Saturday, October 11, 2014

More Tribalism

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Jim Jesus wouldn't be Jim Jesus if he didn't talk about tribalism and Jim Jesus hasn't talked much about it directly as of late.

One of the things tribalist antistatists do is automatically assume that I am not an antistatist because I critique fellow antistatists. If you talk negatively of antistatists you can't possibly be one because you're not supporting every assclown that preaches it. There's lots of antistatists talking the good talk and walking the good walk for it and the related issues I don't feel like I should devote much time doing it. I do it, but I have a bigger objective.

When I look at the other ideologies and see them defending atrocities and atrocious people because they're on the same team, it makes my stomach turn. It turns people on the outside off to whatever message you're bringing. When a communist defends North Korea or Stalin, no good comes of it. When a Democrat defends a war in Syria, no good comes of it. When a libertarian defends a destructive cult or tax loophole scams, no good comes of it.

There's a division of labor not just in the market for labor, but for the market of ideas and I see a huge hole in that market for internal criticism. I'm here to specialize in that. My goal is to encourage my fellow antistatists to stop the nonsense that only harms their own cause.  There's really great antistatists whom I think do a fantastic job and there's some I think do a terrible job. If no one is going to tell them they're doing it wrong, they'll just keep doing it wrong.

Just because I agree with you ideologically doesn't mean I'm going to defend you when you do something wrong.

So who are these wonderful antistatists that never fuck up? There are none. We're all humans and even I say things I look back on with disgust. My only wish was someone there to jab me when I do. However there are some I think do a great job.

FreedomFeens
The Bad Quaker
lengthyounarther
Josh Cardosi
IvanTheHeathen
PraxGirl
LearnLiberty
Scotty M (He does do stuff with RockingMrE, but what else I've seen is great)
BadMouseProductions
Shane Killian


If you know of more I'd love to update the list but these are just a few I can think of from the top of my head.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Deleted BuzzFeed Article Titled: "The Bizarre Online Cult Of Stefan Molyneux"

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19/08/2014 – UPDATE: Molyneux, a man who claims he does not believe in intellectual property, had two videos linked in this piece removed, claiming copyright infringement. Luckily, I anticipated it, and wrote down what he said! Both removed videos have now been replaced with quotes of what he said. Enjoy!
- PD
Like all cult personalities, Stefan Molyneux cuts a superficially charismatic figure. Tall, bald and smiley-faced, the increasingly popular 47 year old Canadian runs FreeDomain Radio, the world’s most popular philosophy podcast. He’s interviewed people like Noam Chomsky; he gives public talks about economics, and he’s even been fortunate enough to have Joe Rogan helplessly nod in agreement with him for 3 hours during a nauseatingly fawning encounter. A self proclaimed libertarian anarchist, those who stumble across Molynuex will more than likely be greeted by videos in which he argues (poorly) for free-market solutions to the worlds woes: that everything, including law, justice and security, can be provided by an unregulated market system.

Fine. It’s just his point of view, and, agree or disagree with him, Molyneux’s online bloviating about a political system that’s never going to become a reality is at first seemingly innocuous. His followers are free to click, watch, agree, and tip their fedora in solidarity.

Behind this Youtube philosopher, however, is a growing cult of personality in which devout followers adhere to alarmingly absolutist (and widely discredited) teachings.
If, for some reason, Molyneux’s videos have spoken to you in a profound sense, and if you’re willing to donate 50 or more dollars a month to FreeDomain Radio, you can become one of its ‘Community’ members. These members are, for the most part, people who have fully committed to Molyneux’s teachings on ethics, philosophy and family. It is to these followers that Molyneux discusses and often endorses the appalling practice of ‘Defooing’.

‘Defooing’ – a term coined by Molyneux – is the practice of cutting any and all ties with ‘corrupting influences’ in one’s life. These corruptions can range from an immoral acquaintance to an abusive parent or spouse. In theory, defooing would be fine if Molyneux were merely advocating leaving abusive or unhealthy relationships; however it seems as far as Molyneux is concerned, virtually all friends and parents are corrupt and worthy of cutting ties with. In a 2005 essay in which he discussed his philosophy, he scathingly wrote

“So face it: your parents were bullies, or weak curriers of favour, or manipulative emotional infants themselves. You have no respect for them, for respect requires courage, and courage requires logical morality. You do not love them, since love demands virtue, and manipulating children into blind obedience is not at all virtuous.”

