November 22, 2020

No archaeological record of music after 2015; and ownership as counter-culture in an inegalitarian era

Recently I discovered one of the rarest things while browsing around a thrift store -- a CD for an album released after 2015. Hardly an obscure artist either, yet it's the only time I've seen the album in any kind of second-hand store -- Taylor Swift's Reputation, from 2017.

Her first five albums, released from 2006 to 2014, are in abundance at thrift stores and used media stores. It's only the next one that has left no trace, and not because it sold poorly -- it went multi-platinum -- and not because it didn't have big hits -- it's the one with "Delicate". It was the #1 album on the Billboard year-end chart for 2018. She launched a massive world tour for it, and a concert special from that tour became a huge success on Netflix.

Oddly enough, the thrift store had a copy of Witness by Katy Perry, also from 2017, although I've seen that one once before in the wild. Pursuing my impressions of what I've seen vs. not seen IRL, I searched eBay for used CDs by the biggest artists of the past decade -- Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Maroon 5, Ed Sheeran, etc. There is a pretty clear split between albums released before 2015 and after, with the earlier ones having hundreds of copies for sale, and the later ones only having dozens for sale.

It's not strictly night-and-day -- V by Maroon 5 is from 2014 but only has dozens available, and 25 by Adele is from 2015 yet has hundreds available. But those are the exceptions that prove the rule. And while some famous artists like Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato never cracked the threshold of hundreds of copies, their pre-2015 albums are still higher in number available.

Although I did not check eBay because the sample size would be too small, my impression from IRL stores is that copies of indie music are also non-existent after 2015. I did find a copy of Borns' 2015 album with "Electric Love" on it recently, but that's unusual. There's a copy of Alvvays' self-titled album from 2014 if I want it, but not their 2017 album Antisocialites, which I'm actually looking for but will probably never find. Even for bands I don't recognize by name, when I check the back cover, there's rarely a copyright date from 2015 or after.

What changed around 2015 was the dominant mode of playing music, from ownership to renting, as streaming services replaced CDs and digital downloads.

It's strange, but just think about it: if you never owned the music to begin with, how could it ever leave a material trace in the real world? Archaeologists from the future will have no primary physical record to study for the music of our time, since today's streaming services will not last any longer than previous media formats like the record, the tape, the DVD, etc.

Instead they will have to reconstruct the record from secondary sources like Billboard charts, reviews in the media, eccentric blog posts, and so on and so forth. Even then, they'll only know the artist's name, album and song titles, genre, and some reviewer's impressions (at most, including stats like beats per minute, key, etc.). They won't be able to actually hear what was recorded and played by us, unless there's a special archive that's still being maintained.

And that's not because the past just disappears over time -- they'll have a rich record of music from before 2015 to experience directly. It's only the period of streaming music that will appear to be erased from the record.

What will they conclude about our world, beyond the observation that our musical media format changed from one thing to the other? Naturally, that we are becoming incredibly poorer than previous generations. We own less and less, and rent more and more, in both the lower and higher levels of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Not freemen but serfs.

You'll rent a bed in an Apple-aesthetic flophouse, you'll rent your office desk in a WeWork flex-space, and any social, emotional, and cultural connections you make to the outside world will only occur after a transaction that connects you to a streaming service from the info-tech cartel. You won't be having kids or meeting your family ever again, as everyone will be a transplant to a shithole megalopolis. But if you want to split the bed-rent by shacking up with someone else, you can choose to identify as "married" and level up your "adulting" status.

As the mainstream heads increasingly in that inegalitarian direction, a counter-culture will arise that avoids the transplant shithole cities, maybe even moves out into suburban, rural, and small town environments. And they will prize ownership over renting -- permanence, durability, and rootedness, rather than transience, disposability, and alienation. A higher standard of living, both material and intangible, at the cost of lower zip-code status.

That means owning a home or apartment, owning furniture (symbolized by a proper bed rather than a mattress on the floor), owning a variety of cultural items (books, CDs, prints, DVDs), owning the tools for maintaining their place, and owning organic social connections to family and neighbors that cannot be canceled by some subscription service provider (or by the group members themselves, more to the point).

Those who are getting ready for that world could be considered "preppers" in a way, searching far and wide for second-hand stuff that will actually count in the near, medium, and long term. They've been busy over the past five or so years "stocking up," in anticipation of the coming Age of Austerity 2.0.

