I’ve never played Warmhammer, never owned any of the books or models, and I only just today learned something surprising.

Numerous Warhammer players are cancelling their subscriptions and announcing a boycott of Games Workshop after the company retconned their Adeptus Custodes faction to add females.

The surprise is that they never had feeeeemale characters in their game before? What?

Following this retcon and the subsequent gaslighting from Games Workshop, numerous hobbyists, enthusiasts, and former customers have cancelled their subscriptions to Games Workshop’s subscription service Warhammer+ and have pledged to boycott the company going forward.

On April 14th, X user GrimmDark1 shared a screenshot of him canceling his subscription. He wrote, “Kiss my a** GW. Not another penny.”

He explained why he canceled and why he’s boycotting in a subsequent post, ‘For those asking “wut happen?’ GW disrespected their lore by changing decades old lore of the Custodies only taking males from the highborn families of Terra to become Custodies to ‘Nah women can be Custodies now too, and they’ve totally always been a thing since the beginning! Even though they’ve never been mentioned in any codex or BL book before. We totally aren’t doing this for ESG money from Blackrock and Vanguard!’.”

Uh, OK. They need to realize that it’s a game, and it’s already got a complicated and twisty lore, so adding one more twist is nothing that radical. But great, sure, stop playing, no one is forcing you to play, and in particular, no one says you have to play the one faction tainted with the imaginary scent of pretend womankind. Gamers are weird, man.

Is this part of the article a joke? Or are these people this delusional?

This boycott of Games Workshop and Warhammer due to its obvious embrace of feminist ideology can only be seen as a good thing because it means less people will be subjected to future propaganda that Games Workshop will inject into its games, books, and TV shows. It also means the demoralization that comes along with this propaganda will be blunted.

This demoralization was noted by former KGB agent Yuri Bezmenov who warned about it back in the 1980s. He shared that this demoralization campaign employed psychological warfare techniques to “change the perception of reality of every American to such an extent that despite an abundance of information no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interests of defending themselves, their family, their community, and their country.”

He elaborated, “It’s a great brainwashing process which goes very slow and it’s divided in four basic stages. The first one being demoralization. It takes from 15 to 20 years to demoralize a nation. Why that many years? Because this is the minimum number of years which requires to educate one generation of students in the country of your enemy- exposed to the ideology of the enemy in other words Marxism, Leninism ideology is pumped into the soft heads of at least three generations of American students without being challenged or counterbalanced by the basic values of Americanism. American patriotism.”

The proof is in the damnable pudding

There are many ways to assess the utility of a policy. One way is to simply ask who favors the policy. There are many known bad actors who wear their bigotry on their sleeve, so if you find them favoring something, there may be something wrong with it.

The anti-trans frenzy is peaking in England this week following the release of a much-anticipated review by Dr. Hillary Cass on transgender care. Many anticipated that the report would serve as a pretext to ban transgender care in England, and it appears to have been crafted to provide just such a rationale. Nations already enacting restrictive laws against transgender individuals will likely use it as justification for further discrimination. In the United States, far-right Christian nationalist groups, including Heritage Foundation (retweeted), Association of Christian Schools International, and the Alliance Defending Freedom, have cited it to support anti-trans legislation they are involved in drafting or lobbying. The Cass Review is an exercise in politics with predetermined conclusions, not science and medicine, and health authorities worldwide should reject its findings.

Uh-oh. Far-right conservative Christian groups in America are cheerleading for the Cass Report? But I thought England had embraced a “defanged” version of Christianity that would never harm gentle, diverse souls, and there they go, welcoming the rabid version of Protestantism that was supposed to only exist in the Colonies!

We can also ask whose opinions Dr Cass found worthy and interesting.

