In Trump We Trust

I read In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome! the minute it came out on Kindle. It comes out today. It's 12:30am where I live. I've finished it.

You should read it too. It's amazing.

Thank you Ann Coulter.

I took breaks while reading to tweet about it. Here's my tweets:

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 7 hours ago
Elliot Temple Retweeted Ann Coulter
If you buy the Kindle version, you can read In Trump We Trust early at 9pm pacific tonight. :)
Ann Coulter @AnnCoulter

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 6 hours ago
Elliot Temple Retweeted Donald J. Trump
Yeah! It comes out at 9pm pacific time (midnight eastern) tonight if you buy on Kindle! :)
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
.@AnnCoulter's new book, 'In Trump We Trust, comes out tomorrow. People are saying it's terrific - knowing Ann I am sure it is!

You Retweeted
Donald J. Trump ‏@realDonaldTrump 7h7 hours ago
.@AnnCoulter's new book, 'In Trump We Trust, comes out tomorrow. People are saying it's terrific - knowing Ann I am sure it is!
4,807 retweets 14,113 likes

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 3 hours ago

Islam’s PR Agency: The American Media

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 3 hours ago

So Close! The Plan to Destroy America Was Almost Complete

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 3 hours ago

Trump Builds Wall, Makes GOP Pay for It

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 3 hours ago
The table of contents for In Trump We Trust by @AnnCoulter looks great :)

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 1 hour ago
"You don’t want to pore through forty or fifty of them, so . . . Oh, the hell with you—here are forty or fifty examples:"

Luv u @AnnCoulter

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 1 hour ago
CHAPTER SEVEN: No Policy Specifics!

best one so far @AnnCoulter

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 46 minutes ago
The media always lies. The media always lies. The media always lies.

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 45 minutes ago
Read … right now

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 44 minutes ago
Then [Trump] did something completely unprecedented: He didn’t back down. Spoiled by decades of Republicans asking "Who do I apologize to?"…

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 43 minutes ago
the public kept trying to tell the media that they rather liked his idea to suspend Muslim immigration.

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 42 minutes ago
Maybe Russia should call CNN’s Randi Kaye … next time, so she’ll at least know as much as random South Carolinians attending a Trump rally.

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 40 minutes ago
I don’t know what Trump supporter Lauren Martel does 4 a living, but she knows more about the govt's vetting process than CNN correspondents

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 40 minutes ago
quotes are from

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 39 minutes ago
Our current national security threat comes from millions of Islamic savages spread throughout half the globe.

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 39 minutes ago
Americans are raped and maimed not by the Red Army but by millions of illegal aliens waltzing across our wide-open border.

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 23 minutes ago

LOVE YOU @AnnCoulter

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 21 minutes ago
2 of Angela’s illegal alien [siblings. out of 10] had already fled California for … Kentucky, because … there were “fewer Mexicans there.”

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 21 minutes ago
Alejandra raved about Kentucky, saying, “We’re in a state where there’s nothing but Americans.”

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 19 minutes ago
2 yrs later: Police [say] Latin Kings, Surenos & MS-13 gangs, all w/ ties to Mexican Mafia are operating criminal enterprises in Kentucky

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 5 minutes ago
First! Finished

Thank you so much @AnnCoulter

My favorites were chapter 7 and the appendix. So many quotes!

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 5 minutes ago
Trump’s closest competitor, Ted Cruz, was the only rival smart enough to adopt nearly all of Trump’s positions on immigration. @AnnCoulter

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 4 minutes ago
Between them, they won 80 percent of the vote in a multiple-candidate field @AnnCoulter

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 3 minutes ago
It is no longer a question of what the party wants. The combined vote for Trump and Cruz is a ringing chorus …

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 2 minutes ago

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 1 minute ago
“Jeb Bush, who might be president, & … Trump, who won’t be president, competing for media oxygen, and well, it was a contest.” @AnnCoulter

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 1 minute ago
“At the end of the day, it’s quite possible that Donald Trump will get 11 percent in New Hampshire, but that might be his cap.” @AnnCoulter

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 53 seconds ago
“He’s an entertainer. And therefore he’s popular. But he will not be the nominee.” @AnnCoulter

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 33 seconds ago
The Drudge Report, April 28, 2016: Trump most votes in Republican history. @AnnCoulter

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 [I edited my post to add this one in :)]
My IN TRUMP WE TRUST review is done! Great book! Great read! What a thriller! Couldn't put it down! … @AnnCoulter

Elliot Temple ‏@curi42 [I edited my post to add this one in too 😀]
#InTrumpWeTrust 🇺🇸

Thank you @AnnCoulter

#InTrumpWeTrust 🗽


I also had a few book comments I wrote on IMs. Here you go:

omg dude Ann referencing pua shit [editor's note: "shit" means "stuff". this isn't an insult.]
To avoid telling voters what they really planned to do—i.e., give the donors whatever they want—Republican politicians have an annoying habit of saying, “People are frustrated.” They understand, they’re listening—and they’re not answering the question. It’s as if Republican consultants all read a book on how to pick up girls and the only thing they learned was “mirroring.” Candidates have learned to recite a series of facts about the topic as if that constituted a full and satisfactory answer. What would you do to create jobs? Our economy has changed. How would you handle ISIS? ISIS is an organization formed in 2006 by a number of Iraqi insurgent groups . . . What would you do about immigration? People are frustrated!

