Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Online harassment is ok when they do it

For years the regressive left has been campaigning against what they consider online harassment. Anita Sarkeesian, for example, in that one infamous presentation at a UN meeting, described the online harassment problem as "not just what's legal and illegal, but the day-to-day grind, 'you're a liar', 'you suck' etc." In other words, tons and tons of people sending you negative messages eg. on social media.

Of course, like always, social justice warriors love to take this concept to the extreme, and will define anything that upsets them as "harassment", even if it's just disagreement or criticism of what they are saying. You don't even need to threaten them, insult them, write anything derogatory, or anything like that. Simply being in disagreement is "harassment".

But then, also like always, when they do that exact thing, it's suddenly ok.

As an example, ever since the slanderous hit piece against PewDiePie written by the Wall Street Journal, he has been considered an enemy by the regressive left, and experienced a constant slew of online harassment campaigns, both by the mainstream media and SJW activists.

However, he is almost untouchable because he doesn't work for anybody, or anywhere where the activists can really hurt him. But that doesn't deter the regressive left. Since they love guilt by association, what they did recently was to find out every single person that he follows on Twitter, and started a massive harassment campaign against every single one of them. That's right, just having PewDiePie follow you on Twitter made you an enemy of the regressive left, by association, completely regardless of what political opinions you hold.

And we are talking about real harassment here. All of these people started receiving hundreds and hundreds of the most vicious messages, including threats of violence and death. It got so bad that PewDiePie unfollowed almost all of the people he was following, just to stop it.

Did Twitter do something to stop this and punish those who sent harassing messages to people? Of course not.

Was there some kind of backlash against this organized massive harassment campaign, by the activists or the mainstream media? Of course not.

Because, you know, it's ok when they do it. It's one rule for thee, another for me.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

More SJW vs. anti-SJW forum behavior

I wrote in an earlier blog post about a couple of differences I have noticed in typical SJW forums and anti-SJW forums, with the former engaging a lot more in cult-like psychological reinforcement (in the form of people ego-stroking other people who are writing things they consider good for the cause, showering them with thanks, praises and adulation, with no other constructive input), as well as virtue-signaling through verbal self-flagellation (ie. "confessing one's sins" and declaring how one is a very bad person, in this case mostly because of being white), two behaviors that you very rarely see in forums populated by the critical side.

There are many other differences, of course.

If you start reading these forums, or Twitter feeds, or Facebook walls, especially those who are social justice activists to extreme degree, you'll notice the sheer amount of calls to action to their readers. Their post history will be stock full of posts calling for people to "report this", and "report that", for Twitter, Facebook, or whoever authority figure to remove this, or remove that, or ban this, or ban that. In many cases the SJW expresses the wish that the police, the authorities, the government, would intervene and do something. In a good majority of cases, the thing being objected to, and asked to be removed or banned, is something very minor. It's not like somebody posting illegal pornographic pictures, or selling drugs, or soliciting the murder of somebody, or anything of the sort. In the vast majority of cases it's simply someone simply expressing his opinion, which the SJW in question doesn't like.

If the SJW in question is riled up enough, she will directly and explicitly express that she wants the freedom of speech of those people suppressed, and doesn't care. (Yes, it has come to this point, where SJWs are directly calling for suppression of freedom of speech of people, with those exact words. They aren't beating around the bush anymore, or making excuses. They aren't even using the "hate speech is not free speech" excuse anymore. There are many, many examples out there.) And I'm not even talking about some random anonymous nobodies using pseudonyms. Many of them are known big-name activists, journalists and other personalities (eg. with a so-called blue checkmark on Twitter).

In contrast, I don't remember seeing much of such calls to action from the opposing side. In general, the anti-SJW side supports free speech, and the ability for people to express their opinions publicly, regardless of what those opinions are. Rarely do the anti-SJWs try to organize a campaign to silence some SJW by sending spurious false reports to whatever service is hosting that person's posts. (It probably does happen sometimes, but from what I have seen, it tends to be much rarer. In contrast, on the SJW side it's par for the course and happens all the time.) At the very most what I have seen is something like this, but with the intent of showing the SJW in question the consequences of draconian totalitarian rules, by making herself suffer from the very rules of the website that she's advocating. (In other words, the intent is not really to silence her and remove her from the internet, but to show her what happens when draconian anti-free-speech rules are enacted on a social media website, by having herself be the victim of those very rules.) But even this is rare in my experience.

