their own explicit words, in their own publications. They explicitly state that the attacks by western countries is only a secondary reason, using that exact word. Their primary motivation is Islam, and the subjugation of the entire world under it. Again, their words, not mine.)

Every single time there is such a clearly-motivated terrorist attack by a Muslim, who himself makes his motivations absolutely clear and unambiguous, the leftist media and overall the regressive left is quick to distance the act and the motivation from Islam. They always hurry to claim that the attack is unrelated to and against the religion, and that it's a religion of peace, and that the perpetrator does not represent the religion, and that ISIS does not represent the religion. They are never able to present actual concrete arguments how the terrorist act, or ISIS, is unrepresentative of Islam; it just is, period. But the attack is always, apparently, just committed by a lone perpetrator who doesn't represent the religion.

Now compare all that with the incident that happened in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017: A car rammed into a group of left-wing protesters. Several people got injured. One person died in the incident, although she was not one of the people hit by the car (she died of heart attack, and it's unclear why that happened; she was not hit by the car.)

In this case the man who was driving the car has not expressed his motivations, or any reason. We don't know why he did it, or even if it was intentional (while unlikely, it's not completely out of the realm of possibility that he had a panic attack. We just don't know at this moment.) Even though this happened several months ago, as far as I know the man has still not stated any motivation or reason for what happened. (Some people even suspect that he wasn't actually driving the car, that he's just a scapegoat, but this goes into unfounded conspiracy theory land. Of course the possibility is not zero, but it's highly unlikely.) He might still state his actual motivation, but so far I have not heard that he has.

The attitude of the regressive left is, of course, the polar opposite of what it is with Islamic terrorists: They assign blame to the entirety of the right wing, and use this case as representative of the entire right side of the political spectrum, to vilify them and consider them dangerous, and as a motive to attack them (often physically). This even though it's still unclear whether the perpetrator himself is right-wing, or what his motivations were.

But even if he were an extremist alt-right conservative, and he suddenly came out and directly stated that he did it because he hates the regressive left and wants them all dead, it would still make little difference: Why does he suddenly represent the entirety of the political spectrum, while those Islamic terrorists do not, apparently, represent the religion of Islam? Even the most radical right-wing ideology in the United States does not condone killing of people. Radical Islam does.

Why does a Muslim gunning down dozens of people, while clearly expressing his religious motivations, not represent the religion, but a man plowing through a crowd of people with a car, without having stated any motivation for it, represents the entirety of the right-wing political spectrum?

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Is Donald Trump a racist?

The regressive left in the United States (and pretty much everywhere else) keeps touting how Donald Trump is racist. It always comes up every time they want to attack him. Racism this, racism that, he can't even open his mouth without something racist coming out (paraphrasing an actual quote by a regressive leftist activist.)

Yet when asked for examples, they seem to be lacking. There are tons of YouTube videos out there with people asking these regressive leftist activists for examples, and almost invariably they won't give a single example, or the examples they give have pretty much nothing to with racism. (One particular example was rather hilarious, where the interviewer asked a protester directly an example of something racist the Trump has said, and the example that the protester gave was that Trump had said that black people love him, and that's a lie. As the interviewer says in the video, whether that's true or not doesn't make it a racist statement.)

But perhaps I have only gotten biased information? So I decided to google "racist things trump has said". Maybe I will get actual real examples of this overtly blatant racism that apparently he constantly spouts.

Not to my surprise, the examples I got are as tenuous as I pretty much expected.

For example the first result was the article "The 15 most offensive things that have come out of Trump's mouth" at politico.eu. Almost none of the examples they give are racist.

Some of the examples are incomprehensibly mind-boggling. How is him saying that he's "a negotiator like you folks" outrageous or racist? Apparently also saying "I have a great relationship with the blacks. I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks" is racist, somehow. (Perhaps the idea is that he didn't use the politically correct term, whichever it happened to be that week?) Apparently also saying "a well-educated black man" is somehow outrageous and racist. I suppose that if he said "an uneducated black man" that would also be racist (just because he said it). I don't think there's anything he can say that contains the words "black man" in it that will not be deemed racist. Or how about "I have thousands of hispanics that work for me." Apparently that's also outrageous, somehow. And of course him claiming he's not racist ("I don't have a racist bone in my body") is also outrageous, naturally.

Some of the examples go way back, like the one alleged by some guy in a book published in 1991. One would think that if Trump really is constantly spouting racist and outrageous things, they wouldn't need to start digging so far in the past.

But ok, that article was just "most offensive things". How about an article that explicitly lists racist things he has said? How about the article "13 examples of Donald Trump being racist" at the Huffington Post? This should give us actual examples of actual racism. So let's see.

Apparently saying this from a Muslim woman is "racist": "If you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me." I would consider a fair question. Either way, stupid or fair, questioning whether she was silent because of her religion or perhaps because of peer pressure (eg. from her religious husband) has nothing to do with racism. At most you could perhaps attribute it to criticism of Islam. Islam is not a race.

In the second example Trump suspects a judge of being biased because of his Mexican heritage (as this case was after his announcement of plans to build a wall between the US and Mexico). You know, because "Mexico" is apparently a race now. (I really love someone's criticism, which is quoted in the article: "Claiming a person can’t do their job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment." Yeah, "Mexican" is a race, rather than a nationality. And he was talking about bias, not about "can't do their job".)

The third example digs all the way back to 1973. That was actually before I was even born. My God, do they need to dig far in the past to get something. You know what, I'm not even bothering with this one. If they need to go so far back in the past to dig some dirt, I'm not even interested in knowing how accurate it is. Trump is supposed to be racist now, at this moment.

