On Free Marketers’ Free Marketing of Free Markets

“The Free Market creates higher quality products at lower prices” is a tagline masquerading as an explanation, a simplification of a relationship of opposing parties down to one constant result. Any time something odd happens, libertarians et. all will say “it wasn’t a true free market”, “capitalism != corporatism”, or any number of words they define at that moment purely for rallying purposes.

These are the three parties that marketists marketers will talk about:

  1. The seller,
  2. The buyer, and
  3. The other sellers.

Supposing, for the duration of this post, that other parties and factors from government to culture and infrastruture to topography are as irrelevant as they say, they are still wrong about the balance of these three, and will basically be wrong about the balance everywhere even if the model was a neighborhood garage sale, a simulation run by a class of college students, or the same simulation run by children. Communists don’t understand human nature, and Marketers don’t understand it either. Libertarians are often pointed out as having a very high population of autists, which makes sense if we look into how they see the world: “I want it, therefore I will be given it”.

Let’s start with the seller.

People driven by profit are inclined to take as much money as they can while putting in minimum effort. Wherever it can, it will attempt to maximize in these two directions: it will sell down to whatever people are willing to accept, up to whatever price they are willing to pay. The best situation is for people to give them any amount of money they want for nothing. People have heard famously about 100$ Nike shoes costing 1$ to make, but their measly 11.25% profit margin isn’t the holy grail. “Rent-seeking” isn’t it either, they barely do much better at 12%, and were only at 2% before the start of the second great depression. No, the holy grail is much higher than that. The holy grail is 100%.

They are not your friends. Their best interests are not and will never be your best interests. They’ll try to be your friends. Just like how the street hustler with the cards will tell you you’re such a pretty girl, aw thanks you’re so nice. But if they can rig the cards while making you believe you can follow them, they will. And if they can make you feel at home while getting some of their actual friends to pick your pocket, they’ll do that too. Which they of course do, in whatever form it takes for their industry.

“People aren’t that mean!”

You’re paying for a product which is 97% profit.

Unless my blog is so great someone printed it out, you used it to read this post.

No need to disagree about how “the people would never stand for that”. They do. They have been for 20 years. It’s probably true in a number of other places too. So let’s talk instead about how it works and see if we can’t find out something that might predict where profit can be made, rather than waiting for libertarians marketers to complain afterwards about how something or other wasn’t a real free market.

The reason why they believe things shouldn’t happen this way is because of the buyer. Sellers can sell for whatever they want, but it doesn’t mean anything without the buyer, and the buyer will always want higher quality at a lower price.

…”And therefore the higher quality will appear at a lower price” would be golden, maybe someday a libertarian will actually say it and then I’ll have another permanent pet toy, but that’s basically what they believe and espouse without irony or further explanation. Tell this to a child and they’d know that something’s up. How is it possible that, when two people with opposing goals negotiate, one just always wins, and wins everything they want at the cost of the other guy? No middle ground? No give-and-take? Just a “And I would’ve gotten away with it too if it weren’t for you meddling kids”?

It should be obvious that if the buyer wants something that the seller doesn’t it won’t happen either, and marketers will recognize this logic when presented with their favorite S&D graph, but completely forget it otherwise. Outside it they use quotes like

There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.

which is surprising, or unsurprising, because they don’t realize the meaning of it being a well-publicized quote about consumers, from someone who didn’t make a name for themselves on consumer advocacy, but the exact opposite. The customer can fire everyone? Really? Can someone name the last time something like that happened? Everyone hates Comcast and EA, when’s the last time something substantial happened at those companies in any direction the customer wanted? Anyone?

The biggest problem in the model is that there isn’t one customer.

Every individual transaction may be one seller and one buyer but the vast majority of transactions only exist because there’s one seller and many buyers. Only a very few businesses can be made off of only one buyer, like being an artist in the Renaissance, or being Boeing, Bechtel, Raytheon, or Tesla today. Everyone else needs a bunch of customers. It’s basically true to say “the seller”, it’s basically untrue to say “the customer”.

And these customers don’t know each other – meaning if one guy is screwed the others won’t know, and if they do, they won’t care. Even if they do know, does it mean anything beyond an Angry reaction on Facebook? Does it affect the seller in any significant way?

A big thing happened a little while back; United Airlines beat up a customer to unreasonably get him off a flight, all recorded and known around the world minutes after it happened thanks to the wonder and ubiquity of smartphones. Reddit’s subforum for cat videos had nothing but pages and pages of stuff on UA, and apparently UA’s stock dropped by more than $1 Billion USD. Stock market being, we’re told, a reflection of consumer opinion.

Here’s a graph of UA stock. Can you tell me when the incident happened?

Are you looking for the biggest drop? It’s not so obvious is it. It’s somewhere in these last three months. Here’s the graph for the last year, which won’t help either.

