Author Archives: Raizen

Amazon Still Going After Anime

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Online retailer Amazon has previously gone after anime figures that they deemed objectionable, even though a basic observation shows that there wasn’t anything objectionable about them. It seems this trend is continuing, as they’re halting sales of the light novel series, No Game No Life.

If you’re wondering what a “light novel” is, it’s related to Japanese comic books called “manga”, except they’re mainly text with intermittent illustrations.

I’m not familiar with the series No Game No Life, but from what I’ve seen in passive browsing, it’s far from the most offensive series out there. I suspect that the bannings are being carried out by a member of Amazon staff who isn’t strongly familiar with anime.

I’m not a huge anime nerd, but I’ve watched quite a bit. From what I’ve seen, the thing that makes anime appealing is the same thing that some people find concerning about it: some anime can have surprisingly mature themes. The fact is, anime isn’t a single genre, it’s an animation style used mainly in Japan. The anime style and its many variants can be used in Japanese shows that appeal to many different audiences, with some made for children, some made for teens, and some anime is made for mature audiences.

The fact that anime can touch on mature themes or have cultural references specific to the Japanese can result in anime being viewed with suspicion by certain western viewers who are more familiar with the idea of cartoons being primarily geared towards children.

An interesting point that’s related to this is that the Japanese aren’t obsessed with the idea that entertainment media can be used to inform a person’s worldview, or that cartoon characters be used to teach the values that parents should be teaching. The Japanese are morally unaffected by entertainment media because they can understand the difference between fantasy and reality, and are strongly well-behaved as people. The Japanese can consume mature entertainment without adverse effect because they are mature people. They don’t relegate child-rearing to the television set.

Because anime can have mature themes and even be adult-centric, it has plenty of potential to be viewed as weird. What’s more, while many western cartoons have simple plotlines that conclude in 20 minutes, anime can tell long stories that can take many episodes to reach a conclusion. Because of this, those accustomed to western cartoons can find anime very challenging. Considering this, anime is often unfairly criticized, and so are the people who consume it, in spite of the fact that anime fans tend to keep it sensible.

Though Amazon has blocked sales of No Game No Life, Amazon hasn’t given a reason for doing so. But I’m hearing that Amazon has also blocked sale of anime-related items that depicted characters bathing and characters in bed with only bedding. There seems to be a theme of vilification over depictions of nudity, as though there were anything intrinsically wrong with that. Nudity isn’t wrong, it’s a state of the human body (the most natural state). However, depictions of the sort are a typical target for busybodies out to score moral-superiority points.

The stated goal is usually “to fight objectification”, as though a fictional character’s plight were equivalent to that of a real human being. A fictional character can’t be further objectified because fictional characters are already objects. In any case, the busybodies don’t seem aware of the irony that they’re creating in speaking out against the objectification of fictional women, when their cause would victimize real women. The fact is, the Japanese entertainment industry employs and is cultivated by women. If the Japanese entertainment industry were to cave in to the demands of non-Japanese busybodies, many women that the industry employs might find themselves without income, and the busybodies endeavor against fictional women would have victimized real women.

When it comes to entertainment media, the best course of action is to allow mature, responsible people to make choices for themselves. If something doesn’t appeal to your sensibilities, you can make your choices based on that. What makes the busybodies problematic is that they’re not content with making their own choices for themselves, they want to make everyone else’s choices for them based on their own personal hang-ups. They don’t trust other people to behave maturely. While they pretend to be about liberation when they stand up for fictional people, they aren’t about liberty for real people.

When it comes to consuming mature media in a responsible manner, anime fans do surprisingly well. It’s too bad that there are people out there that don’t understand that.

What Is Happen? (12 Jul 2020)

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Hello everyone, welcome to the first installment of what may end up being a series, based on my own petty whim. This series is titled, What Is Happen?, and it’s focused somewhat on current events in an attempt to answer the confused question, “What is happen?”

While the question itself may sound confused, it would seem that it’s pretty far from the most confused thing around.