It's curious, and a bit scary, how totalitarian the SJWs are, when it suits their ideology. They constantly want more government control, to give the police more and more power, to give big private corporations more and more power to suppress people's expression of free speech and ability to communicate with each other. They literally and explicitly want people's freedoms to be suppressed by the authorities and the government if they hold the "wrong" opinions, and they already are directly expressing that, rather than making excuses. They want a totalitarian government, and they want to increase the power and control that the government has on people's lives, freedoms, rights and liberties. They want an ultra-corporatist society where corporations hold more and more power over people, being free to suppress, discriminate against, and shun people for their political opinions, not only without repercussions, but even with encouragement, even pressure, to do so.

It's curious how little you see this from the supposed "right-wing" people, even though it's precisely the "right-wing" political spectrum that's supposedly hierarchical, authoritarian and totalitarian, while it's supposedly the "left-wing" political spectrum that's supposedly for freedoms, rights and equality.

(Of course what's really happening that those "wrongthinkers" are actually pretty centrist, some of the a bit left-leaning (eg. in their stance on public social services, for instance), some a bit right-leaning (having a bit more stereotypically conservative values, for example when it comes to things like marriage, gun control and such), but overall pretty centrist. It's just that to the SJWs everything that doesn't conform to their political ideology is "far-right". Which is like 95% of the political spectrum.)

Sunday, March 17, 2019

It's becoming more and more important to get a VPN

Dissenter is a service and browser plugin created by Gab.com that allows people to comment on any web page, bypassing the censorship of the Silicon Valley tech giants. Obviously these tech giants, as well as the leftist media, are not happy about it, because they can't control the narrative.

Very recently the New Zealand government started blocking Dissenter at the ISP level, apparently as a response to the recent terrorist attack. Even though neither Gab nor Dissenter had any connection whatsoever with the perpetrator. (The terrorist attack was livestreamed on Facebook, of all places. Naturally Facebook faced no repercussions of any kind for this, because it's one of the protected Silicon Valley tech giants.)

Expect this kind of censorship and blocking to become more and more common. Very soon you might find yourself unable to connect to Gab, Dissenter, and a bunch of other online services that do not conform to the censorship standards of your country.

The only way to bypass this censorship is to use a VPN. A VPN creates an encrypted connection to a VPN server somewhere in the world, and your ISP will have no way of knowing which website you are actually trying to connect to. The website itself will see you connecting from that country, rather than your actual one. Most VPN user interfaces allow you to choose the country. This can be used to bypass regional restrictions of all sorts, as well as hide what you are doing from your ISP and your government.

Of course there are drawbacks to VPNs. Some VPNs, for example, deliberately do not support peer-to-peer connections, while others do. Also, your download speeds might be degraded somewhat (depending on the quality of the VPN service). Depending on what exactly you are doing, you might only want to use the VPN for certain websites but not others, but most VPN software will have an easy way to turn it on and off.

While there exist a few free VPN services, these will be of the lowest possible quality, will generally not support peer-to-peer connections, and may seriously hinder your browsing speed (making eg. watching youtube videos almost impossible). The highest-quality VPN services are all commercial. However, many of them are not extraordinarily expensive, having a somewhat reasonable and moderate pricing system (eg. NordVPN often has offers of about 100€ for a 3-year plan, which is not extremely unreasonable. And it's one of the best-reviewed VPN services out there. But you should of course always read reviews and compare features before making such a decision.)

Expect VPNs themselves to start becoming illegal in some countries some time in the near future, but there's probably ways around that (and probably no way for governments to stop their use). The western world is becoming more and more like China.

The unholy matrimony of terrorism and the mainstream media

Some months ago I wrote about the implicit "agreement" between the 4chan forum and the mainstream media. The forum members keep coming up with the most ridiculous memes and claims imaginable, making absolutely ridiculous connections between random things and "white supremacy", in order to troll the mainstream media, and journalists not only embrace this trolling and react to it in all seriousness, but in fact do it gladly and willingly, with full awareness of what's going on.

