Thursday, July 20, 2017

Inevitably, OJ gets let out.

People wonder why the USA is so fucked these days.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_1UHWp76QaFs/S3wexElduCI/AAAAAAAACag/TnFKvbE0WAk/s400/simpson_Nicole_Brown_320x240.jpg

Just remember the whole OJ thing, and you'll have an example of why.

The Phantom


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Oh Noes, Dr. Who is WHITE!

Further to the trolling of Dr. Who fans by the BBC or whoever runs the show, not everyone is happy that the new Doctor Who is a woman.

SJW Anita Sarkesian for one.

Variety Magazine for another.

The last thing I wanted to write today was an angry screed about "Doctor Who." I've been watching the show loyally for four decades; I've been through every up and down and alien invasion. No matter how much it may frustrate me in a given episode or a season, I love it so much. It's about people without guns who roam around trying to do good and save people. With a screwdriver. At its best, "Doctor Who" irreverent, whip-smart and deeply humane.

So I was going to be disappointed and not a little furious if the Thirteenth Doctor was yet another white man.

For more than 50 years, every Doctor has been from that demographic, and of course, some versatile actors have done wonderful work in the role. I'd have a tough time picking my favorite: Is it Tom Baker? Peter Davison? David Tennant? Peter Capaldi? Matt Smith? Jon Pertwee?

(It's Baker. They're all fantastic, but of course, it's Baker.)

The fact is, we're living in a time in which a lot of people feel frustrated and fearful about the state of the world. Women, people of color and the LGBT community feel especially under siege. The daily headlines are like something out of a "Doctor Who" (or "Black Mirror") dystopia. 

So if women were once again going to be asked to go to the back of the line and wait their turn when it came to the idea of seeing themselves as one of the iconic interstellar heroes — well, many people would have been upset. Even some white guys. 

But no one had to wake up to that disappointment, thank Gallifrey. Coming from one of the biggest media franchises on the planet, the news that the new "Doctor Who" is female is huge — and almost completely delightful. 

Some might be disappointed that this makes for the thirteenth white Doctor in a row. I do want to see a woman of color, or a non-white man, as the Doctor, of course. Those fans are still being asked to wait, and it would be hypocritical not to note that that is still not ideal.


Yes that's right. Having been handed the exact thing they've been screeching for, on a platter, the SJWs are now complaining that Jodie Whittaker is White.

The Phantom

Monday, July 17, 2017

Dr. Who will be a woman.

Dr. Who is one of those TV shows that have been on forever, and the people who write it have been continually pushing the envelope of what is acceptable on British TV the whole time. Very, very progressive for a crappy low-budget TV show.

Now we hear that the 13th Doctor will be Jodie Whittaker. A woman.

Now, why would a successful TV show take the risk of recasting the main, signature character from male to female? Knowing that it will endlessly complicate things?

Mostly for the opportunity to tell their fans off, apparently.

Writer and avid fan Jenny Colgan - who has written several Doctor Who novels and audio dramas - said she was "absolutely delighted" that Whittaker was the new Doctor, describing her as "brilliant and bold and brave".
She said: "When I was a little girl I thought I was the only female Doctor Who fan in the world. Now Jodie Whittaker is taking it to a whole new place, and I am absolutely delighted for all of us wee Whoviennes, old and new."
Asked what she would say to anyone unhappy that the new Doctor is a woman, she said: "People are always unhappy when there's a new Doctor, that's just the way of it.
"Then new stuff happens and it's brilliant and everyone loves them and they have to leave and then everyone gets sad again.
"If you really would stop watching Doctor Who because it was a woman, I don't think you really understand the entire ethos the last 55 years of The Doctor has been about."
Twitter has been savage since the announcement, a few people saying they didn't like it and being dog-piled by feminists screeching at them to get over it.

Do I care? No. I don't watch Dr. Who, its already so unbearably preachy, this "change" won't change anything. Just more red meat for the screechers.

The Phantom

 Welcome to all you camel toes from Crapestros Flopatron's blog. Or both of you, anyway.

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Purity Spiral in organizations and Hugos.

