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User ID: 1850



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User ID: 1850

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There is a critical flaw with your advice.

The definition of luxury belief is beliefs you can afford to have. "Study your hobby and things will work out" is a luxury belief for exactly this reason, because you can get away with studying your hobby and things will work out for you in the end (if you have additional options to fall back on or money is not a concern at all). Why would you ever broadcast that you can't afford to have these luxury beliefs? What are you, poor?

The problem isn't that these beliefs are wrong, it's that America is the land of temporarily embarrassed millionaires. You see this all the time because it is a culture obsessed with broadcasting their success. Some woman wrote a book in coffee stores and made a billion dollars, why can't you do that? She proved it's possible! What are you, stupid? Kids see streamers their age making six figures a year. Why would you study hard when you can stick your face in front of a camera and make money for acting like a moron and playing video games! What are you, stupid?

What they don't see are all the failures. Failures are invisible. For every JK Rowling there's millions of writers, even published ones, who can't pay a power bill with book royalties. For every Mr Beast there's a thousand people humiliating themselves on Twitch for pennies in the name of Content.

The two have different telos.

The goal of progressivism, in its maximalist form, is the creation of utopia on earth by human hands. It posits that not only is this possible, but that the 'long arc of history' is driven towards such ends. In its minimalist form, it attempts to improve the lot of all human beings.

Christianity emphasizes the immortal soul and considers this corrupted earth to be on a downward slide towards depravity and godlessness. Paradise is not possible outside the spiritual domain and the material world is considered transitory. In its minimalist form, it encourages the actions of its followers to mimic Christ in preparation for the next world.

Life is a competition. You don't have to win, but you have to recognize that you are in it. The hardest thing to accept is that just because other people win simply by existing is not proof you can do the same.

Invest in yourself and in experiences, not things. Travel widely. Listen more than you speak.

People are terrible and great simultaneously. Don't let either one stop you from seeing the other half.

You're onto something. The goal of fiction isn't to recreate reality, but I think the further the creative class gets from the working class the worse mass-market entertainment gets. You have to really dig around or look at niche works, or be able to swallow pretentiousness that hasn't been eclipsed by the creator's ego.

Ghostbusters (1984) is a story about schlubby guys getting jobs as supernatural firefighters and pest control. The villain of that story isn't Gozer, it's the EPA inspector who has no clue what they actually do. More and more, the creative class seem to be EPA inspectors.

Oppenheimer was not evenly awful about this, which is the sadder part. A couple of the scientists (and notably Kitty) were fine. Oppenheimer was being portrayed as a weird autist. By far the worst thing about that movie was about how Nolan portrayed his relationship with Tatlock; it was like watching two wooden blocks rubbing together. The infamous Bhagavad Gita line is somehow... a seduction tactic? I vaguely remember some backlash over it.

Video game writing is one thing. Have you seen Hollywood recently?

I went to the cinema recently and saw two movies. One is Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire. It's Kaiju Wrestlemania, the monster fights are pretty fun, Kong at one point beats a monkey with another monkey. Entertainment. And in between it all is some of the most agonizing, painfully bad human-scale plots, characters and exposition I've seen. Granted, it's a movie about a nuclear dinosaur fighting a giant monkey, it's not exactly somewhere people look for good writing. It's going to make a lot of money.

The other was a matinee showing, I woke up early, offset a healthy morning walk with some unhealthy breakfast, went to an AM showing of the only flick that still had the discount pricing. Some anime flick called Haikyuu: The Dumpster Battle. It's an animated movie about high school volleyball featuring two teams playing a single best-of-3 match in the lower bracket of a tournament.

After finishing that movie, I came out of it gobsmacked. Not because it was great or anything, but because this nothing anime movie from a series I don't think is any good managed to clear the what seems like a ridiculous bar, these days, of being a human story about humans doing human things. You know, a story featuring characters who drink water and breathe air. Humans.

It's not that Japan is somehow exceptional at this, it just seems like Hollywood has entirely forgotten what humans are like. How they talk, how they think, how they react around other people. What they care about. It seems like the ability to model human beings, or write from their perspectives, is completely missing.

