Category Archives: First World Problems

Warning: Producers Are Workplace Prey

There’s something that’s been on my mind for a while, and I think this can serve as a warning to those in their twenties who have the idea of spending the next 40 years of their life working for some other man.

A long while ago, I started working a new job. It seemed like typical work, but before too long into it, my supervisor started suggesting certain procedures. You probably already know that a “suggestion” from a supervisor usually comes down to “do as you’re told, or there’s gonna be trouble”, but there’s something more to that particular instance: the procedures that he was suggesting did nothing to make my job more productive, they actually did just the opposite.

It didn’t take long to figure out that for the supervisor it was a matter of pride, or that the person I was replacing didn’t put up with the guy’s shenanigans (my co-workers told me as much).

Because we’ve grown up watching a lot of television, we’ve had it drilled into our impressionable little heads that it’s the hard workers who are the winners, and that if we keep at it, management will eventually take notice, and we’ll achieve that sweet payoff. Of course, as we grow more cynical over the course of our exposure to the real world, we eventually realize that our collective work ethics are being harvested to make other people rich.

In the workplace wilderness, those who actually produce value are prey animals. Their natural predators are those who produce bloat.

Bloat predators usually don’t do much of anything. But when they smell blood, then they’re off to get a piece of the action. This happens when there’s a problem somewhere.

Those who produce value can usually get by without the help of a bloat predator. Often, solving a problem is as simple as making an adjustment to a value or two in a process. However, the bloat predator is out to justify his existence, so he’ll continue to hack away at the issue long after the matter has been solved to the satisfaction of the rest of production. A problem solved by simple adjustments can be expanded into extensive record-keeping, periodic procedures, purchases of new gadgets (that aren’t guaranteed to work), redundant measurements, and on and on.

While the productive prey can attempt to confront a bloat predator, the matter usually won’t go well for the productive, as the typical bloat predator would just label them as problematic, and end up having their way because they tend to be more connected (they know which nuggets to blow).

Over the course of my work life, I’ve encountered bloat. There’s not much that one can do about it. When it gets excessive, it might be time to start looking around, as the company you’re working for might soon be going nipples-up. If you’ve got a side-hustle, it might not be a bad idea to put more energy into that, even if just for mental health. But if you can somehow manage to become self-employed, that might be ideal. In that case, you can decide for yourself how much bloat would interfere with productivity (ideally, it wouldn’t).

But in most workplaces, unproductive people who produce bloat are a fact of life. And for those who produce value, they are a vexation.

The G4 Meltdown

G4’s attempted return didn’t go so well, as shortly after the brand’s relaunch, hostess Froskurinn went on a tirade about sexism in response to a viewer’s comment.

It’s a bit of a dirty secret among content creators that once you’re big enough, you don’t interact with the audience. Mainly because of stuff like this.

Back when G4 was at its height, it was actually considered a respectable outlet by gamers. I didn’t pay it much mind, considering that I preferred to use the internet to hear the opinions of my peers, rather than have journalists attempt to tell me what they are. But I did have an IRL friend that was into G4, so it was something that I heard of. I didn’t care or notice when they were gone, however. Life goes on.

When commenters were going on about how they didn’t find Froskurinn as attractive as a previous host, this clearly got under her skin, which led up to the explosion. Personally, I suspect that the comments were troll comments. If so, she handled them the wrong way.

When you’re being trolled, you’re not supposed to let them know they’re getting to you, as the usual point of trolling is to get a reaction. An angry outburst was the exact opposite of how Froskurinn should have handled it, as it’s giving the trolls what they want. When Chris-chan was being trolled, it got to the point that trolls suspected that they were being trolled right back, because he consistently handled the matter poorly, often by completely flipping out.

Right now, G4’s ratings are plunging. And I don’t feel bad for them. Attacking your own fans is a bad strategy for content creators. While one might bring up the co-hosts, and how they might not sincerely hold Froskurinn’s views, the fact is, they were right there, clapping like trained seals, playing along to try to avoid being a pariah in the eyes of a dominant feminist, and they found themselves in that position because of a failure to gatekeep.

This matter conveniently comes up just as I’m hearing chatter about how journalists want to try to bring back GamerGate. Why would they want that? Because journalism is in the gutter, clicks are down, people don’t trust them, and they want that enraged engagement that they got from the GamerGate days.

