Monday, 16 October 2017

De Niro, Pacino, Heat, The Red Pill and the Bachelor Way

A couple of weeks ago, Rollo wrote this, in passing, about Anthony Johnson, the organiser of the 21 Convention Conference.
Primarily it’s been his experience with what any guy with a peripheral Red Pill Lens would’ve seen as a high-functioning BPD woman who was his unofficial wife.
There. That’s it. I’ve been trying to put my finger on it for a long while now.

The Red Pill is this huge socio-political-cultural-evolutionary theory explaining to men with poor judgement that there are a whole lot of psychologically-troubled, unstable, and just plain nasty women around. Except it doesn't tell him he has bad judgement and that she is damaged goods. It tells him she is acting out “evolved behaviours”, for which she has as much personal responsibility as she does the colour of her eyes, that those behaviours are universal, will be triggered by weak ‘Beta' behaviour by her partner, and can be mitigated by Game, making himself his Own Mental Point of Origin, and an awareness of the social and evolutionary processes behind the behaviour. In the Red Pill, her damage and moral turpitude is the expression of evolved features, it's never a bug. So it isn’t damage and it isn’t being a lousy person, it’s just being a woman. Getting angry about it is silly, and men need to steer round, or adapt to, the features they don’t like. And there will always be features they won’t like.

There’s a much easier way of doing the same thing. Get a job, pay taxes, lift weights, have interests, eat right, don’t drink too much and don’t buy stuff you don’t need with money you don’t have to impress people you don’t like. In what spare time and with what spare energy you may have, run daygame to find attractive and available woman, and take whoever drops into your lap, if that happens to you. Have sex with her, entertain her, let her entertain you. When she starts in with the attitude, or stops being sexual and fun, or starts talking about marriage or moving in, and at some stage she will, make like James Bond in the DB5 and hit the eject button.

(The real Bond would have run over the hefty woman with the sub-machine-gun and got away: but the audiences wouldn’t have stood for it and the plot seemed to require him to be caught.)

Some PUA skills to help the pick-up, and a repertoire of entertaining stuff to do for the dates. There's no need for the theoretical burden of the Red Pill: that’s what the London Daygame Model is about. Nobody these days is going to ask you why you won't commit, unless they are running a guilt-trip or a shame game. Both of which you can shrug off, along with the person doing it.

However, this is not a popular choice. Watch this old familiar scene. Carefully.

McCauly and Hanna are totally different people. Hanna loves drama and conflict so much he’s on his third marriage, McCauley has nothing in his life he cannot walk out on in thirty seconds flat if he feels the heat coming round the corner. Hanna calls that "pretty vacant” and McCauley agrees, it is what it is. It’s the discipline. Most people would rather be on their third marriage, than be able to walk out on a 31-year old Amy Brenneman. For most people, the very stuff of life is involvement with other people, which can mean sharing and kindness, but just as much can include arguments, shouting matches, thrown plates, slammed doors, turned backs in bed, expulsion to the couch, burned or disposed meals, and all the other ways that people show their love for each other. For most people, sour is as life-confirming as sweet, and indeed may be even more so. Good times are hard to find, bad times are easy.

Most people just want to feel anything. Only a small percentage prefer emotional sobriety, solitude, the company of a good book and some music in the background. McCauley is emotionally-sober, but takes no nonsense and can be scary when it’s the effect he needs to make, just as he can be understanding of Shiherlis’ (Val Kilmer) attachment to his wife (“For me, the sun rises and sets with her”). That’s the difference between emotional sobriety and the pseudo-placidity of people who pretend to “rise above it”.

Most people are Hanna guys and gals. They need the Red Pill, because it helps them navigate relationships they are emotionally locked-in to. There is no point in telling them to walk away. They can’t. It would be some kind of spiritual death for them. They would find solitude uncomfortable.

I am, as you will have guessed, a McCauley kind of guy - but without the whole killing people thing. Most bachelors are McCauley’s. We can stand solitude and our own company, and the drama and noise, that the Hanna’s find to be the very stuff of living, is a distraction. The Red Pill is for Vincent Hanna, and the bachelor way is for me and McCauley.

And ne’er the twain shall meet nor understand each other.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

A Hard Brexit's A-Gonna Happen

A brief return to Brexit. I was heartened by the Danish Finance Minister telling the EU to get on with it and stop bitching about the divorce payment. A couple of days later I woke up and realised it’s not going to work out like that. A day or so ago, Donald Tusk confirmed as much when he denied that the EU was working on plans for a hard Brexit.

The problem is the EU’s legal imperialism: that for special trading terms, a country must surrender its legal sovereignty to the ECJ and ECHR, and allow the four freedoms. The Swiss gave up when the EU insisted on that. The British will not back down on legal sovereignty either. So that’s that. No agreement on special trade conditions is possible.

