Tag Archives: America

Links of Possible Relevance, Part 28

Japanese-style public service ads in LA metro
Cute, but it feels the novelty could wear off quick.

The real reason why network ‘neutrality’ is impossible
Interesting technical reasons why this idea is a nightmare. It will cause shortages of service, just like every other time bureaucrats try to make things “fair.”

Twitter is done with hate symbols and violent groups
Twitter clutches its pearls.

Brie Larson on Twitter: “I merely smiled at a TSA agent and he asked for my phone number. To live life as a woman is to live life on the defense.”
Via Jill. What hath feminism wrought? Paranoid, intolerable Victorianites. Peasants cannot spake suchly to the aristocracy!

Here’s why a 45-foot tall nude sculpture may be coming to the National Mall
Can you believe it’s a silly political statement?

Sci-fi interfaces | IxD Lessons from Sci-Fi
A site I wish I knew about sooner.

Blade Runner Black Out 2022
A nicely-executed short story animation.

Former Hollywood Insider Speaks Out About Sexual Corruption
I dig (a few) movies, but morally, Hollywood is a neverending dumpster fire. It’s safe to assume there’s plenty worse that goes on that we don’t know about, if this scandal is one of the public ones.

I also dig native American (or whatever they’re supposed to be called) culture, but they are nowhere near the noble angels they’ve been reputed to be.

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Attn: Restaurants That Serve Breakfast, Please Take Seriously and Enjoy this Unreasonable Rant

tl;dr – I don’t want bread

Stop with all the sandwiches for breakfast. Not everything has to be in sandwich form; you’re not leaving some moral culinary duty unfilled if you don’t serve sandwiches all the time. If you really must have sandwiches on the menu, the very least you can do is offer normal platter items, or an a la carte option so I don’t have to feel like such a dick in public when I have to say out loud “CAN YOU PLEASE HOLD THE BREAD? I’M NOT GLUTEN SENSITIVE I’M JUST ONE OF THOSE JERKS WHO’S INTO LETTING EVERYONE HERE KNOW THAT I DON’T WANT A GRAIN RIGHT NOW K?” Poor Chinese orphans have mobile phones with the power to make a random person fart on the other side of the world, but you can’t put one breakfast item on your menu that doesn’t have dry, tasteless sponge-slabs on it? Save sandwiches for lunch, like a true American establishment in the post-Quest For Food™ years—especially you, that one independent deli near work that has no excuse for not taking my special snowflake requests. I’m about to tie my colon into some Boy Scout knot so that whenever I eat your bleached enriched inflammatory white flour slices of conveyor belt gluten that you have forced upon me, you’ll have to deal with the projectile linguine-blast of regrettable disgust that comes out of me.

PS – Vegans and vegetarians constitute 0.000000000120001% of your customer base. They don’t need specific menu items. Make them feel like the special snowflakes, not me.

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Shmall Shbusiness Shaturday

In post-industrialized economies, money never stays local. It eventually finds its way out downstream from retail purchases. The local small grocer may buy their produce from the farm down the road, but the farm probably doesn’t buy their machinery locally. If they do buy local machines, the manufacturer buys parts and materials that come from the world over—just about everywhere but locally. This is the state of things for two reasons. One is that there may be barriers to market entry, via regulations, that could enable producers—parts manufacturers in this case—to “set up shop” in closer proximity to the grocer. The other is that, in any local geographic area, it’s difficult to reach the level of sector diversity to generate all the “stuff” that goes into getting that final product on the shelf; no one is going to be mining lithium for batteries where there are miles of rice paddies.

To truly make everything “local” is to ensure an absolute cap on technology and affluence, locally. The reason why that tomato is 99 cents and not $9.99 is because the money has left the locale in exchange for machine parts that enable the farmer grow their economy of scale. The tomatoes are literally worth less to him because he’s able to farm more, thus able to sell more at a cheaper price.

There are definitely some pros to shopping locally, like a stronger social cohesion (which could be argued is more valuable than money). Buyers also receive a dopamine hit for meeting an (artificial) social mandate. But if there’s a level of affluence in a given locale, which is the case pretty much everywhere in America, then money is eventually leaving that locale in some form.

