Nature is Trying to Kill You.

That’s the polite version of this entertaining screed, by the self-declared SciBabe.

By the age of one, how many times had modern medicine saved your ass?

What about by the age twenty? How about now?

How many times has nature tried to kill you? Strep, staph, weather, tsunamis, all the vaccine preventable illnesses, tooth decay, allergies that range from life-threatening to “goddamnit, it’s spring and the trees are fucking,” and whatever the fuck Gwyneth Paltrow is getting stung by bees to cure.

And the goddamn flu.

Without modern medicine, how much worse off would your life be?

Read the whole thing.

mothernaturesabitch_c453e5_4679103

How ‘Stranger Things’ Got Passed Around Hollywood

In the midst of fisking the usual gang of idiots about raaaaaaacism, Larry Correia lets drop an interesting factoid:

For a long time entertainment tried to lump as many customers as possible into one big box to provide dumb bland mushy product to. To make a living at this stuff you needed to sell to everybody, including the easily offended. Now, you just need to appeal to one group of fans, and what appeals to them might not appeal to everybody, but screw those guys. You can make what you want. Technology has evolved so that you can get your product right in front of your target audience. It isn’t just books either. Stranger Things got rejected by something like 15 networks for being too weird, and now it is a hit on Netflix.

I double-checked to make sure that was true, and according to this article in Rolling Stone, Correia was low-balling it:

After they wrote the initial Stranger Things script, they never thought they’d have a chance at pitching Netflix; they thought it was only a place for established names like Orange Is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan and House of Cards producer, director David Fincher. Matt estimates the brothers were rejected 15 to 20 times by various networks, while other execs had balked at the idea that the show featured four kids as lead characters but that it wasn’t TV for children. “You either gotta make it into a kids show or make it about this Hopper [detective] character investigating paranormal activity around town,” one told them. Matt recalls replying, “Then we lose everything interesting about the show.” Some other people they knew in the industry understood their vision and helped connect them with Netflix. “There was a week where we were like, ‘This isn’t going to work because people don’t get it,‘” Matt says.

That’s the thing about the entertainment/content industry: they have to have product to connect with an audience, but they can’t know ahead of time what will, and there’s a cost factor with every bet. So if they gate-keepers don’t get it, viscerally, instantly, they assume that the disinterested masses won’t bother. Because the entertainment industry isn’t about connecting audiences and content, it’s about connecting audiences and content in such away that maximizing profit and minimizes loss. Thus, people are going to pass on things because they’re not getting it.

This message has been brought to you by trendiness:

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 4.13.59 PM

The Great Trans-Female Reproductive Rights Debate

Yep. This happened.

Now, before we get all transphobic, and talking about how someone born biologically male can’t ever have babies, or some such hate-speech, (because biology is a patriarchal construct, okay?) we need to recognize that this is really about consciousness being elevated.

“I would say ultimately all advocacy begins with elevated consciousness and because of movements like Black Lives Matter where you have seen trans women at the fore of that, because of the public accommodations legislation, because of so many things that are happening at a policy level, our consciousness is being elevated,” Pressley said. “I do believe that as our consciousness is elevated we will be better informed, better educated, and we can mobilize around those issues.”


Somebody paid a lot of money to learn how to talk like that. A Lot. Of Money. Someone wrote college admission essays, filled out FAFSAs, and read reams upon reams of cretinous po-mo argle-bargle so that they could, with a straight face, reconstruct this scene from Life of Brian:

These people are making it very hard not to pull the lever for Trump. I don’t like the guy, and can’t imagine he would be better than mediocre, at best, ensconced at 1600 Pennsylvania. But I kind of want to make these idiots suffer, and he’s up for that job.

Edit: Fixed. The lack of video embeddage was bothering me.

Car Buying Made Simple

I’ve been reading Scott Adam’s blog throughout the election season, because his take on the phenomenon known as Trump has both a unique take and the volume turned down, at least so far as emotionalism goes. But lately he has worked himself into an insanity regarding buying a Chevy Truck, and reported that he cannot do it without feeling screwed.

