If only the better argument counted for something.


Steamgifts.com is a scam

Steamgifts on it’s surface is an awesome concept and system. It seems like a great way to dispose of excess game keys while rewarding generous people or being generous yourself and getting a chance to win a few extra games you might actually play in the meantime. But if you read the fine print things get a lot more shady.

Firstly, the usual way that most people end up with spare keys to give away is by buying bundles for a specific game or two and having little interest in the others. Steamgifts on it’s surface looks like an excellent solution to that problem. Giveaway the games you don’t want, to rise in rank and eventually win the games you do want, but actually that won’t ever happen because they don’t actually reward you for bundle games.


I gave away like 7 games before I realized my rank wasn’t going to move. That’s completely exploitative. It should give you a click box warning when you choose a so called bundle game for your giveaway.

Further, you can’t use your winnings (if any) to improve that situation.


So I can only enter giveaways for games I want to play myself. Let this sink in… I am obligated to be completely selfish on a site predicated on altruism.

So the only people that profit from steamgifts are hardcore trader types that get non bundle keys from other sources. Or people who ignore the rules.

And it gets even better.

There’s a botnet on steam gifts. A network of scripts that enters giveaways and claims gifts and does nothing else. No doubt to sell the valid keys they acquire in this way. And I strongly suspect that the moderators are given a cut of these sales.

I chanced upon one of these bots in my second ever giveaway. And look at how the moderators react.











And so my time on steamgifts as a place to recycle keys has ended. So disappointing.

Why not make it free?

I would be nice to make everything free, but some things are defined by their resistance to distribution.


Still, that being said we can acquire a high degree of ubiquitous material wealth if we do three things:

1. Reform IPL to make all code free as in speech and beer. Privacy could still easily be respected. In fact copyright enforcement and privacy of correspondence are mutually exclusive. (To program the robots.)

2. Deploy nuclear reactors quickly to provide the bottom of an anthropocentric materials economy food chain. (To power the robots.)

3. Develop an open source humanoid robot, recharged by the reactors, and instructed by ever evolving shared open code above, to automate any labor task we need done yet are unwilling to do personally. (To have the robots.)

With those things accomplished, essentially everything would be free. Certainly anything that could qualify as a basic human need.

In the mean time we absolutely could deploy a UBI and give everyone a piece of their human inheritance.


Islam, Xenophobia, and France

It has been suggested a lot recently that there’s a big difference between Islam as a faith and the violence of some of it’s practitioners. I used to lean in that direction as well, but now I don’t know. I’m starting to lean with Sam Harris on this one. It really seems that to whatever degree Islam is a religion of peace is directly proportional to it’s adherents deviation from the original text.

That’s partly why so much Islamic violence is aimed at other Muslims. It’s because the “fundamentalists” also believe that a peaceful version of Islam isn’t an accurate interpretation of Islam if you measure accuracy by behavioral parity with the source text. With us against us mentality.

It’s almost like asserting the possibility of an inclusive tolerant version of the KKK. You can’t really do that without making it into something other than the KKK. Sure, some skinheads aren’t violent, but that’s just because they ignore the logical conclusions of the core idea. If you really believe X you must at least be in favor of Y.

Religions are like nations in that they place their own existence at the apex of importance. Again like the KKK they are intrinsically supremacist. Well above ethical considerations when you get right down to it. (I’m quick to add that nationalism itself is essentially/behaviorally/psychologically/etc a religion.)

Islam in particular seems intrinsically violent on balance expressly because it seems remarkably self aware of its nature and true objective. I think it is this very honestly and consistency that grants it lasting appeal actually.

Contrast Saudi Arabia with the Vatican. Not exactly apples to apples I realize but still, you see my point. It seems like the mental flexibility required to twist Islam into a murder/torture justification isn’t very demanding in relation to the other major religions.

Because really, we need to admit that some religions are more violent than others. (Maybe develop an objective way to measure it. Perhaps by counting the separate instances of justification for murder?)