Numerous people have cut ties with their friends and families as a result of Molyneux’s teachings on relationships and family. Parents have been never spoken to again. Friends have been lost. Jobs have been quit.

‘Defooing’ and practices similar are widely discredited by psychologists. Molyneux’s wife – a psychologist – was even accused of professional misconduct for advocating it to callers to the show. In fact, such is the damage people feel that Molyneux and his wife have done: there are three websites dedicated to warning people about the dangers of joining their online community.

“You’ll watch videos related to the topics that you’re interested in, whether its atheism, or whatever, and gradually he sort of bleeds in stuff about relationships and psychology” says Alex, a young woman who cut ties with her family at the behest of Molyneux. Although she has since reunited with her family, Molyneux’s teachings greatly damaged her life, causing her to drop out of her college major, quit her job, and cut all ties with her loved ones. “I was committed. I was a true believer”

Finding herself increasingly interested in Molyneux’ teachings, Alex became involved with the FDR community, eventually becoming a member of Molyneux’s inner-circle, a select group of ‘Philopher Kings’ who are in direct contact with the libertarian luminary. She and the others in this small group were even at times invited to Molyneux’s house.

“I was listening to the podcasts non-stop…I would listen to 6 or 7 a day. [After she eventually left the FDR community] What I learned about later was this concept of’ information overload’ that happens in cults. Once you’ve absorbed a certain amount of information, you lose your critical faculties…so, you have these podcasts that are like, one, two, three hours long, and once you’ve absorbed all of these different tangents, he hits you with stuff that’s really, really radical. But, by that point, you’ve sort of been depleted of your resources to think about these things critically. That’s where the real shift starts to happen.”

At least consistent in applying their philosophy to themselves, both Molyneux and his wife have cut all ties with their respective families. His wife, who he often references on his show, had a relationship with her family until she met Molyneux and he convinced her that her childhood had not been happy at all. Alex’s experience was almost identical to that of Holy Molys first victim – Molyneux encouraging her to sever ties with her family and friends in the name of his absolutist conception of morality. “I listened to the podcast about confronting your family, and the different ways that you felt that they’d made mistakes when raising you. Very quickly I went towards the podcasts that were like, ‘Well, this is how they’re going to respond, and this is why, and this conversation is actually futile.’ And I went really quickly from that to defooing. I left my home in the middle of the night, moved in with my boyfriend, and just stopped responding to my parents. They were thinking of filing a missing persons report at the time.”

Once a successful young woman with a boyfriend, a job, and a college course, Alex soon found herself poor, alone, and miserable. “I had two conversations with Stef, one was about childhood, and the other was about how frightened I was to defoo. I didn’t really have a contingency plan.”

Two years after defooing, Alex still found herself living her life in search of the approval of the FDR cult. “I broke it off with my boyfriend. I had been getting the feeling that, Stef thought our relationship wasn’t healthy. It’s a very common thing that happens. And so, I broke it off, and was ready to become more deeply involved in the group, but here I was again, no job, no money, nothing. I was kind of in a state of catatonic depression for a while.”

In conjunction with deliberately isolating new members of his community – a practice that is commonly accepted as being a trait of cults - Molyneux also releases videos in which he discusses ‘the facts’ about popular or historical figures. The subjects of his scholarly ‘Truth About’s range from Abe Lincoln to Chelsea Manning.

These videos without fail advocate a free-market approach. In his critique of Lincoln, Molyneux argues that the American civil war – and indeed the problem of slavery – could have been solved if the southern states had been allowed to secede. Apparently, the north could have simply purchased all the captive laborers , and then promptly set them free. It didn’t seem to occur to him that the Confederacy may not have wanted to sell their sources of unlimited free labour, and that slavery remaining legal in the seceded south might still have been potentially problematic.

Unrelenting in his quest for poor taste, on the 28th of May – the day Maya Angelou died – Molyneux posted on his Facebook asking if he could be directed to any source materials regarding the authors life. Two days later, ‘The Truth about Maya Angelou’ was uploaded to YouTube; the only harsh truth revealed being the lack of research that goes into Molyneuxian exposés.

