Silicon Valley

…is headed for disaster:

America will always plant crops and need chemicals to service those crops. And it will always need payment, delivery and data services. But will it always need Facebook and Twitter? Cisco runs a large proportion of the Internet; Facebook hosts your grandma’s pictures. You do the math.

There won’t be any suicides in Silicon Valley – the most dangerous thing to happen in northern California occurred last month when an angel investor’s Birkenstocks got caught in the BART elevator – but the whole edifice on which the delicate San Francisco ecosystem is based is about to come crashing down all over again.

If so, I won’t shed a tear, after all the damage those people have done to the state of California and the country.

The Hugos

Burning down the field in order to “save” it:

…while I am not upset at the results (except insofar as it proves a large number of my field is running the Marxist malware to such an extent that it will vote a slate to avoid an imaginary slate) I am upset at the display of infantility or senility or perhaps roboticity in my field yesterday (Though who would program robots that way?) No one watching that live stream — and there was a lot of it captured and it will be replayed — can imagine that those who proclaim themselves the “intellectuals” of our field have an IQ above room temperature. And certainly no one can imagine they have an emotional maturity above that of a toddler displaying to one and all the magnificence of the turd just deposited in the middle of the floor.

Related: And you cheered:

We saw those no-awards coming from a mile away. By voting no-award, you proved the Sad Puppies’s point. And most of you are too damn stupid to know it.
You’d rather no one win, than see someone you don’t agree with walk across that stage.

We only wanted a fair ballot; real diversity among the Hugos, books by authors who don’t all think the same way. Books that tell stories rather than try to force-feed us messages. But you couldn’t have that.

It was you, not us, who brought the Hugo Awards down last night.

And you cheered while you did it.

A lot of this is why I haven’t read much science fiction in the past couple decades.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Uh oh. Hitler found out what happened [language warning, but only in subtitles]

[Update a while later]

Larry Correia’s thoughts:

See? I told you so.

People have asked me if I’m disappointed in the results. Yes. But maybe not in the way you might expect. I’ll talk about the slap in the face to specific nominees in a minute, but I can’t say I’m surprised by what happened, when it was just an extreme example of what I predicted would happen three years ago when I started all this.

I said the Hugos no longer represented all of Fandom, instead they only represents tiny, insular, politically motivated cliques taking turns giving their friends awards. If you wanted to be considered, you needed to belong to, or suck up to those voting cliques. I was called a liar.

I said that most of the voters cared far more about the author’s identity and politics than they did the quality of the work, and in fact, the quality of the work would be completely ignored if the creator had the wrong politics. I was called a liar.

I said that if somebody with the wrong politics got a nomination, they would be actively campaigned against, slandered, and attacked, not for the quality of their work, but because of politics. I was called a liar.

That’s how the Sad Puppies campaign started. You can see the results. They freaked out and did what I said they would do. This year others took over, in the hopes of getting worthy, quality works nominated who would normally be ignored. It got worse. They freaked out so much that even I was surprised.

Each year it got a little bigger, and the resulting backlash got a little louder and nastier, culminating in this year’s continual international media slander campaign. Most of the media latched onto a narrative about the campaign being sexist white males trying to keep women and minorities out of publishing. That narrative is so ridiculous that a few minutes of cursory research shows that if that was our secret goal, then we must be really bad at it, considering not just who we nominated, but who our organizers and supporters are, but hey… Like I said, it is all about politics, and if it isn’t, they’re going to make it that way. You repeat a lie often enough, and people will believe it.

It isn’t about truth. It is about turf.

[Evening update]

Why the “war on nereds” is a war on art.

A Consensus Of Experts

The very notion is misguided:

While the author comes across as supporting the consensus, the paper presents some insightful perspective on the ‘consensus enforcement’ by the establishment and why a substantial portion of the public is not buying the expert consensus on climate change. It boils down to a lack of trust, and concerns about deceit, conspiracy and groupthink.

Where do these concerns come from? Climategate and explicit advocacy by scientists are two obvious sources. Disagreement portrayed in the media and distrust of the government’s politicization of the issue are others.

Yes, the lack of trust and concerns are well justified.

Civil Rights Progress

In Detroit (as contrasted with murderous Chicago), the citizenry is legally arming itself, with the blessing of the chief of police.

It’s nice to see my home state at the forefront of the restoration of our rights. It will be very interesting to compare crime and murder rates to “gun-controlled” (where almost all the guns are in fact completely out of control) cities.

California’s Poverty Problem

It continues to get worse, and as Victor Davis Hanson noted, it’s a tale of (at least) two states:

For decades, California’s housing costs have been racing ahead of incomes, as counties and local governments have imposed restrictive land-use regulations that drove up the price of land and dwellings. This has been documented by both Dartmouth economist William A Fischel and the state Legislative Analyst’s Office.

Middle income households have been forced to accept lower standards of living while less fortunate have been driven into poverty by the high cost of housing. Housing costs have risen in some markets compared to others that the federal government now publishes alternative poverty estimates (the Supplemental Poverty Measure), because the official poverty measure used for decades does not capture the resulting differentials. The latest figures, for 2013, show California’s housing cost adjusted poverty rate to be 23.4 percent, nearly half again as high as the national average of 15.9 percent.

Back in the years when the nation had a “California Dream,” it would have been inconceivable for things to have gotten so bad — particularly amidst what is widely hailed as a spectacular recovery. The 2013 data shows California to have the worst housing cost adjusted poverty rate among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. But it gets worse. California’s poverty rate is now more than 50 percent higher than Mississippi, which long has set the standard for extreme poverty in the United States (Figure 1).

Those kinds of regulations are a luxury good, that the elites who impose them can afford. The poor get subsidized or, in much of the state, the regulations aren’t enforced on them, particularly if they’re undocumented. But the middle class gets hammered.

But as Glenn notes re the reference to Missiippi: “that was before Mississippi was taken over by Republicans, and California was taken over by Democrats.”

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