Tuesday, December 12, 2017

BitCoin will go bust.

When people invest in something without fully understanding why it has value, that causes bubbles to happen. They see it go up in price and decide that they want in on it no matter what it is: tulip bulbs, tech stocks, Beanie Babies, etc. But if expectation of an increase in value is the only reason why people are buying an asset, there will come a point where the price reaches it′s peak and some speculators sell to take a profit. Then a lot of investors sell to cut their losses.

Right now, people are taking out mortgages and using credit cards to buy Bitcoin. It′s foolish to invest with money that you don′t have. This can have a huge and unfortunate ripple effect. When Bitcoin goes down in value, people will have all that debt with nothing to show for it. Watch for banks to use all those bad loans as a pretext for asking for another bailout. This is the kind of stupidity that causes recessions. Banks should not grant loans to morons.

If you own Bitcoin right now, sell it. Remember the mantra of ″Buy low, sell high.″ Gold is doing poorly low right now, so consider buying that. The worst time to buy gold is when you see TV ads encouraging you to buy it. Don′t buy it when everyone else is buying it. Buy it when everyone is selling it.

EDIT: I was asked what date this would happen by. I'm going with June 30th, 2018.

Thursday, December 07, 2017


This is a wedding cake. 

There doesn′t seem to be anything offensive about this particular pastry. Nobody could possibly feel disgusted by this cake. Except it was served at a lesbian wedding.

If a business offers cakes like this for sale, it should sell them to anyone who wants to buy one and is willing to pay for it. A business has to pay its employee, vendors, and credits. To turn away customers on the basis of who they are can doom a business.

There is a Supreme Court case being decided right now. The owner of a bakery insists that his 1st Amendment rights are being violated when his business is required to bake cakes for gay weddings. He argues that to force him to bake a cake for a gay wedding is to force him to say something that he doesn′t want to say.

He′s got the same right to spew hate that Fred Phelps did. If he wants to keep his mouth shut, that′s swell too. He can say that he will not put certain messages on cakes. But his business must still provide wedding cakes to anyone who wants to buy them.

We can all agree that symbols and text constitute speech. And I can understand if a business is uncomfortable with putting gay symbols on a cake, like rainbows or pink triangles. Just sell them the blank tiered cake and let them do whatever they want with it. Tomorrow they won′t have the cake anymore, but you′ll still have their money.

To allow a bakery to refuse to serve a gay couple will open many cans of worms. Will restaurants and beauty shops be allowed to discriminate as well? For that matter, how would they even know if someone is gay? Will I have to show that I′m attracted to women before I can place my order at Chick-fil-A? Investors will have to worry that the founder of a company is trying to make a point instead of a profit. Real businessmen want discrimination to be illegal. They don′t even want the option of turning down customers for the wrong reasons.

This court case is not really about free speech. It′s about making bigotry respectable again. We can only hope that the justices see through this ruse.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Writing FAQ's

Frequently asked writing questions:
Q: How do I get published?
A: Write something, then get it published.
Q: I already wrote something.
A: That′s nice. Now edit it.
Q: Already did that too.
A: Very nice. If it′s a short story, find a literary magazine and follow the submission guidelines. If it′s a novel, find an agent and follow their query guidelines. If you can′t find an agent, find a publisher who accepts unagented submissions and follow their guidelines. If you can′t find a publisher, use Createspace or Amazon KDP to self publish.
Q: How long should a chapter be?
A: As long or as short as it has to be. It can be one page long or even shorter. (If all your chapters are one page long, you probably aren′t trying.)
Q: Does anyone here want to be my co-author?
A: No. Ask someone you know to help you. If you don′t know anyone, learn to network more.
Q: I am a man. How do I create a female character?
A: Imagine a male character with breasts and no penis. Consider changing the hair and clothes.
Q: I am a woman. How do I create a male character?
A: Imagine a flat-chested butch lesbian with a penis who can lift heavy objects.
Q: What does a penis got to do with anything?
A: Absolutely nothing, unless you are showing your character having sex or going to the bathroom. Seriously, most of the things a man can do in a story, a woman can do as well. And this is fiction writing, so if you want to show a man giving birth or a woman commanding the 104th Terror Legion, go right ahead.
Q: How do I write a book?
A: Start by reading a book. Then read another. And then another. Now imagine the people who first typed those books and try doing what they did.
Q: How do I beat writer′s block?

A: Stay off Facebook for a couple days. Start working on the part of the story that you really want to be working on, even if you haven′t got that far yet. Or start working on a different story that you like better. The point is to keep writing as much as you can, for as long as you can.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Fake Nazis and Wolfenstein

Another Wolfenstein game is coming. Apparently, some Nazis were upset by it..

 Nazis in this day and age understand that they have an image problem. They are as popular as sex offenders and terrorists. They make for great villains in fiction because there was a time when they were better equipped and organized than they are now.

