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The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Defense of Weastern civilization.
« on: September 15, 2017, 06:41:05 am »
Quote from: S'mon;992541

OK that may not be the only reason someone gets the most abuse directed at them. :D

I was thinking of Ron Paul when I wrote that. I didn't want to believe his negative predictions re Trump before the election, but they pretty much all seem to have been right. He seems pretty consistently right about stuff AFAICT, and that doesn't help his popularity.

In a lot of contexts being popular has a lot to do with telling people what they want to believe and very little to do with being right.


The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Defense of Weastern civilization.
« on: September 15, 2017, 06:39:16 am »
Quote from: jeff37923;992511
That is why you look at multiple sources with different biases. The truth then points to itself.

And this is where you fuck up. You NEVER assume that ANY site is TRUSTWORTHY, you compare and correlate the information and weed out the opinions to get to the facts by going through multiple sites and multiple sources.

Well, first you have to be able to discriminate between what answer is going to be a fact and what is going to be an opinion.

Otherwise, see above.

(Fuckin' A, people. This is Basic Research 101. Don't they teach that anymore?)

Discounting known liars
When S'mon notes that

Quote from: S'mon
One pattern though is that some people/sources always seem to lie, others seem to have honest intent. A few even have wisdom + honesty. Usually those are the ones who get the most abuse directed at them.

I think he's got a point. If you're going to treat a source that repeatedly has been proven false and to have misleading intent with the same way you'd treat one with a record for truth, you're not applying discretion.

You'll never get to see The Matrix that way!


The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Defense of Weastern civilization.
« on: September 14, 2017, 09:03:28 pm »
Quote from: S'mon;992429
IME if the issue is controversial it's best to trust no one, but seek to triangulate and look for two+ different perspectives.
Also, look for familiar patterns. Hoaxes & lies especially tend to be built up along standard structures. Truth can be a lot weirder & surprising.

One pattern though is that some people/sources always seem to lie, others seem to have honest intent. A few even have wisdom + honesty. Usually those are the ones who get the most abuse directed at them.

I don't think news sources work like compasses where you can take a couple of readings and get an aggregate.

It's very possible to select 4 incorrect sources and one decent one and conclude that the incorrect ones have it.

I agree that hoaxes and lies can fall into patterns, but that's not always the case, either. And just because something is weird and surprising doesn't mean it's true.

And I definitely don't agree that getting the most abuse indicates honestly and wisdom -- sites that traffic in transgression are likely to get abuse (and want it. And deserve it) for that reason alone.

Better than nothing
Looking at multiple sites is better than looking at one. Looking for patterns that indicate dishonesty is better than being oblivious to them. Placing some trust (a little?) sites with a good history of fidelity is better than treating sites with a history of lying equal to ones mostly proven true.

But I don't think that -- alone -- they'll get you to The Matrix

Seeing the Matrix
How do you choose which sites to triangulate with?

How do you distinguish between a pattern that looks like a lie from one that's actually a lie?

When the topic isn't news (e.g. "what happened") but something factual about the world, where do you go? Who do you trust to tell you how many stars there are in the sky, or whether climate change is driven largely by humans?


The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Defense of Weastern civilization.
« on: September 14, 2017, 07:40:46 pm »
Quote from: Gwarh;992378
You had your chance to take the red pill Neo, but you chose to be Cypher instead.

Sadly, no.

Where are you getting your information? What sources do you believe? Who do you trust to tell you the truth?

Start there. If you want to see the Matrix, you have to look inward -- not out at the comforting messages that tell you things you want to be true.

If you're willing, I'll show you.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Defense of Weastern civilization.
« on: September 14, 2017, 07:38:21 pm »
Quote from: Gwarh;992370
If this is the case then how do we explain Doctors, Engineers, Children of the Wealthy turning to Extreemist groups. One doesn't have to be desperate to adopt an extremist ideology/position.

I only say this as I'm tired of the "If these kids had job prospects they'red be no ISIS" argument.

I hear what your saying and feeling depressed, destitute and without hope certainly doesn't help someones mental state of mind, but I think Ideology (Religion) plays has an even greater part.

P.S. the Majority of ANTIFA types are hardly destitute poor. The majority almost assuredly are middle class millennials with at least some time (if not allot of time) in college. They are among the most privileged people currently alive, let alone ever to have lived.

