The UFO Problem

Tucker Carlson has a UFO problem. Going back to the start of his Fox show, he has done segments on various claims about space aliens visiting earth. These are not claims by people, who swear they have been probed by big gray men, but the claims of people who worked in government at one time or another. He has even interviewed people, who worked on government UFO programs. Recently he had former Pentagon people on to talk about this story of a secret UFO file.

People like these sorts of stories, even if they don’t believe in little green men secretly visiting our planet. It’s fun to think about what it would be like if we did verify such visitations from another world. Tucker is not a kook, so his interest in this topic should not be dismissed out of hand. The American government has taken the issue seriously, at least according to that recent story. So much so they have had top men working on it for a very long time. They think it could be true.

The crux of the matter is that pilots have, on multiple occasions, recorded objects buzzing around in ways that cannot be explained. At least they look like objects in the videos released to the public. In these videos, pilots and crew can be heard asking questions about what they are seeing. No official explanation has been offered, so we are left to assume they don’t know either. It seems that on many occasions, American fighter pilots have spotted UFO’s.

Now, it has to be said that many of these could simply be clever pranks by servicemen with too much free time. Every year someone gets busted for making a contrail penis in the sky, so these guys like pranks. Others could simply be anomalies that have a boring technical explanation, so no one bothers with them. Maybe this is just another part of how the government keeps people distracted. The secret UFO files are just part of the ongoing psyops to distract the public from noticing too much.

The trouble with the various ways of dismissing the UFO stuff is it often sounds as conspiratorial as the theories explaining why these are visiting aliens. Repeatedly, we see that the people running the American government are too dumb to execute the basic functions of the state. It’s unlikely they are working a complex, multi-generational deception involving fake UFO video. The people who use text messages to plot sedition are not going to be working such a complicated scheme.

What the facts tell us about this stuff is the American government has recorded lots of these events and they remain unexplained. There is a good chance other militarizes have had similar experiences. The Russians and Chinese probably have divisions that collect up and examine unexplained phenomenon. It’s not out of the question that there is some contact between these government agencies, at least an acknowledgement that they exist for the same reasons.

The two possible explanations for the evidence are that it is the result of some completely unknown natural phenomenon or it is space aliens. Both answers would mean large gaps in our understanding of the natural world. Theoretical physicists have been at a dead end for a long time. Space exploration has been stalled for generations. Our understanding of our natural world is at its infancy. These phenomena could simply be more proof that we don’t know a whole lot.

Of course, if these are space aliens, it means some species well beyond our understanding has solved problems we cannot contemplate. For example, our best science is not all that sure humans can live in space long enough to travel beyond Mars and back, without dangerous physical consequences. If we are being visited by aliens, it means they solved the problem of carbon based life forms living in space for long periods without being destroyed by radiation.

It would also mean these aliens conquered the physical problem of traveling between galaxies. That means they either live long enough to go light years into space or they have invented propulsion devices that allow for speeds beyond anything we think is possible with what we know of physics. Alternatively, they have found a way to fold space in order to move from one location to another. Instead of physically traveling through space, they make space travel for them.

All of the possible explanations for how visitors from another world raise the age-old science fiction movie paradox. How could a race so advanced be so easily caught on our primitive video? If they have the ability to bend space, they will have the ability to bend light or at least have really good camouflage. They would see our primitive airships long before we were able to see them. These videos contradict the one possible answer for why they exist in the first place.

The answer to that could simply be that they are observing us and part of it is to see how humans react to limited exposure to the possibility of aliens. This could be nothing more than part of the simulation that is our existence. You can come up with all sorts of entirely unprovable explanations for why super intelligent space aliens are getting caught on video. If you want to believe in UFO’s, there’s always a way to maintain the belief in the face of this type of skepticism.

There is one other angle to the UFO stuff. It feeds the need to believe that our governments have super-secret stuff hidden away in super-secret government agencies run by X-Files types. For some reason, people need to believe this. It’s probably because deep down, people won’t except that their government is staffed by stupid people who got lucky. The fate of the world depends on a series or average people guessing the right way or making the right mistakes.

That could be the real psyop. The people in charge know that the rest of us need to think they have things under control. The fake UFO footage is intended to promote the idea that our government has these super-secret programs. If people believe that, they will believe the government screw-ups over foreign policy or economic affairs are really part of some super-secret scheme involving deep state actors. The real psyop is covering up the fact that we are ruled by lucky dimwits.


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The Future Of Futurism

About ten years ago, you could find any number of sites that focused on the future in one fashion or another. Futurism was a cottage industry. Ray Kurzweil and others, who made futurism a specialty, would get interviewed by big shot publications. Kurzweil was even hired by Google to be their professional futurist. The field was full of predictions about how we were on the cusp of the singularity or that we were about discover the fountain of youth. We would live forever in the robot future.

All of that petered out in the last few years. The futurist bloggers closed down and either moved to Twitter or disappeared entirely. The sites that pushed whiz-bang technology stuff have fallen out of favor. We seem to have run out of road on the technology side of things, as all of the low hanging fruit from the microprocessor revolution has been picked and turned into mobile devices. There has not been a killer app or killer device in a long time now. The future is not so promising.

