zepp's daily thought compendium 2015 ed. #NoHashTags early access KICKSTARTER INSIDE

Yo sup guys. So the feminism in video games thread thing kinda ran its course, but there were some good conversations and heated battles and stuff that happened, so here’s a new thread to continue talking about stuff. This thread doesn’t have to be about feminism in video games obviously, but it seems like those are good places to start and see where we go from there. Also…even though the thread title says daily, it’s possible I might even post two thoughts in one day, or some days not even post anything at all. Literally anything could happen in this thread, I mean ANYTHING, shit’s gonna be mad insane up in this thread.

So here’s an interesting little oped from Laurie Penny, who some people would probably consider a “Social Justice Warrior”, while other people would probably think she is a person with interesting opinions who happens to be a feminist, while others still would be like “who the fuck is this I don’t care gimme another PBR w00t go COWBOYS!” (note I am implying if you’re from Texas you’re less likely to know who Laurie Penny is, sorry for the truth bomb).

Anyway, here it is: http://www.newstatesman.com/laurie-penny/on-nerd-entitlement-rebel-alliance-empire

Basically, it’s long, but there’s two arguments:

(1) Just because you had some elements of trauma in your background, i.e. being bullied in high school, does not negate the fact that you still have certain other privileges vis a vis other people, like for example being white, male, or being born in an advanced economy like America. Those privileges don’t ignore the fact you were traumatized in some way, but they can coexist.

(2) Nerds and feminists should be allies, not enemies, because their traumatic experiences are in some sense a shared experience. Instead, many nerds for whatever reason blame women for “rejecting them” instead of blaming the actual people who bullied them, and they develop a sort of stockholm syndrome like affection for the bullies. when those same nerds grow up to become successful tech entrepreneurs or whatever, they end up recreating elements of the bullying culture they themselves were subjected to in their own companies and social circles, rather than creating more welcoming environments like you might expect.

Don’t get me wrong, there are also some laughably horrible expressions in her article too, like “And this, for me, is the root and tragedy both of nerd entitlement and the disaster of heterosexuality” (emphasis mine). I mean…nothing but lol.

But those two arguments are two things I myself alluded to in my initial post in the other thread, which I don’t think ever got discussed because we got bogged down in specifics. No. 2 I think especially is fascinating. I saw it myself in my MBA program, endless numbers of people who were OBVIOUSLY bullied sexless nerds in high school who all of a sudden thought they were jocks cause they were investment bankers for 3 years and had fat stacks of cash to blow.

I was also female, so when I tried to pull myself out of that hell into a life of the mind, I found sexism standing in my way.

This may be off-topic, and definitely an ad-hominem, but I hate when I read something like this. It sucks, because I feel like my stance on this issue is wildly unpopular, and that I have to walk on eggshells every time I approach it.

But, here it is: Sexism happens to men, too. There are plenty of women (and even men) who look down upon men for trying to show a wider range of emotion, and plenty of women I’ve met can’t grok the idea that a man who doesn’t embody the exaggerated archetype of masculinity is attractive, or even dependable. Just the fact that she implied that men don’t deal with sexism illustrates the problem. Men are encouraged to try and embody that archetype even when it doesn’t fit them (God knows I tried for years, failing miserably), and they are definitely discouraged from even communicating that there is a problem. #notallwomen? Maybe not. #yesallmen? Perhaps not. #stillafuckingproblem? Yes.

True enough, this isn’t justification for any sort of retaliation that men take against women. Not at all. 0%. Also true is that Penny does seem genuinely sympathetic, and doesn’t strike me as the crazy, all-in, man-hating feminist that I would expect to see writing on jezebel.com or something. But, when she writes shit like this…

Women generally don’t get to think of men as less than human, not because we’re inherently better people, not because our magical feminine energy makes us more empathetic, but because patriarchy doesn’t let us.

…and, especially when criticizing another writer - Scott Aaronson in this case - as having unresolved issues with the opposite sex, it kind of undermines the thrust of her message because that’s the kind of thing I expect to see in a Jezebel piece. Like, what - “the patriarchy” stops you from feeling the feelings you want to feel, and thinking the thoughts you want to think? Seriously? It feels like I’m reading crappy punk rock lyrics that blame everything that sucks in their lives on “the government.” There are definitely men in power that are extremely sexist and no doubt using their power to push that agenda. So, call them out. Don’t just lump them into this weird shadow council dubbed “The Patriarchy”; that puts pressure and accountability on absolutely zero of them. Sure, an editorial is not a good place to publish a list. But, it’s also not a good place to call out peoples’ resentment towards a gender while also displaying your own resentment towards a gender. Everyone has to win - not just men or women.

…Let me finish reading the piece, and I’ll comment on the actual theses.

Alright. It’s been a long time since I have engaged in any serious intellectual debate of any kind - the pleasures of working in retail - so pardon me if my thoughts are disjointed or hard to follow. Trying to flex muscles that I haven’t in a long time.

