Linkspam: March 10th, 2017

It’s my monthly linkspam!

4chan: The Skeleton Key to the Rise of Trump – To be honest, the first thing that struck me about this long article, was the name of the author, Dale Beran.  Isn’t he the webcomics legend behind A Lesson Is Learned But The Damage Is Irreversible? Yeah, so I’m a webcomics geek. I also remember Dale Beran for this comic–I happen to share his negative opinion of cars.

I’m not sure how far I would vouch for this article. There’s some nice insider perspective on the nihilistic culture of 4chan, and a better explanation of Anonymous than I’ve ever seen from mainstream news outlets. (I remember news outlets saying “anonymous” just refers to people who obscure their identity. But but that’s not what Anonymous is, can you even internet?) It veers a bit much into depicting 4channers as failures who live with their parents. I have lots of friends and relatives who live with their parents–it’s a cheaper way to live in times of economic hardship and I consider this stereotyping to be classist.

I like the bit about models of what men are supposed to strive for in life–either they get a wife and kids, or else they’re supposed to be “players”. Being an ace activist I emphatically reject these models and question whether they’re any good even for non-ace people. Dale Beran suggests that many young men are trapped in these models, and when I question them it’s like I’m saying their problems are in their heads. Something to mull over.

Laurie Penny shared her experience touring with Milo Yiannopolous. This covers some of the same territory as the previous article, but is more compact and focused.

Drug Watch: New Addyi Marketing Campaign, “Find My Spark” – Addyi is the drug recently approved (on weak evidence) to treat Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder in women.  After disappointing sales, they are trying a marketing campaign.  The campaign encourages women who want sex less often than their partners to see this as a medical issue.

BBC’s “Transgender Kids, Who Knows Best?” – HJ Hornbeck and Siobhan team up to counter a recent horrible documentary about transgender kids. I definitely learned a few new things from this series. I had thought that the trans/autism correlation was real but it seems it is not born out by the data.

Luck and Skill in Games – The Game Developers Conference occurred recently, and they released videos of a bunch of old talks. This speaker proposed that luck and skill are not diametrically opposed, and that it is possible to have more of both or less of both. For example, suppose we had a variant on Chess, where at the end of the game, we roll a dice, and if it lands on 1 the loser becomes the winner. This variant of chess requires exactly the same skills to play well, but also has more luck.

Why I support a welfare state – Ozy makes a version of the an argument I would make in favor of universal basic income.  So, you know how people often say that the “free market” (for some definition) leads to the most efficient economy, at least in the ideal case?  But even in the ideal case, that’s not true when people start out with unequal resources.  (Also it’s not actually true in monopolistic competition, but that’s a separate issue.)


  1. Rob Grigjanis says

    Being an ace activist I emphatically reject these models and question whether they’re any good even for non-ace people.

    This non-ace person rejects both models most emphatically.

    Re universal basic income. You might be interested in this analysis of data from a guaranteed annual income project conducted in Manitoba in the 1970s.

    These results would seem to suggest that a Guaranteed Annual Income, implemented broadly in society, may improve health and social outcomes at the community level.

  2. Siobhan says

    I rejected both modes too, back when I was still awkwardly wearing the man-mask and dancing the man-dance.

    Thanks for the signal boost. ^_^

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