Monthly Archives: July 2016

Alt Right Manifesto

A spectre is haunting the Internet – the spectre of Alt Right.  All the powers of the Internet have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise thie spectre: Government and Facebook, Buzzfeed and the clickbait mob, Democrats and Republicans.

Where is the outspoken Tweeter that has not been decried as Alt Right by a verified Twitter account?  Where is both the college radical and the government official that has not hurled back  the branding reproach of “Alt Right”?

Two things result from this fact:

  1. Alt Right is already acknlowledged by all Internet powers to be itself a power.
  2. It is high time that the Alt Right should openly, in the face of the whole internet, publish their view, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the Spectre of Alt Right with a manifesto of the internet tendency itself.

Bourgeois and Internet

Commoners continuously have fought for their own voice in our society, only to have their opinions coopted by established voices who quickly sold them out as they became valuable enough to do so.

And this history of the last twenty years has manifested itself in the history of the Internet.  Ever since the 60s, the baby boomer generation has held the mantle of “anti-society” and has taken their attitudes all the way to the major parties and the corporate boardrooms.  With this creep into established society, they have also crept into Silicon Valley and the helm of the Internet.

Thus Silicon Valley, which is now said to rival Wall Street itself in pure capital power, also has the heritage of the 60s.  But it is a heritage that keeps sticking to staler and staler ghosts of its rebel past.  The fact that the anti-vaccine craze has its center in Marin county should come as a surprise to nobody.  All the wealthiest benefactors of internet wealth live up there, a living contradiction of both being The Man and being Against The Man.

One need not look very far to see this tendency in all sorts of stale politics: transgender/LGBT politics, the GMO and anti-Vaccine craze, blaming a fictional past on all our woes, white guilt and the weird way it warps racial politics.

Now the Internet billionaires also ushered in an entirely new era – the era of decentralized communications.  But while they hailed this as a new era of equality, where anyone can talk to anyone, they also ingratiated themselves to all that was stale and old in our society:  Hollywood, the recording industry, governments seeking to promote globalist agendas.

This is why companies like Facebook and Twitter, despite their claims to democratize the national conversation, are becoming more egregiously partisan, blocking any conversation they deem against the globalist agenda.

The Proletarian Internet

While Silicon Valley has done everything it could to centralize the internet and bring people under its fold, voices have emerged and exploited the internet for their own dissident opinions.  It started as a sort of a crack in the dam.  When a proper liberal was supposed to champion things like “women are always right feminism” or pop psychology or liking any music that the radio stations threw your way, these people said NO.

I’ve seen such voices ever since the early 2000s.  Maddox was a good proto-champion of the Alt Right from the early days.  Not only did he have a dissident voice, his very platform was dissident.  To this day he still uses Xmission, some obscure, libertarian webhost in Utah.

Nor was this Alt Right confined to the Internet.  Jim Goad wrote the Redneck Manifesto, a good anthropology of working class America that stays clear of stale racial categories and in fact rebels against them.  It is from this seed of truth that the Buzzfeed article above builds its mountain of bullshit that Alt Right is about White Nationalism.

And if I may interject my own personal experience, it was in dealing with the GMO debate that I, a hitherto good liberal, decided to jump the train and speak out against what I saw was people just sticking with what would later become virtue signaling: speaking up about an issue they know nothing about, just to look cool to their peers.

Kony 2012 was a watershed moment in virtue signalling – when the slogan-based politics of the established left became so removed from reality that it was an Emperor’s New Clothes moment.

Gavin McInness and Rebel Media have also risen to internet fame as a member of the Alt Right.  He gives a good understanding of the 14 different types of conservatives.  While he has a rather narrow understanding of Alt Right himself, this is a good starting point for the understanding of who falls under this rather large, colorful umbrella of Alt Right.

Because, over the last couple years, such virtue signaling has come to a head.  Events like the 2014 Israel-Gaza war, Bruce Jenner becoming Catelyn Jenner, Ahmed Clockboy, Black Lives Matter.  And probably most of all, the unfettered Muslim immigration coming into Europe and all the devastating consequences it’s had for European Society.

And it is this last issue most of all where the battle lines are so clearly drawn.  The old 60s liberals that have become established are policing the Internet for people in power.  And the Alt Right seem to be the only ones that are opposing established views.

Milo Yiannopoulous, a gay conservative, has seen himself catapulted to the eye of this storm.  He’s considered a modern day champion of the Alt Right, taking such basic stances like Muslim immigration is dangerous to gays, and questioning the statistics of college rapes and female wage gaps.  As he’s put it, he’s welcome to debat things, but he wants to debate facts, not just being called a racist.