Mirroring is fine for the non-front-burner issues candidates are asked about—transgender bathrooms and whether they talk to God. But pointlessly reciting facts has become a vehicle for candidates to avoid telling us their positions on anything.
You’re Not Reagan

The only deep insight Republicans have had for the past three decades is: Be Reagan! This wouldn’t be a bad plan, inasmuch as Reagan was a wildly successful president (followed by a typically incompetent Bush), except: (1) Reagan was president in the 1980s, and (2) today’s Republicans don’t seem to remember Reagan.

They are the political version of the cargo cult, a primitive tribe that worshiped modern technology without understanding how it worked, holding coconuts up to their ears as if they were air traffic controllers. Republicans believe they can capture Reagan’s greatness by repeating his answers to the problems of three decades ago.
ann wrong that just keeping muslims out makes us safe. iran! nukes & icbms!
Our current national security threat comes from millions of Islamic savages spread throughout half the globe. Americans are slaughtered not by invading Soviet troops, Red Dawn style, but by Islamic terrorists flying commercial airplanes into our skyscrapers, setting off bombs at the Boston Marathon, and shooting up American military bases, community centers, and gay nightclubs. Americans are raped and maimed not by the Red Army but by millions of illegal aliens waltzing across our wide-open border. Our freedoms are being taken away not by a foreign power but by our own government—in order to protect us from terrorists, international crime rings, and Mexican drug cartels.

The downside to our new enemy is: no war can defeat them. But the upside is: they have no capacity to harm a hair on any American’s head, unless we let them come here. Does a candidate who calls illegal immigration an “act of love” really care about making Americans “safe”?
Even after Trump began to release position papers loaded up with policy details, journalists and pundits agreed: No policy specifics! The public could not be allowed to imagine for one minute that Trump’s appeal had anything to do with his issues.

Here are a few examples. You don’t want to pore through forty or fifty of them, so . . . Oh, the hell with you—here are forty or fifty examples:

It would be as if we were dying to go to Milwaukee. We pack our bologna sandwiches, go to the Greyhound terminal, pay our fare, and walk to the line of buses. San Francisco—Nope! St. Louis—Nope! The Grand Tetons—Nope! Milwaukee—That’s us! We ask the driver if the bus is going to Milwaukee and he says yes, so we get on board. The doors close, and just as the bus is taking off—the driver announces that we’re headed to Austin, Texas.

We curse, ride the bus for three days, get out in Austin, and look for another bus to Milwaukee. We pay the fare, find the signs, ask the driver where he’s going—Milwaukee!—and as soon as we’re in our seats and the doors are locked, the driver tells us the bus is going to Atlantic City.

After this happens a dozen more times and we’ve been all over the country, we’re bleary-eyed, sleepless, and frustrated. We get on another bus, it takes off, and this time the driver turns around and . . . it’s Donald Trump! He tells us, We’re going to Milwaukee. We don’t care what route he’s taking. We don’t care if he sticks to interstate highways or prefers the back roads. We don’t care if he keeps the air-conditioning too hot or too cold. We just want to go to Milwaukee. As long as we finally have a guy who’s going to take us where we want to go, WE DON’T CARE ABOUT THE DETAILS.
[Twice was for emphasis.]
Neither Angela nor Alfredo spoke English, despite having lived in this country for twenty-two and twenty-eight years, respectively. Nor did their teenage children.

Two of Angela’s illegal alien sisters—out of ten siblings in the country illegally—had already fled California for Lexington, Kentucky, because—I quote—there were “fewer Mexicans there.” The sister Alejandra raved about Kentucky, saying, “We’re in a state where there’s nothing but Americans.” She noted the clean streets, police presence, and lack of gang activity. In California, she complained, “everyone thinks like in Mexico.”

That was in 2006. Two years later:


Police tell us that the Latin Kings, Surenos and MS-13 gangs, all with ties to the Mexican Mafia are operating criminal enterprises in Kentucky. Cells have been identified in Shelbyville, Louisville and Lexington. A narcotics officer told us some illegals have wired 15,000 dollars a week for months to cartels in Mexico.