One reason for this sudden lack of interest in the future could be that we are living in a simulation, specifically a quantum simulation. The beings running this simulation decided we needed to focus on other things. Alternatively, this simulation inevitably results in a lack of interest in the future. Having overcome the Malthusian limit and reached the post-scarcity world, the future is not all that interesting. The recent obsession with the future was just an echo effect.

Alternatively, the corresponding simulation to our simulation is now focused on the future, so we are focused on the past. Maybe in this quantum simulation, another version of us exists in another universe. If you spin around clockwise in this universe, your other self spins counter clockwise in the corresponding one. Perhaps when our alternative universe gets romantic about the past, we will see a new burst on interest in the future here in this version of the quantum simulation.

The main argument against this being a simulation is that a race of beings that sophisticated would not have created a simulation this stupid. They would put us in a much more interesting experiment or throw the whole thing in the trash. On the other hand, this simulation could be a child’s experiment. This world in which we exist is sitting on a child’s dresser like an ant farm. The last few decades were the result of the cat getting into the experiment and breaking some things.

The people who claim to know about public sentiment used to claim that movies and television shows about the future were a reflection of the public’s anxiety or lack of it about the present. If dystopian shows were popular, it meant the public was worried about current events. If the shows were more positive, then it meant people were feeling good about things. Presumable the lack of movies about the future would say something as well, but no one mentions it.

That is something that gets little attention about the multicultural paradise our rulers have planned for us. The business model of Hollywood is built on the assumption of a white middle-class. Devouring that white middle-class in order to create a multicultural paradise leaves Hollywood without an audience. South America has never been a great market for mass media. China and India are capable of producing their own computer-generated crap. The future of Hollywood looks grim.

That may be why the focus on the future has faded of late. Twenty years ago, the Matrix could promise a mulatto future, because it seemed so implausible. The tan future imagined by Hollywood seemed as implausible as space ships. Now, people are increasingly aware of the realities of demographics. Imagining a universe that is full of mystery meat people is just going to press the wrong buttons. Maybe that’s why Hollywood interest in the future has waned over the last few years.

That also raises another issue. Very few people, even in dissident politics, like talking about the multicultural future that awaits us. All of the commentary is either directly or indirectly about how to prevent it. Since there is no stopping the transformation of America into a majority-minority society, the most fertile ground of futurism is about a world where hostile tribes, rubbing shoulders with one another, are monitored by high tech corporations. That’s the future that awaits us.

Maybe that’s the reason futurism is no longer popular. Dystopian futures were intended to be warnings about the present. Whiz-bang futures are about current trends, or imagined ones, advancing to their natural end. Since no warning about multicultural future will make a difference, there’s no point in it. Because that future will be awful, there’s no point in thinking about it now. For people who sense they have no future, there is no market for futurism.

On the other hand, that means there is a market for dissident writers to create fiction that is positive about the fight ahead. The trouble is the people who make movies don’t want white people to be positive, so they instead make movies about gay comic book heroes and mulatto girls running the world. Still, it is an untapped market that some clever dissident could mine. Maybe the next turn of dissident politics is dissident samizdat fiction about the tribal wars to come.


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The 2020 Predictions

The best thing about the future is you can say whatever you like about it without fear of being wrong, because it has not happened yet. That is, unless you are foolish enough to remind people of your past predictions. Even though none of us can see around corners, we like to imagine what the coming year holds. Even if it is just for amusement, making predictions at this time of year is a fun exercise. So, once again here are what the omen in Lagos are telling us about the coming year.

The forecast for the Democrat primary is a three cushion shot. First, Buttigieg pulls the shocker and wins the Iowa caucus. Sanders comes in second. Biden and Warren both fail to reach expectations as minor candidates nibble away at their support. This carries into New Hampshire, where Sanders wins, but Buttigieg comes in second. This makes him the darling of the cat lady media. The Warren campaign is effectively over, but she staggers on. Biden plans to make his stand in South Carolina.

People forget that Sanders gave Clinton a run for her muumuu in the Nevada caucus in 2016, despite the party cheating like mad on her behalf. Sanders will win the Nevada caucus this time, but Buttigieg will come in second with Biden a close third. This will setup the big showdown in South Carolina. Biden, having been weakened by three bad showings will see his black support slip. The result will be a three way jumble, which will turn the race into a Buttigieg versus Sanders battle.

This will be the great shredding of the Democrat coalition. Blacks are not all that fond of Sanders or Buttigieg. The remaining working class whites are not fond of these two either. The donors who run both parties will not want to see Sanders top the ticket, so they will swing hard for Buttigieg. What will become clear to the various tribes of the Democrat party is they are not all that important to the party. They will learn what conservatives are starting to learn about the Republicans…

The chaos of the Democrat primary will have one benefit and that will be a lightening up of the tech censorship. They will be much too concerned with the primary to go troll hunting for blasphemers. There’s also the fact that a lot was learned by the good guy in the great banning wars. Just as people learned to communicate bad thoughts during the Soviet Union, dissidents are now adopting language and postures that allow bad ideas to be transmitted in spite of speech codes….

