Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Twitter SJWs and their self-constructed personal bubbles

Recently in an online forum somebody linked to a Tweet thread where somebody discussed a potential copyright infringement against a friend of mine (also frequenting that forum). It was about the use of some screenshots of some videos that this friend had made. The tweet in question linked to my friend's website, to the content where the material from which the screenshots were taken from.

Anyway, the details of that are not really relevant here. The thing is, my friend's personal web page is full of all kinds of things, mostly related to programming, hobby projects and also contains a sort of personal diary and some opinion pieces on diverse subjects.

One of the people participating in that Twitter discussion thread dug up the titles of a couple of these opinion pieces (somewhere entirely elsewhere inside the website than the original point of the discussion) where he presented some criticism of the Islamic religion, and posted a screenshot of these article titles.

In this post he said that he was "saddened" that such a talented person could be so "horrible". He also said that he went ahead and found out what the Twitter account of my friend is, and blocked it. Another person responded to that tweet with a similar sentiment.

Note that my friend himself did not participate in this Twitter discussion, nor was his Twitter handle mentioned or visible anywhere. At no point had my friend made any Tweet or in any way interacted with this tweet thread or any of its participants in any way, shape or form. (In fact, he wasn't even aware of the existence of this before it was pointed out on that forum above.) Nevertheless, that person who posted the screenshots of the opinion piece titles had actively searched and researched what my friend's Twitter handle was, just for the mere purpose of blocking it pre-emptively.

Not very surprisingly, looking at that person's Twitter profile, as well as that other person who responded similarly, both of them had pronouns mentioned in their profiles.

If there's something positive about SJW indoctrination, it's that it makes their advocates to publicly give a warning about their indoctrination and personality in their Twitter profiles. Just look at somebody's Twitter profile, and if you see personal pronouns there (as their own isolated words), you know what kind of person you are dealing with, so it doesn't come as a surprise.

This is very typical behavior of indoctrinated SJWs, especially on Twitter: They are social media addicts, most often particularly Twitter addicts, and have been actively taught to build their own personal isolated bubbles, pre-emptively blocking anybody who they don't like, so that they don't have to see anything they have to say. The block lists of most Twitter SJWs are absolutely massive.

It's all part of the social justice cult indoctrination: Do not listen to outsiders, do not talk to outsiders, do not interact with outsiders, isolate yourself completely from outsiders, create your own little "safe space" where you don't have to see, hear or listen to any outsiders. Stop any dissenting ideas and opinions from even reaching you, and shield yourself against them. Preventively block anybody who could even potentially present an opinion that you don't like, even if you have never seen a single thing that person has ever said.

This is exactly what extreme religious cults do with their members. It's 100% a cult tactic.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Germany's totalitarianism repeats again and again

World War I was one of the largest and most devastating wars of all human history. The reasons for it were really complicated, and a complete mess, with allied nations being dragged into the war because of their alliances and whatnot. However, the central pundit of the whole conflict, the major villain, was Germany, with a couple of essentially vassal states being dragged into the conflict by their alliances with Germany.

Eventually the Allied Powers were finally able to defeat Germany in 1918, and as a result its empire was split and all of Germany's colonies were transferred to other countries or gained independence.

Germany was devastated by the war, yet it took it but a mere 20 years for it to raise from the ashes again, and start yet another world war, even bigger and more devastating this time, almost destroying Europe in the process. Once again the allied forces were once again able to defeat Germany in 1945, again at a great cost.

This time the allied forces weren't taking any chances. They split Germany into two separate countries, controlled by the west and the east.

While East Germany, under Communist rule, quite quickly became an absolute totalitarian hellhole of literally Orwellian proportions, if there's anything positive to say about this split is that, at the very least, it kept Germany in check. At least for the next 35 years.

Then, in 1989 the split country was once again unified...

and what do you know, the European Union was officially established a mere 4 years later, with Germany at its head. While at first the Union was at least in theory governed equally by all the member nations, in practice Germany became relatively quickly the de facto head of the entire Union, with only perhaps the United Kingdom and France to have any kind of equivalent power. However, since the UK is (apparently) leaving, and France has just become essentially a vassal state of Germany, that means that Germany is the de facto head of the Union.

So much so that Germany's chancellor, Angela Merkel, is pretty much considered the head of the entire European Union. (So much so that many europhiles even consider her the leader of the entire world. I'm not even making that up.) Angela Merkel is pretty much Hitler reincarnated. She is the supreme Fuhrer of the entire Union.

