Awesome. That's what I'm talking about.
Whiteness is a racial construct invented by post-modernists who think that identity is more powerful than action because identity directs action. In other words, in their world view they see people as doing something in fulfillment of who they think they are. "I am white therefore I must.."
I'm not post-modern so I think *do* is more important than *be*. I say that you become something because of what you do consistently. "I race cars therefore I am..."
The purpose of the invention of whiteness is to attempt to intervene in identity construction in such a way that one is less likely to do certain offensive or oppressive actions. Post-modernists would have you believe that one's racial identity is highly deterministic. Therefore, even when nothing offensive or criminal actually happens, they interpret the very existence of 'whiteness' in the identity of millions of people as a racist catastrophe just waiting to happen. So they calculate the weight of 'white' hopes and dreams and predict some zero sum consequences for 'non-whites'. The aim, therefore, of 'Whiteness Studies' is to ultimately destroy the 'white race' by deconstructing and ultimately destroying white identity.
Essentially, the pioneers in Whiteness Studies are Peggy McIntosh and Tim Wise. Wise has been flogging his theory for over a decade, and in the end, he like all race experts tend to see incredible subtlety in racial construction that requires extensive study. In other words, they are just making complicated racial theories in order to direct the destruction of a race, in this case the 'white' race. There are numerous flaws with this theory.
A: Because 'diversity' is newspeak for Affirmative Action.
The history is simple. In the 1960s there were several social movements. Two key ones were Civil Rights and Black Power. The Black Power Movement was comprised of separatists who basically wanted more than the Civil Rights delivered. They were strident in their demands. An equal vote was not sufficient for Black Power. Dispensing with matters of causality in ways now familiar to us all, a failure in parity meant a racist agenda. Charges that wouldn't stand up in court were thus laid in the court of public opinion. In the beginning there was greatness and talent. Over time, every dude with a grievance was given a mic. Nevertheless the stark racial lines of the 60s were sufficiently incriminating so that more than mere tokenism was required. Thus the terms and conditions for Affirmative Action were broadly accepted and implemented via an executive order from the hands of Richard Nixon, whose previous policy was called 'benign neglect'.
The broad outline which characterized the 1970s was that separatism was over and integration was the new regime. Black Power melted away in substance if not in rhetoric and American institutions did their damnedest, some harder than others, to get blacks employees in and up the ranks. Crossover culture was born, blacks got into Ivy Leagues in record numbers, Richard Pryor became a superstar talking about black & white, and by 1980 we had Lando Calrissian and Lionel Ritchie. Integration and Affirmative Action were the 70s peaceful response to the riotous 60s rebellion. Of course there were overproductions and errors. But when *I* grew up, the accepted standard was that assigned in the landmark case Bakke vs UC Regents, that said race can be taken into consideration as a factor in admissions. Most specifically Bakke was interpreted as race is something, but it is not everything, and you cannot use racial quotas (which essentially makes race everything).
The political consensus emerged that so long as you don't use quotas, everybody might not be perfectly pleased with racial integration but society is so much better off that the benefits outweigh the costs. As well, people understood generally in the Bakke era, that Affirmative Action wouldn't last forever. Mathematically and socially society would run out of the cream of the crop to be integrated and like with Civil Rights and Black Power, things would go from excellent to mediocre to incompetent to worse. So long as race was not the single consideration, everything was cool.
I am one of those players who gets it. I have wanted what Destiny primarily is for years and years. A co-op multiplayer FPS with the highest quality graphics and mechanics where I and my friends get to be the hero. Almost every day for a year I have been telling my wife that I'm done with work, now I'm going to go shoot some bad guys. Destiny is deeply satisfying in that way. I used to play Halo & Assassin's Creed. I still play Splinter Cell and I'm looking forward to The Division. But in terms of weapons and capabilities, no avatar in existence compares to my guardians. And now with a third subclass, it gets even better. Everything else feels slow, constricted, flat and retro. I wanted you to know that I put in 1700 hours last year because nothing else compares. Destiny gets 90% of my gaming attention. I've reduced my Gamefly from three to one rental.