The decline of Conservative Inc. will become acute as National Review begins to look for a white knight to keep the publication going. The fact is, the readership of that publication is being decimated by the actuarial tables. The typical reader is now over 70 years old. They never recovered from 2016 and more important, they have not been able to find their footing in the age of Trump. Like the rest of Conservative Inc., National Review is a legacy operations with no natural constituency…

In sports, the Premiere League will have its first trans player…

Not only will Brexit finally happen, it will be something closer to the hard exit that the usual suspects waved around to scare people. What will become obvious to the EU and Boris Johnson is that a clean break is the best. A new trade agreement will be hammered out similar to what the US currently has with the EU. At the same time, a free trade deal will be quickly negotiated between the UK and the US. The Anglosphere will move one step closer to becoming an economic bloc…

Nancy Pelosi will send the articles of impeachment over to the Senate on the agreement that there will be no actual trial. The right thing for the GOP to do is have a public trial and let Team Trump make their arguments about the seditious plot and the Democrat connections to Ukrainian corruption. This would destroy the Democrats in the 2020 election and give the GOP a shot at winning back the House. It would be a public relations catastrophe for the political establishment.

That’s why McConnell will never allow that to happen. Instead, it will be a closed door session, where they do nothing, then a public vote. There will be a few GOP traitors like Mitt Romney who will vote to convict, but otherwise it will fail. This will give the Democrats enough cover with their base, but also give the GOP leverage to force Trump into concessions. They have several amnesty bills, for example, ready for his signature. Impeachment will be good for The Swamp…

In January, Bill Barr will announce that he is looking to some things about the FBI scandal, but is waiting on yet another inspector general report. In March he will remind everyone he is still looking into the FBI issue. In June rumors will float around about Durham doing something. By fall, the election will require putting all of it aside as that would be seen as an unnecessary distraction. The point being is that nothing will come of the Durham investigation. The whole thing gets broomed…

Finally, the big item of the year is the election. Trump will be running from behind again, but this time he will not be sneaking up on anyone. Pete Buttigieg will make sure to sashay around the Rust Belt promising everyone a fabulous economy. While having a twink president of clown world would make sense, the result this time will be similar to last time. Trump wins a slim majority in the popular vote, as blacks stay home. In one of life’s ironies, the racists are saved by the black man…


For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!


Happy Thanksgiving

Somewhere I lived, a radio station would put this song on loop all day so their employees could be home with their families. Someone told me it is a tradition in New England, but I don’t know if that is true. Maybe more of a habit. I knew a guy who would put that station on and listen to that song all day. He may have been the person who told me it was a New England tradition, but it was long ago.

The first time I heard this song in full was on the way back to Massachusetts from a trip south for some reason. I was driving through Stockbridge and I came upon a cop, who had pulled over a car full of libertarians. You could tell they were libertarians by their unpleasant demeanor and the “John Galt” stickers on their AMC Pacer. The cop was beating them with his flashlight along the side of the road.

I stopped and offered to help him beat the libertarians. He was more than happy to let me join in on the fun. Before long others had stopped and joined in on the beating of the libertarians. There’s really nothing like the holiday season to bring out the best in people. It was one of those times when you really understood the meaning of a holiday like Thanksgiving. All of us have a reason to give thanks, even if it just that we were never a libertarian or defective in some similar way.

Thank you to everyone who supports the effort. I truly appreciate it. Thank you to those who participate in what is regarded as one of the best comment sections on this side of the great divide. It is one of the things I count as a blessing. Whenever I’m out in the real world talking about this stuff, I’m always asked how I managed to create such a fun and informative comment section. I hope everyone has a wonderful day in whatever way in which you give thanks. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Another Trip Around The Sun

Yesterday was my annual physical, so I got to experience a little bit of the American health care system. Since I don’t have any maladies, I only experience the system on these annual trips to get inspected. As is always the case, when you are familiar with something, its quirks seem normal. When you are unfamiliar with something, those quirks and contradictions jump out to you. My trip to the doctor is like visiting a strange place for the first time. All the weirdness stands out to me.

The first bit of oddness is the check-in. Last year they started this new process where you answer a survey when you arrive for the appointment. They ask questions about your personal habits that are none of their business. One question was whether you own firearms and why. There’s no reason for the doctor to know this or ask it, but that question was on the survey again this year. A new question was to list the states I had visited in the last year. It is not hard to see where this is going.

Another new item this year is a kiosk where you check-in for the appointment. One of the things they do is take your picture. My dentist started this last year. There’s no reason for them to take a picture of you, at least not one to do with health. Most likely, the pics are being sold to the tech giants. The mass surveillance system being built out by companies like Google and Facebook will use facial recognition to track us as we go about our business, so they want a database of faces.

In this regard, the health care system is a glimpse into the future our rulers have planned for us. To the people in the health care system, I am just a talking meat stick, one of many, they have to supervise. The relationship between the patient and the system is impersonal and transactional. Health care is a process. The patients enter the system, pass through the system and come out the other end repaired, broken in some new way or dead. No one really cares, just as long as the process continues.

Of course, the American health care system is really just a massive series of toll booths and processing centers. All along the way, patients are turned upside down and given a good shake to get money from their insurer. If you have a malady, you get diverted into a new series of toll booths and processing centers, so the people manning those operations can dip into the insurance pool you represent. The business of treating sick people is a good business for a lot of people.

