Nerdlife Nine: Alt-Culture Begins With You.

Well it’s been another month or so, which makes it time for another episode of your favourite Bargain Basement Sensor Sweep. Hey it’s easy content and people seem to like these.

 

Let’s open as usual with a song. As some of you aren’t getting enough metal in your diet.

Defenders of Valhalla by Brothers of Metal.

I’m normally not a fan of female vocals in metal but I really do have to give these guys a pass. Very catchy and excellent drinking music.

 

John C. Wright opens up on ComicsGate. The Modern Grand Master of the English Language unleashes ALL the dogs here. Highly readable and highly quotable.

http://www.scifiwright.com/2017/09/diversity-and-comics/

The fact of the matter is that SJWs cannot tell stories. We saw this same thing in the science fiction field among the Hugo nominees: the more SJW was in a story, the less drama. The reasons for this are complicated, but the basic problem is that SJWs have a worldview that is false to facts about nearly every aspect of human nature and human morality, and instead have a fake, flat, one-dimensional view which contains neither heroism nor personal responsibility.

You cannot have drama in a situation where no one is responsible for his own actions, and no one can change any outcomes.

If society or skin color is to blame for everything, and explains everything, individual action, that thing which makes drama dramatic, means nothing.

A victim who can never win, and merely whining, is not drama. An oppressor with no redeeming characteristics, who can never repent, likewise has no drama. And yet the SJW worldview allows for no other type of people: everyone is either an utterly helpless victim or an utterly irredeemable oppressor.”

 

greatbeerad.jpg

Back when men were men and beers ads sold beer.

 

Fishy business or business of fishy?

http://aquaculturenorthamerica.com/News/biotech-firm-addresses-taurine-deficiency-in-farmed-fish/

Any advance in aquaculture technology has to be a good thing for all of humanity. Taurine? I just hope that they aren’t feeding the fish Red Bull or anything,

 

Swineapple: Because some people take BBQ way too far.

 

Thinking through the possibilities and proving that art can inspire.

http://astroblog.cosmobc.com/2010/10/01/vision-of-a-future-colony-on-the-moon/

 

Tommy guns [11 Mins]

A US army training film on the mechanics of the Thompson submachine gun.

 

I thought so but I had to check.

http://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/what-if/what-if-shot-gun-in-space.htm

 

Indie Author and Pulp Speedster Jon Mollison discusses the rootless nature of modern fiction.

http://jonmollison.com/2017/09/11/modern-sci-fi-a-house-build-on-sand/

He quotes and links this excellent article. Well worth reading in its own right.

http://www.claremont.org/crb/article/the-politics-of-star-trek/

dwarvenale

Bradford C. Walker discusses one of the major differences between Old School RPGs and Modern Tabletop and how the two completely different approaches result in completely different games for two separate audiences. This leads to an insight that seems almost painfully obvious in hindsight but I’ve never seen anyone put into words.

https://bradfordcwalker.blogspot.ca/2017/09/how-to-rpg-on-mech-pilot-audience.html

In short Old School Tabletop are Strategic Games set at the platoon or company level where much of the actual work is done by NPC followers or hirelings.

While Modern Tabletop games are Tactical Games set at the squad or fireteam level where the heroes are directly involved in a much narrower focus campaign, using step by step tactics.

While in theory a very skilled Game Master could switch back and forth as circumstances dictate in reality you are going to have to pick one approach or the other for your gaming group.

 

The Alt-Right DM tells a terrifying tale of cringe and despair.

https://gamingwhileconservative.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/dungeon-level-h8/

I’ve never wanted to kill a character so bad in my life.”

apcevolve

 

Y’all know how much of David Weber fan I am so…

http://www.superversivesf.com/2017/09/19/science-blast-tree-cats-lived/

 

A quick War Is Boring article on Political Officers in the Soviet Navy.

https://warisboring.com/so-you-want-to-be-a-soviet-naval-political-officer/

 

A sixteen minute comic nerd rant that needs more love. A month old but holds up pretty well.

The real anger begins around the ten minute mark.

 

Niche Gamer on a very interesting easter egg.

http://nichegamer.com/2017/09/19/nintendo-put-nes-golf-in-every-switch-console-as-tribute-to-satoru-iwata/

iwatascharm

Damn right in the feelz

mariohug

Until next time.

—Wolfman Out—

 

 

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Nerdlife Nine: Alt-Culture Begins With You.

Fake Worlds Real Politics

A completely unplanned stream of thought rant.

 

Jack Posobiec rants about Star Trek Discovery being Anti-Trump [10 mins]

A little on the cringeworthy side but he’s making a lot of good points here. Forcing real world topical politics into works of fiction completely ruins them.

