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joined 2022 September 04 17:54:26 UTC
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1 follower   follows 1 user   joined 2022 September 04 17:54:26 UTC


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User ID: 42

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First off, I don't think there is any viable way to fake or half-ass this. But it's part of growing up IMO to develop the ability to fit in in multiple different types of social groups. You can learn to fit in with this new crowd, but you'll want to make sure you maintain a group of friends, preferably IRL, that you can talk about the things you actually like and find interesting with.

IME, most people are quite happy to share their sources of cultural references with a less-knowledgeable newbie. So whenever you hear a reference to something you don't know, ask. Not necessarily at the time you hear it, if not appropriate, but later. Then follow up and read, watch, or listen to whatever they suggest. Keep an eye on the things people around you read, watch, listen to, and copy them. If you already have an impression that you ought to know some piece of media, then do it - go ahead and watch Titanic, and get a recording of the top 20 or so Beatles songs and listen to them a dozen or so times. Don't make a big deal about any particular thing, just keep consuming and let it all soak in. This should hopefully provide enough sources of things to consume to occupy all the time you're willing to spend. You'll have to accept that you're not going to be the coolest guy around in this crowd for a while, but that's okay. You're going to have to keep your mouth shut and listen a lot, and often let references you don't get yet just float on by.

If it all feels weird or discouraging, know that you probably aren't the only one doing this, very possibly including in your current work social group. If you're faking it to some extent, you're not the only one.

I'd note that that incident wasn't exactly randos - it was the work of Red Army Faction, which was backed by the KGB and likely receiving training and materials from them. I don't think any randos are going to be constructing a precisely timed shaped charge IED to take out a target in an armored car.

FWIW, I regard the whole idea of assassination by medium-long range gunshot at a well-known public event to indicate a crazy rando. Someone seriously experienced or some sort of elite intelligence operative would work on acquiring and leveraging specialized intelligence for a much simpler and more certain kill, and good chance of the assassin surviving and escaping.

Especially for someone with a little less protection like a former president and candidate, it's likely that at least a dozen times a week he's just walking around in some random public place with a bunch of random people nearby who haven't been checked for weapons or inclination, with a few USSS bodyguards around. This is mostly reasonably safe since it's highly secret and hard to predict exactly when those encounters will be. If you were super-elite, you'd try to learn about some of these ahead of time, choose one where you're reasonably likely to be able to get away clean after you shoot, and take the shot. Get away clean, and it's a super-mysterious event. It'd be hard to prove afterwards whether it was a crazy rando that just got lucky or really was some kind of elite operative acting on masterfully-obtained evidence.

So far it appears he was only grazed, and nobody else around was hit, which is a really bizarre outcome. A clean miss or a solid hit is far more likely. I'm not quite sure what to make of it. I guess more information will come out in the next few hours, but it feels pretty scissor-y already.

I see that your previous reply was more about what Hoff actually believed, or at least what you thought he believed, than anything actually in this thread, and that he acknowledges that you're at least a little bit right. What I'd like to ask, though, is - what makes anti-black racism from whites special?

Perhaps Hoff's black colleagues would indeed be hurt and offended if they knew what his self-proclaimed beliefs were about racial issues. But what else might we all be hurt and offended at each other for? I suspect that at least some of my own black colleagues and acquaintances would also be disturbed about some of my viewpoints on racial issues. I'm significantly more worried about how my colleagues and acquaintances who are rabid blue-team radicals would react if they knew how right-wing or red-team some of my viewpoints and mindset were though (most of these people are lilly-white incidentally). It's entirely possible I would myself be hurt and offended at some of those same people if I was aware of everything they had ever done, said, or thought. Do I have the right to be offended if a black acquaintance makes it very clear that they will always take the side of the black person in any sort of conflict with a white person, no matter who did what beforehand?

I guess this is more of an argument for privacy and tolerance. I'm sure if everybody knew everything that everyone else had ever done, said, or thought, we'd all be at each other's throats. If we all want to get along and live together peacefully, we should be okay with not knowing everything about everyone. And don't sweat too hard if you suspect some particular person in your life might be super-offended at something about you.

What bothers me about this point is - who in this whole thread said anything about caring about skin color? Hoffmeister25 didn't, neither did I, nor as far as I can tell did anyone else in this thread.

I think any of us would say, if you're white and regularly using hard drugs, sleeping on the street in filthy rags, harassing and violent towards ordinary citizens, and completely uninterested in getting help or changing, then you go in the truck too, and I'll wave goodbye. If you're black and live a responsible life, keep a reasonably tidy home, work some sort of regular job, treat others around you with respect, and deal with problems in an adult manner, then I'm happy to have you as my neighbor and would in fact protest if somebody wanted to drag you off because of your skin color.

