Underlore

I have an Adri, your argument is invalid.

Philosophy

Hindsight

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We can know some things about life in advance. Truisms and cliches. But steeped in truth nonetheless. It might be wise to try and draw up a list of the most qualitatively important ones and then build a worldview around obviating them that wouldn’t cost a culture its fitness for extreme long term survival.

A quick example is the notion that hindsight is 20/20. The lesson there is not to shrug and endure, but to think about the future, but to try and see the world in such a way that it’s ok to go back and admit you made mistakes, if that’s all that’s keeping you from being happy or better off.

We have this misguided intolerance of mistakes where we share the impossible effort of never making them. Instead we should be honest with ourselves that mistakes will inevitably be made and try to profit from them.

They can be compensated for. Not erased, but at least leveraged towards the future. Don’t try to avoid them wholesale, as that’s a fool’s errand, but to embrace the utility they may provide. Embrace the liberation that brings.

This doesn’t make you devoid of culpability for lousy choices, but it prevents you from doubling down on bad bets trying to pretend you never bet in the first place. (https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Sunk_costs#Loss_aversion_and_the_sunk_cost_fallacy)

If your intentions were good from the beginning, if you at no point were trying to hurt or exploit anyone, if you made the best and kindest decision available to you at the time, then why should you feel any regret or accept any blame?

Only if you knowingly made a decision that had to be utterly correct and could have been avoided, or was malevolent in some way, should you embrace any feeling of wrong doing.

This speaks to the lack of wisdom in vengeance. The best decisions more or less are in my opinion the ones that permit adaptation up to and including being rescinded.

So don’t hurt people, because you can’t unhurt them later if you’re wrong. Don’t disable anything you can’t repair if needed.

The Problem with “Hardcore” Gamers

hardcore-gamer

For starters I reject the term “hardcore” as it sets up a false dichotomy. It implies casual gamers are “soft” which in a community of 99% males means weak. I prefer the term tryhard because that’s what they do and what they want to force everyone else to do. To try hard. To be punished for failing to try hard.

Quite simply the problem with them is that it’s not enough for them that we openly admit the high points of a given game. If we complain at all, if we don’t obsequiously adopt their bizarre work ethic mentality towards gaming in its entirety, they literally act like we’re a bad people.

Casual gamers on the other hand are perfectly fine to let tryhards play however they see fit without judgment. What I judge, is being judged. In this sense tryhards need to effing relax.

If you complain about a game being too hard they say “It’s supposed to be hard.”  They respond as if you’re complaining about chess being hard. Never mind that chess by definition is ultimately the most casual of games. That doesn’t stop international competition chess from being a thing.

Chess is how it should be done. I can play any variant of chess I want. The tryhards have no power there. The less power you give them the better a game, and the game’s community is.

Catering to tryhards is a mistake because, as with chess, catering to casuals would not prevent them from enjoying fierce competition gaming, it would only prevent them from having the power to deny casuals the same right to play and enjoy.

Catering to tryhards makes people like them feel justified in literally hating people like me. This does not occur in casual game communities. It is a direct boot camp, cultist, Stockholm syndrome style reaction to a hateful unforgiving game setting.

There is some seriously dark psychology in play here. Tryhards behave a fair bit like religious extremists or fascists of some stripe. No joke. I firmly believe if they had the option of hurting me and getting away with it over this ideological difference, they’d do it.

But see, I wouldn’t hurt them. Casual gamers generally wouldn’t, expressly because they are casual. Honestly, even if I had a magic button that would just low voltage zap them, I wouldn’t even do that.

What I am opposing is the effort to make a game into a religion. Which is what tryhards more or less do. They elevate this stuff to religious extremes and the devs encourage it for the money and the rabid worshipful fan base.

They are cult builders and that’s clearly bad. IPL abolition would solve this problem because it would suddenly be legal to reinterpret and translate the holy texts, by which I mean it would be legal to fork the code.