[Shelbyville city councilman] Shane Sutter said, “We don’t have a swat team. We don’t have a gang task force. We’re just a small town.187


Here is the message I sent my parents after reading In Trump We Trust:
will you please read this book? it just came out. i finished it already. i'll buy it for you. just order the kindle or paper version, whatever you want, i'll send you money.

Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comments (3)

SSBM Tier List

curi's SSBM Tier List:

1: Fox, Falco, Marth, Sheik, Puff, Peach
2: Falcon, Pika, ICs, Samus, Yoshi, Luigi
3: Doc, Mario, Ganon, Young Link, Mewtwo, DK
4: The rest.

The focus is mostly on the tiers, not the ordering within tiers.

Comments on tiers:

1: We know they can win a major. Demonstrated top tier tournament results.
2: Some of these characters can win a major. We aren't totally sure which.
3: Harder to win with. Can win a smaller tournament.
4: Bad enough I'd recommend you avoid them. Pichu is underrated but still bad. Zelda and Roy are overrated. Link and Game & Watch aren't good enough. Yes, you could still win a tournament with any character if you're significantly better than the other players.

I'm not good enough or experienced enough at the game to know what I'm talking about that way, but I'm good at taking top players' explanations and judging which make sense.

I'd generally recommend people play tier 1 or 2 characters.

Peach and Puff are top tier because of proven tournament results from Armada and Hbox. Falcon looks like he should be a competitive character, and has put up some promising results, but he doesn't have the track record of the top tiers. The rest of tier 2 ranges from similar to Falcon to being more speculative.

I drew the line at Luigi, ahead of his clones, because having the best wavedash is more promising than a simliar character with worse mobility.

I'm not a big ICs fan because I place a high value on neutral game (getting the first hit in an even situation) and mobility. ICs has very strong punishes (e.g. wobbling) and is a skill test for opponents (if they mess up, they lose). That doesn't work well at the highest level and it isn't fun because it makes the other player control the outcome of the game more than you. I also don't like the idea of babysitting the computer-controlled character (that sometimes plays very stupidly) and playing a low tier when the other climber is dead. But fighting a two on one, even with some limits, is really powerful. So ICs do have potential.

And punishes do matter. If you win neutral 30% of the time for 40 damage on average, and lose neutral 70% of the for an average of 15 damage, then you're coming out ahead (120 damage to 105 per 10 engagements). And everyone does make mistakes. You can't play perfectly or react to everything.

Falcon has strong punishes but also has a strong neutral game due to amazing mobility.

Peach has some strong punishes but also has float cancels and turnips for neutral. Her problem is being a little slow.

Yoshi I don't understand very well. Partly, to me, he looks overly focused on his punish game. But he has parrying and super armor on his double jump that are unique and powerful tools, and I don't really know how good they are.

Luigi has a decent, viable moveset along with the best wavedash. The mobility gives him potential.

Samus has range, defense, wavedash back, projectiles, and recovery. But she's slow.

Puff has bair, horizontal air mobility, rest, and 5 double jumps. Puff would be bad without the large hitbox on bair that goes way beyond her foot. That one move really increases her range and zoning ability.

Fox and Marth have the best neutral games at the top level. Falco has the best neutral game at lower level where people struggle with his lasers. Marth sometimes struggles to get kills and has to win neutral a lot, and he has bad defense. Fox and Falco have the best offense but can be super vulnerable if you hit them.

Sheik has tools for neutral game (some speed, needles, auto cancel aeriels), edge guards, strong defense, strong grab punishes, and generally strong low-lag moves.

Dear new players: Fox's edge is small, don't worry about it, the other top tiers are fine too. At the start, pick any character from tier 1 or 2 that you like (or tier 3 if you really like them) and play that character until you're a halfway decent player who understands what's going on. Then reconsider what character you want to play once you actually understand what all the characters do and have a feel for playing the game.

Impatient players should choose Fox or Falco. Shine gives them the most aggressive options to do a variety of safe approaches and shield pressure. Or, better yet, learn to play patiently. Playing aggressively can be good if done in the right way, but charging in all the time isn't optimal on any character.

Players who aren't really hardcore gamers should not choose Fox or Falco. This is a very hard game with every character. Fox and Falco are a level above in terms of difficulty, and you really don't have to play them.