 

It also causes them to age very rapidly. Think of a space marines novel from 1990 where the main villain is a Saddam Hussein stand in (I know one exists.) That’s bad enough but at least there’s some sort of story there and SPACEMERICA FUCK YES!!! is a tried and tested staple of military science fiction.

The real cringe comes from when a fictional society just so happens to be having the exact same problems as the modern world despite it being the year 4273 and most of the conflict taking place on the ice moon Carride in the New Fresco system. Our stronk female character must spread progressive values to the horribly backwards ice miners who still refuse to believe in more than two genders. This is of course is in addition to fending off an invading army of Orange Hitler Clones…

There really is only so much as this you can take before you simply turn off the television or toss the book in the trash.

Message fiction sucks even when you agree with the message. For example I used to get very angry about the ‘straw liberals’ you constantly see in military science fiction. There is always somebody who wants to negotiate with Face-Eating Giant Space Spiders*…

And then I starting encountering the blue checkmark mafia on Twitter and learnt that yes American Journalists really do think actually like those characters in those novels.

…and I think that’s another rant for another time.

So? How do I go about handling politics in my writing?

Let’s start with the dirty little secret of this horribly wwwwwwacist right wing blog. I’m not actually THAT rightwing. Certainly not compared to the majority of my internet friends who seem to sleep with a MANPAD under their Confederate flag pillow and cosplay as the Shadow solely as an excuse to carry an extra pair of .45s.

The central topic of the Breyland stories is the question “what does it mean to be a nation?” This will not be the theme or main point of every story I write in that universe but it will be a constant presence in the background and intelligent self-aware characters will have to think about it. Breyland is cursed with a very serious fuzzy borders problem as their cultural and economic influence far exceeds their Space Navy’s ability to project power and defend those borders.

All of the questions I’ve had to ask myself while worldbuilding about culture, religion, race, the difference between Nation and Empire… keep leading me towards what is going to be a very right-friendly setting. Which is very interesting as I set a lot of the details down long before I was red-pilled.

Picking up those notes years later and thinking through the consequences of those details and the enormous potential for ethnic and religious conflict littered all over the place has been an awful lot of fun. For example I made the main protagonist culture intolerant of male homosexuality as I wanted to give them a flaw rather than risk letting them become complete Mary Sues. Years later hindsight is making that defining flaw look more and more like a virtue, at least in some circles.

There has been a lot of false starts in the last couple of years as I dig around in this mess for a story to tell but I seem to be making at least some head way. Slow progress is still progress.

So while there is going to be a great deal of politics in the Breylandverse stories I will do my best to make them as non-contemporary as possible and focus on making the issues of direct and logical consequence to the characters who are stuck weathering the storm (or when fortune smiles on them being the storm.)

Yes I will take the occasional shot at the Far Left but this is a setting where Communists get thrown out of helicopters every couple of decades just to keep the universities in line**. The Breyland military also finds itself fighting planetary nationalists just as often as they find themselves chasing down jungle Communists.

And as always I will let the reader judge the characters rather than simply preach down from an ideological pulpit.

Which just so happens to be the exact opposite approach mainstream science fiction like Star Trek Discovery is taking.

*As the Feegs prefer to play with their food they are usually quite happy to “negotiate.” Also leftist human females tend to be fatter than right-leaning human females and thus more delicious.

** A second exception I’m going to allow myself is the Special Intelligence Service who are basically a bunch of Alt-Right Shitlords… and yes some of them are Fake Nazis… others are actual Nazis.. just enough of them to keep things interesting.

***Disclaimer: FEGSS do not actually appear in the Breylandverse. This was completely unplanned rant and I mixed my metaphors. But don’t worry  The Feegs are patient and cunning; they will appear somewhere sometime and when you least expect it.

Fake Worlds Real Politics

Outward Bound

I was going to write something political and self important tonight but hearing the news of the death of Jerry Pournelle completely took the wind out of those sails.

The Pournelle chart, which now that I’m learning about it puts a great deal into perspective.

https://infogalactic.com/info/Pournelle_chart

Definitely explains why Nazis and Communists hated each other so much when on the surface they’re much the same thing.

 

Instead and because there’s nothing worthwhile on TV I’m going to recommend the youtube series

Outward Bound by Issac Arthur

Colonization of Mars [34 mins]

Lots of good options and info her eabout terraforming Mars

and while the Mars episode is good the Venus episode is great

Colonization of Venus [29 mins0

Floating city-states in the Venusian upper atmosphere? That’s a #Pulprev scenario right there.

