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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Snowden

A while has passed after Edward Snowden went public with his defection from USG’s espionage apparatus. I was quite harsh with him at first, but now I am more inclined to cut him some slack.

First he was so kind to give a new online interview through the Guardian again. I must admit he doesn’t sound as smug and stupid as I had thought, and he’s handling his PR quite alright. I also happened to see Kim Dotcom in Twitter hinting that it was him who told Snowden to seek refugee in Hong Kong. Kim used to have Megaupload’s servers in HK so he must know something about it.

Then Snowden goes on and leaks that the little bro of USG, i.e. UKG was spying on everyone during the G20 meetings. So here I was thinking, hey maybe this Snowden guy knows what he’s doing. His revelations have also fomented a lot of interest in encryption software to bypass USG’s spies, and things like Cryptocat or GPGtools are seeing increased interest.

Then I see a profile of him in the Japan Times, writing about his teenage years as an Otaku tribesmen obsessed with Japanese cartoons. Nothing wrong with that per se, although I am perennially annoyed by how young teenage males disguise getting hooked with teen angst porn (people in Japan call it the “middle school sophomore disease“) and yellow fever with a fascination for Japanese culture. But I don’t blame the guy, you can’t just go on telling your friends that you like Dragon Ball, videogames and asian pussy. Yet for all his online Otaku life he didn’t have what it takes:

• Right, anyway, it is pretty far-fetched, but I’ve always dreamed of being able to “make it” in Japan. I’ve taken Japanese for a year and a half (they only offered 3 semester-levels) so I can understand a little, but I’m not even close to thinking about dreaming about wishing I were fluent. Damn those Kanji!

Well he now has plenty of time to learn Kanji in their original form. It seems he’ll stay a while in Hong Kong. While I rushedly called him stupid for putting himself in the hands of the Chinese Leviathan, it is increasingly looking like he made the right call. See the Global Times, the official spokesman of the fascist wing of the CCP.

June 17 op-ed: 

Extraditing Snowden an unwise decision

Washington must be grinding its teeth because Snowden’s revelations have almost overturned the image of the US as the defender of a free Internet. After losing this image, which has been abused by the US government to boss others around, there is no way it won’t want Snowden to be extradited.

However, it would be a face-losing outcome for both the Hong Kong SAR government and the Chinese Central government if Snowden is extradited back to the US. Unlike a common criminal, Snowden did not hurt anybody. His “crime” is that he blew the whistle on the US government’s violation of civil rights. His action supported “human rights” as defined in the UN Charter, and has been applauded  worldwide.
Snowden believes in the democracy and freedom of Hong Kong. His whistle-blowing is in the global public interest. Therefore, extraditing Snowden back to the US would not only be a betrayal of Snowden’s trust, but a disappointment for expectations around the world. The image of Hong Kong would be forever tarnished.

Diplomatically, Snowden has cast a shadow over the new Sino-US relationship right after the Xi-Obama meeting. The sooner the incident is wrapped up, the better the ties between the two countries will be.

Cyber attacks, a weapon frequently used by the US government, have turned out to be its own Achilles’ heel. China is generous enough not to hype this incident in consideration of the Sino-US relationship.

The Chinese government has no responsibility to help the US quench the fire.

(…)
China’s growing power is attracting  people to seek asylum in China. This is  unavoidable and should be used to accumulate moral standing.

I’ve written before about the Global Times. These guys are hardcore. They know what they want, they say it clearly, and they mean what they say. It’s not too much to say that they speak for half the party. And these guys just said that Snowden will not be extradited.

And if any doubts remained, they doubled down today:

June 18 op-ed:

Framing China would only hurt US more

(…) global public opinion already says the US is in the wrong. Any attempt to frame China would be an overestimation of  US ability to control public opinion.

Both the Hong Kong SAR government and the Chinese Central government need to fully consider China’s interests while addressing this issue. The hurly-burly of American politicians should be ignored. Their voices have little impact on the Sino-US relationship.

Aside from the pressure Washington is imposing on the Hong Kong SAR government based on their extradition treaty, other aggressive voices have little impact. On the one hand, the US does not have evidence to launch new claims of a “China conspiracy.” On the other hand, Snowden has drawn worldwide sympathy. Hong Kong will not lose the high moral ground if it does not extradite Snowden back to the US.

Chinese media should have more contact with Snowden, spreading more valuable information to the world. By doing so, Snowden will continue to be the centerpiece of public opinion, and denunciations by American politicians will be overlooked. The US will flinch at the sight of pro-Snowden public opinion.