Seen today at SDA and David Thompson's blog, a piece by Uri Harris on the "purity spiral" in the social sciences.

A couple of years ago, six social scientists published a paper describing a disquieting occurrence in academic psychology: the loss of almost all its political diversity. As Jonathan Haidt, one of the authors of the paper, wrote in a commentary:

Before the 1990s, academic psychology only LEANED left. Liberals and Democrats outnumbered Conservatives and Republican by 4 to 1 or less. But as the "greatest generation" retired in the 1990s and was replaced by baby boomers, the ratio skyrocketed to something more like 12 to 1. In just 20 years. Few psychologists realize just how quickly or completely the field has become a political monoculture.

While the paper focuses on psychology, it briefly mentions that the rest of the social sciences are not far behind:

[R]ecent surveys find that 58–66 per cent of social science professors in the United States identify as liberals, while only 5–8 per cent identify as conservatives, and that self-identified Democrats outnumber Republicans by ratios of at least 8 to 1 (Gross & Simmons 2007; Klein & Stern 2009; Rothman & Lichter 2008).

As these studies are now approximately ten years old, it's quite plausible that the gap has widened further over the past decade (as it has in psychology) meaning that these figures most likely underestimate the current left-to-right ratio across the social sciences.

But wait, there's more.

In fact, Haidt recently reported on a remarkable survey that was conducted among the Society for Experimental Social Psychology, which, as Haidt notes, is:

… a professional society composed of the most active researchers in the field who are at least five years post-PhD. It's very selective—you must be nominated by a current member and approved by a committee before you can join.

As part of the survey, members were asked to identify their political affiliation on an eleven-point scale, from 'very liberal' to 'very conservative'. (One point in the centre and five on each side.) The results are telling. Only 2.5 per cent of respondents chose a conservative point, and only 8.3 per cent chose the centre-point, meaning that 89.3 per cent identified as left-of-centre.

Social psychologists' self-ratings of their political orientation. Taken from Bill von Hippel and David Buss's survey of the membership of the Society for Experimental Social Psychology, 2016.

Intriguingly, the least popular point among the left-of-centre points was the most moderate one (5.8 per cent), and the second-least popular was the second-most moderate one (15.6 per cent). More than two thirds (67.8 per cent) chose one of the three points furthest to the left on an eleven-point scale, and more than a third (38 per cent) chose one of the two points furthest to the left. And 16 per cent chose the furthest possible point to the left on an eleven-point scale.

This means that there were almost as many people who chose the furthest possible point to the left as there were who chose all the conservative points, the centre-point and the most moderate left-of-centre point combined (16.6 per cent).

Now, this all comes as no surprise to anyone who's gone to university in the last 25 years, or was in any way paying attention. The state of affairs is as Harris says, there's no doubt. The problems inherent in a monoculture of one politicaly acceptable view are manifold, and obvious.

What's interesting is how they got there. The author suggests a "purity spiral" of unguided selection, rather than some kind of deliberate program.

It seems likely to me that there are self-reinforcing mechanisms at work. As the ratio of liberals to conservatives increased, a tipping-point was reached where conservatives were actively excluded from the social sciences, and as they have disappeared the more radical liberals are now outnumbering the moderates to the point where they too are being gradually excluded. In other words, it appears that social science is undergoing a purity spiral towards an increasingly radical left-wing ideology.

This seems a likely mechanism to explain the Hugo awards, the SFF. Liberals in the universities join literary clubs like WorldCon and go to work for the major publishers, -all- of whom are based in New York City.

Liberalism is the culture of the New York City intellectual elite, among whom are counted publishers, editors, etc. As the years wear on and more old guys retire, the people who replace them are very keen to show they are serious and On The Right Side. Zero new Conservatives are hired, of course, because Conservatives are yucky. Who wants one of Them around? As Harris says, you keep that kind of osmotic pressure going for 40 years, you end up with the present situation. No Conservatives working in publishing, no Conservatives joining the literature clubs, no conservatives voting for awards.