It sucks to say this, but…while I agree with both of the main points of the piece, I see the statement of a problem, but not a plausible solution. I genuinely don’t think that there will be a day where we all live in harmony and everyone has become thoroughly modern, forward-thinking individuals who just treat everyone equally. Segregation has been abolished, and racism still exists. Eventually, gays will not be denied all the rights of staight people, and people will still be homophobic. People will still be sexist.

As long as things coexist that are different than us, we’ll hate them for being different. I don’t see that going away.

That being said, I don’t think that there’s no way to make it better. I just don’t think that telling everyone, “Hey! Women/Men/Gays/etc. have to deal with some real shit, so be nice and let’s construct an egalitarian society” is going to have an effect.

Think about nerdy guys, the big perpetrators in question, for a minute. What’s something they probably have always lacked? Social skills. These people, who suffered and never saw a light at the end of the tunnel, probably have internalized social hierarchy as “The strong do what they can, and the weak endure what they must.” They don’t have any idea that real life isn’t much like that after high school for the vast majority of grown-ass adults. So, once they become one of “the strong”, what do you suppose they do, especially in regards to those who traumatized them and made them feel like “the weak”? Of course, they’re going to be an asshole, now that they’re the Quarterback of the nerd club. I wouldn’t dare speak for the female side of this coin, but if it’s anything like Penny says, I’m guessing the capacity exists for the same thing to happen with women, as well.

You can’t fix everyone, you’re not going to. It sounds wonderful, it’s a romantic idea, and you can write some great op. eds with the idea. But, the likely best idea is to be conscientious of what children go through, and do what you can for yours (or the children in your life that are important to you). Create and maintain good relationships with them, ensure them that it does get better. Tell them (and show them) that high school is nothing like real life, and that it’s much easier to find relationships, both platonic and romantic, after high school using your actual strengths, rather than letting your livelihood depend on whether or not you play sports or any other indicator of status. Encourage them to find their own friends in the same way, because those are people who probably “get it”. That’s how you find good friendships with good people, who will keep you honest and challenge you to be the best version of yourself that you can be, and not dwell on the past when there’s a future.

Now imagine if every conscientious person you knew with even a shred of social intelligence did that. It’s easy to imagine that things can slowly but surely improve. No one’s perfect, but instead of trying to explain that with your editorial on New Statesman to people who will either create an echo chamber for your opinion OR just never fucking get it, use what you know to be a good role model for someone else. Who knows? Maybe your kid/cousin/young neighbor will use his knowledge to change some sexist asshole’s path in life for the better. Maybe not. But, you’ve done the best you can for someone, at least.

You live in Southern California. I’m afraid to say that fact alone has probably warped your experience with women beyond what is recognizable in most of the rest of the world. In all seriousness, having traveled to every continent except Africa, the idea of the “hyper-masculine, aggressive male” really does seem to be a truly North American concept. Not to say there aren’t meatheads in the rest of the world, but from the Brittany coast of France to Tokyo, what’s considered attractive in a male is much more subtle. A freshly scarfed hipster like the guy in my avatar would have a much easier time getting laid in most of the world than a meathead, beer bong swilling frat guy.

But in all seriousness, you’re totally right. I really like Dan Savage’s “It only gets better” series. I mean, it’s aimed at gay people specifically, but I think it’s true for all kinds of ostracized groups. I have no idea if the campaign is actually working, because I remember in high school it was hard enough to focus on getting through the day, let alone thinking about next year or 10 years in the future.

Anyway, time for today’s thought. Let’s bring it back to my personal favorite subject. BUTTCOINS!!!

“Why Don’t Black People Use Bitcoin”? http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/01/why-are-so-few-black-people-using-bitcoin/384268/

  • Fake, Racist Answer: Because KFC doesn’t accept bitcoins
  • Real Answer: Because black people are afraid of actual physical threats, like police officers killing them for not wearing their seat belts. Paranoid white people like me are more afraid of “abstract” threats like “government interference in monetary policy” (GASP!)
  • Other, slightly more humorous, but probably real answer: black people probably are using bitcoins, but we wouldn’t know, because the whole fucking point of using bitcoins is gaining anonymity.

Fake Racist Rebuttal to Fake Racist Answer:
They can buy crack through the Silk Road or whatever has replaced it.

I hear Silk Road 3.0 or whatever it’s called has verified sellers, too.

Uh, you know. From anecdotal evidence.

Is there actually a 3.0 now?

is there ever gonna be a new pirate bay? I may be filthy rich now but I still refuse to pay for pixels and bytes

I doubt it’s called Silk Road 3.0 but I’m sure it exists and is just keeping a lower profile. Although I think the only reason Silk Road 1.0 was busted was because the founder accidentally E-mailed someone with Gmail rather than his encrypted account. As for TPB, the Swedish domain has been displaying a countdown for a while now but thepiratebay dot com dot ua is up, along with countless mirrors. Knowing Pirate Bay this may very well have just been a big troll.

Either way, it hardly matters, because we all know what happens when one major provider gets busted or shut down. A hundred smaller versions pop up in its place. Other major torrent sites’ traffic exploded within hours of the TPB raid.

Black people don’t use bitcoins because they aren’t autistic white libertarians.

