Word from the Dark Side – felons shot, farewell Aussie China journos, future feelings and frisky Japanese bigwigs

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What are the odds that the three people Kyle shot were all felons? LET investigates.

What was it like during the Kenosha riots, aside from that one incident? Here is an eye-witness account:

At the lakefront… there was a small police presence again, where our courthouse and Pd is…. but the PD was nowhere else in the city. It was just us left to fend for ourselves, watching live feed again, Listening to the scanners … lights off, house alarm armed. Curtains drawn – guns ready as we listened to where the rioters were, which way they were headed. Despite the state of emergency curfew the city was flooded with cars driving around with no plates on, groups of people destroying our city. Not enough police to arrest or stop not ONE SINGLE PERSON.

Until the guard came to help… the entire city was left to its own defenses.

Two cops were shot in the head in Compton. Here’s a video of bystander reactions.

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Actively managed funds are rubbish

This is an extract from my book, The Poor Man’s Guide to Financial Freedom: A Realistic, 10-Step Manual to Building Liberating Wealth on a Low to Medium Income.

Why Actively Managed Funds are Bad

Imagine this: your toilet is blocked and you can’t fix it yourself so you call a plumber.  The plumber has a look and says, “Hmm . . . I’ll have a go.  I can probably fix it.  My fee is $250, or $350 if I succeed.”  Are you happy with this deal?  Most people would expect to pay only once the plumber has fixed the problem, though if it requires more time, personnel or machinery than first thought, then the expense will necessarily be higher.  But one would not expect to pay a plumber who messes around with a plunger for a while, sighs, gives up and goes home.

Or how about a taxi driver who expects a $30 bonus if he actually finds your destination?  Or a dentist who wants extra if he manages to pull out the right tooth?  Or an air traffic controller who reckons he should get an extra fifty bucks for every plane that doesn’t crash?

That’s how it is with actively managed funds Read More

Fear

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As Machiavelli wrote, rulers can manage their people more effectively through emotion than reason, and fear is more motivating than love.

This is perhaps truest of democracies, where leaders can keep power by convincing the electorate that they alone are able to hold off the latest threat.

Once the wave of fear has passed (having served its purpose or lost its effectiveness), we look back and think, what was the all the fuss about?

In the early 20th century, wowsers were convinced that alcohol was a unique and terrible evil. Today we can agree on its harms, but was it ever really that bad? Worth turning society upside down for? How did anyone ever fall for that?

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Word from the Dark Side – walking to Sri Lanka, white allies scorned, watching Heaven’s Gate and world’s oldest AV star.

Look out for my post on Tuesday about how the world has succumbed to irrational fear.

A professor of Mandarin in the US was fired for teaching the Chinese term neige, which means ‘that’ or can be used as a filler word. It sounds a bit like the English ‘n-word’, an offensive term for a person of African origin:

Yup, fired. Don’t teach foreign languages, you bigot!

Educational outcomes for African Americans are still far behind the US average. If the cause is ‘systemic racism’, then you’ll need to look very hard indeed to find signs of it. This story shows you the straws being clutched in support of that theory.

In Japanese, the verb ‘nigeru‘ means ‘to flee’.

Trump sometimes blurts out the truth:

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Boiling point

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Everyone’s very angry at the moment, but why?

You’ve probably seen this photo before. Look at the dress and tell me what colour it is:

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The Dress

Some people see black and royal blue. Others see white and gold. Unlike other optical tricks like the vase vs two faces image, no matter what you do, you are unable to see what the other group sees.

This went mad on social media because it is a perfect example of what researchers have discovered makes an issue exquisitely controversial: the answer seems obvious to both sides, yet these answers differ completely. This leads each side to suspect bad faith and evil intentions on the other side. It is hard to believe that someone really does see colours you cannot see. It seems like a giant prank.

In the West, we have split into two groups like this on many, much more pressing issues. Our perceptions of reality are irreconcilable. Can you remember these proto-squabbles:

Was Trayvon Martin murdered, or did George Zimmerman kill him in self defence?

Even our idea of what the two look like, and whether Zimmerman was white or Hispanic, depends on our source:

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You are WEIRD

Map of nations covered by psychological studies

The trouble with people living in WEIRD countries is, we don’t know how WEIRD we are.

WEIRD stands for Western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic.  Many countries have some of these characteristics, but only a few have them all, which makes them . . . weird.

The map above shows where 90% of psychological studies come from, adjusting country size by population.  These WEIRD countries account for only about 15% of the world’s population.  Some researchers are starting to think these studies must be culturally biased, and that broader studies are needed to understand human nature more fully.