Unlike the more well known type of preppers, though, the new generation is upbeat (considering the circumstances) rather than doomer, communitarian rather than (delusionally) individualist, and seeing a societal decline that will be gradual rather than apocalyptic. Thriving despite a steady societal erosion, not surviving a post-apocalypse.

It's highly disturbing how little regard the standard preppers give to the things that make life worth living, and how little they intend to pass things on to future generations. They're survivalists, not stewards. Friends, extended family, neighbors, songs, dances, stories, rituals of any kind really -- totally absent in the thoughts and actions of the preppers.

After all, there will be no society after them -- they are not the first generation of a new enduring group of people, but the final generation to have lived before the end of the world as we know it. They just don't want to bite the big one in as painfully acute of a manner as the mainstream.

For the stewardship-minded folks out there, though, keep in mind what to expect when you're out searching for things to preserve. Housing built after the 1970s -- don't bother, solid lumber frames cease to exist after that point. And music released after 2015 -- impossible to find, whether you like the songs or not. I don't think most people will look at the late 2010s as a high-point in music, but even if you do, it's better to just forget about it and go for the far more easily accessible stuff from before 2015 (which you'll probably like more anyway).

November 18, 2020

Sweet girls are not online, but they are getting more flirty in public IRL (to power-pop music)

[An intermission from the interminable election season]

I was running some errands yesterday afternoon, driving around with the windows all the way down in 30-something degree weather, blasting a Matthew Sweet greatest hits CD (especially "I've Been Waiting" and "Sick of Myself").

Nothing more invigorating than 25-mph winds whipping around you, carrying the jangly power-pop tunes for miles in all directions.

Pedestrians are always pleasantly surprised since they expect everyone's windows to be hermetically sealed in cold weather, and here some crazy bastard is cruising around like it's summertime. (I'm covered in wool, so the chill never feels biting.)

Who is going to resonate with Matthew Sweet, though? Not exactly adrenaline-pumping dude rock, nor is it booty-bumping music for party people looking for an early start to a night of dancing. I'm not always in a power-pop mood, but I just go with the flow and observe who resonates with each different style of music.

For power-pop it was the feminine, maternal, shy, pining, nervous-fingertips-emoji girls. Not the Type A career women out parading their status-dogs. Not the high-T bruh-girls either. They were all teenagers, although I'm sure there are some older counterparts who would've resonated as well, they were just indoors doing domestic wifey activities instead. The young ones are more restless and yearning, so they're more out and about, looking out for signs of something happening, hoping to be invited or otherwise drawn into the fun.

One was stopped at a light on her bike, something I'm noticing a lot each time I conduct these natural experiments. Girls on bikes -- for leisure, not because no one in their circle has a car -- always get a kick out of good music streaming out of car windows. But this one was fixated, like it wasn't just any old enjoyable-enough song. Cute bike-riding girls are the audience for Beatlemania and Cheap Trick.

Another was a babysitter playfully wrangling her two little charges, and when I turned the corner toward her, she got swept up in the moment, tilting her head back, eyes wide opened to the side, mouth gaping open in a laugh, just like a model for an album cover by the Cars. If her maternal instinct is strong enough to want to indulge it before she can even get married, and she's playful enough to act as a jungle gym for rascally children, she's definitely a power-pop girl. So wholesome and fun-loving.

It lasted even after I was no longer driving or playing the music, but taking a stroll around the park, still possessed by the power-pop energy, which I was apparently still radiating. A high school girls' soccer team was practicing on the field next to the walkway, and as I approached, one of them softly kicked the ball in my direction, and the two or three other girls in its path who could've intercepted it before it went out of bounds, just stood back and let it roll along the grass toward random hot power-pop vibe guy.

They didn't just strut right over, start making eyes and dropping innuendo, etc. Not the typical Type A female athlete behavior. It was one of those plausibly deniable oopsies that, tee-hee, happened to make me connect with them. Being in a pack helped them take risks they would never take alone, when sole responsibility would lie with the individual. Shy yet impulsive, nervous yet hormonal, letting their emotions out when they've melted into a crowd -- Beatlemaniacs in a nutshell.

By the way, when the ball actually reached me, their fellow high school guy assistant had sprinted nervously over, so that I ended up kicking it back over to him rather than them. It was so funny how protective and jealous he got, like a eunuch guarding a harem. Like, dude, I'm not going to steal away every babe from your school. Guys, too, at that age can't hide their hormones, although I'm sure the girls took his white-knighting in good humor since he was already their friend.