The 2016 Election

And with this election of Hilary v. Trump, we may see as many Democrats become Trump Democrats as there were Reagan Democrats.  The Alt Right is largely responsible for this movement.  It is not because the country has shifted to the right.  It is because the left has moved into irrelevance.  Indeed all the political forces of the past 16 years have drifted into irrelevance.

All the powers of the media and the internet have placed themselves solidly in the camp of Bernie/Hilary.  To the point where they smear Trump and anyone who supports him.  The Democrats literally treat Trump as The Devil.  The only argument they have left is “vote for Hilary or the Devil.”  They even threaten violence against his supporters.  I wonder how many more people would have Trump signs and stickers if they didn’t fear vandalism.

And the Alt Right is getting smeared right along with Trump.  The same lies they put up about Trump are being used against this shadowy movement of nebulous neo-Nazis which happen to include Jews and Gays.  So it leads us to ask, just what does Alt Right believe?

What the Alt Right believes

The Alt Right is ultimately not defined by its own goals – our goals are myriad and contradictory – but our refusal to associate with championed issues of the established left.  Catelyn Jenner is still a man, and men should not be involved in women’s sports.  This issue has put someone as innocent as Rhonda Rousey as a hated conservative, for saying transgender men should not be allowed to compete against female fighters.

Being pro-science is also a major bone of contention of the Alt-Right.  We have no problem with GMOs or vaccines.  I’ll admit I may be in the minority of the Alt Right for believing Global Warming is an issue.  But I fall right back in when I say governments aren’t doing anything about it other than as an excuse for subsidies to their friends.

We value education, we don’t think it’s a tool of rich white males to mold your mind.  We’re not afraid to bring up that rap is corrupting and that being a thug will land you in jail.  We like cops, we like that they keep civilization.  Maybe they have problems but the problem would become much greater if they go away.  So yeah, we think a cop’s life is more worth protecting than a civilian’s, and even more so than someone of questionable conduct.

We think being black or female does not excuse you from being an asshole.  We think there’s an issue with Islam.  We believe in borders, letting through those we accept, and keeping the rest out with deadly force if necessary.  And with that, we are opposed to “safe spaces”.  If you want to be relevant, you’re going to be insulted, you’re going to be attacked.  Only toddlers need safe spaces.  Children should be exposed to increasing levels of reality and danger.

And that brings me to the final disclaimer of what we believe: we disagree on a lot.  Anyone calling themselves Alt Right can disagree with any one of these precepts.  The difference is we are able to disagree without branding each other and casting each other off into the hell of moral condemnation.  Which, yes, is as ridiculous as it sounds.

What the Alt Right wants

If you could sum it all up in one catchphrase, it’s “we’re tired of being PC.”

Although, as the virtue signaling leftist media spins it, that means if you’re not PC you’re an asshole that rapes and beats women, wants to lynch black people, and send Muslims and Jews to the concentration camps.

It sounds ridiculous when you put it that way.  And it is.  Even among those who are outspoken racial advocates, they tend to not let themselves get baited into leftist politics.  But when you look at the picture the media have painted of Trump, that’s exactly it.  He’s never talked about rounding up anyone, just closing and enforcing the borders.  And nevermind that more deportations have happened under Obama than anyone else.

The point here is, it would be nice to have conversations about immigration, or Islam, or cops, or any of these issues, without being branded as a racist homophobe Islamophobe animal killer.  And not just being branded, but being ostracized.  Because at some point the ostracizers become the ostracized.  The way things are going worldwide, the far right are the only ones who are echoing these sentiments.  This is giving them more and more power, while more and more mainstream parties are losing power.

It is possible to see the Democrats completely disappear as a party in November.  This is not healthy.  But it is absolutely the fault of those who think they have some moral cudgel to bash people around any time they disagree with something.

At this point I’d like to pat the back of fellow Gen X’ers.  They seem to be the ones spearheading the Alt Right movement, and I think it’s because we’re the last generation to be raised without mandatory seatbelts.  I honestly think the two are related.  If you live your life thinking you’re immune from danger, you live your life thinking you’re immune from strife and discord.

But life is all about strife and discord.  It’s what makes life dynamic.  It’s why I both agree with a Warren Buffett, who thinks America has plenty of dynamism left, and a Donald Trump, who for all his quirks, has a point when he says we can Make America Great Again.