In his critiques, Molyneux almost without fail brings up traumatic events from the individual in questions childhood. He then uses these juvenile misadventures to explain what he regards as his subjects foibles. In making the childhoods of public figures he is criticizing central to their flaws, Molyneux is underhandedly reinforcing his other teachings about parenting and relationships. Everyone is flawed because of a bad childhood, and what is needed for the moral progress of the species is a year zero approach in which followers of Holy Moly cut all ties with past corruptions in their lives and begin anew.

As well as reinforcing his widely discredited views on relationships and family, these videos serve a very important function for the cult of Molyneux: in his demystifying and criticizing heroes of history and lore, he’s also tacitly adducing his own prestige to his followers. The philosopher king is slowly but surely discrediting people commonly accepted as moral heroes, all the while portraying himself as an ethical, economic and relationship guru.

Adding more problems, in his role as a dating guru, the right-wing Renaissance man is an unapologetic misogynist in his attitude toward women. The cognitive dissonance required in order to take Molyneux seriously as a social critic and philosopher became particularly obvious when he turned his sights on woman-hating mass murderer Elliot Rodger.

Unsurprisingly, in revealing ‘the truth’ about Elliot Rodger, Molyneux pointed the finger at two of his usual targets: women and socialists. The latter because they have normalized the notion that it’s okay to redistribute wealth with the use of force, and the former because someone – presumably some gold digging slut – must have gotten the idea into young Elliot’s head that wealth can be traded for beautiful girls. When Rodger realized that this wasn’t so, he snapped.

For a philosopher king, Holy Moly doesn’t seem to realize that the kind of rhetoric he espouses on his channel both validates and encourages people with views similar to Rodger’s. Addressing a caller in a video titled ‘The Matriarchal Lineage of Corruption’, Molyneux went on a particularly vitriolic rant, in which he blamed women for the presence of evil in the world, saying
“Women who choose the arseholes will fucking end this race. They will fucking end this human race if we don’t start holding them a-fucking-countable…They’re the gatekeepers. Look, women who choose aresholes guarantee child abuse. Women who chose arseholes guarantee criminality, sociopathy, politicians; all the cold hearted jerks who run the world came out of the vaginas of women who married arseholes. And, I don’t know how to make the world a better place without holding women accountable for choosing these arseholes. Your Dad was an arsehole because your mother chose him. Because it works on so many women. If ‘arsehole’ wasn’t a great reproductive strategy, it would have been gone long ago. Women keep that black bastard flame alive. They cup their hands around it, they protect it with their bodies. They keep the evil of the species going by continually choosing these guys. If being an arsehole didn’t get women there would be no arseholes left. If women chose nice guys over arseholes we would have a glorious and peaceful world in one generation. Women determine the personality traits of the men because women choose who to have sex with, and who to have children with, and who to expose those children to. I get that you’re angry at your Dad, and you have every reason to be angry at your Dad. Your Dad is who he is fundamentally because your Mother was willing to fuck him and have you; willing and eager to fuck the monster. Stop fucking monsters: we get a great world. Keep fucking monsters: we get catastrophes. We get war. We get nuclear weapons. We get national debts. We get incarcerations and prison guards and all the other florid arseholes who rule the world. Women worship at the feet of the devil and wonder why the world is evil. And then, you know what they say? “We’re victims!..Poor us!”. And some women are absolutely…but dear god in heaven…men will become whatever women want them to become, because women are the gatekeepers…So, I think that if you accept that women are central to the cycle of evil in the world, then you will be able to see how it really reproduces. Evil is of matriarchal lineage – in the present. I’m not talking about Mongol hoards and rapes and blah, blah blah. Evil passes through the Mother. It’s Jewish. It’s a Matriarch.”
Basically, evil is a thing because women have sex with men that Holy Moly doesn’t approve of. The free market apparently does not provide the best results when female consent is concerned.

Although Molyneux’s teachings (and in particular his attitude towards women) are increasingly insane with every podcast, Alex is optimistic that eventually, people will discover the kind of person he really is, “Stef has become demonstrably more unhinged, and I can only see the trend worsening until anyone with a reputation to uphold won’t want to be associated. As far as the new young one’s he’s continually drawing in, hopefully more and more criticism will accumulate that exposes the insanity through this whole thing, so it can’t be buried like it was when I first became involved”

And so followers of Molyneuxian morality must ask themselves: if Elliot Rodger had heard about ‘The Matriarchal Lineage of Corruption’, do you think he would have been encouraged or discouraged to commit his crimes? What’s the difference between the rhetoric above, and the kind Rodger wrote in his manifesto?