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Cthulhu for President, 2016 and Forever

The general order of events:

The red herring for this post: a fictitious Cthulhu “presidency” isn’t that much different than a God “presidency,” at least to Americans. There’s a strong tendency for some folks to equate the supernatural with malicious forces; if you’ve already accepted this equivalency as truth then the terror of Cthulhu isn’t going to be that much different than the wrath of God to you.

I had a longer post about the election, but there’s not much else to say. You can find whatever opinion you’d like to online, and I don’t feel the need to add to the pile. It won’t matter much, in the end, who becomes Head Bureaucrat. So long as America remains a representative democracy or any other form of western nation-state, it’s not going to remain intact on the other side of the fire.

The nations are all chess pieces to God, and He’s got all the moves already mapped out in His favor and timing. Voting does little at the national level except to provide a quick dopamine hit from meeting a civic duty. It accomplishes as much as wishing for a sunny day tomorrow when you’ve just heard an uncertain weather forecast. The results and consequences are entirely out of your hands. I’m sure there’s plenty of better things you could be doing with your time.

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Rise of the Dude Raiders

I listened to Molyneux’s analysis of Zootopia (video here and audio here)—which sounds like a terrible movie, by the way—when he mentioned the white feather phenomenon from World War I. A tough time for pacifist or “other principled” guys, for sure. Being rejected by women romantically is traumatic enough, so much so that most men preemptively select themselves out of possible interpersonal interactions most of the time when they come across someone they are attracted to. I can’t imagine being humiliated in such a public, conspicuous way as those 1914’s Brits were. Such is the power of ostracism: some men undoubtedly were incentivized enough to risk getting blown to bits in a trench in northern France just to avoid the ordeal altogether.

What happened to the economics of marriage after the war may have been interesting…Google probably has some interesting figures that I don’t care to look up right now. Similar conclusions could be drawn after World War II, when we got the televised überfrau housewife trope. The logic behind it isn’t complex: lots of American dudes died in WWII, and the ones that came back were in high demand because of scarcity and the perception that they were literal, acting victors. Women became highly competitive to attract all those marriage-aged veterans being paraded around, i.e., look nice, don’t give it away for free, don’t be a bitch, etc. Thus The Donna Reed Show and the genre’s ilk. The accommodating, good-looking 50’s housewife was less the result of insidious men or graying mothers nagging their daughters to hurry up with the grandchildren, and more about men and women simply reacting to market forces.

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Teach Your Kids Not to be Dicks

TED Talks are the pinnacle of bourgeois cheesepuff and self-back-pattery—a ‘roided up NPR with visuals. As a prole, I’m supposed to be floored by the priesthood coming out from behind the Veil of the Holy of Holies to radiate their revelations to me. Their videos are mildly interesting at best, but this one I couldn’t ignore since it involves books, and Natick, a city close to where I grew up, and one in which I worked a good few years (what’s up, Sam Goody?).

I also couldn’t ignore this because, given what I was expecting, it wasn’t completely terrible.

She found something she didn’t like in her life, and in the general marketplace of books, and fixed it herself by…fixing it herself. She didn’t whine about privilege* or to the government for taxpayer money, at least as far as I know. Good for her.

Her classmate’s instinctual objection to Grace’s desire to play Dorothy in the school play was understandable, though elementary school plays can bend a little since it’s about the kids and their experience in acting, and not so much historic or artistic accuracy. The Wizard of Oz was about an Anglo family in early 20th century, agrarian Kansas—though the Gales could’ve been Chinese, they weren’t. Having a Chinese girl play a white girl is silly…just as silly as having and blue-eyed Heidi play Dorothy from The Wiz. The Wiz was specifically utilized black culture in Harlem as its backdrop, and having our Heidi play Dorothy’s role breaks the coherency of the narrative: The Wiz would be about something different.

Regardless, I got a little lost when Grace finger-wagged at the end. Kids (presumably American kids…she might get laughed out of Chinese schools if she tried to diversify them) don’t “need” diverse books, they just need to be taught not to be dicks.

* As a young Asian female of reasonable attractiveness, living in America, Grace is literally one of the most privileged classes in the history of the world, not just present day. I don’t fault her for it and I don’t expect her to “check” any of it.

