The Animals Came Back - and other Wrong Lessons

The Animals Came Back - and other Wrong Lessons

If you've been going down youtube rabbit holes, spending time on social media, or have family who do, you might have a video similar to the below come to your attention: Of course, at the end, the video  exhorts us to have more awareness of our connection to nature. It's part of a general leftist trend of looking at the changes quarantines and "social distancing" hath wrought, and drawing the wrong lessons from it. When I had this passed to me, it was with a "why can't it be like this all the time?" note. I pointed out that it…

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Barbarians Among the Civilized

Barbarians Among the Civilized

After Pournelle finished the first set of "There Will be War" anthologies, he started a series that ran for two books called "Imperial Stars" (because, he joked, "There Will be Government" was an awful title). Much like TWbW before it, it was a series of essays and fiction centered around how people would end up governing each other - which overlaps heavily with war. One essay that stuck out had as its premise that to the ideal tribesman, rooted in order and tradition and set place, the barbarian and the chaos and apparent formlessness were anathema. Yet the barbarians kicked…

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Hatred of Boundaries and the Death of Meaning

Hatred of Boundaries and the Death of Meaning

This one had been bouncing around a while, but the following article caused me to finally say something about it: The term “at-risk youth” was commonly used in both penal and education codes in California – until now. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation that went into effect on Jan. 1 that officially wiped the phrase from the state’s language. The phrase will now be replaced by “at-promise youth.” Assemblymember Byron Jones-Sawyer (D-South Los Angeles), who penned the passed legislation, says the measure will change the negative connotation that comes along with the “at-risk” label. “I learned that words matter – and…

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Golden Rule of the Jungle

Golden Rule of the Jungle

Adam Piggot wrote an excellent writeup on why Duterte is so popular in the Phillipenes. Peter Grant added some excellent commentary. From Adam: I was speaking to one of the Filipinos in a private conversation when he brought up the subject of his president. He was most fulsome in his praise. Under Duterte the streets are now safe. His kids can happily play on the streets. Business is going well, and particularly without the criminal element extorting money from small family concerns. The man was so enthusiastic that I decided to ask a few other of the Filipino crew what…

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Brands are Shallow

Brands are Shallow

One expression I have come to loathe is "building your brand", and variants thereof, such as "personal brand." Fuck you. The term you are looking for is reputation. Even in its original context, a brand is: A brand (or marque for car model) is a name, term, design, symbol or other feature that distinguishes one seller's product from those of others.[4] Brands are used in business, marketing, and advertising. Initially, livestock branding was adopted to differentiate one person's cattle from another's by means of a distinctive symbol burned into the animal's skin with a hot branding iron.In short,…

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Impressions of Europe: Driving in Germany

Impressions of Europe: Driving in Germany

Driving in Germany was somewhat surreal. The good news for us American types was that we were on the correct side of the road. You know, the right one. The bad news was that at some point we must have been caught by a speedtrap camera going just a few kph over, and were mailed a ticket. Yes, Germany still has stretches of autobahn that are unlimited, at least some of the time, but the surface roads and most of the highways are regulated. Juvenile jokes about how the vehicle exits are all labeled "ausfahrt" aside, how they do it…

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Petty Misery

Petty Misery

No, this is not a reference to Pelosi tearing up her copy of the STFU speech Trump delivered, or the Dems behavior in general, though the Fist of course has his usual Not-Safe-For-Work take on it. No, this instead is about a set of posts that touch on interrelated themes. The first is a post referencing Brian Niemeier - author of the outstanding Souldancer and Nethereal, as well as a new mecha series - over at kairos, discussing the big lie shared by all of the variants of the death cult that this life is about you. Each of the…

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Odds and Ends, and a Bit of Beauty

Odds and Ends, and a Bit of Beauty

First, a couple good links from Pulprev author Ben Cheah's site. He had a short story in Riding the Red Horse, and also authored the excellent No Gods only Daimons, and Hammer of the Witches. I'd previously linked to him in a post on "realism." On his winding road to the pulp revolution. Fantasy without fantasy: Fantasy recalls those ancient days, when the miraculous co-existed with the mundane, when the Weird was within sight, when human civilisation consisted not of contiguous countries but isolated outposts of fragile life huddled against a chaotic darkness roiling with predators and strange beasts. In…

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