The other problem is buyers generally don’t know anything about the product. It’s easy to say people want a higher quality product at a lower price, which is how you know it’s just a marketing line. Chasing the words will only lead you into the predetermined holes. In abortion you’re “pro-choice” or “pro-life”, but how can you say you’re against choice or against life?

Let’s ask an answerable question: How does a buyer know something is higher quality?

When you think of an average person looking up products to buy to fulfill a particular need, and they’re not simply buying the same thing they’ve bought before, they’re not just doing whatever their friends said, and they’re out looking for whatever is the best actual thing for the job, what do you think of?

That’s right. Reviews. Or if it’s Amazon/Yelp, not even the reviews, just the rating distribution. It better be mostly 5/5’s and have 100+ reviews or forget about it. The other routes would be it’d be whatever the bigger review magazines said, or if in a physical store whatever the Sales Associate™ said, or some brand with trustworthy-looking graphic design.

People don’t know what they’re buying and are buying only because they’re told to.

“Well what else could it be?”

Reading specsheets. i.e. Looking at the actual thing money is being paid for.

The reviews part is important too but we’ll get back to that in a bit.

When switching to a new case a while back I bought fans for my computer, a few Fractal Design Venturi HF-14s. Aside from positive reviews, I bought it because I knew a bit about what the product would actually do based off of what it said. Rubber corners means fan vibration doesnt lead to noise. Multi-size means I can use a larger fan i.e. push more air through my smaller components. It’s not a sleeve bearing so it’ll last longer. There’s a number for how many dB’s of noise it’ll make. There’s a lot of other stuff too which I don’t know how to read, but of what I do know, and I know some, it looked pretty good. Here’s their page on the product (backup link).

I also got a new fan recently because it’s summer and it’s hot, a Honeywell 7″ Power Air Circulator, but only because my mom had one too and I fiddled with it beforehand: quiet, small, high airflow, and the rotation is stiff rather than flimsy. But if I hadn’t had this experience, I wouldn’t have gotten it, because there’s nothing about it I can find beforehand that makes any sense. There’s no specsheets on it from Honeywell. On a Venturi box most of the specs are listed on the back. On the Honeywell box are:

  • 7″
  • 3 Powerful Speeds
  • Turbo FORCE Power
  • 25% Quieter
  • SAVE up to 20% on Energy Bills

and that’s it for specs. The back is in Spanish.

7″ and 3 speeds are the only specs on the box, everything else, including the stuff I did bother to list, is nonsense. I can tell you how much noise a Venturi makes, says right on the box, 26.5dB. I wouldn’t know if it makes 25 or 27, but I know what 20, 30, and 40dB are so it gives me a rough idea. “25% quieter” doesn’t tell me anything. Quieter than what?

25% quieter claim is based on internal sound test (#08-017) comparing model HT-900 to another similar sized air circulator, HT-800.

What’s the problem with listing the number on the box?

What’s that supposed to mean anyways? I need to buy your HT-800 first? Wouldn’t be the worst thing ever if I could access this “internal sound test #08-017”, but that’s also not public information. And what’s with the rest of it? “Turbo FORCE Power“? Graphic design from the 90’s doesn’t keep the hot air away. Do I need to go to the dollar store to pull examples of big bang words in fancy fonts and colors paired with products that aren’t worth the time spent in the drive over? Again, the fan isn’t actually so bad, but how would I know? Or, in obverse, I don’t know if there’s actually significantly better fans out I could’ve gotten instead of this one, because all of the stuff any of them list in their advertising is complete hot garbage.

Sure, Fractal Design could be lying to me, maybe the fan actually produces a louder 40dB instead, but Honeywell could’ve given me a trash fan and I wouldn’t be able to say anything about it because Turbo FORCE Power doesn’t mean jack squat. With the Venturi I know there’s certain other fans out there that are better at this or that, but for the size I had, and a price range I was willing to pay, it was the best in terms of airflow and noise level. I don’t know anything about the Honeywell except that I turn it on when it’s hot.

The same holds true for most people about anything they’re buying. They want something to fulfill a need, they look up what people have been saying about various products that claim to fulfill that need, they get one, and that’s it. It could be better, it could be worse. They don’t know. They don’t have a clue. And they don’t care; if they’re told it’s 5/5 stars and it doesn’t have any obvious problems for 6mo~1yr (depending on the person), it’s perfect by them. It just so happens there’s quite a lot of perfect products on Amazon and restaurants on Yelp waiting for everyone. God Bless America.

I’m not saying this way of doing things is wrong. If you can’t tell the difference in quality and you think it’s fine then for you it probably is. Let the people who care about what you see as minutiae deal with whatever they think the problem is. People only have so much time in a day anyways, no one person can be expected to be educated and perfectly informed on everything. Just recognize that you basically don’t know what you’re doing for most of the things you’re buying, you most likely aren’t getting the best, and are making decisions based off of pretty pictures and silver words.