In my first attempt to answer the question, I decided to type the query what is happen? into the DuckDuckGo search engine (a search engine I recommend). The main results seem to mainly come back with the dictionary definition of the word “happen”, so it seems I might have to dig into current events in an effort to answer the question.

In this installment of What Is Happen?, we’ll explore the following current events:

  • Kanye West is running for president,
  • Half the state of Oklahoma is being given back to natives because of a pedophile,
  • That last point is so jarring that I don’t remember the rest of the topics.
  • Oh yeah, there was another. An accidental vehicular homicide is being framed as racially-motivated, in spite of the driver’s race.

But before we get into that, let’s first do a short recap for the benefit of those who somehow missed out on the previous year, perhaps due to accidental cryogenic suspension in a manner similar to Fry from Futurama. If this is for your benefit, then I advise the following course of action for your safety:

  1. Sit down.
  2. Then continue reading.
  3. I’m not kidding, you’re probably going to want to be sitting down for this.

Are you ready? Consider yourself warned…

Late in 2019, a new virus was discovered in China which quickly spread to the global population. This virus is simply called “the coronavirus”. I know, it’s a stupid name since the word “coronavirus” describes a category of virus, and shouldn’t be used to describe a specific one. The coronavirus quickly spread around the globe, infecting many millions of people, most of which probably were never accounted for.

By now, you’re probably wondering just how deadly this new virus is. The answer is, not very deadly at all. Last I heard, only about 0.4% (or 4 in 1000) of those infected have died from complications related to the virus. It’s possible that the percentage is much lower because not everyone has been tested. Symptoms of the virus mainly involve a mild, short-lived cough, and is almost always followed by a full recovery. Apparently, a majority of cases are completely without symptoms, and the virus is mainly only a danger (however slight) to those already being killed by something else.

Based on this, it might sound like the coronavirus is no big deal. However, you only need to scare a few people in order to do a lot of damage, and if those people happen to be governors and heads of state, the potential for damage is far-reaching. U.S. governors have responded with state-wide shutdowns, costing millions of Americans their jobs, plunging people into destitution as welfare starts coming apart, and terminal self-destructive behavior has spiked.

The U.S. of A. is quickly turning into a third-world country, and it’s happening over a mild cough that quickly goes away. But that’s not all.

On May 25, 2020, a black man named George Floyd was killed by a white cop. The act itself was recorded and shared online, and millions were rightfully infuriated. People already furious due to having lost jobs from overreaction to the coronavirus were looking for an excuse to riot, and they found it. The riots initially started as frustration on the part of the black community, but were soon afterwards co-opted by Antifa, who took the opportunity to do what Antifa has historically done: sow violence and discord under the guise of activism. At the apex of the rioting, a portion of Seattle has been seized, with the police driven out, and declared an autonomous zone. The mayor of Seattle ignored the situation for weeks until people were killed in the autonomous zone, and rioters showed up at the mayor’s house. As it turns out, there’s no faster way to get the mayor to notice than to threaten the mayor with violence, so the police stormed the autonomous zone, encountering little resistance, reclaiming the area as part of Seattle.

If you’re wondering what the police are up to, you probably can’t count on them right now. This is because an officer in Atlanta, Georgia was threatened with the death penalty for killing a man who threatened him with a weapon. If the District Attorney of Atlanta is going to threaten officers with death for defending themselves, then what are officers supposed to do? It seems the answer is “blue flu”.

What’s a “blue flu”? Police officers are not legally allowed to go on strike. But they can call in sick, and when a large number of officers agree to call in sick, that’s called a “blue flu”. Police officers are now abandoning duty under the guise of sick days because they no longer feel safe doing their jobs.

There’s a lot more, but that’s the bare minimum to get you caught up. Now onto more current events. So, what is happen?

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Kanye West has announced his intentions for running for the presidency of the United States in the year 2020. This news has gotten the conspiracy theorists that call everyone else conspiracy theorists speculating that Kanye’s bid for the presidency is part of a conspiracy by Trump to try to get black votes away from the Democrats (particularly Joe Biden).