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Learn Super Smash Brothers Melee and Philosophy!

you want to learn philosophy? except maybe not really.

i bet you couldn't even learn super smash bros melee. that's a challenge.

if you can't learn smash bros, i doubt you'll ever learn philosophy.

if you managed to learn smash, you would have used various methods of learning successfully. you could then re-use some of them for learning philosophy.

if you learned smash, you would have dealt with details. you would have done precise thinking successfully. you could use that for philosophy.

but maybe it's too hard for you. playing smash well requires being able to research information online, understand it, and apply it. playing smash well

playing smash well requires patience at appropriate times.

playing smash well requires effective practice. you have to practice in such a way you get better.

playing smash well requires succeeding at things you were bad at initially. you will be very bad at lots of the game initially. you'll have to change that.

playing smash well requires asking questions productively.

playing smash well involves running into players who are better than you, and seeing really plainly and clearly they are better than you. no excuses, no denials, you're outclassed. and it involves watching games from top players and learning from them and aspiring to be better.

playing smash well requires learning to do some thinking and situation-handling quickly.

playing smash well requires learning new terminology and physics. the terminology is easier than in biology or philosophy. the physics is much easier than the real physics.

playing smash well requires persistence and effort.

playing smash well requires strategy. you have to think about strategies well and implement them.

playing smash well requires good use of testing. is something a good idea? test it out. you can test out lots of your ideas and see how it goes. to make progress you'll need to choose useful tests, and learn from the results. smash allows doing lots of tests quickly, so if you fail at first, you can try again cheaply.

playing smash well requires discussing smash in a productive way.

playing smash well requires objectivity. biases don't win games. myths you tell yourself (like strategy X or character Y is really great – when actually they aren't) don't win games.

playing smash well requires initiative. no one will hand you smash skills. you have to pursue them.

learning smash requires creative practice techniques. play some slow paced games. play some games where you focus on doing one or two things right and autopilot the rest.

learning smash requires developing some autopilot strategies that you can perform with little attention. but you need to be able to turn them on and off. and you need to be able to make changes to them as you get better.

learning smash requires forming habits but then dropping or improving them as you make progress.

learning smash involves making mistakes and and then fixing it and not making those mistakes anymore.

learning smash involves making many tiny improvements which add up to big progress overall.

learning smash requires judging ideas on their merits, not by how fancy the writing is. there's lots of good ideas about smash that are written casually. here's an example written by a player (MaNg0) who some consider to be the best ever: "My summary for this matchup is..Shielding is your best frienD!!!This match is all about spacing! U gotta like run to them shield but space it.. then fair out of shield..Not much really to say about this match... BEtter Spacing and PATIENCE Wins .."

learning smash requires learning from criticism. if you never seek out criticism, you'll get stuck. if you dislike criticism instead of appreciating it, you'll get stuck. if you don't understand what to do with criticism, you'll get stuck.

if you don't have the initiative, persistence and ability-to-learn to play smash well, you'll never get far with philosophy (which requires far more of those skills).

if you think smash is too much work as a step forward, you'll never get competent at philosophy, which is far more work.

if you're too busy for smash, you'll never get competent at philosophy, which takes far more time.

if you don't want people to see your smash mistakes, and want to learn it all alone in private, you will fail at both smash and philosophy.

if you silently ignore this, you will fail at philosophy.

Smash is available on Windows and Mac for online play.

Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comments (30)

Moving On From Fights

I've noticed most people move on from fights in a way I find weird. Like they'll just seem to forget about it, and act like it never happened, without solving the problem. Others don't do this.

I had an idea about the difference in perspective.

Most people fight in an emotional way. Once the emotion fades, the issue is usually done for them. Sometimes the issue is unignorable and they can't do that, but they can ignore a lot, even if it's very unreasonable and self-destructive.

By contrast, I think some people look at problems more logically. So e.g. sleeping, or relaxing with the TV for 2 hours, doesn't change it.

This can lead to conflict. One person can no longer be emotional and want to act like a problem never happened. They don't want to revive bad emotions by focusing on that problem. And the other person can logically see the problem still exists and want to try to cooperatively solve it.

Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comments (5)

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Disney Movies Are Immoral Propaganda

i'm watching Frozen. i watched aladdin trilogy yesterday.

the messaging is really evil

like the let it go song, and the stuff about crazy.

and everythign about love

it's life ruiningly bad ideas

and the approach to emotions

aladdin is full of lying and forgiveness

all of them are full of non-communication problems

jasmine forgives aladdin's repeated lies b/c she FEELS GOOD when doing romance with him

iago reminds her of how she felt on a date with aladdin, from a couple days ago, and she'd like forgotten. then relives the feelings and forgives him with no problem solving.

the role of music and dancing and clothing in life is bad too in the movies

the movies have major evil like every other scene

like ana and cristof just jumped the ravine from the wolves

and he makes up a stupid lying excuse to still help her – she won't buy him a new sled if she dies.

he also makes an awful comment about not helping ANYONE in the future, b/c of this particular incident

and then she's like "oh u will [come]? i mean, i'll let you tag along"

which is a like intentionally blatant lie

like playing it off cool, but badly. which is a thing

ppl find it more defensible b/c it's not very clever or sneaky or something

being superficially socially uncalibrated IS CALIBRATED in certain ways, contexts, etc

similar to the stuff about "can i say something crazy?" she does with hans earlier

just acknowledging she (claims to) knows what she's saying is "crazy" makes it ok to say

if u want to do something crazy, but don't know it's crazy, that'd be bad

but if you know it's crazy and want to do it anyway, and it's the right kind of thing, now that's good

it's partly a massive dishonest exaggeration of their deviance

makes them more unique, rebelliious, non-comformist, quirky

but what was her "crazy" idea? a very old trope. love at first sight. a princess marrying a prince she doesn't know well.