As for the payment, that will have to be a number based on a bill of goods that can be sold to Parliament. My guess is that Parliament will recognise it has to pay for some of Junker’s wine cellar, but won’t want to think it’s paying for all of it. It’s just possible the EU could be sensible about that, but not likely. This is why the payment is linked in the British negotiation with special trade terms, so that the EU only get any money if they give up the legal imperialism. That’s why the EU want to settle the bill before they talk about trade and therefore their legal imperialism. You gotta think the politicians kinda got that at the start.

Far more important for the EU is that any agreement is not hi-jacked by EU members, many of whom - especially by Ireland and Liechtenstein - have a lot of previous form at that. Barnier thinks it will take six months to achieve ratification, which means he’s expecting a lot of internal horse-trading. There’s even a chance that the horse-trading will - how surprising - require a last-minute and unwelcome change to what was agreed in autumn 2018. The idea being that everyone will be so tired that they will agree to anything to get shot of the thing.

If I can see that coming, I’m fairly sure people who do this for a living have as well.

That’s why, on March 29, 2019, there’s not going to be an all-encompassing agreement that covers trade, immigration, the role of the European Courts, the four freedoms, and Junker’s wine bill. The UK will leave Europe, possibly without paying a cent on the day, and be free at last from the European Courts.

Which is the exact desired outcome both sides want. It allows the EU to maintain its doctrine of legal imperialism, and the UK to achieve legal sovereignty. It prevents the last-minute horse-trading that nobody, in the EU or the UK, wants. It removes the need to have 27 countries agree on everything from cheese import quotas to how many Romanian builders can work in the UK at any given time.

Now you know this is what everyone wants, do their actions make more sense? They aren’t trying to reach an agreement. They are trying not to reach an agreement in a polite and constructive manner. The autumn 2018 deadline will pass, March 2019 will loom closer, everyone will realise that more talking time won’t do it, and March 29th will come and go. Not so much with a bang, but a whimper. The French will impose a bunch of spiteful bans and inconveniences in their national interest; and the EU will impose tactically another bunch of equally irritating bans and inconveniences. (The UK will not impose any spiteful or petty bans, because that’s how they make the EU look like a bunch of petty twats in the eyes of the world.)

It’s then possible for both sides to agree on individual issues without compromising general principles. The UK will agree to pay for pensions, the EU will lift some of its petty bans. The UK will agree to pay slightly inflated prices for participation in Europol and other individual pan-European institutions, and other petty bans will be lifted. Everyone will agree that this is terribly un-European, and just the sort of thing those perfidious Brits do, but after all, business must go on. For cosmetic purposes, the EU and the UK will start trade talks, expected to last at least twenty years, to avoid using WTO terms. (By the way, Canada doesn’t seem to have suffered for the last twenty years without a special deal with the EU, so WTO can’t be all bad.)

2019 will feel a little chaotic. there will be ‘administrative agreements’ and ‘temporary arrangements’ to prevent the paperwork stopping trade, and a switch to WTO tariffs (instead of EU tariffs). The small but irritating number of welfare scroungers and Euro-beggars will return to Europe – but some will stay on to be the subject of populist shock headlines in five years’ time. There will be a short hiccough in the supply of young people from Southern Europe and builders from Eastern Europe, until the word goes round that the UK is still open for business – and who really wants UK citizenship? Some medium-sized companies who thought that Brexit would ‘work’ will have hard times, but the large firms will be fine. It will turn out that all that manufacturing in China means that we were already really trading under WTO rules anyway.

Within five years, everyone in the EU will be fed up of being run by the German Finance Ministry, the Poles will refuse to accept more immigrants, and the EU Army, aka the Deutches Heer, will escort the refugees over the Polish border. Oh yeah. The first time as tragedy, the second as comedy.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Monty Hall - Stick or Switch? It Depends How Often You Can Play

The Monty Hall problem is back in the news, or at least the weekend edition of the Financial Times, again, I think because Monty Hall died recently. Here’s the problem:
You’re on a quiz show with a host, Monty. There are three cabinets A, B and C. In one cabinet is a car, and in the other two a goat. You get to nominate a door, and then Monty will open one of the other doors and ask you if you want to change your choice. What you know is that Monty never opens the door with the car in it. Never. Should you change your choice?
The answer, given by Marylin vos Savant, is that you should, as in two-thirds of the cases, you will win the car. When she gave that answer, the wrath of a zillion statisticians and mathematicians descended on her. Here’s her argument: there are three options (in order A, B, C)

  1. Car Goat Goat
  2. Goat Car Goat
  3. Goat Goat Car 
If you pick A, you lose by switching in option 1 and win in 2 and 3. Otherwise you win by switching in the other two options. Take the odds and switch. At least when you have the opportunity to play the game over and over.

What happens when you can only play once? Choose A and suppose that Monty opens door C to show a goat. Now you know there are only two options:

  1. Car Goat Goat
  2. Goat Car Goat
In this case, the odds are 50-50 for switching. Why? Because you don’t have third option of Goat-Goat-Car which would force Monty to open door B.