This is obvious when you think about it. I mean just look at the Aztecs. You have to admit that wherever Islam is politically ascendant, relatively more overt religious barbarity follows, and this isn’t the case with all other faiths.

The solution is to undermine what makes a violent faith practical. People aren’t stupid actually, nor are they robots. As hard as that is to believe at times. It is not upbringing and training that sustains this madness. It’s more basic than that. It’s about food and water and shelter and communications. Secularity triumphs mostly in areas of prosperity.

I’m quick to add that prosperity doesn’t just mean money. It means physical and cultural wealth.

Terrorism is contextually emergent. It springs up like puddles in rain. To fix it you need to change the underlying context. You need gutters and storm drains if you don’t want to see puddles. Bombing a puddle just means a deeper puddle next time it rains.

The refugees in this context are going to teach us an important lesson. How to include people. If we master that. If we get our shit together to the point that we can ethically and practically recruit better than our enemies, we will win. This entire political sphere depends on the existence of poverty and the dismissal of suffering.

That’s why the problem seems so intractable. Because the only solution is a root solution, one which we don’t even apply to ourselves yet. Essentially we have to kill poverty at home and then invite others into that home. The 1% and their minions aren’t having that.

Their solution is variations on a gated community which is just a passive spineless version of concentration camps. We need to be honest about that as well.

Paris is going to get it’s own patriot act before long. :/ But it’s understandable. ISIS is not like the other terrorist threats. It’s real and different. It’s more like actual legitimate war. :(

Also looking at the French attacks you can see the uniqueness of ISIS in living memory.

ISIS is something atrociously special. I can’t think of anything like it in modern history. It’s going to make for a decade of great action movies. Like the chinese curse, may you live in interesting times. And a little bit of be careful what you wish for.

I feel that much of our terrorism thing has been manufactured and exaggerated. Allowed to happen. Intentionally cultivated. Baited even. So let’s just hope this doesn’t turn into the boy who cried wolf.

We haven’t had such a legitimate enemy since the Nazis. These people aren’t like typical terrorists with legitimate grievances. They are a nation state death cult that has openly declared war that they intend to fight forever.

They actually expect to lose it by our standards. (See link below.) They’ve made it clear how to crush them militarily, and are begging for it. Literally begging their god for it.

So I’m curious how France will look in 10 years. I think this is their 911. I think they’ll never be the same. But it’s not like ours. They didn’t need it like the 1% needed 911. None of the cultivation I mentioned on our part applies to them. I think the official story is essentially accurate.

France is an extremely reasonable country in my view. I don’t expect them to go hysterical like we did and surrender to fear and baseless irrational war mongering. And unlike some of the shittier elements of popular culture, I have zero illusions about their lethality.

ISIS is completely foolish (from my perspective) for attacking France. But like I said: Death cult. Thinking about their desire to be crushed, it was actually really wise. Indeed more wise than attacking us.

We can’t really bring them the epic stomping they want. That’s what we get for crying wolf twice and putting said wars on the credit card. No one would rally behind us, or Russia for that matter. But France? Yeah.

That was the wrong (or right as I said) move. They are going to discover that picking a fight with France, a real fight, is a bit like trying to invade Switzerland. Just about the dumbest plan ever. I think we’re going to see some true social Darwinism in action in the coming years.

See Also:


He regards the claim that the Islamic State has distorted the texts of Islam as preposterous, sustainable only through willful ignorance. “People want to absolve Islam,” he said. “It’s this ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ mantra. As if there is such a thing as ‘Islam’! It’s what Muslims do, and how they interpret their texts.” Those texts are shared by all Sunni Muslims, not just the Islamic State. “And these guys have just as much legitimacy as anyone else.”

Blank People

It was recently asserted to me that multiculturalism is to blame for among other things a dramatic rise in the death rate of my demographic.

Here are my thoughts:

I think it’s more like a contrast thing. Like western culture seems recently eager to respect demographic variations, such as gender, race, income, orientation etc, but the side effect is a rising of the tide that doesn’t include the one group that essentially serves as the default. White men.