it's convention masquerading as craziness

the movies are like this THROUGHOUT

evil after evil after evil

the world doesn't want the information that disney is evil propaganda that destroys their children. which isn't really accurate. it's just selling the kids on the same bad ideas their parents already have and are selling too.

ppl need to learn to see it themselves, not be told the points individually by me

a few demonstrations and examples are good. but i already have provided hundreds of those.

they meet the talking walking snowman and freak out. very very uncalm, rash, stupid.

disney portrays these large character flaws as fun normalcy for kids.

now olaf the snowman is singing a song about how he wants summer, like tanning at the beach and stuff. he's ignorant of melting. the whole song is teaching kids about how to make fun of people, and read between the lines, and not communicate directly, and how that's good and fun and normal.

cristof is like "i'm gonna tell him" and ana says "don't you dare" in a voice tone.

the message is telling ppl the truth is bad

positive emotions trump truth.

early on there was a really blatant attack on capitalism and trade. calling it exploitation. that's marxism!

ana climbing icy steep mountainside with no gear is like "i'm just gonna block u out cuz i gotta concentrate here"

their interactions are full of kinda mean and hostile and stupid banter presented as fun and good

after failing to climb, ana makes transparent, stupid, defensive excuses for her stupidity, and isn't contradicted

it's not presented that way. the voice tones, atmospheres, vibes, character reactions, etc, all lie about the underlying nature of the interactions.

these movies in general portray problems as solved by people being in the right emotional states, and caused by being in the wrong emotional states. elsa freezes stuff cuz fear. ana is positive and happy, so thinks elsa can unfreeze no problem. but elsa thinks she can't cuz she's being negative. says she doesn't know how. later she will unfreeze without learning how, just by changing mood.

they never have rational discussions about anything

that's just not a thing to even consider

elsa causing problems by literally trying not to feel emotions. her dialog is "don't feel. don't feel". the visual imagery shows she's having negative feelings.

she tries to suppress emotions by force of will, and this works out badly. lesson? embrace even "crazy" positive emotions, like ana. especially love.

the trolls are now embarrassing the fuck out of their FRIEND christoff. singing a song attacking various minor traits he has as flaws. this is portrayed as somehow friendly and just kinda over-enthusiastic. it's got the thinnest veneer of helping – they are asking why ana doesn't pursue love relationship with him, what's the blocker. so then they list lots of potential bad things about him.

it's very intrusive about relationship, and done on initial meeting.

lyrics include saying ppl make bad choices if mad or scared or stressed

which is like explicitly what i was saying the movie's messaging was about emotions

and they don't respect at all that she's already engaged.

the movies portray pets as humans a lot. they also have a ton of selective attention on the main characters.

olaf says "love is putting someone else's needs before yours". so: sacrifice, altruism.

elsa unthaws kingdom cuz she feels lovey

then ppl cheer for ana's petty violence and petty insult against hans.

oh look now kristoff is being super beta and getting affirmative consent to kiss ana

Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comment (1)

Educators Don't Care For Their Students

Until I cared for my parents (both of whom had dementia), I had never given much thought to caring, or to those who do the caring. Having become a carer myself I realised that there was a whole wealth of experience to which I had previously been oblivious.

Twist: Talbot's job, as a Director of Studies, is basically to care for children [1]. She's never given this much thought. Maybe because she doesn't see the students as human beings.

Twist: Talbot's job, as a philosopher, is to think abstractly. her expertise is supposed to be something like not being oblivious without personal experience.

I admit to being glad my caring days are over. But I wouldn’t have missed them for the world.

It was so great that she'd never ever do it again. What a typical and transparent lie.

[1] her job is a lot more like "care for children" than a typical teacher. here is the intrusive and nasty stuff a "Director of Studies" does:

The job involves, "a level of academic support not routinely provided by [most] other universities." The whole description is a big "WE CARE!" (and therefore we meddle). It's paternalistic and overbearing (and disgusting and evil).

BTW, I tried to check what her job is (the linked description is from a different person with the same job title), but Talbot is too stupid to answer a simple, direct question. It's really fucked up – but typical – that an educator doesn't answer the question asked. How that frustrates students!