As well, advancement depends on looking like a Team Player. So, everybody crowds Left and virtue signals all over the place. "Advancement" in a club setting is different, but similar. In a club it is all about the signalling and fitting in, as there is not any "work" to be accomplished.

You can see the machinery working in the Hugo nominations of the last 40 years. A gradual increase in "literary" SF, the kind of gray goo best exemplified by "When the World Turned Upside Down" from 2015. Pointlessly evil people doing pointlessly evil things in a vaguely science-fictiony post-apocalyptic environment, where Man's Inhumanity To Man is the primary theme.

People are Bad, is the basic take home from most things these days. That's what gets awards, and that's what gets published because publishers chase awards. Liberal themes, Liberal stories.

Some of you are now shouting and throwing things at your monitors. You want to know what happened to all the "Conservatives."

We are still here. Nothing happened to us, we didn't go anywhere. We still hold the same set of principles and beliefs we always did. We still pay money for stories we like, we still work for a living, we still do science and study history and literature.

What changed is, we don't get published. Reverse Osmotic pressure. Our stories are impurities that get filtered by the semi-permeable membrane of publishing selection.

The joke of course is that all this is fairly mechanistic. The average Liberals don't deliberately set out to exclude Conservatives, they just don't see good reason to include them.

Where the problem with this shows up is when the "out-group" wildly outnumbers the "in-group." Then you get four years of the Sad Puppies campaign, set up as a joke to demonstrate the Liberal bias in the awards system of the SF/F genre. What started as a science fiction nerd squabble ended up as a Big Deal in the culture wars.

Those damn Conservatives intruded! How dare they?!

This year the Sad Puppies have stopped intruding, and the Hugo Faithful are still reacting to what we did two years ago. With no one to introduce anything different into the mix, the SF/F awards season is looking extremely Lefty/SJW this year, as it always does.

The problem with monocultures is fragility. If one thing changes in the environment the whole crop can catch leaf rot or root fungus. Traditional publishing and SF cons are dwindling in size and sales, as more and more of their audience gets filtered out by the semi-permeable membrane. Unlike the usual "victim group" dynamic, Conservatives and the politically uninterested are wandering off and abandoning traditional publishing completely. They're all on Amazon, writing to e-book.

The Phantom

 

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Oh look, scientists caught lying again.

Golly gosh friends, looks like that globe ain't warming much after you delete all the adjustification done by NOAA and such.

A new study found adjustments made to global surface temperature readings by scientists in recent years "are totally inconsistent with published and credible U.S. and other temperature data."

"Thus, it is impossible to conclude from the three published GAST data sets that recent years have been the warmest ever – despite current claims of record setting warming," according to a study published June 27 by two scientists and a veteran statistician.

The peer-reviewed study tried to validate current surface temperature datasets managed by NASA, NOAA and the UK's Met Office, all of which make adjustments to raw thermometer readings. Skeptics of man-made global warming have criticized the adjustments.

As seen first at Small Dead Animals.

The Phantom

Saturday, July 01, 2017

3.3 million = 12 arrested = 0 charges

Big Brother American style:

The wiretap order authorized an unknown government agency to carry out real-time intercepts of 3.29 million cell phone conversations over a two-month period at some point during 2016, after the order was applied for in late 2015.

The order was signed to help authorities track 26 individuals suspected of involvement with illegal drug and narcotic-related activities in Pennsylvania.

The wiretap cost the authorities $335,000 to conduct and led to a dozen arrests.

But the authorities noted that the surveillance effort led to no incriminating intercepts, and none of the handful of those arrested have been brought to trial or convicted.

Three hundred grand and three million calls recorded, for -zero- results. But you did not hear about it on CNN, right?

The revelation was buried in the US Courts' annual wiretap report, published earlier this week but largely overlooked.

Now, normally one would write that off as the usual governmental over reach and unionized public employee incompetence. It isn't like they don't burn money by the bushel every damn day.

But, wouldn't a bullshit drug investigation be a really great way to "accidentally" record conversations between people somebody who lives in a big white house might be interested in?

2016, right?  Just sayin'.

The Phantom