I also want you to know that I have quit this forum early on. I understand and respect your patience with your customers. You have to deal with it. I don't. As a software developer, I sympathize with you and I have enormous respect for your ability to execute on the core and deliver all kinds of features and fluff as well. But listening to the whinging about fluff is more than I can stand. Today I see thousands of posts about exploits. If Bungie were a business plan, this room would be full of the managers chirping with glee about how to cheat the customer out of unlimited money. I made an ass of myself here over a year ago explaining how ridiculous it would be for Destiny to have Forge or Split Screen. The hating never stopped. Thanks for backing me up on that (heh). But hey, I game with my friends, and I smack the rest down in the Crucible, even when they use the Last Word I get mine in. (A new weapon should be called Edgewise) So in that way I am happy to have millions of gamers to play with even if I couldn't stand them in person. You're keeping the critical mass high and Destiny has never gone dark (although it has gone beaver and marionberry). Keep it up.
The pivot of The Taken King is testament to how well you are running the company in terms of pure, balls out execution. Nobody can really know all of the decisions you all must take, but I know the tradeoffs must be mind-melting. But you stuck the landing here fellows. No matter what the press says (Forbes, really?) and how often they keep the whining alive, you have stuck to the core and delivered. I am exceedingly pleased with the new Crucible maps I'm getting, the new character dynamics within the Vanguard, the cutscenes and even the music, as monothematic as it is this go round. Special kudos for the questification.
I wanted to make a special note as an FPS guy who also has played a lot of RPG but not MMO. Your decision not to clutter up my screen with text and use voiceover that doesn't interrupt my avatar movement is a strength I really appreciate. I didn't know how much until I took a break and played Elder Scrolls Online this summer. I'm even wondering if I will be able to appreciate Fallout 4. I like being boss man in the Destiny world, and not stopping to talk to NPCs who want me to find their lost uncle. Although it would be super cool if within a raid, the game picked the weakest player and made the other five do an escort mission. Just saying. It's what made the randomization change to Atheon superb. My point is that the risk taken to recast the ghost, I'm sure you've heard before, was gutsy and as I read the availability story, necessary. Good for the scanning adds too in TTK. I really, really like the interactive voice work of the Vanguard during my story missions. And by the way, I don't think people who get into the North vs Dinklage debate appreciate how little that matters to the rest of the world you serve in languages other than English. So long as it's not text. I recall back during the beta, how annoyed I was getting stomped on that moon map and Lord Shaxx yelling at me. You won me over. I love more Shaxx in TTK. Thanks for that.
I have nothing much to say in the gun balance meta wars. But something occurred to me yesterday as I was contemplating your need to keep level 1 enemies in the Cosmodrome where there will be level 40 guardians (and beyond in the future). There must be some interesting curves in the game somewhere as you escalate the guardian powers or provide the illusion of ever increasing power for weapons and armor. At the release of TTK, 170 was the new 365, but surely these must be relative scales and not absolute ones. Anyway, you know what I'm talking about, having changed the sponginess of Valus Ta'aurc. That, to me, is a much more interesting problem for the entire game rather than which particular gun does what. As far as I can see, you've finessed it. But I'm wondering exactly how.
I am impressed with how you have tweaked your economies and currencies several times and various ways. I would really be fascinated to see some of the metrics on that stuff and understand the theory of that particular kind of economy in which players cannot exchange or set their own prices. It works, and please don't change it. But the theory must be fascinating.
All this is to say that there are some of us out here who appreciate the hard thinking that must of necessity go into the design and maintenance of this extraordinarily complex creation that you have made. I happen to think that for some fraction of the post-industrial world will depend upon what you have learned in making Destiny work. You might be as theoretically advanced as the architects of the Matrix, but I'm sure you don't let that overwhelm your egos, because you clearly do not toy with or abuse us. I intuit your purposes and principles and I am, as I said, deeply satisfied by the core and impressed with your delivery and execution. You have my investment of time and my admiration. Starside is a pretty good place becauas ultimately, my guardians are badass.
In the news is that the 'brownshirt' Oath Keepers have come to the physical defense of gay marriage scofflaw Kim Davis. I thin this was inevitable, and there's more to come. My friend Miniver is wary of men with guns defending Davis saying:
I am wary of people who want to pick up guns to subvert the workings of liberal democratic institutions
To which I replied:
I am wary of people who feel entitled to legislate morality, which I see as overburdening and over extending the legitimate aegis of democratic institutions. This case perhaps exemplifies the consequences of zero-tolerance. Suddenly people want the entire apparatus of police state powers to crush the lawbreaker. It's religious fervor. So there are consequences.