Reflecting on it all during the end of my stroll, I was struck by how you never see this kind of girl online. I'm sure they have social media accounts that they use to communicate with their friends, or to fave viral content, like the social "networks" of the MySpace and early Facebook era. But they'll never get hundreds, let alone thousands or tens of thousands, of followers by being a social "media" persona.

It's the shyness, mainly, but also the wholesomeness and fun-loving spirit. The media -- no matter what platform -- attracts and promotes girls who are depressed, anhedonic, either sky-high body count or reclusive virgins, and who need their fantasy lover to give them a bloody lip before they can get turned on. It could not be a more unrepresentative and unnatural slice of the female sex.

Everyone rightly worries about the effects on guys from there being so many porno women on the internet -- how it will warp their expectations of what sex and relationships in general are like. But that's nothing compared to the warping effects of their exposure to Reddit girls, Twitter girls, Tumblr girls, and YouTuber girls, which makes up a far greater share of their time and emotional / parasocial investment online.

Guys are going to start thinking that the average girl is an urbanite degenerate who's already taken dozens of dicks during her 20s, and whose ideal date is listening to rap or metal while getting ritualistically beaten up to re-enact her early abuse (beyond the normal pattern of male dominance and female submission). Or who swings toward the other extreme of a ball-busting killjoy man-hater.

Not that such girls are only a tiny minority -- they're definitely out there, but if young generations spend so much time online, they're going to think it's the vast majority. Unless they get out there IRL, the guys would have no idea there are tons of normal, wholesome, fun-loving girls who are shy-yet-impulsive, yearning for the guy to make a move (without giving them a black eye). I just ran into a bunch of them IRL without even trying, and they not only didn't get turned off by earnest infatuation / courtship anthems, they got weak in the knees for it!

Something to keep in mind at the big-picture level, as the restless warm-up phase of the 15-year excitement cycle sees guys and girls coming out of their refractory-state cocoons of the vulnerable phase that ended in 2019. PUA discussion and practice is about to enjoy a renewal. Just remember that there are more girls out there than depressive sluts -- but the fun, wholesome ones have an invisible presence online. Certainly for social media platforms, but I assume for dating and hook-up apps as well (I don't use them).

Getting out there IRL also removes the guy's burden of constructing and maintaining his own social media persona, if the interactions were taking place online. People are much more chill and accepting of who you naturally are IRL, but are more irritable and fault-finding online, where they expect you to act out a persona's role -- to provide them with fan-service as they consume their parasocial online media content.

This is most true for the proverbial "nice guy" -- meaning, the sensitive type, not the bitter loser afflicted by a false sense of entitlement to endless hot snatch. There couldn't be a worse place for him than online, where the most visible and audible girls have achieved their status in virtue of being adversarial and confrontational, not to mention thick-skinned enough to deal with trolls, bullies, and so on. He won't find the nervous-fingertips-emoji girl whose dream date soundtrack is power-pop -- no way she could handle the pressure of being an internet-person.

Guys don't have any excuse for not logging off of social media, if they want to un-warp their perception of the opposite sex. Instead of, or in addition to, No Nut November, they need No Scroll September, No Feed February, etc., to regain their perspective and humanity.

November 11, 2020

Judging soundness of elections from bellwether states / counties (a project for someone else)

This post is split into two sections. Morons and partisans will only read the first section, and either accept it or reject it based on which party they are wedded to. Prove you are not a moron, and not a partisan shill, by reading through the second section.

First, a glaring red flag of the soundness of the media-alleged results of the 2020 election (i.e., a Biden win), judging from the bellwether states of Ohio and Florida. Both handily went to Trump, just like last time, strongly suggesting he will be re-inaugurated in January 2021.

Each state on its own has historically had a high agreement rate with the national winner. Sometimes one will miss, sometimes the other will miss, but have they ever both missed in the same election? Only once, all the way back through 1848, when both states have been in the union. If you know about stolen elections, you can already guess which one it was -- 1960, when the outcome in Chicago was rigged by the corrupt urban Democrat machine, swinging Illinois and its EC votes to JFK, and deciding the national result against Nixon, who both Ohio and Florida voted for.

Back then, Chicago was still the "Second City" after New York in population, and Illinois carried 27 EC votes (out of 537 total). Today, that steal is equivalent to stealing Wisconsin, Michigan, and Maine's 2nd district, combined. Or Pennsylvania, Iowa, and ME-2, combined. That shows how outsized of an effect a single large city can have on the national result, if it is rigged.