If anything out there makes me a little bit skeptical of black people generally, it's not the 13/52 crime statistics, the HBD IQ gap that may or may not actually exist, or any other such statistics; it's the way quite a lot of black people who are in fact leading normal and respectable lives are so quick to assume all white people want to ship them off to some horrible fate due to their skin color when they've never suggested or implied any such thing. As well as a lot of white liberals. If they're never going to trust me no matter what I do, why should I trust them?

I've described possible solutions at 2 extreme ends of the range of possibilities, but haven't actually advocated for any particular position. Part of why I enjoy discussing issues here is that I don't feel so compelled to take a specific position and defend it to the (metaphorical) death at all costs, but can consider a range of things before deciding on some specific position.

My description of the maximally violent solution and how it might spread might be taken as advocacy. I see it at least as much a warning as advocacy. Beware, those who actually make policy, if any particular place feels that the situation has gotten bad enough to go that far, the going-that-far might possibly spread farther and faster than anybody anticipated or wanted.

Perhaps most of that was more of a reply to others who have more directly advocated such things. Nevertheless, regarding violence, I tend to think that a little bit goes a long way, and people tend to feel a desire to use excessive amounts of it when a situation has been allowed to go on too long and get much worse than it needed to be. I think "violence" (defined as a scale starting at things like firm orders and harsh looks) is best applied in small amounts and highly limited scope, but right away when necessary. Probably ought to have a better word for that, but I can't come up with one right now.

I'm not 100% sure what we should actually do. I think there is clearly a cohort of homeless who are all of the above of hopelessly addicted to hard drugs, regularly aggressive and violent towards random people, have no fear of any sort of consequences, and completely uninterested in any sort of help. I'm not sure what the size of it is, but I expect the local police, jailers, and mental health professionals in any particular area know who they are. Those people should at the very least be locked away until such time as they can go multiple months without reverting to their previous lifestyle, using whatever force is necessary to achieve that without unduly risking the safety of whatever personnel are doing so, up to and including lethal force if absolutely necessary. It may not be so easy though to ensure that all jurisdictions strictly limit such treatment to those clearly in that cohort, but I fear we've already let this go far enough that there isn't much choice but to do something like that and hope for the best.

I had been thinking more about the opposite effects of the different solution types. One city doing the nice way draws in more homeless, and so places a substantially higher burden on itself while only having a minor positive effect on nearby cities that homeless move there from. So your point of it being unsustainable on a small scale applies. However, one city doing the mean way expels out homeless (anyone sufficiently with it to try to avoid near-certain death is going to leave), so having a minor negative effect on nearby cities. That means that way is sustainable and so is possible to start and grow without an all-at-once national initiative.

I hadn't thought of other cities aligned with the mean city but not going quite so far wanting to send their homeless to that city. I'm not sure that changes things though. The problem of getting more homeless that you plan to treat the nice way is that the cost of every extra one is high, but the cost of treating them the mean way can be quite low, presuming we're dispensing with legal protections. Especially when they've been conveniently gathered onto a bus for you.

It depends what type of "correct" solution you're talking about.

A maximally "nice" solution, like free housing maintained by Government employees and unlimited free drugs, implemented in one city, would indeed probably draw all the homeless from the whole nearby area, thus exhausting the budget. Though honestly this would probably bust the budget of any city just dealing with the ones already there.

A maximally "mean" solution, like summary execution of all homeless, vagrants, beggars, etc, implemented in one city, would also solve the the problem of ordinary people not being able to walk the streets without being harassed, but would probably have the opposite effect, pushing all the homeless out of that city into other nearby cities with more average policies.

Probably the best reason is that I honestly wasn't sure until I got to your third paragraph whether you were arguing that it's definitely 100% obvious that Biden will or will not be replaced before or at the Democrat convention.

In terms of accusations / insults, past Dem nomination fights were bloody but that didn't really spill over into the general. And we're still months out, elections take around a month in some nations. In terms of throwing up procedural / legal issues, I doubt that's too big of an issue.

What I'm talking about is, most of the discussion has assumed that both Biden and Harris agree to step down voluntarily. What happens if one or both of them don't? Does the Democrat party actually have good options to replace them without their cooperation? How long would that process take, and how sketchy would it look?

If anything like that happens, I would presume the Dem party leadership expects it to all happen behind closed doors. If it ends up taking months and has at least bits of it leaking out into the public, well, it looks pretty banana-republic to me. Though maybe not necessarily more so than all the other stuff that's happened over the last 8 years? Maybe the voters won't care that much if they manage to get somebody young and confident in there somehow, or maybe not.

Seems to me, none of the Democrats' options look great now.

