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joined 2022 September 05 18:46:30 UTC


User ID: 678



2 followers   follows 0 users   joined 2022 September 05 18:46:30 UTC


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User ID: 678

I'll throw a bit of a wrench in this.

This process usually helps the Republicans. 2020 is a bit of an exception.

Let me explain what I'm talking about here. I've been interested in this subject since say, 2000-ish, when I came across some local articles talking about how local civic groups (generally red coded) were actually paying to upgrade local voting systems. And then the whole Bush V. Gore thing happened, and shit hit the fan and it got ugly. But it got me interested in the subject regarding Margins of Errors, and their effect on elections.

The short version is that MoE rates differ based on different forms of voting, and this difference I believe can swing close elections. I also argue, again, that generally this process helps Republicans.

What happened in 2020? Truth be told, I think both sides just played lawfare more than anything, and the Democrats won in such a way that may have swung the election. Trump wanted to discredit the mail-in votes, Biden wanted to maximize their counting. So you had a situation where the way a lot of Democratic voters were voting, actually was a way that ended up having a much lower Margin of Error than what it normally would have, because they were maximally counting all votes.

I don't believe there are any good guys in all this, to be clear.

Let me put it this way. If a candidate put forward in some form about why Margin of Error hacking isn't something we should want in a democratic system, that would be a huge green flag for me, in that I'd have much more significant trust in the quality of politics/policy that would come from that candidate/leader. I don't think a campaign should be based around it, to be clear. But I do think there's a smart way to approach the subject.

My position remains the same. US elections are terrible, the 2020 election was particularly terrible, Trump lost because he didn't play the game as well as his opponents, that's the way it is, suck it up and deal unless you're going to make US elections not terrible (I.E. nationwide standards and rules, or at least state-wide standards and rules)

Certainly people talk about "Billionaires" all the time. But below that? Not so much. And yeah, sometimes you'll see it targeted specifically at certain (usually outgroup) people...but generally this isn't something that's challenged, outside of an extreme minority of targets. I don't think this has always been the case, or is always the case, but I think there's a lack of awareness that the socialism different people envision might not be the same thing. Some people might truly envision a prioritizing of the working class, while others see shifting power and control to the managerial/professional classes.

Yeah, I think this is right, or at least it's my point. I actually think people hold on to dear life to the Oppressor/Oppressed frame so we don't break this image, lest we start questioning the connections and the generational wealth. The one thing I believe strongly, is we don't have the stomach for actual socioeconomic decline. Even the most Progressive of the Progressives will balk at this when it comes to they and theirs. It's OK when it's just "Billionaires", but when it comes down to specifics that are in the in-group? Nah. Not an option.

The big threat that comes from heterodox thinking on this, I think, is that we add connections to the DEI anti-list, I.E. things that will be counted in a negative sense. In that, it's not the unconnected white men that will lose out...it's the connected ones. You best be coming with your DEI proposal, a plan for your eventual exit. I think there's a reason why people go nuclear on heterodox thinking on these matters, things outside the Progressive vs. Reactionary binary, that all this stuff presents itself as a very real threat to not just the powers in a big sense, but your place and power in a more local sense.

See, to me this feels odd because it leaves out one crucial point. People being primarily motivated by social status. It's not, why should I bother to save if government money is coming in the future? It's why should I bother to save if I'm going to take a significant hit to my social status and image today? Lockdown and stimulus basically served as a sort of supercharger for this competition. People are not going to like the solution however, which is essentially that the middle class/upper middle class has too much discernable income, and probably should be taxed significantly more.

I don't think this is a TikTok problem per se. I think the question is, why is the strict Oppressor/Oppressed dichotomy so hip and cool? Speaking as someone who is totally against that model. Why does opposing these models make you look so....nerdy, if not outright vile? I still maintain the reason is because the strict Oppressor/Oppressed dichotomy freezes out other facets of power, privilege and bias which actually serve to build/maintain power for influencer types. It serves the tribal in-group vs. out-group thinking. In short, it feels good and it's actually of little cost, because you're not actually expected to apply it to yourself or the people around you. It's OK to just apply it to the other.

My take on him has always been that he's an anarcho-socialist who understands the dangers of the managerial state. There is a theoretical model to thread that needle. I've always said I like anarcho-socialists, but I don't see how you actually thread that needle, how you bring that into practice. How do you defang the managerial state, and how you deal with people who are simply not "wired" for living with the necessary personal aesthetics for anarcho-socialism? (I.E. very concerned with relative status and power games)

I actually feel like Narnia is a good example of this, in that I think that through the series, there's a very real change in it that pushes it more towards what I would consider to be propaganda, in a negative sense. Maybe that's my own tastes or whatever, but I think it makes something clear, that it's not such a cut or dry thing. It's not that certain ideas or concepts are in your book, it's how they're presented. (Although I still argue that I think it would be absurdly difficult to present the content of the last book in a way that doesn't go deep into this)

I don't even think this requires actual ideology. Nepotism gets you to the same place. And there are people that would argue (including me) that a lot of these culture wars in gaming and the media are based around nepotism, and see identitarianism as a way to distract from this.