When your only historical precedent for 2020 is 1960, the presumption is that 2020 has been rigged / stolen at the "counting ballots" stage, albeit more obviously this time because it's in 4 states (Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia), and therefore leaving more fingerprints. The most flagrant fingerprint this time is when they halted their elections around 10pm on election night itself, and only resumed the next day, with a risible reversal of fortune for the leading candidate from before the halt.

Unlike 1960, though, the party trying to ram the steal through the next stage, where state legislatures choose their slate of electors, and not having that over-ruled by SCOTUS -- is the opposition party, not the dominant party. Dems were dominant during the New Deal era, but are the weak opposition party in the Reagan era. Today the presidential candidate targeted by the steal, the state legislatures in the stolen states, and the majority of the Supreme Court, are all from the dominant party of this era, the GOP.

Reminder to political LARP-ers: if you're going to try to steal the national election, you'd better make sure you're the dominant party of your era. Libs and leftoids still cosplay as the Democrats of the '60s-'70s heyday of Civil Rights and the New Left, when they could get away with whatever they wanted, like pushing a Republican president out of office. Unfortunately they find themselves today in the Reagan era, where the balance of power has shifted so far away from their party that their LARP-ing only sets them up for destruction by a reality check.

* * *

This bird's-eye-view of bellwethers reveals the importance of combining the separate signals into a single index. The "errors" that a bellwether makes -- when it goes against the national result -- ought to be randomly distributed across the years. And these errors are few in number because that's what makes them bellwethers -- they rarely miss.

So if a particular year shows a lot of the bellwethers making errors in unison, that calls the soundness of the national result into question. Specifically, some process above and beyond the lowest-level casting of ballots by voters, such as the ballot-counters rigging the outcome by adding illegitimate ballots for their guy, ignoring ballots for their rival, or whatever other methods.

Here's the obstacle for constructing the history of "bellwether hits and misses," though -- the list of bellwether states and counties is not the same over time. Some may be reliable over a long period, but others may show a heyday of bellwether status, before and after which they were not so reliable.

If you just want to pick a start and stop point, and see which states and counties had the highest hit rate, fair enough. That's just a description of the period, with no inferential applications in mind.

But to judge the soundness of a particular election, you have to put yourself in the perspective of that year -- therefore, all information from future years is excluded, and the year itself is excluded because it's under consideration. How far back you go from the year in question is up for debate, but it has to include the most recent election before, and trailing backward from there.

For example, let's go back to the stolen 1960 election. If we want to assign a "bellwether warning index" to 1960, we cannot select states and counties to make up the list of bellwethers based on their performance in any point after 1960, and we're excluding 1960 itself because that's what we're uncertain about. The list of bellwethers would be chosen based on their hit rate from some sufficiently long interval that went up through the most recent election of 1956.

We cannot take the bellwethers of 2016 and apply them back to 1960, because some of the current ones were not bellwethers back then, and others from back then have not survived as bellwethers through today. It would be imposing our perspective on another time. Maybe the two will turn out to overlap, but to be as accurate as possible, each year requires its own proper list of bellwethers.

That still allows the analysis to proceed and give an interpretable result. Each year has its own list of bellwethers -- those that clear a sufficiently high threshold of hit rate (e.g., 90%), evaluated over a sufficiently long interval backwards including the previous election (e.g., 15 elections). The longer the interval, the lower the hit-rate threshold should be -- easy to hit 90% over 4 elections, impossible to hit 90% over 40 elections. I'd still say nothing lower than 80-85% even for periods over 50 or so years.

Then for the year in question, each bellwether result is compared to the national result. The total number of misses is added up for the year in question, and that is the index signal for that year. Weighting each component of the index by how reliable each bellwether is relative to the others, gets into over-fitting problems.

Then the index signals from each year can be plotted over time, and we could see spikes in the signal that flag certain elections as suspicious.

This is the point of a solid historical analysis -- we would not only detect a spike from 2020, which is obvious, we would see how unusual it is compared to the rest of our nation's history -- contra the cope that "shady stuff always happens". Moreover, we might detect other (rare) suspicious exceptions, like 1960, contra the other cope that no election has ever been purportedly stolen before.

The insane deviation of 2020 is convincing enough on its own that this is an attempted theft-in-progress, but an even more convincing story would show how rare such a signal is over history -- and how perhaps the only other large deviation is the known stolen election of 1960.

However, I will not be doing this analysis myself. Whoever wants to, can begin with the database sources, and the code for analyzing them, in this post from Adam Obeng. It is county-level, and he looked at 1952 through 2012, but you can substitute different years into his code for your own purposes. Still, that will only generate the list of bellwether counties for a single year. You have to add your own code to do that for each separate year, so you're not judging one period by the bellwethers of another. And you'll write your own code to see how well the bellwethers performed for a year in question, add the misses into an index for that year, and then plot those index signal values over time.