Is White Guilt enough to drive one into the arms of ANTIFA? Well after 4 years of Cultural Marxist indoctrination it certainly seems that way.

People can be in despair about a lot of things.

It's not primarily financial -- in a lot of cases, they're even doing pretty well -- but not as well as their expectations. Disappointment and entitlement drive extremism, and yeah -- mostly that's losers, but it's also people who think really highly of themselves and then hit reality and find out not everyone is so impressed.

Different ideologies will speak to different people -- the guys shooting up a place for ISIS might not find ANTIFA that appealing -- so if you're in the market for an extremist or radicalized ideology, you'll find one that fits your background and culture.

But didn't we just have a thread where someone went from OWS to WSE?

It's not as far a jump as some might think.


The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Net neutrality
« on: September 13, 2017, 10:09:18 pm »
Quote from: Dumarest;992124
WSE and radical Islam are both evil, but there are a ton more adherents of the latter, making them the larger problem at the moment.

You don't need to kill or blow up building to cause lasting harm. SJW have already infiltrated bureaucracies and judiciaries and abused authority and, possibly even worse, look what has become of American colleges and universities that are supposed to be bastions of free speech and inquiry.

Academia may well be a place where SJWism is a real problem. I'm... pretty far removed from college, so I don't have first-hand experience, but what I see is troubling.

It's still not even close to a terrorist threat or a serious criminal enterprise -- not even in the same ballpark in terms of damage to the country.

In terms of infiltrating bureaucracies and judiciaries, I don't see that. It's not that there's 0% evidence of bone-heads in positions of mediocre power, but a lot of what I see people claim is SJWism (firing that Google guy) looks to me like standard corporate ass-covering.

I'm also skeptical that SJWs have taken over major systems to any significant degree and I don't think they're a movement or an organization. If it turns out that a lot of liberal people work in bureaucracies, that's just liberals in the culture. There's a lot of them. I think for it to be "infiltration" there has to be some kind of plan or misrepresentation -- SJWs pretending to be something else for subversive purposes. I don't see that happening.

But even if it did -- even if there was a cabal of tumblr kids who had somehow snuck into the halls of power, I remain unconvinced that they would be able to do anything like the damage WSE have done, historically.

And I think the WSE threat is only going to grow -- along with other radical, anti-social ideologies.

We're going to see more marginal people turning to terroristic philosophies and -- ultimately -- acts. We're going to see movements that promise to make sense of the world and give people a heroic sense of self-identity if they're just willing to follow charismatic leaders into violence. Those aren't SJWs and they worry me a lot more than the SJWs do.


The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Net neutrality
« on: September 13, 2017, 08:50:57 pm »
Quote from: BedrockBrendan;992114
I don't get the shift from realizing there are bias issues in regular reporting, to completely abandoning everything one has stood for and embracing a conspiracy theory loon. The guy cherry picks everything to fit the world he wants to live. You are going to get a lot more clarity from a journalist who is at least trying to be unbiased and report reality. Obviously though, you have to consider the biases of anyone reporting. And reporters do have biases like anyone else (not to mention papers and media outlets have advertising dollars to consider). I don't know to me it sounds like people realized things are not perfect, and used that as an excuse to create fantasies for themselves.

... I pretty much... agree with all this.

It's always tricky to guess what [a bunch of] people are thinking, but when I hear people talk about news bias, they seem to imagine that all MSM is agenda driven to the point where it's pretty much manufactured or that bias is so strong and pervasive that it's impossible to overcome.

I don't get that. As you point out, of course the news (or anything produced by human beings) is biased. That doesn't mean you give up on reporting and science and decide the truth is ultimately unknowable, so why not believe comforting / terrifying fantasies.

Chomsky was / is saying the same thing from the left -- that all "news" is military/industrial complex propaganda. I didn't believe it coming from him, and I don't believe it coming from Alex Jones or the people who follow him.


The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Net neutrality
« on: September 13, 2017, 08:40:53 pm »
Quote from: Dumarest;992108
Ironically it's just the opposite because the "WSE" have no power or influence while the "SJW" have infiltrated a major political party and have pushed through parts of their agenda already.

WSE are have a philosophy that's pretty indistinguishable to me from Radical Islam -- they may not all be terrorists, but their ideology certainly supports terrorism, and I trust our law enforcement when they take that threat seriously.