They often say we have plenty of easier games to play, as a prelude to telling us take it or leave it, stfu or gtfo. But they have the overwhelming majority of other games to go play as well. Again, this is part of the problem.

A badly coded game is a “challenge” too, and plenty of inept devs hide behind “challenge” as an excuse for being lousy coders. (Evil Dead on the Dreamcast springs to mind. Worst controls ever I think.) Ease of use in the application market on the other hand is usually an indicator of skill. Not so for game devs. Because of tryhards.

There are tryhard equivalents in the software community too, to be sure, plenty of Linux types get all miffed and ideological about not making GUIs or clones and the like, but they aren’t as common as the gamer version by any stretch of the imagination.

Hard core gamers and games are unilaterally exclusive. They’re like the gaming version of racists. The games which cater most to tryhards, are also not coincidentally, the most rigid and unchanging. The most resistant to modding and inclusiveness. The most brimming with smug hate in the communities. The most rife with the sheer loathsomeness of greed and obsession when money is on the table, as in the case of Starcraft and Counter Strike.

On the other side, a causal game with a nice open mod system could be as hard as you want it to be without excluding others wholesale. (Again, see Chess.)

In short: Give casuals what they want, and we can all play how we like. Give “hardcore” gamers what they want and only they can play how they like.

Obviously, our desires are the more inclusive and more ethical. Tryhards should be ashamed of themselves by any rational ethical measure.

Everything I ask for in any game would be implemented ideally as an option/setting. My wishes being granted would not impact tryhard play at all. Casuals are not the problem here. Tryhards are.

 

Addendum 2016-01-24 0608 AM:

It is a constant source of rage for me because I see in them mirrored the same psychologies that allow some of humanities most shameful actions.

The entire software market is a toxic meme in my view. The notion that one can own an idea to me is dangerous lunacy on it’s face. And these people are the shock troops of that lunacy.

Ever since the early 90s when I washed up on the shores of the Internet in IRC chat, it amazed me that the first thing I found in what was essentially a shared lucid dream, the concept of hierarchies.

When I found out that rooms had operators that were literally placed above everyone else in the name list, I was floored and instantly began asking why?

“Oh well it’s to prevent this abuse or that.”

“Then why not bake that into the code of how rooms work?”

“*awkward silence followed by ban for violation of rule 32f/b Never Question Ops*”

Tryhards in any debate almost always first fall into an attack pattern of “Are you too stupid to read the rules?” Followed by “It’s just a game, the devs own it, you should be grateful for the opportunity to lick their boots, because other devs are even worse.”

And that shit sounds way familiar out here in the real world. When business owners first objected to the civil rights movement it was on the exact same private property my yard my rules argument.

Everyone sane and ethical scoffed, but virtually no one scoffs in the gaming world at the exact same logic. Gamers have no rights, and tryhards defend this lack of protection with all the vehemency of the Tea Party Movement.

I swear the gaming/software market has deep seeded the youth of America with these toxic memes and it’s all we can do to keep up on weed patrol at ground level.

 

See also:

http://underlore.com/why-devknights-exist/

http://underlore.com/its-not-just-a-game/

http://steamcommunity.com/groups/CasualVendetta

Social Darwinists Headed for Extinction

Quick note to cutthroat types. Your days are numbered.

You monied types have two choices psychologically, buy the job creator style myth of the owner class, or watch your own ethics callous over from repeated abuse.

History is on my side. The march of history and the ascension of humanity has always been away from brutality and so called social Darwinism. What is the thing that Europe, and the United States, and China have in common? Confederation. They were all essentially separate nations or states that learned that it’s better for everyone to work as a team.

We have been on a steady march, along with the rest of life, towards unity, because it works.

From amino acids to Pando, from Lucy to the United Nations the clear and obvious fact of life is that working together pays better than screwing eachother over and making excuses about it.