The third example goes to 1991. Pass. And in 1996 he was sued because he didn't keep his promise of hiring quotas based on race. (So maybe he was a liar, but was he a racist? Heck, I oppose hiring quotas based on race. You can freely call me a racist because of that if you want. I don't mind.)

Fourth example: He refused to condemn white supremacists? Firstly, not true. Secondly, when a regressive leftist source claims some people to be "white supremacists", I tend to not believe them (because the media has lost all credibility.) Thirdly, that's not racism. Not condemning a group of people is not racism, no matter who those people are.

Fifth: He questions whether Obama was born in the United States. So he's an idiot and a conspiracy theorist, but that doesn't make him a racist. It has absolutely nothing to do with race.

Sixth: "He treats racial groups as monoliths." This made me laugh out loud. That's exactly what the regressive left does. It's the regressives who are collectivists and cannot see people as individuals, but only as members of large groups of people based in gender, race, and so on. This example is also hilarious because apparently him using the article "the" to describe those people apparently is racist. (Again, just because he might not be using the terminology that happens to he "politically correct" that week doesn't somehow make him a racist.) Also eating tacos and saying "I love Hispanics" is racist. Give me a fucking break.

I'm tired of that article. None of the remaining examples are any better. They really are grasping for straws. It really doesn't matter what he says, it's always somehow "racist".

Is Trump really a racist? Maybe. I don't know. I can't read minds. But judging from what he has said, and judging from the severe lack of concrete examples (and the fact that many of the examples need to dig 30 and even over 40 years back in time to dig some dirt, which shouldn't be necessarily if he really is as blatantly racist as they claim) tells me something. In many aspects he's really an idiot, and a stupid conspiracy theorist (quite typical of American conservatives), and there are many things I strongly disagree with him, but I don't see how he's such an over racist as people claim he is.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Why do we trust the media so much?

Suppose you read an article in a big-name reputable economics journal about a person who got lured into investing into a certain banking company, and who lost all of his money. The article goes on to say how the people at the banking company used manipulative tactics to lure this person to invest, and didn't warn him clearly enough of all the caveats and risks.

If you are a normal person, like everybody else, you'll just believe that article. After all, it's written in a reputable journal. They couldn't possibly make such a thing up. That would be way too egregious.

Except that kind of thing happens all the time. In fact, this particular example is based on an actual such article written in an actual journal about an actual banking company. It turns out that the person described in the article doesn't actually exist, and it's a complete distortion of what actually happened. Somewhere along the way somebody invented a fictitious person, full of fictitious details, and distortions of the actual situation, and succeeded in having an article published about it in a reputable journal of economics. (I do not know in this particular example whether the journalist was duped into believing a false story by a third party, or whether the journalist himself fabricated it. It is my understanding that the journalist was duped by someone else, but I can't be completely sure. He is, however, at least partially guilty in that he has not posted any sort of retraction.)

The online version of this article has many user-submitted comments. Not a single one expresses any skepticism. Every single person who commented on the article clearly believes it to be completely true, without even a shadow of a doubt.

I wish this kind of false story was extremely rare and unique. Unfortunately it's only the tip of an enormous iceberg. All kinds of journals and newspapers publish constantly fabricated and/or distorted stories. It has become so bad that if an article deals with politics, social issues, economy, education, and often even scientific studies, it's actually safer to assume that it's completely false, or a complete distortion, than to assume it's true.

In later years the knowledge of this has become more and more public knowledge. Distrust in the media has increased rapidly. Yet, despite of this, we still tend to believe the media, and lack healthy skepticism. We still have an instinct to believe something written or said by a "reputable" news organization. Surely the biggest newspaper of TV news channel wouldn't fabricate or distort stories? Surely they wouldn't be so bold as to publish a complete lie?

Yet they all do it. It's much rarer to find a newspaper that always sticks to the truth and has strict journalistic ethics, than it is to find one, no matter how big it is, that has no qualms about sensationalizing things, or even making things up in order to promote a sociopolitical agenda.

Most news organizations embrace sensationalism and simply elide even the most superficial of fact checking. They will easily make big headlines and lengthy articles about things that the journalist stumbles across the internet, or read in other news sources, without doing any sort of fact checking. If a random blog somewhere claims that such-and-such scientific study shows such-and-such sensationalistic new result about some sociopolitical issue, news agencies will just copy it without even checking the original study (assuming it even exists).

And a good majority of news organizations are even more nefarious than that, and don't shy away from outright writing pure propaganda, often for political purposes. We often don't want to believe it from the major news corporations, but it's just how it is.

And the sad thing is that it works. It works even for people who are more skeptical about the news media. We all have biases, and we all succumb to them. I have such biases. You have such biases, even if you want to believe you don't. It's something hard-wired into our brains, and those biases are extremely hard to overcome.

These biases work in both directions, making us not only be more ready to accept claims that we like, but also be overly critical of claims we don't like. These happen mostly with subjects we are very fond of, or have strong feelings about.

As said, I have these biases too, even though I try to fight them. For example, if I read an article that says, for instance, "new study shows that video games do not cause sexism", I will instinctively be less critical and skeptical of it, and instinctively want to believe it, without doing any further research. Conversely, if the article had said the opposite, "new study shows that video games do indeed cause sexism", I would be very tempted to dismiss it as bollocks and fake news, based in a faulty research, again without doing any further research.

And I do too often put too much trust in news organizations. When I read that article I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I automatically assumed that it was indeed talking about an actual real person, who had experienced such a thing. It didn't even cross my mind to doubt the article, and even the very existence of the person described in it.

I constantly find myself doing such things, being biased in one direction or another without proper research, and making assumptions about the veracity of what's claimed. Often I realize I have done that only afterwards. You probably do that as well, all the time, even if you think of yourself as a skeptical person who doesn't automatically believe things without proper evidence (or who is ready to accept a claim if enough valid evidence is provided).