I haven't seen any FBI bulletins about SJWs and I haven't seem them blow up any buildings or -- in fact -- demonstrate any political power.

They're annoying, but that's about it.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Net neutrality
« on: September 13, 2017, 07:24:08 pm »
Quote from: Gwarh;992069
I don't think anything will every solve the problem? And... maybe that is good. That is there will always be people who imp are envious of the success of others and want to have what they have be it justified or not. And there will always be people who don't want to share what they have with others for whatever reason, justified or not.

The best I can realistically hope for is shallower ups and downs on the teeter-totter of politics between the left and the right, instead of the ass banging hit the group then bouncing up in the air again swings were seeing now. Well to continue with the analogy it feels to me the Left side is cheating and holding down their side keeping the Right up in the air with their legs dangling.

Politics is an endless series of compromises never getting what you want, but hopefully never loosing everything you want either.

I'd be all for a Staunchly bottom right quarter of the political compass system for government, but I'm also realistic to know that's never going to happen and last for long.

Hard times breed strong people.
Strong people build good times.
Good times breeds soft people.
Soft people build hard times.

It feels like the Left is Cheating
Could you elaborate on this? You're not the only person I've heard say this.

I think that a lot of what looks like leftist positions (diversity in the workplace) is really just an effect of globalization and labor arbitrage / optimization -- I think those forces tend to bend society toward more broadly tolerant and inclusive perspectives -- to a lot of people this looks like the left is winning and has powerful corporate allies (I think the opposite is true -- the corporations are winning and the Left happens to agree with some of what they're doing).

But you're talking about cheating, which is different.

Other than that...
Other than that, and your position on the political compass (I think the last time I took it I was very near the middle) I can't find much here to disagree with. I think less extreme swings and teams would be hugely welcome, and I completely agree that things will never stabilize... just an endless cycle of change.


The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Net neutrality
« on: September 13, 2017, 07:15:07 pm »
Quote from: Gwarh;992063
Does Art create Culture though? or does Culture create Art? The Arts literally are cultural artifacts though. So having influence over what sort of Art is created I believe has a great impact on the values a Culture adopts.

SJW's have gained control of Google, Youtube, Twitter, GoDaddy, many many others, and have virtual (not total) monopolies on aspects of the internet. They have such a monopoly it has people on the Left or Right talking about if they should be designated as utilities and breaking them up or not. So I disagree that SJW's in charge of large companies do not "control" messaging in any real sense.

There are two ways to control "the message". Propagating your own counter message, or silencing the oppositions messaging. Doing one is effective enough, doing both is even more effective.

I envy your optimism, but if it was against the law to make a shooter with girls sporting huge breasts, that would not entirely stamp out such shooters, but it certainly would put a damper on their production and distribution. Laws do have an impact.

What if the howls became those of 200 million, or 2 billion? When they become the majority then it's a problem. They will vote for people who will enshrine their ideology into law. And those laws will in turn change our society.

I agree with you in that "people" (as in 1 person) are deluding themselves, but, when enough people start to move in the same direction it becomes a majority. And that majority absolutely can accomplish things.

This is what I like about you sir, and other commies like you. ;-). It's that your for erring on the side of less government rather than more government as the solution to any problem. A Libertarian Marxist is harmless (not saying that's you just kidding around a bit) as they would be against forcing anyone else to adopt their ideology. Their utopian commune would be 100% voluntary. And those are the lefties I can get behind.

Art & Culture
I think that if you exert actual control over art, you can impact culture -- that's what happens when a government restricts what you're allowed to say and do with art.

A sort-of example would be the Comics Code, where the industry opted for self-regulation rather than risk government action (which amounts to -- pretty much -- government censorship). That can be effective, and it's a problem. The First Amendment is explicitly designed to counter that, and is pretty (but not completely) effective.

I think that SJW's attempts control or censor art on any kind of scale are illusory: where they succeed, it's because the culture already agreed with them. Mostly, though, they fail and I think that where they're trying to control or direct the culture (in a direction it's not going or at a speed it's not changing), they fail.

