Category: Puppies

Some responses to that Nazi piece

Chris Chupik mentions this piece in the comment section at Sarah Hoyt’s blog.

Coyote Gravity by Christopher M. Chupik

Oddly he says this:

Christopher M. Chupik March 26, 2017 at 12:09 pm
If you believe the commenters, I’m an American Christian Conservative Trump-supporter.

News to me.

Except…well nobody (i.e. zero people) call him either an American, Christian or a Trump supporter. I expect non-sequiturs and claims of persecution but I’m actually a bit baffled by this. Naturally, he doesn’t quote anybody but wow, talk about people running in mid-air with no ground below them.

Hoyt also adds, counterfactually:

 accordingtohoyt | March 26, 2017 at 2:03 pm | Reply

Oh, we all are. In fact I was going to do a post on this. They don’t understand quite a number of us are not Christian, not straight, not cis anything. They divide by conformist group, so the only reason we don’t belong to them must be our unacceptably characteristics and being members of the establishment they imagine (which hasn’t existed for at least 100 years.) The scientific name for them is “Asshats.”

Huh? Is it the quip about modern conservatives thinking demons are real and nazis are imaginary that annoyed them? Because Hoyt just appended her comment to a piece that complains about witches and which disputes the existence of Nazis. The comment relates not to what I think conservatives ARE but as to how conservatives PORTRAY themselves, as amply documented by fellow pups in recent weeks.

Are conservatives all kinds of people? I assume so, because I’ve never met a group of people that wasn’t diverse at least on some dimensions. Do modern right wing conservatives/libertarians let straight Christian men call the shots and control the debate? Hmmm, yup. Indeed we all saw how that dynamic played out in the Puppy-debacles.

Ho hum.

Weird Internet ideas: Are modern nazis imaginary? (spoiler: no, they’re real)

We’ve been busy watching Rabid shenanigans with books covers, but meanwhile over in Sad Puppy domains, Chris Chupik has decided that modern Nazis are largely imaginary. Chupik, for those who don’t know, is notable mainly as a regular commenter on Puppy blogs but sometimes he guest-posts at According to Hoyt.

[This get’s long so more below the fold…also ‘Spencer‘ is usually an external link but each time to a different article rather than peppering this piece with quotes]

Continue reading

John C Wright is upset that people didn’t take his Left=Witches argument seriously

In a piece entitled “Rational and Magical Thinking”, Mr Wright attempts to deal with the criticism of his previous argument. Here’s a taste:

Here is the difference between arguing with a rational atheist and arguing with a Leftist: suppose for the sake of argument that you penned a column describing the psychology of Leftism as involving a neurotic (if not deliberate) confusion between symbol and object, commonly known as “magical thinking.”

Magical thinking is thinking where the believers believes that manipulating a symbol manipulates reality. By this definition, anyone who hopes to remove race hatred from among men by changing the words used by one race to refer to another is engaging in magical thinking.

Let us further suppose that when you list three or four examples of magical thinking about the Left, one of the groups mentioned is a coven of wicca who claim to be casting spells on Donald Trump. Let is finally suppose you call them by their traditional name, witches.

Now, a rational atheist will argue with you, and say that since the supernatural does not and cannot exist, therefore there are no witches, so your column errs in referring to these people by that term.

This argument is fallacious (it depends on the fallacy of ambiguity) but it can be addressed. Once you point out that the column is explicitly agnostic on the question of whether the witch’s spells actually are real, the question of whether the people calling themselves witches are real can be addressed. And that is a simple question of fact that the rational atheist can discover for himself.

Whether witchcraft is real or not is a question not addressed by the column. The people who think it is real are real.

Mr Wright gives a straw man example for a case of ‘magical thinking’: ‘anyone who hopes to remove race hatred from among men by changing the words used by one race to refer to another is engaging in magical thinking’. Ignore the straw man element here for a moment and consider the elements.

  • What are the symbols in this example? Words.
  • What is the ‘reality’ in this example? Racial hatred.
  • What kind of thing is that ‘reality’? A set of ideas and attitudes and emotional responses.

Put that all together and Wright’s example implies this: attempting to use words to change ideas, attitudes and emotional responses is magical thinking. Now, this is perhaps not far from his actual beliefs, in so far as he seems to believe in a kind of Platonistic spiritualism, but in this essay, he is ascribing this ‘magical thinking’ to the left, not to himself.