(…)

This incident should make China more aware of the importance of defending itself from the pressures of the US online. Snowden blew the whistle on shady moves by the US in the cyberspace. Having this matter unfold without interference meets the expectations of world public opinion.

Oh my. Unless USG has something very tasty to give to China, it seems to me that Snowden is going to have a good time in Hong Kong. Hong Kong and Shenzhen have a thriving IT industry, much better than Japan’s, and plenty of yellow pussy for him to savor. Good for him I say. If I see him in Lan Kwai Fong I’ll buy him a beer.

By the way I’m running a @neoreaction chatroom in Cryptocat, please feel free to come in and chat freely without fear of Cathedral snooping.

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Holier than you in Hong Kong

One of the things that I’ve learned through foreign languages is that insult words in every language fall into two types. One is words to insult someone’s moral integrity, calling them bad people. E.g. asshole, son of a bitch. 混蛋. Mostly have a “how could you do this to me?” meaning. The other type are words to insult someone’s intellect, calling them stupid. Idiot, dumbass, 傻逼. Mostly mean “you aren’t useful to me and I resent that”. Note that I’m talking about meaning, not etymology. Many insults are about family honor, son of a bitch, bastard, motherfucker. They are mostly used to call other people bad people though. The corollary is you can’t be good if you don’t have a proper family.

Being evil and being stupid are both bad things, and you would mostly want to avoid anyone who is like that. Being very smart but evil makes you want to really avoid such a person, he might be very dangerous. But what about a very nice but extremely stupid person? How would you feel about a total dumbass who has done a lot for you?  Stupid people are target of insults because the assumption is they are useless by definition, you don’t lose much by not associating with them. But what if one stupid guy helps you big time. Should you cut him some slack?

I guess you should but I find it very hard to do so. See this Edward Snowden guy. He’s a fucking hero. He has made public how USG has backdoor deals with all major tech companies to collect your data at their discretion and how they spy everything all the time. His leak has served to make people conscious about privacy issues, which is going to make a lot of smart people start to take measures about that.  I finally have an argument to make my girlfriend quite Facebook or my friends to stop using Gmail. The PRISM leak is a net good, no matter how  you see it.

And it was all perfect until this Snowden dude came out in the open. With pictures and all. What the fuck? Why would he do that? Why would he put himself, his family and all his friends at risk like that? And he chose to hide in Hong Kong? Of all places? Hong Kong is administered by China, a country which not only collects as much personal data as USG, they actually block you from accessing content, and they throw you in jail depending on what you tweet (although the UK does that too). Hong Kong itself is censorship free, but does he honestly think that the PLA isn’t going to grab him and tie him to a chair until he tells them all he knows? Best-case scenario China already knows everything about the CIA’s operation and doesn’t need this guy. What they’re going to do is grab him and make a deal with USG in exchange for something they want (the Senkakus, lower tariffs, exchange with Chinese spies, you name it). China is a sovereign country but it isn’t as sovereign as, say, Russia. China does need some degree of USG favor to operate in the world economy, and right now China is desperate to curry favor with the US.

Snowden is screwed, big time, and he knows that!

Q: Does your family know you are planning this?

A: “No. My family does not know what is happening … My primary fear is that they will come after my family, my friends, my partner. Anyone I have a relationship with …

I will have to live with that for the rest of my life. I am not going to be able to communicate with them. They [the authorities] will act aggressively against anyone who has known me. That keeps me up at night.”

(…)

Q: Do you think you are probably going to end up in prison?

A: “I could not do this without accepting the risk of prison. You can’t come up against the world’s most powerful intelligence agencies and not accept the risk. If they want to get you, over time they will.”

Well why would you put your family at risk by making your face public in the fucking internet? Good Confucians in Hong Kong are surely scandalized at this sort of unfilial behavior. But Snowden is not a Confucian. He has other sort of morality code. And under his morality code, he is now holy. Oh yeah. He’s holier than thou.

I’m holy. Fuck yeah.

 

This guy has put his family, friends and his own damn life in danger, and for what? To be able to get that smug look on his face. Oh yeah. Look at that expression. That’s the face of the angels. A holy face. This guy has outflanked USG from the left, and he wanted you to know about it. He wanted everyone to know about it. Because everyone knows, bragging is half the pleasure of anything. The same way PUAs aren’t about banging hot chicks, they’re about talking about it afterwards. Not worth the trouble if you can’t brag about it. Yeah, men are like that.