For libertarians though:

This is supposed to be the grand ultimate force which is supposed to oppose money.

Certainly in some fields “the” customer holds more power than not, but it’s never, ever due to any populist reasoning. It’s more that a few powerful buyers with very strong opinions and very specific goals saying to the seller “I’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse”, and less of everyone else absentmindedly reciting “The meek shall inherit the earth”. Buyers who only buy a product once or otherwise only think about it and then go on with their lives have no power in any field. Buyers who are recognized as informed and thus guide others opinions on the matter – those have power. They make the changes, everyone else is just the tool. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people; you don’t fire everybody in the company the chairman on down, popular reviewers do. Maybe. I haven’t seen it ever happen. But if it happens, it’ll be because of them, not because of any stupid Hollywood-tier Power To The People crap.

The more a seller relies on buyers with opinions, the more the balance shifts towards the buyers. The less a seller can be influenced by other people in power, the more the power shifts toward the seller. For higher quality lower cost product to exist, there must be powerful buyers whose desire is higher quality lower cost products. This is the full logic chain, not “if: competition, then: better cheaper stuff”.

There’s also plenty of powerful buyers whose desire is something other than higher quality lower cost products, a topic which I won’t get into in this post. Suffice to say, shilling is a thing. A really big thing.

Read a handful of Amazon Vine reviews, and tell me how many of them you think were written by a real person. Expand to big reviewers in general. Remember, they get free products from the company and make their living off of them. See also “Sponsored Content” and “Native Advertising”. Or just look at Starbucks.

The final party is the other sellers. There’s generally not a lot of other sellers. Certainly if there’s more of them, then it’s more likely that there’s going to be variances.

But even then it’s not like it’s all competition all the time. Even amateur markets like Artist’s Alley at anime and comic conventions have organizations. However many of them there are, there’s always lot more of you. Why is it that basically every stall you go to and every poster or charm you see, they’re all selling at about the same price? It’s not like some kind of reverse auction where they’re all scouting around the place all the time, starting at various different prices and all cut down over the course of a convention so they could cut into the profits of whoever was selling cheaper.

Because you’re faceless, and they’re not.

Even before the internet and “price-matching”, look on any older box, you’ll find that the price was already on the product. “MSRP”: Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price. And basically, unless it was Christmas Shopping Season or some other special event, that was the price for that thing, everywhere. That number can’t come to exist if we accept the libertarian individualist state of nature explanation of the world, where the manufacturer simple ships the product to a distributor, who cares who actually sells it in the end, let them figure out the price themselves I already got my cut.

No, obviously there’s a supply chain, distributors and retailers which have stayed in business, have connections, and use general agreed-upon practices and markups. They talk to each other and come to agreements. They don’t just roll over and say the customer wants higher quality at lower prices, whats my competitor got, time to offer higher quality at lower prices. Unlike you, they have to deal with the other guy tomorrow, probably the day after too, and potentially ten years from now. And the other guy has a lot more impact on them then literally who. Listed MSRP hard to find these days, but its existence and disappearance suggests certain structures, structures which generally haven’t changed, structures which show more cooperation with each other than with you.

Even if they only have one meeting with each other a year, it’s probably between a couple of their bigwigs, making a deal of some sort, setting up information sharing. What’s your connection to any of these manufacturers or retailers? One purchase? Maybe one review whose star rating is seen by 50 people? A call to customer service?

And then what? You got a higher quality product at a lower price from a competitor?

And that’s why this whole system is the best, thank god we aren’t communists?

If we assume it’s an average buyer with an average product, then it comes back to the same problem as before: There’s no knowledge that it’s actually a better product. What was better was the final opinion, because of the product not breaking or reading more shining reviews or friendly customer service that happened to resolve the problem this time rather than with the nonresolution with the other company, or who knows what else; whatever it is: not the product. “The free market provides higher quality products at lower prices” is literally completely unrelated to the actual experience, to most anyone’s actual experiences, yet it’s chanted at anything and everything nonstop all the time.

What sellers actually do: Sell poorer products at higher prices.
What buyers actually do: Look at whatever has the most positive/popular reviews.
What sellers actually do: Pay well-known reviewers to review positively.
What buyers actually do: Buy anyways.

This is the actual result.

“But it’s wrong and probably illegal for them to do some of the things they’re doing, let me try and find some law that supports my argument, then I’ll show you why it isn’t actually a free market” is not relevant. Sellers in a market want to make more money while having spent less to do it, and buyers in most markets, who number in magnitudes larger than the sellers, have no clue what they’re doing, put those two together and whatever fancy jargon you make up aside, the cards always fall this way. Maybe the details differ. Nike makes 10 cents per dollar rather than 97. Whatever. But 97 is possible, is happening, and the more companies do it the happier the people are.