  1. Stick with Biden-Harris, come what may. But can he handle a full campaign season? Will he have another Senior Moment? Will all the big donors believe he can do a full campaign without one? If his handlers keep him hidden away for the whole season, the voters will likely guess why and may react accordingly.

  2. Somehow dump Biden, full steam ahead with Harris-?. But is Harris much better of a candidate than Biden? What kind of influence will they need to convince Biden of this and how will it look if he doesn't go along so easily? But at least it isn't too bureaucratically weird.

  3. Somehow dump both Biden and Harris and run a campaign with some decent Governor or Senator. Might be a better candidate than either of the others, but how will the bureaucratic weirdness that would be necessary to do this affect the voters' confidence in the Democrat ticket? How much of a mess might Biden and/or Harris make on the way out? Not to mention the optics of kneecapping the female POC with the progressive wing.

I've seen it. May be because we're too quick to call people "white supremacists" when they never actually proclaimed themselves so. If you truly only care about skin being white, you'd support Israel, as the whiter country. At least some seem to be more about anti-semitism than skin color though, which means they don't mind seeing Israel lose, whatever that means exactly, as long as it doesn't directly threaten their preferred country.

I've had a few friends go to prison. Can't speak for everyone or all of them, but it seems most of them have solutions for electronic messaging now. It's all hacky custom apps by some prison services company that are overpriced, don't work that well, and are certain to be highly monitored, but it's still better than physical letters. Physical letters may still be necessary sometimes though.

I don't think I'd ever communicate with a regular person via written physical letters. But it's also hard to imagine not ever mailing a physical letter in my whole life. At least some legal and bureaucratic processes still seem to require it.

I don't think so.

One, pretty much by definition, very few people can be really famous, so you're setting yourself up to fail.

Two, there's not really all that much tangible upside. Being rich is quite tangibly beneficial. Being famous is harder to put a finger on. You may get more social status in the appropriate circles, which probably isn't worth as much as you think. Probably in most situations, it's more like a gimmick - cool for about 5 seconds at a party.

Three, there are some pretty serious downsides. Check out Tim Ferris's article on it. TL;DR; is stalkers, death threats, extortion, media hit pieces, begging, impersonation, kidnapping, etc. All of the above can be especially difficult to deal with if you don't also have sufficient financial resources.

Most advice is by people who ended up in really dysfunctional places for some reason and are mad about it and probably over-reacting. I'd say just go in with an open mind, lean towards keeping your head down and learning at first. It's usually a good move to start out as bland and inoffensive as possible in dress, speech, mannerisms, etc. Read the room and get a sense for what's acceptable there and what isn't, and relax as appropriate.

Intros? Haven't seen many of 'em, but you're welcome to. Post away by all means!

FWIW, I've tended to think we're probably doing fine just as we are actually and not to sweat too much over periodic variability of CWR comment count. I think it's probably a good thing that even our more real-world famous posters don't advertise the site much, as it would probably draw in a lot of low-quality posters who break the rules, make more work for the mods, make the experience worse for current posters, etc. I think people who make good-quality posters are more likely to find us on their own. How did you end up here?

I think Motte-style debating is usually a good template, or good practice, for discussing such topics as trans-ness as a new religion with potential adherents who are otherwise close to you. Avoid sneering and weak-manning, but point out real risks and challenges. Like to what extent is the excessive enthusiasm about the topic encouraging young people to take more radical measures that they're not really ready for, some of which will have life-long consequences.

I don't have a good source for this offhand, but I'd heard that the deal is, the rival dealers' defense lawyer convinced them to argue that the attack was a homophobic hate crime because he thought it would get them a lesser sentence than a drug deal gone wrong. Not sure if that was a good idea then, but apparently the story got legs and next thing you know, it's the Standard Accepted Truth.

Is it actually plausible? Why don't we see this play out in real life? America has plenty of violent crime, but it's all unorganized violent crime, which doesn't translate to power. With all the technology and guns and tribalism, why is there so little organized political or ideological violence (people getting shoved or pepper sprayed don't count)?

I've actually wondered about this off and on. There seems to be remarkably little organized political violence in America despite the high cultural and political tensions. There have been many times and places where such tensions would have resulted in hot Civil War. I'm defining organized violence as multiple people actively planning to commit some specific act of violence in advance, so showing up to a protest, even with weapons and armor, but without any plans for specific acts of violence, doesn't count.

I'd also note that substantial terrorist / insurgent violence has happened many times in many countries, and it seems the source is very rarely a particularly wealthy individual.

My best guess is that FBI undercover sting operations have done a tremendous job of poisoning the well against any significant group turning to violence. Run a countless stream of undercovers and CIs pushing violent plans so that you can bust anyone who follows along, in every group for every ideology. Make sure you publish all of the details about it every time. Pretty soon, anyone who proposes any type of violence will be suspected of being a Fed infiltrator, or somebody recently turned by them for some reason.