Looking back at his original essay you can see the same confusion. Aside from the actual examples of people overtly calling themselves witches, his other examples of people on the left engaged in supposedly magical rituals are all the same. In each case, it is people doing symbolic things in an attempt to effect how other people are thinking.

That is not ‘magical thinking’, that is ‘people communicating with other people’. In short, Wright is confusing cognitive psychology with magic.

‘Ah!’ Says an imaginary interlocuter, ‘You think minds are based in physical reality and so you do think physical entities are changing because of symbols being manipulated!’

Meh. We don’t even need intelligence or to delve into how minds might work to see that mechanical devices can exist which can effect physical change because of how I manipulate symbols. I’m doing that right now as I type on this laptop. That isn’t magic or magical thinking.

Mr Wright then complains that people on the left treated his argument with disdain:

But a Leftist does not argue in this way. Rather, his argument is that you are a stupid lunatic for being afraid of witchcraft, and for thinking that everyone on the Left is a practicing satanist.

Now, if you notice, there are three things wrong with this argument: first, you neither said nor implied what the Leftist accuses you of saying or implying. So it is a strawman argument, therefore irrelevant. Second, it does not address the argument you gave, merely mocks you as a person. So it is ad hominem, therefore irrelevant. Third, it is not an argument at all. An insult is not an argument.

One cannot argue with this for the same reason one cannot argue with poop flung by a monkey. The monkey poop is not attempting to discuss a difference of opinion nor come to a conclusion about the true answer to any questions being discussed.

Why would a Leftist in an argument make statements he knows or should know have no relevance to the argument?

The answer is as given above: the words uttered are merely symbolic. It is a verbal form of magical thinking.

He is correct here that the reaction to his claim was not a reasoned argument. He is incorrect that therefore the reaction was irrational or another example of ‘magical thinking’. Laughing at poorly constructed arguments with absurd conclusions is both reasonable and rational.

Mr Wright is capable of structuring argument but he often fails to do so and he has great difficulty in continuing a rational dialogue in good faith. Why, in such circumstance, should anybody on the left treat his argument with any kind of depth of analysis? His conclusion was false and easily refuted – the tortured root by which he reached a false conclusion (replete with much-overblown language) is of interest only from an educational perspective.

So what is magical thinking? Magical thinking is when people confuse their desires with reality i.e. when people confuse what they would like with what actually *is*. That might involve rituals or manipulating words, but it is just as frequent when people use their own powers of thinking to bemuse and befuddle themselves – just as John C Wright is apt to do on a range of topics from history to climate science.

Put yet another way, when a person ceases to be able to distinguish between fact and fiction.

Tired Puppies 2017

A couple of significant notes of ‘meh’ today from the watchtowers looking over Puppydom.

tiredpupsFirstly Vox Day has announced his Rabid Puppy slate and it is a testament to just how tired the whole Rabid Puppy thing has become. There were no obvious upsides to the previous Rabid Puppy campaigns but at least there was something to talk about it. This time the brilliant strategy is to just nominate one or two things per category to defeat EPH (i.e. EPH provoking the behavioural change it was intended to provoke). Aside from that, it is the obvious hostages (Neil Gaiman, China Mieville, File 770 ), Castalia House self-promotion, some pals/hanger-on, and some people you haven’t heard of. Doesn’t seem to have bothered trying to nominate video games this year.No Chuck Tingle this year after that backfired spectacularly but there is a dodgy Tingle imitator in the mix.

YES – some things/people there might be ineligible PLEASE DON’T POINT THEM OUT. Wait until nominations close.

Will this impact nominations? Assuming the core Rabid Puppy votes stays as it has been (60 to 180 votes ) then yes, some of these nominations might make the ballot.

Link for the purposes of me finding it later

Meanwhile no overt signs on the Sad side but over at Mad Genius Club, Brad Torgersen is reprising his Nutty Nuggets argument here

It is in response to a N.K.Jemisin interview here

But, as usual, there is an odd coyness about not ever really mentioning who is being talked about. It then goes off on a tangent about New Coke and rather like the Nutty Nuggets argument is betrays both misconceptions and an aspiration:

  1. The misconception is that SF is sufficiently a single thing to be a marketable entity in its own right.
  2. That some small group actual does do that (and gets it wrong in Brad’s eyes)
  3. The aspiration that REALLY Brad wants somebody in charge, running science fiction in the way he thinks it should be run.