I know at my workplace, they're having to redo the diversity training because it put nepotism on the same level as other forms of discrimination and people did not like it.

Yeah. I thought it was pretty good. Not great 'tho.

I would have cut the budget on that thing significantly 'tho. And I don't mean that as a critique per se. Just that I think they way overestimated the interest in such a game. Just to be clear, I think Control (their previous game) is a much better game overall.

One of the big complaints about the modern trends in gaming is the disappearance of the "AA" game. That sort of middle-ground between budget/indie and AAA. I think Alan Wake 2 should have been an AA game.

Could you spell out how that works, because I don't necessarily see the straight logic there -- my guess is that progressivism is orthogonal to monogamers/polygamers.

At least what I said is my experience. I feel like people who play a wide variety of games simply are not going to waste the resources picking up expensive DLC/Microtransactions? For what you could pay getting an outfit for your Diablo 4 character (which is stupid expensive), there's a lot of options out there for great experiences you could get. There's simply more competition for the gaming dollar, I think.

But the number of people who can quickly scan a character roster for skin color or can develop an opinion about the sexual orientation of NPC romance options is much higher. It might just be bike-shedding.

I think also, people who are watching a large number of games see trends, even if they're there or not. And one of the big trends people see right now is downplaying the attractiveness of female characters in a way they are NOT doing for male characters. And of course, people tie that (not necessarily incorrectly) into various Progressive theories and models, and you get what you get.

In reality, I think the touchpoint really comes down to 3 games, all of which did quite poorly, objectively. Saint's Row, Forsaken and Suicide Squad. I think 2 had technical issues (I thought the demo for Forsaken was decent), but I think all three, story wise, had issues in that they just came across as bad, tone-wise. I think that certain cultural tone simply doesn't have the wide appeal that the bigwigs think it has. Now, I think Suicide Squad the issues were more with the gameplay than the story, (people didn't want a shoot the purple glowing button live service game) but still. I do think it's a problem.

My own personal viewpoint is that it's larger than one consulting firm. And considering that Alan Wake 2, IMO was actually pretty good, and SBI DID consult on that, I do think the problem is somewhere else. Myself? I've given up on North American AAA. And yeah, Forsaken was Japanese developed, but they WANTED to be a North American game in so many ways.

I do think there's something wrong in the NA AAA space, and I do think the explosion of Progressive politics plays a role, but it's not a direct one, other than the moral license issues. I think it's just a narrow culture, much more narrow than it thinks it is, and that's the problem. Outside of NA, and I disagree, GTA 6 I think will probably be fine if it's still rooted in the nascent anti-Americanism, I think around the rest of the world, even Left/Progressive coded games are fine.

FWIW this is more of a meta fight than anything else. And I mean, for me I always thought that eventually all the culture wars really settled into the "Who, Whom" question. Who creates the rules and on whom are they enforced. I think everything else falls away to the side next to that. Modern Online Progressivism falls particularly hard into that I think, being that the Oppressor/Oppressed dichotomy is stupid toxic to actually internalize/actualize, and I think everybody knows it. People focus on diversity and representation, but I don't actually think that's the issue...I think it serves more as a sort of MAGA hat, a visible symbol of personal politics, although certainly nowhere as clear. In fact, I would certainly say that I think people are oversensitive in that regard.

But that doesn't mean that the "Who, Whom" question isn't a problem.

The other thing I'll add on that, is that you're talking about in-game transactions...I'm going to make the argument that these things might not be as far unrelated as you think, for a couple of reasons. First, I think there's the issue of Moral License, which I think is real here, and essentially, that MOP culture is a Moral License factory. It has to be to prevent itself from self-destructing in a spiral of pain, self-destruction and shame. It has to believe itself is not part of that Patriarchal, White Supremacist, Colonialist society on an individual level. So...does this Moral License extend to kinda justifying exploitative business models?

But I think there's another thing. I do think there's an assumption that the Blue Ocean audiences being looked for are of a higher socioeconomic class. And I think there's a belief that they tend to be more monogamers, I.E. people more focused on a title or two rather than something much more broad. (My understanding/experience is the people who are upset about the double standards/hypocrisy in Progressive journalism tend to be more Polygamers, people who play a wide variety of gaming experiences...but that means that we don't spend as much on individual titles...although I'd argue there's a higher level of value sensitivity there as well) But more than that, I think they're fishing for the so-called whales. The people who will drop absurd amounts of money on a single game.