What is this holy martyr going to do from now on though? Surely he has a plan to become another global Julian Assange, giving talks worldwide about State oppression and civil liberties to fringe leftists across the world. Systems engineer for NSA, he surely has a plan, right?

Q: Do you have a plan in place?

A: “The only thing I can do is sit here and hope the Hong Kong government does not deport me … My predisposition is to seek asylum in a country with shared values. The nation that most encompasses this is Iceland. They stood up for people over internet freedom. I have no idea what my future is going to be.

“They could put out an Interpol note. But I don’t think I have committed a crime outside the domain of the US. I think it will be clearly shown to be political in nature.”

Orz. Shared values! You’re seriously looking for a country to the left of USG? Iceland huh? Well he does look Scandinavian.

Dude, I’m really grateful for what you did, but you’re the worse kind of dumbfuck there is. He could have just shut up and be smart about it, but no, he had to give a video interview to the fucking Guardian. When you think about it, maybe affirmative action, preferential hiring for minorities in USG is not such a bad idea. Diversity for the government workforce means there are proportionally less white status strivers looking to undermine government operations in order to be holier than thou. If there is something non-whites do better than white people, that’s loyalty.

Ethnic policy in ancient Japan

For all the modernity-hate and past-worship in the Dark Enlightenment Community, there are very few historians around. Interest in history is also pretty low considering the circumstances. Sure there is a lot of interest and good scholarship in the immediate past, i.e. the evolution of the Cathedral, but little interest to ancient or foreign history.

That’s a shame, because you can learn a lot from history. Perhaps it’s because of HBD, the cornerstone of all our ideas. We are lately finding out that people have evolved faster than we thought, so the idea that we are different from our ancestors is spreading a while. That’s mostly true, but don’t believe the hype. We haven’t evolved that much. Human power dynamics aren’t based in gut adaptations, or even in the distribution of altruism genes. Power dynamics are wired deep, deep into our lizard brains, or at the very least monkey brains. Check out this video and tell me it’s that different from our world:

One thing that liberals often say to us (like that Scott Alexander dude) is: what’s so wrong about modernity? We got antibiotics and stuff, right? Well feminism or homo liberation can be dismissed as a matter of taste, so what’s the big deal? Well surely the biggest deal is ethnic policy. The Cathedral is hell bent on bringing every single tribal people on earth into the West, give them perks and let them run wild without even trying to make them behave. See the Pakistani grooming scandal:

the victims are not with their mothers, they are held by social services in local authority ‘care’ homes. These ‘care’ homes operate as free brothels for the Pakistani rape gangs. The girls are under the control of the authorities, mostly white women social workers, who in some cases actually forced them back into the hands of their abusers and called them racist when they complained.

This just didn’t happen before Progressivism. It was understood that multiculturalism was a bad idea, different peoples should not be mixed around. And you don’t favor savages over civilized people.

Well what does history tell us? Let me tell you a funny story.

Japanese history is fascinating because of how short it is. The Japanese imperial house is the oldest of the world, dating to around 500 AD. But the funny thing is that the imperial house was the first historical polity to arise in Japan ever. That’s right, Japanese history starts after the Roman Empire fell. Actually the first evidences of agriculture only date to around 300 BC, i.e. after Alexander the Great. For some reason farmers only came to Japan 7000 years after they began farming next door in China. 7000 years to finally round up the courage to cross the Tsushima strait.

Before farming, Japan had the Jomon culture, a fairly sophisticated hunter-gatherer culture known for their pottery and semi-sedentary lifestyle. Oldest pottery in the world actually. It seems Japan was so full of food that hunters could just stay in a place and hunt (mostly fish) their food from home. The Jomon had their fun for around 10,000 years until rice farmers came over from Korea and brought agriculture and metallurgy with them in 300 BC. The Yayoi culture they are called. These farmers moved eastward, and slowly built their own megalithic civilization, with massive tombs at all.

 

Japanese take on pyramids

 

By 700 AD you had a modern kingdom, with writing, a Chinese style bureaucracy, international trade, overseas expeditionary armies and everything you can think of. They Yamato court based itself in the central plains on what’s today Osaka/Kyoto, and even had the balls of calling themselves Heavenly Emperor and tell the Chinese behemoth they expected equal treatment. The actual territorial reach of the Yamato court wasn’t that big though. They had reached the Kanto plains (where Tokyo is today), but had some trouble expanding further north. If you check Google Map’s Terrain layer you can see that the terrain north of Tokyo isn’t very inviting. And it’s cold too. But there was something else.

