Sunday, April 30, 2017

Humor at Yale? Yes!

I noticed the other day that the SJW brigade at Yale was having a "hunger strike" out in front of some building there for some (presumably idiotic) reason that only an SJW would understand.

Yale University graduate students are holding a tag-team hunger strike to demand a union contract, with plans to send in fresh strikers to replace members who become too hungry.

Eight members of Local 33—UNITE HERE, a newly formed union representing graduate student-teachers, started the hunger strike Tuesday after preparing their stomachs for several days beforehand by only eating vegetables, fruits, and eventually, just liquids.

Now, the words "hunger strike" are in quotes because this is a tag-team hunger strike. When you get hungry you can tap out, and somebody else will step in to not-eat while you go get a burger.

But none of the four student-teachers the Independent interviewed said they were willing to risk hospitalization. If not eating endangers a student's health, that individual will sub out and another union member will assume their place in renouncing meals — a moveable fast, if you will.

That in and of itself is funny. But the Yale Republicans club found comedy GOLD among the humorless snowflakes:

I don't know what's more shocking to me. That Yale has Republicans or that someone at Yale has a sense of humor.

Who knew?

The guy who tweeted this out was hard-pressed to find the funny.

But I find it all manner of hilarious.

They set up a real barbecue fundraiser in front of the fake hunger strike.

You're welcome!  ~:D

The Laughing Phantom

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Yes, the media IS all the same.

You are not imagining it, the media really is a solid, unified, monolithic lump.

But journalistic groupthink is a symptom, not a cause. And when it comes to the cause, there's another, blunter way to think about the question than screaming "bias" and "conspiracy," or counting D's and R's. That's to ask a simple question about the map. Where do journalists work, and how much has that changed in recent years? To determine this, my colleague Tucker Doherty excavated labor statistics and cross-referenced them against voting patterns and Census data to figure out just what the American media landscape looks like, and how much it has changed.

The results read like a revelation. The national media really does work in a bubble, something that wasn't true as recently as 2008. And the bubble is growing more extreme. Concentrated heavily along the coasts, the bubble is both geographic and political. If you're a working journalist, odds aren't just that you work in a pro-Clinton county—odds are that you reside in one of the nation's most pro-Clinton counties. And you've got company: If you're a typical reader of Politico, chances are you're a citizen of bubbleville, too.

Publishing of books particularly is centered in New York City and Chicago. Mostly NY. So if you want to get your book published, you have to write to a New Yorker sensibility. That means Liberal, irreverent and snarky, pretty much. Lots of conservative sacred cows getting gored, a little creative religion bashing, and of course the pieties of Social Justice must be observed.

Which is exactly what all the Science Fiction and Fantasy books on the shelf at the bookstore look like. That's why we had Sad Puppies 1-4, because a whole huge section of the population has nothing fun to read. We don't share the tastes of the TOR editorial board, or the Random Penguin, and so forth.

There is one place I disagree with the article:

Resist—if you can—the conservative reflex to absorb this data and conclude that the media deliberately twists the news in favor of Democrats. Instead, take it the way a social scientist would take it: The people who report, edit, produce and publish news can't help being affected—deeply affected—by the environment around them.

This is known by the social sciences as Ethnocentrism, and it does account for a lot of the cluelessness of modern reporting. The stuff where they're tone-deaf, or they don't bother telling you things, or they deliberately conceal certain details because they think its rude to mention. That's all down to them not noticing the cultural water they're swimming in.

But we have all seen the NY Times lie, deny and "squirrel!!!" too many times in the last few years to discount corruption as part of the picture. Hillary got the debate questions ahead of time, the Obama administration had a say in stories being published at the NY Times, Google execs visited the White House every day, Facebook caught red-handed cooking their news feed... that kind of evidence can't be ignored.

So yes it is a bubble, AND they're deliberately propagandizing the nation on top of that.

Canada of course is a small town in comparison. We barely have a publishing industry to begin with, and ALL of it is in Toronto for English and Montreal for French. You write to the Canadian Urbanite taste here, or you don't get picked up.

The Phantom

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Monday, April 17, 2017

Robots replace entire warehouse staff.

This is a rather stupid article about a pretty amazing robot implementation in China.

THIS army of tiny orange robots which can sort up to 200,000 packages every DAY in a Chinese warehouse are providing an alarming glimpse of what the future could hold in factories around the world.

These miniature machines, each just 7.5 inches, follow a set route and transport parcels from the assembly line to the departure gates where they are then dispatched.

In the STO Express building in Liny, Shandong Province, the 300 robots can get through 20,000 parcels every hour.

The self-charging workers have saved the company, which has 300,000 employees, a staggering 70 per cent of manpower.

I can hear the boys at CUPE headquarters melting down from here.

The Phantom

Expect police overreactions to increase.

From the "running with scissors" file, CBC discovers that comic book conventions have cosplayers in costumes.

Fan Expo got underway at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre Thursday, and with it came an array of excited, costumed fans.
One of those fans apparently startled some GO transit passengers this morning: Toronto police got a call at about 10 a.m. with reports of a person with a gun. It turned out to be part of someone's outfit.
"As with any type of call like this we treat it as a real threat, and then we work our way back down to ensure that there's no threat," Const. Victor Kwong told CBC News.

This time, the gun call didn't end badly. But, then there was this other call:

Call the cops, Martha! Its a ALIEN!

It was almost game over in Grande Prairie this week for a cosplay enthusiast.
Dressed as a character from Fallout, a popular post-apocalyptic video game series, the man walked down a street wearing a gas mask, helmet, armour and bullet belt.
RCMP Cpl. Shawn Graham told CBC News that police received calls just before 5 p.m. Tuesday from citizens concerned the man was wearing what looked like a bomb on his back.
At least eight officers responded with their long guns drawn. Photos show them crouched behind vehicles and bushes.