Why is it so hard to be properly skeptical of claims made by news organizations and other similar "authorities"? Is it really hard-wired in our brains?

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Homeschooling, is it good or bad?

Homeschooling is, for some reason, quite prevalent in the United States and Canada (and possibly some other countries). The advocates of homeschooling present all kinds of claims of how it's superior to sending your kids to a public school.

Since I live in Finland, I am of the quite strong opinion that homeschooling is more detrimental than useful, and I more or less oppose the idea. Here are some of the reasons, and one concession (mostly from an American perspective), although perhaps not in the same vein as American homeschoolers present.

Most Americans seem to live in some kind of societal bubble where, while they know that other countries exist, they don't pay much attention of how society works in those other countries, and only think about the United States and how things work there. They seldom look to other countries to see what works there, and think if it perhaps could work in the US as well. (On the contrary, quite often when people present them alternatives that are used in other countries, which seem to produce much better results than the way the US does it, many Americans get on the defensive.)

Finland, in particular, has no homeschooling. Moreover, Finland has no private schools either. Public schools are the only legal form of primary and secondary education, and the former is mandatory by law for all children. To many Americans this might sound like horrendously socialistic, but it works: Year after year Finland scores highest, or one of the highest, in world-wide rankings of children education. Of course literacy in Finland is almost 100%. (In fact, this model of education is not exclusive to Finland; pretty much the same model is used in all Nordic countries, and in many other European countries, with similar success.)

The United States, in contrast, scores very poorly in these same scores. This is a fact that's constantly being talked about in the country, yet pretty much nothing is done about it. (This is quite ironic given that the United States is supposed to be almost the pinnacle of technological development in the world. Yet its schooling system is one of the worst in the world, only being above perhaps to the ones of the poorest countries.)

Another big problem I see with homeschooling in the United States in particular is that it's very often used by ultra-conservative ultra-religious parents to indoctrinate their children. Especially to indoctrinate them into becoming young-earth creationists, and teach them all kinds of anti-scientific stuff (not just related to evolution, but all kinds of other anti-science that's popular among ultra-conservatives in the United States, such as climate change denialism, anti-vaccination, and so on.) These parents specifically want to avoid their children from going to a public school, in order to avoid them hearing anything that contradicts their religious and anti-scientific views. I'm certain that people from other, even more severe religions (such as scientologists), are doing the same as well.

Homeschooling also minimizes the size of the social interactions of the children. In the worst case scenario the child is brought up in, essentially, a societal bubble that consists of family, some friends, and the close neighborhood, and that's it. They never get to socially interact with a wider range of people. (This often ties to the above if this neighborhood is highly religious conservative.)

On a tangent, and perhaps quite curiously, the situation is in some aspects even worse in Canada than it is in the United States. That's because in the United States there is at least a modicum of supervision by the authorities that the homeschooling is teaching a required curriculum. It is my understanding that at least in some parts of Canada (perhaps the entirety of it), there is no supervision at all! Homeschoolers can do whatever they want, including not teaching their children anything at all. They only need to declare to the government that they are homeschooling their children, and that's it. No official supervision of any kind. Sounds almost too incredible to be true, but it's my understanding this is the case.

There is, however, one reason why homeschooling might be a viable better alternative, especially in the United States. But I don't think it's one of the arguments that American homeschoolers present:

In most of the United States, school food is absolutely horrendous.

That might have sounded like a joke, but I am being serious.

It's not "horrendous" as in tasting bad. It's horrendous as in being incredibly unhealthy, and adding to the severe problem of morbid obesity in the United States.

Jamie Oliver, a famous British chef and TV celebrity, recently went to an American school to review their school food policies. He was horrified. He heavily criticized one particular school for having a really big and expensive kitchen, with all the bells and whistles... which was used solely to heat up ready-made preprocessed pre-packaged junk food (such as hamburgers and pizza). 90% of the kitchen and its tools were completely unused. Junk food was brought in from some factory, and simply heated up in the kitchen, and that's it. No actual food was actually prepared nor cooked there in any way, shape or form.

It is my understanding that this is extremely prevalent in the United States. It's actually rare to find a school where the children are served actual healthy food, prepared and cooked in-situ. The vast majority serve horrendously unhealthy junk food. No wonder there is an obesity epidemic.

If I lived in the United States, and had children, I might opt for homeschooling for that reason alone.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Predictions for the near future, part 3

Or whatever part it is by now...

It won't be long that regressive leftist social justice warriors will declare chess to be a racist game. After all, it's white vs. black, and of course white goes first and thus has the advantage and privilege of the first move. (I'm actually quite honestly surprised this hasn't been a thing yet.)

A more serious one: In the near future it's very possible that regressive leftists will start opposing inter-racial relationships and marriages. Which of course means that white men can't be in a relationship, nor marry, non-white women (perhaps not even non-white men).

This second one is already showing some signs that it might be happening. There are already feminist articles out there that declare that if a white man finds Asian women attractive and desirable, that's "racist." Somehow. (You can never quite fully comprehend nor predict social justice logic.) The logical extreme of this is, of course, that at some point they will start opposing any inter-racial relationships where white men are involved. I'm somewhat convinced that the social justice mentality will evolve into that direction.

It may even go farther than that. If they oppose the very concept of an inter-racial romantic relationship, they will of course heavily oppose the idea of such a couple having children. After all, in their logic and world view it would be a terrible injustice to taint the child with the curse of whiteness. The very genes of white people will make the child racist and an oppressor.

On a similar note, SJWs will start opposing white people (at least white men) preparing, buying, or eating any non-western food, because it's "cultural appropriation". Any food that's deemed having originated from a non-western country will be off limits.