Someone else actually. Remember those Jomon guys? Well they didn’t just disappear. While the Yayoi farmers mostly took over and replaced the Jomon culture in the West of the country, the eastern Jomon had one thousand years to learn some tricks to defend themselves. They had adopted horses, and became experienced horse-archers. They also learned some horticulture, and even to work metal. By the time the Yamato court armies reached the Northeast, they had a fierce enemy to deal with.

The imperial documents call these people Emishi, or sometimes just “hairy people”, for their long beards and body hair. Time after time they sent armies to go out to get these people to stop raiding their farming villages. These battles more often than not ended up in failure, the Emishi having the home turf advantage, and being quite adept at ambushing and hit-and-run tactics. Once in a while though, some Emishi tribe would surrender to Yamato armies, and swear allegiance to the emperor in Kyoto.

What’d they do with these people? They couldn’t be left in their place to go on raiding farming villages, so the merciful imperial court had the great idea of rounding up these savage tribes and settling them West, in the Yamato heartland. They were settled in good land, put under the care of the local sheriff, and given free food and clothing, and exempted from taxes until they learned to fend for themselves. That is correct, enemy combatants were put on welfare.

 

Hairy prisoners

 

These surrendered Emishi were called Fushuu 俘囚 (prisoners). As you can probably guess, they didn’t just became productive farmers and renounce welfare in a generation. They mostly hang around, keeping as much of their culture as they could, and causing trouble to everyone around them. You can imagine that local officials weren’t very amused with their new subjects. As it happens, civil order was declining too, the Yamato court’s hold on power started to loosen, taxes started to be collected through tax farmers, etc. You get the idea. Peasants were having trouble and complaining too much. The old centralized armies were disbanded after decades of peace, so local officials had to take care of civil order in their domains. They had to raise troops though. Then it struck them: what about these Emishi prisoners? They are fit, adept horse archers, go on practicing their craft all day. They’d make very fine soldiers. And so the Barbarian tribes became the official police force of Japan.

 

Upward mobility!

 

The Japanese government was using foreign barbarians to screw with their own people more than a thousand years ago. Why would they do that? Because the court didn’t give a shit. Emishi tribal leaders stayed in the imperial capital, hang out with the Yamato nobles, and used their government-given riches and patronage to meddle with their old kin in the Northeast, which had grown a taste for Yamato culture, eventually taking Yamato names. The Emishi nobles got Yamato peasants to farm for them, and their tax-exempt status as “allies” of the court made them very rich. They also traded in fur, horses and gold, with little official oversight.

So you have the Emishi having a blast inside and outside of the borders. What happened then? Peace and prosperity? Hah. The “prisoners” became internal bandits preying on trade caravans from the provinces to the capital, and soon afterwards started rioting against the court. The second half of the 9th century was plagued with Emishi riots, which threatened to destroy the polity. Finally in 897 the court had had enough, and ordered that the Emishi were rounded up and deported back to their homeland in the Northeast.

The rioting stopped, but the Emishi did leave a long lasting influence in Japanese military history. The Yamato learned horseback archery from them, and the Emishi sword eventually evolved in the world-famous Katana. Katanas, horse-archery, local armies… the Emishi basically created what was to become the Samurai military culture of later centuries. After imperial rule collapsed in 1185, a military government was established in Kamakura, in the East country, and one of the first things they did was sent over a bunch of Samurais to the North to deal with the Emishi. The Emishi were obliterated, and were never heard from since. Their cousins, the Ainu, held up north in Hokkaido, where rice couldn’t be farmed, so they were left alone by the Yamato until the 19th century. But that’s another story.

Game

Years ago I used to read a blog by an obscure linguist (he’s still around, but the old archives disappeared), and remember him saying once: Language is everywhere, I don’t understand why people can not be fascinated about it. I feel the same way, and the strange quirks of everyday language bug me to no end. A fascinating issue is meaning. People seem to accept that words have different meaning without giving much thought to the issue, but how does that work? Originally all words had one meaning and one only, for obvious efficiency purposes. Then time passes and thins get messy, but a word doesn’t get new meanings just like that, there must be some logical connection that makes people brains accept a new usage for the word. See for example the word “game”.  A game is a rule based competition done for amusement. Take the article away, and it’s a set of principle useful to have sex with women. Add ‘theory’ to it, and it’s a science that studies the strategy of conflict.