That's my take at least. I do think that this is a meta issue and it's a class issue, as across the board, entertainment and culture companies are looking to replace lower-status with higher-status audiences.

Edit: I just want to add one thing I've been thinking about this. One of the thing I'm seeing from the Progressive side, is that none of the critiques aimed at them make sense. I disagree entirely. I think raw anti-Progressivism is actually rational for some people. Not all people. But some. I think if you're more vulnerable to internalizing those models of power, or you think you lack the social cred to not be judged based on those models of power (and let's be honest, that's what's going on here by and large) it makes complete total sense why people would be straight-up reactionary against this modern Progressive culture. I actually wish there was a better alternative to be clear. But it kinda is what it is.

A few days ago, a steam curator was created listing all the games that have SBI's involvement as "not recommended". The situation is played out predictably: some employees claimed harassment, the steam group got Streisand Effect'd and grew to 200k over the last two days, it has been mass reported, people are trolling in the fora claiming to have insider info, the forum got wiped...

So, the problem is you're missing the inciting incident here, which is understandable because all the articles on the subject completely missed it. Things blew up when an employee for SBI tried to start a campaign to mass-report the curator group and the curator himself to get him banned from Steam. That all the articles on the subject skip that IS why it's a big deal. It really is the "Gamers are Dead" articles all over again.

My own thoughts on SBI more broadly? I think it's a really bad sign when a company is advertising itself as being behind a few of the big stinkers of the last year or two. (Suicide Squad, Forsaken, Saint's Row). There's a lot of games also on their list that people thought took a step down or two. But...honestly I think not really because of SBI.

I think North American AAA is in really bad shape right now. I actually do think it's linked to Progressive culture, in that the ego and hubris, and frankly, the narcissism doesn't just go away when you sit down to do your job. I think the Modern Online Progressivism that's in vogue right now is essentially a Moral License factory...it has to be given how toxic some of their ideas are to actualize.

The thing is, I don't think it's Western. I think Alan Wake 2, even though it underperformed, AND showed up on the SBI list was pretty good (although it probably could have been better), I think Baldur's Gate 3 is one of the best games out there. And while Cyberpunk 2077 was buggy and lacked features...I think there was a lot of good in that game (and post 2.0 update I think it's superb)

So yeah. Just don't bother with North American AAA. It's boring and vapid.

But the controversy is the same. The media people want us to believe that Progressives are all pure and wonderful and rainbows and sunshine when our eyes tell us other things.

There's a lot of people who put FF14 as the #1 story in gaming. Including myself. Yeah, the way the story is told is kinda weird because of the MMO format, but the story beats themselves, I believe, are top-notch, or at least for me they resonate super hard.

Gonna play a bit of devil's advocate on the subject. Not entirely, just a tad. Because I do think there's some reasonable concepts behind the core idea, that Canada's population needs to increase dramatically. Canada has a lot of open space. To be blunt. So I don't think it's unreasonable to think that over time Canada would be better off on the global stage with a significantly higher population. As well, it's a way to get around demographic surges among older people.

I actually think these are good points.

The problem is that the implementation has been awful. There's a number of problems.

The big one, is that I think that immigration programs needs to be controlled for skills (or desire skills). You need to maintain relatively healthy balances of your entire labor market to ensure that things don't go out of whack and you get shortages in one place or another.

The other side of that coin, is credentialism. That is, various licensing regimens doing their best to keep out outsiders in order to artificially boost wages. Then you put on top of that the role of post-secondary education itself, and their role in massively importing labor.

The end result is just tons of essentially low-skill labor and people locked into that role. Relatively few people are coming over to do construction work, and the barriers to entry for that are massive anyway. Truth be told, I have nothing against people coming over, taking high-end or relatively high-end courses and ending up with good jobs. I don't think that's where the problem is. The problem really is down the line.

There's another part of the problem as well, and that's geographic distribution. Yes, Canada has a LOT of room. We can't have an overwhelming % of people living in a few large cities. I'd argue we need the will and the ability to "upshift" smaller cities into larger ones. Or maybe even building a city from scratch. We can't just keep on dumping people into the Toronto area.

If we want to do the whole 100 million thing (that's the goal), there's going to need to be a plan to address all those things I mentioned above. And as it stands right now, there's absolutely not.

Does the middle class actually have a lower standard of living in those countries? From the way I see it, I don't think that's the case at all. Sure, relatively speaking obviously it's lower, compared to their own lower classes. I would make the argument that it's possible that prices are going to adjust to whatever the middle class can afford to pay, so all you're doing with lower class/middle class inequality is making life worse for the lower classes with little actual benefit for the middle classes. (And I really don't care about relative benefit, as I think that's not a healthy way to view things)

Why does anybody have to be right?

