Link Roundup: February 2021

This month’s link roundup includes a wide range of articles, from masculinity, to blogging, to commentary on Gamestop.

What Hades Can Teach Us About Ancient Greek Masculinity | Wired – Recommended even if you’re unfamiliar with the game Hades.  And if you’d like to read even more about ancient greek masculinity, I recommend an article by cartomancer a while back.  Among other things, I was amused to learn that classical observers disagreed on whether Achilles was the erastes or eromenos in his relationship with Patroclus.  It’s like the ancient version of an argument over which character is the top and which is the bottom.

My Life as a Failed Pundit | Tris Mamone – I enjoyed this first-person account of the stress that comes from trying to have an opinion about everything.  I don’t consider myself a pundit, I’m an analytical blogger.  There’s some superficial similarity, but I don’t feel the need to comment on any of the hot topics of the day, because nobody is paying me to do so.

Thoughts On Common Strategies Intended To Increase Comments on Fanfiction As Written By Me, The Lurker In The Room | Bring on the Pigeons – A post that just makes me think, “Are the kids alright?”  My cultural background is in the blogosphere, not AO3 or tumblr, so I just find it bizarre to think that anyone owes it to creators to leave comments.  Comments are great and all, but can equally be a source of stress, or moderation labor.  If I want to know whether I’m getting readers, I just look at my site statistics.  I was taught to leave comments on other blogs not because bloggers need them to survive, but because it’s a small form of self-promotion.  Long story short, I hope nobody is leaving comments just because you feel you owe it to me.  And if you’re a lurker, you’re in very good company, so say my statistics.

Identity: A Trans Coming Out Story | Philosophy Tube (video, 37 min) – Abigail Thorne, creator behind Philosophy Tube, came out as trans, making her one of the most famous trans people in the UK.  The video is a one-person play.

I’ve never been a fan of the channel, though it’s very prominent in leftube circles.  Too much fictional dialogue for me, and the philosophy too continental.  But never have I disliked the channel, or thought poorly of its creator.  So this is still an exciting development, and I’m happy for her.

Myanmar’s military has detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi in a coup | CNN – There was a coup in Myanmar??  Apparently motivated by the military’s unsubstantiated allegations of widespread fraud in the election.  Aung San Suu Kyi, by the way, has been internationally criticized for engaging in genocide against Rohingya Muslims.  Although, those actions were carried out by the military, and the coup makes me think that she didn’t really have the power to oppose the military in any case.

The GameStop story isn’t a populist fairy tale | NBC – The story of a subreddit causing a short squeeze in Gamestop stock prices was certainly an entertaining and educational one.  But I found the whole “David vs Goliath” narrative troubling–not because I’m shedding any tears for institutional investors, but because I think the institutional investors were very likely the true winners.  Yes there were some short investors who lost billions of dollars, but do you realize that for every short seller there had to be another investor on the other side of the equation?  The big winners were the long investors, as well as short investors who entered the market after the bubble began.

I’m sure some retail investors made a big profit, but they would have had to defect from the reddit mob to do so–most everyone else would have lost money.  It’s a very common issue in retail investment for people to chase after success stories, while failing to understanding that the biggest successes arise from risky play plus dumb luck.  It’s like getting financial advice from people who won the lottery–I don’t care if they won, a lottery ticket is still a bad investment.

A common attitude I’ve seen, among financially educated people, is that participating in this scheme will likely lose you money, but that’s okay if you can afford the loss and find it entertaining.  But I say, if you’ve lost money, your entertainment was based on lies.  You haven’t stuck it to the man, you have in fact given the man your money.

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