Heterogeneous cultures

Reading through the comments on this post, which has a reference to a Fred blurb, I came across a very astute summary of the problem.

Reading Fred, I see by the very questions the culture shock.

Cargo culture shock. They want the cargo only produced by high-trust, long time preference, but not change their culture or virtue. DNA might deal them a bad hand, but human beings can bluff. Simply think a moment. So they build totem towers.

Both liberals and libertarians don’t realize the experiments in law will fail. The 55 page iPhone ToS isn’t read, and at some point Tim will be Cooked because law and force are the opposite of trust. The libertarians too design elaborate replacements – DROs, arbitration, etc. not realizing in a trust/posterity/K society they aren’t needed, and in a suspicion/me-now/r society they won’t work.

And that is the crux of the problem when trying to mix heterogeneous cultures. Cargo Cult culture cannot contribute to creation-of-cargo culture anything other than consumers. What is the term in biology for an organism that only consumes of its host and contributes nothing back?

Strict scrutiny in MD by the 4th on the 2nd

The 4th Circuit Court ruled on an assault weapon ban in Maryland. They said, in part:

Strict scrutiny, then, is the appropriate level of scrutiny to apply to the ban of semi- automatic rifles and magazines holding more than 10 rounds.

…..

In our view, Maryland law implicates the core protection of the Second Amendment—“the right of law-abiding responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home,” District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 635 (2008), and we are compelled by Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 U.S. 742 (2010), as well as our own precedent in the wake of these decisions, to conclude that the burden is substantial and strict scrutiny is the applicable standard of review for Plaintiffs’ Second Amendment claim. Thus, the panel vacates the district court’s denial of Plaintiffs’ Second Amendment claims and remands for the district court to apply strict scrutiny.

It was a 2-1 majority. To put it technically, “Suck on that one, anti-rights cultists!”

Ahem. That is to say, “I’d count that as a potentially important win.”

Bad guys and worse guys, bad news and good news

To laugh or cry. Hard call. A recent terrorist shooting Paris has some unlikely, er, heros? (it’s transplated, and a little hard to tell if it was the big ISIS shooting or another one at a nearby or related restaurant) It is being reported that when the terrorists entered and started shooting, there were people in the restaurant that rose and returned fire, killing “the two attackers.” So score two for the good guys? Well, ordinary civilians can’t easily carry for self-defense, there. Turns out the concealed-carry guys were Columbia narco-cartel traffickers.

Huh.

Oh, well. Red-on-red fire still counts as a win, yes?

A religio-political tangent

As much as there ever was a primary thread.

I’m working on another book. Well, three or four of them, nominally in parallel. Because one at a time would be to simple 8-0… Anyway, I’m not much of a biblical scholar, but there are a series of related topics that are not “easy look-up” sorts of subjects on Catholic church teachings, monastic order traditions, and canon that I need to know so I don’t make too many , er, “fundamental” errors on the faith and teachings. If you know something about the Bible, and perhaps are a regular church-goer who would like to see that a SF books gets the basic correct and would like to weigh in a few thoughts, head on over to Not A Biblical Scholar and add your two cents worth.

Free item

The first half of the prose rewrite of “The Stars Came Back” is called ” The Stars Came Back: Back from the Dead “. It is now on Kindle unlimited.  So, for those of you that thought you might like to read the edited PROSE version, you can get it at no cost. Whoo-Hoo! Electronic book only so far. Eventually it’ll hit paper for those who, like me, prefer hardcopy. But those won’t be free 🙁

Sometimes, free is good.

SAFE act

The 2nd Circuit Court upheld the NY “SAFE Act 2013” last week. Bummer. They said that NY could ban certain arms, prohibit private transfers, etc. On the one hand, that really sucks for the people of NY, another in a long line of suckage. Oh, well, I don’t live there, and I’m never planning too. And it sets a circuit court precedent that specific guns can be banned. On the other hand, it was passed so fast, and is so broad, it’s likely to get appealed to the Supreme Court, and it’s also likely to get taken up.

High risk appeal. If we win, it’s big. If we lose, it’s HUGE.

Interesting times.

Hearing protection act

Unlikely to pass, but a good idea none the less. The bill would remove the $200 tax stamp on suppressors and make them a normal 4473 item handled by FFLs the way a firearm would be as far as the FedGov is concerned.

Yes, I know they shouldn’t be regulated at all beyond a basic buyer-beware consumer-safety sort of “do they work as advertised” thing, but it would be another step in the right direction. It would also help the economy by increasing demand for something domestically-made.

Smaller is better, maybe

In the “learn something new every day” category.

The furnace doesn’t kick on much during the summer here in the PNW, and for 4-5 months of the year we just heat with the waste heat from appliances and electronics, controlling the temperature mostly by opening windows. Locals know the drill. Well, with fall rolling around, eventually it was time for the furnace to kick on and move a little warm air around. But the spousal unit pointed out that it was still a tad chilly in the house, even after turning the thermostat up. Continue reading

QOTD – from the guy that coined the word “menticide” in 1933

“One important result of this procedure [use psychological torture and mental manipulation while pushing for a “confession” and public show trial] is the great confusion it creates in the mind of every observer, friend or foe. In the end no one knows how to distinguish truth from falsehood. The totalitarian potentate, in order to break down the mind of men, first needs widespread mental chaos and verbal confusion, because both paralyze his opposition and cause the morale of the enemy to deteriorate – unless his adversaries are aware of the dictator’s real aim.”