Emphasis mine. Now, what we have here is a full rollout with rifles on a guy wearing an obvious costume, down the street from the comic convention. Why? Standard Operating Procedure.

SOP response to kid in costume. GUN HIM!!!

"We have to believe everything is real until proven otherwise," said Graham. "In the end you've got a good feeling after going, 'OK, there wasn't a bomb, there was no intent to do anything criminal, it's just someone with their costume."
Graham thinks it should serve as a warning to others who enjoy cosplay that police will assume fake weapons are real.
"There's a time and a place for it," he said, pointing out that costumes are OK at conventions and similar events.
"Wandering around downtown [is] maybe not the place to do it."

That's right nerds. You'd best not show up on the street, 'less you wanna feel the heat. They arrested this guy, took his stuff, and took him away. Why? Standard Operating Procedure. Two seconds of looking told them everything was legit. They busted this kid for wearing a costume.

Cops stealing obvious costume before transporting dangerous nerd.

I'm surprised they didn't beat the shit out of him and drag him around a bit, like United Airlines.

My single question: how long before they shoot somebody for cosplay in public?

The Phantom

Saturday, April 15, 2017

FN-FAL variants from Imbel.

These are extremely cool. 7.62x51 carbines on a modified FAL platform. Sweet!

The Phantom

Friday, April 14, 2017

university = wedding? Yes!

This is one of the greatest pieces of wisdom I have seen lately.

Why is it so hard for millennials NOT to go to college?

With college tuition being literally unaffordable, stories after stories about the plight of un/underemployed college graduates, horror stories of the same with crippling student loans, and it no longer being a secret that college is a bubble, why is it so hard for 18 year olds to say, "screw this, I'm going home?"

Its a big question, given that even an engineering degree doesn't necessarily get you a job these days. Why are people still forking over the price of a detached suburban house for a -worthless- degree?

So what possible consumer good exists, that people can't afford, will go into debt for, that doesn't offer anything of tangible financial value afterwards, and has this societal push, borderline obssession to buy it regardless?

Then it hit me.


Weddings are the identical twin sibling of college. 

The reason why can be summarized in one simple phrase:

"It's my day."

However, whereas "my day" is the exclusive preserve of women on their wedding day, there is a similar sense of entitlement to having "my day" FOR BOTH SEXES when it comes to college.  And the reason why is that college is NOT sold to young kids today as the education it was supposed to be, but the "college experience" it is has successfully and falsely been propagated and inflated to what it is now (an industry that is more than TEN TIMES THE SIZE OF THE WEDDING INDUSTRY).

That makes perfect sense. Here's the killer part:

To have this birthright, to have this entitlement, nobody cares about logic, reason, evidence, finances, or math.  College, just like "her day," is worth any price because up to this point in these kids' lives, we as a society have given them nothing else to live for.  We get divorced, we mock nuclear families, we value things over friends, we cripple the economy, we load up on debt, we hate our own country, we criminalize success - precisely, what do these kids have to look forward to after they graduate from college?  As far as they're concerned life is over at 22 and then they lead the lives you do, which, sadly, for the most part is pretty pathetic in their eyes.  Worse, you've made their childhoods so painful with the craptastic public prisons schools, any childlike idealism or hope has been squash and the only light at the end of that tunnel is college.  The price of tuition could go up another 300%, it won't matter, they'll still pay it because these kids have nothing else to live for.

 That, my friends, is wisdom. Read the whole thing.

The Phantom

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

More robots: stupid, or annoying?

The Guardian, for a wonder, asks the question: do we really want big Roombas cluttering up the sidewalks?

Sharing a sidewalk with one of DoorDash's delivery robots is a bit like getting stuck behind someone playing Pokémon Go on his smartphone. The robot moves a little bit slower than you want to; every few meters it pauses, jerking to the left or right, perhaps turning around, then turning again before continuing on its way.

These are the sidewalks of the future, technology evangelists promise. Autonomous delivery robots, once the exclusive purview of 1980s sci-fi movies, are coming to a city near you, with promises of reduced labor costs, increased efficiency and the reduction of cars.

If you've ever seen one of these things in action, they are dumber than shit. No human could tolerate being stuck behind one. You'd kick it out of the way after thirty seconds, for sure.

So far we hear nothing but cheerful happy-sappy propaganda from the techies who just LOVE these things. They're salivating over the billions of dollars they're going to make.

But here's the thing. One dumber-than-shit robot is a novelty at best, an ignore-able obstruction at worst. The town pizzeria gets a couple for in-town delivery, no big deal.

Hundreds of the damn things, from UPS to the pizza guy to the government delivering welfare checks to some other dumb service/scam we haven't thought of yet, you are not going to be able to ignore that.

They have to cross the street, right? They take longer than a crippled old drunk with a walker to do it. They have to wait for traffic lights. But if there's only a stop sign, then what? You're going to see ten of them waiting at a stop sign when its busy. They're going to get stuck. They're going to get lost. They're going to get rolled upside down and broken open by kids. They're going to wander into your driveway and be attacked by the dog. They're going to end up in the middle of an intersection blowing their tiny annoying horn and blinking their distress light because they had a nervous breakdown. They'll run out of battery. They'll end up busted on your front lawn, and the cops will give -you- a ticket.

The problem, as usual, is greed. The robots suck, but they are super cheap, and they are almost good enough. So, look for your delivery job to go to a Coleman cooler on wheels in the next five years.

The Cooler Phantom