Play the game over and over, and switching will win more often. Play once, and it’s a flip of the coin, so you may as well switch, since the odds are the same. There’s a winning strategy for multiple plays, but not for a single play.

Damn that’s clever.

Statistics is not only hard, it also only applies when you can repeat the experiment.

What about all the other arguments, including one quoted on Wikipedia that says this;
By opening his door, Monty is saying to the contestant 'There are two doors you did not choose, and the probability that the prize is behind one of them is 2/3. I'll help you by using my knowledge of where the prize is to open one of those two doors to show you that it does not hide the prize. You can now take advantage of this additional information. Your choice of door A has a chance of 1 in 3 of being the winner. I have not changed that. But by eliminating door C, I have shown you that the probability that door B hides the prize is 2 in 3.’
Here’s the mistake: "the probability that the prize is behind one of them is ⅔” should read “the probability that the prize is behind one or other of them is ⅔”. No argument that tries to establish that switching always gives a 2:1 advantage can be right, because when you can only go once the odds are 50-50.

On a one-shot play, sticking is as good as switching.

And in the TV show, you only got one shot.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

John Martyn's Dusty - When You Have Food Poisoning And A Tune Keeps Running In Your Head

This was the first John Martyn song I heard, on a sampler album from, I think, Island. It had Traffic's Forty Thousand Headmen on it as well. Dusty is the first hint, I think, in his folk-music period, of the sublimity that would come out of nowhere on Bless The Weather. I'm going to write about that in another post. In the meantime, enjoy the first line - "Nico, two-headed Cuban giant / Is looking with all of his eyes" - and the rest of the song.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Retiring the Canon 1100D

Yet another ramble through a kit decision. My current camera stock consists of:

an iPhone SE
a Panasonic DMZ T-100
a Canon 1100D
an Olympus OM-10 film camera

and I have a Canon flatbed scanner and a Canon colour printer. This will matter a little further on in the discussion.

As you will have noticed, I take a lot of townscape photographs, and to look good, a townscape needs a minimum of perspective distortion. Take a snap at an angle with an iPhone or even the T-100 and it looks like you can't square up the lens. Which is one reason I went through the selection of perspective correction programs and chose DxO Perspective. I bought the 1100D a few years ago, and have not used it much. It's light but bulky, and while it does cityscapes well, it's a digital camera....

...and I wear glasses. If I take them off so Ican look through the viewer comfortably, the buttons and camera screen are a blur. If I keep them on, and look through the viewer, I'm darned if I can square up the camera properly. So if I want to adjust the f-stop I have to put the glasses on, then take them off to look through the viewer, then take them off... oh to heck with it. And no, I’m not using the screen: the whole point of a DLSR is the SLR viewer.

Plus the 1100D has a smaller chip. Which introduces perspective problems even if the lens is adjusted for that.

I had a final compare-and-contrast on the 1100D, OM-10 and T-100 the other evening, looking through viewfinders, screens, trying to adjust stuff and generally letting my short attention span hands make the decision. Which was...

...I want my full-frame back. The difference between looking through the 1100D viewer and the OM10 is, I swear the OM10 view has twice the area. The 50mm Zuiko lens has ZERO distortion, and my 28mm Zuiko lens has exactly the wide-angle distortion you need when you need it. (28mm is wide-angle, 15mm is fish-eye.) I can adjust the OM-10’s f-stop without taking the camera from my eye, or even as I'm lifting it up. I do need to wear glasses to see the view, but it feels easier to square up the lens. And yes, my thumb still has an effective wind-on-after-the-click reflex.

I could buy a full-frame digital. A reasonable consumer one only costs £1,800 with lens. Yep. Stop right there. Financial justifications needed. I could get every room in the house repainted for less. By people who know what they are doing.

A roll of 36 frames of Kodak ASA 200 colour film is around £3.50 if bought in bulk. Snappy Snaps will charge me £10 to develop and print on 4x6. (I'm not sure those prices have changed in about ten years or even more). That's around 130 reels of film to break even using a digital camera. I don't take 36 photographs a month at the moment - though I might if I loaded film. Film has a whole different psychology. That's 10 years to break even. In the meantime, I get to be old-school analogue cool and use a cameraI I like rather than one I need to re-read the manual when I want to adjust anything.

If I want to digitise stuff, I can scan the 6x4's. Or I could buy a film scanner, if I could find some reliable reviews, and just have the film developed.

Whatever I do, I’m retiring the 1100D. Not my best purchasing decision. I will go forth and buy some 35mm film and take the OM-10 for a walk and see how that works out.

The iPhone SE camera stays, as does the T-100. Each has its uses. Just not for cityscapes.

Monday, 25 September 2017

A Couple of Tunes

This is my favourite U2 song, simply because, well, pretty much everything

and I listened to the Paul Simon album on Tidal recently, and was surprised to find it was as good as I remembered, and sounded just as good the second time. This track has some of the best guitar playing Simon has done, and as for the electric guitar chording...

Oh, and you should use the Brave Browser. It's what browsing is supposed to be.