I wouldn't even say that 4chan is manipulating the mainstream media. "Manipulation" would imply deception, that the targets of the manipulation are completely unaware of what's actually going on and that they are being taken advantage of unwittingly. While this may be the case with some clueless journalists who have absolutely no idea what's actually going on, I'm certain that many of these journalists are fully aware that what 4chan is doing is just trolling them just to get a reaction and show how ridiculous the mainstream media has become. They are fully aware of it, and they don't care. They deliberately don't care. It's juicy material, and they don't care how or why it was created, or by whom. They'll gladly take this material and write their hit pieces and add fuel to the culture war. It's like there's an implicit tacit agreement between the mainstream media and 4chan: "Yes, keep coming up with all these trolling memes. We'll take them and embrace them. It's good material for us."

What 4chan is doing is just harmless pranks. A harmless game between them and the mainstream media, where the latter is completely willing to play along.

Where this becomes horrendous and scary is when a terrorist is fully aware of this dynamic and takes advantage of it for much more sinister and dangerous goals. Which is exactly what happened with the mosque attack in New Zealand.

The attacker made it completely and absolutely clear that he's completely aware of how the regressive left, especially the leftist mainstream media, will react to a terrorist attack like this. He wrote in his manifesto that the only way to end the current culture war is to accelerate it to the point of actual physical conflict, to instigate actual literal civil war within the western world. He made it quite clear that the mainstream media would take this kind of terrorist attack and use it as fuel to instigate the culture war. This is exactly what he wanted.

And, of course, once again, the mainstream media is complying. Once again, I'm certain that many of these journalists are perfectly aware of the contents of the manifesto and the intentions of the terrorist, that it was his very goal to instigate the mainstream media into this kind of rhetoric and that the mainstream media is doing exactly what the terrorist wants, and they deliberately don't care. They are embracing the narrative, and doing it willingly and purposefully. They could just as well be saying this terrorist "thank you for providing us with all this juicy material which we can use to instigate the culture war".

What 4chan has done is harmless pranking and making fun of the mainstream media, playing a game with them. What this terrorist has done is extraordinarily horrendous and dangerous. Not only are over 40 people dead, but there will most probably be very serious consequences to this. Consequences that he deliberately wanted to instigate. He is counting on the western mainstream media to play along with his plan, willingly and purposefully, and he's right. This makes his crime all the more serious and horrific.

I fear, however, that what he wanted to happen is actually not going to happen. He wanted to instigate and accelerate the current culture war in the west to the point of actual conflict and literal civil war, which he sees as the only way to end said culture war in the end. I suppose that what he wants is some kind of modern "French Revolution" where, after the conflict is over, democracy is restored. I'm afraid that's not going to happen. If there's an actual civil war, it may well end up in the total collapse of western society and democracy. We are destroying ourselves from the inside, and this may well be the catalyst to make it happen for good.

Even in the absolute best case scenario, where this does not lead to an actual civil war, and the western world keeps limping forward, this may well still have negative repercussions in the form of diminished rights and freedoms, and increased censorship and draconian restrictive laws.

The scary thing is that the more that governments keep increasing censorship and criminalizing opinions, the more likely it is that more people will keep committing this kind of terrorist attacks. This may end up in a vicious cycle, until there's nothing left but a totalitarian regime.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

"Refugees" are not treated like refugees

Most of the migrants arriving en masse to Europe are being called "refugees", mostly in an attempt to gain sympathy from the native people and to pull at their heartstrings. "Refugees welcome!" goes the common adage.

But the thing is: These "refugees" are not being treated as refugees. They are being treated as immigrants, which is rather different.

The refugee status is inherently temporary. The original basic idea of a country taking refugees from another country is to provide these people with a temporary safe place to survive, until the life-threatening conflict in their country of origin is over and peace has been restored.

It's in essence no different from a friend giving another friend a place to stay for a while, because of the life circumstances of that person (eg. if they have been evicted, or any other reason why this person is temporarily homeless). Friends help friends, but this solution is always temporary. The other person isn't supposed to move permanently to his friend's home and stay for the rest of his life. He's supposed to stay there only for as long as absolutely necessary, until he can return home or find a new one.