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Theory on the “Resting Bitch Face” Phenomenon

Explanation of “Resting Bitch Face” (RBF) here.

It’s simply subconcious mirroring of fashion model stoicism. If that’s what a woman exposes herself to enough, it could be at least a partial explanation, even if there’s no desire to model (heh) the model’s success, beauty, attention, etc. The mirroring may also be a modern hijack of cerebral empathy centers, where people mirror other humans they may see the most as a subrational means of connecting socially or emotionally.

There’s the “Resting Asshole Face” (RAF) for men, and though male models definitely exhibit this, the cause for prole men mirroring this are probably different. Men don’t care about fashion magazines and are maybe less prone towards modelling anonymous people, and may instead be more strongly inclined to model in-flesh men.

Regardless, the codification of both RBF and RAF face are peculiar to America and some other westernized societies. In many Middle Eastern and Asian societies, one is considered a fool if you’re in public with a permanent smiling facade–RBF/RAF would be considered normal and polite.

Give me counterarguments.

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Why Should God Fix Anything?

Perhaps you’ve read this article regarding the recent San Bernardino shooting, or at least seen an image of the cover with the bold quote.

America—as the pinnacle of Western civ, with all its attendant belief systems—as a nation, has nothing to do with God, so I don’t see a reason why God should bother helping her wholesale. As I say here often, God can do whatever He damn well pleases; he’s not America’s genie, nor her vending machine, nor her personal bodyguard.

There is nothing contractually to bind Him towards action in America’s favor, and that some people here would presume that He has such an obligation tells me they don’t understand God at all. Perhaps He actually doesn’t want to help America, if any of her citizens deign to take His place with vain philosophies and useless “solutions” schemed up by her rulers.

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Separate the Church and the State

I ignore such salacious, morally complicated stories as the Kim Davis fiasco, but the bleating on Facebook has been hard to ignore. I have little true opinion about it since it has no direct bearing on my life, but it does serve as a working example of competing loyalties that demand full allegiance.

As a general rule of wisdom, Christians should have no involvement in a secular government, especially as one as powerful and pervasive as the American one*, not even as voters. As always, because God can do what He wants and therefore can bring anything He wants under your dominion, there are exceptions based on what God has for you.

Don’t get caught up in the technicalities. To wit, the Federal Reserve is not a government entity but it might as well be, de facto. Everyone has to be involved in some way because of the nature of representative democracy in a federated republic. How willing are you to be employed as an x or a y for the Cosa Nostra or the Yakuza? That’s the moral analogy to keep in mind.

Don’t take my word for it. Don’t let me dictate directly all of this for you, but regard it as a warning for consideration.

* This, I think, holds true for all “branches,” but also its enforcement and defensive arms. And as further general advice related to this: chances are, God doesn’t want you to travel halfway around the world to kill poor brown people and destroy their property.

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Castle in the Sky – Sheeta and the Pirates

Castle in the Sky - robot flower
Bear with me if you’ve never seen Castle in the Sky, or you’ve forgotten it. Some time ago, on Facebook or on some message board had mentioned the odd interest the pirates took in Sheeta’s presence on their ship. If I had a clip of the relevant scenes, I would link them here, but it’s a film distributed by Disney so its been outlawed from being viewed anywhere online.

I call the interest “odd” because Sheeta, as well as Pazu, are portrayed as early teenagers or younger (depending on which version you’re watching), and having grown men a few steps short of accosting a fairly captive young girl is inappropriate for any movie geared somewhat towards children. But there’s no overt indication that the pirate’s interest in Sheeta is prurient. They live on a ship with their mother, Dola, as the only feminine presence in their life, and she’s far from matronly. How could she not be? She has to keep her sons and ship in line—like Mama Fratelli from The Goonies, she has no avenue to really fill the mom role. Sheeta played that part well, however temporarily, while on their ship.

Yes, there’s the lolita culture in Japan, but Miyazaki’s films have been largely immune from it. I think the suggestion of Sheeta vs Dola’s gang as being prurient is more a western or American perception. Some of us just can’t help but read sexuality into ambiguities.

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