This is probably a good thing if you actually don't want lots of violence, the chaos of a failed state, etc. But it does make you wonder exactly what happens if the tensions just keep rising, but nobody ever does any real violence.

Which does bring us back to - you can write a movie or book about anything. But if we're talking about reality, or concerned about being realistic, how does our generic eccentric billionaire find people who aren't total losers to commit violence? Anyone with any clue would suspect they're being set up. Maybe you can find some of those losers, but they usually don't seem to be that good at working in teams or following instructions.

You might find the Violent Class post here interesting - it's a good write-up of the "Warrior Class" perspective. I've seen the point in a few other places that, even within the military, the percent of people who actually do violence is pretty small and sometimes seems like a completely different world.

I tried to look into this some a while back, mostly along the lines of, what's the deal with the supposedly-Nazi Azov Battalion working together with Jewish Ukraine President Zelensky? What I came away with is, there's more than one perspective on Nazism.

There's the actual original Nazi party, a creature of 1920s Germany. Started out with mostly reasonable-sounding goals, but went to a very bad place. They're long gone now though, and nobody but some nerdy historians seems terribly concerned with what they actually thought and why.

There's how modern Westerners see Nazism, a mix of authoritarianism, warmongering imperialism, and racism and anti-semitism to the point of genocide. Reasonable given our perspective and role in the actual war, but probably not very well connected to how actual Nazi party members saw themselves.

How Russians and Eastern Europeans saw Nazism is another perspective entirely, with no connection to either of the others. Many in Russia, particularly Russian nationalists, see them as a horrific menace, bent on total destruction of their people and culture, that they only barely survived by tremendous effort and sacrifice. And quite a few in Ukraine, particularly Ukrainian Nationalists, see them primarily as a bulwark against Soviet/Russian domination, which was itself quite brutal and arguably genocidal against Ukrainians. I believe this strain is what Azov represents - it's just a meme demonstrating that they're really, seriously, majorly opposed to Russian domination. I don't think they have any awareness of, much less actually share, any of the actual viewpoints and goals of the original Nazi party, and of course have nothing to do with the Western view of Nazism. I think they'd be utterly baffled if you tried to discuss with them whether they intended to rampage across Europe and round up all the Jews if they were to win. They'd have no idea where you were coming from or how you got it into your head that they might want to do that.

I never claimed either of those.

The Germans were pretty evil, but "uniquely" is a much stronger claim that's more difficult to justify. Making it would invite difficult to judge comparisons with everything ever done by every other country, which is why I didn't make it.

I also didn't claim they wanted to exterminate everyone who wasn't German. They treated civilians and POWs of Western allies about as well as you could ask for during a war AFAIK, including even Jews (Jewish soldiers that is, not so much civilians of other European nations they overran). And they were of course allied with Imperial Japan and Italy.

And they weren't quite as annihilationist about Slavs as they were about Jews and Gypsies, but they certainly weren't treated nicely. I think anyone attempting to make the argument that the Nazis were not anti-Slav is ignoring quite a lot of evidence and horrors.


Whether or not German racial purity laws considered Slavs to be "Aryan" or not isn't terribly important. I guess that's what's actually being argued there. It may or may not be technically true, but it doesn't change the fact that the Nazi regime launched effectively a war of annihilation against the Slavs, seeking to seize "Lebensraum " for the "German race" from them, produced boatloads of propaganda claiming the Slavs were subhuman, and then via the Barbarossa Decree declared that it was in fact a war of extermination and there would be no such thing as a war crime on that front.

And yeah, that's SecureSignals, our resident Nazi apologist. I don't think he'd even object to that label. We do need a little of that, since the anti-Nazi types aren't free from bullshit either, but yeah you might want a large grain of salt on that subject.

I finished House To House. Not much more to say about it than what I said last week. The remainder of the book is mostly minute-to-minute gory detail of SSG Bellavia's mostly single-handed fight to retake a particular house in a tricky location from some well-dug-in insurgents. Exciting and engaging stuff for sure. but not a ton of deep insight.

Started reading The Devil's Chessboard by David Talbot. Non-fiction, apparently about how Allen Dulles and I guess associates formed a sort of secret government starting in the 60s or so I guess. I suppose I'll see how good it ends up being.

On the one hand, it could be seen as a knee-jerk over-reaction based on the cultural prominence of this overall viewpoint.

On the other, the thread OP did say "scares the shit out of me" about it, and did not elaborate on exactly what was so scary about a thousand-ish men being given some weapons in the middle of a huge war involving many hundreds of thousands on both sides.