A good example of how this works is I had patella tendinitis a few years back. I was pretty sure that was the issue, but I asked the doctor about it. He sent me to a quack called a physical therapist. My insurance covered five visits, so he said I needed five visits, then I would be sent for an MRI. To get the MRI, I would need an X-ray. The doctor, of course, needed to see me in-between stops. The point of the process was to squeeze out every dime from my insurance plan.

If the goal were to treat my injury, they would have sent me for the MRI right away, as that would tell them the best course of action. They would see that it was tendinitis and that rest and a brace were the right course. That would not line the pockets of the quack, the X-ray company or the doctor, so that’s not what happens. This is one reason American health care is absurdly expensive. We have great health care, but you have to pass through a lot of toll booths to get it.

Another new thing this year was a giant flat screen in the waiting area running ads for various drugs and treatments. It used to be that the sci-fi movies about the dystopian future would show a world bombarded by ads everywhere you went. That’s where we are headed now. I suspect that the next time I see the doctor, he will have patches on his smock like race car drivers. He will great me with, “this physical has been brought to you by the makers of” some drug being pushed on patients.

The funny thing about the problems of the American health care system is that this is the one area where libertarians could apply their arguments. They don’t, of course, as that would take time away from selling weed and porn to grade school kids, but there is a libertarian case to be made about health care. In fact, we have a libertarian health care system operating in the United States. It is world class and provides amazing results for the patients. It is called veterinary medicine.

In America, our pets get better health care than most humans on earth. The cost, compared to any system in the West, is trivial. The service is phenomenal, as there are lots of suppliers competing for customers. In my area, I have one doctor and five veterinary clinics. I don’t need permission to make an appointment and I am not required to pay a monthly fee for services I’ll never use. It is a great example of how to operate a market-based health care system that no one ever mentions.

Whenever I mention this, the immediate push-back is that you can choose to put down your animal, but you cannot put down your granny. That is nonsense, as we end care all the time for terminal people. In Europe, they are euthanizing people now, sometimes against their will, just to cut costs. All the current system does is disguise these tough choices by shifting them onto the system. For most of human history people accepted that death was the inevitable end of life. We can accept is again.

The good news is the ravages of time have not made me obsolete, so the system recommended I remain operational for another orbit around the sun. Even though I had no issues to report, I was still relieved to learn I was not on that list. Like most men, I don’t like interfacing with the health care system, so good health means less interaction with the system. Of course, it will not be long before my social credit score flags me for refurbishment or perhaps recycling, but for now I get to live another day.


For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!


Autumn Joy

It is a rainy and gray in Lagos, as the keeper of sacred law begins her descent into despair, anticipating the return of her daughter to the underworld. According to myth, this is the time when the goddess Demeter begins to grow sad, thinking about her daughter, Persephone, leaving her to return to Hades. As a result, the earth begins to lose its life and become increasing barren. When Persephone departs, the land falls into winter until the time when Demeter anticipates the return of her daughter.

Now, there are other interpretations of the myth. The alternative version has the barren period as the dry Mediterranean summer, when life was threatened by drought. For most people, that version does not work and it does not square with the sophistication of the people who created the myth. It’s the sort of thing a certain sort of person says in order to be disruptive. The Greeks understood not only the cycle of life, but the consequences that came from ignoring or denying this natural reality.

That’s probably why autumn has such a magical quality to it for most European people, at least those with a grip on reality. There is the beauty of it, of course, but that beauty is followed by winter. It is the ability to appreciate the majesty of nature, even when you know what follows, that separates people. On one side are those who long for an endless summer, where they never have to think about tomorrow. On the other side are those who accept the cycle of life and the reality of the human condition.

Even in a place like Lagos, the beauty of the season is impossible to miss, unless you are one of those summer people. There are those who prefer summer to winter, but would not want to live in a land without seasons. Then there are those who spend their winter bitching about the cold, swearing oaths about how this is the last winter in wherever it is there is winter. If you are around these sorts, autumn in made even better, as you get to see their torment against the backdrop of the fall foliage.

Being a level-headed occidental man, I love this time of year. Yesterday morning I got out on a bike path in the country. The leaves are just starting to turn around here. For some reason, fall has been late this year. Perhaps Demeter got her hopes up that this time things would be different. Maybe she took a class on feminism and died her hair blue, until Zeus came down and straightened here out. Women, even the supernatural ones, need a man to keep them in line. That too is the nature of things.

Out on the path, I did not encounter many people. Around Lagos, spring is when people get out and do their walking, hiking and riding. As spring turns to summer, the number of people I will see out in the woods will shrink until the fall, when it is down to the hardy souls who are outside all year round. This is true of fishing. If you are a fall fisherman, this is one of the better times, as you have the river to yourself. The people inside don’t know what they are missing, but then again, those outside don’t miss them.

This time of year in this part of the world brings the white tail rut. It is the time of year when a young buck goes in search of a bride. In reality, it is when they go insane chasing tail to the point of exhaustion. It is one of those things that you can explain to a city person and they suddenly become wiser about life. Urbanization has cut most people off from the reality of life, like the breeding cycle of animals, which means they can fill their heads with crazy ideas at odds with the human condition.