In western culture your demographic identity is more or less defined by some deviation from a somewhat arbitrary baseline. That baseline is white straight male. Or “Cis” males in the more hateful corners of the web.

Socially, if I can’t check one of the non-default boxes, I am essentially deemed unworthy of focused help.

Because white men have historically been in the top slot socially,  the perception is that the last thing that they need is help. But this is based on old data. Maybe my grandfather didn’t need help, but I might. Even by your definitions.

A culture is by definition people working together to help all members of the culture so long as they play by the rules. While the drive to unbias the rules is certainly a worthy ethical goal, the bigger picture of inclusion is being lost in some places along the way.

In today’s world I feel like a lot of assumptions about my value are made in a hateful way for actions and contexts that simply have never applied to me. I feel like I live in a bunker, waiting for the radiation to dissipate. I feel isolated and cut off because no part of the culture I was born in wants me beyond my family and friends or any pocket money I may have.

Nothing in this culture is welcoming to me except those things which welcome everyone and have a parasitic agenda. (Like the various cults on offer, both secular and spiritual, and of course anywhere my money is good.)

These days all the division lines are about keeping the 99% from uniting vs their real enemies. And while I have no interest in buying into that I must also face the fact that others have bought in, and as such I am going to find myself hated on many fronts for being white, or straight, or male, or whatever.

This makes me afraid to speak to people because I’m always an outsider in some sense. And always I feel silently hated. I can barely interact with minority strangers because I have to worry about everything I say lest it be twisted into some kind of racist remark. Which is extremely ironic when you think about it.

So the problem isn’t that society is reaching out to other groups, the problem is that the only people reaching out to my group are bigots, to the point that if you made any kind of support system for white men exclusively in any context it would be instantly crushed and mocked as being racist, sexist, etc. Or invaded by actual racists.

The only group that gets even a tiny fraction of respect (as well as disproportionate hate) is the men’s rights movement. And really that’s only because they have such glaring points. Male over representation in the homeless population and the work place fatality stats for example. It’s hard to say they don’t have a point when there is audio recording out there of men being mocked by domestic abuse help lines as if having a penis makes one immune to being beaten with a hammer or a brick. Or otherwise abused or intimidated.

I mean really, can you imagine calling 911 essentially only to be mocked? Calling 911 to protect yourself and being arrested because your attacker was female? That happens. And we learn as men of non-color to never complain about anything that applies to just us because of the hateful social response. Hell, the only reason I feel comfy sharing this post is because I assume no one will ever read it.

Essentially we are being left behind, and as men are generally conditioned by both evolution and social training to literally put our lives on the line in an effort to be useful, this lagging behind means that suicide looks more and more like a good idea. Especially when getting psychological help often essentially means being scolded and humiliated.

Many of these suicides are passive. Not wearing your seat belt, taking up smoking, eating all kinds of salt and sugar and processed meats just waiting for something to kill you so your family can get the insurance because Contrary to the popular image a whole lot of white men are Really selfless good people.

I’m not saying I’m one of them, I’m just saying they are out there. About once a day it like occurs to me that I could simply die and avoid a whole lot of potential horror. Nothing dissuades me from this except those same friends and family. TV seems to want me to die for all sorts of things. Especially being jobless. At the very least my death would be culturally invisible.

Again, think about it. When a death happens what’s the first thing the TV tells you to make you care about it? Gender, family status, race. Etc. How many times have you heard the addendum “including women and children” as a way to intensify the impact of a wrong? (Google the phrase in quotes, 434,000 results, virtually all of them attempted outrage multipliers.)

I’m fortunate in that I am articulate enough to explain myself to therapist types, but in all my interactions with them I had to make a clearly and lengthy case for why I don’t just go get some life crushing job.

The solution with those people always seems to be about going away or getting in line.