When Hollywood writes characters these days, they almost inevitably end up as one of the following:

  1. Cliches
  2. Cartoon characters
  3. Obnoxious

Or some combination of the above.

To go back to GxK: the cast of characters in that movie exploring Hollow Earth are as follows. The adoptive mother of a mute child, who is having trouble connecting to her adoptive daughter (probably the closest to an actual person, cliche). Angry security man who is rough, tough, and angry at everyone for no apparent reason (cliche, cartoon character). Weird surfer Australian hippie kaiju vet heavily implied to be adoptive mother's ex boyfriend (cartoon character). Mute girl who can talk to Kong (plot device). Chubby black podcast conspiracy nerd trying to get views on a podcast and complaining about trolls (cartoon character, obnoxious, cliche).

None of these people are people. I don't know if they drink water or breathe air. The podcast guy looked and acted like if you cut him he'd bleed Monster Energy. None of them talk like human beings. Their dialogue is either snappy oneliners, built for movie trailers, or clunky exposition. It's telling that the movie's best sequences featured exclusively kaiju, had no dialogue whatsoever, and props to the special effects team - Kong was capable of emoting and communicating who he was and his thoughts and feelings to the audience far better than any of these cardboard cutouts in the shape of human actors.

Haikyuu: The Dumpster Battle opens with a slow, almost arthouse-movie-esque sequence, with things framed off center or slightly out of frame, where a dispassionate character who doesn't care about the sport of volleyball at all is lost on his way getting to a practice bootcamp and doesn't consider it a big deal. His phone is out of power. And instead of trying to find his way to bootcamp with any urgency, he sits down and we hear the sound of a handheld video game console powering up.

I almost wanted to jump up in my chair and point at the fucking screen, as if Hollywood were watching: It do be like that. In a sequence that's two minutes long at maximum we have established who this kid is, what he's like, his attitude, and what he cares about. Why does it seem impossible for Hollywood to write stories about people? Regular people, working-class salt-of-the-earth human beings? Are they just bad at modeling what those people are like? Do they know any? In lieu of this, I have to conclude that the writers genuinely do believe human beings are either cliches, cartoon characters, or obnoxious.

My working theory is that the ability of western writers to model other human beings seems stunted. The current crop are narcissists, incompetent, or incapable of basic human empathy. Either that, or whatever they put down doesn't survive peer and funding review.

Beyond that, the other takeaway I had is that Hollywood seems to have completely lost the ability to impose any sort of meaning on their stories. I don't mean in a didactic or parable like sense, but I mean in the sort of literal 'here are the story stakes' meaning.

GxK, spoilers, has stakes like the world ending in a new potential ice age. H:TDB is a sports movie about a single lower bracket game in a high school tournament. Somehow, the latter was a story that felt like it had higher stakes. Every hard rally meant something, every small micro-victory and every way characters and their ideologies were tested felt impactful and meaningful.

This is not my experience, or my read of the 4chan video.

The 4chan video is sophisticated race-baiting and trolling of a sort I expect from the chans. It is specifically designed to incite anger, disgust and revulsion, an inflammatory piece of content in search of an audience. This is incredibly consistent with the standard 4chan MO, which largely boils down to trying to get a reaction. As this behavior is now widespread across the entire internet and it becomes harder and harder to shock people, they have to try harder to get a reaction.

To put it shortly: Gawker and their ilk turned trolling into a clickbait business. And then clickbait proved to be not really all that profitable, in the end. What are outrage merchants to do except escalate?

I don't think people are mostly good. I also think power law is universal and those who don't strive lose to those who do. People who don't think this is true have not lost hard enough yet, or are sufficiently isolated from the consequences of their losing that they don't notice those who are losing. I think the latter is one of the great tragedies of human civilization, and the more divorced from reality the elite or ruling caste get, the closer disaster gets (c.f. Marie Antoinette).

If you can joke about it, and people get the joke, maybe you should reconsider your priors for 'manifestly untrue'.