I asked if her job was like this description. (She has chosen not to explain her job on her website or on Oxford's website. Don't students need to know?) She didn't say anything meaningful about that question, and wrote back with a very vague statement about what her job is. She did use the phrase that she "makes sure" her will is done, though, which is a major red flag for authority and coercion.

on a related note, Talbot considers the children she deals with to be no more important than animals:

(b) Humans are no more important than other animals

why? relativism and skepticism. their claim is a lack of objective foundations for any knowledge of anything:

This means the claim that humans are more important than animals makes no sense because there is no standpoint from which to make such a claim.

as usual with these things, it applies to itself. by their standards, there is no standpoint from which to make the claim: "This means the claim that humans are more important than animals makes no sense because there is no standpoint from which to make such a claim."

How would we justify such a claim? We do not, and cannot, know how important animals’ lives are to animals.

no doubt they are grossly inconsistent. they demand justification (which is impossible – or in the alternative, assigned arbitrarily) when they want to reject something. but then they lower their standards at other times to accept ideas.

We know animals’ lives are important to animals. Animals will, for example, chew off their own limbs if caught in a trap.

in addition to anti-human, they are stupid. this is a pathetically stupid argument parading as prestigious intellectualism.

a robot could be programmed to perform that action. that wouldn't prove the robot cares about its life (or is alive).

Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comments (17)

Don't Fight Your Culture On Sex

Deviant sex, such as homosexuality or BDSM, is stupid. The importance and meaning of sex comes from tradition. If you don't respect, care about and value that tradition then don't have sex. With the exception of trying to have a kid, it doesn't make sense to have sex contrary to its traditional meaning. (The main reason people do anti-traditional sex is a rebellion kind of thing, much like many people are atheists to rebel against our culture. This is bad and people shouldn't live that way. Life should be about positive values, not about petty squabbling with one's society.)

Sex contrary to the traditional meaning of sex is similar to the "stolen concept" fallacy Rand talks about. It accepts some premises of the traditional sex positions (like the stuff about sex being good and important), while also contradicting a bunch of them. The result is illogical nonsense.

If sex plays a traditional role in your life, I understand. If sex plays no significant role in your life, I understand. If sex plays some other role in your life ... wtf are you doing? Don't actively fight with your culture over sex. Do something productive.

Many people believe homosexuality isn't a choice. I don't know if they also believe BDSM isn't a choice. But who you have sex with, and what your ideas about sex are, actually is a choice.

Some of these choices are made in early childhood and people are confused about how to change them later. People also create anger problems in early childhood and are confused about how to stop being such an angry person later in life. That doesn't make anger a non-choice. It's just a bad choice that's somewhat hard to undo later (many bad choices have lasting consequences).

The "homosexuality is not a choice" crowd are very confused. They say it's genetic. But if it was genetic it'd be easier to change. Hair color is genetic and is changed by dye. Eye color is genetic and can be changed with colored contacts. Having a right arm is genetic, but can be changed with an axe.

What's really hard to change in life isn't genetics, it's memes. Genetics offer a limited obstacle but don't actively do anything to stop you from changing. Memes aren't set in stone at birth, like your DNA; memes can adapt as you try to change. Static memes also have much more knowledge in them than your genes.

Homosexuality isn't all that hard to change. The reason people find it very hard to change is because they're really, really bad at changing. Plus they generally give up without trying, or don't want to try to change.

The reason changing is hard is that people hate thinking. If they liked thinking they'd participate in rational discussions, but they don't want to do that.

To be clear, I am not recommending homosexuals and others change right now. Many of them have bigger problems that they'd be better at solving. E.g many of them are parents and ought to stop hurting their children as a higher priority. Anyway, pointing out mistakes and problems is valuable and worthwhile, but doesn't imply those mistakes and problems should be one's immediate focus for change.

Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comments (59)


ppl find incentives very confusing.

like u say "the game design creates an incentive to do X. it punishes you with Y if you don't do X. X is bad. the game shouldn't incentivize X."

they reply "you should have done Z" or "doing X is being a jerk" or "here is a way to try to cope with the downside, Y, so you suffer less from it" or "Y is not a punishment because if you do Z then it's still possible to get a good outcome despite Y".

they get upset with you b/c you're pointing out an incentive to do something *bad***. and they read it as you advocating doing something bad.

you're actually complaining the game incentivizes doing something bad and punishes you if you don't. you don't want to do something bad and don't want to be punished either. but that's too nuanced for people.

people are also very bad about incentives when it comes to economics or laws, not just game rules. you get lots of the same problems.

say a guy is proposing a law to try to reduce pollution. you might reply, "that law you're proposing creates an incentive to pollute more because..." then people will commonly reply with things like "don't do that" or "what an asshole you are to think of responding to the law that way" or "we're trying to stop pollution here. why are you looking for ways to increase it?" or "just don't pollute anyway, you don't have to follow incentives".

Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comments (9)

The Public is Smart

i talk about the value of public criticism. i say it's important that discussion be public.

people may doubt the public is smart or capable.

here's an example:

Dec 13, 2002, the first version of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker was released to the public. It's a Gamecube game. A division of Nintendo made it.