Kanye has previously expressed admiration for Donald Trump, and has famously worn a MAGA hat, which ruffled some feathers. Some might imagine that Kanye would run as a conservative or a member of the Republican party. Kanye intends to establish his own party, which he calls the Birthday Party, stating that upon winning, he’d hold a celebration as though it’s everyone’s birthday. He has stated criticism of the idea that a person’s race should determine how they vote, particularly objecting to the idea that black men should feel compelled to vote for Joe Biden.

While Republicans tend toward the free market and Democrats tend toward socialism, Kanye West’s vision of an ideal government is inspired by Wakanda from the fictional Black Panther IP published by Marvel, which, from my understanding, was an absolute monarchy with succession through combat.

I’m skeptical, but not just because it’s too late for Kanye to campaign in some states, but also because it sounds too awesome.

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The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a large portion of Oklahoma is property of native Americans, honoring an 1866 treaty which granted native Americans much of eastern Oklahoma. The 5-4 ruling has determined that the areas fall outside state jurisdiction for prosecuting crimes, which would instead fall to tribes and to the federal government.

The Chief Justice, John Roberts, argued that “the State’s ability to prosecute serious crimes will be hobbled and decades of past convictions could well be thrown out.”

This issue was brought before the Supreme Court when an older man, who was convicted on three sexual offenses (including molesting a four-year-old girl) had made the case that the state could not prosecute him because his crimes had occurred on a reservation.

That’s right, a child molester just tore an American state nearly in half.

The reservations of Oklahoma wouldn’t become lawless zones reminiscent of the recent disaster called “the CHAZ” or “the CHOP”, as federal law would still have jurisdiction over crimes committed on reservations. Under the Constitution, states are not allowed to dissolve reservations within their borders; this is only allowed by Congress, which apparently hasn’t dissolved the Oklahoma reservation.

There are numerous other reservations in the United States for which an argument could possibly be made for returning to natives based on the 9 Jul 2020 Supreme Court ruling. But don’t get funny ideas about running off to a reservation in an effort to escape justice for a serious crime, as these reservations are still under federal jurisdiction.

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A man who drove the wrong way on an exit ramp has been charged with vehicular manslaughter. The man was captured on security cameras driving his Jaguar onto the Stewart Street I-5 exit ramp at about 1:30am, past Wrong Way warning signs, colliding with pedestrians involved with Black Lives Matter protests. One protester was soon afterwards declared dead, and another was hospitalized.

Leftists have framed the vehicular homicide as being racially-motivated, and therefore a hate crime. Said leftists have taken to social media in outrage. But there is something that’s being overlooked…

The driver was black. Not only that, the two pedestrians who were struck were white. If there was racial motivation, it wouldn’t have been the kind it’s being framed as, though to be fair, the act was apparently an accident. The ingredients of an accident were there: a bunch of demonstrators were on an exit ramp, wearing black in the middle of the night. All that needed to happen for things to turn tragic was a car mistakenly taking the ramp, and that was just what happened.

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

While the demonstrators and various leftists are predictable in overlooking the facts, it’s legacy media that proved disappointing, as many outlets aren’t even mentioning the races of the victims. While this usually isn’t relevant, it’s hard to imagine that the journalists don’t understand the potential behind the circumstances to stoke further racial tension. If they didn’t, wouldn’t they be too incompetent to be journalists? What’s more, why wouldn’t they be aware of the recent George Floyd riots, and how omitting the details of this story would give it tremendous potential to be distorted to fit an unsavory narrative?

The deception by omission by legacy media is one of those things that helps me to savor the nature of my conflicts with certain individuals: I care about the facts, whereas those I take issue with care more about how something can be framed to fit their narrative. It’s truth versus post-truth. As I see it, when in doubt, the safest course of action is usually the one that avoids harming a human being. As the post-truthers see it, harm to another person, including innocents, can be embraced if it somehow furthers their cause. In my perspective, the truth of a matter is used to lead to proper understanding, whereas in their eyes, the cause must never be questioned, regardless of whatever evidence exists.

A matter is being widely misrepresented in a way that furthers a destructive cause, when the facts omitted plainly had the potential to prevent such deception. It’s easy to see a deliberate malevolence on the part of information media.