“The most meanest and depraved of men come out on top, and women flock to these men. Their evil acts are rewarded by women; while the good, decent men are laughed at,”

This kind misogynistic rhetoric isn’t an isolated incident either, a recent Facebook post of Holy Moly’s saying

Molyneux Quote
Apparently, a young woman’s sexual appeal is designed to ( how he knows definitively what a woman’s sexual appeal is for has never been disclosed) attract a quality man: a nice guy (!?) – like Stefan Molyneux, and presumably, people who follow his philosophy and ethical teachings.

Feral, fedora wearing, fringe-right wing idiots with delusions of grandeur, who think that feigning friendship with a female entitles them access to up their skirt: ‘Nice Guys’ have to a great extent become the laughing stock of cyberspace. This stereotype, though often funny, actually serves to defer attention from the casual violent sexism that is so ubiquitous among followers of Molyneux and those like him. Worryingly, many loyal viewers of the world’s largest and most popular philosophy podcast hold a sincere and deep seated belief that women are at fault for the wrongs of the world because they’ve been granted the right of choosing who they do and do not have sex with.

When Elliot Rodger committed his horrendous crimes, many concluded that misogyny had a major role to play. Even more people dismissed these claims, and said that resentment and hatred of women was not a cultural issue. What’s alarming about the cult of Molyneux, is that very few of his fans – if any at all – seem willing to challenge his psychotic position that evil could be eradicated from the world if women would just get their shit together.

Likewise, when actor Robin Williams passed away, Molyneux was quick to conclude that it was the fault of women, saying

“Womens’ inability to resist free stuff offered to them is equivalent to men’s challenges in resisting the sexual advances of fertile and beautiful women….Don’t expect to get paid if you get fired from your “job” of being a wife….Robin Williams died from an addiction…women’s addiction to free stuff…America must stop its addiction to feeding the wounded vanities of hypergamous women.”
Like most cult personalities – and, in a weird mix of tragedy and irony – Holy Moly also seems to be a pretty severe narcissist. In another podcast, which has since been removed, Holy Moly said

“It’s not up to me whether this show succeeds or fails. I don’t have the option of failing. Because, the kind of communicator who can translate complex philosophical ideas into emotionally actionable to-do lists for people is so rare that they come along every couple of hundred years if humanity is lucky. I don’t have the choice to fail. I don’t have the option to fail. Not because I want to be front and centre in the moral progress of the species, but because the moral progress of the species is absolutely essential, and I have a child. Failure is not an option, which means I have to do whatever it takes to make this show succeed. I have to be as honest and provoke as much discontent and disagreement with people, sometimes as is absolutely necessary. This is not my horse to ride. This is not my career to pursue. This is what is necessary for the world. This is what is necessary so that children don’t get hit, and half of penis skin doesn’t get slashed off from babies. This is what is necessary so that good people achieve their goals and bad people get fucked. This show is really about bad people getting fucked, and good people getting successful, right? In the same way that my cancer treatment was about cancer cells getting fucked, and the good cells not….And the reason I’m telling you this, is not so you understand my show and my motivation, you know? It’s the Bob Marley thing. In one of his songs he says ‘I am playing for mankind’. I am playing for mankind. One love. I am speaking for mankind, I am speaking for the future. I have to be as good at what I’m doing to save lives.”
“He [Molyneux] records absolutely everything. Even when hes just out of the grocery store. One of the other members told me he said he does it because ‘wouldn’t it be amazing if you could hear Socrates having a conversation with his barber’. Sometimes you’re aware you’re being recorded, sometimes you’re not. It adds a whole “walking on eggshells” vibe to everything.”

Usually, when a prophet’s teachings are dedicated to saving lives and minimizing harm, they don’t have families blaming them for the suicide of their child. It’s also usually pretty easy to distinguish their ramblings from those of a psychotic killer.

And so, increasingly, followers of the teachings of Holy Moly are abandoning their friends and family. They’re being taught that their parents were abusive to them. They’re being taught to blame women for the presence of evil in the world.

Aggressive, belittling, and constantly psychologising those who question him, ironically, those who abandon their family at the behest of Molyneux have guaranteed themselves the abusive parental figure he’s so manipulatively convinced them they’re fleeing from.