In times of war, neighboring countries may give temporary refugee status to non-combatant civilians, especially children, in the warring country, to remove them from the life-threatening situation. The idea is that when the war is over and peace restored, the refugees can then safely return home.

But that's not how all these millions of migrants who are entering Europe are treated. Nobody, not the politicians making decisions, not the press, nor even the wider public, is treating them as actual refugees, who are expected to return to their country of origin after whatever conflict caused them to flee is over.

No, they are 100% treated as immigrants, not as refugees. Everybody expects them to come and stay forever, to permanently move into the country.

So can we please stop calling them "refugees" since we aren't even treating them as such?

Social justice infected movies claiming to be the first

More and more movies nowadays are trying to pander to the social justice crowd. I have noticed that in some cases the people promoting these movies, as well as SJW journalists, are claiming that a particular such movie is somehow revolutionary in that it's the first one to do something.

For example, when the recent Ocean's 8 movie came out, many people involved in its promotion claimed eg. in TV shows that it's the first heist movie with an all-female cast in the lead roles. Yet, 10 seconds of googling reveals that's not the case. There are several examples of previous such movies, such as the movie Set It Off.

When the film Black Panther came out, they claimed it was the first movie starring a black superhero. Yet, once again, this is incorrect. The movie Blade already did that in 1998. (Maybe they'll claim it's the first Marvel superhero movie with a black protagonist? Except that Blade is a character from Marvel Comics. They can't get around it.)

With the new Captain Marvel movie they aren't explicitly and blatantly claiming it's the first movie with a female superhero in the lead role, because pretty much everybody knows that's not true. However, they are kind of insinuating it. Perhaps it's the first Marvel superhero that appears in the lead role of a movie? Yet, once again, that's not true: Elektra already did that in 2005.

Obviously all this is nothing but a marketing ploy. They want to advertise these movies as something special and revolutionary, and will lie about it if they can get away with it.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Oddly primitive understanding of "force" among flatearthers

Quite a long time ago, when I was in my early teens, I had a classmate who expressed what even then I understood to be a rather odd misconception about forces, in particular about gravitational forces. We had recently been taught about gravitation in class, and how, curiously, every single object exerts a gravitational pulling force onto every single other object (even though with everyday objects this force is staggeringly minuscule).

We were one day outside, and he was commenting on this fact. We were looking at two hills, and he commented that (paraphrasing) "that hill is exerting gravitational force onto that other hill". He then expressed the really odd misconception: He thought that meant that the two hills were moving towards each other, even if it happened really, really slowly.

Even back then I understood that didn't make any sense, and he was misunderstanding the whole concept. Just because two objects may be exerting a gravitational pulling force to each other doesn't somehow automatically mean that they must be moving towards each other. In this case, the hills are affixed to the ground and don't move with respect to each other. There's like a thousand other forces keeping them in place, counteracting the minuscule gravitational pull they may exert on each other. Just because you eg. push on a building, exerting a force onto it, doesn't mean that the building inevitably moves. A force being applied onto an object doesn't automatically mean it must move.

But he really did think that, explicitly. I tried to object to his misconception, and from the ensuing conversation it became clear that he had this strong notion (ie. that a force implies movement, no matter what), and for some reason wouldn't let go of it, no matter what counter-arguments I gave. Yes, he was being completely serious.

I find this misconception a bit strange to grasp. How can it be so hard for someone to understand that multiple forces acting on an object may cancel each other out? That a force being exerted on an object does not automatically imply movement in that direction? Or, moreover, that a stronger force in one direction may counteract a weaker force in the other direction so much that the object actually moves to that first direction, not the second one? This seems like it ought to be a really simple concept to understand, but apparently for some people it's not.

Ok, this was just one person. An oddity. Except that I have been finding this very misconception among many flatearthers.

While Poe's Law is, once again, in full effect here, it appears that some flatearthers are seriously making the argument that gravity doesn't exist because they can jump upwards, and helium balloons go up. They seem to share this very misconception that a force towards some direction implies movement towards that direction and, thus, if the movement of the object is towards another direction, that must mean there is no force in the first place. (They also don't seem to grasp the idea that forces actually cause acceleration, rather than just movement.)

I think it requires a particularly childish mind to not understand what a force is, and to think that a force must cause movement, or else it doesn't exist. Force and movement are not the same thing.