This is because WEIRD countries are different.  They have certain Read More

Word from the Dark Side – dissenting scientists, disliked daughters and defending the looters.

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I’ve got a big article going up on Tuesday (Monday evening US time) about your WEIRD culture. Future articles will build on it.


Lots of interesting, Covid-related posts today:

WHO special envoy praises Sweden’s approach, then backtracks.

A top Israeli scientist piles on:

“If we had not been told that there was an epidemic in the country, you would not have known there was such an epidemic and you would not have done anything about it,” he said emphatically. “The fact that this issue runs all day in the media inflates it beyond its natural dimensions. If black death had raged here, as in the 14th century, you would not have had to follow the situation in the news, the bodies would have piled up in the streets. We were not and we are not in this situation today.”

Top UK scientist says lockdown was a ‘monumental mistake‘:

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We are all paperwork citizens now

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Vox Day likes to call immigrants without deep roots in a nation, ‘paperwork citizens’, as opposed to real citizens.  I always thought it was a bit mean to those who’d tried hard to fit in and make a life for themselves, but now I see the grain of truth in the sentiment.

As you know, I’m not presently allowed to return to my own country.  Subsequent rumination have helped me to make sense of this.

Almost 30% of Australians were born overseas.  Some of these, no doubt, are keen to assimilate and eventually become patriotic, dutiful, grouse Aussie shearers.  I’ve met Indians from Dubai who delight in our coarseness and have learnt to swear like troopers.  I’ve met game Vietnamese boys who play Aussie rules football.  I’ve met Kiwis who didn’t know they were Kiwis until they tried to apply for university.

I also know many migrants, especially from China and India, who move to Australia purely for Read More

What to do in a stock market crash

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This is an extract from my book, The Poor Man’s Guide to Financial Freedom: A Realistic, 10-Step Manual to Building Liberating Wealth on a Low to Medium Income.  This section seems relevant in light of recent turbulence.

In the case of a stock market crash, your actual losses will depend on what you do next.

Imagine Aida and Thad both invest $100,000 in the share market, in a broad and identical way.  There’s a terrible, 30% downturn across the board and the value of their investments declines to $70,000.  Oh, no!  What are they to do?

Foolish Aida says, Read More

Youse back at the gym?

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There’s one reason to go back.

The gyms here are starting to reopen, but I’m debating whether to go.

I’ve done a bit of experimenting and now have a pretty decent convict workout. Legs were a problem but I can squat with the gf on my shoulders. She’s sometimes asleep when I go the park for pullups etc. By the time I get back, she’s less keen on getting on my sweaty back. Holding a water bottle on my head like an African lady can substitute.

I found I was missing my

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Word from the Dark Side – election chaos, entertaining sailors, eliminating racist cheese, and exciting see-through toilets

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Back in 12 Covid Questions (locked), I pondered whether the central government in China even knew the true origin of the virus given that coverups may have occurred internally as well as externally.  It seems we are closer to an answer on that one, with Wuhan officials alleged to have pulled the wool over Beijing’s eyes.

Australia now has some of the strictest lockdown rules in the world, rivalling even China with restrictions on foreign travel and the return of citizens to the country.  This reflects Australia’s authoritarian streak, a phenomenon I wrote about in pre-Covid days here.

Hector Drummond Magazine has been doing yeoman work in questioning the official corona narrative.  This guest post is a good summary of controversies in scientific advice.  Here’s another on Read More

NEW BOOK: THE BEST OF SOVIETMEN

Here it is!

For just $0.99, a 130,000-word collation of the best SovietMen posts from 2015-2020, with bonus notes, exclusive updates, and fewer typos:

 

It’s Volume I because if I survive through to 2025, I hope to put out a Volume II.

Also available on many other platforms. The paperback version is $11.99 because of printing costs, plus delivery will be like mailing a brick.

For the time being, all blog posts included are

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How bad are our debts?

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This is an extract from my book, The Poor Man’s Guide to Financial Freedom: A Realistic, 10-Step Manual to Building Liberating Wealth on a Low to Medium Income.

How bad are our debts?

According to ValuePenguin, the median American household owes $2,300 in credit card debt, while the mean is around $5,700.  The reason for the difference is that the latter measure is pulled higher by a relatively small number of individuals who owe huge amounts.  Forty-one percent of households carry some form of credit card debt.

Curiously, it is the households with the lowest net worth – $0 or negative – that have the highest credit card debts.  These are presumably poor or disorganized people who have borrowed themselves into, or tried to borrow themselves out of, trouble.