As a general rule, if you have to keep denying that you’re the leader of a cult, chances are you are in fact the leader of a cult.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Nostalgic Clacking of Coins in Vegas.

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Last Update September 6, 2014

When I was little I used to love going to Las Vegas with my parents. They had arcades, cool shows, and lots of cool things to do as a kid. The one thing that really caught my eye was the forbidden casino floor. Not because I was interested in the act of gambling, but just the sounds of clacking coins against a steel money bowl. The people walking around with plastic buckets full of quarters and dollar coins was just so appealing. We stopped going as a family in my teens and never returned until after I was out on my own.

Imagine my disappointment when I returned to find that a part of my youth, the clacking of coins and the huge arcades, were all but a memory. Electronic beeps and chimes have replaced the clacks and the people walking with huge buckets have been replaced by bland boring tickets with bar-codes. It kept me from appreciating that little world even from the sidelines. Now living here, as I roamed the casino floors and resort grounds as a nifty little way to burn some excess calories in the cool A/C and away from the blistering desert sun of Vegas I have found a piece of my childhood in the small dark corners of the adult Disneyland.

To this day I avoid gambling like the plague, but for some reason I can't help myself tossing in a few quarters when I come across the rare animal of the coin-op slot machine. Not to win money and not to lose, but just to capture the mixed feelings of happiness and sadness of a golden time.

Now I'm building a list and I'm sharing it with you if that is something that you'd be interested in. This list will grow as I find more or if more people inform me on where to find them, so keep checking back if you want in on this as well.

Slots'A'Fun



Located on the southeast corner of the Circus Circus property, is a little dingy, ratty, hell hole where you can get a Subway 5 dollar footlong for $10. It smells like a chain smoker's house who don't believe in opening a window, ever. Pool tables, a bar, and some beer pong tables it's hard to tell if this wanted to be a casino or a dive bar. Either way there's a small collection of quarter machines next to the brilliantly placed quarter operated gumball bar. Not exactly my pick of the litter, but there's some magic here.


Circus Circus



While we're here, might as well go inside the better half and check out the area for dollar coin-op slot machines. They advertise it's high pay out rates which is a bonus too.



The D



It's not cold here and you know she wants it. The D located on the Freemont Experience Downtown Vegas is a neat little spot. You can come here, have a drink, get a room, or eat at the restaurant and pay in BitCoin. However because of the state's gambling laws, you can only gamble with US currency. They have a BitCoin ATM so you can just cash in and out to gamble. Take the escalator one flight up and you are whisked away toe "Vintage Vegas" where they have an embarrassment of riches in coin op machines and a Blarney stone to kiss for good luck. Not just slots, by the way. They also have coin-op video poker and even a Sigma Derby.


This is all I have at the moment but I will keep you updated as I find more.

Mermaid's

Located on the west end of the Freemont Experience Downtown, a little place that's hard to miss.
Scantally clad girls standing out front with a fist full of beads for the entering public. Though not as classy or as sexy as The D, they have deep fried Oreos for a buck. Deep fried Twinkies, corn dogs and a bunch of other fattening snacks as you pound quarters into a slot machine. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Stefan Molyneux: Do as I say, not as I do

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So the great opposition of intelectual property and the state and summoned the state to enforce his intellectual property as a means to bludgeon criticism.



His defenders don't know what to do to defend him but try to make the erroneous claim that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 signed into law by Bill Clinton isn't a government law but a YouTube End User Licence Agreement. Not even run of the mill Stefbots, even Larken Rose tried to make this stupid claim. 

The stupid, it burns. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

We Have The Right To Fight LeRoux

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In an article on Voluntary Virtues, Christopher LeRoux defends the position that Christopher Cantwell made advocating the murder of police officers in line with the N.A.P.. Mike Shanklin attempted to do the same and it ended embarrassingly.


So here, I will use the same line of reasoning I will show why it would be justified under their view on the Law of Non-Aggression Principle (LONA.)
The law of non-aggression [LONA] is absolute, axiomatic, a priori, eternal and universal: No one may ever lawfully initiate aggression, coercion, or fraud under any circumstances. Yet while the LONA criminalizes all initiation of violence, it sanctions proportional defense. Thus it would not be lawful to shoot someone who merely steps across the front yard of your house but only to issue a warning. But if a trespasser refuses to desist, a greater amount of force becomes appropriate, and even deadly force could become necessary. Likewise, if your house is robbed while you are out, it is lawful to seek proportional restitution. If the criminal resists, deadly force could become appropriate.

