When scams get pretentious

Pangburn (Pangburnt, am I right?) Philosophy has officially thrown in the towel. Here’s their final statement:

Who is to blame? Not Pangburn! Confirmed speakers decided to back away from their commitment, the lousy no-good bastards.

And then…This two year endeavor has led us to successfully produce what we believe to be some of the most important conversations in human history. Wow. In human history. Pretty impressive for a hodge-podge of racists, edgelords, pompous assholes, and alt-right cheerleaders, say what?

But have no fear.

Effective immediately, the Pangburn Philosophy Corporation will be folding as a result of this cancelled conference.

And there was much rejoicing! But wait. A “Philosophy Corporation”? Have those two words ever been paired before? Maybe this is the end of something unique.

Also, I doubt that all the people who bought overpriced tickets to this shitpile are rejoicing. They’re never going to see that money again. I’m trying hard to feel sympathy for the gullible simpletons who paid money to see Peterson, or Weinstein, or Harris, or any of the deplorables slated as speakers, and failing.

Our CEO Travis Pangburn plans to reanimate Pangburn Philosophy under a new business model, which will focus on Pangburn Documentaries.

Oy. So another Prager U, I’ll guess.

A couple of suggestions. It’s obvious that Travis Pangburn has a bit of an ego, but after your distinctively-named enterprise has just imploded under the weight of debt, leaving your most ardent fans without recompense, and you’re trying to slither away, it’s not smart to keep the name “Pangburn”. Too obvious. You should at least try to slip out from under the PR taint. Find a fresh taint.

You built your ramshackle empire not on your talent, but the appeal of your center-right speakers. I presume you’d like to bring them back under “Pangburn Documentaries”? Then it’s a bad idea to blame them for your failure.

Oh, and speaking of pretentiousness, you have to look at the Pangburn “about” page. It’s mostly a close-up photo of Travis’s handsome, serious face, a paragraph of grade-school “philosophy” about saving the planet with art and science, and an equation. Can I just say how much I despise the attempt to come up with a pseudo-sciencey equation with vague and immeasurable variables and invented relationships between the parameters? It’s a great metaphor for the nonsensical crap they’ve been peddling.

Fruitfulness multiplied by humanism equals peace greater than suffering? What kind of ludicrous bullshit is this? Who gets snowed by that kind of nonsense?

Life without rising inequality is very much like life with socialism

Forbes. Fucking Forbes. They’re doing a great job of painting a smiley face on a dystopia. They have an article up titled Surging Wealth Inequality Is A Happy Sign That Life Is Becoming Much More Convenient. For whom, you might ask? Does it matter? It benefits the rich, so the peons don’t matter.

Crucial about all this is that the commercial seers who get the future right will grow stunningly rich for being right. The more convenient life is, the more unequal are the living. But as opposed to a sign of hardship, the happier truth is that life is truly cruel when the talented aren’t getting rich. That’s when we know that no one is devising ways to make our lives easier, cheaper, healthier, more productive, and everything else good. Life without rising inequality is very much like life with socialism.

“The talented”…who might they be? The examples he gives are a) Pizza Hut is testing self-driving delivery cars and pizza-making robots that will get your pizza to you faster, without the expense of pizza delivery drivers. Yay! No more tipping college students struggling to make ends meet! And b) Walmart is making an app a digital map to find the toy or TV they’re looking for, then make the purchase right in the aisle where they find it. Bravo, capitalism. So the “talented” are a couple of big corporations, not people.

That last line, though…he’s completely oblivious, I can tell. You mean I can have life with socialism, and life without rising inequality, at the same time? Yes, please. And you want the opposite? Well fuck you very much.

Vera is a beast

Today was cricket-feeding day. I am still learning things, and one of the things I have learned is that I hate crickets, those jumpy, twitchy, annoying little beasts. I have to struggle to confine and catch the things, but I chortle evilly when I finally slide them down into a vial. They’re two or 3 times larger than my spiders, but it’s no contest. They’re doooooomed. Bwahahahaha!