So, considering all this, are we any closer to an answer to the question, What is happen? Based on what we’re seeing so far, it seems the answer is, This are confuse.

TWAT News: Killer Coronavirus of Evil Death Murders People

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Now that the George Floyd riots are no longer fitting the narrative, it’s time for corporate media to revert to what they already know scares morons. Are they still called the George Floyd riots? They seem like they’re knocking historic statues down, regardless of their side in American history. What’s more, the CHAZ “summer of love” police-free dealie quickly devolved into violence, resulting in deaths. See what I mean? Violent rioters, when left to their own devices, get difficult to spin.

So, it’s back to the coronavirus, with death counts that continually climb. Because of course they do. Think about what it would take for those numbers to decrease. But then, if some came back from a coronavirus death, would that make them a coronavirus zombie? Zombies have already been written into nightly news stories to appeal to the stoner market. Think of how the ratings would skyrocket with coronavirus zombies.

The novel coronavirus, as you may know, is an emerging virus that causes COVID-19, which is mainly characterized by a mild, short-lived cough, but usually there are no symptoms at all. The virus is suspiciously only a danger to people already being killed by something else, with death rates comparable to that of the common flu. In response, leaders the world over have enacted lockdowns and restrictions on the general population which have had a catastrophic impact on an economy that took decades to build up, destroying the lives and livelihoods of countless people, resulting in a surge in suicides (meanwhile, the leaders behind these choices are blissfully insulated from the destruction they themselves caused).

Presidential candidate Joe Biden recently stated his intention to mandate face masks in public by executive order. Face masks, as has been long known, increases levels of cortisol in those who habitually wear them. Cortisol is known as the “stress hormone”, which at high enough levels suppresses the immune response, making people more susceptible to recurring infections. Oh wait, that’s counterproductive.

Speaking of counterproductive, bringing up the coronavirus again is only going to remind us ordinary people of how badly Democrat leaders pulverized society in a massive overreaction, further cementing our decisions to not elect them. Having said that, it’s apparent that Biden has the moron vote and watch-the-world-burn vote, and the growing do-as-you’re-told-because-science vote.

Oh man, I’m glad that liquor stores are open again. I’m also glad that nearby grocery stores are no longer enforcing one-way aisles or face masks. It’s as though people are figuring something out.

They’re trying to distract us from the riots with some coronavirus scare stories. That Was Actually The news.

Take your fake meat and shove it.

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I stood in place, neck craning at the illuminated menu. The contents of my stomach fought an uphill battle with my esophagus as I struggled to comprehend what I was beholding. As the seconds passed, my appetite decreased to the point that going to Arby’s for their attempt at a Reuben seemed like a viable alternative.

The problem? Submitted for your bemused disbelief, the Impossible Whopper:

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There is some honesty to be appreciated in the implication that it’s impossible for a Whopper with 0% beef to be considered a hamburger, but any good will that could have been fostered is offset by the fact that the Impossible Whopper is, at its core, an imitation product.

If there’s no beef present, then just what meat is being served? Is it pork? Some variety of browned poultry? No, it’s pretty much a veggie burger. Of course, if the Impossible Whopper were marketed as the fake that it is, it would find it’s way down fewer gullible throats. The imitation burger is instead a lie by omission.

Another trend that’s disturbing is that of lab-grown meat. When I sit down to a steak, I shouldn’t have to ponder whether some lab somewhere successfully synthesized the protein that supports muscle growth, or the B vitamins that upholds brain function. My expectation would be that the steak was once an animal with awareness. If this were not the case, the violation of my expectation would throw my trust in the server into serious jeopardy.

It’s obvious why they’re trying to trick us: if we knew that these imitation meat products were not the real deal, almost none of us would bother with them, except perhaps the vegans who are going so crazy by reason of their ascetic diets that they’re willing to accept look-alikes to fill the void caused by an absence of normal food. But even then, that group is so legalistic that they wouldn’t likely risk the cross-contamination that’s expected at fast-food joints. So what are these proponents of fake meat doing besides trying to trick us?