This seems well and good so far. Let's continue.

 In our present, barbaric society, some people claim to be exempt from the LONA because they work for a fictional entity called the “state” or “government.” Every moment of our lives, we groan under the domination of these violent criminals. The extortion they call taxation and their billions of dictations oppress our existence day and night. Their aggression, coercion, and fraud are unceasing, unrepentant, and enforced with any amount of violence they deem necessary to maintain total control. However, all individuals are equal under the law of non-aggression, the only social law.

OK so the non-aggression principle is not using force or fraud and using the appropriate proportional response to prevent or stop the aggression and the state are aggressors because of their actions of taxation, police actions, war..etc. because no one is exempt from LONA. OK, Got it.

He goes on to explain in mind-numbing detail every possible scenario of interacting with a police and preventing him from aggression him and the only thing that gets established is that no matter what you do the state will always up their aggression against you no matter what. It concludes that such a conflict is unwinnable and not very smart. No, shit. So what's the solution?

If it is impractical to warn them to cease and desist or to wait for an armed attack against a fixed position, is it moral to “take the offensive” in a defensive struggle? Can we lawfully target and kill a “police officer” at home in his stolen bed for instance? Yes, it is lawful if it is necessary to reduce or abolish the crimes being committed against us. We have no duty to submit to our slavery. We may target “police” or any other “government” employee, even in their stolen homes, in the middle of the night, if we believe it will reduce the crimes being committed against us. Does this justify going on a random killing spree of “state” employees? No, proportional defense against aggressors not in the immediate act of aggressing is clearly only justified as part of an effort for restitution or overall tactic and-or strategy to reduce overall initiation of violence. Our goal must be freedom and peace, not revenge.

Because you can't stop the aggressor, it's well within the N.A.P. to kill the cops while they sleep if we feel that it will stop the aggression.  He goes on to say that now is not the time for such action because it's a fringe view and most people will not be receptive to these actions. Which roughly translates to "I'm a big fucking pussy."

You see, the reason he makes this clear that he doesn't advocate doing this even though it's justifiable in his stupid interpretation of the N.A.P. is because he's too much of a wuss to get questioned by law enforcement about his blog post and too chickenshit to do it himself when people say he should walk the walk.

So here I will make the case that Mr. LeRoux is making to prevent him causing me further harm.

Mr. LeRoux uses fossil fuels. He uses them directly via electricity generation and/or automotive transit which causes pollution and CO2 emission. He breathes out CO2. CO2 is a greenhouse gas (surely there will be DROs/PDAs that will accept this as true no matter how much you don't think it's the case.) Pollution from fossil fuels does contribute to many ill effects on health and the environment. He is also using public roadways which causes wear to the roads and demands more tax dollars to repair, maintain, and police. I could ask Mr. LeRoux to stop breathing and driving, but surely he will resist and continue to harm me and others. I could threaten him with a gun to stop but surely he will not have any of that either. He and his libertarian friends may also assist him in overbearing me with firepower. So I guess it's justifiable to shoot him in his sleep while he's pumping out CO2 from his snoring face and heating his house with fossil fuels to prevent me and the rest of the people to stop having to deal with this mess he's making of the air. It's not a good idea, not because most people aren't aware of it and need to be educated but because IT'S ASININE, IMMORAL, AND DANGEROUS.

Seriously if you really think killing cops is a justifiable action then please try so the cops will kill you and I don't have to keep saying why it's a stupid idea. They can look at your rotting corpse and come up with non-violent solutions to shrinking or eliminating the state. Also don't be a pussy about it either. If you're going to hold up heroes like Christopher Cantwell does to Justin Bourque and Paul Ciancia, then lead by example so we don't have to listen to you making asses of libertarians anymore.

"I respect the choices people like Justin Bourque and Paul Ciancia have made. They identified their aggressors, and took action to stop them from aggressing."
              ― Christopher Cantwell, a VoluntaryVirtues Friend and Regular Guest


Christopher Cantwell and the window lickers at VoluntaryVirtues are shitcocks"
                                          ― Jim Jesus, smarter than anyone at VV. 