Nintendo hired people to test the game. They looked for and fixed many bugs. They had a whole quality assurance process. It was successful enough that the game seems to work. Many people play through the game, have fun, and don't notice any bugs.

There seem to be no disasters in this game. Nintendo put substantial effort into ensuring the game worked. And yet there are dozens of disasters and the game is massively broken.

What beats a team of bug testers hired to find problems? What beats Nintendo's expensive programming and game design talent?

The public.

Only a little fraction of the public has ever cared about this game. Only a very small number of people have ever cared really strongly. And yet the public wins by a mile.

Wind Waker is very, very broken. It's packed absolutely full of massive bugs. Here's a new TAS (Tool Assisted Speedrun).

This took less than 15 years, and lots of these bugs have been known for years.

I'll briefly explain two bugs the game developers missed to give you some idea of how shoddy the game is.

When you turn while swimming the game lowers your speed. The concept makes reasonable sense. However, what if you keep turning over and over really fast? Then you get a very large amount of negative speed and can travel around the game world super fast. (So fast you can cause problems like going through islands because they aren't loaded yet.)

Negative speed was also an issue in Super Mario 64 where they put a speed limit so you couldn't just long jump a bunch to go super fast. But they only put a speed limit on your positive (forward) speed, not on your negative (backwards) speed. So people use a bunch of backwards long jumps to get high enough negative speed to clip through walls. Humans can do this. I've personally tried it and it's not all that hard. (In tons of games you can go through walls if you move fast enough because, basically, the collision detection for walls only checks if you're in the wall and blocks you a certain number of times per second, and if you get through the whole wall between checks then it doesn't block you.)

So the Wind Waker people let you swim super fast, backwards, merely by turning around. It lets you go to different islands in a few seconds. Some of the trips normally take a couple minutes of travel by boat. And note that super swims are reliably used by human speedrunners, it doesn't require computer precision.

The other Wind Waker glitch I'll talk about is Zombie Hover. When you die (no health left) the game doesn't figure out you're dead until you touch the ground. So you can fly while you're dead and the game keeps going! You fly by spamming your jump attack with your sword. If you do that fast enough then you actually gain height. This, again, is reliably done by human speedrunners and doesn't require computer precision. Then you can regain health while flying and then touch the ground without dying. You can regain health in the air by landing on a healing item (when your feet touch the top of it you're still slightly above the ground) or by using a Tingle the fairy to help.

There are similar stories with many other games. Like, in lots of games you can go through walls with techniques like wiggling in a corner, jumping into a wall at the right angle, or dropping an item behind you that pushes you through the wall.

Today, the public usually finds tons of bugs in every notable game within a few weeks of releasing it to the public. Give it a few years and the public can be very, very thorough. Not that the Wind Waker TAS is perfect. I bet they missed some major things. But it's far above what Nintendo was able to figure out.

All it takes is a few very interested people and very high quality thinking is quickly achievable. Hiring people to think is extremely ineffective compared to what truly interested people can do. Interested people need to select themselves, and material needs to be public for them to do that. People who care enough to think are amazing.

Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comments (2)

Don't Disarm Americans for the RNC

A police union boss has requested the public be disarmed in Cleveland for the Republican National Convention. Ohio Governor Kasich refused. I think disarming the public is a bad idea. Let's look at events as reported by CNN:

"We are sending a letter to Gov. Kasich requesting assistance from him. He could very easily do some kind of executive order or something -- I don't care if it's constitutional or not at this point," Stephen Loomis, president of Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association, told CNN. "They can fight about it after the RNC or they can lift it after the RNC, but I want him to absolutely outlaw open-carry in Cuyahoga County until this RNC is over."

Loomis openly doesn't respect the constitution, he just wants his way. He wants to give the orders and not be limited by concerns about the rule of law. And he doesn't sound very interested in having the gun ban be temporary.

I assume Loomis also wants to outlaw concealed carry. I wonder if he wants to outlaw private security, too. Should Trump be banned from hiring the bodyguards of his choice? Or should the government hand out special gun-allowance exceptions to some privileged people?

"We are going to be looking very, very hard at anyone who has an open carry," he said. "An AR-15, a shotgun, multiple handguns. It's irresponsible of those folks -- especially right now -- to be coming downtown with open carry AR's or anything else. I couldn't care less if it's legal or not. We are constitutional law enforcement, we love the Constitution, support it and defend it, but you can't go into a crowded theater and scream fire. And that's exactly what they're doing by bringing those guns down there."

Loomis doesn't care about the law, he just wants arbitrary power. People like him are a reason why we need our guns!

Americans want to protect themselves. Self-defense is especially crucial at this time of domestic terrorism by (or inspired by) Black Lives Matter. There's also an ongoing threat from radical Islam.

