The alt-right loves Nietzsche, but Nietzsche would not love them

No expression of far-right idiocy is complete without a macho misreading of Nietzsche. So frequently miscast as the godfather of everything from the Master Race to Mens' Rights, his name alone is something of a shibboleth. Which is sad, because he wouldn't have thought much of them, writes Sean Illing.

“Nietzsche's argument was that you had to move forward, not fall back onto ethnocentrism,” Hugo Drochon, author of Nietzsche’s Great Politics, told me. “So in many ways Spencer is stuck in the 'Shadows of God' — claiming Christianity is over but trying to find something that will replace it so that we can go on living as if it still existed, rather than trying something new.” ...

Nietzsche was a lot of things — iconoclast, recluse, misanthrope — but he wasn’t a racist or a fascist. He would have shunned the white identity politics of the Nazis and the alt-right. That he’s been hijacked by racists and fascists is partly his fault, though. His writings are riddled with contradictions and puzzles. And his fixation on the future of humankind is easily confused with a kind of social Darwinism.

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Map of local embroidery techniques in Pakistan

As posted to twitter by Saima Mir, and likely sourced from Generation; but who's the artist? Read the rest

ABC News in 1979 looks forward to 2017's solar eclipse

"May the shadow of the moon fall on a world at peace."

Frank Reynolds anchored from New York, with live reports from former science correspondence Jules Bergman and reporter Bob Miller. Live images from Portland, Oregon, Washington state's Goldendale Observatory and Helena, Montana.

It might seem strange, and certainly cold comfort to those who suffered and still suffer, but his wish has been mostly granted. The world has a lot to lose.

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Amazon ads for mystery junk defy explanation

William Turton took note of the bizarre ads for inexplicable items — mysterious geometric forms, molded plastic thingies, confusing wooden components — and investigated. Thankfully, his investigation goes no-where, leaving us in the speculative realm of data-driven and maybe AI-curated advertising.

I would have bet the item above was one of those marbled salt slabs you cook food on instead of a baking tray, but it turns out to be a foam mattress topper.

P.S. I'm quite sure that the "bare image" aesthetic is part of the Amazon Interesting Finds thing, a frequently-updated grid of tchotchkes and oddities such as this $4 USB drive in the shape of a chocolate bar and these soup ladles in the shape of the Loch Ness Monster. Read the rest

Why tech predictors are so terrible at the job

Enjoy Michael Mullany's review of the Gartner Hype Cycle, with all the things tech predictors got right and all the things they got wrong: "we're terrible at making predictions."

Lesson 6: Some technologies keep receding into the future

There are some notable technologies that recur on the Hype Cycle and every time they appear they seem equally scifi. Although at some point, I'm sure they will not. The most notable are:

Quantum Computing: as early as 2000, quantum computing was considered more than a decade away (and likely still is).

Brain/Computer Interfaces: (also aliased under Human Augmentation) despite notable progress on neural control of prosthetics, thought controlled computing is still a work in progress with general availability lurking at least a decade away.

When I was covering the tech beat, I'd often get annoyed because we'd use these guys as expert sources, but it was plainly obvious that many of them are just retired journos who had gone into investment consulting, with a little insight into the supply chain and none at all into the science.

Though he's not one of those types, my favorite was Gene Munster, who seemed to spend at least a decade regularly predicting the imminent arrival of an Apple TV set. He appears to have quit this year, which doubtless means they will announce one soon. Read the rest

Watch a Fox News presenter cry because her co-hosts won't agree there are good nazis

As taped by Erick Fernandez: "There is nothing any of us can say right now without being judged."

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Be on the lookout for lizard men, South Carolina

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division warned eclipse watchers to be on the lookout for lizard men during the astronomical event.

"Obviously this was done very tongue-in-cheek," the middle-aged co-anchor solemnly explained to his young female colleague, who was until that point having fun with the segment.

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Anyone who continues to work with Trump is complicit in his support of white supremacists

CNN's Chris Cizilla: Donald Trump's presidency is headed to a very dark place

The President of the United States has spent the last 24 hours creating some sort of moral equivalency between hate-mongers and those there to protest hate. In doing so, he has handed these white supremacists and neo-Nazis exactly what they want: Cover for their hate-filled rhetoric. Make no mistake: For the bigots and supremacists who gathered in Charlottesville, what Trump said on Saturday and again yesterday marks a major win, a success in their efforts to push their venomous views into the mainstream.

But this is not a surprise. He's been like this as long as he's been a public figure: Donald Trump Has Been a Racist All His Life — And He Isn’t Going to Change After Charlottesville

Consider the first time the president’s name appeared on the front page of the New York Times, more than 40 years ago. “Major Landlord Accused of Antiblack Bias in City,” read the headline of the A1 piece on Oct. 16, 1973, which pointed out how Richard Nixon’s Department of Justice had sued the Trump family’s real estate company in federal court over alleged violations of the Fair Housing Act. ...