That’s right: The more companies profit, the happier people are to buy from them. If the marketers’ ideology was true you’d expect to see the opposite. If people were actually so concerned about lower prices then there’d be info spread around about companies producing whatever product and compare all their profits to see who made the least. Assuming all their products cost the same, this should approximately mean that whoever is profiting the least put the most money into doing the work, therefore a better quality product. What we actually see is everyone wanting to wear Nikes driving Teslas drinking Starbucks while using their iPhone.

People want to spend money on expensive things that they’re told everyone else likes. They don’t need to know what’s in it as long as it doesn’t obviously break, they just need it to have the best reviews and be on the top of all the lists and the tip of everyone’s tongue. Nevermind if it actually breaks, or how it breaks, or how soon it breaks, technology is really complicated these days doncha know? The customer service guy was nice and I like the font and logo the brand uses. I’m proud to continue to support a company that says it’s the leader of innovation into the future. Nevermind if they do or not, who cares anyways, looking at numbers and comparing stats is for nerds.

This is supposed to be the grand ultimate force which is supposed to oppose money.

It opposes with as much resistance as you’d expect.


On Libertarian Morality

Economic Inequality Is Just A Cover For Anti-Rich Prejudice

by Don Watkins, for The Federalist, 2016 April 14

Regarding businessmen, for example, we should condemn those who lie, cheat, and steal. But we should condemn them as individuals for their dishonest and predatory actions.

Universally, all white collar crime gets punished multiple degrees of magnitude less than hood crime. Condemning one businessman and not all of them is a concession that a couple of years in a comfy cell for frauding millions of people out of billions of dollars is approximately the right response.

There’s value in condemning a dishonest businessman over a dishonest person. A person’s role matters. A negligent student is nothing, a negligent mother should mean something extremely serious but doesn’t thanks to a certain demographic in tandem with a certain political structure, a negligent father has a special derogatory word made up just for him. Businessmen of today are lords of the past. It’s one thing to say they should be able to get away with more – maybe they should? But that’s not the argument libertarians make. “They’re just the same as everyone else!”

Replace “the rich” with “Hispanics” or “women” or “Jews” in that sentence, and ask yourself: isn’t this precisely the sort of prejudice we object to when it is targeted at other groups?

Good thing this isn’t a problem then.

Actually being against prejudice is even more stupid than buying Hanlon’s Razor, which I’m pretty confident was created to cover for corruption. You are prejudiced that your key will turn on your car, the switch will turn on the light, the food you buy isn’t rotten, and that you won’t get assaulted just walking down a street, unless you’re in South Africa, Detroit, Berlin, Paris, or London, then maybe you would. And why would that be reasonable? Is it because of ley lines? Some miasma? Special ghosts haunting those areas? Some other magic? Maybe it’s global warming? But we’re all “just” people right?

Equality is just for show. Your ten fingers are all different lengths and your two eyeballs have different strengths, you treat your mother differently than you do your wife but we pretend we’re all equal because as a public narrative repeated ad naseum at no one in particular and only believed by initiates, “it’s good for business”.

That’s why libertarianism exists. “It’s good for business”. Full sentence: It’s good for millionaires’ business in screwing over fresh cheap labor. And, on occasion, it’s good for businesses screwing over other businesses. Full sentence: It’s good for some bigger businesses screwing over other smaller businesses. And there’s no world outside of business. Nevermind that there are other narratives which are better for everyones’ business. “It’s good for business”.

Everywhere outside America immigration is primarily a cultural issue, but here it’s terrible to think about closing borders because startups might suffer. You know, those small businesses whose entire purpose is to sell out so that its owners can strike it big and always results in all its employees getting laid off because the buyout was for purposes of obtaining patents and the “brand”? Forget any other discussions, forget the state of demographics in this country, or unemployment, how the current generation of young adults have no future except grinding a life of poverty living in a truck at the parking lot of their dream job. If we limit immigration, startups might suffer.

Oh. No. Not the startups. Anything but the startups.

Prejudice encourages dehumanization – it encourages demonizing “the other” so they are seen as less than human and therefore unworthy of respect.

Whose problem is this? Is this an appeal to me to be a better person at any cost to me all for the benefit of someone else? Come back with a billion dollars and a sentence to few years in jail and then we’ll talk about “dehumanization of the rich” or whatever you want. Of course, the billion has to come first.

Should have plenty of billions laying around. You did seize all those assets right?


We need to ask ourselves: Do we really think of rich individuals as human beings?

I can tell you how rich people in this country think of poor people.

No, I don’t have any citations. No reputable sources. I guess I’m just making shit up.

Making shit up that’s just magically on the mark every time.

Do we ever so much as ask: Did they honestly earn their money?

Considering most people quit their bosses and not their jobs?

Did they gain it by dealing voluntarily with other people, through an incalculable number of win-win trades?