This cyber-professor is handing over such a project to his cyber-grad-students and cyber-postdocs because I'm not terribly passionate about it myself, it will be good practice for them, and they need correction from their current analyses of bellwethers, which use a single list of states or counties to compare elections across several decades, when each election needs its own list of bellwethers. But the basic sources and methods are already there in the post linked to above, so have at it.

I also want to impose some "doing the work" requirements on the "weaponized autism" crowd, who typically waste most of their time just scrolling a social media feed. So many man-hours utterly wasted on social media activity, striving to be talking heads (reacting avatars) and call-in guests (reply guys), just on a 21st-century media platform rather than radio and TV like the Boomers.

I also notice that "the autists" don't get much on a theoretical or conceptual level that ought to shape their interaction with data, even if the point is simple (like bellwethers not being the same states / counties across all years). Instead they consume "the data" as just another form of digital content to entertain themselves with for a take-cycle or two, and then totally forget about it, don't polish it, and never follow up on it.

Here's to hoping that they'll be more motivated to do the most persuasive possible analysis when their president's re-inauguration hangs in the balance.

November 9, 2020

Democrat polarization fails when they're still the opposition party of the Reagan era

The increasingly doomed attempt by Democrats to steal the elections of 4 states (WI, MI, PA, GA) should serve as a bitter reminder to those among their ranks who LARP as though it were still the '60s and '70s, when their party was dominant (New Deal) and they could shove a Republican president out of office (Nixon, Watergate).

Since the Reagan realignment of 1980, they have isolated themselves further from the rest of the country, alienated their potential swing voters, and put all their elite-sector eggs in the basket of unproductive informational activity, such as the media, Silicon Valley, higher ed, and the intel agencies of the Deep State. Finance is the sole productive member of their coalition.

Today's Democrats fantasize about being a dictatorial party that imposes its will despite being the party that nobody wants. To move beyond their delusions, they have to win over states, regions, demographic groups, and sectors of the economy, that currently hate their guts. No amount of rioting, burning down cities, rigging state elections, censorship of the internet and social media, and contemptuous portrayals in entertainment, is going to accomplish that.

Indeed, it's only broadened Trump's appeal: his base is still there, but now buttressed by less-than-hardcore fans, who are thinking, "Whatever he may or may not have delivered from his 2016 campaign themes, at least he isn't hell-bent on our total and remorseless annihilation." Democrats have lowered the bar of acceptable political activities so much, they've allowed Trump to clear the bar with voters all the more easily in 2020 than in 2016.

Any Democrats who want a future where their party is dominant, rather than opposition, now have a whole 'nother topic to have to counter-signal. First it was just, "I don't think flyover country is a basket of deplorables." Then it was, "I don't think burning down cities is an acceptable way to whip urban votes for our candidate." Now it is, "I don't think impotent opposition parties should try to steal the national election by rigging the vote in a few cities that they control."

As I've said before, it seems like finance is the only elite sector using the Democrat party as its vehicle, which has not pulled out all the stops to wipe out their political enemies, at the elite or popular level. The media is the most compromised, followed closely by info-tech, the informational wings of the Deep State (CIA, rather than the Pentagon), and education / campuses. Entertainment is surprisingly not as propagandistic and contemptuous as the others, but it has no material force in society -- only supplying or depriving people of mass-mediated culture.

With apparently no negative feedback from within those worst-offending sectors, the only check on their party's self-destruction is Wall Street and the central bank. They can tighten the financial screws on their fellow elite sectors of the Dem coalition -- a technically, if not politically, easy feat since Silicon Valley is entirely propped up by central bank money-printing that flows through the upper tiers of the finance pyramid (QE). That funds the tech cartel members directly through investments in them, as well as indirectly via the disposable income that their yuppie customer base spends on their products and services. (Yuppies would have had zero wealth growth since 2008 if not for QE trickling down to the top 20%.)

But since finance has actual material power over society -- the creation and flow of money, not just shaping consensus, mass communications, crafting narratives, and other airy-fairy crap -- perhaps they should split off and form their own party. Let the Democrat brand belong to, and die with, the most bitterly despised sectors of society -- Silicon Valley, the CIA, the media, and college campuses. Bring along Hollywood and entertainment, though, since their domain of monopoly (pop culture) is still fairly popular across demographic and political groups, even if it's not powerful.