After a series of political attacks on transgender people and rising anti-trans sentiment in the country, the NHS commissioned a review and tapped Dr. Hillary Cass, a pediatrician whose list of follows on social media include extremist anti-trans sources such as Transgender Trend (which argues, as is obvious, that being transgender is a “trend”), the LGB Alliance (a LGB group that believes in “dropping the T,” or transgender people), and Graham Linehan (an anti-trans activist and comedian), along with many other noted anti-trans voices.

While collecting anecdotes about the harms that transgender care does, Dr Cass was unable to find any significant evidence of such care damaging patients. I would offer an anecdote of my own, about how anti-trans ideology does great harm, needing only to list Graham Linehan, a fanatic whose anti-trans fervor has destroyed his own family, wrecked his career, and demolished his reputation. Case closed.

To demonstrate the great damage that the report does to human beings, though, we only have to look at its immediate consequences. The Scotland health service is now taking away puberty blockers from their patients!

Scotland’s only clinic to offer treatment to gender-questioning young people has paused prescribing puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones in light of last week’s publication of the Cass review.

The Sandyford clinic, based in Glasgow, which offers a range of services including emergency contraception, abortion and support for sexual assault victims as well as transgender healthcare, posted a service update online on Thursday morning.

It stated: “Referrals from the Sandyford sexual health services to paediatric endocrinology for the prescription of puberty suppressing hormones have been paused for any new patients assessed by our young person’s gender service.

“Patients aged 16 to 17 years old who have not been treated by paediatric endocrinology, but who are still seeking treatment for their gender incongruence, will no longer be prescribed gender-affirming hormone treatment until they are 18 years old.”

And puberty and sexual development are allowed to march onwards, compounding their effects and worsening the psychological conflicts these people already have, and requiring greater medical effort to roll them back years later. A cruel move.

America is watching, and eagerly anticipating making young people similarly miserable on this side of the Atlantic.

How desperate are you for a job as a teacher?

There’s an opportunity for you to teach physics, chemistry, and algebra, and all you need is a bachelor’s degree and student teaching experience. Easy! These are minimal qualifications that lot of newly graduating students could meet. Some of the other expectations, though…

The qualified individual must be an evangelical Christian committed to living a biblical lifestyle in all areas and in full agreement with the school’s statement of faith. The teacher is expected to be in alignment with the science and biblical positions held at Answers in Genesis and able to teach physical sciences (physical science, chemistry, and physics) and possibly math (Algebra 2/Pre-Calc.) from a biblical worldview in the classroom. The teacher must also be able to distinguish operational vs historical science as well as be able to articulate the evolutionary beliefs correctly while being able to refute them biblically and scientifically. The teacher must also have a good understanding of AiG’s presuppositional apologetic approach and know how to incorporate it in the classroom.

The teacher shall be one who feels called of God to the teaching profession. The teacher must maintain a teachable spirit while demonstrating patience, humility, integrity, and kindness while performing his/her day-to-day duties. He/she must be devoted to prayerfully work with administration, faculty, students, and parents to develop and maintain a school which is thoroughly Christian and academically exceptional. The teacher shall prayerfully help students learn attitudes, skills, and subject matter that will contribute to their development as mature, able, and responsible Christians to the glory of God.

Boy howdy, that’s a lot, especially given that AiG’s “operational/historical” categorization of science isn’t shared by any legitimate educational organization. I think their idea that their institution must be academically exceptional is going to be butting heads with their demand that it be thoroughly Christian.

But that’s not all! Their list of expectations go on and on and on, like they were lingering over the exercise, masturbating with their Bible while gleefully adding more and more Jebus to the job.