And that’s why he’s the dark horse Republican Nominee.

Pokemon Go Strategy Guide

Tips for beginner players

In the beginning, the whole Pokemon Go world may seem a bit daunting.  At L5 you have your prize 100CP pokemon, and you make your first foray into the gyms, and all these ultra-intimidating 1000+CP Pokemon that you don’t think you’ll ever find in your life are guarding all the gyms.  It makes you want to throw your hands up in despair.

Well, don’t.

The key to surviving Pokemon is patience.  Patience and experimentation.  The game has enough randomness and handicaps factored in where you will have advantages over experienced players.  But, if you’ve just hit L5, don’t expect to be taking over any gyms.  In fact until you hit L10, you should only be focused on capturing Pokemon and tagging Pokestops.

But that sounds boring!

Don’t worry, there’s plenty to explore and learn until level 10.  Effectively capturing Pokemon is a skill in itself that you need to learn.  Not just how to effectively flip that pokeball, but what spots to hang out at, what bonus items to exploit.

So, go to your favorite neighborhoods, see what Pokestops are around.  Check out a park or a body of water somewhere and go “fishing” – just waiting around and seeing what pops up.  If you can make something out of your “Pokemon Near Me” screen, go for it.  It’s been spotty for me.

IMG_6698

That white ring you see represents your “discovery” limit. Any Pokemon, Pokestop, or gym in this ring will become interactable.

You can try to use the Pokemon Near Me screen to find those Pokemon you covet.  But you don’t know which direction they are, and if you’re like me, you can no longer even see how far away they are – just relative to each other (they read like a book – nearest is top left, farthest is bottom right).  So if you want to sweep for them, keep an eye on your white ring.  Run it through a neighborhood like a vacuum cleaner – up and down, back and forth, not missing any spots.

EDIT: I used to think you compete with other players for Pokemon.  You don’t.  What shows up for you shows up for others, but you all have the capacity to catch it yourself.  Even the rare ones.

What does happen is they “blink”: a Pokemon will appear in a specific location, but it will only hang out there 15-20 minutes before disappearing.  So if you chase a Pokemon that seems close and all of a sudden it’s no longer even on your radar, it’s because time’s up.  It does make the radar look like it’s messing with you.

The good news is it also means Pokemon tend to “blink” in the same spot – at least the more common ones.  So if you (or a friend) caught a Pokemon in a specific spot before, feel free to go hang out there some other time and see if it will pop up again.  Also, if you’re near that area and you see it registering nearby, go to that same spot.

You’ll also notice different types of Pokemon gather in different spots or streets.  So don’t waste too much time in your quiet cul de sac hoping a couple will show up.  Go to popular hangouts, and, well, hangout.  See what pops up.  Talk to other people and see where they caught good Pokemon.  A classic one is water Pokemon hanging around bodies of water.

This is where those lures and incense come in handy.  I think the jury is still out on how they operate, but I think they increase the chance of a Pokemon “blinking” into existence.  That is, if it is already known to blink there.

Catch them all – don’t worry if you have a bunch.  Did you know you can transfer unwanted Pokemon to the professor for a piece of candy?  So you’ll get that, you’ll get XP, and you’ll get precious stardust.

Don’t get me wrong, lures are nice.  If you combine them with a Lucky Egg and incense, you can have a wonderful time harvesting and leveling up with it.  Just try to find ones that haven’t lured everyone in sight.  I’ve seen some lured Pokestops that are virtual ghost towns.

At some point you’ll have enough basic Pokemon where you can experiment with powering up and evolving them.  But you should be cautious with spending your stardust and candy until you have some better choices on what to do with it.  Which leads us to

To Evolve or to Powerup?

It took me a lot of trial and error to figure out just how I wanted to budget my candy and stardust.  Which is part of the fun of the game.  But if you want to fine-tune it, there’s one basic rule to start: Don’t evolve weak pokemon.

Pidgey

Note the position of the dial. Don’t let this Pidgey fool you … it’s a butt kicker.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, above every Pokemon’s picture is a rainbow-shaped dial which corresponds to their CP (Combat Power).  Far-left is the weakest, far-right is the strongest.

At lower levels, you’ll have access to predominantly weak Pokemon.  But as you level-up you’ll see stronger and stronger ones.  One reason you wait till L10 is by then you’ll have some halfway-decent Pokemon worth powering up.  As well as a good idea of what Pokemon in your area are plentiful and which ones you should keep a tight budget with.