There are people out there willing to ironically consume something gross just to say they did, but it’s a limited market. Once they’ve tried it once, they’ll move onto pig rectum subs or whatever, then what? What benefit is it to Burger King to leave something on a menu that just a few people are going to try only once? I’m not hungry enough to eat some imitation meat, and if I was starving, I have the benefit of having to choose between a bunch of things I’d rather eat, including durian.

If you can’t out-compete a fruit that smells like farts, you’ve failed.

Why are feminists so bad at dating?

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It’s hard not to notice an uptick in the number of feminists who are attempting the dating game, but it’s not going very well for them. It’s not a surprise when you consider that they are a fad ideology that actively tampers with the gender dynamic.

While conservatives have been mischaracterized as old-fashioned and unscientific, their approach to courtship is actually strongly scientific, in that they’ve made observations, formed hypotheses, and rigorously tested them in a manner reminiscent of the scientific method. When it comes to courtship, they were really early to the science, as their approach has been battle-tested through the ages and determined to be axioma, found fit and is beyond dispute.

On the other hand, left-wing idealists, while eager to champion their ideas, are bringing ideas that are relatively untested and therefore by their nature risky. Their attempt-first-ask-later approach is reckless, and is nowhere close to as scientific as they are given credit for. What’s more, what of their ideas for which significant data exists determines that their flagship relationship approaches are adokimon, having been tested and found to be debased and unfit for the intended purpose.

Yet, they still continue to foist their ideas on the body politick. The continual failures of their approaches coupled with their fanatical insistence upon them gives fuel to the idea that the far-left is in league with an insidious population-control movement which uses mass misinformation to further it’s agenda. The irony behind such an endeavor is that it’s primary victims are leftists and the gullible, thus breeding out such groups, and autolyzing the movement itself. Among the victims of the theoretical movement would be feminists.

Because feminists have been indoctrinated into a worldview that treats the male-female relationship as adversarial in nature, it should be no surprise that they aren’t faring well in relationships that require compromise with both the opposite sex and their own expectations. Couple this with the fact that the concept of love has long been mysticized to the point that people find themselves doubting that it’s the “real thing” when they experience it, and the cards are really stacked against feminists when they finally get around to putting their fad ideologies to the test.

Some people are their own worst enemies. The hang-ups that they’ve taken on were usually foisted upon them by someone else, and internalized to the point of being self-reinforcing, making it much less likely that they’ll properly identify them as the cause of their problems.

The fact is, there are generalities that apply to women which can have a significant impact on their dating lives. Related to this is the fact that as women become more successful, they tend to notice fewer men who they find suitable for themselves. This is because women are naturally hypergamous, meaning that they tend to marry upwards on the social scale. Successful women can overcome loneliness by compromising with their inhibition and accepting men who aren’t as successful as they, but in so doing, they might find it difficult to resist their own natures.

What renders leftist movements self-defeating is that they teach men to be weak-willed and accommodating to the point of self-deprecation, and women to be aggressive and dominating to the point of being hard to approach, thereby making the two unlikely to find one-another appealing. The sad consequence is that politically-compatible leftist couples start families with decreased frequency, and if they were to date outside their own political sphere, there wouldn’t be much expectation for their success.

Simply put, feminists are bad at dating, and their own political ideology and philosophical notions are the cause of their own plight. If they had the introspection necessary to properly identify the cause of their own problem, they wouldn’t likely remain feminists. But if they were to continue on their course, it might become the hill that their dating lives would end on.

The Parable of the Ice Cream Boy

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Suppose you’re presented with two pictures, one after the other. The first picture is of a young boy, sitting and smiling. His hair is neatly-parted, and his clothes are clean.

You might see him and think, “What a well-behaved child!” and think positively on what you see.

Then you see a picture of another boy, his face smeared with ice cream. He’s laughing, and his clothes are similarly smeared with ice cream.

You might see him and think, “What a misbehaved child!” and come away thinking negatively on the sight.

However, perception isn’t everything.

The reason why the one boy had ice cream smeared on his face is because he had ice cream. The boy who was neat and clean was smiling because he was told to, because someone had to take his picture. The boy with the ice cream didn’t have to be told to smile because he had reason to.