I think the thing I like most about this time of year is the shorter days or that the days are growing shorter. I am at my most productive in the fall and winter, as the ever shorter days reminds me that I have only so much time. When the sun is up until a few hours before bed time, it feels like time comes to a crawl. When you wake in the dark and come home in the dark, you have no illusions about time. Every rustle of the leaves is like a giant clock striking the hour. Best get at it.

Now, I do like winter, so the gathering darkness and dropping temperatures is not followed by something I think is awful. In fact, winter is my second favorite month of the year, just behind autumn. The only reason winter falls behind autumn on my list is that it does not snow enough here in Lagos. Instead we get ice storms that are no fun. They can be pretty, but usually it means spending an hour chiseling my car door open, while trying not to fall and break a hip. I’m not a kid anymore.

In Denmark, they call this the cozy season or the start of the cozy season. They have a word for it, “hygge” which roughly means “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” They take all their fun indoors, where they will turn the lights down, sit by the fire and have conversation with friends and family. In Lagos, we include the sound of sirens and gunfire, but the concept is the same. I’m looking forward to the hygge.


For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!


Glory To The Pitchman

Like everyone reading this, you have no doubt been hit with an advertisement for a food product, or perhaps a restaurant, and instantly wanted the item. Maybe it was an internet ad or maybe a television ad during your favorite program. You saw the ad or commercial and you just had to have the product. Maybe it was for something you never considered, but after seeing the ad, you changed your mind. Like all people in the modern age, you are highly susceptible to commercial advertisement.

Now, you are probably thinking, “I’ve never had this happen. I just ignore advertisements on-line.” Of course, you would be right. There’s little data to suggest advertisement drives consumer behavior all that much, but the people producing the ads and selling their services to business, are absolutely sure you are easily persuaded by their ads. This is why all of us are bombarded by advertisements. It’s why internet companies steal your information and sell it to marketers.

It is a central tenet of the modern economy, the tent pole that holds the whole thing up, that advertisements increase sales. All of the major global companies have big budgets for marketing. Those ad dollars support radio and television. Those ad dollars make modern sports entertainment possible. The internet, as it currently exists, is dependent upon the belief that ads alter consumer behavior. If the world suddenly stopped believing in the ad men, the world as we know it would change overnight.

The funny thing though, is advertisements have little impact on human behavior, at least not to  the degree everyone assumes. If you see an ad for a new store opening in your area, that may cause you to check it out. Similarly, notices for an event in your area could get you out to the event. Awareness advertising, as the name implies, works, because it does a simple thing. It makes people aware of something they would otherwise not know or remember, like a new store or a special event.

Awareness ads are a tiny minority of advertising. Most ads are about specific products and services. There is always an awareness component to them, but for the most part the ads you see are intended to get you to buy product. Beer ads expect you to buy more beer of the type being advertised. Yet, not only is there no data to back up the assumption, the data says it has no effect on behavior. Here’s a study of ads for alcoholic products over the last forty years. Ads have no impact on sales.

Like democracy, the modern economy relies on people thinking important things are true, even though they are not true. If people realized their votes don’t count, then they would stop voting and resort of other means to change government. It’s why the charade of democracy is so profitable. Similarly, the modern economy relies on the fiction of human suggestibility. Marketing is a lucrative career, because the modern economy needs people to believe people are highly suggestible.

This is not to say that people are skeptics, of course. Fads have made a lot of people rich in the modern economy. A fad is just a commonly held belief that having or doing something increases one’s status or signals belonging to a group. Apple is a trillion dollar company, largely due to the ability of Steve Jobs to position his products as a bourgeois moral signifier. The iPod was not a great leap forward in technology. It was an example of the natural conformity within bourgeois society.

That is, of course, the perceived value of advertising. Global companies that spend their money reinforcing public perceptions about their brand. Dodge runs TV ads suggesting their customers are John Wayne from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence. They are the indispensable, yet never appreciated foundation of society. Similarly, Apple marketed itself as the product for the distinguishing, carefree member of upper middle-class America, better that those proletarian zombies of the lower classes.

This may sound like a mark in favor of advertising, but the reality those public attitudes must exist for the ads to work. Every truck maker, even the Japanese makers, pitch themselves the same way. They are not creating a new identity group. They are attaching themselves to one that exists. Trucks were associated with working men long before the ad men thought of it. The term “Apple snob” was in circulation when Jobs was still in the wilderness, during his hiatus from the company.

Nevertheless, people believe advertising works, which is why Facebook is a gazillion dollar company. They sell your information to marketing firms and place targeted ads on their platform. The fact that no one looks at those ads or that the data Facebook sells is garbage is not important. People see the billion eyeballs on the site and believe that putting their product on the site will boost sales. They believe knowing the internet habits of those users will make for more persuasive advertising.

Steve Sailer, who started out in life doing quantitative research on marketing has written about this over the years. Before the internet existed, it was obvious to him that most marketing was a waste of money. Of course, there’s no money in telling people this, so there is not a lot of research done on advertising. It’s a good example of how belief is very powerful magic. Lots of people believe in advertising, so there is lots of money to be made in advertising. There’s no money to be made in debunking it.