When Theresa May, the previous Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, went to the European Union to discuss the terms of their leaving the Union, who do you think she went to talk to? That's right. Angela Merkel. Because apparently Angela Merkel is the head of the EU, its supreme leader, and the person to talk to in order to discuss the terms under which you are allowed to leave the EU.

Especially now that the UK is (apparently) bailing out, Germany has pretty much all the power in the European Union. It decides, unopposed, pretty much all the policies of the entire Union. It decides on things like immigration policies, and the other states have no say in it. If Germany says that the EU is taking ten million immigrants, then the EU is going to take ten million immigrants, and no other country has any say on that matter. Germany alone bestows this flood of immigrants on its vassal states (which is every other EU nation), and they have no say in it.

What both the German Empire and Nazi Germany failed to do, Merkel's totalitarian Germany has succeeded in: Not only has it taken over the entirety of Europe, and is in the midst of destroying it, the conquered vassal states are willingly and gladly submitting to Germany's oppression and whims. What the two previous Germanies failed to do by force and war, the modern Germany succeeded by political propaganda. Why conquer other countries by force when you can make them willingly submit to you via propaganda?

I think the Allied Powers had the right idea after World War II. We need to split Germany once again, to stop it and keep it in check. (This time the other side should not be held under the rule of Soviet Communism. That would be cruel, sadistic and completely inhumane. But they should be kept separate and in check, governed by independent outside non-allied nations. Although perhaps Angela Merkel herself, alongside all the other unelected EU leaders, could be deported to somewhere like Saudi Arabia or Iran, since she loves them so much. Or North Korea.)

Are wind turbines harmless?

The problem of pollution and especially CO2 emissions has become quite a big thing, and more and more countries and activists are trying to find solutions to it. The thing is, many of the proposed and even implemented solutions are often ineffective, very costly (in relation to their effectiveness and energy production), and sometimes even harmful to the environment and even human health.

And, ironically, so far none of these implemented solutions has done almost anything to reduce emissions. Germany is, perhaps, the European (perhaps even worldwide) pinnacle of moving to renewable energy production: Something like less than 5% of the electricity used in Germany comes from nuclear power plants (and Germany's plan is to reduce it to 0% in the next decade or so), and something like 80% comes from renewable energy sources, such as wind energy.

Ironically, the CO2 emissions of Germany have only gone up year after year, not down. Germany is producing more CO2 than ever before. Moving to renewable energy production has done jack squat about Germany's emissions.

(Contrast this with France, which is in the same ballpark as Germany in terms of population size, but where something like 85% of electricity is produced by nuclear power plants. The CO2 emissions of France are less than half of that of Germany, by official statistics.)

Also, as a side-effect, the price of electricity in Germany is at an all-time high. It's the most expensive electricity in all of Europe, and is hurting the entire country economically. The cost of renewable energy is paid by the population who uses that energy.

And the thing is, completely "green" renewable energy production is not always as harmless as people think, or want to believe.

Consider wind turbines, for example. They need to be constructed a good distance away from any human settlements because their proximity has actual tangible negative health effects on people. These health effects are often dismissed and ignored, because people (including many medical professionals) simply don't want to believe they are real. Ironically, this dismissal only helps to aggravate these health effects, especially in terms of their psychological impact.

This is explained, for example, in this paper by the College of Family Physicians of Canada, published at the National Center for Biotechnology Information website.

As you might guess, in densely populated areas, like most of Europe, there aren't many isolated places to put wind turbines.

Germany is also facing a real crisis with regards to their 29 thousand wind turbines. Because they are economically unfeasible, about 10 thousand of them will be decommissioned in the near future. This is not only extremely expensive, it's also an ecological nightmare, because the vast majority of the materials used in wind turbines cannot be recycled. Yet they need to be disposed of properly, somehow.

But it's the nuclear power plants that are way too scary to be a feasible alternative. After all, there have been a whopping three nuclear plant accidents!

(Sure, nuclear power is not the final solution to the energy production of the world. However, they would be a good interim solution for the next 50 to 100 years, with almost zero pollution, which would give us time to develop some better solutions that actually work. Wind turbines and solar panels are not that solution.)

Sunday, January 19, 2020

New ACE exploit demolishes Ocarina of Time speedrun records... meh!

I have been a long-time follower of Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time speedrunning, as I find the speedruns of that game, especially the main any% category, to be particularly interesting and enthralling.

In terms of longevity and popularity, Ocarina of Time is a veteran, one of the big ones. It has been actively speedrun for a couple of decades, and it has been one of the most popular ones. The history of glitch discoveries in the game is long, rich and interesting, with the any% world record times being brought down year after year. The first speedruns were well over an hour long, but due to glitch discoveries these were brought down to below 20 minutes.