Loomis reasonably thinks there's a danger. It's especially irresponsible to disarm Americans who are known to be in danger.

Kasich, responding to the request, said: "Ohio governors do not have the power to arbitrarily suspend federal and state constitutional rights or state laws as suggested."

Great reply. I didn't like Kasich much during the 2016 primaries because he's a Democrat-friendly moderate. But here he's standing up for some principles! He's defending gun rights and limited government power. I appreciate that.

Convention CEO Jeff Larson said that organizers remained confident in the security measures currently in place and did not expect Kasich to take any new action.

"The open carry laws in Ohio haven't changed recently, it's been in effect for quite some time, they've had a number of big events that have taken place with open carry without any issues," he told reporters Sunday afternoon. "They've been planning their security around that issue."

That makes sense.

Consider the political meaning for the national gun debate if the RNC takes extraordinary measures to disarm the public. It would signal that even Republicans consider an armed public to be an extraordinary danger. That would marginalize gun owners and advocates.

People frequently call for special exceptions when there's a crisis or a situation is extra important in some way. But the important cases are when we most need to follow our principles and use good methods. When the stakes are high, we should use our best approach, not use an ad hoc plan B.

To disarm the public in a crisis implies that a disarmed public is actually the best and safest approach. If we disarm the public when we want to maximize safety, it implies a disarmed public is always safer. That's anti-American.

Armed Americans are a good thing. People should appreciate gun-owners and recognize that, on the whole, guns increase safety. Don't be scared of your neighbors, they're not thugs. Most Americans are good people who use guns for defense.

If guns are bad when there's a threat of violence, when are they good? Just for sports and hunting, but never for defense? Is gun-ownership just a compromise because we don't have enough policemen to be everywhere? I don't think so.

If cops can't protect an armed public in Cleveland, when can they? When would cops ever be able to safely deal with gun-carrying Americans?

Americans don't want to rely on the government for protection. They don't want to trust in authority. Americans value self-reliance and the ability to get on with their own lives and take care of themselves. They don't want to be dependents. That's a great attitude!

Gun free zones are targets. Disarming the public encourages crime. It means criminals just have to dodge cops, but don't have to worry about armed resistance from their victims.

Also, it's not all that hard to sneak weapons through security into airports. Even with pretty ideal conditions, screening people is really hard. People with bad intentions will be able to sneak weapons into Cleveland. Outlawing guns would primarily disarm law-abiding citizens, not terrorists.

And it's important to go on with life as usual whenever possible. We shouldn't respond to terrorist threats in ways that disrupt daily life unless we really have to (e.g. we find an abandoned suitcase and have evidence it contains a bomb). There's no clear, immediate danger in Cleveland, just broad general concerns.

The world is watching and our choices have both symbolic and practical value. Let's demonstrate that, when the stakes are high, armed Americans are a good thing, and we don't have to rely on the government for everything important.

Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comments (6)

Never Trust Ari Armstrong

Ari Armstrong caught my attention because he's a writer who purports to be an Objectivist. But he's got serious quality problems – I caught him making false statements about what the Bible says. Worse, he provided source links to the passages that contradict him. That gives a false impression that he'd checked his claims properly (similar to adding footnotes to a dishonest book to make it look scholarly).

Recently he's done worse:

The article title, "Why I Will Vote for Any Democrat over Ted Cruz", encourages the destruction of America. What's he so bothered by?

In early November, Cruz, along with Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal, spoke at the National Religious Liberties Conference in Iowa. At that event, host Kevin Swanson openly called for the death penalty for homosexuals—albeit only after they’ve had a chance to “repent.” Another speaker at the conference distributed literature advocating the death penalty for homosexuals.

Right Wing Watch is a very biased, untrustworthy site. Nevertheless in this case they had more integrity than Ari Armstrong. Armstrong is misreporting events. His own source says:

In a closing keynote address to the conference this evening, Swanson clarified that he is not encouraging American officials to implement the death penalty for homosexuality … yet.

That's not openly calling for the death penalty for homosexuals. Let's compare. Armstrong:

Swanson openly called for the death penalty for homosexuals

And Armstrong's source:

he is not encouraging American officials to implement the death penalty for homosexuality … yet.

Armstrong is dishonest.

Thanks to Justin Mallone for helping check this.

Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ayn Rand like Gail Wynand?

Ayn Rand sold millions of books to millions of people who do not understand her ideas or respect her values. Sold perhaps tens of books to people who actually get it. Her books apparently have massive appeal to people who misunderstand them or otherwise don't get the point.

Doesn't this make Ayn Rand kind of like Gail Wynand? What are the differences?

You will say Rand didn't flatter fools on purpose. True. But, intentionally or not, it seems her books do contain a lot of material that's very appealing to fools. She put in something they like. And in most cases the thing they like is not Objectivism, which they don't understand and would hate if they did understand it.

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