Guest post: It’s the invisible hand of the market slapping them

Originally a comment by Marcus Ranum on Don’t change a god damn thing.

Nobody is immune to critique.

Ultimately, if they don’t respond to critique, the “invisible hand of the market” may correct them, anyway. Don’t anyone break it to the gamer geeks but half the gamers in the world are women, now. Sure, there is a smaller market for ‘hard core’ (i.e.: guy) gamers but it risks being marginalized out of the mainstream, which will mean that those games won’t be very well-funded or good. Sort of like how cis porn split off from the Hollywood mainstream and maintained its ‘independence’ in return for acquiring an unenviable cachet.

I thought these guys liked the “invisible hand of the market” since so many of them are libertarians!? Candy Crush has 93 million people playing it every day – a bit more than half of which are women. 8 million people play Farmville. Those are big numbers. They’re right up there with big ‘hard core gamer’ franchises like Call of Duty (100 million) and then there are the mega-game franchises like World of Warcraft that held 12-20 million gamers for 12 years paying $15/month. The point is that it doesn’t matter at all what the gamergaters think: the market is going to change in spite of them; they are nothing but the sound of defeat.

Interestingly, Vox Day appears to have decided to savor defeat on two fronts: feminism in gaming and feminism in science fiction — both markets that are undergoing inexorable change at the hand of the libertarians’ own god. It’s the invisible hand of the market slapping them; the same hand they kiss so fervently.

A space dominated by privileged reactionary jerks

Arthur Chu has a brilliant piece at Salon about why the Internet is so susceptible to throngs of obsessive bullies who won’t ever ever ever go away.

The “vote” doesn’t end up being among everyone but among the tiny subset of people who really care about that question, which isn’t necessarily correlated with being right about that question–often, in fact, it’s the opposite.

The people who pay the most attention to these questions are the people who have some deep emotional investment in the issue at hand combined with a great deal of time and emotional energy to burn making their “voices heard” about it. That can happen on any end of the political spectrum, but in practice? It tends to be a space dominated by privileged reactionary jerks.

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A centenary

The Armenian genocide. A century ago. At least humans have outgrown genocide since then.

Oh wait…

Widely accepted historical accounts say that between 1 million and 1.5 million Armenians lost their lives at the hands of Ottoman forces in what was then eastern Turkey.

Between 1915 and 1922 the Teskilat e-Mahsus (special organisation) carried out a campaign of mass murder, deportation, pillage and rape against the minority Christian Armenians.

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Don’t change a god damn thing

David Futrelle pays attention to Vox Day so that the rest of us don’t have to. That’s a service. He finds him admitting something about GamerGate.

[T]he interview also featured a few striking moments of candor. One of these came when Day — a sometime gave developer as well as the biggest asshole in Sci Fi — offered his answer to the question: “What is Gamergate really about?”

Suggesting that the issue of “corruption in game journalism” was little more than “the spark that set the whole thing off,” Day declared that

what Gamergate is fundamentally about is the right of people to design, develop and play games that they want to design, develop and play without being criticized for it.

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What in the world are these people applauding themselves for?

Rosie DiManno at the Star is repulsed by the rejoicing over the “clarification” by Justice Edward. She is rude enough to point out that it’s a good outcome for JJ but not for her predecessor.

It is nothing less than a tragedy that a second family lost their own similarly afflicted 11-year-old daughter, Makayla Sault, after chemotherapy was spurned.

The two cases are linked because, in both instances, Brant Children and Family Services refused to intervene and compel chemo by taking the girls into agency care. [Read more…]

The child’s well-being has to be balanced against rights to traditional medicine

Remember? The ruling by Justice Gethin Edward of the Ontario Court of Justice that it was ok for parents to take their child off chemotherapy for leukemia because they’re First Nations people  and

Maybe First Nations culture doesn’t require every child to be treated with chemotherapy and to survive for that culture to have value.

Well now he’s “clarified” that ruling.

The clarification of a controversial court ruling that allowed the mother of an 11-year-old First Nations girl to pull her out of chemotherapy says the best interests of the child are “paramount,” but traditional medicine must be respected. [Read more…]

Guest post: David Cameron’s Handshake with African Homophobic and Witch hunting Pastor

Guest post by Leo Igwe.

The photos of UK Prime Minister David Cameron shaking hands with the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Rev Enoch Adeboye at the Festival of Life program holding in London must disgust anyone who knows about the teachings and positions of Adeboye and his church, particularly on issues of homosexuality and witchcraft. Rev Adeboye was one of the pastors who openly canvassed support for the anti gay marriage bill stating that homosexuality would wipe out humanity.

He said:

Same-sex marriage is an anathema to the will of God for human beings to be fruitful, replenish and multiply on earth. Anything contrary to that is evil. [Read more…]

All around Pakistan, there are brave women like Mahmud

Elisabeth Braw wrote an admiring article about Sabeen Mahmud in 2013. It’s heartbreaking to read now.

When you enter Sabeen Mahmud’s airy The Second Floor café, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’re in San Francisco. The walls feature works by young local artists; the menu offers panini and café lattes, and announcements invite you to author readings and discussion evenings. Indeed, with her short, stylish hairdo and edgy glasses, Mahmud herself looks very Californian.

But this is Karachi, a city that most of the outside world associates with extremism and sectarian violence. In fact, Mahmud’s café is a risky endeavor. Intelligence officers frequently show up, especially at Indian events. “But fear is a line in your head”, she reflects. “I want to do what I want to do. Of course I want more security, but I’m not going to worry that I’ll be raped or shot. Fear is the new normal in Karachi.”

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Then there remain the many social issues

An interesting comment at PZ’s by Keith Monaghan.

Irish Atheist here. I used to be a supporter and paying member of Atheist Ireland until all this went down and Nugent went off the rails. He has poisoned the entire organisation with his willingness to defend abusers and provide a forum to known harassers. Not to mention his embarrassing brown nosing of our great “thought leaders” Dawkins, et al. It’s a real shame because many in Atheist Ireland have been doing great work regarding raising awareness about our ridiculous blasphemy law and the overwhelming control of our schools by the Catholic Church among a great many other abuses committed in the name of religion.

But just as the charitable acts of the Catholic Church do not outweigh the many abuses it allowed and in many ways fostered under its watch, AI does not get off the hook either. With the organisation choosing to side with Nugent in all this I had to question their commitment towards fighting against sexism and abuse within our community and for the well-being of atheists in general. [Read more…]