  • Adhere to the statement of faith
  • Be deeply committed to a consistent daily walk with Jesus Christ
  • Spend time daily in personal devotions and prayer
  • Faithfully attend a local, Bible-believing church
  • Be a Christian role model in attitude, speech, and actions towards others. This includes being committed to God’s biblical standards for sexual conduct (Luke 6:40)
  • Show by example the importance of Scripture study and memorization, prayer, witnessing, and unity in the Body of Christ
  • Follow the Matthew 18 principle in dealing with students, faculty, parents, and administration
  • Motivate students to accept God's gift of salvation and to grow in their faith
  • Possess the ability to work gracefully with parents, students, and other school staff to develop a unified and successful educational program
  • Demonstrate the ability to accept and carry out responsibilities and make competent, professional decisions
  • Be willing to eagerly participate in professional development
  • Recognize the role of parents as primarily responsible before God for their children's education and be prepared to assist them in that task
  • Maintain a personal appearance that is a Christian role model of cleanliness, modesty, good taste, and in agreement with school policy
  • Respectfully submit and be loyal to constituted authority. Teachers should notify the administration of any policy he/she is unable to support. Teachers should also be willing to provide input and constructive recommendations for administrative and managerial functions in the school

There’s much much more, most of it basic stuff about being able to work with students and parents, compose lesson plans, refuting false religions, etc. It’s all a big long warning that you are going to be completely micromanaged by a gang of authoritarians who will demand total dogmatic obedience.

Are you sold? Then all that’s left is a few final steps:

  • Completion of on-line application
  • Salary Requirements
  • Salvation Testimony
  • Creation Belief Statement
  • Confirmation of your agreement with the AiG Statement of Faith
  • Completion of a Background Check and Pre-Employment Drug Screen

They don’t say what they’re paying, though. I’d demand a few million dollars a year to debase myself that much.

Is astrology low-hanging fruit? How about creationism?

It’s odd that I haven’t seen much skeptical criticism of astrology lately — it’s one pseudoscience that has been laughed into the shadows. On the other hand, I see a lot of flat earth and creationist nonsense, and they’re just as or even more ridiculous as astrology, so I’m curious how nonsense gets promoted or dismissed in popular culture.

It may simply be a matter of what bits of popular culture we choose to read. John Gruber finds an example in the magazine Women’s Health.

So, what makes the Great American Eclipse of April 8, 2024 so special? Ancient astronomers — who, by the way, were also astrologers — believed that the geographical area where any eclipse was visible would energetically feel its effects the most.

Gruber has a nice simple rebuttal.

So here’s my “by the way” retort to Montúfar’s aside: how many astronomers today — not in “ancient” times — are also astrologers? Spoiler: the answer is fucking zero.

How many astronomers believe the Earth is flat? 0. How many physicists believe the Earth is 6,000 years old? Not quite 0, but pretty close. Similarly, how many biologists reject evolution? Again, practically 0, and the exceptions are all driven by weird religious ideologies and make no contribution to science.

Meanwhile, astronomers have discovered a black hole of 33 solar masses a mere 2000 light years away. Isn’t that more interesting than imaginary astrological forces following along in the wake of an eclipse’s shadow?

In yet another discursion, Angela Collier’s latest video (I know, some of my readers don’t care for her, but bear with me) is about the obvious grift of ‘spectacle debates’ in contrast to real scientific debates. She uses as an example the Nye-Ham creationist debate, and I 100% agree with her that that was a terrible debate. You know Ken Ham still brings it up in his talks quite frequently as a triumphant moment for creationism, right?

I laughed when she talked about how Nye just helped Ham pocket $400,000, and did publicity for Ham to get tax-free donations to build an ark and “definitely not private jets or whatever that guy does” because…Ken Ham does have a private jet, one that makes regular, mysterious trips to the Cayman Islands.

It’s a Cessna Citation V, ID N190JK, if you want to keep an eye on it. I wonder what a religious organization is doing making all those flights to well-known tax haven? Perhaps they’re busy converting the natives. Or just socking away all the profits from their spectacle debates and pseudoscience and stupid fake ark tourist trap.

It’s a joke, I worry that some will take it seriously

Whoa, don’t diss schools.

I use algebra all the time! Not just in the lab, but in cooking — how do you do unit conversions or scaling of simple quantities without it?

