Category: Weird Internet Ideas

Is It OK to Thump People?

 

thump

I’ve watched several times a video of a guy thumping another guy recently. There is, naturally several sides to consider here:

  • Whether the violent act undermines free speech.
  • Whether, even if provoked by the objectionable views of the person punched, the act lowers discourse in general.
  • Whether violence is ever a justified reaction to a dialogue even with somebody obnoxious.

Having said that I think most people agree that the person doing the thumping was justified. Here is the video again (you’ve probably seen it already).

Yes, naturally I am talking about that time Buzz Aldrin hit lunar-landing denier Bart Sibrel in the face after Sibrel harassed and insulted Buzz and called him a coward and a liar. After multiple provocations, Buzz then, wack, thumps Sibrel in the face. What can one say? It is OK to both deplore violence AND accept that people have actual emotions and that when repeatedly provoked will react accordingly. Buzz doesn’t beat the guy up, he thumps him once.

The LA County District Attorney did not lay any charges on Buzz Aldrin and, according to Wikipedia, Sibrel (the man punched) later apologised to Aldrin.

So there you go. Yeah, maybe sometimes it is OK to thump people – you know if you are provoked enough it would be weird if people DIDN’T react that way. You know, like in the example above in which Buzz Aldrin is repeatedly harassed and called a liar by a guy whose ideas are based on stupidly elaborate conspiracy theories. Just don’t make a habit of it.

 

 

Oh, and apparently alt-right pro-genocide shit Richard Spencer was thumped the other day also. Whereas Sibrel was just a rude guy with an omnifallacious theory that in itself harms nobody, Spencer is a guy who promotes race hate and genocide. As far as I can tell the major ethical issue people have with this is that it wasn’t Buzz Aldrin who hit him.

Weird Internet Ideas: Yeah back to Nazis and left right spectrums again

 

I wrote this post https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2015/06/20/weird-interent-ideas-the-nazis-were-leftists-no-not-in-any-way-that-makes-sense/ in June 2015. At the time the rise of a quasi/neo/ohwhattheheckactual-fascists was mainly seen as a European thing and the US centre and right was still seeing US politics as naturally immune. In the meantime, the forces of the American right have decided to rally behind a demagogue who has surrounded himself with extreme nationalists with zero interest in quasi-libertarian window dressing.

Meanwhile, on Twitter, I was presented with a live example:

Libertarians have kind of liked this idea for a long time. I assume it germinated in to a truism sometime in the 1970s but as I pointed out in the earlier post, it probably dates back to Hayek in the 1940s.

Of course, you can align political movements and ideologies onto any axis which you can think of an ordinal variable to describe…but more government v less government simply doesn’t work as a way of describing how left-right spectrums work in 20th and 21st-century Western politics. You can use that spectrum if you like but it will fail as a predictive model in describing who aligns with who and it fails as a descriptive model of who aligned with who in history.

In the earlier post I concentrated specifically on the notion of the Hitler-era Nazis being leftists (this is also the context of the Tweet quoted above) but in the post I thought I’d spend a bit longer looking at this more/less government thing in general.

To do so, consider counter-examples. Which ideology would be at the furthest end of the more/less axis? Anarchists! Now anarchists aren’t one thing, there are many different flavours and most believe in some kind of social structure that provides cohesion independent of government e.g.

  • anarcho-syndicalists believe in a society where trade-union like organisations provide the organising principle of society.
  • anarcho-capitalists believe in a society where the free-market (and some protection of individual rights) provide the organising principle of society.

Anarcho-syndicalists have, historically, been part of left wing movements. Anarcho-capitalists have, historically, been part of movements associated with individualism – not necessarily right-wing but not obviously left-wing and often critical of the left’s anti-individualism.