Over the next four decades, Trump burnished his reputation as a bigot: he was accused of ordering “all the black [employees] off the floor” of his Atlantic City casinos during his visits; claimed “laziness is a trait in blacks” and “not anything they can control”; requested Jews “in yarmulkes” replace his black accountants; told Bryan Gumbel that “a well-educated black has a tremendous advantage over a well-educated white in terms of the job market”; demanded the death penalty for a group of black and Latino teenagers accused of raping a jogger in Central Park (and, despite their later exoneration with the use of DNA evidence, has continued to insist they are guilty); suggested a Native American tribe “don’t look like Indians to me”; mocked Chinese and Japanese trade negotiators by doing an impression of them in broken English; described undocumented Mexican immigrants as “rapists”; compared Syrian refugees to “snakes”; defended two supporters who assaulted a homeless Latino man as “very passionate” people “who love this country”; pledged to ban a quarter of humanity from entering the United States; proposed a database to track American Muslims that he himself refused to distinguish from the Nazi registration of German Jews; implied Jewish donors “want to control” politicians and are all sly negotiators; heaped praise on the “amazing reputation” of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who has blamed America’s problems on a “Jewish mafia”; referred to a black supporter at a campaign rally as “my African-American”; suggested the grieving Muslim mother of a slain U.S.

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Run a pixel art sword shop

Ben Stewart's Sword Shop is a minimalist buy-and-sell game. Every day, people come into your sword shop wanting to sell your their old gear. And, hopefully, more will come it to buy it.

Everyday you will be offered swords at different conditions and rarities, your goal is to make a profit. This is accomplished by buying swords for low prices and selling them at higher ones. Every sword you buy has a certain chance to sell at night, and if it does, you will see if you have made a profit.

You can plow profits into upgrading the store, or buying fancier swords. It's like running a pawn store, but with gorgeous pixel art stabbers.

It's fun figuring out the basic value ranges for each kind of sword and the materials, and I love its aesthetic and how it puts the exclusive focus on one tiny yet key mechanism of computer role-playing games (cf. my own Character creation is the whole game). However, the mechanism selected is the loot grind.

You quickly realize that you're on that particular treadmill and that the treadmill is randomness within a range: if there is any narrative support for the grind, or interesting "handmade" loot to cherish, I didn't get there before hopping off. Go play it and tell me if I missed something cool. Read the rest

A brief history of hand drills

Hand powered drilling tools and machines is a fascinating jaunt through the history of drills, from the dawn of man until the age of electricity. Oddly, it omits Push Drills, which are by far the best type of hand drill for small (less than 1/4") projects in wood and other soft material. Check it out:

If you're just here looking to build houses off the grid or in the zombie apocalypse or after a Trump tweet triggers global nuclear catastrophe, get a decent metal geared drill; the cheap ones are glorified egg whisks. Read the rest

Amazing floating cube illusion

Jonathan Harris shows you how to draw (and cut) your way to this floating cube illusion. His YouTube channel has many more drawing illusions like it.

Previously in floating cube illusions: cool floating cube illusion. Read the rest

Cease and Desist pin

Kingdrippa makes and sells these fabulously trenchant mouse pins. It's $11. In fact, there's so many cool things in this store I might have to blog the lot.

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Trump denounces racism

It's fun seeing him forced to denounce his base after taking so long to get to it that no-one (least of all them) will be fooled. He didn't enjoy it one bit, slinking off immediately without taking questions.

Correction:In an earlier headline, the phrase "and other groups" was attributed to Trump; he actually said "and other hate groups." Read the rest

Merck CEO resigns from presidential council over Trump's refusal to condemn white supremacists

Ken Frazier, CEO of pharma giant Merck, figured out that Trump is bad for business.

Trump immediately took to Twitter to insult him and accuse him of ripping American patients off.

The full text of Frazier's statement:

I am resigning from the President's American Manufacturing Council.

Our country's strength stems from its diversity and the contributions made by men and women of different faiths, races, sexual orientations and political beliefs.

American's leaders must honor our fundamental value by clearly rejecting expression of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal.

As CEO of Merck and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.

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GoDaddy kicks white supremacist site in the URLs

After white supremacist site The Daily Stormer published a nasty article about the woman killed by a Nazi in Charlottesville, domain registrar GoDaddy finally decided to boot them from its service. Read the rest

Conservative artist says Facebook took down his page to punish him for mocking Zuckerberg, but maybe it was that thing about black apes

The Hollywood Reporter's Paul Bond reports that a controversial street artist's Facebook page was taken down as "Hate Speech" after posting rude pictures mocking Mark Zuckerberg's apparent presidential ambitions.

The work of a conservative street artist known for skewering the liberal politics of celebrities and corporations has been deemed "hate speech" by Facebook, which shut his page down on Sunday.

The notice comes just days after the artist known as Sabo attacked Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg with posters disparaging his alleged presidential aspirations. "F*ck Zuck 2020" read the posters, the symbol after the "F" being a middle finger. They were hung in the dead of night last week in various California cities.

However, there were also 'faux ads, made to look like a genuine movie poster for War for the Planet of the Apes, feature the image of a well-armed ape on horseback with the text: "BLM: Kill Whitey."'

Sabo's page is full of garbage, from amusing photoshops of politicans to edgy N-word race war chum and inexplicable Ted Cruz fan posters. Facebook's refusal to explain its actions allows him to highlight the most broadly popular (no-one other than Mark Zuckerberg wants Mark Zuckerberg to be president) as the only hate it actually cares about. And you know what? Sabo's probably right, which is a great reminder of why you don't want Mark Zuckerberg to be president. Read the rest

Film of U.S. Army destroying Nuremberg swastika violates YouTube's policy on hate speech

It was there yesterday, but it isn't there today — the best YouTube cut of the U.S. Army demolishing symbols of Nazi oppression went viral following the Charlottesville white supremacist rally, then went into the memory hole. Perhaps some algorithmic process took it down, triggered by complaints. Fortunately, there are other copies on the service, though the quality is poor:

Hopefully this will be rectified. If you can fire a sexist human, Google, you can fix a Nazi algorithm. Read the rest

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