I just finished that last post about authoritarians trying to control people by excluding those who won’t support them and hoped into my little boat to quickly sail around what remains of the Sad Puppy archipelago.

It’s not just that I don’t have to dig deep for quotes that exemplify the point, it’s also that the quotes are from the most current posts and are even more extreme than simply pointing at a group they like and saying ‘these are the real fans’.

At Mad Genius, Dave Freer and the consumption of human flesh:

“This doesn’t mean that I don’t think some people employed in publishing are nice people, but that’s just like some people in a tribe of cannibals are nice people. The nice cannibals are still cannibals and still going to eat people…”

To be fair to Dave, that’s partly just writers hyperbole. To what extent he means that to be taken seriously requires a broader grasp of his previous comments.

For somebody just making flat out false claims you need Sarah Hoyt:

“The left feels that way because they have a vast number of the maladapted and the mentally ill in their most vocal sectors. And therefore, if they are maladapted and mentally ill, someone must be oppressing them. The game after that is to claim the greatest possible oppression, because that justifies anything you might want to do.”

[NOTE: Please in the comments don’t compound Hoyt’s stigmatisation of mental illness with some of the more obvious response. Threading the needle of the hypocrisy there is too hard to do without repeating Hoyt’s error.]

It’s not enough for authoritarian’s to say that somebody is wrong, it is vital for them that they assert that other DO NOT COUNT and in huge numbers and broad swathes. Dismiss a whole industry as cannibals or a third of your nation as being led by the “maladapted and the mentally ill” is both intellectually lazy and reveals a dangerous desire for control.



36 thoughts on “Synchronicity

  1. That’s why I don’t cover Sarah Hoyt very much anymore — so often, what she writes only strikes me as evidence of the obvious of which you speak.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And thank you for that, Bionic Mike.
      It’s not like anything she says qualifies as news any more; it’s always ranting about Reds under the bed.


  2. Just when you thought that Dave Freer couldn’t come up with any more tortured and offensive metaphors, he manages to surprise you.

    As for Sarah Hoyt, she seems to have serious issues, especially since she didn’t even seem to get any joy from her Dragon Award win for even a few days.


    1. IKR? It’s a beautiful award, and she got lots of votes — either lots of people or some people voting repeatedly; in any case, much positive attention. And it’s a Puppy-created award. You’d think she’d be walking on air and whooping in delight and rejoicing.

      But no. She’s out glumly opining about things that don’t exist. Is anhedonia the word I’m looking for?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The first post after winning a Dragon Award was a long rant about how traditional publishing hates her because of failed books and series and so on. She couldn’t even enjoy her win and her pretty trophy for a little bit.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well, they have to have something to complain about when their books arent selling.
        After all, they have convinced themselves that half of the American public agrees with them, so when there right-wing fiction is not selling very well, it must be because of a leftist conspiracy.
        Similar to how some people claimed Disney or Nike is going to face some serious repercussions for their political stances, even though they haven’t yet.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Well, she won an award. Everybody knows that award winning authors don’t sell well. 🙂

        She’s probably expecting a drop in sales…

        Liked by 1 person

      4. But wasn’t her award-winner published by a company, not herself and Anderson? Or is this another “despite being a traditional publishing company, Baen isn’t a trad pub company. For reasons. Because.”

        LOL, Ryan.

        She just doesn’t seem happy about anything. Sad!


  3. I must be missing something. Dave Freer doesn’t like ‘publishing’ (by which I’m willing to presume he means the traditional business of publishing, as opposed to, say, self-publishing). But a quick check of Baen’s publishing schedule shows a projected December release of a book Freer has co-written with Eric Flint. So are the folks at Baen the ‘nice cannibals’, but cannibals nonetheless? Or is Baen exempt from the ranks of ‘publishing’ for some reason I’m too dense to figure out?