For quite many years 18 minutes was considered to be the lower limit of what can be achieved, and there seemed to be no way to get any lower. Then a new way of performing a particular glitch was discovered, which brought down this theoretical lower limit by an entire minute, the holy grail now being the 17 minutes mark, which for quite long seemed unattainable in practice (even though several speedrunners got relatively close to it, with the world record of 17 minutes and 7 seconds being unbroken for quite a long time.) Then a slightly different way of performing a particular glitch was discovered that allowed the world record to be brought just barely below the 17-minutes mark, by 2 seconds. While it was now proven that this lower limit could be broken in practice, it seemed unlikely that the time would go much lower than that, unless a completely new discovery is made.

17 minutes was thought to be the practical lower limit for almost 5 years, which is a really long time in speedrunning terms.

And now, a few days ago, a new exploit was discovered that completely changed the speedrun route and completely demolishes all those old times, with the world record as of writing this now being 12 minutes and 10 seconds (and it very likely to be sub-12 quite soon, as skills and finer details of the run improve). That's more of an improvement than probably during the previous 10 years of speedrunning this game (both in terms of absolute and relative time save).

Exciting news, right? The same stale techniques of the previous route were used for almost 5 years with very little change, with only very minor improvements slowly grinding the world record time downwards just a few seconds at a time, but now an entirely new and different route and glitches have been discovered that allow for an entirely new batch of speedruns to be made, that just obliterate the previous ones! Right?

Well, for many of the OoT speedrunning aficionados maybe. For me, however... meh!

The reason for this is two-fold (although one relates very closely to the other): The new glitch consists of performing an Arbitrary Code Execution (ACE) exploit, which corrupts memory in a way that creates machine code that makes the game code jump from the beginning parts of the game directly to the middle of the end credits. It completely bypasses beating the final boss and everything. In my own personal subjective opinion, I don't really consider this a legit game completion, reaching the end of the game.

Which directly causes the second reason why I consider this to be so meh: It makes the run really boring.

Which of course brings up the (rather subjective) question of what exactly constitutes "completing the game", or "reaching the end of the game". While one might hastily think that this is an easy thing to define, it's not, especially with some games.

To better understand what I mean, assume this hypothetical scenario (which actually isn't so far-fetched, as I believe there's at least one NES game that does something similar to this): Suppose that the absolute final "THE END" screen of a game is actually part of the main menu, one of its sub-screens. It's not normally reachable from the main menu, but due to some kind of glitch or exploit, or doing something unexpected with the controller, the game can be induced into switching to this "THE END" screen. Without even starting the game proper! Suppose this screen is normally shown only after having beaten the game and watching a lengthy end credits sequence, after which the game jumps to this screen. But due to the exploit or oversight, the screen can be directly viewed from the main menu.

Would this be considered a legit "having reached the end of the game"? After all, this screen was not reached due to reaching the actual ending of the game, where the game proper ends. It was just this one "THE END" screen that was glitched into view without even playing the game proper. Would this constitute a legit game completion?

There may be many opinions about this, but I wouldn't it consider a legit completion. The actual end of the game proper wasn't reached, therefore the game wasn't completed.

Of course it becomes much fuzzier, and much more subjective, when the game proper is started, and played to a certain extent... and then due to a glitch the game jumps to the middle of the end credits.

The previous speedrunning strategy of Ocarina of Time did utilize major skips. Most particularly, it skipped directly from the beginning parts of the game to a tiny bit before the final boss fight. However, the final boss itself is fought and beaten, and the final time was considered when the protagonist delivers the final sword blow to the boss, killing it (which starts the non-interactive end sequences and ending credits). In other words, even though the speedrun skips the vast majority of the game, it does fight and kill the final boss normally, and reaches the end of the game as expected.

The new ACE exploit does not. Instead, it completely bypasses the final boss, and even the final non-interactive cinematics, and jumps directly to the middle of the end credits. On top of that, it does this by running custom code, rather than merely and simply making the game jump to the end credits due to internal bugs. (Sure, the custom code can be entered and jumped to thanks to glitches in the game, but the jumping to the end credits is not done because of any code in the game itself, but thanks to this custom code, which is not part of the original game.)

The vast majority of the speedrunning community, like always, is completely fine with this. However, I myself consider it uninteresting and boring, and not really a legit completion of the game.

So... meh. I have lost interest in watching Ocarina of Time speedruns now. I suppose I will be moving to something else.

