Miscellaney 2021-07-27

Miscellaney 2021-07-27

I have a few more complete posts getting put together, but here's a few things I thought were worth looking at.

First, author Jon Mollison - I cannot recommend enough his stories in The Penultimate Men, and truly enjoyed Barbarian Emperor as well as Moon Full of Stars - on why we're booing at the olympics. In part it's not because "the best gymnest ever" lost, but because she's a loser. And so is much of what she represents, and those who say we should take her side. There is a difference:

And despite what the idiots in the US Senate think, the difference between American cheers and boos has nothing to do with Trump. It has to do with a desire for openness, honesty, and genuine achievement.

It isn’t Biles that America is booing. She is just the latest face of something far larger, far more insidious, and increasingly less effective. It’s the constant stream of lies that America is booing. It is the constant shrill demand for supplication and acceptance of the globalist lies that American is booing. It’s the naked and clumsy attempts to flip the demands such that “we have always rooted for America”, made by people who are working to ruin the nation, that Americans are booing. It is the corporate cancer that expects to trade on a love of nation to sell product while simultaneously undermining the concept of the nation that Americans are booing.

Vox was running articles on how it's really not her fault. You see, she was performing critically difficult routines that were being underscored for difficulty. Please be to ignore that anyone else choosing the same routine as her would face the same issues, or that she and her coach were free to choose a different routine with better difficulty ratings for scoring.

Look, I get pushing yourself to achieve stuff no-one has before, but you know what I call deliberately setting up your routine to use lower-scored stunts, instead of optimizing it for what will get you the highest score?

Stupid.

Speaking of... there's an expression from my navy days. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

Sometimes that is all too literal.

I know I've mentioned before that until very recently, no woman - not even the world record holder - could swim the 100 meter freestyle fast enough to be considered for the US men's team. At this point, there are few, maybe only one, who's short-course times would meet that standard.

Mind you, this is not to be accepted, this is to merely be considered/try out.

Well, some mad lad decided to dedicate an entire web page to comparing women's times to high school boys.

Filed under "the Atlantic is cancer", a revisit to the recent series of attacks on hobbyist board games.

In practice, that means the mechanics of “Puerto Rico” are centered around cultivation, exploitation, and plunder. Each turn, a player takes a role—the “settler,” the “builder,” the “trader,” the “craftsman,” the “captain,” and so on—and tries to slowly transform their tropical enclave into a tidy, 16th-century imperial settlement. Perhaps they uproot the wilds and replace them with tobacco pastures or corn acreage, or maybe they outfit the rocky reefs with fishing wharfs and harbors, in order to ship those goods back across the ocean. All of this is possible only with the help of a resource that the game calls “colonists,” —represented by small, brown discs in the game’s first edition, which was published by Rio Grande Games and is available in major retailers—who arrive by ship and are sent by players to work on their plantations.

So that’s “Puerto Rico,” the game. In Puerto Rico, the real place, the Spanish empire started enslaving the indigenous Taíno people shortly after Columbus arrived on the island during his second voyage, in 1493. The first African slaves arrived in 1517. By 1560, the total population of captives numbered about 15,000, and in 1560, plantation holders started branding slaves’ foreheads with hot irons in order to adjudicate any potential kidnapping cases. It’s all a little uncanny when you set down a brown “colonist” marker, but the original instruction manual for “Puerto Rico” offers no commentary on the terror of human displacement that it echoes. The game’s animating principle—as much as it has one—is that this island was empty and dormant until the West arrived, bringing with it a golden age.

And yet, “Puerto Rico” is still considered to be one of the greatest board games of all time. For more than five years after its initial release in 2002, Rio Grande’s game was ranked No. 1 by the aggregator BoardGameGeek, and critics praised its clever mechanisms and depth of strategy. (Currently, it sits at No. 29.) “Puerto Rico” has been played digitally 1.8 million times on the website Board Game Arena since 2011, and BoardGameGeek users have reviewed it more than 60,000 times.

“Puerto Rico” is part of a wave of modern, strategy-heavy board games that earn high praise while asking players to reenact human history’s grimmest episodes. “Macao,” from 2009, is set in Portuguese Macau, where settlers are slowly gobbling up city blocks; “Vasco da Gama,” from the same year, whitewashes the explorer’s many murderous crimes; “Mombasa,” from 2015, puts players at the helm of an Imperial British East Africa Company stand-in. In 2004’s “Goa,” competitors transform themselves into Portuguese merchants at the height of the ravenous Indian spice trade. (“Goa” is currently ranked 187 overall on BoardGameGeek.) “Archipelago,” from 2012, asks participants to conquer an unnamed indigenous community as efficiently as possible; players “need to be careful of the natives,” announces the BoardGameGeek summary. “If they make them too unhappy or if too many of them are unoccupied, they could revolt and declare independence. Then everyone will lose!”

While there are a few euros I do enjoy, I generally dislike them for a number of reasons. Nevertheless, an attack on now-classics of hobbyist boardgaming that you can typically find at any B&N, Target, and often enough Walmart and other outlets, needs to be quashed, because in the end, any inroads made will be used to quash actual wargames, and any actual history and badthink.  All of it uses hatred of western culture and history as an attack vector.

You see, you might learn to enjoy playing as the "wrong" side.

Speaking of attacking culture and heritage, over at Men of the West, an excellent post on how we are being bullied. I can't excerpt it to do it justice, but read the whole thing. At the end are some good resources.

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