I don't think SJWs are in control of Google, etc.
I don't think this is true. I think those companies are doing what all big companies do: making decisions they feel benefit their stock holders, by acting in alignment with existing, and pervasive cultural taboos against Nazis and WSEs, and those privately held acted in alignment with those taboos.

It's 100% certain that we have a handful of private companies with a huge amount of power -- which is a problem, but people seeing SJW control are really just seeing stock-standard cultural decisions (or legal self-preservation, depending on what they're looking at).

I also think that private companies have no obligation to host speech they don't want to.

Silencing v. Counter Messaging
Agreed. I think both can be effective tactics. I think that the silencing option only really works if your opponents are saying things that are broadly transgressive (e.g. Nazi crap). Getting someone thrown off Twitter isn't "silencing" them, and even that's not going to be easy unless  they're saying things that the culture at-large disagrees with.

Big Breasted Shooters Against The Law
I agree, as I said, that laws have an impact. I don't see (current) SJW tactics (especially in the RPG space) as creating laws against stuff. Shaming private companies is not the same out outlawing things. If SJWs were lobbying congress to make RPGs with boobies illegal, I'd have a problem with that.

200 million or 2 billion
If a sizeable portion of the country's / planet's population decides something is taboo, then it's going to be impossible to say it without being judged. If the SJWs are so convincing that just about everyone is on their side, then I'm going to have to keep my damn mouth shut, aren't I?

Just like now. I can't go around saying whatever the fuck I feel like, and being spared any consequences, and neither can anyone else. That's called being an adult in society.

As for making laws: if the country decided overwhelmingly -- 2/3rds of the entire population that RPGs with Big Boobies should not be protected speech, then, yeah -- the 1A protections would crumble. That's just what happens when pretty much everyone agrees.

I'd be unhappy if everyone agreed stuff I like was forbidden, but I think it's pretty unlikely to get that level of agreement. As a bulwark against more realistic levels of agreement, I think the 1A protections are pretty good.

My Kind of Communism
I like the kind of communism where I get to work hard and get rich. Ideally everyone would have that option -- an egalitarian utopia! I'm also good with the state taking some of my money for the General Welfare and the Common Defense and to Ensure the Blessings of Liberty for Ourselves and Our Posterity.

But let's not go crazy with that, eh?

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Net neutrality
« on: September 13, 2017, 06:46:08 pm »
Quote from: S'mon;992065
I love the Libertarian Marxists. -E seems pretty much the opposite, some kind of Rockefeller/Romney Republican maybe. Libertarian Marxists like Brendan O'Neil hate the SJWs, -E seems fine with them.

I don't like SJWs, but then I don't like Nazi's either.

I think in America both of them have a right to have their say.

It's in the Constitution

Edited to add: I think SJWs are generally annoying but -- on a national scale -- harmless and I don't think White Supremacist Extremists are.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Net neutrality
« on: September 13, 2017, 06:44:41 pm »
Quote from: S'mon;992045
I think it's a lot easier to tell when Alex Jones is talking crap, than to tell when the mainstream media is lying. I can often pick up on their lies in areas I know well, especially since comparing BBC & Fox News on Hurricane Katrina taught me to be sceptical - in that case it was mostly the right-wing station talking crap, but the lessons I learned there stood me in good stead dealing with the BBC's subtler efforts, which had previously passed me by - like a good little liberal I believed what I was told. Eg I had believed, because they told me, that Serbs were evil and Bosniaks were good (truth: there were no good guys).

Maybe there are benefits in community cohesion of everyone believing the same lies - the community cohesion that existed when everyone clustered around the TV/radio to listen to the official narrative (not always the government narrative, eg Vietnam War). But I prefer having a diversity of media and the chance to uncover what are often some pretty shocking truths. Even with no space aliens.

To be honest, I can't get my head around people who believe Alex Jones. I had assumed everyone listened to him ironically, but no. There are plenty of people who sincerely believe him or know he might be full of shit, but honestly can't tell if any given story is true or false. They're out there.

Also, the MSM is generally fine at getting basic facts straight (not always, and not in the first 24 hours of a crisis). I can make up my own mind about good guys and bad guys.

Diversity of media is a fact of life now. I don't think we have a chance of going back... and I'm not sure I'd want to. But people need much better bullshit detectors than we've got to navigate that world.


The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Net neutrality
« on: September 13, 2017, 06:33:18 pm »
Quote from: Gwarh;992066
Wait a second?!!? Did you just make an argument for Gun Rights?

