Exciting year ahead for human space exploration
For reasons beyond my understanding, there are people who aren’t closely watching how we’re progressing to the stars. Of course, it’s only the most important thing in the world. So here’s what’s coming this year:
Starship will be ready for a test flight in February or March – admittedly in “Elon time”, but at any rate this year.
Dragon 2 is scheduled to perform an in-flight abort test in January. If all goes well, it should take a crew to the ISS later this year.
This is a huge deal from the point of view of cost, since the current system of getting astronauts to the ISS is to give Mr. Putin an entirely unreasonable price per seat on 1960s technology, which he subsequently uses to destabilize the Donbas, run troll farms, and spray chemical weapons in Salisbury.
Meanwhile noted welfare queen Boeing continues work on the Starliner capsule after failing to put it in the correct orbit last month, and
Lex Luthor Jeff Bezos, whom you may know for singlehandedly destroying three quarters of the retail industry (and good riddance), continues to make progress on his hitherto underwhelming maker of suspiciously phallic rockets Blue Origin.
While the various projects underway deserve different levels of sympathy and support, it’s great that such big things are happening on so many fronts. The new commercial space race is great for the human race.
Everyone should know how to cook
Cooking is underrated as a skill. Most online self-improvement stuff is far too focused on narcissistic nonsense while missing the powerful basics. Advantages of cooking:
- You save money (a lot of)
- It’s much healthier (up to you, obviously)
- Skill to level up, fun hobby
- Makes you instantly more attractive to romantic interests
If enough sane people go into cooking, maybe we’ll even change the culture of online recipes being 200 page meandering autobiographies of self-absorbed Anglosaxon wine aunts, with three lines of the actual recipe at the end – or hidden somewhere in the middle.
You may have heard that the Canadian TV station CBS removed the Trump cameo scene from Home Alone 2. His supporters call it pathetic censorship, his opponents call it justified. So far, so predictable.
What you may not have known is that CBS removed the scene all the way back in 2014, along with 8 more minutes of material not essential to the story, to make more room for advertisements.
So everyone is wrong.
Holographic liking and the cheerleader effect
It’s possible to like a thing without liking any of its parts.
I like Star Wars and Star Trek, but I don’t really like a single movie, episode, or character in the whole franchise. (Ok the Mandalorian is good, and come to think of it, Khan Noonien Singh is a rare positive role model).
Star Trek: The Original Series is an endlessly rewatchable timeless classic. Except every second of every episode is ridiculous to a degree bordering on unwatchable.
It’s kind of like the cheerleader effect.
So there are obviously good things composed of mostly or exclusively bad parts (French cuisine, capitalism, philosophy) – as well as bad things composed of good parts (crowds).
Emergent phenomena be real, yo.
Can you come up with more examples from both categories? The comments are open.
TIE fighter in the streets
For the sake of safety, Teslas (and also inferior electric cars) will start making noise to warn pedestrians.
The sound will be customizable – ranging from basic humming to a herd of goats, Monty Python coconuts etc.
If you’re reading this, Elon, listen very carefully, I shall say this only once:
I want the car to make the TIE fighter noise from Star Wars.
…mmmrRRROOOOOOARRRRRRRhhhh! (pew pew pew optional but welcome)
Tie fighter in the sheets
Speaking of tie fighters, I fight wholeheartedly for the abolition of the tie as a part of the civilized male costume. (Words chosen carefully, as we males indeed only put on civilizedness like a costume, and our nature longs for forest-dwelling nakedness, although with beer)
Look, this isn’t a coping strategy. I put on the civilized male costume, and very expensive silken and tailored bits of it, in the course of my work, because y’all still haven’t turned my patreon and paypal accounts into a bottomless fount of Arctic boltholes, ancient French red wines and eager courtesans.
So, speaking from a place of weary experience: Is there a more useless item in the entire modern world than the tie? Billions are spent worldwide on small pieces of cloth “designed” by coked up, spray-tanned, botoxed, parasitic bullshit artist paedophiles, the materials sourced and the product made with slave labor – and sold, in the case of fancy ties, almost exclusively to people in Russia, China, Davos and Saint Tropez, whose ethical footprints are likewise exploitative and villainous and “””ephebophilic””” and, despite my libertarian leanings, worthy of a gulag.
An expensive tie is a concentrated physical avatar of globe-spanning negative externalities, layers upon layers of crime and tears and shady deals culminating in a short rhombus of printed silkworm ass-glue.
People say the suit – tie included – is sexy. Fair, but this has two layers:
First, the sexiness is acquired by long association with power and wealth. Had big chads worn feather headdresses for the last 100 years, women would go weak in the knees at that. It’s extrinsic to the thing and easily reprogrammable.
Two, and this is harder to solve: the male suit is brimming with visual sexual symbolism. The tie is phallic. The jacket lapels are labia minor. Out sticks the head like a giant clitoris, or perhaps a baby. Those are also the subconscious reason why “suit” became a term of abuse among the more sex-negative hippies.