Then convince the industrial commodity sector -- steel especially -- to defect from the GOP. Manufacturing controls the GOP and has destroyed domestic demand for industrial commodities by off-shoring the factories that make finished goods from raw materials. Finance has a material interest in re-industrializing domestically, since de-industrialization has saddled the central bank with all the costs of funding society (these debts have now bankrupted the central bank), rather than taxing the high-profit-margin manufacturing sector and its labor-intensive workforce that earned high wages. That will lock in Pennsylvania for this new party, along with Indiana (the #1 steel-producing state).

The marketing and branding is irrelevant for now. The key point is just to shed the branding -- and the coalitional membership -- of those hated, impotent, and unproductive sectors that are currently destroying the Democrat party. Call the new one the "Funding and Building Party," I don't know. Things need to be Made in America again, at an industrial scale, and that requires funding their operations, and providing the raw materials for manufacturing. "Funding" avoids the bad associations with "financing" and "banking". Or the "Investing in American Creation Party," which sends out good vibes to fans of Made in America manufacturing, cultural creativeness, and more distantly Creationist-friendly religious people.

November 5, 2020

Modern Democrats: All of the rigging, none of the welfare state, of the old school

As we witness the unfolding of the most flagrant attempt by Democrats to steal several state elections simultaneously, in order to steal the entire presidential election, it's worth remembering what the stakes are.

Most citizens by now already have such low trust in the government and societal institutions broadly, that they might not mind if the election rules were bent or even broken -- provided they got something out of it. Very few people these days idealize and sanctify the electoral process itself, as something to be guarded per se. In the trade-off of prosperity vs. liberty, if forging millions of ballots were to deliver the goods for you and yours, then forge away.

But this is not the close contested election of 1960, where urban Democrat machines put their finger on the scale to favor a New Dealer like JFK. He was not a proto-Reaganite like Carter, so if you liked the New Deal, you could have easily tolerated some breaking of election rules if that's what it took to get more of the New Deal programs.

Nor is Biden a latter-day remnant of the New Deal within the Reagan era, like former Ohio Congressman Jim Traficant, infamous for corruption and presumably no stranger to ballot tampering and the other typical Democrat electoral rule-breaking. Aside from bringing home the bacon to his constituents, he had a flawless record of voting against the two major destructive trends of our era -- de-industrialization and imperial over-reach. He voted against NAFTA, the China trade bill, the Gulf War, and was about to vote against the Iraq War before being driven summarily out of the party.

Robert Byrd, the Democrat Senator from next-door West Virginia, also had a flawless record on those four votes -- plus he'd been around so long that he got to vote for Medicare back during the New Deal era. So he wore some KKK robes when he was a young adult -- BFD, normal people will think, if he's giving the country Medicare, and voting against de-industrialization and getting sucked into Iraq.

Biden, on the other hand, voted in favor of NAFTA, the China trade bill, and the Iraq War. He did vote against the Gulf War -- the only good vote he ever cast -- as did the vast majority of Democrats, who controlled both houses of Congress at the time. But Delaware became even more of a shithole while he was Senator, and the nation tumbled off a cliff during his tenure as VP -- unless you were in the top 20% of the income pyramid, in which case the $4.5 trillion printed up by the central bank slushed your way (quantitative easing).

In the 21st century, that is what you're looking the other way for, when Democrats attempt to steal elections. It's not to elect a New Dealer who's in a tight race against an anti-New Deal Republican of the 1930s. It's to elect a neoliberal warmonger whose primary goal will be to cut a bipartisan deal with Congressional Republicans to gut what's left of the welfare state, de-industrialize the economy, and sink more money into failed militarism abroad (a la Clinton and Obama).

Democrats have truly become the worst of both worlds, corroding all norms of fairness in the naked pursuit of power, while not only delivering nothing to the common people, but acting to strip as much away from them as possible. Our elites have long since become parasitic upon, rather than mutualistic with, the common people. But the Democrat half of the elites has kicked their parasitism into overdrive.

Vote for the other party, and they'll rig the outcome in their own favor. Speak out against the steal, and Silicon Valley censors will muzzle your free speech rights.

This is just like the pattern of rioting over the summer, which an earlier post showed to be a campaign of violently whipping votes for Biden in battleground states (indeed, the same that are now subject to urban Democrat steal attempts). If you aren't going to turn out for our candidate, we'll burn down your neighborhood, and another, and another, until you show up to the voting booth and do as you're told. No promises of goodies and spoils upon victory, just preemptive punishment to motivate those under their control.