Point 3 being the now obvious truism that if you scratch the paintwork of libertarian-flavoured conservatism you find the colours of frustrated authoritarianism peeking out. The revealing ‘tell’ is that rather than the much trumped ‘diversity of ideas’, Brad sees other kinds of SF that he doesn’t like as a threat to SF overall.

Brad’s theory has two basic premises:

  1. People would love classic SF (although Brad remains vague as to what this is, other parts of Puppydom assert this would be the age of the pulps).
  2. People are turned off by all this ‘new SF’ (again vague as to what counts and where).

A conservative of say 10 years ago would have an easy answer to this problem: there is no problem! Anybody can publish anything (now even more so) and so the purveyors of the right kind of SF will make money hand-over-fist as people flock away from the ‘new SF’. Not only that, but the mega-corporations that run publishing will follow their bank balances and invest in the most nutty of nuggets.

Given that reality isn’t behaving that way then, Brad needs an extra theory. New SF somehow drives away fans. Ignore, for the moment, the huge volume of available SF of any stripe, from movie and game tie-ins to classic reprints to many big name SF authors pumping out space operas, no the decline somehow must be because the books Brad doesn’t like are doing bad things.

In the comments, Brad even manages to have his cake and eat it by complaining about more ‘literary’ SF *not* having traditional SF covers (his specific example is All the Birds in the Sky) because that is a bad thing too for some reason. Yes, yes, you’d think that he would WANT non-nuggety SF to have non-nuggety covers but that would be applying far too much logical consistency to what is a fundamental objection to wrongbooks having wrongfun in the bookshop.

I think the best, most recent example of this, is All The Birds In The Sky. It’s packaged deliberately as a lit book. It desperately wants to escape the SF/F shelves and go live on the mainstream shelves where the “important” books live. (chuckle) I blame Irene Gallo, who is very much responsible for this trend at TOR. She wants the field as a whole to stop looking like it did during the high period. Because making all that amazing money with space art that actually looks like space art, and swords’n’sorcery art that actually looks like swords’n’sorcery art, was just so gauche.

Note how there is no ground for compromise here. If publisher markets SF to a less-SFie audience then for Brad this is bad, if they market the same SF to an SF audience then to Brad this is also bad. Would Brad *seriously* be happy if All the Birds in the Sky had a cover featuring space rockets (in the book), people descending from ropes from helicopters (in the book) and magical people casting spells (in the book)? Goodness no! That would be the other evil of somehow tricking the honest-SF-reader into reading a book with cooties.

We are back to the unspoken logic of much of what has consumed the right for decades. It is unspoken and avoided, an incomplete argument that would lead people to a conclusion that they would reject if spoken out loud. By not following the logic they can retain a belief that they are moderate and reasonable. However, their argument always leads to the same spot. Brad would just rather these wrong books DID NOT EXIST. He doesn’t want to ban them or burn them or imprison their authors (although how else can his wish come true?) he just wants them to magically not be there.

The cosplay of oppression: yet another milo post

Kate Paulk has now written a post at Sarah Hoyt’s blog which, well is not a shining example of coherent argument

The ‘je suis’ bit isn’t the most OTT bit, that’s just the first mangled reference.

Because people like them doing everything from looking the other way from the thick smoke rising from crematoriums near the “work camps” with the skeletal workers to joining in the “kick ‘em in the goolies while they’re down” party are the people evil regimes like the Nazis and the Communists need to stay in power. As long as the self-styled good people will look the other way when the fuckers target someone, they can consolidate their hold until they’ve got control of all the levers of power – the media, education, bureaucracy, government…

I’m torn between the absurdity of that paragraph and the mix of horror & outrage. The absurdity is clear and while the readership here don’t need reminding, in the US right now there is a spate of anti-semitic violence, continuing far-right terrorism, anti-semitic dog-whistles (and worse) from the Whitehouse, draconian action from the government targeting Muslims and immigrants, attacks against the independence of the judiciary. ‘When the fuckers target someone’ the fuckers are targeting people – literally with all the power of the state with nary a word of objection from puppy-quarters and a ‘guardedly optimistic‘ from the supposedly anti-state-power Hoyt.