Ah, yeah-but! The anarcho-capitalists are even MORE against the government than the anarcho-syndicalists! – says an imaginary person. Hmm, I’m not sure that is true and anarcho-capitalists never amounted to a significant movement whereas the anarcho-syndicalists do actually have a track record of literally fighting fascists but, whatever, let’s imagine that is the case:

leftright

Let’s throw in some other cases. Milton Friedman flavoured conservative-libertarians. Not as anti-government as your classic Libertarian but supposedly more anti-government than those nasty leftists.

leftright2

Now, how about Margaret Thatcher? A vocal enemy of socialism who famously said that she would “roll back the frontiers of the state”, privatised several government-owned industries, was a believer in monetarism (at least nominally) but also increased centralisation of the British state, increased police powers, was militaristic, increased surveillance of citizens and attempted to enforce new government powers such as the “poll tax” (aka community charge). OK, we can still fit her into the scheme, just further along that whole more v less government thing:

leftright3

And let’s add in Augusto Pinochet – a friend of Thatcher’s and an authoritarian military dictator. Not a totalitarian dictator so technically less government than say, Stalin or Mao but definitely way over on the ‘more government’ side of things.

leftright4

I haven’t defined a centre, and it is only an ordinal axis, so I can’t say where the left half begins and the right half starts but I have a bunch of political positions listed below the line that cover a gamut of more (Pinochet) to less (anarcho-capitalists) government.

Let’s go above the line. How about, hmmm, George Orwell. A man with strong views on personal liberty, outspoken about excessive government control and, oh, a man who described himself as a socialist…Here maybe?

leftright5

We are well into apples & oranges now. Arranging the people below the line was relatively easy because one principle was relatively fixed – each of the positions nominally accepted that a laissez-faire approach to the economy was correct. Given that it becomes easier to look at how each position differed in terms of other aspects of government.

However, there isn’t a simple way of comparing libertarian-conservatives with Orwell’s libertarian (in a different sense) socialism. Less of what kind of government are we talking about.

Let’s add some more confusion to the mix. The 1945 Labour government. The not-entirely-post WW2 government nationalised industries (or kept them nationalised as a consequence of the war effort) and famously introduced the National Health Service. It also pursued a policy of decolonisation essentially ending the British Empire. Now if we compare with Thatcher, she privatised industries but not the NHS (although I suspect she would have liked to). Is the 1945 Labour government further down the more government end that Thatch or the less government? No idea. This is a silly scheme which can only function by cherry picking. Still, I’ll throw in Hitler and Stalin for good measure and assume that AT THIS RESOLUTION we can’t spot the difference (Stalin probably more government than Hitler I guess for those playing at home).

leftright6

The scheme does not help us sort left aligned positions from right ones but instead could be used for discriminating between different strands of left or right ideologies. How come? because more/less government is orthogonal to left-v-right as traditionally used.

Truth is we can make up all sorts of axes on our preferred issues. Take the issue of free trade unions. How might that look?

leftright7

But left-v-right is never a single issue. Indeed if it was a single issue there would be no need for the notion of left-v-right. The whole point of the intuitive left-v-right model is to bundle multiple issues and alliances and trends together to work out rough correspondences on a wide range of issues that may even wander over time.

Oh, and Nazis? Still not socialists, and still not left wing.

 

Weird Internet Ideas: DDT

This is a compilation of comments I made in reply to a comment on File770 here: http://file770.com/?p=32058&cpage=3#comment-510449

‘Bring back DDT. “The ban on DDT,” says Gwadz of the National Institutes of Health, “may have killed 20 million children.” Who was more dangerous, Rachel Carson or Pol Pot?’

The answer is Pol Pot.
Rachel Carson killed nobody that I’m aware of.Pol Pot was responsible for the deaths of an unknown number of Cambodians – but 3 million is a plausible figure.

Pol Pot was responsible for the deaths of an unknown number of Cambodians – but 3 million is a plausible figure.So, the first questions

So, the first questions is WHY somebody would compare a woman science writer to a murderous communist/nationalist with a murderous fixation on an agrarian utopia and a hatred of urban intellectuals?Because that is what you’ve been told to think.