I don’t know about you, but between the two I’d rather be the boy with the ice cream. He’s enjoying a simple pleasure in life rather than being made to put on a charade for someone else’s amusement.

The boys in the comparison above can be likened to many real-world people in a variety of circumstances. Do either of them remind you of anyone you know?

What’s the Deal With Raymond (that cat from Animal Crossing)?

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Since the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Nintendo Switch, one character in particular has gathered a disproportionate amount of attention, with some players declaring him the rarest character in the game. This character is Raymond, a cat villager.

What’s the deal with Raymond?

Raymond is a gray-colored cat in office attire. An office cat motif is amusing to begin with, but players have pointed out that he’s the only cat in the game with a “smug” personality, which is odd given how independent and aloof housecats can be in real life. This combination of traits already makes Raymond an appealing character.

But there’s something more that makes him stand out. Raymond has heterochromia, a rare condition in which both his eyes are different colors. Heterochromia is considered appealing in certain creative communities, particularly those influenced by Japanese media. Many in such communities who make their own original characters give their characters heterochromia because it’s one way to make a character seem more special.

If players were to visit Raymond’s house on their island, they would find the interior decor has an office theme. This immediately appeals to those adapting to working at home in light of the recent coronavirus epidemic, as Raymond’s home office indicates a character that a portion of the Animal Crossing community can relate to. More appropriate still is that Animal Crossing: New Horizons was a game that people made a point of obtaining before widespread shutdowns took effect, to the point that people were grateful that GameStop resisted the shutdowns long enough to allow them to obtain a copy of the game.

So, is Raymond really the rarest character in the game? Not really. Whether at the Campsite or through Nook Miles Tickets, Raymond has the same odds of appearing as each of the other potential villagers. However, he is the current most desirable villager, and considering that there’s hundreds of possible villagers, there is high demand for this one character.

The demand is so high, that some players are stocking up on Nook Miles Tickets in an effort to get more chances to obtain this character. Some players are willing to exchange valuable in-game assets, such as millions of bells (the in-game currency) with other players on sites such as Discord for the opportunity to have Raymond move from one player’s island to another. In some cases, players are willing to spend real-life money in excess of the cost of the game to obtain Raymond from another player.

Of note is that because Raymond is a new character, an Amiibo for Raymond was not available at the time Animal Crossing: New Horizons was released, so players couldn’t simply scan it for the guarantee that Raymond would appear at the campsite.

Expediting Raymond’s popularity is that because players notice other players going to great lengths to obtain this character, there is an increased perception of value to him. On top of that, he gets noticed just for all the attention that surrounds him, similar to how the first result of a search engine favors results that get more traffic, and placing higher in search results results in yet more traffic.

There are many other popular villagers in ACNH. Among these are Marina, an octopus (there are only three octopuses in the game), Ankha, a cat that resembles King Tut’s sarcophagus, Lucky, a dog that was heavily bandaged, and Marshall, a squirrel that resembles a marshmallow.

What’s my favorite villager? Maybe I’ll reveal that in another post.

Killing Snoke

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“You will not bow before Snoke.” -Rey, Star Wars: The Last Jedi

As I examine the character of Snoke, it becomes apparent that he is a stand-in for the kind of psychological turmoil that would be experienced by a person in Ben Solo’s position. While it’s apparent that Snoke in the Star Wars universe is a personal entity that is adversarial and interacts with the other characters, it seems to me that he’s an allegory for something experienced by those with mental illness and emotional trauma in the real world.

Snoke seems to be a stand-in for unwelcome, demanding voices as experienced by someone with a psychosis.

While the cause of such voices is still not fully understood, it seems they are caused by thoughts in a person’s own head, which the brain wrongly interprets as audible. This phenomenon can be caused by, among other things, prolonged stress or perhaps just inadequate sleep.

In persons with obsessive-compulsive disorder, a person’s unwanted thoughts can “take over” making them believe that they have to do certain things. At first, it’s usually trivial and ritualistic tasks, like how a person washes their hands. But conceivably, these thoughts can develop into “voices” that can “guide” them into some poor life choices. There are cases where the voices have a spiritual meaning to the person experiencing them, and they might wrongly attribute them to the divine!