Like I said before -- no carrot, all stick. And so it is with the electoral process itself when voting Democrat. If you vote for us, we'll use power to rob you blind, and if you try to vote for the other party, we'll cancel that out with just-enough ballots that have materialized out of thin air.

More and more, the Democrat party appears unable to be reformed, and must be thoroughly replaced with a new second party, in the manner of the Whigs dying in order to be re-born as the GOP during the realignment of the Civil War period (the closest period to our own). Not a party that will deliver utopia, just one that can engage in mutualism with its voters, rather than relentlessly trying to rob them of their freedom while also sucking up as much of their wealth as possible.

With today's Democrats, it's not a trade-off of prosperity vs. liberty, but a lose-lose.

November 3, 2020

The paradox of mega-rallies when Trump supporters are otherwise crypto: Herding to evade individual detection, like secret ballot voting

Outward symbols of supporting Trump have nearly vanished during the 2020 campaign vs. the 2016 campaign -- lawn signs, bumper stickers, and the famous red MAGA hats. And yet he is set to win re-election.

What has put a lid on expressing outward support for Trump is the climate of hysteria, paranoia, and vindictiveness that has been sustained for the past 4-5 years by the liberal half of the elites, those aspiring to join them, and the media who supply the content that they demand (dehumanization of Trump supporters, Trump admin, etc., whether in a normie flavor a la MSNBC or an edgy irony flavor a la Chapo Trap House).

As discussed in October, this is precisely the source of the media's massive polling bias that was predicting a double-digit win, and Electoral College blowout, for a challenger from the opposition party, which saw a fairly divisive primary, taking on the one-term incumbent from the dominant party, which was entirely united during the primary. If the media make it impossible to express support for Trump, naturally the polls will come out ridiculously in favor of Biden.

However, there are a few exceptions to this rule, where expressions of Trump support are through the roof. The rallies are as big or bigger than in 2016. The "cookie polls" in Ohio and Pennsylvania, which count up the number of cookies sold from a Biden version and a Trump version, are still going strong. Graffiti on public bathroom walls, that I've ever seen, is uniformly pro-Trump (Democrats only react to it, and these merely diss Trump, not support Biden, Bernie, or whoever). And of course, there's the actual voting, where Trump is not only going to win, but with greater turnout than the depressed levels of 2016.

What accounts for the difference? It boils down to whether or not the expression can be traced back to the individual supporter. If so, then the expression has gone into hiding, for fear of retaliation. But if not, then they are still present, perhaps more so.

The best way to view this is as herding behavior among a species that is being hunted by a small number of predators. If the individuals in the herd swarm as a collective, it's hard for the predators to tell one from the other, making it difficult to chase any single one of them down.

Here, the predators are the members of the media, activists, etc., who try to identify specific Trump supporters in order to make them a target for ostracism, getting fired, and so on and so forth.

If you have a Trump sign on your lawn, that is easily matched to your address, and even if the anti-Trump forces don't know your name, they at least know where to find you (to steal your signs, to egg your front door, to make loud noise that keeps you up at night, etc.). Likewise a bumper sticker on your car, hat on your head, and most of the other symbols.

But during a rally, there are thousands -- even tens of thousands -- of Trump supporters, making it information overload for the media, activists, etc. to apply facial recognition technology and generate a list of those in attendance, for distribution to anti-Trump forces. This is a real defeat for the would-be hunters since they're not just "identifying less than 100%" -- they are identifying 0%, because they're not going to bother at all in the face of such information overload.

So, you can go to a massive Trump rally, and no one will know unless you choose to stand right behind Trump, where the main cameras are pointed. If no one knows, there can be no retaliation against you. And therefore, the bigger the rally, the better it thwarts attempts to retaliate against the attendees.

Compare that to a small gathering of dozens, or even a minor protest of only hundreds. The media and activists can turn on their phones for a little while and get everyone's face, voice, unique clothing items, and so on. They can instantly upload those to social media, and then crowd-source the task of identifying the individuals by name, address, etc. Small herds are easily split up and picked over.

This is exactly the logic of secret ballot voting on the same day (or now, the same several-month window). Unless they choose to reveal their preference by putting on a MAGA hat after leaving the polling station, Trump supporters will never be found out when casting their vote. There's no way for anyone to discover that information, and start a chain of events that ends in retaliation against that specific voter. So, they're perfectly happy to turn out in droves to express support for Trump by casting a secret ballot.