I disagree so strongly with you and your point is so alien to me that I don't think it's possible we can have any realistic dialogue.

To quote a discussion further up the thread: what is the purpose of the game? Why is it a game? What comprises a game? What is the purpose of gameplay? To me, a game must have win state and lose state. Otherwise, it's not a video game. Otherwise you would have to expand the definition of 'gameplay' to include the act of turning a page in a book or hitting play on a media player for a movie. Winning has meaning because losing matters.

Have you ever interacted with a child and handed them something for free? Expecting them to value it at all is a joke. Make them earn something, something nontrivial, and they will treat it like a treasured heirloom.

The dialogue between the game designer and the player is the point of the game. You seem to be under the impression that the reason games are designed to be hard is to weed out players. I don't think any game designer thinks like this, especially as they are subject to financial incentives that explicitly want the game to find the widest possible audience.

I think this take and your favorite Soulslike being Sekiro are entirely at odds, which is what I don't get.

Souls, and to the greatest extent Elden Ring, allow you to use the game's systems, content and options to make the game as difficult or as easy as you want. Even in Demon's Souls, you could essentially powermax your character through repetitive soul farming until you trivialized a lot of the content, serving as a sort of soft difficulty modification depending on how the player wanted to play. There are options in the game that can make the majority of bosses a joke, and the oneshot magic spell is a meme in the Elden Ring community.

Sekiro is not like that. You either have reflexes or you don't. If you don't parry, you're dead. People who don't have the reflexes to accurately do so are never going to be able to complete Sekiro by design.


I want to engage, but I think doing so would be largely pointless given that the conversation seems to be entirely about semantics and a misunderstanding of terminology.

I got about four sentences in before I realized that you're taking a remarkably reductive view of things and then basing whatever argument you have on that reductive view.

Modern society is only "in love with Darwin" to the extent that people believe they are going to outcompete the ones that will be eliminated by evolution. If you've read the last couple of weekly Culture War threads, an actually interesting topic has come up in the pile of black tar that's the HBD debate; the popularity of rejecting the conclusions of HBD because it posits you can't improve your life beyond what your genetics have preordained for you.

Evolution doesn't care who (or what) it kills. It just kills, and those left behind get to go on. What would you do, if someone told you that you've been naturally selected out of the gene pool and you're doomed to no bitches?

We in many cases actively fuck with evolution because the implications (and actions taken on behalf of those implications) are frequently obscene. Our modern society protects the weak, the infirm, the elderly, and even with the massive advantages enjoyed by intelligent individuals who can leverage their intelligence in first world societies, the first world is essentially reproducing below replacement.

The future belongs to those who show up. All else is word games, dross, arguments, bullshit. To make it worse, we have no idea what might be evolutionarily advantageous and everyone who thinks they do is probably lying to you, subject to recency bias against timescales completely irrelevant to evolution, or self-selecting themselves not to die. If tomorrow some cosmic entity beyond our comprehension snaps its fingers and kills every person who was not born blind, the blind will inherit the earth, who gives a shit what the people with 20/20 vision managed to do.

That's because this is what winning looks like.

Someone once said power is demonstrated by the ability to make outcomes that disadvantage people you don't like look like they occur naturally.

Here's my version: power is demonstrated by the ability to entirely avoid, or even remain entirely ignorant of, the negative consequences of your actions.

The losers have to eat shit. They also get to see the winners shovel it at them even if it is completely by accident.

Pokemon Unbound deserves all the accolades it gets. The game is so expansive, feature-rich and high quality that it begs the question what Game Freak have been doing all this time.

Enderal, for Skyrim. A passion project made by lunatics.

I hear some buzz about Dark Souls Archthrones recently.

I don't understand this example. Are you implying that a sane authoritarian government would exert their power to ban the burning of hydrocarbons for heating or cooking?

How is that in any way sane, especially if they don't have the power to stop other countries from doing it? Unless you are advocating for this sane authoritarian government invading all the others and maintaining this ban through force of arms, in which case it makes more sense, but still a fair ways away from 'sane'. Doing so would require the development and manufacture of weapons at scale, which unfortunately requires large amounts of hydrocarbons.