From “The Rape of the Mind: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing” by Joost A. M. Meerloo, first published in 1933

This explains the true damage “PC” speak and the language police really pose. It’s a fascinating book in many ways, and I’m not that far into it yet. It really hammers home the idea of “if you are accused of being [non-PC], never apologize, never back down, never quit (force them to fire you).”

I’m reading this book at the time – one of several I’m slowing slogging through, along with the Gulag Archipelago. Combine with “SJWs Always Lie” by Vox Day, and two recent articles on victim culture, microaggression, and “trigger warning,” ( http://righteousmind.com/where-microaggressions-really-come-from/  http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/the-coddling-of-the-american-mind/399356/ ) it’s awful easy to get depressed at just how messed up, and how mentally fragile, humans are. On one hand, these ideas explain so much of human history and current political events that it is scary, and understanding opens all sorts of doors; the fact that such ideas are all now known to me is potentially very useful. On the other hand, the fact that the people that need to know what’s being done to them are the ones that need to know this the most, and are going to be the most resistant to hearing it, and will tend to make the problems worse, is terrifying. Continue reading

Sasquan post, obligatory

It’s been an interesting week and a half. School starts this Tuesday, but I didn’t have a job lined up yet as of ten days ago (and the spousal unit was getting worried about that fact). The septic system had a pump die, needing replacement. And Sasquan, the World Science Fiction Convention that was being held in Spokane this year was fast approaching. The latter normally wouldn’t mean much, except that this year I had been nominated for the John W. Campbell award for best new SF writer, and my publisher had encouraged me to go. Continue reading

YA beta-readers needed

I’m looking for a few guys in the 12-18 age range to be beta-readers for my new book. It’s basically done, but I can always use more input. If you are (or know) a YA male who is looking for a story about a young man doing adventurous things without a lot of angsty naval-gazing or silly romance garbage, but with more independent / libertarian themes than most current offerings, head on over to The Stars Came Back for details.

 

Who pays?

Somebody always pays. ALWAYS. Maybe not now, maybe not in obvious ways with a bill in the mail, but there is always a cost when the government does something. Some spending is reasonable, the cost known, understood, and generally agreed to and agreed upon. We can quibble over particular programs or numbers or actions, but nearly all serious people agree that some government spending is a cost we should bear, and paying taxes for it is the way to get it done.

But virtually nobody in politics at the national level is addressing the big-picture elephant in the room. We have a huge official debt (national, state, municipal), staggering future obligations (SS, other retirement plans, etc), and are running an absurdly large annual federal deficit. Simple mathematics says it cannot continue. That which cannot continue, won’t. Continue reading

OK, THAT’S an “arsenal”

Frequently the media throws around words in a hushed tone about the things they are reporting as thought they were impressive. “Arsenal” is one of those words that normally draws an eye-roll from any sort of serious gunny, along with a derisive comment about it being less than they took to the range last week.

In LA police are reporting that a home they investigated after they found the owners decomposing body had 1200 guns and a couple of tons of ammo.

OK, I’ll allow that that’s a modestly impressive collection that could reasonably be called an arsenal.

Some writers can write

Well no duh! I can hear you say. Every different community has its issues, events, and disputes. Being somewhat more than a mere spectator but less than a main combatant is an odd and interesting place to be.

The recent and ongoing kerfuffle in the sci-fi community between the SJW’s and and the Ilk of the Evil Legion of Evil has been educational, and many fascinating words are being spilled. Take, for example, Brad Torgerson, one of the principals in the whole Sad Puppies affair. His recent post titled Flaming rage nozzles of tolerance is great. Kind of long, but he does a good job of breaking down the current “we must blame ourselves for everything” SJW narrative-driven mindset as a modern secular take on Original Sin, and the competing with the free minds of people responsible for their own actions and nothing more. Well worth the read.

Huh…

It looks like I made the final ballot for the Campbell Award for best new sci-fi writer. With only one published book (and one short story, also in the same universe) I figure I’m a long shot, even if I have a re-write, a sequel, a prequel, and a children’s historical book scheduled for this year. In any case, even getting to the final ballot short-list is an honor… Well, interesting, anyway. No clue what the competition is like, but it should be fun to watch unfold. I can almost hear some brains exploding from here.

Also on the list: Wesley Chu*, Jason Cordova, Kary English*, Eric S. Raymond (*Finalists in their 2nd year of eligibility.)

Mixed words on making the short list for the Prometheus. But as I hear the competition is strong this year, so I’m a long-shot there, too. But how many people manage to make both a “best new X” list at the same time they make the list for some other category in the field competing against long-time pros?

Just getting nominated for either award is proof the universe has a twisted sense of humor. If I happen to win, I know that my little corner of the cosmos is a very strange one. Not a bad one, mind you, just more than a little bit odd.

Stolen government money

It seems that someone just embezzled three billion dollars from the US treasury. Well, actually, it was some insurance companies, and the Treasury just cut them checks. And it wasn’t authorized by congress. And the treasury told congress to go piss up a rope when they said “you can’t do that!” That story and other bureaucratic contempt for the law here.

The rule of law is dead, unless some pols and appointees start going to jail, or otherwise paying for their crimes against the people.

Appliances

Guns are, in a manner of speaking, an appliance. They have a function, and they do it well, for a very long time under most usage rates. The technology is pretty straightforward, the cost is competitive, the technology generally improves with time, and they are easy to operate.

Major home appliances? Not so much. Continue reading