Free men are not equal, equal men are not free.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Movement Afoot

I'm spending this weekend moving my site to the WP platform.

All the old posts, and all future posts, are at

I still have to get a theme set as content was my priority, as well as menus, widgets, and a few other things, like fixing instagram links.

Hope you all are having fun - I'm heading back to the grill.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Remember the Jester

It is good to remember the role of the Jester in literature, as shown in Shakespeare's plays.
In literature, the jester is symbolic of common sense and of honesty, notably in King Lear, where the court jester is a character used for insight and advice on the part of the monarch, taking advantage of his license to mock and speak freely to dispense frank observations and highlight the folly of his monarch. This presents a clashing irony as a "greater" man could dispense the same advice and find himself being detained in the dungeons or even executed. Only as the lowliest member of the court can the jester be the monarch's most useful adviser.
Remember that the next time you hear some SJW or member of the left refer to Trump as a clown. He may be amongst the elite, but he is not of them, as they violently screech like bodysnatchers that "he's not one of them" and struggle without cease to mock him, belittle him as a fool, and get rid of him. By not being a political creature, he was able to tell at least some truths that even nominal conservatives and GOP members would rather no longer face no matter how many promises they have to sell out.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Girl Friday

Have a good Labor Day, gents.

And a few more from Instagram.

A post shared by @juli.annee on

A post shared by @juli.annee on

A post shared by @juli.annee on

A post shared by @juli.annee on

A post shared by @juli.annee on

A post shared by @juli.annee on

See you all again Monday.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

No Magic Dirt

While there is a form of diversity - that of available options and paradigms to analyze a problem and find a solution - that actually helps, there is little inherently superior in "diversity" that actually accomplishes that.

For that matter, while for the longest time an argument for Macs and Linux in the workplace has been diversity and not having everything go down to a single vulnerability, in practice, what's I've seen is the same thing that happens in the wilds. There may be one or two exceptions here or there, but largely you have clusters of windows, *nix, and Mac machines by department, with one or two occasional exceptions.

Think nations, tribes, people, animal populations and their territories.

Arbitrary diversity there, in practice, unless there's a damn good reason you need something different, means learning additional tools, having separate processes on tap to handle computer A than B, and so forth. You can sneer, with some justification, at the retarded Windows-only admin who's not willing to take on something different, but one cannot pretend honestly that there is not a cost.

So, people.

I believe that the historical norm of cross-pollination of ideas, merchants, traders, the occasional bride, etc. between populations will continue. But historically, this has not happened on large scales without one population displacing or absorbing the other. So while we'll never entirely rid ourselves of immigration, etc., I think we should take the default position of "why does this help us more than it hurts, in the long run" (because you can always make the argument "no-one else does that job", or try, in the short run).

But, muh sins of the parents! Law abiding (except for not being legally registered by established law)!

I want to tackle today though, "wants to be an American!"

So? Who cares?

There's an old joke about a man who propositions a woman to sleep with him for one million dollars. She blushes, but agrees. He then asks if she'll sleep with him for $1. Furious, she slaps him, asks him what kind of person he thinks she is. He calmly replies "we've already established you're a whore and now we're negotiating a price."


What if we swapped the population of Los Angeles with the population of Yokohama since they're both around 3.7-3.8 million people - even though the population densities are vastly different.

Would the people living in what was L.A. be Americans?

They'd be on American soil, we could offer them paperwork that says they're perfectly legally able to reside there as citizens, with voting rights, etc.. We could give them time to find the local markets, industries, factories, and get to know how to work them.

But would they be Americans?

Would they speak the same language? Would they expect to use the local resources the same way, celebrate the same holidays, negotiate the same way, have the same assumptions and body language? Would they feel the need to assimilate with the surrounding cities or learn their neighbor's language? Could their neighboring towns have the same assumptions of the new LA that they would have in the past?

I'm sure some are tempted to answer "why yes," but the obvious answer is no, because if Japanese wanted to act like Americans, they already would be.

And they don't.

Granting them papers, giving them time to figure out where the stores and factories are, much less how to make movies or whatever else, would not suddenly make them like the Angelinos they replaced.

And the same holds true of our Americans in Yokohama. They will not be Japanese. They won't wander into the countryside and have the same attitude towards the shrines and mountains they find there as the natives they displaced.

There is no magic dirt. The remaining question is what level can be tolerated without destroying the culture accepting the immigrant?

It takes time to assimilate, and a desire or need to do so. A large culturally homogeneous population center develops its own inertia and may adapt to its neighbors, but won't assimilate. A large enough group will not assimilate, and a small group will still displace the culture around it, cause inherent friction as Putnam's study showed, just due to different assumptions and worldviews.

For that matter, how long does it take to assimilate? It may be a conservative assumption (in other words, too cautious), but we know culture and other personality factors imprint at a young age, that you carry them throughout your life, and that that manifests in following generations as well, though to a lesser degree. No genetics required, though that is also likely a factor. To support this, we often find that the second and third generation descendants of immigrants often become more radical as they react against the culture their parents tried to assimilate to. To push back against the conflicts internally engendered between two cultural outlooks.

If one assumes one generation is a "half life" - three half lives are needed to reach 80% of the final state (in this case, full assimilation with the surrounding culture. Or 80% of radioactive materials decayed, and so forth). Five are needed to achieve 95%.

We know two is definitely not enough, and have evidence that three, whether it's actually 80% of the way assimilated or less, isn't quite enough either, so I don't believe a generational half-life is too conservative. So we're talking four or five generations before they're fully integrated and no longer to a significant if small degree "strangers" to the culture.