This Pidgey to the right is a classic example.  It’s powerful in its own right – certainly more powerful than some Pidgeots I’ve caught in the wild.  Also, if you were to take this to a gym, defeating an enemy could win you a powerful bonus.  Pokemon has a built in handicap system where if a low-CP Pokemon beats a high-CP Pokemon, you win much greater prestige.  But we’ll get to that later.

IMG_6701

This Pidgeotto was evolved from the Pidgey above. Note the position on the dial is exactly the same – though the “XL/XS” tags can change.

The thing to remember about evolving is, any Pokemon you evolve maintains the same position on the dial after it evolves as before.

If you’ve already “wasted” your stardust on your weaker Pokemon, don’t fret.  Powering up weak pokemon is a relatively cheap affair.  But once they get near their limit, we’re talking 2000+ stardust per upgrade.  And I imagine this Pidgeotto has about half a dozen upgrades left before it’s maxed out.

So, Stardust or Candy?  At some point, you will want to pull the trigger and evolve that kinda-powerful Pokemon.  Never regret that decision.  But the bottom line is this – if a Pokemon is plentiful (like this Pidgey) you will get plenty of candy to evolve it.  So don’t waste stardust on it – find that ultra-powerful Pidgey and evolve it away.  Save stardust for those rare finds that you will want to power up.

One other note – evolving a Pokemon will automatically run a full heal.  So waiting to evolve a Pokemon until after it’s been beaten up is a good way to go.  Also, if you wait to chain a bunch of evolutions at the same time, you can get a Lucky egg in there and get that XP bonus.  Especially if you’re evolving it into an undiscovered Pokemon type.

Gym Strategy

Okay, so you’re L10, you’ve got some Pokemon ready, and you’re raring to hit the gyms.  But before you go charging in, remember – potions are limited, and they’re the only way to heal your Pokemon (aside from evolving, we’ll get to that later).  You can easily spend all your potions to take over a gym, only to have someone else knock you out in a few minutes.  So this guide will help you figure out how to save those potions for maximum benefit.

First thing to do is copy this to your phone and memorize it.

IMG_6678

Got it?  Okay, we’re ready to move on.  Here’s where you should learn the secret: don’t let high CP Pokemon intimidate you.  I’ve gone in and wasted them with Pokemon of less than half their CP.  The key is in studying this chart, studying the Pokemon you’re attacking, and finding the right Pokemon to beat it for maximum prestige change and minimum HP loss.

A Pokemon’s type reflects their defense.  A Pokemon’s attack reflects their attack.  The two are rarely the same, and are relatively randomized.  For example, I have two Pidgeots – both are normal/flying.  But one has a Steel attack and one has a Flying attack.

When going up against an enemy Pokemon, the strategy is to find what attacks they’re vulnerable to, and what resists their attacks.  Then choose the Pokemon with the minimum CP that you think could defeat them.  Note there’s some randomness here.  You’re not really sure what their attack is, you just have a couple choices to choose from.

One way to find out is in combat.  If someone wanted to figure out my Pidgeot, he would put a Rock Pokemon to fight it, and then see if the Pidgeot’s attack is “Super effective”, which would mean a Steel attack, or “Not so effective”, which would mean a Flying attack.

As for dual nature Pokemon, I’m not quite sure how their defense works.  Do they get the strengths and vulnerabilities of both?  Are they averaged out?

Why take over a gym?

I’ll start this off with an anecdote.  I have a gym just out of reach of my house, and I have a couple neighbors in the Red team (I’m in Blue).  They told me how they need to stay in control of that gym, so any time someone took it over they took it right back.

I haven’t seen that gym go Red in a couple days now.

I imagine they kept trying to take it over until they ran out of potions.  Now, they’re powerless to do much of anything.  The point is, don’t let pride get in the way.  You don’t need all the gyms all the time.  What you do need is to have the gyms at the right time.

Well, what time is that?  Once you take over your first gym, immediately go to your Shop.  You’ll notice a shield icon in the top right corner.  Click on that to start the timer, which runs for 21 hours.

Now, during those 21 hours, you don’t actually need to control any gyms.  In fact, if you wanna really piss people off, put a weak Pokemon in there, a Pokemon you’re ready to evolve or transfer to the Professor anyway.  Start the timer, let people beat it up, then do what you will with it.  No potions wasted.