Because that is what you’ve been told to think. By whom?

By whom?By some definitely non-communists but who are also nationalists and also seem to have a persistent hatred of urban intellectuals.

By some definitely non-communists but who are also nationalists and also seem to have a persistent hatred of urban intellectuals.‘But, but’ you might say ‘the ban on DDT has killed millions because of malaria and that’s all Rachel Carson’s fault!’

But, but, that is what is known as ‘bullshit’. It is wrong encased in more wrong and built up from wrong.

The evil brilliance of this argument is that it works like the opposite of a Gish Gallop – instead of a whole series of wrong that the debunker has to debunk in multiple directions, this argument uses the BIG SIMPLE LIE instead – to mislead and distract.The lie being – the “ban’ on DDT.

How is the ‘ban’ a lie?
 Well, there are many kinds of things that could be called ‘bans’ on DDT.
 The ‘ban’ that could be ascribed to Rachel Carson’s book ‘The Silent Spring’ is the ban on the use of DDT in the United States of America.
 Of course, THAT ban has not led to millions of deaths in the Third World because it was a ban on the use of DDT in THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, not the world.

Even THAT ban (essentially the EPA limiting its permitted uses) included public health exemptions. So the ban that could be linked to the political pressure from people being convinced by Carson’s book definitely led to zero deaths in the USA – the country that the ‘ban’ applied to.

‘Yeah, yeah, but’ you might say ‘The US ban led to other bans’.

This is true after all DDT is a dangerous substance with real environmental impact. It is well researched.

‘Yeah, but Silent Spring was wrong on these points…’ irrelevant. No restriction on the use of DDT has ever been enacted on the strength of whatever Rachel Carson wrote in Silent Spring alone. She could have written that DDT was haunted by tiny demons from Gloucestershire and it wouldn’t prove anything about the validity of restrictions on DDT. Of course, her arguments were much better than that but they were simply a start of an inquiry – not the foundation of a case. Attempts to disprove ‘Silent Spring’ are just a way to divert from modern evidence on DDT. Of course, Silent Spring didn’t have every fact right – so what? It is like saying we shouldn’t treat cancer because a 1950’s medical manual has errors in it.

‘Yeah but the worldwide ban’…no the ‘worldwide ban’ doesn’t exist. There are worldwide (effectively) limitations on its use. However, the most notable one is the World Health Organisation’s. Yet THAT ‘ban’ ALSO has exemptions for health programs.
So what ARE the bans? The bans have substantially reduced the use of DDT for AGRICULTURAL use.

And?

Well have you heard of evolution?

Evolution – animals change. Mosquitos can become resistant to pesticides. Indeed, fighting malaria, whether it is mosquitos or the nasty creature that actually causes the disease, has been a constant arms race between us and the nasty bastards.So wide scale DDT use for AGRICULTURE means lots of bad news for animals further up the food chain but that kind of uncontrolled use means exposure of malaria carrying mosquitos to DDT in an uncontrolled way. That means more survivors, more resistance and hence LESS EFFECTIVENESS of DDT as a tool of disease control.

So wide scale DDT use for AGRICULTURE means lots of bad news for animals further up the food chain but that kind of uncontrolled use means exposure of malaria carrying mosquitos to DDT in an uncontrolled way. That means more survivors, more resistance and hence LESS EFFECTIVENESS of DDT as a tool of disease control.

Anybody who believes that DDT is the best way of eliminating malaria-carrying mosquitoes should be absolutely in favour of a ban on DDT for agricultural use. Interesting that the people pushing the lie about Rachel Carson *aren’t* in favour of the ban on agriculture.

Of course, whether DDT is effective for public health uses is another question. But, I’ll leave that one. As the key lie has been identified already. Even if DDT is effective for public health campaigns then the bans that are ascribed to Carson definitely SAVED lives rather than resulted in deaths. Without those bans, DDT would have become increasingly ineffective.

Yet, people fall for this glib lie.

Forgive me, but I’ve seen enough of those recently.