Likewise they will be advocating for outright banning white people from entering non-western restaurants altogether. Non-whites only. Anything else would be "cultural appropriation" and "oppression". And heaven forbid a non-white person offer a service to a white client.

I'm calling it now. That will happen in the near future.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Universities are becoming indoctrination cults

I recently watched a video of a university student talking about how she's becoming utterly tired of the social justice feminism in that institution. (Incidentally, she's a black woman. Not that that matters, but at least in the eyes of the regressive left she's probably seen as some kind of traitor or someone with "internalized racism", because the regressive left cannot judge a person by her opinions, but by her gender and skin color.)

She describes how at the university she's attending social justice ideology is injected into everything. She gives as example English literature classes. Everything is taught solely from the perspective of regressive leftist social justice ideology. Even students taking purely STEM courses (science, technology, engineering, math) are forced to take gender studies and social justice classes as part of their mandatory curriculum.

For the longest times universities were places where people were taught to think critically, and to always consider and present alternative viewpoints. In subjective matters, such as sociology and politics, and all fields that are related to them (such as philosophy, literature, psychology and so on), differing positions are presented. Often students are tasked to read differing, even contradictory positions on the subject matter, and formulate their own opinion on what's good and bad about each one. Notions that may have been taken for granted are challenged. (The opposing viewpoint might not always be right, or even partially right, but that doesn't matter. The point is to be exposed, and get acquainted with opposing viewpoints, and at a more fundamental level, learn to consider and manage opposing viewpoints.)

In these universities this is no longer the case. Only one very particular and precise ideology is taught, even inculcated into the students, and opposing viewpoints are not only not presented, but in fact actively not tolerated. Some courses might even be so blatant as to directly state that dissenting opinions are not tolerated. Other professors might pay lip service to allowing differing opinions, but if anybody dares to present one, those students will be heavily shunned and ostracized, and even their grades will suffer as a consequence.

Another point she brings up is that normally all material presented in university courses would be heavily sourced. Anybody could look at the citations in the material, and check the sources. No more. In her university the vast majority of the material in the humanities courses are completely unsourced, with no citations. She mentioned noticing one exception, where in one course material a citation was actually included. She went and checked the source... and it turned out to be just some random feminist online blog, not any sort of peer-reviewed academic publication.

She laments in the video that the social justice indoctrination is making all humanities classes useless, tedious, and utterly boring. Social justice indoctrination impermeates everything, and nothing can be studied in a normal, productive manner. (She explains that English literature would be particularly interesting to her, but studying it properly is just impossible in her university.) She doesn't see any usefulness in any of her classes, she's not learning anything that would help her get a career, and she's seriously considering dropping out.

And do you know what the scariest thing is about all this? The indoctrination works. That's what.

She also describes how the majority of students in that university are deeply indoctrinated into social justice, and the vast majority of them are activists and zealots, and simply can't stop talking about it. (She mentions one especially cringeworthy example where a student explains with bright eyes how he went to some university in another country as a transfer student for an entire year... to take gender studies courses. That's it. Gender studies.)

Universities used to be the highest institutions of learning, teaching and research, where students could go get the knowledge and experience required for a high-paying career, and for professors to teach and do research. Universities used to employ the highest and strictest standards of academic rigor, both in their teaching and in their own research and publications.

No more. University after university is becoming a regressive leftist social justice cult indoctrination camp, where academic rigor, peer review, varied points of view, and proper scientifically rigorous research is all shoved aside in order to indoctrinate young adults into becoming social justice activists who are zealots and bigoted, and deeply, deeply racist and sexist.

This worries me seriously. These are the people who will eventually become politicians, law-makers, judges, police officers, teachers, and everybody who will be deciding on behalf of the entire population how the country should be run, and who should be punished for which crimes. These future politicians and law-makers are being indoctrinated into deep racism and misandry. These future teachers will be indoctrinating even younger and more impressionable children, and engaging in their bigotry, racism and sexism against them (which has already happened, and is happening at increasing levels.)

And sad, and scary, thing is that little to nothing is being done to stop this madness. On the contrary, country after country is adopting this.

It can only end in disaster.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Why do corporations feel the need to virtue-signal?

The main goal of a private company is to make money. That's it. As crude as that might sound, that's just the core of our economic system (and it's actually a fact that's even taught in university economy courses; personal experience). Whatever other goals a company might have, those are secondary to that of making money.

Therefore a company should always strive to do things that maximize income and minimize losses. Less scrupulous companies might resort to underhanded shady tactics, playing with fire with regards to the law, other companies may be much more honest and always play by the rules, but the bottom line is that whatever they do, the main goal is to maximize profit.

One thing that will not maximize profit, but instead will potentially cause diminished income, perhaps even losses, is a company taking a socio-political stance, and openly advocating for a certain political view, especially if controversial. In other words, when they engage in virtue-signaling. That's because when they do that, they alienate a significant portion of their potential customerbase, potentially driving them away. Rather than maximizing their potential customerbase (and thus profit), they are deliberately cutting off part of it. Which makes absolutely no sense. They are deliberately alienating part of their customers, and thus cutting their own profits, for no benefit.

But that's the power of virtue-signaling, ie. showing your moral superiority. I believe that it's quite literally a mind-drug. As in, when you virtue signal loudly to a public, when you exude your own moral superiority by loudly proclaiming how some people around you are morally inferior, it actually physically gives you a chemical rush. I bet that if it were measured, it would be noticed that it causes the brain to induce endorphin, dopamine and/or some other hormone production.

When individuals do it, they are just making themselves assholes. However, when a company does it, they are doing it at their own expense, potentially alienating their customers and cutting their profits. Yet some of them still can't help but do it anyway. (And the funny thing about virtue-signaling is that once you engage in it, you can never back down, take back what you have said and apologize. You have to keep doing it, no matter how much it harms you or your company. It's an addictive drug of the mind.)