Regarding the silk road, there are probably a ton of smaller hard to find black market sites that have been running for years that are locked down and hard to get access to. The silk road was so well known because any scrub could go and sign up for it so of course it would be a high value target for a take down.

No one really cares about some dude that sells weed to his friends (unless he’s a black man in modern america lol we’ve come full circle), but with the sheer amount drug traffic running through silk road it was really just a matter of time until they were shut down and no one should be surprised.

Black people can’t be autistic white libertarians? That’s racist man…why are you trying to tell these people what they can and can’t be?

My thought of the day is that drugs should be legal anyway, and the post office, instead of charging for stamps, should just take like a 1% cut of the drugs shipped through its service. God only knows that postal service workers need some serious chillaxing weed more than anybody else possible ever could.

So I’m going to Colorado in two weeks, where weed is now fully legalized. So I could embrace my inalienable right to partake in any legal activity I desire there, yet after coming back home I could still be fired from my job if I got drug tested or arrested for having weed residue on the soles of my shoes or some shit. That’s some bullshit right there. Although I’m white, so I’m probably good.

Also, did you know the perfectly legal weed selling businesses in Colorado can’t use banks? http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304049904579515911975177756. Although supposedly there’s some new credit union or something now in Colorado that’s started up to provide services for marijuana-related businesses. Credit unions are way better anyway, you should all totally join one. Also, in another big pile of steaming horse shit, IRS regulations state that any business that breaks federal law is not allowed to deduct routine business expenses (like rent, salaries, etc.) from its taxes, so these perfectly legal (on a state level) businesses are treated like criminal organizations by the IRS. That’s why prices are still inflated, and there’s still plenty of black market weed to be found in places like Colorado. Not dope at all.

Actually I have a question about buttcoin and buttcoin-derivatives for you zep who has much more knowledge on this subject than me: how is any cryptocurrency supposed to gain traction when the moment it gains any momentum Chinese GPU farmers mine the hell out of the easy coins and sit on a pile of them looking to make a quick buck?

And no this is not related in any way to your main thought compendium topic

I visited a weed dispensary in Vancouver, Washington last week while in the Portland, OR area. I did not buy anything nor partake in anything (in part because I am looking for a new jerb and who knows what drug testing they would do). However, the person I was with did by a THC e-cig thingy. She even was able to get it back through security to Atlanta too. It appeared to be a fairly well run establishment. They were cash only, possibly for similar reasons to the Colorado-dispensaries-can’t-use-banks reasons.

Isn’t that what always happens when China gets into a market? Cheap labor + subsidized capital (electricity prices are heavily subsidized for example) = massive expansion, collapse of margins, everyone in developed markets working in that industry loses their job. Ironically enough though, the Chinese have been providing a fair amount of liquidity to the bitcoin markets until recent crackdowns (it was a great way to launder hard currency out of the country and get around controls), which has helped to keep prices of the coin up. Now not surprisingly that the Chinese supply is starting to dry up, you’re also seeing a new round of price collapses, although I think there’s a few other equally compelling reasons for the crash as well.

So my thought of the day is: who the hell drinks Budweiser anymore? I was at a bar this weekend with like 70 different beers on tap (the rapid expansion of beer choice since I left for China in 2005 is crazy. Some of the bars I used to hang out at before going that literally had only one or two taps have like 15-20 taps now), and they had Bud Light on sale for $1,000 a bottle. The ultimate in elitist ironic snobbery.

Apparently, Bud Light is still the best selling beer in America by a pretty wide margin, and males age 28-34 are Budweiser’s main drinking demographic (according to this WSJ article. I’m right smack dab in the middle of that demographic, and I don’t know a single person who ever drinks any variety of Bud. I know some people who “ironically” drink PBR (i secretly think they’re just cheap asses who try to make it seem cooler by embracing a false sense of irony - I personally have nothing wrong with being a cheap ass either, but don’t try to pretend it is what it isn’t), but that’s about it. But then I realize that I only hang out with other rich hipsters and young professionals…so um, do any of you guys actually drink this stuff?

A bunch of former PBR drinkers who can’t drink their behr cuz it ain’t 'murican no more. :toast: /fakemurican

It’s tolerable if I’ve already knocked back enough decent wine or hard liquor that my sense of taste has vanished temporarily. Then it’s just like fizzy water that vaguely smells like a wet dog.

Confirmed with your signature :smugyoshi:

As some of you may know, I’ve been obsessed with electronic music since basically forever. For those not in the know, electronic music fans are second only to metal fans when it comes into splintering off into a million meaninglessly different genres and sub-genres. One of my favorite things is reading music reviews to find the latest and greatest of these retarded classifications. I found a new one today.

pagan folk-techno

As opposed to…religious folk-techno? agnostic folk-techno? also what the fuck is folk-techno? anyway, here’s a song off the album it was reviewing:


It sounds like…um…techno? I don’t know what the hell these music reviewers are talking about, but I think they’re just trying to spawn new hashtags and get famous or something.


Penny Arcade was ironically on topic re: the beer. Considering how a huge chunk of my patients drink 1/5 to half a gallon of vodka per day, most people don’t have discerning tastes +/- just want to get wasted.

How many Baltimore longshoremen do you treat?