Good morning Huns, Hoydens, Rapscallions, Dragons and Creatures of ill-repute. This morning I woke up to Peter Grant’s blog and news of a robot-army.
This is the money-quote:
They reportedly believe the current backlash against that company is basically ‘manufactured outrage’, deliberately stirred up by Vox Day (whose name is allegedly an expletive there now). Some have even asserted that the thousands of e-mails complaining about Irene Gallo’s statement aren’t genuine, but the product of a bot-net, a manufactured wave of pseudo-indignation that has no foundation in reality. Apparently Macmillan and others involved aren’t so sure about that, but it’s a defense the SJW’s are using with might and main. It’s also apparently why almost none of us have had any acknowledgment of our complaints, not even a notification that our e-mails have been received. (Some correspondents who requested confirmation when their e-mails were opened have received it; others have not.)
It took me about ten seconds to make sense of this, and then it clicked. You see, progressivism, like most closed, self-coherent, all-encompassing faiths not only has its own eschatology that involves their ultimate victory but also involves beliefs about the enemies of their proposed paradise. Beliefs such as that they’re older, hidebound, “racist, sexist, homophobic” and bound to disappear before the light of “rational” and “scientific” Marxism.
The fact that there is nothing rational or scientific in believing that ultimate human happiness comes from an all powerful state is not important, since the Marxist faith is internally-self-consistent, which means where it meets reality it can ignore it and cut itself off from it, as not being “rational”. (I.E. not fitting the narrative.)
This bizarre belief that thousands of pissed off fans are just a “robot army” invoked by the Lord of All Evil is one of the ways of pinching off reality and self-insulating so the faith can stay strong. They know that those who disagree with their progressive view for the future are few, old, and frankly probably too dumb to read for fun. They know also that VD has some mysterious mastery of the dark forces of computing which they don’t fully get. Ergo, presto, the annoying supposed evidence they might not be right is enemy action and fakery.
And this is why communists in Europe only went through a brief, confused time after the fall of the USSR before they found their feet in the certainty the unwashed masses of the third world were really what was meant the “proletariat” who was supposed to displace capitalism and also that communism had “never really” been tried.
Self-isolating faiths with narratives about a certain future are difficult to defeat with reality. Look at how long the followers of the prophet had their nose rubbed in unproductive desert sands, and yet they still remain sure that the future is a world Caliphate.
On the other hand, those of us who are irreverent and see this sort of sideways and upside down find this entire thing funnier than absurdist plays. For one thing because I have for some time now suspected the extreme left suffers from some form of self-induced Aspergers which leads them to want labels on everything and everything to match the label, to the point they leave no room for humanity. You can see this in their demand for different genders for every passing thought that doesn’t fit the usual and most commonly applied labels, to the point there are now supposed to be hundreds or thousands of different genders. (Every man/woman/critter/snail a gender! Towards a brave new future!)
Then there is their insistence that you can only ever write precisely what you are, though you are of course allowed to write creatures of lesser victimhood, at least according to some, but not creatures of more victimhood. So, everyone is allowed to write straight white men, because as we know they have no victimhood, ever, but to write a lesbian, one footed, Caribbean, deaf trans-female, you must be one, or you’re stealing her victimhood (it is the precioussss after all.) Also if you are privileged (see, white, hetero, male or any of those, or…) you simply can’t understand “disadvantaged” people so you can write them.
So, despite the fact my gay friends say I can write gay males just fine, I can’t really and I’m stealing their victimhood. (I’ll never give it back guys. It’s going into my victimhood dungeon. mwahahahahahah. That’s how evil I am.)
And despite the facts that great writers throughout history — Shakespeare included — wrote about and for people they couldn’t possibly be or even anticipate (which is why Shakespeare still speaks to us) the proper way to write and read is to write and read only what we are.
Mind you, this is not a new nor even a novel notion for humans. It echoes through the ages to Puritan banning of fiction. There is a certain type of human that can’t comprehend creating or imagining things that don’t exist, and which wishes to restrain others’ creativity to things their robotic-selves can endorse. (We saw some of this when the anti-gamer gaters started denying that anyone could possibly want to play anything FOR FUN. That was infantile and silly and playing games should be for enlightenment or consciousness raising or whatever.
The sad part is to give them a voice or allow them to have a say in the fiction or entertainment fields. We end up with things that are no fun at all.
So, understand, I don’t have anything against robots, but I don’t welcome our new robotic overlords. They don’t like us writing or enjoying imaginative stuff, that’s fine. Just don’t do it. We’ll continue with our fun. You can’t stop us.
Oh, and stop projecting. WE are not robots. (Except for those mechanical hands holding a middle finger aloft. We only built those because I need all ten fingers to type. They are not me.)
Speaking of other things I’m not. Apparently at file 770 they’ve now decided I’m ignorant of American political history because I only came here in the mid-80s as an adult, and therefore clearly, not having taken required high school courses in American history, I know nothing of anything before the middle 80s. (Will someone retrieve my eyes? I rolled them too far again.)