That said, while most companies would be better off burning the cash they use for marketing and posting the video on YouTube, there are some forms of marketing that do work and are cost effective. The pitchman has been a staple of western society since the industrial revolution, because a good pitchman can move product. Whether it is the company sales team or the guy recommending product on his radio or TV show, these guys are an indispensable part of a modern economy.

That’s because people are persuadable, by only by other people. If someone you trust or someone whose judgement seems sound, recommends a product to you, you will consider it. Those radio guys pitching various items are monetizing the trust they have built up with their audience. There are limits to this form of marketing, but it is a cost effective way to identity a persuadable audience and have a trusted person recommend the product to that audience. It’s what marketing analytics pretends to be.

Despite the yawning gap in utility between the pitchman and the ad man, the former is considered low-class, while the latter is glamorous. Willy Loman is probably the most favorable portrayal of the salesman in popular culture. Usually, salesmen are viewed as creepy liars. In contrast, ad men are the slick, debonair types, living exciting lives in glamorous places like Manhattan. The TV series Madmen, relied heavily on this image to keep the audience. It looked cool to be an ad man in the 1960’s.

In reality, people in marketing are mostly shiftless sociopaths, while the people in sales are hardworking and honest. If you are ever evaluating a company for purchase, make sure to talk with the sales guys. They will tell you the truth about their bosses. Be prepared to put the marketing staff to sword. They will tell you whatever you need to hear to increase their budget by five percent next year. The most honest people in any company are the guys grinding through sales calls every day.


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Conspiracy

In America, conspiracy theories have always had a negative connotation, despite being the heart of most Hollywood thrillers and action films. The conspiracy theorist is someone, who is excessively distrustful, yet willing to accept massive leaps of logic to explain everyday phenomenon. They will also be very paranoid. After all, anyone who is onto the grand conspiracy is going to be seen as a threat by the conspirators and the powers that be, so the conspiracy theorist is always under threat.

It’s a funny dynamic, when you think about it. The elaborate, often ridiculous, conspiracy is the heart of so many popular movies and TV shows, yet the conspiracy theorists is a wacko and threat to society. Alex Jones had to be removed from the internet, due to being a conspiracy monger. Added to this is fake news spread on social media, which is a form of rumor designed to create conspiracies and conspiracy theorists. This trope is now so real, the US military has been assigned to tackle it.

Of course, fake news and conspiracy theories are a matter of perspective. For the Left, a conspiracy theory is any explanation that does not support their agenda. Trump secretly colluding with invisible Russians to mind control voters in the 2016 election is a perfectly rational explanation for his victory. People wondering why senior FBI men were colluding with foreign intelligence agencies to spy in the Trump campaign is a dangerous conspiracy theory, probably started by Russians.

Now, many, if not most, conspiracy theories are nutty and designed to get attention for the conspiracy theorist. That’s why Alex Jones exists. He figured out that if he entertainingly talked about conspiracies, he could generate a big audience willing to pay to see him perform. Red Ice, the popular alt-right YouTube show started life as a conspiracy theory outlet. Their stock and trade early on was space aliens and the paranormal. As Hollywood knows, conspiracy is good box office.

A funny thing about most hard core conspiracy theorists though, is they don’t have a lot of interest in genuine conspiracies. There are, after all, real conspiracies. They are common in politics, as politics is the business of plotting in secret to undermine opponents. Without conspiracies, there is no politics. Boris Johnson just learned this the other day when some of his colleagues plotted against him. These sorts of plots, however, have no interest to the conspiracy theorists.

Think about the two big conspiracies of the current year. We have the seditious coup plotted by senior elements of the security agencies. Then there is the on-going cover-up involving two attorneys general and two FBI directors. This is Cassius and Brutus plotting against Caesar, in terms of import and drama, yet the popular conspiracy mongers are not all that interested in the story. You would think the conspiracy guys would be all over it, just as proof that conspiracy are real.

Another conspiracy that seems to have gained little traction with the conspiracy community is the strange life and death of Jeffrey Epstein. Probably the most bizarre and salacious story in half a century, involving shadowy figures in the over class, has generated little interest from the conspiracy mongers. The weird thing about the Epstein case is it got more attention from the conspiracy theorists when he was just a shadowy fixer, than when he was the victim of a conspiracy.

You could easily write a couple of books on the conspiracy theories surrounding the 9/11 attacks. If you google “dancing Israelis” you get page after page of links to sites covering that angle. Ryan Dawson has done dozens of videos on it. These guys are examining beard hair patterns in grainy photos to prove their claims. Philip Giraldi has written extensively on the subject. This two decade old story still gets plenty of attention from the conspiracy community, but current conspiracies get none.

This suggests a couple of things about the sorts of people who become obsessed with conspiracy theories. One is they like the leaps of logic required to tie the various facts together in the narrative. It’s like a solving a puzzle for them. Finding a picture of Person X in the same room as Person Y, who they have already connected to the event, allows them to “solve” some great riddle. The fact that person X and Person Y have no known connection, other than the photo, makes it all the better.