The reason why is irrelevant. There could be any number of reasons, from cheaper labor to less regulations to quality differences to productivity reasons. But governments are made up of people, and people who are incentivized not to let things fail are obviously going to work in service of those claims.

The Chinese factory example is apt. If you are a western nation, can you compete with that workforce, notoriously selective regulation and an ability to simply make as much as the market can absorb? Well, sure, you could. What's stopping you, aside from, well - the people in your country? (Cf. American Factory)

The other side of the Bretton Woods financial coin making money fungible across national boundaries: if you don't have some sort of protectionism in place, your economy will see significant cash outflows to foreign countries. This is hugely beneficial to countries that are primarily export based, as the US was post-WW2... and not so much in the other direction.

Mercantilism never left and is in fact in use today in many sectors, with distorting effects on the market. The various more upmarket civilizational stacks existed on top of it, not displacing it entirely.

I'm not a hardcore libertarian or staunch believer in the free market, but it's trivial to understand that countries will naturally protect their own market when they believe they are noncompetitive.

I dispute your first point. The white liberal is still motivated by status seeking and dominance, but within their own ingroup. They are seeking status and dominance amongst other white liberals. They're not surrounded by non-whites and they see those people as powerless, what's the loss in status? As far as they're concerned, non-whites aren't even at the table, and they don't engage with them anyway so what's the point.

You can see this same phenomenon among Catholic flagellates who see it as a demonstration of piety and it was called out as status-seeking behavior among Jews in the Bible (Matt 6:2 - "when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so they may be seen by men").

White liberals self-select. Go to any woke convention or conference and it's as white as the driven snow - this is especially ironic when comparing to the rainbow of diversity seen at /pol/ meetups.

Men more than women are motivated by the pursuit of dominance, true. But social dominance is, and has been, historically the arena of women.

The point is not uncontroversial, because if you're going to blame all those atrocities on intelligent people, you can't get away with being selective about it. Intelligent people gave us the semiconductor, the refrigerator, the printing press - although whether the printing press was ruinous for humanity is a matter for debate in some circles.

There's also a very good argument to be made that you can attribute the atrocities you listed to a lack of intelligence.

Animals live short, nasty, brutish lives, and I think their inability to outcompete, outproduce and exterminate everything else within reach is a matter of capability rather than need. The historical record of nature tells us that they frequently hunt, feed, and reproduce to excess, and when biomes change over time go extinct or ferociously exterminate and outcompete those occupying similar ecological niches. As far as I know, humankind is no different, we're just better at it.

Your last paragraph is typical-minding and an attempt to establish consensus. Please check your consensus at the door. There are people who take these arguments seriously, including yours, and if I took your argument seriously I'd seek the mass extermination of the human race within my own means.

Or, you know, I'd just go around trying to lower the intelligence of the human race by introducing heavy metals into the water supply.

Good riddance. I have been reading Hlynka for years and while he had a lot to contribute and had a viewpoint very underrepresented and definitely worth having on this place, he got worse and worse as time went on.

The rule that I think is most important for this forum is listed immediately underneath "be kind". Make your point reasonably clear and plain.

The thing that I despise the most about this place is the weaselly nature of some posters on an anonymous forum on the internet. What is the point of implying something or putting words into other people's mouths? Hlynka went from contributing viewpoints and arguments to making poorly veiled sneers at other people, accusing them of believing things that they say they don't believe. In the worst cases, this came across as propping up the weakest version of opposing arguments and gaslighting behavior in the extreme. I lost count of how many times I saw him say something to the extent of "you say you believe one thing, but you actually believe another, I can tell." He should have the intelligence to know when he is being baited, and the ability to separate the bait from the true believers.