Predictions for the near future, part 19

If there's one thing that the radical left, which has been gaining immense sociopolitical power in the past decade, as made quite clear is that there's no limit to how extreme they are willing to go in their views and opinions, no matter how outrageous they may have sounded just a mere few years earlier. The pattern is always the same: They start with more minor and mostly non-controversial claims, and when society starts listening to them, they get more and more emboldened and start taking those claims more and more towards the ridiculous extreme.

That's how they have gone, for example, from a simple "we shouldn't make fun of fat people" to "being obese is healthy and has no health risks", and from a simple "people should not be discriminated against due to their sexual orientation" to "as an indisputable scientific fact, biological sex does not exist".

There are, of course, many steps between those two extremes. Many of these mid-point positions often consist of Orwellian doublethink, where two opposing and contradictory views are being held at the same time.

When it comes to the concepts of free speech and democracy, the main body of the radical left is currently mostly at this kind of mid-point.

When it comes to free speech, the current majority consensus among the left is "free speech is important, and we support it, BUT" (and that's quite an important but) "free speech needs to be restricted in order to protect it." They have this Orwellian notion that free speech being "too free" is actually hindering free speech, because it "silences minority voices" (or whatever BS), and thus, still in a rather Orwellian doublethink way, free speech needs to be restricted in order to ensure free speech.

Likewise when it comes to democracy, the majority narrative is very similar: They are still pretending that their actions exist "to protect democracy", and that people need to be restricted in order to do so, and that too much freedom is "a threat to democracy". For example, elected officials of the wrong political opinions need to be removed from office because, even though they were elected by the people, they are a threat to democracy. The people's vote needs to be circumvented and annulled in order to "protect democracy". (It doesn't matter how contradictory and self-defeating that sentiment is.)

My prediction is that this is just a temporary phase, like with everything else in the far left narrative: For a time they pretend to care about the concept, often trying to still argue for the actions that undermine it with the pretense of "protecting" it, but as time passes and they get more power and get emboldened, they will just drop all pretenses and simply start opposing those things outright, rather than pretending to support them.

I thus predict that in the near future the far left, including politicians, academics, journalists, and all other kinds of far-left influencers, will start directly and blatantly speaking against free speech and democracy, and argue that they should be ended outright.

After all, free speech allows people to present the wrong opinions, and democracy allows people to vote for the wrong people. Thus, logically, they are bad and should be ended. We don't need either free speech nor democracy in the future socialist utopia.

Climate change predictions used against climate change

One thing that I see time and again that makes me sigh in exasperation is when someone makes a post or comment about some record low temperature at some place and accompanies it with a snarky comment about climate change. You know, as if it were evidence against climate change.

This always makes me facepalm because it's something that the climate science predicts will happen more and more often, not something that goes against their predictions. This is essentially using a correct prediction of climate science and trying to use it against that very climate science.

Climate science predicts that as global average temperature goes up, climate extremes will get accentuated more and more. In other words, dry areas will become drier, rainy areas will become rainier, hot areas will see record-high heat waves, and very cold areas will see record low temperatures, time and again.

Thus, when a particularly cold area of the world, like many parts of Siberia, sees an all-time record low temperature one morning, and this starts happening more and more often, that's actually a correct prediction of climate science, not evidence against it.

The thing is, however, that the global average temperature is going up, even though the extremes get accentuated.

Global warming is not measured by an individual measurement made one morning at one particular place. It's measured as the average over the entire planet over the entire year. Thus it doesn't matter if a record low temperature happens one day at one place, because that only contributes a bit to the world-wide average. Which is going up. It's compensated by other places becoming warmer and warmer over the years (and also by record high temperatures at many places).

It's curious how these "skeptics" always love to gloat about record low temperatures, or even just unusually low temperatures, but they keep oddly quiet about record high temperatures at other places (and will just come up with excuses when pointed out to them. For some reason record low temperatures are clear evidence, but record high temperatures are not. Double standards much?)

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Alternatives to "social" terms

As I have written before, "social liberalism" is a rather unfortunately named political system because people (sometimes deliberately) confuse it with "socialism", even though it's a completely different thing. Likewise many terms related to it use the word "social" for one thing or another, making the unfortunate and unjustified connection to socialism. Confusing "social liberalism" with "socialism" is like confusing the the word "community" with "communism".

All these terms can be useful in political discourse, however, so it's hard to avoid them. But what you can do is use alternatives, synonyms, that do not include the word "social" in them, if you really want to avoid confusion and the wrong connotations.

So, for example, rather than saying "social security" or "social safety net", use the term "welfare" instead. Likewise, instead of "social program", use "welfare program".

Rather than using the term "social services", use the term "public services" instead.

Instead of using the term "social liberalism" use the term "welfare capitalism". (As a bonus, you'll trigger the vast majority of leftists.)