Monday, March 17, 2014

Planned Obtuseness

2 comments:
People who often decry 'planned obsolescence' as some sort of objection to markets are not the brightest bulbs in the firehouse. So I have to clarify everything upfront or I will get the shit storm of people "disagreeing" with me when we actually agree.

When I use the term "planned obsolescence" I'm talking about one type specifically. That is that manufacturers deliberately limit the lifespan of a good for the explicit purpose of getting more repeat business. I'm not talking about the other forms.

So what sorts of 'planned obsolescence' are real? Let's say you're a technology manufacturer, and you find that your customers like to upgrade on average every 2 years to the latest product. So you design your product with parts that can wear out in about 5. You do this for legitimate reasons. Why waste time, energy, and money on resources that will give a phone a 100 year lifespan have to be recycled into something else or thrown out in 2-5 years? A lot can change technology-wise in 100 years, even in 10 years. Imagine how much of a fool you would have been to buy a pager in 1997 that costs 300 dollars more because it will last a lifetime when no one uses them 10 years later. Who knows what the future will be in cell phones in 10 years from now or 10 years after that. How would you feel if you bought an iPhone 1, G1, or a Blackberry at 4 times the cost so it would last 90 years. You would have already had it recycled. (BTW, if you're not recycling your phone, you're an asshole and you're also breaking the law. Your cellphone provider will tell you so.) This is perceived obsolescence. The technology will be phased out even if the hardware is up to the task so manufacturers cut costs for you so you're not overpaying for something you won't even use. I see this as beneficial for all parties involved. This is not what we will be debating.

The argument I will be debating is that companies, with malicious intent, rig devices and goods to die out so you'll come back. First of all it fails on purely logical grounds. Let's say you're Company X and you make a widget designed to fail in 2 years and there's no real reason to do so besides increasing sales. This would mean that if Company Y made a widget without this time-bomb, they would gain market share because they could advertise that their product lasts longer at the same price. Take a light bulb. You have a choice between 2 light bulbs with identical light outputs but one lasts 1 year because of an intentional design flaw, and the other lasts 2 or more years. Word gets around that Company X's light bulb doesn't last as long as Company Y's and X will lose market share.

On the other side of the coin you will have consumer advocacy groups like Consumer Reports that will announce the faulty products and recommend Y over X and market share is lost. The other problem is those fucking geeks. The lifehackers, the reverse engineers, and the other geeks who like to see how things work will identify faults and publicly expose them. If they find something that seems deliberate, lawyers will find these consumers who were defrauded and file a class action against Company X. Company X now will use the extra money it gained fighting a legal battle and paying restitution. Not a smart move.

Ah ha, Jim! Didn't you see the Pyramids of Waste/Light Bulb Conspiracy?! There was a cartel who limited the span of light bulbs! Haven't you heard of the Centennial Light Bulb?! It's been on for over 100 years! Debunk that!
Oh, I will. First let's talk about the Centennial Light Bulb because it's not related to the cartel or planned obsolescence. I made a video about that and I suggest you watch it and then we'll talk about Phoebus.


The Phoebus Cartel was an interesting topic, but it's often over simplified for ideological reasons. The cartel didn't have a hold of every light bulb market. There were Nordic companies who did make longer lasting lamps but they did not sell over the shorter lifespan bulbs. Why was this? Because the longer lifespan bulbs used more electricity and put off more heat than light than the shorter lifespan bulbs. People found it more advantageous to buy bulbs more often, pay less for electricity, and get more light. It's also why we transitioned to tungsten bulbs not long after with an even lower life span than the Phoebus cartel's regulations. Tungsten lamps burned cooler and brighter.

I made the point in the above video and I think I should stress this point here. If you think that companies intentionally retard products for repeat business, how do you explain light bulb manufacturers introduction of CFL lamps which have almost 10x the life span? All the while they were developing and refining the LED lamps to last even longer. Why didn't the light bulb companies lobby the government to ban CFLs on environmental grounds to protect their planned obsolescence model of incandescents? "Those CFLs will get mercury into our water and farms!"

Now this is not to say it's possible or even that this can exist. There are cases where you have a walled garden system where you'd need to buy their refills for their products but they are typically on the fringe or for hobbies. Tamagotchi Pets come to mind, but even those had to cave to reusable models after backlash.

Anyways, love to hear what you guys think. For now I have to go to the store and replace these apples that are overripe because of Mother Nature's planned obsolescence. Curses!