Note: I don’t want to highlight Kate Paulk as an individual here, so much as the broader group whose ideas she is voicing.

But we get to see the mechanics of self-deception at work here. A successful white man loses a speaking gig and a book contract and this is what causes Paulk to bring out the Holocaust references. Not the militarised round-ups of immigrants, not the terror attacks from rightwing nationalists, not an increasingly authoritarian federal government. No, on these topics we get a ‘guardedly optimistic’.

Of course, we’ve seen this before in Puppydom – a predilection to clothe themselves in a theatre of horrors from Stalinist Russia or Nazi Germany or Mao’s China, when faced with people simply disagreeing with them. And as always it has both been absurd to the point of being laughable AND horrific in the way they basically steal other people’s suffering and claim that is what is happening to them because…, well usually because somebody disagreed with them.

Paulk gets one aspect right: there are people who evil regimes need to stay in power. They are people who not only ignore what those regimes are doing but shout loudly about other things. They are the people who not only look the other way when the fuckers target someone but demand everybody pay attention to something else and demand that everybody acknowledge that they, because of some small or imagined slight, are the real victims while around them thuggery goes on ignored.

There is a point where Kate Paulk wanders near the truth but by this point, she is so turned around that she doesn’t see how her words apply:

I don’t care whether the target is a nice person or not. I don’t care if the target is the fucking Grand Poo-Bah of the KKK, the Big Wahoonie of the Black Panthers, or the fucking Biggest Bag of the Daeshbags. If you lie to destroy him, you are worse than he is. If you accept those lies, knowing that they are lies, because you disapprove of him, you are worse than he is.

It’s not just lies – it is disdain for the truth. If you accept what you are told and repeat what you are told JUST OUT OF PARTISANSHIP then you are no different than a liar. People have longer memories than a week, we KNOW how Sad Puppies would react if it had been a non-ingroup SF author who had said a fraction of what Milo said.

We saw the pile on of hate against individuals from Puppyland – including attempts to get individuals sacked – simply for the crime of NOT AGREEING with the Puppies or for political comments about them.

No. I can recognise an element of injustice in Milo’s current troubles but it is tiny and essentially the professional hazard that comes with being a professional controversialist. Even in the world of public-figures getting a hard time because of what they said, he’s got off lightly. And even that element of injustice that can be seen is instantly overshadowed by Milo’s own modus-operandi: this kind of shame and humiliation by manipulating public and social media IS WHAT MILO DOES – except his targets are often not people with the same kinds of support systems (or money) that Milo has. You can’t take a principled stand against those who deceive to destroy AND support Milo because HE IS the epitome of those who deceive to destroy.

In the meantime, but I regret to say not the last time, no dear conservatives, you are not somehow the modern day equivalent of the people who died in the Holocaust or the Holdomor or the Cultural Revolution or Cambodia’s Killing Fields. That isn’t the question of the day or the question of the year. The question is are you going to be the people who not only stood by while Jewish cemeteries were vandalised & white supremacists murdered people & while your government militarised your law enforcement, but cried ‘we are the real victims here!’ because the guy you wanted to speak at a conference didn’t get to go? Or, are you going to be the people who when asked afterwards ‘Did you fight this evil’ can say ‘yes’?

I’ll borrow Kate Paulk’s words to end: If you are truly conservative and you care at all about Western civilisation, the United States, or even looking at your festering vile mug in the mirror every morning, why in the fuck are you helping to destroy what you care about? Are you that much of a useless drongo?



A Voyage Around the Puppy Seas to See How the Milomeltdown goes

This is largely presented without commentary but mainly to document that assorted pretzel shapes emerging from some quarters. I’m always interested in where fault lines lie between people with similar ideas.