I say ‘lie’ because we know who and why this lie was invented.

So why would somebody say something both absurd and also a bit nasty?

Well, I’ll start with something a bit more current. Ladies and gentlemen the next Vice-President of the United Sates, Mike Pence:
https://web.archive.org/web/20010415085348/http://mikepence.com/smoke.html

“Time for a quick reality check. Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn’t kill. In fact, 2 out of every three smokers does not die from a smoking related illness and 9 out of ten smokers do not contract lung cancer. This is not to say that smoking is good for you…. news flash: smoking is not good for you. If you are reading this article through the blue haze of cigarette smoke you should quit. The relevant question is, what is more harmful to the nation, second hand smoke or back handed big government disguised in do-gooder healthcare rhetoric.”

Smoking? What’s smoking got to do with it?

The Advancement of Sound Science Center https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advancement_of_Sound_Science_Center was established as a front for the tobacco industry – specifically Philip Morris. Cigarettes, as we all know (except VP elect Mike Pence) smoking kills. As a business model, killing your customers has some drawbacks, not least of which is a kind of selective pressure which ensures that people in charge of such an industry have to have an almost pathological disregard for the welfare of others.
Of course, the TASSC couldn’t just leap in and do a Mike Pence and say smoking doesn’t kill. Nope. A more clever and cynical strategy was employed.

The idea was this: attack science. Throw doubt on notions of expertise and scientific authority. That is not an idea invented by the right – its most excessive expression was during Mao’s cultural revolution in China.

If enough doubt could be seeded in people’s minds about scientific claims of harm – particularly those based on indirect chains of causality or complex statistical evidence – then moves against smoking could be hampered. After all, lung cancer is capricious and the connection between any one cigarette and a malignant tumour in your lungs is hard to establish. The harm is found in broad net effects that grow over time. It is a matter of statistical preponderance.

To make this kind of attack another target could be used.
We’ve had one villain in this story already (Pol Pot) but it is time for another.

Steve Milloy.

Milloy, locked onto the DDT issue as a way of sowing doubt about science-based environmental policy. The brief was to help limit legislation on secondhand smoking but to do that a broader strategy of creating FEAR UNCERTAINTY DOUBT around science policy was being employed. This was not new – a long-term approach to hamper moves on environmental and public health issues was the application of FUD.

It’s why if you are a right-leaning American you probably think that global warming is dubious. For any industry that unfortunately poisons people as a by-product, there are only a few PR gambits you can employ – making people doubt reality is going to be the main one.

In 2001 the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants  was used by TASSC and Milloy to create a set of enduring myths about DDT. While the convention overtly did NOT ‘ban’ DDT for use in vector control, the surrounding discussion was exploited to imply that first-world environmentalists were trying to stop struggling third-world nations from fighting malaria. The claim was false on many levels and had only a limited long-term impact on policy. But that wasn’t the point.

The point was to create a stick with which to attack science-based activism and policy.


Some years ago I was standing in a long Hindu temple that sat on a precipitous cliff edge and below me was all of Cambodia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preah_Vihear_Temple
The temple is on a disputed piece of territory between Thailand and Cambodia. It lies in Cambodia but is really only accessible from Thailand. For political reasons it isn’t always accessible but at the time it was. Well worth a visit if the border is open. Exquisite. I think it is more impressive than Angkor Wat, although the scale is smaller.

After the Vietnamese invaded Cambodia and put an end to Pol Pot’s murderous regime, the Khmer Rouge retreated to various places.One of these was Preah Vihear Temple because of its strategic command of the surrounding territory.

There were stern warnings about minefields, a partly destroyed Russian helicopter, some small artillery pieces (possibly there just for tourists) and Buddhist monk  who treated me as a tourist attraction for a group of visiting Thais because I was the biggest, most obviously Western (‘Farang’) person there.

One of those places which had just way too much history concentrated in one spot.