The Ayn Rand crowd only exists because the rest of us permit it. You may well live out your life as an exploitative agent in the meantime, as many corporate apologists and Horatio Alger types will, because clearly it’s a slow march and we have a long way to go, but don’t pretend for a second that’s the future because it is quite obviously the past.

The only thing that would give your kind a substantive future would be a catastrophic setback.

_”We must not allow a mineshaft gap!”_

See also:

http://underlore.com/libertarianism-is-camouflage-for-republicans/

Thanksgiving 2015

Every thanksgiving I have a lousy choice.

1. Repeat previous expression of gratitude which will obviously seem forced due to the holiday.

2. Struggle to come up with new ones, and make it seem like I’m not grateful for all the stuff I didn’t mention this time.

My solution to this problem is to try and make my genuine gratitude known through the course of the year, and I believe I’ve done that. No one to whom I feel grateful is unaware of this fact as far as I know barring the normal social distance between those that do good for all humanity and all those who may be grateful to them for it.

For example firefighters or Bernie Sanders. Groups or individuals who do and wish to do awesome things for us all but of course can’t be expected to know us all.

This year however I have something especially new and important to be grateful for.

The great love of my life found me. I tell her every day what she means to me but I’m going to speak about it here again simply because I think it’s the nice thing to do.

I live in a society that is like running the gauntlet. Every part of it seems built to either extract or torment. For me, given my gender and such, a huge part of that effort is aimed at getting me into a “relationship” that the architects of our society both define and exploit.

The punishment for failing in this regard is social mockery across every level of society and a near total exclusion from political power.

That is a small part of why I am so grateful and lucky to have been found by a total goddess who frees me from that trap simply by existing and then goes so far above and beyond, that even metaphor is unable to characterize the distance. A woman who is completely baffling in her level of awesomeness. I would absolutely conclude she was too good to be true if I didn’t know for incontrovertible objective fact that she is indeed entirely true.

I fancy myself a bit of a wordsmith but capturing her extreme magnificence in words with any objective clarity is just utterly impossible. She’s wise beyond a redwood’s years let alone her own. She’s kind to a degree reminiscent of extreme William’s syndrome but with none of the pathology. She’s utterly brilliant to the tune of running medical communities and improving Wikipedia literally thousands of times over, and is the only person whom I have ever met who can win a debate with me repeatedly in single sentences. (Seriously, if you can convince her, she can almost certainly convince me.) And on top of it all she’s beautiful to the point that no doubt when people finally see us together they will be completely confused how a shmoe like me ended up with a goddess like that. (And frankly I share their confusion.)

She is walking proof that karma is a myth. I don’t deserve her infinite love but reality just doesn’t care what people deserve, it gives what it gives and that’s the end of it.

And I won’t lie, I’m taking the offer, justice or not.

Incredibly, on top of that I have other major and minor things to be grateful for as well, in addition to all the things I was grateful for last year and every other day. To say I have a completely epic set of friends and family would be a hilarious unfathomable understatement. (See the links at the end.)

This is just more proof that karma is a myth. Without giving a lengthy list, even if only confined to this year, I’ll just say that what I am most grateful for is real rational hope for me and continued long term hope for my species that is equally objective. We are moving towards a time when we finally and truly declare a winning and real war on pain and death.

The time since last year and this has been for me personally on average a steady climb towards a state of reasonable fulfillment, devoid of overt horrors. A time when I finally have the power to start giving something back to the species and the loved ones that have been so kind to me. And I have good reason to believe that this trend will only improve over the next year as good fortune compounds on good fortune.

And while I may not deserve these wonderful things I am grateful for them and I will try to become someone that does deserve them in time.

Thank you all.

See previous years:

http://underlore.com/thanksgiving/

http://underlore.com/thanksgiving2012/

 

Why not make it free?

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

http://underlore.com/why-i-oppose-the-venus-project/

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.

http://underlore.com/one-possible-solution/

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.

http://underlore.com/one-possible-solution/

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.

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