Very short background. Professional troll-like speaker/Breitbart ‘journalist’ Milo Yianoppolis was riding high a few days ago after protests he had provoked and after appearing on Bill Maher’s show. Peak Milo arrived with an announcement that he would be a speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Milo as I’m-not-alt-right-really gay British man speaking at this venue was seen as a bit of a coup. In the subsequent backlash from sections of the right and sections of the alt-right/no-no-we-arent-nazis/krypto-fascists (e.g. the man famous for being punched Richard Spencer), video of Milo discussing his teenage sexual experiences and his views on under-aged sex was pointed at by people on the right. Cue meltdown. While fans of Milo defended him, others were unsurprisingly unsympathetic in a confused conservative mix of legitimate concerns about his apparent pro-pedophile sympathies lumped together with regrettably-standard right-wing homophobia. CPAC invite cancelled, book deal withdrawn, Milo resigns from Breitbart, infighting on the right, schadenfreude on the left.

But what about the Puppies? Our pals in Puppydom kindly volunteered in 2015 as a kind of bellwether of vehement anti-leftism opinion from a weird sample of people who like SF/F. Let’s see how it’s all melting down.

Firstly from far across the sea from the isles of puppies comes John Scalzi:

From beyond the worlds of kerfuffles, I think this piece is worth reading but for a kerfuffle connection, on Twitter Philip Sandifer has positive views on Laurie Penny’s coverage and Alexandra Erin has an interesting critique of it that is less positive.

Sailing out of those calmer seas to towards the darkening horizon where storm clouds roil and sinister figures scowl. I’m using Internet Archive for links because I think some of these positions may change in the future.

I won’t bother posting the multiple defences of Milo from Vox Day -they are both dull and deeply hypocritical and then for extra ick tend to circle back to Vox Day praising himself for how loyal he is.

John C Wright? Follows Vox’s lead   There’s a point where somebody like Wright has taken on so many vices in the name of virtue that he has walled himself in. Like Vox the only virtue he can appeal to is a kind of loyalty.

But what about the world of Sad Puppies? Well, we can usually rely on Sarah Hoyt to angrily be vehemently confused about things amid the various rationalisations the key message from Sarah is that Milo is an ally in their fight against the left and that really is the only thing that matters. Putting the specific topic aside for the moment, it is close to summing up where right wing politics is at the moment: there is no substance left except hatred of the left.

Neither Brad Torgersen nor Larry Correia are discussing Milo’s fall from (what? not ‘grace’ exactly?) on their blogs.

On Facebook Brad is trying to talk about without talking about so that he can follow Sarah’s lead and attack the left:

Apropos of today’s hot publishing scandal, I said it on my blog a couple of weeks ago: gays and lesbians and ethnic minorities and women, who “come out” against the ctrl-Left, are branded as traitors. I also said in the same piece that the ctrl-left believe absolutely in one maxim above all: the ends justify the means. If they therefore have to lie to get what they want, they will lie. If winning means maligning and hurting people, they will malign and hurt. With a clear conscience, too. This is what the ctrl-Left does. This is who the ctrl-Left are. It’s not about fairness, nor compassion. It’s about having their way. No matter what.

It seems to be Milo-as-Martyr time for Brad but he avoids mentioning him by name. It’s classic Brad, a hot-take based in some alternate reality. The left attacked Milo previously BECAUSE he went around maligning and hurting people not because he was gay. The people throwing conniptions right now are Brad’s pals on the RIGHT. Ho hum.

Larry Correia isn’t saying anything on Facebook either. I’m guessing this is because Larry is the smartest of the bunch.




Has the Tor Boycott Ended?

The answer is probably not because a Puppy of one kind or another will read this post and insist that actually the boycott is going full strength and even now they have enlisted the power of the heat death of the universe to destroy Tor books using the inevitable outcomes of thermodynamics.

However, has it ended as a ‘thing’? Apparently so. There is no fixed date and I doubt we’ll be seeing any gushing reviews of a Tor published book or story from a major Puppy outlet anytime soon but it does seem like the Tor Boycott has been quietly retired.

For example: Look at the masthead here August13 2016

and then here on August 26 :

The other major promoter of the Tor Boycott was Peter Grant, a Sad Puppy supporter and now Castalia House/Vox Day published author. His last mention of the Tor Boycott was in September while spruiking Declan Finn

Aside from that, it would seem that the mighty Tor boycott fell victim to a lack of steam and short attention spans. That isn’t news, of course. I think everybody but Peter Grant knew that it would fizzle away into nothing.