Why we don’t object to Trump’s “Secret Police”

In standard fashion, the Death Cult is appealing to morality that it itself does not recognize or care about. It does this most potently by co-opting organizations that officially are dedicated to some sense of “morality”: The Libertarian Party has been a clown show for some time, but this tweet really says it all. They were silent when it came to mobs of “anarchists” (really, bandits) destroying swaths of private property and stealing indiscriminately during “protests.” They certainly didn’t call for individuals to use force to defend their property. Instead, they speak up when one organization level of government (federal)…

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On Having Coronavirus

Yes, I have/had Coronavirus, which is why I’ve gotten so little done in the last little while. I’m mostly on the mend, but there were definitely some intense days. How I got it My whole family got the virus, we think, around the 4th of July weekend, in which my kids played with their cousins. Their cousins got sick slightly before my son (the first of us), so it’s likely one of them had the virus but hadn’t come down with symptoms. Oddly, one of my sisters-in-law had been exposed, but had a negative test come back. That might have…

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The Millennial Obsession with Harry Potter

It’s a curious case – Millenials, particularly in the “literary” and “writing” (I use those terms as ironically as possible) community are constantly referencing Harry Potter, particularly when it comes to some of the basic parts of the moral play, such as Lord Voldemort, who represents whatever current-year evil they happen to be personally obsessed with (usually just orange man bad). Why? Why so much obsession with a children’s book series, to the point where people put their Hogwarts house in their twitter bio? Yes, you are so Gryffindor, Miss Keyboard Warrior! Here’s my basic explanation: Mythological vacuum Social reinforcement…

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Optimates and the First Order of the Good

I’ve started using the term “Optimate” instead of political labels like “conservative,” “Libertarian,” “Republican,” etc. I’d like to explain a little about why, and just what “Optimate” means to me. Optimates means “The good men” and the Optimate approach is being “for the good.” It is borrowed from late Roman Republic politics and was a political faction that favored doing the “right” things above doing “popular” things (which gave rise to the “Populares” who favored social, military, and political reform). Why not “Conservative”? We already have this term and have had it for some time to represent politics of the…

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The Process of Deplatforming

Having been around, carefully observing the process of “deplatforming” (that is, banning) of so-called “right wing” personalities on social media, I’ve noticed a few patterns. I’ve noticed that the platforms, YouTube in particular, operate in a series of steps, with the final collision of banning across all platforms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) happening last. Let’s take a look: Phase 1: Shadowban In this step, the offender is identified either manually (that is, by a person) or through new elements added to the algorithms and filters, and is essentially cut off from the normal organic boosts that a social media account will…

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The Dangers of Social Media in 2020 – what you NEED to know as a creator or a user

Following up on some recent videos and livestreams regarding social media, here is what you NEED to know as either a creator or as just a user (or both) regarding social media platforms in 2020: Terms of Service are a red herring. Each platform represents a technical monopoly with little or no competition The core functionality is severely damaged I’ll expand on these below, but here’s what this basically translates into: There is no behavior pattern that can keep you from getting banned The “alternative” platforms are not alternatives at all The service is set up to NOT give you…

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How Short Fiction Died (and how it can come back)

If you want the deep read, check it out on JD Cowan’s blog: https://wastelandandsky.blogspot.com/2020/07/what-are-friends-for.html The ultra-short summation is this: Science fiction short fiction didn’t lose popularity like wearing bellbottoms, it was destroyed through the actions of a small clique of contemptuous busy-bodies who took over the scifi magazines and shifted their subject matter away from what was popular towards what they wished to be popular. The result, of course, was a loss in popularity over time, but process repeated multiple times, until brands which were important in the 1930s are worn like skin suits by people who hate what was…

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3 Easy Ways to Keep Short Fiction Short

This was part of a response to a free audiobook of one of my short works (about 12k) words, which you can listen to for free below. The comment was concerning how to keep short fiction short. Writing short fiction is really a different beast than writing long fiction, and the skills are a different set. If you want to limit length, here are a few easy things: 1) Limit the scope. A few locations, or one, rather than many. A few characters, or even one, rather than many. 2) Keep it to one plot. “A” story only, no sub-plots.…

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Don’t Get Me Too’d

It’s inevitable. If your head is sticking up above the crowd, someone is going to want to chop it off – and there have been more rounds of “me too” madness. Keep in mind it doesn’t matter what “side” you are on: The thing is, it’s not just high-profile artists or celebrities that have this happen to them. IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU, TOO. I’ve had several friends in the teaching profession (which I myself was in for more than 10 years) get accused of misconduct ranging from sexual affairs to “harassment” – and in some of these cases, it…

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ICONOCLASM

I recently talked about iconoclasm in Magic the Gathering, and while that is topical, it is just part of the greater iconoclasm of our day. Expect all images of white males, even Christ, to be under attack from now on: Let me be clear that I am using this term broadly – statues and art are not necessarily “icons” that must be purged for religious reasons. The removal of images inherited from the past does represent a similar motive in that is, in a sense, religious, but it is done for different reasons. Icons in the church have been removed…

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