From the beginning of my following of the gay marriage issue, I have said that this has been overplayed with regard to both sides using government to state their absolutist positions. I have always said that the appropriate course was through the court system, in which advocates for gay marriage were winning every case. I have also always throught that this was a public and social accomodation that required social evolution that could not be enforced by law. When it escalated to state constitutional amendments and at large referenda I saw it get out of hand. I never expected a fundamental change in the definition of marriage to have no coercive impact on canon law. And I don't expect the Kim Davis thing to be the last conflict. I expect it will get worse before it gets better. I am pleased that the escalation in this dimension makes clear the weight and complications of such 'social justice' matters, but I say so with the proviso that the record of these 'brownshirts' in Ferguson is good.
My current bias is that I am convinced that we in America have over politicized every aspect of our public life and that we seek government solutions to matters that should be solved socially. We are losing our ability to be social (as anyone can see that most social media is not so very civilized - aka 'dont read the comments') and yet we are escalating our ability to put people into positions of great political power (or ruin people in such positions) strictly based upon these social criteria.
I hope I understand, and I do respect your position with regard to your affinity for and association with many things 'alternative'. There is nothing so moribund and soul killing as a society of conformists and the energy provided by the destruction of social convention is the spark humanity needs on a constant basis. We all need to be able to clearly peer into the arcane corners of human life without fear or favor. I find you consistently clear-eyed as I try to be as well.
I cannot reconcile social justice political activism with the idea of organic community. As you say, social justice attempt to address the systemic. So it refuses to be local, rather it seeks to be viral. But such action is at odds with diversity itself and cannot be sustained in all real communities at once. California is not Kentucky. What happens in Kentucky is organic to Kentucky, and moreso in Rowan County, currently in flames. What I see here is an attempt to use Leviathan force to make over the law in this county of 23,000 people.
Rowan County will never ever be the Castro. It can't be and it shouldn't be. To force it to be subverts the workings of liberal democratic institutions. So as long as people are using network tools to assemble political will against small hierarchical municipalities, it will be bullying. So it won't surprise me that such situations will result in violence. (insert Machiavellian quote here).
So that's what I said on Facebook.
Social justice political activism is the hipster gentrification of small town politics.
It is entirely fair to say that the Oath Keepers have no more business in Rowan County than they did in Ferguson. Their headman, Stewart Rhodes, is brandishing big sticks but not speaking as softly as he should. There is an area of weirdness in the 'earned valor' arena that is often difficult to differentiate from legitimate concern. My purpose here, however is not to endorse or support the Oath Keepers but to remind people that the bottom line is always force. The actual less force OK uses, the better. They could be the Guardian Angels of these days and they will face the same problem as all such groups, which is a failure to administratively discipline their membership in any way that gives substance to their principles, no matter how right minded. The sworn officers will always win, and those who jump the gun with guns always lose, as it should be.
Hipsters and gentrifiers pretend they have no power. It's a lie.
Actually what's going on here is that a particular political group, let's call them 'white baby boomer liberals who believed their parents were evil' but I'm just being stereotypical. They could be anyone who considers themselves part of 'social justice activism' These people, over time, have created and sustained several social and political movements that make them look like moral superheroes. Let's call them the Posers.
These people have taken credit for what other Americans have done on their own, which is find their way in American society and made that society a little bit better, inch by inch, family by family. So the Posers will give a list of social successes and say that they came from political activism. Even though everybody with half a brain knows that you cannot legislate morality, and that people's hearts and minds are not changed by the enforcement of laws, consent degrees, and lawsuits, the Posers will say that this is what democracy is all about.
So they will take every opportunity to co-opt the everyday struggles of real people and them box them up into a narrative of ethnic, sexual orientation, or religious liberation that only their political agenda serves. In other words they attempt to convert every social success in America into a validation of their political activism. They call this Progress, and they pretend like they're the only people on planet Earth who really get it.
They've been pretty good at convincing people who don't know any better that they are serving America and that they represent the best that America can be; that if you're not part of their solution, you are stupid and hateful. They seek to embrace you into their collective because they say it is beyond the capacity of ordinary individual humans to make a difference. Except they will always say that *you* can make a difference *only* if you join them. They have no respect for your individual accomplishments if it doesn't reinforce their politics.
When you hear anyone defy their narrative, they are charged with some 'ism'. They will immediately mock such a person as stupid and/or hateful. If you are fortunate enough to be outspoken and recognizable, the 'ism' will be attached to your last name.