I don’t think King Lear is a manual in how to divide inheritances, and if you think it is, maybe you need to read it again, for comprehension.

Evolution doesn’t suggest that modern fish will turn into modern mammals in real time. Somebody wasn’t paying attention in class.

Dodgeball…I will give her that. We learned nothing from dodgeball, it was the favorite game of the class bullies. Why were we playing dodgeball in school anyway?

Two amendments

I’ve changed my mind on a couple of things since yesterday.

  1. Based on the impression I got from the play Copenhagen, I said that Heisenberg was head of the German nuclear program in WWII. I was wrong. A reader wrote in with the details:

    A lot of documents regarding the WWII German nuclear program have only been declassified and rediscovered in archives in recent years (much more recently than the well-known Farm Hall transcripts and the main Alsos reports). Based on these documents, Heisenberg was not the head of the program. The chief theoretical physicist in the program appears to have been Siegfried Flügge, who was brought to the United States after the war to help Edward Teller with a certain classified project. The chief administrative official for the program in its final years was SS General Hans Kammler, who was also taken in by the United States after the war, according to several declassified documents. However, the documents do show that Heisenberg was involved in more weapons-related wartime nuclear work than he was willing to publicly admit after the war.

    I certainly understand if this is too far beyond your range of interests, but if you are curious, please see:

    Revolutionary Innovation


    I still don’t care for the character of Heisenberg in the play — just working with the Nazis makes him distasteful to me — but he wasn’t quite as bad as I thought.

  2. I was far too generous to the Cass Report. Reading the comments and digging deeper into the report, it’s clear that this was the neo-liberal version of trans care — that is, say just enough that you won’t be accused of hiding the obvious facts, but not enough to actually disturb the status quo. It’s appealing to the reactionary anti-trans crowd because they can pretend to be judicious, while not actually doing anything and allowing the bad people to continue their bad policies and bad behavior.

Every time I think about our economic system, I shudder

I’d buy this car before I’d get a Tesla

I am increasingly feeling that the very rich have managed to pull a colossal scam on the whole world, where the grossly incompetent have rigged the system to make themselves wealthy at the expense of everyone else. Witness the collapse of Boeing, the entire goddamn Republican party, and of course, King Goober himself, Elon Musk. I appreciate this review of Tesla’s masterpiece, the Cybertruck.

As the Bay Area is both a nexus for world-class goobers and the region where Tesla used to be and kinda-sorta still is headquartered, I have seen a lot of Cybertrucks out in the wild over the past few months. They are remarkably fake- and shitty-looking in any context (Is that a big toaster with wi-fi next to me at the exit? Who’s driving the scrap metal assemblage with Bryan Colangelo-esque proportions? Why does every Cybertruck driver I glance at appear to be simultaneously peacocking for attention but also totally embarrassed, haunted by the unexamined knowledge that as a maneuver in a culture war they paid $100,000 for a car that doesn’t work?), though I saw one in the Santa Cruz mountains this past weekend. It looked even more jarringly synthetic and stupid in a truck-style environment, as if 10 seconds on a semi-paved road would undo the whole rickety car. I felt, amid standard-issue disgust and mockery, personal embarrassment to be paying through the nose to live in a place where the coolest thing you can do is cosplay as a 6-year-old’s idea of the coolest guy in the world.

Yep, a billionaire is successfully siphoning off $100,000 chunks of cash from upper-middle-class twits by selling them poorly made vehicles. At least most Trabants were still running a year after purchase, I don’t have the same confidence in the Cybertruck. And yet, after a succession of horrible decisions and running companies into the ground, Musk is still filthy rich.

I wonder why I’m losing any faith in capitalism?

The only summary of the Cass Report that I need

I keep hearing from anti-trans activists that this major review of the literature on the efficacy of transgender treatments, the Cass Report, confirms their position, which I don’t understand. What I’ve read of the report isn’t very overwhelming at all. Rather than wading into almost 400 pages of text, though, I thought this succinct summary of the whole thing was very good.