Inside systems with many involuntary parts that favor them.

Remember: Libertarians think taxation is coercion and theft.

This is prejudice, plain and simple.

Repeat after me: The end goal of knowledge is prejudice.

What’s worse, it is not directed toward traits that have no bearing on a person’s character, it is directed at something that is in fact a moral achievement.

A literal statement straight from the mouth of a libertarian that having more money is a “moral achievement“, and that this moral achievement also, simultaneously, has “no bearing on a person’s character“.

Cult of Entropy.

This wasn’t a waste of my time after all.

When I discuss unfair treatment of successful businessmen, I almost always hear comments like, “Oh, boohoo. What do the rich have to complain about? Look at everything they have!” This reflects a crass materialism, which amounts to the notion that money solves everything, and that no one can be hurt by or object to mistreatment unless he’s poor.

We live in an advanced technological society, and enjoy a level of wealth, health, comfort, and opportunity that our ancestors could not have dreamed of. What made it possible? The effort of producers, on every level of ability, but with the most credit going to the men and women of extraordinary ability: the inventors, entrepreneurs, and investors who drive progress – and earn a fortune in the process.

Materialism is good or bad depending on the intent of the author in that particular paragraph. Or maybe the author wants it both ways; insults people for being materialistic but believes that they probably still believe it anyways, why not use that too for a little extra cha-ching I mean, impact? Maybe the author doesn’t think of his audience as human beings.

Or maybe this is all “human being” means to him.

originally discovered and commented on Facebook, 2017 April 17
edited and added upon for better flow as standalone

Marketing, ideas, and sorting

I wonder how much can actually be paraded due to a combination of lack of expertise and trust in authority on the side of the audience and social shaming tactics on the side of the deliverer.

Seeing through solar roadways needs some understanding of engineering. Seeing through hyper-realistic portraits needs some understanding of drawing. Seeing through No Man’s Sky needed some understanding of programming or video game design.

Mass Effect Andromeda claims to not be able to make white characters because of the “textures” they used. The new Scorpio console says it’ll be better than the best PCs at the cost of one top-of-the-line PC component. Trump’s Syria attack is defended on the grounds that the president has more “intel”.

No one can be an expert on everything, but neither can one not trust in anything nor not care about others’ opinions. “Fuck haters” and “Question everything” are worse-than-nothing statements because the questions should be directed towards critical points.

I think analyzing people’s backgrounds, connections, and objectives bypasses these problems to a reasonable extent. These should be the baseline, with the “facts and evidence” on the “actual” issues as secondary, because the “actual facts” are more easily fabricated by quite a few orders of magnitude. There are people that lie about their work history, but at some point they leave a trail, and people even in the age of their internet for one reason or another generally don’t change names. Generally speaking peoples’ history of actions are hidden or missing rather than fabricated – the opposite of “actual facts”.

The people most worth looking into demonstrate this principle. Executives are the most powerful and their backgrounds generally aren’t in any “field” – Sooner will an executive of groceries become an executive of pharmaceuticals than a pharmacist, even though their degree might’ve been in partying sociology, or maybe never had a degree at all. Arguing a pharmaceutical executive’s, whether a CEO’s or a politician’s, decisions primarily on basis of biology or chemistry or medicine – or worse, morals – is the discussion level of peons.

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”

Any person can expound about ideas. Even when talking about celebrity gossip and keeping up with the Joneses they’re basically talking about ideas. We even have a grammatically correct form of the word for personification: idols.

Expounding on people though is different. Beyond saying she likes cake or he goes weightlifting, can just any person accurately and effortlessly predict what some other person is going to do or say? They can’t. They can’t even fathom where to begin. Of course not, they can’t even understand the people they’ve spent years with!

“I thought you were going to do X.”
“Why in the hell would I do X? That never even occurred to me.”
“I dunno. Maybe you might’ve.”

But he sure does know what’s moral and what’s not or what’s the right thing to do in a certain situation of a field he only heard about two days ago! Just look at all these links and quotes from reputable sources he found on Google.

If only Google could predict what his friends were going to do too, then he could be just as confident and correct with people as he was with ideas. Such a lookup exists, it’s just not available at http://www.google.com, and is only available to advertisers, politicians running for head of state, and other big dollarydoo clients.

But it’s okay, because only small minds discuss people anyways.

But what will the idiots think?

The ability to sustain a disagreement is one of the qualities of power.

If you cede power to idiots, you will be ruled by idiots. Since idiots in power don’t exist: If you cede power to people determined to hold their opinion over yours, you will be ruled by people determined to hold their opinion over yours.