Now you just can’t help but try and get into the heads of the Khmer Rouge standing in a place like that. It wasn’t just the genocide – and it pointless to try and draw levels of awful when it comes to murder on those levels – but the extent to which it was a kind of self-genocide. During Pol Pot’s reign, he and the Khmer Rouge essentially tried to make Cambodia murder itself. It is nigh on incomprehensible.

Ideology doesn’t explain it. After all, it was another brutal communist regime that eventually brought the mass murder to an end. Some kind of mass traumatic syndrome from the horrors of the decades of war in former French-IndoChina goes someway to explaining it I suppose.

Pol Pot literally wanted to make Cambodia great again. It was nationalism and communism and Maoist obsession with agrarian living that formed a truly appalling mix that led to horrors that should chill every one of us.

But also denial. Denial of learning. Denial that people from the cities had anything to contribute. Denial of learning. Denial of expertise.

When things didn’t go to plan, when the agricultural revolution instead brought starvation, the killing only intensified. When eventually the Khmer Rouge was toppled, the die hards didn’t stop and think ‘we really messed up’ but dug in and kept fighting for decades afterwards UTTERLY CONVINCED that they had done the right thing. To the extent that they would carry on fighting and dying for their beliefs that were so factually and morally wrong.

So who killed more? Pol Pot or people’s capacity to fool themselves with cynical lies? Pol Pot personally could have only ever killed a few people. To kill on the scale that he did required people who would believe and spread cynical lies and CONTINUE TO DO SO in the face of reality demonstrating that what they believed was wrong.

I’ve typed a lot in reply now. Some of what I’ve typed will be incorrect, misleading, inaccurate or exaggerated. Infallibility is not achievable.

Rachel Carson killed nobody by not being 100% correct.
The followers of Pol Pot killed millions by not accepting that he could be anything other than 100% correct.
I know which is a better example for any human regardless of their ideology.

A Tale of an Encyclopedia in Graphs

Just one more post about Voxopedia.

Vox Day has an additional blog as a kind of support site for his Wikipedia knock-off. https://infogalactic.blogspot.com.au/2016/10/500-editors.html

We now have 500 registered Galaxians and we’re seeing a growing number of daily edits as well.

We’ll be introducing three levels of editing capabilities soon.

L1: Create and edit new pages only.
L2: Create and edit new pages, add text to existing pages only.
L3: Create and edit new pages, add and delete text from existing pages.

Once we get to Phase Three, this sort of differentiation will be unnecessary, but it will reduce the likelihood and amount of edit-warring in the meantime.

It is true that the number of registered ‘Galaxians’ is over 500 but it is very wrong to see that figure as having much relevance to how the wiki is performing. It may be that 500+ is a goodish estimate of the wiki’s supporters but it has very little relation to the editing activity on the site.

I’ve pulled off the Recent Changes page, a data set that looks at edits to main pages (i.e. not Talk: pages, User: or other special pages) that are not flagged as ‘minor’ edits, that dates back to 4 October. From that data set you can see how much editing is being done and by whom (editors are pseudonymous and the data is public so no privacy issues are in play).

This is how the edits are playing out cumulatively:

voxopediaedits

[more below]

Continue reading

@PhilSandifer was wrong about Voxopedia – it’s even crappier

In a series of Tweets about our favourite encyclopedia/train-wreck, Phil said:

Well, in a data grabbing exercise I’ve been looking at how the number of new pages has been growing. In doing so I collected data on the main space, non-minor edits since October and tabulated new pages. There are about 100 new pages that have been created but I only noticed one about a video game:  http://infogalactic.com/info/Etrian_Odyssey_2_Untold:_The_Fafnir_Knight

The truth of Voxopedia is even worse than Phil’s putdown: even in the space of video games it lags seriously behind Wikipedia despite being a clone. There simply aren’t enough people editing to keep up with events even in a more constrained field such as video games – never mind current affairs.

Meanwhile Vox boasts: http://voxday.blogspot.com.au/2016/11/infogalactic-update.html

We now have 540 registered Galaxians. Not a single edit war yet.