Anyway. The Posers are scouring the country for people who *appear* desperate enough to call out for Progress. The Posers will identify them as 'forgotten' or 'oppressed' or 'victims' and will craft up a political agenda that seeks to establish them as union bosses for collective bargaining on behalf of said apparently desperate people. They call this process 'social activism' (but it really wants laws changed, so it's political activism), and they call the end goal 'social justice' (but it really wants government prosecutorial power).
The easiest way to upset and defeat these Posers is to recognize your own moral agency in society. That *you* really don't need third parties negotiating the way you think about, behave around and talk to other Americans or any people around the world. That people are their own moral agents and work their own way through society. Not through Congress. They will start talking about history and how they saved the poor ________ (insert apparently desperate person here).
Now you know. The Posers are not America. You are.
Here's a funny story, of course depending upon whether or not you have an actual sense of humor. I go to the Comedy and Magic Club last night, and we're in the overflow room with the 10 comics for $10 deal. The guy who looks and talks like Ed O'Neill is cracking jokes about these two young white dudes in the audience. He asks people to speak up who are college students and they walked right into it. One of them is Econ at Brown, the other Geology at Carleton. So he goes on to make a hilarious set of jokes against preppies, we're cracking up in the back because our niece is pre-med at Carleton, which is being mocked as the whitest college in America and all that rot. So we're getting the extra laugh out of that.
It's really practical to sit the whole thing out and laugh at the contradictions, while at the same time recognizing how much of what is considered comedy and politics is just riffing off of the ethnic stereotypes of the common American. I'm not checking my privilege, I'm just learning a lot about how old money and success requires defense. The mob really does want to eat the rich. These folks really do want to tell me that I'm a unicorn. What's interesting is that these stereotypes dealing with contradictions have been mutated in a new way so that the white comics have to say how bad it is to be black and how they must not insult in certain ways. IE some things are unspeakable no matter what your intention.
What strikes me as most corrosive about this new fact is that people who are ready to cross these ridiculous borders tend of necessity to consider themselves 'alternative' or 'rebellious' or 'anti-social', and this creates the illusion that guys like me are actually *incapable* of not being damaged by insulting speech. In other words, that my psychology (and 'minority' self-esteem in general) is in fact defective in the way ordinary vilified white males are not. They can take it. I cannot. They *must* take it, I *must* not. And BTW if you're a white male who finds any of this illogical, or worse, actually insulting, you need to STFU.
What is further interesting is that it is quite possible, if not probable, that I belong to some fragmental minority of Americans who actually reasoned my way towards cultural integration of the sort that's taking a beating right now. Ethnic and cultural integration is normal from my POV and people who can't do it are ignorant. But from the new POV ethnic and cultural integration is super difficult and anybody who does it is extraordinary because the rest of us are just racist assholes who need constant supervision. Which means racism is the new normal, exactly like the old normal.
So people who don't really understand the difference between oppression and a lack of privilege feel the need for a great social reckoning. I'm not exactly sure how far I should address this sort of madness. I judge by the degree of seriousness my own children on the subjects, qualified by the proviso that they were raised primarily in the upper middle class and never required the threat of violence to get motivated. So like most such youth, they have been spared the heat and hardships which sometimes tempers their character's steel.
I'm not worried, but I am learning.
Today I came across somebody who called himself a Clayite Whig. Hmmm.
Henry Clay, Sr. (April 12, 1777 – June 29, 1852) was an American lawyer, politician, and skilled orator who represented Kentucky in both the United States Senate and House of Representatives. He served three non-consecutive terms as Speaker of the House of Representatives and was also Secretary of State from 1825 to 1829. He lost his campaigns for president in 1824, 1832 and 1844.
Clay was a very dominant figure in both the First and Second Party systems. As a leading war hawk in 1812, he favored war with Britain and played a significant role in leading the nation to war in the War of 1812.In 1824 he ran for president and lost, but maneuvered House voting in favor of John Quincy Adams, who made him secretary of state as the Jacksonians denounced what they considered a "corrupt bargain." He ran and lost again in 1832 and 1844 as the candidate of the Whig Party, which he founded and usually dominated. Clay was the foremost proponent of the American System, fighting for an increase in tariffs to foster industry in the United States, the use of federal funding to build and maintain infrastructure, and a strong national bank. He opposed the annexation of Texas, fearing it would inject the slavery issue into politics. Clay also opposed the Mexican-American War and the "Manifest Destiny" policy of Democrats, which cost him votes in the close Election of 1844. Dubbed the "Great Pacificator," Clay brokered important compromises during the Nullification Crisis and on the slavery issue. As part of the "Great Triumvirate" or "Immortal Trio," along with his colleagues Daniel Webster and John C. Calhoun, he was instrumental in formulating theMissouri Compromise of 1820 and the Compromise of 1850. He was viewed as the primary representative of Western interests in this group, and was given the names "Henry of the West" and "The Western Star."Being a plantation owner, Clay held slaves during his lifetime, but freed them in his will.