The idiots are just a convenient excuse which exploit the easiest chokepoint of human psychology. Oh no, we can’t offend nice little Billy Bob down the street! What will he think of us? What will he say to his friends? Until you say “fuck Billy Bob” you’re stuck whatever Billy Bob thinks. “Thinks” is generous; you really think Billy Bob thinks? He votes one way one year and the other way the next! Of course he has reputable sources. Of course he has arguments. But you get what you pay for, and reputable sources with analysis and evidence these days comes pretty cheap. Is that all it takes?

How cheap is it to stop you?

Why does the West feel the need to filter the fuck out of Japanese games before introducing them to the market?

Because they fear an uninformed consumer ,like a soccer mom or whatever, getting the game for themselves or possibly some kiddo like their child or whatever. And then if something objectionable, saucy, or even edgy that offends or bothers them they would shit up a dumb ignorant storm. So they get what they deemed is the worst and easiest things that would offend the uninformed dumb consumer soccer mom type person.

so dumb people essentially the remove/censor shit cause of dumb people and to avoid a stink that the dumbest of people tend to cause all to often.

Cutting Cards

In urban planning, a transit-oriented development (TOD) is a type of urban development that maximizes the amount of residential, business and leisure space within walking distance of public transport.

A TOD typically includes a central transit stop (such as a train station, or light rail or bus stop) surrounded by a high-density mixed-use area, with lower-density areas spreading out from this center. A TOD is also typically designed to be more walkable than other built-up areas, through using smaller block sizes and reducing the land area dedicated to automobiles. […]

One criticism of transit-oriented development is that it has the potential to spur gentrification in low-income areas. In some cases, TOD can raise the housing costs of formerly affordable neighborhoods, pushing low- and moderate-income residents farther away from jobs and transit. When this happens, TOD projects can disrupt low-income neighborhoods.


Commies are so full of their own shit they actually believe that more public transportation is worse for the poor. Or at least some of them do. Those that’d cite such a statement would. I’m not sure about those who wrote it though.

I really wonder how many statements like these aren’t actually made with the overt topic in mind. Or rather, in obverse, how many statements were made with a different intent in mind but got cited in a different way because words can mean different things if cut different ways.

Sometime recently some HK bureaucrat was asked why he chose an existing apartment block to be demolished for a new one, rather than choosing nearby land that was only being used to house rusting vehicles and equipment. His answer was “it’s easier to move people than to move stuff”. Cue days-long grilling and laughingstock by public opinion, his true position was obvious given the situation, but that sort of thing generally isn’t recorded for the purposes of academia, because there, ad hominem is bad, and if you use it you should feel bad, while they simultaneously also admit that sources are important, and “irreputable sources” exist. No such thing as a irreputable researcher though, of course. Nevermind that researchers only get money if they publish and only get big if they get cited.

But I probably shouldn’t talk too much about that while I’m linking Wikipedia.

Ad Hominem Is Effective

Most posts/articles cite obscure statistics and facts and people, and then link it to some big idea like social justice or equality or progress or something. I do the latter, though I talk about better ideas (and in better ways) like order and discipline.

As for the former, I cite obscure blogs and porn sites and video games.

It’s funny because my reasoning ends up being better than theirs.

Any truth searched for by a worthless person is bound to be worthless.

– Erika Furudo, Umineko no Naku Koro Ni: Chiru

Dynamics: Scrubs Finale (Standard Deviation)

I was back in highschool, one of those senior/graduation events.

Don’t particularly remember what the event was but it was time to go and I was not where I was supposed to be. For whatever reason it was okay to be in a large number of areas rather than a single point, like a bus terminal rather than a bus stop, so I got to an area I liked. Away from most of the other people, though not the furthest one out from the median. At least, not in this direction. There were a bunch of people a long ways away in a certain direction, and it seemed like just a one sided tail of people trickling this way. Had just come down from a flight of stairs from a higher level of ground, sat on one of those concrete blocks next to the pillars rather than a standalone bench. Like the parking or bus spaces under a large airport.

A couple of guys rolled up. The guy in the front passenger seat of the sedan rolls down the window, pulls out a gun and pointed it at me. I am about two or three car widths away from him. It was an undetermined semi-auto pistol. No traffic on the road. Somewhere in the back of my mind I remember this is a guy who’s been wanted for murder before. Nothing huge. Each time he’s only killed one or two people. But each time he’s gotten away really easily, so he’s been known mostly for his evasiveness rather than evilness or whatever. I know there’s a driver because this was standard american car on standard american road, but I didn’t identify his existence except by this proxy.

Said some things to me, something along the lines of the usual threat and I’m-better-than-you-I-got-da-gun stuff. I said the usual stuff I say too, ignoring content and attacking structure and presentation. My class and the teachers knew what was going on, they had called the cops. Not that they texted me this or told me this or whatever; again I figured that’s what happened by proxy. The cops were there, but rolling up slowly, and everyone that was part of my highschool group at the scene in general was hidden, so my guess probably wasn’t too far off. Or maybe security called the cops? Not too relevant.