What are you supposed to say when he implies someone is an an anti-semite in response to a fairly well-reasoned argument about, I don't know, HBD? (To hell with the HBD argument, by the way, it's the same fights over and over.) Whether they're an anti-semite or not, the point of this place is to address the fucking argument instead of doing a snarky driveby. Who does he think he's convincing? If the person is a genuine anti-semite who believes in Jewish space lasers and Zionist control over America, what the fuck is the point of implying someone's an anti-semite out the sides of your mouth? Is it intended to make people discredit the argument because of who's making the argument? In which case, that behavior is well enough represented outside this place and I don't want to see any more of it.

The thing is, I don't know what he hated more, the people who baited him or the true believers he found abhorrent.

We found out what other people really think and talk about, and the conclusion is intolerable. The internet's leveling effect meant that random nobodies could be signalboosted into the consciousness of the body politic.

Once undesirables were allowed an audience and became clearly visible, those who weren't undesirables wanted them destroyed, silenced, and removed from their public spaces.

Don't worry, there is an easy workaround for this mess. Just never be an undesirable in the eyes of those with power.

This is because it's incentivized.

It's beneficial for business that capital, and labor, is fungible anywhere. Something something give me control of a something something money supply, and I care not who makes the laws, to that effect.

Place-rooted culture is a competitive weakness in a post Bretton Woods international order. Over time, of course the elite of this order would have no loyalty to place. They can move and spend their money anywhere they want.

It's not an euphemism for the rejection of individual justice and individual merit. When people reject individual justice and individual merit, they do so on the basis of it producing unequal outcomes, not because those differences exist.

As opposed to arguments as soldiers, surely if your soldiers as soldiers all belong from similar genetic stock, it would be beneficial to any militaristic society to make sure that your genetic stock of troops would be stronger, faster, smarter, and harder than any other. Similarly, your doctors, scientists, you would want to be significantly more intelligent etc.

HBD awareness is currently deeply unpopular amongst the general population. There was a time when it was not, and it was considered both fashionable and critically important to the future of a nation to guard one's genetic pool against undesirable elements. The unpopularity comes from the sectarian and ethnic demographics of the United States as well as the historical atrocities performed by those who believed themselves stewards of what was considered genetically more desirable. Evolution doesn't care who it kills, it just kills, and those that don't die get to carry on.

The strife comes from the issue that no human being is psychologically or otherwise adapted to being told that they are inferior, and that inferiority comes from something that they cannot change. They act out. They cause damage. And if they don't, they descend into learned helplessness.

You'd get less pushback if you said this out loud. Especially since nothing about this argument you think is so difficult for people to understand is not regularly discussed on this forum and the limits of utilitarianism are commonly understood even by the people who espouse it depending on their utility functions.

Stop going after specific people and go after arguments. This passive-aggressive bullshit is something I expect from Americans, but as someone who tells us all frequently about how he is a member of the warrior caste, your snide jabs and thinly veiled sneers are irritating in the extreme. If you want a fight on the internet, you can get one quite easily without having to resort to these sneers where you pretend to hold yourself privy to some secret of the universe all the stupid rationalists don't get. Nothing is new under the sun, not least of which the things you think other people don't get or haven't considered.

I spoke plainly, before the server reset, about fighting ecological x-risk and climate change by nuking India, and by attachment, any other nation with significant growth potential, with the express goal of making sure that no country ever industrialized again. I was pilloried and given mod warnings, but I was still allowed to express my opinion.

By comparison, "cui bono" is barely even an argument. If you want to speak plainly, then you tell us. You tell us who benefits, and then we can see if that's true in the long or short term. Personally, I have little faith in the ability of anyone at all to plan for long term outcomes, especially if the outcomes are distributed over other people.

Fair accusations, but I believe nobody has consistent principles. Having consistent principles is not socially or evolutionarily advantageous in the long run. To navigate a world where power changes hands constantly, fluid principles are a necessary precondition for survival for those without power.

As mentioned, banning drunk driving is an attempt at modification of unwanted behavior. There is also self-preservation strategy; drunk drivers are a hazard to anyone who has to use the street.

And post-COVID I'm not sure anyone believes the FDA is non-politicized anymore. Today, the FDA picks winners and losers w.r.t. the pharmaceutical industry.