I don’t write much about Game, nor preoccupy myself with feminism or other issues. That’s not because I’m not interested or think it doesn’t work. I discovered Roissy 5 years ago and it changed my life forever. I just don’t see the benefit in spreading Game to the wider society. While Game has helped me attract more women, have sex with them, and more generally just to deal with women more effectively, that’s all there is to it. My knowing game hasn’t benefited the girls I’ve dumped, it hasn’t benefited the men without game who have to deal with  those women after having tasted good game. Women before Game were annoying enough, wide adoption of Game is just going to raise the hurdle to attract women, unleashing a Game arms race of ever more effective tactics to short-circuit women’s “slut-defense” long enough to take your pants off and insert your penis into her vagina. Is that a good thing? It looks like the introduction of marketing insights into sex relations. Marketing is also about short-circuiting the better part of your brain who is in charge of long term financial planning and making you spend money because of some instant impulse you didn’t know existed. We are all now magicians in charge of screwing with the precarious, recently evolved parts of the brain that makes us civilized.

I’m actually not very good at the finest manipulation techniques that fool girls into your bed or old women into buying insurance. I’m a bad manipulator, and while I could say it’s just because I’m holier than thou and refuse to do evil, I’ll just admit that I just suck at it. What I do quite well is understand what makes Game a game. Game is about competition, and in any competition, you need to understand your own position and that of your opponent. A good understanding of why men and women behave like they do is probably the best contribution that the PUA crowd have left for human wisdom. Centuries from now people will think that Game Theory was invented by Roissy.

It’s a dark science though, and I’m also not very sure if its wider adoption is or not a good thing. To put it in concrete terms: I was talking with a friend of mine a while ago. He’s a player, a very, very horny man who just can’t help himself from spending half of every day chasing tail. You could call him a natural, he has his own method devised through trial and error, but he hasn’t read any Game literature nor has any scientific understanding of why it works. Now every once in a while the guy gets burned because some girl is playing tough to get, or he fucked her but she’s a cold bitch, or he just gets plainly rejected. Of course, he has an official girlfriend of his age (late 20s) who he loves very much, and feels mildly guilty about (episodes of guilt curiously always coincide with intervals of burnout).

He was bragging on how nice his girlfriend is, and how he’s gonna marry her. Some day he promised her to take her to some place early in the morning, but went out the night before, so he was half dead when she got there to meet him. Instead of shouting and nagging the shit out of him for breaking his promise, she let him sleep, washed his clothes, cleaned his apartment, cooked some food for him, and woke him up at noon to eat lunch. She’s an angel! She’s perfect? You see?

A normal person would say, OMG she’s so nice you gotta marry her and you’ll be happy forever. But the dark knowledge has corrupted my soul, and I couldn’t make myself feel happy for the guy. I promptly reminded him of the power unbalance of their relationship. He is a man on his prime, getting all the tail he wants, which she surely suspects if only slightly. He’s freelancing and could flee and have the same lifestyle anyway he wanted. She has a soul crushing corporate job that she hates. She likes the guy very much, and she’s in her late 20s, and trust me she’s not likely to find the same kind of man if he were to look for a new one. She’s a smart girl and she knows that she has a horrible hand, and he has a fucking royal flush. She of course wants to marry. Been saying it for a while.

Well she better be nice then. She better wash, clean, cook, and not nag you even if she catches you screwing her best friend. Of course my friend wasn’t amused at my comment. “Can’t you just fucking say she’s nice?” All I can say is that she’s smart enough to know what hand she has been dealt with. Many women don’t.

People have two contradictory beliefs about behavior. In one hand, we are all a blank slate, and through education we can an all be made to do skillfully whatever is required from us. On the other hand, what people do depends on their character, which is fixed. Nice people are always nice, and nasty people are always nasty. Well to some extent that’s true, nice people are nice, but incentives matter. And before making a big decision like, say, marriage, you’d better be very sure that whatever behavior from your partner is part of her character and not just responding to incentives.

But of course most people aren’t unconditionally nice or honest. Most women get fat and unloving after marriage, most men fuck around if they have the option. And there’s nothing we individually can do about it. Having this kind of knowledge helps when you’re the only one who does, and can be two steps ahead of everyone else. But what if everyone knew? What if everybody could see each others hand? What kind of game would that be?