Considering this, the allegory of Snoke becomes much more apparent. For one thing, his voice sounds almost exactly how a judgmental internal voice would sound: wise enough to sound like they’d have answers to the person’s problems, but can even be loud and abusive if there exists even a minute flaw.

Also noteworthy is that Snoke demanded continual sacrifices to placate him, and what’s more, what he demanded was whatever could give Ben hope outside of Snoke himself. Evil voices demand similar sacrifices! It was Snoke who pressured Ben into killing his father, who was a connection to Ben’s old life. When Ben did kill his father, it still wasn’t enough. What’s more, the fact that Ben felt conflicted about it was enough to invalidate the sacrifice as far as Snoke was concerned!

Ben then felt pressured into killing his own mother, and to his credit, he didn’t go through with it. However, Ben’s conflict was noteworthy enough for him to bring up again when meeting Rey. Snoke was willing to condemn Ben for his mere thoughts!

But it’s interesting that Snoke would have such direct access to Ben’s thoughts, especially considering that he couldn’t do the same to Rey without the assistance of a force-ability designed to that end. For some reason, Snoke had more direct access to Ben.

Snoke has been manipulating Ben for a long time. Ben was coming to realize that, if Snoke had his way, the abuse would be continual.

So Ben killed Snoke.

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For a long time, Snoke pulled Ben along with the idea that he could bring out Ben’s potential. But the reality was, Snoke was intent on continually using him. With Snoke dead, Ben ascended to the position of Supreme Leader of the First Order, and in so doing, he began to rise to live up to his potential.

”The Supreme Leader is dead.” -Kylo Ren

”Long live the Supreme Leader.” -Armitage Hux

What is Truthiness?

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Sometimes, you hear something that sounds intuitively true, and meshes well with what you’ve already accepted. You decide to accept what you’ve just heard without asking questions or looking into it.

If this sounds like you, you may have experienced truthiness. But what is truthiness?

Truthiness describes the quality of an assertion that lends itself to being accepted as true based on the intuition of the listener, rather than supporting evidence, if any.

The term in its current usage was coined by political comedian Stephen Colbert on his program The Colbert Report in the year 2005. Previously, the term was obscure and referred to something that was dependably true.

In the political landscape, truthiness occurs on a constant basis. There are many, many examples that illustrate its occurrence.

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One example is the video of the emaciated polar bear which trended with the help of global warming alarmists. The video showed the polar bear trudging about, clearly famished, picking through rubbish. The video, as presented, was intended to pull at the heartstrings of viewers, who then make the assumption that human-assisted global warming led to the diminishing of the bear’s natural habitat, resulting in its sad condition.

For the polar bears as a whole, the reality of the matter is far less bleak. The polar bear population is currently booming. What’s more, polar bears are even thriving where arctic ice is receding. As for that particular polar bear, it may not have been as well off, but as is often the case with both animals and people, not everyone gets off as well.

So, what’s the truthiness? Those already accepting of the ideas surrounding anthropogenic climate change see a polar bear struggling, and easily attribute it’s sad situation to the consequences of human callousness. They need look no further into the matter to arrive at a conclusion that fits their preconceived notions, but if they did, they’d have likely arrived at a different conclusion.

Those forwarding the video for reason of climate change alarmism might not have looked far into the matter themselves, but it’s possible that they’re aware of what’s going on, and decided to forward what they decided might provoke a reaction that more strongly favored their cause. Selecting only the evidence that favors a conclusion while ignoring what does not is called cherry-picking.

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Another recent example of truthiness has to do with an alleged statement by American President Donald Trump, apparently suggesting “injecting disinfectants” as a means of fighting off an infection caused by the novel coronavirus.

When information media outlets got wind of this, they ran with it. Trump was ridiculed by corporate media outlets (with whom he had an adversarial relationship to begin with), lambasted by media pundits, and his supposed advice was even warned against on Lysol’s website.