For example, the company Campo Santo, creators of Firewatch, recently decided to DMCA PewDiePie for his let's play of that game. Not because of anything related to that video (which was published a year or two ago), but because of a completely unrelated video where he utters the N-word in the heat of the moment during an online game session. Representatives of Campo Santo went to social media to boast how they DMCA'd him because of that, and they encouraged all other companies to do the same.

The ratings of the the game on Steam started immediately plummeting, with people flooding the rating system with negative reviews.

I will never buy that game, nor anything from that company. I don't care how good that or any of their future games may be, I will never buy them, out of principle.

Recently, Bethesda, of all companies, decided to do some virtue-signaling of their own. They made an official tweet post about their new game Wolfenstein II, which reads "Make America Nazi-Free Again", with a video that has the message "not my America". It couldn't be clearer that they are alluding to Trump and the current regressive leftist rally of calling everybody who disagrees with them "nazis".

They are alienating a significant portion of their potential customerbase... and they don't even care. While the game setting is an alternate universe history where nazi Germany won, and is in control of the United States (and has been so for many years), they could have just stayed out of the whole political debate and said nothing, and let the game be what it is. Nobody would have minded, and they would have probably enjoyed the game just fine.

But no. They had to virtue-signal, potentially pissing off a large portion of their customers.

Whether this will have any significant effect on the sales of the game will be seen (it might not), but personally, out of principle, I will not be buying the game. I don't care how good it might be; it may be the best video game ever created, and I would still not buy it. There are literally hundreds of other games out there for me to play. I don't need this one. I won't be playing this one.

I did buy the previous Wolfenstein game, and I thought it was ok. I might have bought this one as well. But that's it. If nobody else, they lost at least me as a potential customer. I will never buy the game. I hope they are happy.

Ubisoft Montpellier, a subsidiary of Ubisoft in France, really got their virtue-signaling dopamine rush when in the last E3 conference they boasted how the cast of their upcoming game Beyond Good and Evil 2 is so "inclusive" and "diverse" and "multicultural" and whole bunch of other SJW buzzwords. It really sounded like sermon in the Church of Progressiveness. (And no, it wasn't tongue-in-cheek, or humorous, or light-hearted, or just some kind of side quip. It was presented 100% seriously.)

That speech alone gave me so much nausea that I added the game to my list of games I will never be buying out of principle. I loved the first game, but I don't care how good the sequel might be. It may be the greatest and most mind-blowing game in history, and I still wouldn't care. I'm not buying it. They lost me as a customer.

My advice to companies? Just stay out of politics. Say nothing related. Don't take a stance. Don't try to virtue-signal. Make good games for all your customers; don't alienate a demographic just so that you can get your dopamine rush.

Obama was more of a "Hitler" than Trump is

The regressive left, especially in the United States (but pretty much also everywhere else), the media at large, leftist celebrities, and pretty much everybody who hates Trump, is comparing him to Hitler, and constantly bringing out how much of a "racist", and "sexist" and a myriad other buzzwords he is, and how he is worse than Hitler and commits atrocities, and what not.

Yet they have very little to show for it. If you ask them what exactly has Trump said or done to deserve all those accusations, the evidence is quite bleak. So he banned the citizens of certain countries from entering the US... hardly an atrocity (especially considering that those exact same countries have banned the citizens of Israel from entering theirs, something that no regressive ever acknowledges or pays attention to). He wants tougher stances and enforcement on illegal immigrants... something that pretty much every prior US presidents has done as well, very much including Obama (you can find several of his speeches on tougher immigration policies and enforcement online).

The fact is that Trump has not done much in terms of atrocities.

The fact also is that Obama did.

Read, for example, this article by The Guardian: America dropped 26,171 bombs in 2016. What a bloody end to Obama's reign

That's right, over 26 thousand bombs. Not during his entire 8-year presidency. During one single year.

Some sources claim that approximately 90% of deaths caused by those bombs were civilians.

How about Obama giving Iran the means to build nuclear weapons? How many regressive leftists do you see talking about any of this? (And I'm quite certain that hell will freeze over before Trump gives any Islamic country nuclear weapons.)

So far Obama has been much more of a "Hitler" than Trump has. Obama's death toll is significantly higher. Yet no regressive is willing to acknowledge any of this.

Friday, October 6, 2017

"Fat acceptance"

As with so many things, when it comes to virtue signaling, and anything related to the social justice ideology, "fat acceptance" might have had a somewhat reasonable point, to one degree or another, but it has evolved into a completely ridiculous denial of reality. And, likewise as often happens with these things, the original idea is being used to justify the ridiculous extreme. In fact, they are even calling it "fat pride" now, as if there was something prideful about being obese.

The original idea stems from the desire to end "fat shaming" in our society. Kids making fun of, or even harassing, obese kids. Adults making nasty remarks and having all kinds of prejudices about obese people. And so on.

Fine. Some degree of decency and good manners could be expected of society. We shouldn't be making fun of, or shun, or harass, anybody because of how they look, or any other sort of external characteristics. If they have some kind of personal problem (such as a health problem) that may or may not be solvable, that's one thing, and possibly worth of serious discussion, but treating them badly just because of some physical characteristic is not acceptable. As long as they aren't hurting anybody else, we shouldn't be attacking them in any way. I can get behind that.

But the "fact acceptance" movement has gone well beyond that, to absolute ridiculous extremes. It has transformed from "I know I have an obesity problem, please stop making fun of me, it's very hurtful and it isn't helping" to, effectively, considering obesity to be an innate characteristic of the person. In other words, in the same way as your skin color may be innate, or eye color, or hair color, or the size of your ears, or the shape of your nose, or your height, or the size of your head, these "fat acceptance" advocates seem to be promoting the idea that weight is a completely equivalent innate characteristic. In other words, in the same way as you can't help your height, or the length of your arms, likewise you can't help your weight. They don't even use the word "weight"; they use the term "body shape", as if it were indeed an innate characteristic.