It’s not pressure from the other groups crushing my demographic, it’s the lack of help at the cultural level making it merely appear hat way by contrast. I am not oppressed by gays or minorities or women or whatever. I am oppressed by the 1% and its machine. I am oppressed by a culture that dismisses my suffering and the very value of my life. I am oppressed by being a blank person.

These groups I am instructed to resent by the TV all have legitimate issues that need urgent attention and I am happy to see them get what they need, and will help when I can, I however also think when you focus it on any race or gender or designation you are by definition perpetuating a prejudice.

The solution is a universal approach and holding everyone to the same rules.

Specifically we most urgently need a UBI. No picking and choosing, no red tape. Living wage for living people. Let greed and ambition and boredom and creativity and curiosity take care of the rest.


The great thing about a UBI is it’s self correcting. A ubi check means nothing to a rich person but means salvation to a homeless person. No administration needed.

It’s like the opposite of a flat tax.

The problem is that when it comes time to be helped, I’ve been abandoned essentially because of my lack of a race or a gender or an orientation etc. I don’t have a culture in a sense. There isn’t much that helps me unless I’m a worker or otherwise funded.

It’s just culturally assumed that because I’m a white male I must be a-ok. And I assure everyone, that’s not the case.

I’m ok because I have a family that loves me. Otherwise I’d be homeless or dead right now.

I feel like the only social help I get is like an unintended side effect of support aimed at other groups that just can’t bring themselves to overtly exclude me in vengeance for the actions of the 1% of previous eras who’s race and gender I happen to share.

Sondors Ebike

20151110_151237First impressions:
2015-11-10 0351 PM

TLDR: I have an ebike. A very good ebike! And you can too: http://gosondors.com

I am extremely happy with it.

A bus full of school kids saw me, it was stopped at a stop sign while I was crossing my yard, I saw like a dozen little faces looking at it hehe. I hope they all now want ebikes for xmas and I hope they get them :)

Started assembling it today, and charging the battery took longer than putting it together. All the heavy lifting assembly-wise was done at the factory. I didn’t have to touch any wiring or cabling. Breaks or power.

It does this pedal assist thing, I have no idea how it knows to kick it in but it’s extremely smart about it. I suspect it’s based on how much torque I’m applying, because it kicks in and helps to the perfect degree and just makes it feel like pedaling is easy.

It carried me up ACTC hill (pictured above) with a little pedaling. I’m 6’4 and weigh 255 lbs, and it carried me. It’s completely amazing.The cold brought me in more than any exertions. The pedaling I had to do wasn’t enough to even wind me.

It would probably have made it up the hill without my help probably, it just would have been slower.

It’s a soft bouncy ride because those tires are like motorcycle tires.

The breaks, being two disc breaks, mean total confidence on the down slope despite being as heavy as it is and as heavy as I am. That’s never been true of my other bikes.

I can tell I’m right at the edge of the motor’s capability on this hill because I’m so large and the hill is so steep, but it works and that’s the point. It does indeed carry me and will do so over the bulk of possible terrain this city can offer. It’ll certainly carry itself so I can walk it up anything that can’t be ridden up effortlessly beyond the walking itself.

It feels extremely stable, it’s low to the ground, long, and heavy, but not dangerously heavy. I can pick up the back end with one hand. Yet it honestly reminds me of a motorcycle a little bit, though I’ve only driven those a few times.

Another cool thing is that the battery box is undetectable to the rider. It completely lives within the range of space between your legs that never touch anything. I’ve had water bottles that are more obtrusive. I don’t think it touched it once except I guess occasionally brushing with jeans.

It only spent a small fraction of the ride time at full power/torque. It’s fast enough that I slowed down for want of goggles. And I wear glasses.

All in all I’m very happy. Sondors completely made good on all the promises. Now I begin the process of adapting things around the bike and making upgrades and accessory additions :)

Update 2015-11-12 0739 AM

Just went for a longish ride, and the battery still reads green. It’s stable, powerful, quiet and comfortable. I am very Very happy with it still.

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