Outward Bound

Nerdlife Eight: Bonus Rant Included

Nerd Life Eight: Sperg War Now!

Opening thoughts: The possible rise of Overedgy SF

Most if not all social, cultural or political movements tend to take the form of a youthful rebellion to what the previous generation held as their standard; an over-correction to the errors that generation made or a panicked attempt to avoid a repeat of a recent tragedy. French Humanism for example came about as a direct result of the French Wars of Religion and the horror that resulted from christian fighting christian over small matters of heresy.

So what will be the reaction to the curse that is Pink Slime Science Fiction? The obvious answer would be some form of self-consciously anti-SJW science fiction. The Pulp Revolution does contain some elements of this as “Write whatever the fuck you want, hombre. Just don’t make it boring.” is in fact quite opposite an mantra from anything Tor books would choose to associate with. The problem here is that new movements tend to overreact when the pendulum swings. So what I expect to see is something I for the lack of a better term am, dubbing Overedgy SF; where offending and mocking the progressive gatekeepers of the previous era is front and center.

Now we are already seeing quite a bit of this but its mostly limited to what are clearly parody stories but if an Overedgy SF movement actually begins in earnest we can expect to see some fairly serious works purposely offend and directly attack the progressive sacred cows at every beat. Instead of virtue signalling these authors will be vice signalling. Sadly this too will be a form of message fiction and detrimental to storytelling but we should as least see some better dialogue than your typical John Scalzi novel.

Even if authors don’t want to be shitlords there is going to be a temptation to work in offensive or questionable content that the author wasn’t originally going to go anywhere near simply to kick the SJW gatekeepers while they are down. Every action in nerd culture produces an equal and opposite (if slightly more autistic) reaction and the CHORFs have had their cold clammy hands on the vitals of Speculative fiction for far too long for fiction lovers to simply let them walk away unscathed.

So expect we’ll see a five to ten year literary wave of Overedgy SF before it gets boring and played out. While it should an absolute blast to read after the creative drought of the last few decades it is important to note that Overedgy books are not likely to age well.

And what will I do? Not sure? While there is no way I can keep politics out of my writing I decided a long time ago that is would be best to let the reader make the judgement call and not simply preach right and wrong to them… that said I never expected to write a chapter about throwing Communists out of a helicopter and yet here we are.

Interestingly the rest of the book will probably be quite apolitical but this does fit into the bipolar madness that is the Beautiful Terror.

A Proven Solution

 

Anyway on to our main program.

Catintrouble.jpg

New comics news site run by Nate Winchester.

http://www.comicsdispatch.com/2017/08/14/how-did-we-get-here/  

Right now he’s mostly doing daily video links and summaries but that’s a start. He also did a review of Defenders S1 a few days back. Again it’s a start.

 

And here’s an article by the same Nate Winchester making a plea to storytellers to keep politics out of their stories.

http://www.superversivesf.com/2017/08/23/keep-political-messages-out/

 

Full Metal Hope [5mins]

Take two of the best moves of all time and blend together. Simply too awesome for words.

 

And speaking of Star Wars…

http://astroblog.cosmobc.com.convey.pro/l/VXQWr6Z

So it appears that circumbinary planets do exist. Must make for some weird orbital mechanics.

 

Wargaming tactics: Skimishers 101 [8 min]

Decided to throw this one in as I didn’t have anything for the tabletop constituent. Also a good apolitical channel for anyone who’s into Battletech or Warhammer 40K.

planesofthevikings

 

Five reasons why Zeon lost the One Year War. [7 min]

All makes sense. Mind you I’ve only watched the original series once.

 

The final part of The Mixed GM’s six part retrospective on Solomon Kane

https://themixedgm.wordpress.com/2017/08/07/solomon-kane-retrospective-final-post/

 

nepaldog.jpg

 

The most awesome-est thing ever. (Old Jeffro post)

https://jeffro.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/the-skeletons-of-scale-scorch/

A strange treasure unearthed from the deepest darkest monster filled catacombs.

 

Bradford Walker on the fighting-man; the most basic hero archetype there is.

http://www.pulprev.com/2017/08/writing-your-protagonist-fighting-man.html

 

Nordic Folk Music — Heimdall

Perfect for mead and chill.

aisleofdeath

 

Imperia by Antti Martikainen

Okay you had me at EPIC SPACE WAR MUSIC. Add this to your writing playlist. Trust on this one fam.

 

Rawle Nyanzi explains the appeal of ‘action girls’ in fiction.

http://rawlenyanzi.com/fighting-females/

-Men like hot chicks.

-Men like violent entertainment.