So grey overalls with a cut out crotch will do the job equally well.
Viewed objectively, the suit – with or without a tie – is a ridiculous, needlessly complicated and expensive thing that upholds entire parasitic industries.
When I rise to power, Gabanna, Gucci, Armani and Hermés will only be remembered as famous court cases in the Great Straightening (pun not intended) of the Economy.
Ok, suppose ties are out of fashion. What do you do with shirt collars? An open-necked shirt looks incongruously prole-posh, like Queen Elizabeth taking a pee behind a bush.
You do away with the collar. Its original function – making the most exposed and heavily worn part of the clothing detachable for separate washing – is outdated now. Atavistic. We have washing machines.
Yes, it’s “decoration”, but that’s just another word for unnecessary complication. It’s literally a baroque ornament, and the baroque is hands down the ugliest style to ever blight civilization.
In science fiction, suits and shirts of the future are usually simple, functional Bond villain / Mandarin collar affairs without any idiotic, atavistic frills. That’s a reasonable prediction.
So strong are my feelings on this aesthetic point that I’m willing to deploy faux social-justicy arguments – not that there are any non-faux social justicy arguments – and call the classic business suit eurocentric and a form of imperialism, and the sleeker styles with band collars – popular historically in China and India – much more inclusive and universal. If anyone else made such an argument I’d nibble out their larynx, but the future is at stake – and all is permitted in love, war and sartorial soteriology.
Has there been serious research into why every left-wing street protest looks like the cantina scene in Star Wars?
The national socialist liberals of the German reich
This paragraph from 1915 will blow every fuse on the American political compass. Read every word carefully:
“Recently, even in that liberal group which in Germany stands nearest to the socialists, the group of “national socialists,” there has been evidence of a tendency to consider that it is by no means a bad thing “for obstacles to be imposed upon the influence in political affairs of the mutable and incalculable popular will which finds expression in the Reichstag, for the national socialists consider it desirable that there should exist also aristocratic elements, independent of the popular will, ever vigilant, armed with the right of veto, to constitute a permanent moderating element.”
People report they’re walking around with an inexplicable sense of unease, apprehension, even anxiety.
It’s not that super inexplicable. Due to the negativity bias of the news, one of the first things you do in the morning is probably reading about the worst few things that happened in the world in the last 24 hours.
That may lead you to conclude the world is a sad and dangerous place, but that’s a sampling problem.
While that’s not a new thing – “if it bleeds, it leads” is as old as newspapers – there is a new thing in the semi-constant exposure. Instead of reading the news from the morning paper and/or watching them in the evening, many people now compulsively check what fresh atrocity has happened every five minutes, or are forwarded articles by helpful friends, which in turn incentivizes horrible clickbaity media to churn out endless torrents of emotional and mental toxicity.
Minor imperfections and operational inefficiencies of, all things considered, miraculous modern civilization are phrased as existential disasters and structural tyrannies, and the relatively (relatively!) mild inconveniences of life in the 21st century presented as tribulations on par with slavery, holocaust and the holodomor combined.
As a result, some of the most privileged and safest human beings that ever lived are led to think of themselves habitually as perpetually threatened victims fighting a desperate trench war against an oppressive regime, and literally fearing for their life while walking the mean streets of what’s by any sane historical standard, nearly utopia.
It’s also an entertaining LARP for bored imbeciles.
As Scott Adams put it:
“If you think the frightened feeling you’re getting from the news is legitimate and appropriate, you probably don’t understand how the business model of the news has changed”
Newspapers can hardly say “bit of space left for optimisation, but all things considered, everything is amazing”. They need you to click.
But as clickbait wears old and hopefully stops working, the newspapers that resisted the temptation may inherit the market. Which means that, pretty soon, we may only have right-wing newspapers.
The outrage rags are all in trouble. The Guardian, HuffPost, Buzzfeed, Vice, increasingly even the New York Times and indeed the BBC, and every other outlet that allowed itself to become hobby work for politically radicalized bored upper class heiresses – are insolvent, in part because they specifically write for an audience that considers paying for anything a human rights violation, and partly because they made themselves unreadable to everyone who doesn’t hate themselves and everything and everyone else besides.
Clickbait is low-hanging fruit that alienates the audiences you actually want in the long run. It’s like wearing leopard stockings to the club. Will get you laid, but assuredly not married to the Prince of Liechtenstein.
Instead, you end up with chlamydia. Or Guardian readers.
Which means you never get paid and your comments section is a North Korean mental hospital.
By contrast, the relatively more respectable newspapers like The Times (of London) and the Wall Street Journal never went down the path of outragism, and write for relatively emotionally mature adults interested in and willing to pay for high quality reporting. Which means they will survive.
Speaking of which, please click here to support high quality independent journalism :-D.
Penisocratic method #1