Moreover, and more dangerously, many of them are advocating for the concept that people can be healthy at any weight. Here is where they are going full reality denialist. I'm not even kidding; some of them really and truly are promoting the idea that morbid obesity isn't unhealthy.

Of course we know as a scientific fact that morbid obesity increases the risk of all kinds of diseases, many of them by several orders of magnitude. For example the risk of diabetes is enormously increased; the more obese the person is, the higher the risk is. (Some studies estimate that people who are medically considered obese are 80 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people who are not medically overweight. The risk only becomes higher the more overweight the person is.) And diabetes is not just a minor nuisance; it's a rather serious disease.

And that's only one of the common obesity-related diseases. The list of them is quite large. By the age of 40 or 50, the vast majority of morbidly obese people are on one or more medications for conditions directly caused by their obesity.

Some more cynical people say "they are not healthy; they are dying". That's actually not very far from the truth. Morbidly obese people do have significantly lower life expectancy (sometimes by as much as 20 or even 30 years).

And the thing is, obesity is a choice. It's not an innate physical characteristic. It's not a congenital condition. It's not something that you can't help. It's a life choice. And more importantly, it's not irreversible. No matter how morbidly obese you are, it's still not irreversible (even though to such a person it might feel so). Many life choices do cause irreversible, or only partially reversible damage, but obesity is not one of those. If you are still young enough to be relatively healthy, it is perfectly possible for a person to lose all of that extra weight, and decrease the risk of all obesity-related diseases significantly. In fact, even if you do already have some obesity-related disease, it's often reversible by losing weight. For example, if you have type 2 diabetes that is caused by obesity, dropping all that weight very often cures the disease.

Of course nobody is saying that losing weight and becoming fit is easy. But it's still a choice. It's not a congenital condition that can't be helped.

The "fat acceptance" movement is dangerous because it's telling obese people that they are fine as they are, and don't need to lose any weight.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Brexit is probably not going to happen

The people of the United Kingdom voted for the country to leave the European Union. That happened in June of 2016.

Almost a year and a half later, the United Kingdom is still in the EU, with absolutely no signs of leaving yet.

And it's likely not going to ever happen (unless something like a total collapse of the EU happens, which may well be a possibility.)

One would think that since they decided to leave, it would be a rather quick process, taking maybe some weeks, a few months at most. But apparently not.

It actually would be a relatively fast process. The EU cannot force a country to stay in the union. (Of course the EU could act like the organized criminal thugs they are and try to impose sanctions on UK for leaving too soon, but the UK is rich enough and with enough connections to the rest of the world that they could well just ignore those pitiful threats. Seriously. The UK would have absolutely nothing to fear from the EU mafia.)

The problem is, the majority of politicians governing the United Kingdom don't want to leave the EU, so they have a dilemma.

They could just ignore the referendum and give their people the middle finger. However, short of doing that, they are doing the next best thing: Come up with delay after delay after delay, and reason after reason after reason why "it's not that simple" and why they can't leave just yet. It's happening very soon, we promise! Just not yet. Be patient. Any day now.

Of course the EU mafia itself is putting as many roadblocks as they can into the process, and even go so far as extorting the UK. The UK could just ignore those threats, but of course they won't. And Theresa May is already talking about an extension of a whopping 4 years, up to 2021.

The excuses just keep on coming. It's "complicated", they say, when trying to lull the populace into complacency. It's happening "any day now". Just not today. Nor tomorrow. Nor in the next 4 years. And probably not even after that. Pretty much effectively the UK is not leaving the EU, no matter what the population voted.

And this is the UK, one of the most powerful countries in the world. What hope do we, the smaller countries have? Finland, in particular, has always been so afraid of everybody else that they will never probably even organize such a referendum for the fear that people will vote the wrong way, and the EU mafia will then extort Finland. Meanwhile we are paying exorbitant sums to the EU in this insane protection racket, and taking in economic migrants that the EU is sending us, because we are too afraid of saying no (like Poland did).

I wish other countries started leaving the sinking ship. Maybe, maybe, Finland would then get the courage to do so among the others.

Monopoly corporations like Google getting away with anything

One of the unfortunate side-effects of huge megacorporations that effectively have a monopoly status is that they can get away with pretty much anything (as long as it's not outright illegal), no matter how much their customers and users may protest.

For example, some time ago Google announced their "YouTube Heroes" program, which would allow certain users (who are not employees of google, but just private citizens) to, among other things, mass-flag videos.

I think the YouTube's advertisement video for this broke some kind of record by having almost a million dislikes, and something like a 99% dislike-to-like ratio. It caused a controversy storm, and hundreds of critical videos. (The original video has comments disabled, which is quite telling. They probably got tired of all the criticism and attacks.)

So, what happened? Google just ignored all the negative feedback and went ahead with the project anyway.

And do you know what's scarier? People just stopped talking about it eventually. Almost nobody even remembers that anymore, much less talks about it. In other words, people, even the harshest of critics, effectively became complacent, and Google got away with it. The only thing Google had to do was to simply ignore their users and their complaints.

More recently Google announced that they would start putting "offensive" videos in a restricted mode, where these videos will exist, but will be effectively invisible. They will not appear in any lists or search results, and the video itself will hide everything, including the author. Comments will be disabled. The only way to see the video is if you have a direct link to it.

Again this caused a shitstorm, and an enormous amount of criticism. And once again Google simply ignored the criticism and went and implemented in anyways. And once again people simply stopped talking about it, and thus became effectively complacent, and thus Google got away with it.