A systematic review collects all the published research in an area and ranks the research based on how likely it is to be reliable. The weakest form of evidence are case reports, where a doctor formally writes up an anecdote about a patient. The strongest form of evidence are randomized controlled trials where patients are randomly assigned to some type of medication or intervention, or to no intervention, or to a placebo, and the groups are compared to see how an intervention compares to alternatives/no treatment/placebo. Systematic reviews of several interventions for trans youth were undertaken by the University of York including puberty blockers, cross sex hormones, social transition, and psychosocial support measures.

The results of each of the systematic reviews was to characterize the overall evidence as weak, which was the Report’s most significant finding and has been widely reported. When looking more granularly at the York papers, a pattern appears of some papers showing a psychological benefit of the intervention, a smaller number showing no change positive or negative, and no papers showing any psychological harm. For example, in the systematic review of the evidence on puberty blockers, several included studies suggested psychological benefits to treatment in a range of areas, while a smaller number of studies found no significant impact. This was summarized in both the papers and the Report as “weak evidence” but could also be accurately described as “weak evidence (in favor of treatment).”

That the evidence was weak is not an indictment of the report — by their nature, case reports are necessarily weak. The alternative is to do controlled experimentation on human children, which is going to be even more problematic! The weak evidence is what we have, and that evidence says that, for the sake of the children, we should be treating kids.

The report itself actively endorses the use of puberty blockers, as well as other treatments, in addition to further studies of their effects. However, it takes a very conservative position on when young people should be allowed to take them, and even discouraged social transitioning in young children.

A full programme of research should be established to look at the characteristics, interventions and outcomes of every young person presenting to the NHS gender services.
The puberty blocker trial previously announced by NHS England should be part of a programme of research which also evaluates outcomes of psychosocial interventions and masculinising/ feminising hormones.

So I don’t get it. Why are the trans haters treating this as a vindication of their position? What I’m seeing is a cautious, conservative review that is compelled by the evidence to give cautious, conservative recommendations in favor of some degree of treatment, and I don’t care how much Helen Lewis and The Atlantic strain to twist it into a condemnation of American policy.

As usual, expect the issue to continue to be unresolved as ideology is used to torment trans kids further.


Last night, I attended a play, Copenhagen by Michael Frayn. I was in the odd position of being invited to participate in a discussion at the end of the play, along with two other professors. I felt a bit superfluous — the play was very good, I didn’t have a lot to add.

You can watch the whole thing yourself with different players, since it was made into a movie. The movie is also very good, starring Stephen Rea and Daniel Craig, although it is marred by an introduction featuring Michio Kaku.

I saw it as an exploration of ambiguity and interpretation. Somehow our discussion afterwards veered into the virtues of negotiation and giving opponents an opportunity to explain their position, which I thought was a bit nuts. This was an example of the futility of trying to reason with fascists. It was about a meeting between Werner Heisenberg, proud German and head of the Nazi nuclear program (but not a Nazi) and Niels Bohr, half-Jewish Dane whose country had been taken over by the Nazis. This was in 1941, when there was no longer any doubt about the intent of Germany and the homicidal maniac running the country. In 1943, Bohr is going to have to flee his homeland to Sweden when the Nazis decide it’s time to clean up the Jewish ‘problem’ in Denmark.

(Horrible little story: Bohr was then evacuated to England in the bomb bay of a Mosquito fighter/bomber. Really? He was supposed to negotiate with the Nazis?)

Bohr and Heisenberg were two particles with complex and ambiguous relationships that they were struggling to resolve, but their countries, massive aggregates of particles, had a clear, sharp relationship that did not need further focus. The two individuals were old, close friends whose interpersonal relationship was a tangled mess that was well worth a conversation, but don’t extrapolate that to argue that we should be negotiating with Nazis.