There’s a reason for that. The majority of non-minor edits* are being done by one user. Three user account for over 80% of the non-minor edits.

Of those others adding new pages, well some are zen-like in their simplicity: http://infogalactic.com/info//MagicTest

Tomorrow, graphs!

*[probably minor edits as well but I didn’t gather those]

Alt-Pi: Voxopedia replies (again)

I’m inadvertently becoming a feature on Voxopedia’s talk pages: http://infogalactic.com/info/Talk:Miles_Mathis

Idris (talk) 23:15, 25 October 2016 (UTC)

Excellent. Vox Day’s First Law manifest. Camestros Felapton, go look at the experiment on Youtube. Two ball bearings, two plastic tubes. It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3… Galileo.

Vox Day’s first law is that any sufficiently advanced intelligence is indistinguishable from insanity. In other words, sometimes the alt-right are just SO smart that what they say appears utter nonsense. This leads to Camestros Felapton’s corollary:

In general things indistinguishable from nonsense are actually nonsense.

Anyway, the video in question appears to be this one:

It rambles on a bit but the gist of it is this. The guy rolls ball-bearings down two plastic tubes. They both start with the same slope, then they go straight for a bit, then one tube goes off in a roughly circular horizontal loop and the other one carries on straight.

The ball that goes through the loop decelerates because physics. The ball that goes straight decelerates less because again, physics. Consequently the ball on the straight path travels further in the same time than the one in the curved path. Aha! Says the guy, the ball on the straight path has traveled four diameters of the circle in the time it has taken the other path to travel the circumference, so pi equals 4 for motion!

No, it doesn’t. The balls are traveling at different speeds, so they don’t cover the same distance in the same time. The ball in the loop has to travel slower because of Newton’s first law of motion: traveling a loop requires a force to act on it (to change direction) and the forces in play have to decelerate the ball, hence it has to slow down MORE than the ball on the straight path. Making the second ball travel in a circle by a different method (e.g. deflecting its path with a magnet) would lead to a different answer.

Meanwhile, elsewhere on Voxopedia more women have gone missing. [Thanks to Mark for spotting this]

Kitty Joyner is the lead picture for ‘engineer’ on the Wikipedia page

Look, she has a slide rule and everything! Sadly her presence was just too confusing for the poor folks at Voxopedia. Maybe that big circular gizmo in the background didn’t look pi=4 enough. So, to prevent fainting and to protect sensitive dispositions, Joyner has been replaced by Oliver Heaviside

Phew!

Meanwhile, Vox has given us all permission to laugh http://voxday.blogspot.com.au/2016/10/let-them-laugh.html

Weird Internet Ideas: The Platonic Ideal of Fringe Ideas with a side serve of Voxopedia

I must confess to a vice: I have a ghoulish fascination for dysfunctional ideas. Sad to say some, like global warming denialism or racism can feel depressingly ubiquitous. Others are a tad more rarefied – like the occasional defenders of geocentrism. Yet the finest, most exotic of the misapplications of intelligence must be mathematical-crackpottery.

To push truly odd mathematical ideas takes real skill and perseverance. First of all it is hard to find the space which encompasses enough people to know enough about the area of maths you are disputing to understand what you are disputing, yet not so much about the topic to see why you are talking nonsense.

One of the longest running blogs cataloguing and debunking examples of bad maths is Mark Chu-Carroll’s Good Maths – Bad Maths blogs: http://www.goodmath.org/blog/

It has been around for some time, originally on Science Blogs, then at Scientopia and now self-hosting. He has been debunking in good humour some very, very odd ideas.