Never mind the fact I did 12th grade in the US (Stow Highschool in Stow, Ohio) and took not only AP American History, but also Comparative Political Systems. The insularity of these people is on display, as they seem to believe not only is America of no interest outside the US, but also that American publications are arcane and difficult to acquire things. From the moment I decided on an English Major (9th grade. It’s required) I had subscriptions to Time, Newsweek and the foreign “news” put out by the US consulate. IOW I had the same view of American politics that American liberals had. Later on these were joined by access to the NYT and the Wall Street Journal, usually a week late, in my college’s American Studies Library.
And yes, these were of passionate interest and hotly discussed because — again, this is hard to explain to insular people — America matters more than they think in the world. Much of the upheavals that shook the world in the 70s were the result of Carter’s strange ideas and weak hand on the tiller. In fact in many ways the upheavals that shake the world when America loses its mind are far more strongly felt elsewhere. Or as my mom says “when America sneezes, the world catches pneumonia.” (They don’t understand this, because they have a bizarre dream of America disappearing and the world becoming better off thereby. This is because they think the world is zero sum. Never mind.)
Beyond all that, what shocked me about that POV was their apparent assumption that people don’t read or study anything for FUN if they didn’t learn it in school. I tend to read more or less constantly (it’s a reflex) and am constantly trying to fill in blank parts in my field of knowledge. American history has been less of a fixation for me than other areas of history until the last five years or so, but let us be rightly understood, HISTORY is a 100 years ago or MORE. American current events, which are anything from then on, are and have always been a passionate interest, part of my degree (I had a class called American Studies for four years running) and frankly a minor obsession.
One wonders if it’s part of the robotic point of view that they can’t imagine doing anything outside their programing and therefore everyone else MUST be the same.
Speaking of robotic: the cough and auto-immune mess (eczema included) are subsiding some — say halfway back to normal — but some of the meds are… weird. The steroids make me a little hot on the trigger, something that Lin Wicklund had warned me about and part of the reason I’ve avoided them like poison, because, you know, excitable Latin is already bad enough normally, I don’t need enhanced heat on the trigger. I’m trying to compensate for it.
However the sneaky insidious med is the cough syrup with codeine, apparently at the level that they prescribe for throat-cancer patients (and contemplate this, for the firs three days it barely dented my cough) because I didn’t realize it was doing anything beyond making me sleep. Until I discovered I was doing things like wandering away from half completed tasks without realizing I was doing it. Or reading things that weren’t there. (Though “East Anglian Stormtrooper” was a funny misread in a medieval mystery for “east Anglian Sharpshooter.”) Or starting to take the bottle of refinisher to my lips, before the smell stopped me (after which I made sure that I kept my water bottle elsewhere and didn’t drink while working on the wood.)
So I’ve been a bit robotic myself.
On the good side, I’m almost 100% sure this was all caused by latex paint. Yesterday I tried to do a very little touch up on latex paint, and the coughing started, though it hadn’t through the use of turpentine or stain.
Now, I’ve never before been allergic to latex and certainly not latex paint, but due to the surgery, etc, my endocrine system is in flux (that’s a way to put it) and also under stress, and also frankly I’ve never painted as much as I have now at a stretch, which makes it worse, I’m sure.
Anyway, this is actually good news because sons know how to paint walls, while the refinishing of the elaborate Victorian woodwork is more art than science and would have been a right b*tch to try to convey to them. I’m sometimes mixing more than one stain to get different-age woods to match, and I’m working from 30 years wood finishing experience, plus whatever I acquired following my carpenter-grandfathers around. It wouldn’t be as easy to get across. Besides, I have automatic rollers and my guys are guys. They love automatic anything.
Which brings us back to robots, I guess. Hopefully I don’t get robotic in-laws, but hey, what happens, happens.
Meanwhile, I’ve been reading KULL fiction, which is mostly indie, and a quick (non-robotic) pro-tip to those of you laboring in that vineyard: if you’re writing genre fiction, make sure the genre elements come in early enough.
What I mean by this is introduce the science fiction, fantasy, or mystery element in the first few chapters, please. (Preferably the first chapter.) Look, when I’m reading a medieval mystery, I’m not averse to lavish descriptions of medieval England, but by chapter five there should be a crime being investigated, not merely a “tension” and vague mentions of spying, okay? In this case, I side with the robots. When I buy something because of what it says on the tin, I want what it says on the tin.
Your book might be a dessert topping and a floor wax, but it should taste good when on the dessert and make the floor shine, not just one or the other.
And that’s all for now, oh, (robotic) Hunnish hordes. Go forth and enjoy the day and remember your programming: Bring chaos and mayhem according to plan. No one likes unplanned, random chaos.
Oh, wait. We do. Right. Go forth and plan on unplanned chaos.
I go and have cough syrup.