Of course Google isn't the only corporation doing things like this. Whenever a huge megacorporation has an effective monopoly status, they can get away with basically anything (that's not outright illegal). Microsoft gets away with it all the time, especially with Windows. Big social media websites like Facebook get away with it all the time. Valve gets away with it with anything related to Steam. The list goes on.

The scary thing is, as commented, that people complain about it for a while, but then they just become effectively complacent, allowing the corporation to get away with it. The only thing that the corporation needs to do in order to achieve this is to simply ignore the complaints.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Difficulty in accepting that 0^0 is not 1

In the same way as it seems very difficult for some people to accept that 0.999... = 1, it appears that likewise some people have really hard time accepting that 00 (ie. zero to the power of zero) is indeterminate, rather than 1.

No matter how you try to twist it, the expression 00, in itself, is indeterminate in mathematics. In other words, it has no value. The expression is, in some sense, invalid. It simply has no meaningful value of any sort.

The reason why some people are so adamant that it must be 1 is that if you take smaller and smaller positive values of x, the expression xx approaches 1. In other words, the limit of xx, as x approaches 0 (from the positive side) is indeed 1.

However, limits are not the same thing as the value of the function at that point. Just because the function might approach a value as the variable approaches certain other value, doesn't necessarily mean that the function itself has that value at that point. (With many functions this is the case, but there are functions where this is not the case.)

The question of the value of 00 comes most often indeed with limits, as that's sometimes the result of certain functions. And the importance of it being indeterminate is especially large in these situations, because you can't simply assume that the answer is 1.

It can be tempting to think so, however. There is, in fact, a very large family of contiguous functions for which, taking two such functions, f(x) and g(x), which themselves approach 0 when x approaches some given value, the function f(x)g(x) does indeed approach 1 when x approaches that value.

You might try things like x2x, or sin(x)cos(x)-1, or a myriad of other combinations of functions which approach 00 when x approaches a certain value (0 in these examples), and they all indeed give 1 as result. (It can in fact be proven that this is the case with all functions that have certain smoothness characteristics.) It can thus be tempting to generalize and think that this is always the case.

However, there is a reason why 00 is considered indeterminate, not 1. There are, of course, counter-examples.

For instance, the function x1/ln(2x) approaches 00 when x approaches 0 (from the positive side), but the limit of the function is not 1, but rather e.

For another example, consider (e-x-4)x2, which approaches 00 when x approaches 0 (from either side). Its limit is 0 (rather than 1).

There are, of course, infinitely many such counter-examples, but just one is enough to demonstrate that the temptation of assuming that all such limits approach 1 will lead to incorrect results.

Yet, like with the 0.999... = 1 case, some stubborn people will try to invent new mathematics to try to make 00 always equal 1.

Is "affirmative action" hurting Asians?

Legalized racial discrimination... eh, sorry, I mean "affirmative action" (which must be one of the most obnoxious euphemism for discrimination ever) may in some cases actually discriminate against non-white people (even though, in general, "affirmative action" is always and everywhere created to discriminate against white people, especially white men).

You see, since pretty much the beginning of time (or, rather, since universities have existed), universities have admitted in students based on personal merit: They need to have demonstrated proficiency and knowledge, and the ability to be able to pass the demands of a higher education degree. This usually means good scores in lower level schools (eg. high schools), as well as high scores in a demanding entrance exam.

Nowadays, however, this purely meritocratic principle is being targeted by the political correctness cancer, because it causes an imbalance. For one reason or another, probably because of culture, upbringing and the living environment, certain kinds of people tend to get better scores than others, and be more proficient at schools. The most probable cause for this is that certain cultures value studying and high scores a lot more than others, and thus entice and encourage their children to do so.

Because not all cultures are the same (no matter how much the multiculturalists love to pretend otherwise), some cultures produce more well-learned people than others. Which in turn causes an "imbalance" in university admissions when it comes to how many people of any given cultural background pass the entrance exams.

Because in the modern day this kind of meritocratic system is an evil that must be purged, some universities are engaging in student quotas. And because one of the most prominent defining characteristics of these different cultures is race, the quotas are race-based (regardless of the actual cultural background of the applicants). This is somehow A-ok in the modern society, and somehow not racism. But whatever.

This, however, has a slightly ironic and unintended consequence. You see, people from the eastern parts of Asia tend to live in a culture that values quite a lot studiousness and hard work, which increases their average level of education. And indeed, east Asians have always fared extremely well in university-level education.

So well, in fact, that they tend to be over-represented in universities, compared to their percentage in the general population. In many western countries, proportionately speaking, there tend to be much more Asians in universities, especially in their technical branches, than in the country as a whole.

Well, in some cases this has created the ironic side-effect that racial discrimination... eh, sorry, "affirmative action", is discriminating against high-scoring Asians in university enrollment. See for example: Asian American groups file racial quotas complaint against Harvard University.

On that note, it would be interesting to know how many people admitted to universities via racial quotas (rather than merit) actually graduate, and what their scores are. But I doubt any such university is eager to publish such statistics.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Is the police in the United States "trigger-happy"?

Most of the rest of the world has quite a common notion that the police in the United States is extremely militarized (which is certainly true in some places, although not all) and really trigger-happy. In other words, the police will very easily, with the slightest of provocations (and sometimes without any provocation at all) draw their guns to intimidate suspects, and shoot at the slightest of signs that the subject might attack, or even flee the scene.

It is true that the police does use firearms more often in the United States than in many other western countries, at least if we look at the raw numbers. For example in Finland, in 2013 there were only 27 cases where firearms were involved in any way, shape or form. 4 people were wounded by police shootings, and 0 people were killed. If we look at all the statistics between 2003 and 2013, only 2 people have been killed by police in total during all that time.