The man with the gun was not mad and unfazed by my method. He kept pushing content, I kept pulling structure. At a point where the rear cop car got close enough to some point (I’m not good at determining distances when it’s relative to an object far away from me), he said in a philosophical and whimsical way,

“Do you want to die?”. I countered,

“Does your gun have a trigger?”

I usually don’t see facial expressions, or hell, even a face, but at that moment I sensed he made a scowl, or a face of disappointment. It shocked me. I wasn’t paralyzed but at that moment I realized I would not be able to move. He moved his gun arm slightly, lazily… and fired. The driver sped the car away, the police chase wasn’t really a chase. More like a “I’m going to move in your general direction”.

I thought that was the end. The dream usually ends when I die. There have been a couple where I go on past death, but it’s not a common occurrence.

This one continued, because I didn’t die.

For whatever reason I remembered that I had a way of chasing the shooter that outpaced the cop car speeds: running around like an ape. On all fours (though not with the knuckle problem). It didn’t actually feel like I was on all fours, but my all-fours speed was still faster than basically everything else in the universe at that point. Caught up to the chase, was not on a freeway or whatever. This was a hard-to-catch mastermind, not a coward nobody who gets away just because his car has a better engine. He was waving through here and there – not switching cars, but this world had no GPS or helicopter to track top-down. Maps, but we had to guess which way and spread out like a net – problem being the net required to ensure capture was too big. Even though I moved faster than everyone else, including the killer, I was ultimately unable to get to him.

A while later, got home. Visually not similar to my real home, but I identified the place as home. Someone had gotten back about the same time I did. In real life she is my cousin and I’ve lusted after her before on a mental exercise. Pretty, but not eye-catching pretty. In dreams, I simply know who everyone is – the only people who have faces on all the time are women who I have lusted after enough. I do not see this cousin often and she has no real significance in my life, but not only was she here and with me in my dream (I identified her as part of my highschool group trip; she is older than me significantly so this would not have actually happened in real life), she was rendered full face and full body. What we first conversed were just the common niceties. I can’t remember all of how she got to the point. But she built up to it. Dreams screw up my sense of time so I don’t know how long this “really” was, but it felt like at least 1.5x the duration of the chase.

She was talking about how I didn’t do anything. How I unnecessarily egged a man with a gun, a known killer, on. How, because I wasn’t able to keep my mouth shut and let the cops just close in and finally capture this wanted trickster and threat to civilization (he was immortal or something? felt like that’s how it was spoken of), I got Dodo killed.

Dodo, or Fofo, or Lolo, or something _o_o, I forget. I didn’t know what she was talking about. The guy was pointing his gun at me the entire time. He just fine-tuned and failed like a dupe at the last second.

Apparently not. He just re-aimed, at the guy next to me. A guy I didn’t even notice was there, a guy of no social importance (I remember at this time that my cousin has some kind of leadership position, like class rep or something) and mediocre academic skill. I immediately felt horrible. I averted my eyes to the ground, but other than that I kept my outward composure. She continued talking, I forget what exactly about. Probably about how _o_o didn’t want to die, didn’t do anything to deserve it, was a person of this and that personality and had this and that accomplishments. I was the one who caused all of that to disappear and burn to oblivion. If I hadn’t egged the gunman, a known killer, on, _o_o would still be alive and well. I had robbed _o_o’s parents of their son (I didn’t remember him at all, but my dream world identified to me it was a male name). And now the cops were coming to get me. There was nowhere to run.

I stood there for some time. She was on the stairs heading up but didn’t move either. I was sorting out in my head – or heart rather, what had just been thrown at me. I looked at her. She was looking at me with eyes and a face that read “judgement”. I did not identify her as the one who had put this idea together against me. She was simply telling me because I often didn’t know how to interact with people, and was my family (whether or not she was a sister here was not clarified; relations on the closeness of the nuclear family was defined though) and wanted me to know. It was a social response. Everyone who I had known in the dream, from the students to the teachers to the now-coming-into-existence principle and administrators and school district president and mayor and etc. etc, had or were now passing judgement on me. They saw the facts, and they deemed instantly I was the one responsible.

I don’t remember screaming.

Or attacking her.

Or running out the door.

I want to remember that I started screaming, but as I try to remember now, it did not happen and could not have happened.

I was looking at her now, and had turned my head up to face her and look her in the eyes. My heart and my dream self’s heart were beat, beat off like one. My dream self’s mind… was now unknown. I was viewing myself from the second person, and… maybe it was my own mind that was screaming. Something somewhere was screaming. The temperature was the same but the energy levels of something was rising. The world was falling apart. Outside the window, things were obliterating into their geometric components. Then the force of nature reached the window, disassembled it into its rectangular glass, rectangular frame, the million strands of filament from the screen… then they unified in color, a sort of crystallic white… and disappeared. The tiles from the floor lifted a couple of inches, lifted from the outside in, one concentric circle at a time. They broke into their component stones, and same as the window and everything else, whitened and disappeared.