So the answer to my question about why other people can buy trucks and I can’t is that I have a degree in economics and I’m trained in persuasion, so scams are more evident to me. There is literally no path to buying a truck that isn’t some form of dealer abuse on customers. I can’t willingly submit to abuse, and my cognitive dissonance isn’t strong enough to overcome it.

So I have no truck.

This is banana-pants to me. Everyone talks about buying a car or a truck as though it was an endeavor comparable to signing a missile treaty. It’s not. It’s purchasing, largely on credit, a complicated and expensive machine you understand poorly in order to have transportation. It’s a long-term commitment, and it’s pricey, so it’s easy to feel out of your depth.

I’m here to help. I’m not an expert on cars (or trucks), but I’ve bought them several times, and I have what I think is the solution to Scott’s problem and a general, low-stress way to buy vehicles.

  1. No matter what you do, you’re going to spend a lot of money. Stop worrying about “getting screwed”. Only people who buy lemons get screwed. You’re buying an expensive thing. Guess what? It costs a lot of money. Figure out how much you’re comfortable with spending, and don’t spend more than that.
  2. Features are unimportant. A car or truck is transportation. That’s what it does. If it does that for a number of years without requiring major mechanical overhaul, then it has performed its function. There are many different features because there are many different people who all want different things, and there are limited means of manufacture. It is highly unlikely to walk onto a lot and find the car you’ve been imagining in your head. If you need a specific car, with specific features, then you need to custom-order it. And you will pay for that. See #1.
  3. Never walk on the lot unless you know what you want to buy. Anyone who expects a car salesman to put your needs ahead of his is a fool. His job is not to fulfill your needs. His job is to make money while making you feel comfortable while he does it. He’s going to try to sell you what his dealership has a lot of. He’s going to try to maximize the price you pay, and minimize the value of your trade-in. That’s what he’s going to do. He’s not your friend. He’s a man trying to make money off of you. That doesn’t make him a bad person, but it does make him an unreliable source of information. Believe nothing he says. Instead, forearm yourself with Consumer Reports and other sources of info that expect no more from you than the cover price of a magazine. Then, decide what you want. Decide which features are important to you. Decided how much you want to spend.

And understand that you will probably get something that’s 70%-80% of your ideal. That’s how the world works. Be okay with that, and you won’t feel screwed. And you’ll actually be able to buy a car.

The Roman Polanski Two-Step

The old goat is running out of places to not be extradited from.

Zbigniew Ziobro, who also became Poland’s chief prosecutor after the country’s new, staunchly conservative government merged the two posts, argues that it was the director’s celebrity status in Poland, where he grew up, that had prevented him from being extradited in the past.

‘I’ve decided to file an appeal in the Supreme Court against the ruling … in which the … court decided not to extradite Mr Polanski to the US in a situation when he’s accused of and wanted for … a rape of a child,’ Ziobro told Poland’s state radio.

‘If he was just a regular guy, a teacher, doctor, plumber, decorator, then I’m sure he’d have been deported from any country to the US a long time ago,’ he said.

The truth! It burns!

And it gives me an excuse to re-link an old Revolutionary Nonsense favorite: “With the Rich and Mighty, or Is Roman Polanski as Smart as Michael Vick?

Let us therefore treat Roman Polanski as we treated Michael Vick. Let us punish him for the crimes he has committed, and then release him when he has served time commensurate with his offense. Let us treat the celebrated director and holocaust-surviving Polish Jew with the same justice as the Black Football Player.

It’s solid dudgeon. Read the Whole Thing.

Fake Books on the Subway

This video is funny, but one thing it isn’t is trolling.

Or at least, there’s no evidence of it being trolling. Trolling means provoking a negative reaction for your own amusement or rhetorical purposes. Making other people laugh at silly book titles is not trolling. And that’s all the video shows us: other people laughing. I might guess that at least a few of them were in on the joke, especially since this is the second such video.

Get your nomenclature right, internet!