    Please advise, since I’m unwilling to risk my equanimity by actually reading Freer’s post. That’s a step too far.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Since they freely admit they don’t do any editing whatsoever, I think it possible that they’re outside the definition of publishing as we know it. Maybe?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, it was more of a general joke on postmodernism and deconstruction. I made the silly mistake of verifying what I thought postmodernism was last weekend, to contrast with the apocalyptic pronouncements of a certain lobster-obsessed lecturer. Also, I’ve been reading the r/enoughpetersonspam/ subreddit waaay too much.

        All I could do after that was think up postmodernism jokes.

        Q: What is postmodernism?
        A: A bad joke, told poorly in French, that REALLY got out of hand!!
        A: A retirement scam for French philosophers!
        A: A way to sate the ever-present academic need to ruthlessly deconstruct absolutely everything into incomprehensible bullshit!! (Also, what does King Lobster do?)

        If Western Philosophy told an ‘Aristocrats’ style joke, what would the punchline be?
        A: Postmodernism!


      2. I’m ok with the term postmodernism in the sense of ‘reactions to modernism’ or evolutions of modernism etc as in the use of ‘post’ in the artistic movement usage (eg post Impressionism).

        Postmodernism in the sense of a distinct philosophy, movement or agenda? It’s just not a useful category to attempt to define.


    2. With several of the puppy types, it always seems to be “traditional publishing is horrible except for Baen”. However, considering that both Freer and Hoyt have written long posts about how horrible traditional publishing treats writers makes me wonder whether there isn’t something else going on there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Is even Baen tiring of their shenanigans? Or are their sales falling enough that Baen’s looking to cut their losses? Or is it just MGC repeating the same old canards, even when they’re wrong?


    3. Yeah, Dave doesn’t really like people making that point. A long while ago I made a comment listing all the non-selfpubbing that the MGC crew have actually done (Dave has done lots with Baen plus at least one with Pyr, Hoyt was with Ace and Bantam before Baen, etc etc) then Dave dedicated an entire post to why I was wrong about that. IIRC his explanation involved exempting Baen from consideration because reasons, plus shut up that’s why.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Mark, you know that quoting them accurately and reporting true facts is the worst thing you can ever do. Telling the truth and knowing things about the past is so SJW.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. You know, it’s funny. I’m struggling at the moment with the way society treats the mentally ill (as I fight through a fairly bad batch of depression) and it just frustrates me to no end that people like Hoyt just toss off “mentally ill” as a slur. Depression sucks rocks through a bendy straw, and normally I wouldn’t wish it on anybody — but if I could give just two weeks of that bitter numbness (with no clue it might end) to folks who use “mentally ill” as a slur… oh, I would be so sorely tempted.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I’m sending you all good wishes and hoping the numbness abates soon, katster. And may the episodes become fewer, milder, and farther between.


    2. Thank you all. It’s a lot of situational crap, tied up with the fact I need to find a job, which is not exactly a process prone to making one feel good about oneself. But I’m working on it.


    3. Oh, big hugs, Katster. I’m happy you’re spending a few spoons to hang with us here. I’m impressed you’re doing any job hunting at all during an episode. Hope everything improves soon.

      (I’d say wishing panic attacks on them would be good, except they seem to already panic about a lot of harmless, everyday stuff)


  5. Perhaps some food for thought:

    throughout the long comments thread on SH’s blog, I continually ran into the same kind of thing: posters who seem to believe that something outside of their experience must be inherently untrue/inaccurate/propaganda.

    Such a myopic world view.

    There was a recent “psychological” study of conservative thought vs liberal thought and if I remember correctly, the conclusion was that the conservative mind generally operates from a place of fear and that liberals were more creatively flexible.

    (Of course these results are subject to fear analysis – they were probably conducted by liberals….)

    The immediate rejection of fact outtside of one’s ken seems to be a symptom of this “operating from a place of fear” mentality.

    I find it odd in the realm of science fiction when so much of our literature consists of investigating those moments when we run into something new and say “hmmmm…..interesting….”, rather than “kill it now for it is new and strange and therefore we must fear it”

    (Of course, many a scientist has paid the price for taking too close a look at something new and interesting, but then the good guys would never learn how to go about containing/controlling and yes, sometimes even killing, the new and interesting thing.)

    Liked by 1 person

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