There was only her, and me, in nothingness. She had not moved an inch, had not noticed any change in the universe. And neither had I. We were still looking at each other, same as that moment when I locked eyes again. Then both she and I tessellated, every feature was now defined by triangles. And in an instant, all the triangles decolorized.

And I opened my eyes.

It’s been a long time since I answered a dream’s question in such a strong way.

I was talking with a friend last night about frames in relation to interacting with women. Though I have read PUA stuff on and off, one of the biggest things that has refrained me from actually taking time out of my life to actively test and improve myself is that it feels like I don’t have enough frames. I spend almost all my time developing a single frame – it is the “discipline” and “passion clarity” one you see written on this blog. I can move everything into this frame consistently, and into other frames like trolling or empathy with varying levels of success. From what I have read, it felt like getting through shit tests was not simply a matter of frame control, but being able to frame control to several different frames. Moving her back into the same frame every time would be boring – an autistic could do that. My question was whether it would be better to just fall for shit tests, because it would encounter more frames in total? He gave me a few stories of some of his attempts to pick up girls, and they illustrated to me that a bigger problem was at work.

He spoke not in terms of frames and shifting frames, but in terms of recognizing and adapting to the other and dominating theirs so they enter yours.

And that is exactly my disability. I have been focusing so much on frame and changing frame (which is moving from one frame to another) that I have completely ignored that they are all for use in relation to another frame, to other frames. I have studied statics – but the world is not always static.

I do not regret it, to be sure. I have actively ignored every single “it depends on the situation” “principle” that has come from the mainstream, because it not only learns nothing, but destroys everything I know. I’ve spoken on and off and tangentially about how ignoring the idea of fundamentals doesn’t help, at least in terms of pure truth value – but it is true that it is not enough. It is the main point though, and because I didn’t know the main point, I needed to work on it. And I’ve worked on it, for the past seven years. While every other teenager was out fucking around, going to alcohol gatherings, and lighting grass on fire, I was trying to figure out what the fuck was wrong with… something. Big ideas first, figure out all the deviations and applications later.

I’ve now largely solved the problem, but it is fact that I am and have been open and weak to attack by the most trivial of deviations.

I am fairly certain this dream is telling me that I need to now move on from the mean to figuring out the most standard of deviations, and then the variances.

The difference between possibility and hope is courage to dream. The difference between hope and success is discipline of skill. The difference between success and mastery echoing throughout time is respect and benevolence.

It is time to move to part three.

As for the dream itself… Some of it is pretty obvious and some of it isn’t; I’ll leave it up to your curiosity.

  • Everyone hiding and then coming out and blaming me is very clearly my hate and distaste for the anti-negative crowd. Not only do the arguments my cousin use echo exactly some of the structures scrubs use (morality, responsibility, inaction as the answer), there is the explicit structure of nobody doing anything but hide when the gunman could get away and everybody doing everything when I could be easily captured.
  • The cops being slow and not just capturing the guy is indicative of my view of the people in society today who are assigned to protect and deliver truth: the journalists. Slow and chicken to actually approach anything real, but quick to jump on anything easy but mislead.
  • If a man with a gun asked me that question in that position, and for whatever reason my brain was having diarrhea and decided to not have me smack the gun out of his hand… how I answered in my dream would be exactly how I would answer in real life.
  • I am still uncertain as to why my cousin appeared. She was mentioned recently by my mom, but offhandedly and without much importance. Perhaps I simply needed a female who I respected as a woman, was attracted to for womanly qualities, and was close enough to me on the familial level, and she was the only one who fit the qualities.
  • The elevations probably mean something. The fact that I came down from where I was having fun earlier, the fact that there were no hills and no helicopters or satellites during the chase, the fact that my cousin was on her way up a flight of stairs when telling me to prepare to face the music.
  • The fact that the driver of the gunner wasn’t really “there” shows that the cars were probably only in existence to show relative speed to the average person (who walks).
  • I do not own a car.
  • I love my carbon bike and how by my power alone, I can get up to 20+ mph. I don’t even really care if I am a bad cyclist and can’t ever win a race. It’s amazing.
  • The fact that I was going faster than cars on all fours is probably reflective of the language people have been using to describe The Way of Men. “Tribalist”, or something? I didn’t have a model for imagining myself on all fours though, so I imagined myself on a bike, which I do know. More specifically, a time trial position. Of course, the “going faster” is representative of being better when it counts.
  • My reaction to my cousin is accurate of how I respond to false accusations in real life. I consider how I am wrong first, and then once I am done figuring it out in my head, I go on the counterattack.
  • The world disappearing is most definitely based on Assassin’s Creed.
  • It’d be really funny if that dead guy’s name was “Yolo”.