The other thing about the conspiracy people is they eschew certainty. The typical conspiracy theory has lots of ambiguity and uncertainty. On top of that, it has multiple explanations operating in parallel. Where one narrative runs out of road, another narrative picks up from there to connect to another narrative. In a real conspiracy, like the FBI scandal, there are real facts. If all of the classified documents are ever made public, which will never happen, everyone will know what happened.

That’s the funny thing about the critics of conspiracy theories. They claim that these theories are popular because people like simple answers. That is probably a conspiracy there itself. People don’t like simple answers. If they did, Hollywood thrillers would feature no plot, just stuff exploding in between sex scenes. The truth is, people hate simple answers and conspiracy theorists really hate simple answers. The people who prefer an orderly world with no ambiguity are the critics of the conspiracy theorists.

All of this leads to the conclusion that the best way to keep prying eyes from looking to close at your shenanigans is make it look like a conspiracy. Make sure to have a few villainous looking characters and lots of contradictory elements. This will attract the conspiracy people looking to make bank on it. This will then attract the anti-conspiracy people, looking to debunk the conspiracy theorists. The back and forth will allow you to get away with your scheme and enjoy a quiet retirement on Nantucket.


For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!


Dancing Conspiracies

I was listening to the TDS boys yesterday and they had on Ryan Dawson to talk about the latest development in the “Dancing Israelis” story. If you just put that term into your nearest google machine, you will know why this is now a hot topic in the conspiracy community. For a long time there has been a sub-group of 9/11 conspiracy people, who focused on the hundreds of Israeli nationals picked up in sweeps following the attack and the subsequent silence by the government on the issue.

Whenever I run across Ryan Dawson on a podcast, I start thinking about the structure and nature of conspiracy theories and the communities that grow up around them. It is one of those topics I have written about in the past. Dawson is a genuine outlier in the conspiracy world, as he has developed a style that is intended to conflict with the general conception of the conspiracy theorist. He’s the skeptical guy asking questions, while people like Alex Jones are nuts, who give skepticism a bad name.

There is, of course, a big difference between guys like Alex Jones and what we think of as a skeptic. For example, the official narrative of the RFK killing is less believable than most of the conspiracy theories around the JFK assassination. The official record contradicts itself and the testimony of people at the event. That’s skepticism rooted in fact. On the other hand, claiming that school shootings are staged, as Alex Jones has done, is crazy and a terrible thing to say, given that the victims are usually children.

The TDS boys talked at length about what the “dancing Israeli” thing means, in terms of 9/11, geopolitics and domestic politics. One of the things anti-anti-Semites get wrong about the anti-Semite community is the modern anti-Semite is not focused on his hatred of Jews. Instead, he is invested in what amounts to a conspiracy theory about Jews and their alleged control of the West. After all, if Kevin McDonald is right about everything, Jews are the master race, cleverly manipulating the rest of us for their own gain.

That is a different thing than what you see from counter-Semites, who think Jews are just a great model for the rest of us, but that the interests of Jews conflict with the interests of their host countries. There’s a lot of overlap, because both camps use the same humor and jargon. For anti-Semites, Shlomo is a super-intelligent super-villain, while for counter-Semites, Shlomo is just shorthand for Jews. This is another difference the anti-anti-Semites fail to grasp, when sputtering about this stuff.

There is a fair amount of research into conspiracy theories, but a lot of it suffers from the same defects as the subject matter. The people doing the research want to believe things about themselves in contrast to their environment. Belief in conspiracy theories appears to be driven by a need to rationalize events, a need for safety and as a way to find a comfortable social group. Conspiracy theories tend to create subcultures built around one or more conspiracy theories. It’s a community, not a theory.

That’s the thing that is missing about the research into this topic. The structure of the conspiracy is probably the result of the community that supports it. That is, some event occurs and the official narrative is either incomplete or unsatisfying to people who eventually coalesce around their doubt. At this point, the normal group dynamics kick in and the theory matures and grows in complexity. The members of the group reinforce the belief among one another, as group dynamics works toward a consensus.

Another interesting thing about conspiracy theories is they used to be on the fringe, but now they are mainstream. We are rapidly reaching the point where accepting the official narrative on anything is a sign of mental instability. The whole Russian collusion story that has convulsed our rulers for three years is a conspiracy theory that is every bit as weird as the 9/11 truther stuff. Israeli complicity in 9/11 sounds quite plausible compared to invisible men from the Kremlin altering the results of the election.

The fact that an actual conspiracy within the FBI tried to rig the last presidential election probably has a lot to do with the popularity of conspiracy theories among our rulers. One way to excuse the Obama administration’s domestic spying efforts is create an even more outlandish conspiracy. This allows Progressives to dismiss the real conspiracy, as small potatoes, and focus on the “real” conspiracy. In this light, the whole Russian collusion narrative is an elaborate coping mechanism.

Now, as far as my own view on the dancing Israeli stuff, I think it is odd that Israeli nationals were running moving companies in Boston and New York. I think it is odd that some of them had direct connections to Israeli intelligence. I also think it is odd that a lot of Arabs were in the moving business. I did business with these people in the late 1990’s, so I know a bit about it. I knew two former El Al air marshals, who wound up in the moving business. They were serious men back in Israel.