Abraham Lincoln, the Whig leader in Illinois, was a great admirer of Clay, saying he was "my ideal of a great man." Lincoln wholeheartedly supported Clay's economic programs. In 1957, a Senate Committee selected Clay as one of the five greatest U.S. Senators, along with Daniel Webster, John C. Calhoun, Robert La Follette, and Robert A. Taft.
Terrible experience and I'm never coming back.
My son had a link break in his chain so we made out way over to Carver's Bicycle. It almost felt like it was an inconvenience that we were there. We were sold the chain link but when my son asked to borrow the necessary tool to fix his bike, we were told that the tool was 'fragile' and that we couldn't borrow it.
Our only option was to buy a new tool ($20) or buy a new chain ($54). We bought the new tool. After we purchased everything my son asked if he could put his bike up on the stand so it would be easier to fix...again, almost an inconvenience.
The gentleman who helped us basically said he was really busy and if we wanted better service to go to Superba. I will never go back to Carver's.
Here's the conversation as it plays out in my mind:
Carver: So that's six bucks for the new link.
Jackson: OK, can I borrow your tool to put it together?
C: No, I don't lend out my tools, but I'll sell you one.
J: It will only take a minute. Why can't I borrow your tool?
C: I simply can't afford to lend it out. I have bad experiences with that. It's a fragile tool.
J: Fine. I'll buy a new one.
C: Don't be mad about it, I have a lot of bills to pay. I can't afford people who don't know about bikes...
J: Look I bought it, OK. Now let me use your bike stand. That would make it convenient for me to fix the bike with my shiny new tool.
C: Hey I really don't have time, sir. If you want you can go to the other guy up the street. He sells the $3000 bikes and can afford to cater to your every whim. I'm trying to run a selling business here, not a garage rental.
J: You know, for a family run business you sure are an asshole.
C: You can always buy your own goddamned bike stand. I don't exist for your convenience.
J: This is preposterous service. I'm never coming back here again. Plus I'm going to tell the world that you suck. I'm going to the other place from now on.
C: Yeah well if you weren't so needy, you'd be satisfied with my prices and service.
J: I don't see how anybody could be satisfied with your attitude.
C: Fine. Go make that other asshole richer. I don't want your business anyway.
The bad review goes viral. People with no clue avoid Carver's, and go to Superba's instead. The rich get richer, and the clueless get snooty. Because customer service. And oh by the way, Superba now hires cute shiny people at minimum wage to be customer service representatives. Their job is to know jackshit about the technology and the knowhow, but be excellent at kissing the asses of paying customers who now get one degree further separation from the experts. It's not about fixing bikes anymore. It's about human relations. And in human relations among the clueless, he who has time to blow pleasant smoke wins the clueless newbs every time.
OK I'm going to say it right now. My candidate is Carly Fiorina. And the primary reason why is that letter written by (that) Tom Perkins. It would be stupendous for us to have a president who understands the post-industrial economy into which the next generation is plugged, and an added benefit to have one who is no stranger to the struggles between the classes of the rich and the wealthy. I have not heard her mis-speak, and this is not the first time I felt some tug of attraction to her candidacy, namely her contest against Barbara Boxer.
Fiorina is practical. Fiorina knows business. I get the feeling that she's got a hardball kind of integrity as well, and she is *not* a sentimental candidate. Ben Carson is all sentiment and I like his guts. Put him on the ticket. That combination sends some heads exploding. It's about time somebody recognizes.
BTW, I liked Fred Thompson, so what do I know?
Understand that I am not particularly interested in the Presidential election as much of anything but a bellwether for the conventional wisdom in which the average American swims. I don't perceive today's democratic political mandates as something to be proud of. It's rather like football - the game men play between wars - analogously captivating but never enough to be confused with the real thing. Our elections seem to be about a rich couple arguing about the best uses of discretionary spending. The fundamentals are assumed to be sound so they are petty. There will always be a bankruptcy judge for American failure, so I don't particularly concern myself.