Also, spiders have personalities. Amanda is shy; she gets a cricket, she ignores it, and me, and just hangs out in her corner placidly until I leave the room.The cricket will be dismantled fragments the next day, but a lady does not make a spectacle of her murders.

Xena is timid. She notices the cricket for sure, but she runs away — where it is, she is not, and she scurries about rather frantically to avoid it. She lays down lots of webbing, though, and I think she waits until it snares itself thoroughly before going in for the kill.

Vera is a beast. Put anything in there, she does not delay sinking her fangs into it. I’d just put the cricket in her vial when she charged up, lassoed its hind limbs, and was making quick bites into the leg joints. She reminds me of Gwyneth, a real killer. Especially that bit about first knee-capping her prey before getting into the serious business of liquefying its guts.

Vera also escaped, briefly, and marched up onto my hand and stood there, gently tapping on my knuckle like she was getting impatient. Once the cricket was in her vial, though, she quickly rappelled down and made short work of it.

I’ve got to get them some mates, but I’m worried that the juvenile males are just too small — I may try tomorrow, though, when the females are fat and sated with cricket juice and might be willing to tolerate a conjugal visit. I’ve got a son of Gwyneth I’d like to pair up with Vera — what beautifully voracious slayers their progeny might make!

(I might be getting a little too close with my arachnid brood, I willingly confess.)

Maybe if they gave us profs big raises, we’d become more conservative

You know how Turning Point USA has a McCarthyite list of academics they don’t like, and also publishes the salaries of those faculty? I guess it’s to make citizens outraged at how much money they’re paying to support radicals in the ivory tower. Just to put it all in perspective, though:

Those football coaches are probably more conservative than the professors, though, so that makes it all OK.

I thought about it some more. It’s not going to work. There are 1½ million professors in the US. If some filthy rich multibillionaire decided to try and influence us all by sinking a billion dollars into bribing us that would only be $666 each, in a one-time investment in one year.

Suddenly it all makes sense. Far cheaper to buy a few influencers, give them a prop fake university — a Prager U or some right wing think tank — and get them to spend all their time promoting pseudo-intellectualism to the rubes. In case you were wondering what the Intellectual Dark Web is actually all about.

ASMR for engine nerds

There are underwater microphones installed around San Juan Island, and they are streaming live continuously to the internet. It’s called OrcaSound, and it’s supposed to be about hearing whale songs, but I’ve been listening for the last hour and all I hear are boat engines. It’s soothing, actually: a kind of continuous rumble, with a rhythmic throb. One boat just went by that has a weird syncopated rattle, and it slowly rises as it gets closer and fades as it passes by. And just now a second engine has joined the chorus — it sounds like sawing wood. If you like percussion and a good background drone, check it out.

I’d probably be startled out of my zen state if a whale started singing.

Also, one has to wonder whether the orcas are fans of all the noise pollution in their neighborhood since the apes started flopping around in their ocean.

Uh-oh. It’s getting intense right now. Gotta zone out.

Spider poop

As promised threatened, I took some photos of spider poop this morning. It’s surprisingly colorful! But then, these are from the spiderling vials, so maybe it’s like baby poop, which also tends to have surprising colors.

The big circular feature is an artifact at the bottom of the plastic vial.

This is my masterpiece: I call it “Still life with spider poop, molted cuticle, and little blue bits of dried fly medium”. I’m thinking of printing it out on a 10 foot wide sheet and selling it to MOMA.


But don’t you worry: Turning Point USA is on it. They made a list. Strangely, most of them seem to be women and minorities, but hey, I made the cut. There is a grand total of SIX (6) dangerous professors in the entire state, which is kind of a tiny group to be responsible for overthrowing the state and destroying capitalism, and we’re rather scattered all over the place — I haven’t met any of my revolutionary cadre.

We should get together and do lunch, Jim Bear Jacobs, Marlon James, Shannon Gibney, Wayne Bendickson, and Barbara Gorski. We could also invite Jack Russell Weinstein, the sole enemy of the state in North Dakota (there is no representative in South Dakota. They’re all running dog lackeys there). It might be difficult since some of us are hundreds of miles away.

This is no way to run a revolution.