The fact is, Levantine politics is nothing but an endless riddle of conspiracy and intrigue that is inscrutable to occidentals. When America decided to annex this world into the empire, we imported all of the intrigue and conspiracy. The same shenanigans these people engage in over there, they started doing over here. That’s how they ended up in the US in low-barrier to entry businesses like moving companies. It was great cover, as they continued their Bronze Age game of cat and mouse with one another.

What we’re going to learn is that conspiracies and conspiracy theories are a necessary feature of multicultural societies. The Levant is the quintessential multicultural society, as it is the crossroads of the West and East. Three great religions and their off-shoots have their roots in the region. The fact that it a land of intrigue where no one ever takes anything at face value is a feature, not a bug. Creating that society in the West means creating a West that is tribal, distrustful and prone to believing outlandish conspiracies.

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How To Be A Bad Writer

The other day, someone asked me what makes for a good writer. We were discussing Jonah Goldberg’s new venture and I pointed out that the big challenge they will face is finding writers that are any good. It’s not so much that their opinions are banal and lacking in authenticity. It’s that the people writing for these sites are dull writers. The whole space is full of people, who should be writing technical manuals. Almost everyone with writing chops has been chased off by the loathsome carbuncles of Conservative Inc..

The question though, is why are some writers more interesting than others? Mark Steyn is not offering many unique insights, but he makes general commentary about the political scene fun and interesting. He is a great wordsmith. Steve Sailer is not a great wordsmith, but he often makes great observations about the world. In other words, you can be an interesting writer without being brilliant or a great wordsmith, but you better do something that gives the reader a payoff for having read your stuff.

Thinking about it, what often makes a writer good, is that they avoid the things that all bad writers seem to share. In this sense, “good” is not a state in itself, but simply not being in the state we call “bad.” A great wordsmith is further away from the state of bad writing than someone who is just an average writer. That average writer can appear to be much better, by offering keen insights and clever observations. The path to becoming a good writer, therefore, starts with avoiding the things that define a bad writer.

The most common trait of bad writers, it seems, is they write about themselves. Unless you are an international man of mystery, you’re not that interesting. No one is. Bad writers, always seem to think they are the most interesting people they know. This is what made former President Obama such a boring speaker. No matter the subject, his speech was going to be a meditation on his thoughts and feelings about the subject. It became a game of sorts to count how many times he referenced himself in a speech.

That’s the hallmark of bad writing. Instead of focusing on the subject, the writer focuses on himself, which suggests he does not know the material. Even when relating an experience or conversation, the good writer makes himself a secondary character in the story, not the focus. Bad writers are always the hero of everything they write, as if they are trying to convince the reader of something about themselves. Good writers avoid this and focus on the subject of their writing.

Now, in fairness, there is a division between the sexes on this one. Female writers only write about themselves. It’s why autoethnography is wildly popular with the Xirl science types on campus. They finally have a complicated sounding name for what comes natural to them. Presumably, female readers like reading this stuff, so there may be a Xirl exception to this rule. The fairer sex is wired to understand the world, particularly human relations, by observing the reactions of other women to that person or thing.

Another common habit of the bad writer is to use five paragraphs when one paragraph will do the trick. One of the first rules they used to teach children about writing is the rule of women’s swimsuits. Good writing is like a woman’s swimsuit, in that it is big enough to cover the important parts, but small enough to make things interesting. This is a rule that applies to all writing and one bad writers tend to violate. They will belabor a point with unnecessary examples or unnecessary explication.

Bad writers are also prone to logical fallacies and misnomers. There’s really no excuse for this, as there are lists of common logical fallacies and, of course, searchable on-line dictionaries in every language. In casual writing, like blogging or internet commentary, this is tolerable. When it shows up in a professional publication, it suggest the writer and the editor are not good at their jobs. A brilliantly worded comparison between two unrelated things is still a false comparison. It suggests dishonesty on the part of the writer.

Certain words seem to be popular with bad writers. The word “dialectic” has become an acid test for sloppy reasoning and bad writing. The word “elide” is another one that is popular with bad writers for some reason. “Epistemology” is another example, popular with the legacy conservative writers. Bad writers seem to think cool sounding words or complex grammar will make their ideas cleverer. Orwell’s second rule is “Never use a long word where a short one will do.” It’s the commonly abused by bad writers.

Finally, another common feature of bad writing is the disconnect between the seriousness of subject and how the writer approaches the subject. Bad writers, like Jonah Goldberg, write about serious topics, using pop culture references and vaudeville jokes. On the other hand, feminists write about petty nonsense as if the fate of the world hinges on their opinion. The tone should always match the subject. Bad writers never respect the subject they are addressing or their reader’s interest in the subject.

No doubt there are more complete and concise descriptions of bad writing than this quick list of observations. The pedants reading this sees all writing as bad writing, as everything they read violates at least one picayune rule they cherish. To normal people, though, good writing is mostly the absence of bad writing and bad writing is the violation of some basic rules of written communication. Therefore, if you want to be a good writer, you should first avoid being a bad writer. That gets you at least halfway home.