-Why not combine the two?

Also there is the videogame aspect in that if a gamer has to stare at a character’s butt for hours at a time it helps if that butt belongs to a hot chick rather than a fat hairy dude in a fedora. (Author inserts are never good.)

 

Jimfear138 preaches the gospel truth about what makes a good Sci-fi movie

http://jimfear138.blogspot.ca/2017/08/the-best-science-fiction-movie-of-all.html

 

Insensitivity readers might just be a growth industry; especially if I’m right about the rise of Overedgy science fiction. You just can’t think of ways to offend everybody without an ever bigger Shitlord watching your back and pointing out missed opportunities to drive the knife in just a little deeper.

http://delarroz.com/?page_id=1387

 

rocketbelt.jpg

 

Jews Vs Nazis beer pong?

jewsvsnazisbeerpong

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/atlanta/students-suspended-expelled-for-playing-jews-vs-nazis-beer-pong-off-campus/597074550

Where can we find the rules for this game? Cuz it sounds awesome; especially the beer part.

Wait? This happened OFF CAMPUS? And how much are your parents paying for this…?

 

https://www.technologyreview.com/the-download/608712/a-thorium-salt-reactor-has-fired-up-for-the-first-time-in-four-decades/

This sounds like very good news. A much more promising future than putting windmills in soyfields to power our iSlavecollars.

You will see mentions of thorium reactors in the Breyland stories as it’s one of the few neearhorizon technologies that I’m actually excited about. Big game changer and a lot closer than practical fusion.

and will that I fear I’ve rambled enough for one night.

Nerdlife Eight: Bonus Rant Included

Dyson Spheres: Quick Thoughts

Mega Structures: Dyson Spheres by Issac Arthur. [40 mins]

Think BIG… then think BIGGER… then repeat the process until you experience a sense of existential horror. Amazing video. In fact the whole channel is pure concentrated awesome so do check it out if you’re any kind of Science Fiction fan.

Which brings us to the next topic. Science fiction writers don\t have to explain the existence of Dyson Spheres they have to explain their absence. Any well developed civilization with space travel is going to start the Dysonization* process, simply as a side effect of building up their infrastructure and basic economics as individual components slowly come together into a more and more complete system. Again to repeat myself science fiction writers need to explain the absence of Dyson Spheres or the natural tendency for such systems to form as the inevitable result of space-based civilizations.

Luckily this is fairly easy to do or at least handwave-able. Three things come to mind that would slow or halt Dysonization.

-The existence of commercially viable FTL travel (which exists in most SciFi settings.)

Why build your existing star when you can easily move large quantities of labor and materials to another star system? Smaller more aggressive companies would naturally look to less developed systems for investment rather than choosing to compete with larger more politically connected firms in the highly developed core worlds.

Once a civilization has practical FTL travel that is going to greatly reduce the population pressure and energy hunger that encourages Dyson Sphere creation.

Interestingly a species that is slow to develop FTL travel and as a result was forced to ‘build tall‘ in their home star system might wind up a major advantage over a race that was quick to develop FTL travel and spread rapidly to the stars ‘build wide’ but without fully exploiting any one system. Even a partially formed 1 or 2% Dyson Sphere is an absolutely frightening thing to try and fight as a ‘conventional space empire.’

-A short culture wide time preference.

Any sort of space construction in going to be at least decades long effort before you begin to see a net profit of your initial investment. This is especially true early in the space colonization process when basic infrastructure has not yet been built and proven practical engineering techniques have yet to be ironed out. Building anything in space is going to take a great deal of time, energy and initial capital. So why bother when there is so much on TV? Popstar #36245 is just so uniquely talented.

-A rigid or inflexible tax structure.

Bit of a ‘muh roads in space’ argument here but I don’t see how you could tax an orbital habitat more than a few percent without ruining the ecological balance too much or pissing off the inhabitants enough to trigger at least a Whiskey Rebellion level event. Collecting space taxes probably isn’t going to be a particularly easy process, either. So large scale space colonization is by its very nature going to decentralize government. This process speeds up even faster once the space colonies become self-sufficient and start trading each other**. So logically a strong centralized government might be very reluctant to support the construction of space colonies if they are the sort of tyranny that cares more about controlling the population than about establishing long term economic growth… and that’s a story idea right there.

Besides once there are thousands and thousands of space colonies established the only reason to group together into nation states is for mutual defence. What those space-citizens feel the need to defend themselves from is just more fuel for the imagination.

 

*Just going to assume that’s already a word and everyone understands what I mean by that.

**or building mobile suits.

Dyson Spheres: Quick Thoughts