Once that 21 hour timer expires, now it’s time to take over some gyms.  You can let it expire without having any gyms, it doesn’t matter.  Just see how many gyms you can control simultaneously when you finally go to the shop to collect your bonus.  I’ve had up to four gyms at a time when I went to collect.  2000 XP and 40 Pokecoins is nothing to sneeze at.

But HOW do I take over a gym?

Oh, that’s right, it’s still all confusing.  The way they set up gym combat was built for high turnover.  If you go up against an enemy gym, you get to use six Pokemon.  If you go up against your own color gym, you only get to use one.

To ease your way into gym combat, you probably want to find a gym with a free spot.  Then put a Pokemon in there and see what happens.  If there are no free spots, you can make one.  You do this by battling the gym.  Put up a Pokemon that you think will beat the first one (what I call the Doorman) for maximum prestige and minimum HP loss.  After that fight is over, you’ll have option to keep fighting the rest until you run out of HP, but I tend to run away after that.

That gives the gym added prestige.  Once it hits a certain threshhold, another slot opens up.  Put your Pokemon in there, and it will file in according to CP.  Lowest CP is first to fight and first to get kicked out.  The top CP (champion) goes down with the gym.

Which leads to the next topic – how to take down an enemy gym.  You get six Pokemon to do it, and you get to choose (on the fly) which Pokemon goes up against which defender.  So chances are good you can defeat the whole gym.  It doesn’t mean you take it over, but defeating all a gym’s Pokemon will deliver a huge prestige blow.  And as its prestige goes down, its bottom Pokemon get kicked out, and it becomes easier to beat.

The basic rule is – the fewer and lower CP Pokemon you use, the more gym Pokemon you take out, the more prestige damage you deliver.

And while a friendly gym will only send your Pokemon to 1HP, an enemy gym will make your Pokemon faint (0HP).  Which requires a Revive crystal.  This is a good thing.  While potions are pretty scarce, I tend to have a lot of revive crystals.  So if you can find a way to attack a gym when all your six Pokemon are at 1/2 health, you won’t need any potions to defeat it.  Just Revive crystals, and patience.  They’re also good to use on high-powered Pokemon, since they restore more HP.

Ronnybiggs is an LA based player who won’t be selling his account for $100.

Brexit happened because of immigration

I feel like the discussion about Brexit has been disingenuous at best. And if we are going to stop Brexit from becoming a total rout of the EU and the world economy, we need to bring it back home.

The Brexit vote was about immigration. Pure and simple. Not about Polish immigration or Sikh immigration, it’s about the unfettered Muslim immigration from countries that have slipped into anarchy. More so, it seems the EU has found an ingenious way to circumvent all immigration law by using the “refugee” loophole. I.E.: If you can let Muslims pour into Greece, Italy and Spain, they are welcome anywhere in the EU. Including England.  This is what is making people flinch and tip in favor of Brexit, in what would have otherwise been a much more tepid discussion.

Now, I get the population increase argument. Economics is a dismal science, and part of that means that if your population isn’t growing, the economy crashes. But where did people think they could get away with this “refugee” scheme? Did they think people would fall for it and NOT have some massive backlash? And did they remember that immigration is one thing, assimilation is another?

No, apparently not.

Officials need to at least own the situation we’re in. Own the consequences of the last few years of unfettered immigration and the dismantling of existing law. First of all, we know that a 90% male influx isn’t refugees, it’s taking advantage of the loophole they’re so proud of.

Second, Muslims in the EU need to be assimilated – we can’t just ignore this massive clash of values.  If a Muslim commits terrorism, call it Muslim terrorism.  Really, Orlando is a gun control issue?  That’s just … autistic.

And yes, assimilation happens violently, with draconian laws, machine guns and billy clubs (back to that dismal science). No-go zones need to be acknlowledged, and put under siege. Mosques need to be tightly monitored for terrorist ties (as has been done quite successfully in France). Any Muslim that doesn’t like it is free to find another country.

And if the EU isn’t to be completely torn asunder by a right-wing resurgence, it needs to QUICKLY revamp its “freedom of movement” policy. This “refugee” loophole needs to be closed.

Keep in mind, I dislike the extreme right as much as anyone. Whenever they come into the government, things get messy. I would have liked someone other than Nigel Farage or Boris Johnson to have the day in Parliament. But if they’re the only ones to address the Muslim elephant in the European room, they will continue to surge in the polls. They will continue to fill all sorts of crazy agendas along with a sloppy resolution the the immigration issue.

But if the mainstream continues to ignore this debate, the extreme right will seize the next few years, all over Europe. England is only the first domino.