On Reviews and the Indie Movement – An Optimate Memo

I haven’t done much in the way of book reviews, either here or on my YouTube channel, but I’m reconsidering how I approach this. First, take a look at this blog post by Alexandru Constantin, regarding where he has settled on book reviews: There are few things I want to cover here related to all this, before I get to prescriptions: Tradpub may be a facade, but it is one that normal folks think is real – and perception matters What is the point of a book review? Is there any point to negativity? The “political right” doesn’t think strategically…

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Numbers make people stupid

As soon as you introduce numerical data into an informational vector, you are going to confound people and turn them from rational into irrational. Some people get numbers. Some people understand what math means in a practical sense. For others, statistics turn them into idiots. Ex. 1 – IMPACT Coronavirus is 98% survivable (ignoring distribution). No big deal, right? Why is everyone freaking out? Would you play Russian roulette? The odds of winning are pretty good – 80%! Most people would say no, because they aren’t idiots. How many cylinders would it take for you to gamble? 20? 50? 98%…

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Using Your Children to Grift is Child Abuse

I’ll be honest. Years of existing on the internet, with hoax after hoax pulling on people’s heartstrings and then being shown to be a grifting operation, my heart has hardened. I didn’t believe this story from the moment I saw it. Why? Because it’s too good. It’s too on the nose. Aboriginal dwarf getting bullied hits waaaay too many checkboxes for me to not put on my skeptics goggles. As my friend Michael Brown points out: And yes, this setup was a grift, one that this mother has been pulling for years. In fact, the kid is an actor. This…

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It’s about dunking on you

I didn’t watch the super bowl. I haven’t in some time; Even if I wanted to, I lack the means, but as time goes on I’m ever more thankful for this. The halftime show, as usual, was a debacle of sorts. Two (middle-aged) women went on stage in skimpy attire and danced erotically for the biggest TV audience of the year. I saw some clips after the fact; I won’t link them here for reasons that will be clear. As usual, most people are missing what such a display is really about. It’s about dunking on you. It’s also about…

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Beauty in Art is the Reverence of God

I’ll try to give my broadest, most robust theory behind beauty in art: Beauty in art is the iteration of God’s creation. Yes, this is Platonic. When a painter paints a portrait of a beautiful woman, he is iterating God’s creation directly. If he is painting a woman that is born of his own imagination, he is painting an iteration of the concept of female beauty, which is revealed through God’s creation. This extends to music. Beautiful music is a display of the perfect mathematics that underly God’s creation – an ordering of pitches over time according to mathematical relationships.…

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Judging things by their outcomes

This post is beyond the contest between consequentialism and deontology, before anyone starts firing up his philosophy brain. I notice in our society there is a profound resistance to judging actual outcomes, whether it is a public program, government service, educational process, or even a workout routine. The tendency is to try to judge either the process for its own sake or to judge the intended outcomes of the process. A workout program seems fun at the gym – it’s a great program! But… did you gain strength and muscle, cut fat, or increase your athletic capacity? We can’t abandon…

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The 5 phases of Corporate IP Ownership

For the purposes of this discussion, “IP” means “Intellectual Property” and comprises copyright and trademark ownership – such as the ownership of franchises like Star Wars. Phase 1: Creation A lone visionary or small team create something that is an unexpected success, usually on a small budget. Phase 2: Explosion The corporation looks to capitalize on the unexpected success of the creation. They buy up the IP to make movie and game adaptations, or order sequels to quickly deliver additional products to the market. The original team is still mostly intact with increased salaries to ensure they participate in initial…

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IP “Law” and Free Societies

From a fan: HI David, Love your content on youtube. I’d be very interested to hear your take on how IP law has distorted the entertainment industry, in particular, the Star Wars movies. I’m an anarchist and advocate of the dissolution of all intellectual property law. Although my main argument is principled, I also think that IP law is has had negative effects on every industry; including books, movies, music, and tv. I’d be stoked to hear back from you, or see a video inspired by this topic. Keep up the great work. Thanks! IP law is something I talk…

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There is No Such Thing as a Bleeding Heart Liberal

Love of the poor. Care for the infirm. An infinite metric of the empathy of one human to another. And yet, not.   The term “bleeding heart liberal” gets thrown around from time to time, as often as not from the “bleeding hearts” themselves, but it represents nothing of the position of the American left. The belief in government assistance programs, and their targeting of the “underprivileged” in America seems to imply an excess of empathy. That excess of empathy is derided by the right and worn as a badge of honor by the left. The reality, however, is that…

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The Slave Morality of Socialism

Socialism is that idea that if you steal and murder enough, equality will emerge. It is an utter sacrifice of the means to the end. On the surface, this seems like consequentialism at its worst, but even a cursory glance of history reveals that this is not the case. This is because 100 years of socialism have yielded tangible consequences, and they are horrific. Not only are the process costs immense, some 100 million dead due to socialism and communism in the last century as a conservative estimate, but the ends of equality and social justice that would justify the…

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