In the United States, in 2015 alone, 963 people were killed by police officers.

This does sound like a rather large number (even taking into account population size). However, is the police in the United States so "trigger-happy" as people think?

Consider, however, that according to FBI statistics, during that year there were over 50 thousand assaults on police officers. (And that number may be smaller than the actual amount, since not all assaults might be reported, especially if they are minor.)

Those are indeed people physically assaulting a police officer, not just threatening them or making some kind of suspicious move. Actual physical assaults, with the person hitting or trying to hit the police officer, or using some weapon to do so.

Over 50 thousand assaults against police officers, but only 963 people killed. Yes, the number of people killed is quite high, but it just doesn't sound like the police is so "trigger-happy" as people seem to think.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

What happened to CPU clock rates?

From the 80's all throughout the 90's, and somewhat at the beginning of the 2000's, CPU technology not only advanced in processing speed of machine code (ie. processing individual machine code opcodes using less and less clock cycles per opcode on average, and providing new opcodes that could perform more operations with one opcode), but more importantly, and most visibly to the end consumer, pumping up the CPU's clock rate more and more.

In the 80's consumer CPU's had usually clock rates between less than 10 MHz and up to about 20 MHz. During the 90's there was quite a race to pump up CPU clock rates, which were raising and raising, first reaching tens of MHz, then hundreds, and eventually the thousands. Perhaps some kind of pinnacle was reached with the Pentium 4 processor, a single-core 32-bit processor that in 2004 was able to reach a whopping 3.8 GHz.

During most of this time clock rates were in fact such an ubiquitous measure of speed, that the vast majority of processors, and their variants, were sold with their clock speed in their names. (At some point AMD got a bit of controversy for using a number in their processors that looked a lot like a clock rate, but wasn't. The actual clock rate was always lower than that number. The number was supposed to be an "equivalent" Intel CPU clock rate for that kind of processor.)

But then something happened. Many people were expecting clock rates to just keep raising and raising. But they just didn't. (In fact, I once commented to a friend how processors seemed to have reached an upper limit to their clock rates, and he responded with a rather firm belief that no, clock rates would be raising for quite some time. This was the time of the 3.8 GHz Pentium4, ie. the early 2000's. He was, as it turns out, quite wrong.)

Both Intel and AMD started producing their dual-core 64-bit CPUs... with clock rates that were significantly lower than those of the fastest Pentium4's. Versions with faster clock rates were produced... but that 4 GHz seemed to be some kind of upper limit. Both manufacturers created newer and newer models, at some point jumping to 4 cores (which became, and is still as of writing this, the most ubiquitous standard)... but clock rates didn't increase in any significant way. Some models have breached the 4 GHz limit even without overclocking, but not by much. More and more cores are being added to newer CPU models, but none of them is getting close to 5 GHz in terms of clock rates. The vast majority are in fact produced with less than 4 GHz rates. In fact, many brand new processors are still produced with clock rates lower than 3 GHz.

This means that CPU clock rates have been stagnant for something like 15 years already, and there is no sign that they will ever go much higher (unless some kind of completely new technology is discovered in the future).

For some reason it appears that that 4 GHz is some kind of magical limit. You can go a bit over it, but not much (as far as I know, no official CPU has been produced that goes to 5 GHz, at least not with serious and officially unsupported overclocking).

The main reason why CPUs can't be overclocked indefinitely is heat production: The more you overclock them, the hotter they get, and the hotter they get, the quicker they start failing. If you overclock them enough, they simply break (unless they have a protection mechanism that simply throttles their clock speed in order to avoid breaking). This has always been the case, since the early days of microchips. But as history shows, advances in technology have allowed increasing the clock rates without heat becoming a problem... up until that magical 4 GHz, it seems. I don't know what is it with that magical number, but it seems to be some kind of physical limit, with current transistor technology. Perhaps transistors simply can't be physically built in such a manner, with current materials, as to withstand clock rates much higher than that, without getting too hot.

For this reason for the past 10+ years development has gone "laterally", so to speak, rather than "upwards". In other words, development has been in the direction of adding more cores to the CPU, and to make the CPUs process more opcodes per clock cycle, rather than just amping up the clock rate itself.

Increasing clock rate was a very easy way to make a computer faster. The exact same program would automatically and without any changes become faster, for the simple reason that the CPU would process it faster. Making one single core process more opcodes per clock cycle also makes the same program run faster, but this is a much more limited technique. Major speedups are currently only possible by making the program use multiple cores, but this is not something that an existing program can automatically do. Programs need to be written specifically to use multiple cores in order to benefit from them. And this is not a trivial thing to program, especially when it comes to using all the cores as efficiently as possible. (One would think that 4 cores would easily allow a program to run 4 times faster than with a single core, but with very few exceptions it's actually very far from trivial to make programs use multiple cores as efficiently as possible. Quite often a typical program might become eg. 3 times, or even only 2 times faster, by using 4 cores, no matter how well it's optimized.)

It took quite a long time for programs, especially video games, to catch up. When it became clear that multi-core processors were the future, and programs could no longer rely on the speed of an individual core, video game development started to try to go in this direction. It took quite a long time for them to start using multiple cores efficiently. (During the early years of multi-core processors, most games still only used one core, and even those that used multiple, typically used one core at 100% and the remaining at something like 20% or less, because they just weren't optimized for multiprocessing.)

Nowadays video games have become quite good at using multiple processors, and will greatly benefit from them. In fact, there are benchmarks out there that test how a modern game, like GTA5, runs on a modern processor with only one core enabled, vs. two cores, and the difference can be quite drastic. (For example GTA5 becomes essentially unplayable, and even a buggy mess, with only one core.) Even just two cores can make an enormous difference compared to one.