The next poorest group, with a net worth of up to $5,000, have the lowest credit card debt, and the amount of debt goes up steadily by each wealth category from there so that the households with the most owing on their credit cards are actually the richest – those with a net worth of over half a million dollars.  Those households with higher incomes also tend to have higher credit card debts[i] – apparently that high income still doesn’t allow them to meet all their wants, so they Read More

Bugger Australia

I still had some residual loyalty to the Old Country, but now it’s pretty much dried up.

I challenge any non-Aborigine to declare himself more Aussie than I am.  In a ‘nation’ where about 30% of the population are born overseas, I am a rare species in having all my great-grandparents and most of my great-great-grandparents native Colonials..  My grandpa fought in Papua New Guinea.  My great-grandfather died on the Western Front.  Another ancestor started a gold rush.  I’ve got two known convict ancestors.  Youse are all a bunch of chockos compared to me.

But I don’t care how Aussie you are, bugger the lot of you.

First the government Read More

My new story, Secret Heart, is up at Terror House

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My new short story has been posted on Terror House Magazine:

 

“Bastards!” The man’s exclamation rang out through the bush, fading until the only sound was the cicadas droning in the heat. His vegetable patch was completely turned over, the chook-wire fence pushed down and flattened.

The man looked like a retired bikie, but in fact he was a retired biologist who had let his greying beard grow wild. He stood bare from the waist up in the blinding sunlight, a surgery scar livid on the brown skin of his chest. He stared at his ruined tomatoes.

“What did it, Julius?” asked Alina. “You told me there are no bears here. Was it wild pigs?” His much younger wife put an arm around him sympathetically. She spoke with a strong Russian accent.

“Could be. Maybe roos; kangaroos. Or wombats; they can get through anything. Something bloody hungry, whatever it was. We should keep an eye on what happens out here at night.”

Alina shook her elven head. “Never mind. We live in the forest, what do we expect? Just build a stronger fence.”

***

Julius built a stronger fence, but he also did something else. He Read More

Word from the Dark Side – mask mayhem, man-eating in South Africa, Manila arrest, and muh reparations.

Got so many links saved up I’m just gunna chuck ’em atcha:

Experts warn that the long lockdown is having a harmful impact upon the aged care residents it is intended to help.  They are missing out on specialist and volunteer visits, declining mentally from being confined to their rooms, and the lack of contact with family means those vulnerable residents with dementia are losing support from their most important advocates.

The strictness of the lockdown matters, but so does the length.  The longer it goes on, the more disruption it will cause.  Countries that have successfully limited infection rates seems to be entering a neverending story of cycling lockdowns with every new outbreak.  Of course, a safe vaccine would solve that problem, but if it doesn’t come for another two or three years then Sweden wins the Covids.

Virus specialists say that allowing people to run without a mask makes no sense.  This is why they are virus specialists, not running specialists.  If only we could get the two to talk.

I saw this headline but sighed and didn’t bother to read the story.  Then iSteve picked it up and I had a look.  Oh, goodness.  It involves Read More

Rotten Tomatoes: critics vs audience

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Bored on lockdown, you look up the reviews for a film you’ve heard about.  The initial screen on Rotten Tomatoes indicates that it’s great, 93%, but experience reminds you that this is just the critics’ score.

You click through to the full page, and the audience score is 14%.

Wha . . . ?

There are various conspiracy theories about this, like how big studios manipulate ratings on YouTube trailers.  But having looked at many examples, the truth seems fairly prosaic.

For the most part, critics are twits.  The dark fear that keeps them tossing and turning between wanks at night is the ever-present possibility that they may be Read More

How to Heal the World

This is bizarre.  I first published this story back in February 2018.  I totally forgot about it, then re-read it yesterday.  Prescient even down to the countries.  Wooooo!

*                   *                   *                   *                   *

Stewart went to a good, private high school in Brisbane so he got into a prestigious university where he studied for a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Philosophy and Sociology.

In Philosophy, he became convinced by the ethical framework of utilitarianism – that is, one ought to act so as to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number. Sure, one can always imagine convoluted scenarios where it could lead to barbarous outcomes, but for real life it seemed like the fairest and most logical approach to secular ethics.

Stewart read books and articles by Peter Singer, who points out that the three hundred dollars you spend going to the opera could instead be used to save several lives if donated to a Third World charity. Should we really spend more on ourselves than is necessary for frugal comfort when our discretionary funds could achieve so much good elsewhere?

Stewart, thoroughly persuaded, chose the path of the secret, secular monk. He got a high-paying job in the corporate sector after studying real things after Arts. He ordered inexpensive, tailored suits from Vietnam and hired a fancy car so that he would look the part, but instead of saving for a deposit on a house or blowing his money on drugs and whores, he donated every extra dollar he had to Read More