Of all the things Nazi could care or complain about, like the way they are portrayed in countless movies, novels, TV shows, comic books, they are complaining about a video game that has not been released yet. They have to know that this generates publicity and buzz about this big budget commercial product, right?

Look at this tweet and the response by @JacksonCrw/

That Twitter account was created two months ago. It's feed is mostly lazy retweets. I strongly suspect that both of these accounts were created for the purpose of marketing the same video game. These LARPtroopers are as real and authentic as the Mecha-Hitler final boss. 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Joe Arpaio is granted amnesty

One of the most common arguments for building a wall to stop illegal immigration is that the immigration was illegal. These folks were quick to stress that they were not racist, and that they just wanted these immigrants to obey the law and come here legally. Even if these immigrants have jobs and are paying taxes, the pro-wall crowd wants them deported for breaking the law.

One wall won't stop a criminal from crossing a border. But three walls and a set of bars can stop a criminal from going anywhere at all. Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a man sworn to uphold the law, cheerfully broke the law instead. If you want immigrants deported for breaking the law, you should want US citizens incarcerated or fined for breaking the law.

Joe Arpaio should be subject to the same justice as anyone else. Instead Donald Trump pardoned him.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Why the Google Manifesto writer was fired

I read the Google manifesto.

This is why Google decided to fire him.
Google has been sued for gender pay discrepancy. Millions of dollars are at stake. So Google is doing their very best to show that they treat their female employees fairly. Google also has to consider their public image, since more than half of Google′s potential user base consists of women.
One Google employee wrote a piece implying that these new practices were the wrong thing to do, and that there were difference between men and women that make income inequality inevitable. This was posted as an memo on an internal Google network, ostensibly where only Google employees would be likely to read it.
Criticizing company policy where your coworkers can see it is often a fast-track to getting fired. This includes statements made on social media, statements made to journalists, and postings on company bulletin boards. This goes double for criticizing policy in front of clients and customers.

James Damore′s termination was not about ideology, it was about the bottom line. Although it is legal to fire a person for political beliefs, most employers are happy to hire Democrats, Republicans, independents, and people who don′t vote at all. Google weighed millions in possible lawsuits and bad PR against Damore′s contributions to the company. They decided that they were in no longer need of his services. If keeping a employee is going to cost a company millions more than what they pay him, they will likely find a reason to fire him.

Damore is a smart man. He knows how computers work. He would like us to believe that he is an expert on human biology and psychology. He probably knew how US corporations work. He had to have known that publishing this manifesto would get him both fired and famous. That was probably his plan all along.
Recently, Aaron Sobczak sent this tweet.

 And Elizabeth Nolan Brown screenshotted it and sent a tweet of her own. As of this writing, Sobczak has made his account private.

Is it okay to make sandwich jokes? If I were the Dictator of Comedy, I would proclaim a 5 year moratorium on ″Make Me A Sandwich″ because it has run its course and is no longer funny. I don′t find them offensive, I just keep hearing them over and over and over again. And yet when I say that this is not funny, that leads people to the conclusion that it is funny. Just as when a man says that he is not racist, people will cite that statement as proof that he is in fact racist. But yes, Sobczak has a right to make idiotic sandwich jokes.

Does E. N. Brown have a right to call Sobczak out on this? Sure. This a teachable moment. When you make offensive or annoying jokes, expect people to respond by saying they are offended or annoyed. When you say something on the Internet, be ready for your own words to be heard by a wider audience than you originally intended.

When you introduce yourself to a fellow libertarian, it′s often in your best interests to show some common courtesy. Don′t say racist or sexist jokes until you′re familiar enough with that person to know what kind of humor they would appreciate. Elizabeth N. Brown was correct to teach Sobczak some manners.

This isn′t to say that there is no place for humor or other hi-jinks. Humor can help the cause of liberty greatly, but there is a time and a place for it.You can totally dance on stage in your underwear if you actually work in a strip club. It′s just not a good idea to do so at a political convention.

There has been some concern that Brown′s response may have damaged Sobczak′s career prospects. First of all, his sandwich joke did more to harm his reputation than her retweet of it. Secondly, if he is in the habit of making sandwich jokes in public, then his chances of being allowed to work around women are low. Third, I personally know a guy who said far worse, received undisired media coverage for it, and still landed a pretty sweet government job. Forth, nobody has a right to a good job. If a human resource director gets to choose from two equally qualified candidates and a Google search of both their names turns up a sandwich meme, I would bet money that her hiring decision would be based on her opinion of that meme. But there will always be demand for food service workers, janitors, and security guards.

If Aaron Sobczak has learned his lesson, then I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors. If he has not learned his lesson, he′ll need a lot more luck than I could ever wish him. Perhaps he has a career in comedy in his future, but he′ll need fresher material than jokes about sandwich making.