However, the recording of the conversation that sparked this controversy is publicly available. In it, Trump asked a hypothetical question about internal use of disinfectants as a possible treatment to a coronavirus infection, and it was directed towards someone studying possible treatments for the novel coronavirus. The question was hypothetical, and didn’t sound like such a treatment was immediately advocated. During the conversation, Trump deferred to the medical professional, which would seem more responsible in that particular situation.

So, what’s the truthiness? It’s the inclination of the usual consumers of corporate information media to assume that President Trump continually goes off on ignorant tirades, as this is how those media outlets habitually portray him. To them, it’s another day to get outraged over something he said, and once they’ve tired themselves out banging pots and pans together, it’s back to sipping overpriced coffee while pondering some philosophy that they read about on some dark corner of the internet.

They didn’t look into what the President actually said, or in what context, but considering that what they’ve already heard goes neatly with the conclusions they’ve already come to about him, why would they feel inclined to do so?

By the way, presenting information that is intentionally misleading in an effort to direct the listener to a particular outlook is called deception.

There are many, many more examples outside of politics, and they largely have to do with rumors, hearsay, and other various forms of misinformation.

For example, it’s been said that Takis snacks cause ulcers. This makes intuitive sense to someone raised on the idea that spicy foods cause ulcers. However, the idea that spiciness causes ulcers is a myth.

You might have heard it said that a party at your college got so rowdy that a soda machine was thrown from a window, and when a student officer attempted to intervene, he was thrown from the window, too. Did you check for police reports or old news stories, or did you take his word for it? You might be asking “did you go to the same college as me?” That same story has been told at many colleges.

Arbitrary third example? Another popular college story is that the library is slowly sinking into the ground because the architects that designed it didn’t consider the weight of the books. It appeals to a sense of irony that a team of educated professionals would make such a short-sighted blunder.

Truthiness works as well as it does in making ideas gain traction because it appeals to preconceived notions while inhibiting the desire to verify. Those who become more aware of it are in a better position to see just how strongly society has been pulled along by it.

What is the Dunning-Kruger Effect?

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Decades ago, a man in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania robbed a bank while having lemon juice smeared on his face. His reasoning was that because lemon juice is an ingredient in invisible ink, the juice would make his face invisible. He was so sure of his plan, that he made a confident gesture towards a security camera on the way out. Later, after the man was apprehended, he reportedly exclaimed, “But I wore the juice!”

Taking note of the incident, a couple researchers decided to study just why people who were not very smart believe themselves to be brilliant. The phenomenon that the two studied would later come to be known as the Dunning-Kruger effect.

So, what is the Dunning-Kruger effect? The Dunning-Kruger effect describes the tendency of people with insubstantial ability to think highly of their ability.

One example is with bad drivers. We know who the bad drivers are: they’re the ones that drive fast and weave through traffic, a recipe for collisions. Yet, they tend to believe that this behavior makes them good drivers, and that in the event that they get into (cause) an accident, they’d just be good drivers having a moment.

Another example is the tendency of people today to believe themselves to be scientifically-minded, for having benefited from the advancements that others have made. In reality, few such people have ever conducted a repeatable study in a controlled environment which was subsequently peer-reviewed. Using smartphones doesn’t make you a genius.

There are many, many other examples of the Dunning-Kruger effect that one can think of. It can be apparent in the following quips:

  • “My tech-savviness is expressed through the ownership of a smart watch.”
  • “I feel the course won’t be a major challenge, judging by the first few pages of the textbook.”
  • “I’d have this “parenting” thing down. University of YouTube FTW!”
  • “Who needs manscaping when you have plenty of Axe Body Spray?”

In many cases, the Dunning-Kruger effect is observed when a person who is inept lacks the introspection necessary to perceive their own ineptitude.

Conversely, as a person studies more in a field of knowledge, they tend to come to a better understanding of just how little they really know, which may have to do with the tendency of the more capable to sell themselves short.

Recently, the Dunning-Kruger effect has come to the awareness of many people who have afterwards attempted to use it as a clever way to explain to another person that they’re not as smart as they think they are. A person attempting this should take care to define the Dunning-Kruger effect properly, so as to avoid a certain irony that could otherwise result.