The joke's on the cancel crew when it comes time to voting -- they have only rigged the system of individual expression against Trump supporters, but voting is an anonymous collective activity. Who's herd is bigger than who else's? They think that just because they've poisoned the atmosphere of lawn signs, hats, and bumper stickers, they've scared the Trump supporters into hiding on Election Day. But none of the Trump voters have to worry about being "punched as a Nazi" when they go out to the polls, because no one knows how they'll vote. If it came down to it, they could simply lie and say of course they're voting for Biden, in a political kind of taqiya.

This goes equally for the "cookie polls," i.e. the number of Trump cookies vs. Biden cookies at a single bellwether bakery in a battleground state like Ohio or Pennsylvania. No one knows which individuals purchased any of the cookies, but the total number of cookies is still known and can be made publicly available without compromising the secrecy of the "ballot". So, no one is afraid of buying Trump cookies, provided they believe the bakery to be non-partisan. This form of expression of support has not diminished at all, but grown if anything.

Although it's far less ubiquitous than the rallies, cookies, or the soon to be actual votes, public bathroom graffiti exemplifies the logic as well. It's not enough for it to be pseudonymous -- individuals generally use pseudonyms on social media platforms, but that doesn't stop them from getting targeted and suspended. While the IRL name of the account owner may not be known, their account name is. If a specific account posts heretical content, it can easily be identified as the offender and shut down.

With bathroom graffiti, not only does nobody know the IRL name of the tagger, but there's not even a pseudonym, account name, or other unique identifier to help shut down the activity coming from that individual. It's scrawled in secret, while no one else is watching, so good luck tracing it back to the writer. Certainly the owners of the bathroom can have it erased, but that's only tantamount to making a user of Twitter delete particular offending tweets -- not suspending their entire account, which would remove them from posting on the platform altogether. The bathroom scrawler can return whenever and leave as much or more pro-Trump graffiti.

By investing so much in the strategy of suppressing freedom of expression among Trump supporters, the media and activists have only succeeded in cleaning up the outward, individual symbols. If all they wanted was to never see a MAGA hat again, then mission accomplished. But if they wanted to actually diminish Trump support, they have only succeeded in making this support crypto or taqiya. And if they wanted to sap the collective power of their enemies, they have failed because those all benefit from information overload due to herding.

Attendees at a mega-rally, voters in the polling stations, God forbid platoons of troops on a hypothetical civil war battlefield -- none of these collective agents allow for the recognition of the individuals making them up, who are therefore immune against attempts at personal retaliation.

The libtards have sought to "weaken the Trump mob," but in suppressing all of their individual freedoms of expression, they have forced Trump supporters to adopt behaviors that are even more like those of a herd, crowd, mob, gang, or army. And individuals in collectives behave differently, protected as they are from personal retaliation. Credit and blame is so diffusely spread around the various individuals, that any one of them can do something reckless and get away with it.

Conservatards have done nothing of the sort toward their enemies. It's totally permissible to have Biden yard signs, hats, bumper stickers, and the rest of it. They won't be retaliated against for expressing their support for Biden or Democrats generally. No pathetic groups of conservative activists photographing every Biden yard sign they see, making lists of "known Biden supporters" in the community, getting them fired, and so on and so forth.

Crucially, the Biden supporters are not very good at the collective herd behaviors -- their rallies are non-existent, they don't buy cookies shaped like their candidate, they don't tag bathrooms with graffiti in favor of their guy, and they're not going to show up in large enough numbers at the polling stations to win the actual election.

If anything, the climate of hysteria, paranoia, and retaliation created by the media and activists has only made the liberal / left half of the elites more complacent and therefore individualist. They don't need to band together and herd. And they've made the conservative / right half feel more besieged, determined, and therefore collectivist.

Collective activities are no place for smug, secure individuals -- and that is why the liberals and leftists are going to lose when it counts -- like deciding who controls the government -- as long as they keep up their campaign of suppression of individual expression ("cancel culture"). As in all other areas, Tulsi Gabbard is the only Democrat politician with a national stature who could lead the way out of their quagmire, and she is the natural choice of those Trump supporters who are disaffected with the Trump admin's re-branded Reaganism, with only little hints of substantive change.

Celebrate the libtard tears tonight, but more importantly, support Tulsi and the others like her in the future so that we don't keep finding ourselves in this awful situation, where the only silver lining is "owning the libs". NEETs may not mind being part of a samizdat / taqiya movement, but normies would rather be able to openly express which candidate, party, and program they support.