That's what I don't get about the whole thing. I was trying to explain to this someone the other day, and it was like, I'm not actually defending GG here per se, unless you look at context as a a form of defense. But in reality, there was a LOT of crappiness that was coming from that anti-GG community, that IMO laid much of the cultural groundwork for modern Pop Progressive culture as I call it. Was it worse than the GG people themselves? I don't think that's a relevant question. I think the real answer is that online activism is just...well...crappy, or at least it has a tendency to be such.

I've actually come up with a name for this. I kinda had to because I'm seeing it more and more these days, and it's more aggressive than ever. I call it "Dark Femme". It's basically this mix of traditional and modern gender norms that always benefit one direction, and frankly, is often incoherent.

I'm just going to put my two cents here, just to make it easy. I do think there's something to avoiding the crazy. However, let me say this. I've seen a lot lately, discussion about it's not actually "All Men" and maybe women should have some agency and responsibility for recognizing and avoiding red flags. And people do not react well to this at all.

Frankly, this Dark Femme culture wants the toxicity and excitement of the red flags, but in a safe controlled way. One of the first things I said when I abandoned Progressive politics (before it was even really a thing TBH) was that I rejected the "theme park" expectations that society be made into a super-safe but still exciting place that caters to people's wants and desires in a perfect way tailored for them. It's just not possible.

So yeah. Don't stick your dick in crazy seems like good advice. But that advice doesn't go down well at all when it's coming back around.

Yes, absolutely. On the more serious side, this brings to mind Scott Aaronson's comment quoted in Untitled, on the less serious side of this David Mitchell bit.

Yup. Like I said, I really do think, especially in the Aaronson case, we're talking about very much maladaptive socialization.

Unfortunately I believe you're right. To the extent the trade off is even acknowledged (and it is generally treated as though it does not exist), it is acknowledged as being worthwhile.

My experience is always being blamed for taking this shit too seriously. Just to make it clear. The response is something more like you're just messed up, go get therapy. (Even though there's a good chance the therapy is going to reinforce these ideas)

I think the problem is a desire to maintain Kayfabe, the idea is one side is good, and the other side is bad. I do think this is almost a necessary function of a power-based political movement, be it left right or center. You simply can't acknowledge costs and trade-offs, or find ways to mitigate them. So what happens is that the costs are simply excised as much as possible to whatever out-group you have.

I actually do think it manifests in a lot of ways, especially in a gender fashion, although it also pops up from time to time in regards to race. For example, encouraging men to not speak up and to let women speak, because historically women don't get a chance to speak. Or the whole diAngelo approach to race relations.

What makes this hard, is that I don't think that most people actually internalize/actualize these ideas in this way of course...especially advocates for these ideas. They really don't self-deconstruct, and this is why this isn't a recognized danger. However, I do think there are some people who are vulnerable to these messages. And I do believe this is one of the big reasons why we see links between autism and a desire to transition...they're people who are more likely to internalize these messages and self-deconstruct. And again, there's no shade being thrown here on this. I'm one of those people.

My take on a lot of the culture wars, especially when it comes to kids, is that Progressive ideas need "guardrails" to prevent vulnerable internalizers from taking these messages too seriously and personally. As well, they need help after the fact in being "deprogrammed" from these messages. The problem is again that this isn't a recognized problem, so there's very little ability to get effective help out there.

Personally, to be blunt, I don't think there's much interest in actually putting up said guardrails. Which is why I think kids shouldn't be exposed to this stuff. But I'd be OK with these ideas put forward alongside alternatives if those guardrails were there. (The truth is, the alternatives themselves might be effective guardrails on their own).

As a side note, to maybe throw some fuel on this fire, much of this I believe goes for the whole Incel thing as well. People argue about how to fix that problem, and a lot of it is deprogramming the anti-male/anti-masculine rhetoric that's been common for a few decades now.

At least for me, it's on a bit of a different vector. My concern is activists who want people, including kids, to be self-critical of their identity characteristics in a social, cultural and political fashion. Everything else comes after this point. It's the symptoms of that original cause.

Self-deconstruction is inherently very unhealthy. It's not something that should be encouraged in any way, shape or form. Yes, I'm talking from personal experience about this. And yes, I do think it makes kids vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.

My personal take on this is we're dealing with several similar looking but substantially different phenomenon. I do think that there are actual deep-rooted innate brain-body mismatches, and transition is certainly an option those people should have.

But I agree with the OP largely here was well. I simply can't see the current in-vogue model of gender, politics and personality traits being healthy. Because I don't believe it is at all. And I do think it can trigger something that approaches and looks like gender dysphoria....but it also probably could be treated with therapy that acknowledged these pressures in the first place. But it's getting people to acknowledge these pressures that's the tricky bit. It breaks Kayfabe hard.

  1. Labor policies designed around maintaining a healthy work/life balance and encouraging participation in society. The whole "on-call 24/7" thing for low-wage workers simply isn't sustainable.