... you got a problem with the 2nd Amendment?

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Net neutrality
« on: September 13, 2017, 11:25:24 am »
Quote from: Gwarh;991879
I am not saying this to slag you, but (mini-slag ahead) who decides which people are vulnerable and which are not? It can be perceived as patronizing. The "deplorables" are to stupid to vote in their own interest sort of thing. This is exactly the sort of thing (protecting them from wrong-think) authoritarian regimes do with media.

It's exactly these sorts of echo chamber unified media message outlets that have given rise to the "niche" media sources.

I'd say the answer isn't a return to the "Fairness Doctrine" (though that is certainly an option), but rather more centre right main stream media voices to balanced out the choir or centre left source already on the market. Right now there is only FOX and it arguably is moving closer to the centre every day as the Murdoch kids gain more and more influence and assert themselves.

Slag away, I say! Healthy debate thrives on disagreement!

Who gets to define "Vulnerable People?"
Everyone. I mean all of us get to decide who we think of as vulnerable. When I typed that, I was thinking of people I know who don't trust Mainstream Media and get all their information from alternative sources and are often legitimately confused about what the truth is. I'm also thinking of people who find current events very troubling and tend to seek out comforting lies rather than confront the truth -- people who essentially demand to be lied to.

But you might define it differently.

What I'm not saying is that the Government or any other agency should step in to protect these people.

I don't think that.

Remedies -- I don't have any
I think that we, collectively, have a big problem with echo chambers and discretion in America. I think those issues create division (even more than we'd have otherwise) and leave people vulnerable to manipulation (scary advertising about FEMA concentration camps).

Traditionally the government has taken steps to moderate problems in this space -- the example that came to mind was the Fairness Doctrine -- but 1) I just don't think that would work today. It's impractical and 2) I think requiring alternative perspectives presents a free-speech issue; the same one that got it shot down.

The problem is especially pernicious because it's not just like False Advertising. Phenomena like #FakeNews are driven by consumer demand. People who desperately want to believe fantastical lies and are resistant to being disabused.

At some level, isn't it my right, as an American, to believe whatever I want? Even if it's batshit insane?

I think the answer has to be "yes" and that makes the problem even harder to resolve.

More Center Right Media -- Couldn't Hurt, But It Won't Solve The Problem
More and better center-right mainstream media outlets would certainly help, but the "vulnerable people" I'm thinking of probably wouldn't consider Fox credible. Too mainstream. Too controlled by rich people.

And it doesn't tell them the things they demand to hear (these are more Alex Jones/Prison Planet type people).

I think they'd just see other-foxes as "more of the same" and pass them by in their quest for sources to confirm their specialness, their purity, and their dark, apocalyptic visions of the future.

So I guess it's not a solution for everyone but more Foxes couldn't hurt.


The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Net neutrality
« on: September 12, 2017, 09:05:25 pm »
Quote from: Gwarh;991873
Well there is the "Market of Ideas" though. I mean you could look at it through the lense of the market. That is Citizens are consumers of a Government's policies and services. They spend their money (votes) to purchase a product which a particular Party offers to it's consumers (voters).

I think Andrew Breitbart was right though that Politics is downstream from Culture. So that is a problem as the real power is not the government itself or the companies, but the people who shape our thoughts on culture and ourselves.

Culture (or the lack there of) is Destiny, just as much as Demography is. In fact it's when Demography is combined with Culture that the world really starts to change (and not necessarily for the better).

In a functional government, I agree -- The People (Culture) elect the Politicians who mostly manage The Market.

And The Market is also The People, so... it's all kind of integrated with the will of a free people (collectively, "the culture") driving everything.

In a dysfunctional government, though, all kinds of things can happen and if you get to the point where the people with all the guns are making the rules, you've got a problem.

I'm not implying that the west is anywhere near a totalitarian state, but I also think that the government tends to be less accountable and slower to react to changing market conditions than private industry.

For some things that's a VERY GOOD thing -- you don't want The Fed being driven by public opinion or even political ownership, and you don't want a military that run by some kind of popular opinion.

It just means that you have to be careful about what kinds of authorities you put in the government's hands... and, like vampires, once you've invited them in, it's really hard to get them to leave...


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