In light of that, I'd be willing to have a second-tier permanent residence status that makes you a non-voting citizen for at least several generations. Why? because the children and grandchildren may begin fitting in, but they won't have the deep, subconscious understanding of the multi-generational natives of the culture. They can still work to convince others, but they don't have the long term skin in the game to make binding decisions for it.

And yes, that means I wouldn't be able to vote.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Filters They Wear

Vox posts a note from a not-crazy techie and his astonishment at stereotypes of the right, the south, etc. as seen by the left.
I must also relate a story. I recently had dinner with a silicon valley startup dude (I say "dude", because he was allegedly a founder, but not particularly successful) regarding the possibility of Silicon Valley startups outsourcing to other parts of the US (particularly the deep south and rust belt). I pointed out that low ping times, similar timezones and laws, and better optics around outsourcing might eventually make the numbers work well enough for at least some companies to try it out. It was at this point that I was subjected to an extended rant about how his company would never do that as (summarized) "we don't want to hire people who are going to be bringing racism into the office and wanting to take time off in the fall to duck hunt and f#$% their sisters". This individual stated this, loudly, in front of numerous witnesses without a hint of fear of consequences. It is this sort of behavior and the cucking I described in the previous paragraph that makes me believe that the alt-tech revolt is just getting started - I know dozens already who are hopping mad about this sort of thing and I send them to your blog. I certainly am motivated to help grease the skids for it.
The comments are also worth reading, but matches up with my experience. Worse, I'm in the southeast, but for various reasons in a very blue area, and the attitudes I've seen...

New Yorkers and other bluetards with no fucking clue that the reason the place is so much nicer to move to is that we don't do it like you do wherever the hell they came from. "Isn't selling confederate flags illegal?"

Their kids, going to only the very best private schools (which here ain't much better than the better than average public schools, which is why the first homeschoolers I ever got to know were wiccans) talking about wanting to get out of such a bigoted, redneck state, unironically using 'murica as a putdown, reacting to Trump posters with "make america racist again", and so forth.

All of them talking trash about southerners, and the inhabitants of their state, as if they of course were above all of that, above their fellow citizens living not ten, fifteen miles away. When I give them a pointed look I get the condescending "but not you, you're one of the smart ones..." - and don't understand why that doesn't mollify me, given that if they'd just look beyond the "educated" markers they'd realize a lot of those rednecks aint dumb.

There are none so blind...

Anyway, Vox also referred to a post on, and discussed the faults of the latest season of GoT - which I could generally not care about as I couldn't stomach the thought of starting the second book. He also listed the best epic fantasy series, in his opinion -

  1. JRR Tolkien
  2. Stephen Donaldson (Covenant)
  3. Margaret Weis & Terry Hickman (Dragonlance)
  4. David Eddings (Belgariad)
  5. Glen Cook
  6. Steven Erikson
  7. Raymond Feist
  8. George RR Martin
  9. Joe Abercrombie
  10. CS Friedman
  11. Tad Williams
  12. Daniel Abraham
  13. Brandon Sanderson
  14. R. Scott Bakker
  15. Mark Lawrence
  16. Terry Brooks
  17. Robert Jordan
  18. Terry Goodkind
Interesting. A lot of interesting discussion ensued.

JRR Tolkien   Obviously

Stephen Donaldson (Covenant)   OK, not quite stomach-churning but Covenant is an unpleasant as hell character, and the rape early on because he doesn't believe the world is real? It will stretch your vocabulary almost as much as Gene Wolfe, though for various reasons I actually preferred the Gap series. Still dark as hell but more inclined to reread it.

Margaret Weis & Terry Hickman (Dragonlance)   Weirdly, saw them often, never read them

David Eddings (Belgariad)   OK, loved this in high school. Was severely disappointed by the next series. Haven't checked to see how well it held up but a number of people who's taste I trust - and who also considered the following series not up to snuff, still recommend it.

Glen Cook   Have to get around to this one.

Steven Erikson   OK, who?

Raymond Feist   Never read the riftwar, but may have to

George RR Martin   I liked the first "Tuff" story, and the Sank Kings was OK, but barely finished the first ASoIaF book while holding in my gorge and never picked up the second.

Joe Abercrombie   From what I can tell I have to add this to my reading list.

CS Friedman   Never read it

Tad Williams   Saw the stuff in B&N, never got around to it

Daniel Abraham   Who?

Brandon Sanderson   I think I'm kinder than Vox, but even he rates Sanderson as better than Jordan, so it's no surprise that many found his book to be a better-Jordan-than-Jordan finish to the WoT. I really did enjoy the Mistborn books, but the degree of angst in the Stormlight books is just.... no. Even without the TORcott I can't see myself getting the third one.

R. Scott Bakker   Doesn't ring a bell

Mark Lawrence   Who?

Terry Brooks   We laughed at Shanarra, and I never got around to it.

Robert Jordan   I was underway, finished all my books, and anything else I hadn't read in teh ship's library, and still couldn't finish one of these.

Terry Goodkind   I got further than a lot of people, but yeah, the writing, and over-the-top plotting by supposed prophesy wore even me down from completing it.

Interestingly, there's a lot of stuff on that list I never read, despite long ago losing count of just how much I've read, still having a wall of books, and that being the small portion that survived multiple moves, nevrmind extensive library borrowing and a long list of ebooks.