Here is an extract from a 2010 post which amused me: http://www.goodmath.org/blog/2010/11/16/grandiose-crackpottery-proves-pi4/

Someone recently sent me a link to a really terrific crank. This guy really takes the cake. Seriously, no joke, this guy is the most grandiose crank that I’ve ever seen, and I doubt that it’s possible to top him. He claims, among other things, to have:

  1. Demonstrated that every mathematician since (and including) Euclid was wrong;
  2. Corrected the problems with relativity;
  3. Turned relativity into a unification theory by proving that magnetism is part of the relativistic gravitational field;
  4. Shown that all of gravitational/orbital dynamics is completely, utterly wrong; and, last but not least:
  5. proved that the one true correct value of pi is exactly 4.

I’m going to focus on the last one – because it’s the simplest illustration of both his own comical insanity, of of the fundamental error underlying all of his rubbish.

Ah, Miles Mathis, the pi equals 4 guy. To be fair, Mathis was trying to be provocative and his claim was more specifically about pi equaling 4 when circular motion was involved. Yet it is still nonsense and as Mark Chu-Carroll says, very grandiose nonsense.

The guy in question really does need to be read to be believed, and I’m willing to entertain the idea that it is a very clever spoof or very complex humour. Take this piece on his various enemies: http://milesmathis.com/david.html

This post will be an ongoing reply to selected critiques of my new book, The Un-unified Field. The first negative review of the book has just been posted at Amazon UK, so I take this as the beginning of my science counter-critiques. I have been looking forward to this moment, as many can imagine. I am already well-known—some might say notorious—for my counter-critiques on my art site. For almost a decade I have been making the current art critics look very bad. Using Whistler as my model, I have responded directly to the various writings of the status quo, taking on all the big names, including Greenberg, Saltz, Schjeldahl, Hughes, Danto, Carey, and Hickey. But until now my science site has been a different sort of beast. I have attacked physics and physicists, not science critics. I have written and published science papers, not polemics. Yes, my science papers contain a bit of polemics, but I could never have included them in a folder titled “counter-criticism.” I have not only been criticizing science, I have been doing science. I have not just analyzed, I have corrected and predicted. Now, however, I able to use my polemical skills, sharpened by a decade of art fights, in the field of physics. If these science critics had bothered to read any of my art or science papers, beyond “a passing glance here and there,” they might not have stuck their necks out. But they have stuck their necks out and will continue to, of course, and this will provide me (and perhaps you) with decades of new fun.

I can’t help feel like I’m reading a mish-mash of both John C Wright and Vox Day but with an extra dose of grandiloquence.

Speaking of Vox Day…

…meanwhile…

…over at my new favourite encyclopedia…

There are various edits going on at Voxopedia. A lot of it is alt-right PC renaming of things, removing CE from dates and putting AD back in, swapping out “pro-choice” for “abortion legalization”. There seems to be lots of minor edits on topics related to Croatia but…aside from Castalia House related things not much in the way of new pages.

However, one of the more prolific editors “Rectified” has been working on some new content – content that wouldn’t make it into Wikipedia.

Ladies and gentlemen: The Miles Mathis page! http://infogalactic.com/info/Miles_Mathis

I have seen the future of the big fork!

As Philip Sandifer has pointed out, the encylopedia lacks a decent user base. Of the user it has picked up only a small proportion are editing. Because most topics already have entries (from Wikipedia) all the ‘fun’ work has been done. What is left is the drudgery of keeping the thing up to date.

But then what? Well, the Mathis page shows the way. The alt-right hangers on (or perhaps the alt-right internet constituency) is not just frustrated by leftwing gatekeepers but any and all gatekeepers. Wikipedia is hated not just because of some progressive choices when it comes to naming things or deleting topics but because it constrains behaviour. Specifically it constrains the behaviour of privileged brats and that kind of constraint (not just from Wikipedia but in general) is targeted by alt-right angst.

So Voxopedia has notability guidelines but thos guidelines will be used (at some point in the future…) to rank pages. Hence, a Miles Mathis biography  page can be a thing. Not only that but there doesn’t seem to be any rules against editing/creating a page on yourself.*

So here is a future for “Infogalactic” if it last – a vanity encyclopedia not just for Vox but for Vox’s followers.