But it’s not going to work, and here’s why: GamerGate was a precursor to the woke movement that’s been around for a while. It may not have been the main catalyst, but it played a huge foundational role. The fact is, GamerGate already happened, and the woke debacle is still ongoing, and has progressed to the point that people are getting sick of it, and is getting public pushback. If another GamerGate were to happen now, it would just be considered another element of the woke movement that people are already sick of.

Trying to bring back GamerGate now would be like trying to ignite an engine that’s already running, and on the brink of failure.

Right now, journalism is in a shitty state. At this point, few people trust them, and journalists are attempting to hang on to viewership with a steady stream of outrage-porn to keep the few they have left interested. That, and they have old people who remember way back when news was their only outlet for information.

They pursued the quick-and-easy, waving off the price that they’d have to pay in the long-term. Now, the time has come for them to pay the price. Naturally, they don’t want to pay it.

The moral of the story is, gatekeep as though your business depends on it. Once someone from one of the many flavors of woke get in, they have a knack for hijacking your brand, and making everything about themselves. Once it gets to that point, it gets hard to remove them in a way that avoids causing more damage.

I wasn’t interested in G4 back in the day, and I’m still not. And if they’re going to lash out at their viewers and go woke, they’re just going to end up with attention that they don’t want. Maybe they’ll go as far as to say that they’ve fallen while on a moral high-ground, as a cynic’s quest typically ends.

Those who die on the hill of their choice, still die.

Japan’s Vaccine Statement is Trending, Because It’s Actually Sane

Fighting off contagious disease is a game of strategy. While the United States and Europe are playing checkers, Japan is playing chess.

I know that there are a ton of nerds out there that think that everything about Japan is awesome, and seek to emulate them in every single way. In light of this, I present the following, and let the otaku nerds know that the ball is in their court:

SANITY!!!

Actual, honest, richly-needed SANITY!

While it’s all sound, I’d like to zero in on this part:

“Although we encourage all citizens to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, it is not compulsory or mandatory. Vaccination will be given only with the consent of the person to be vaccinated after the information provided. Please get vaccinated of your own decision, understanding both the effectiveness in preventing infectious diseases, and the risk of side effects. No vaccination will be given without consent. Please do not force anyone in your workplace or those around you to be vaccinated, and do not discriminate against those who have not been vaccinated.”

Put another way, “Please don’t be like those Americans or Europeans, who have collectively lost their minds.” This seems to have been written with a certain awareness of what’s going on around the world, particularly in places like Australia where the way the coronavirus has been handled has been distinctly authoritarian. Chillingly, vaccine authoritarianism seems to be on the rise in Germany.

I get the idea that there may be a spike in demand for plane tickets to Japan, particularly for one-way trips.

How about it, anime nerds? Is Japan based, or what?

An Image to Describe 2021

Each year, this blog posts a picture which, in the eyes of myself, describes the year accurately, sometimes edited, and sometimes not. However sardonic it may be, I think we can all appreciate that humanity has made it as far as we have without reducing ourselves to irradiated primal components over things like economic strategy.

I think we all know that QAnon Shaman is going to take the honor this year. But before we get to that, let’s take a moment to appreciate just how zany this year has been. After all, this year wasn’t just crazy in a way like standing at a safe distance and laughing at the insane thing that some celebrity as done. This year’s craziness affected every single one of us in one way or another.

As we recap, know that I’m not even going to bother listing everything crazy about this year, as writing up such a list would take at least another year.

  • Thousands of protestors flooded the U.S. Capitol building, resulting in the people being represented therein for the first time in over a century.
  • After a nearly-two-decade military campaign, President Biden surrendered Afghanistan back to a bunch of hairy men who believe that pedophilia is normal, abandoning both equipment and American people in the process.
  • In the highly-publicized Rittenhouse trial, a jury helped millions of morons to come to the conclusion that if someone with an assault rifle is running from you, chasing him and attacking him is a bad idea.
  • Twitter banned a standing President of the United States from their platform, even though he didn’t do a damn thing wrong.
  • After months on end of the uniparty calling the lab-leak hypothesis a “conspiracy theory”, U.S. intelligence released a 2-page declassified report calling “laboratory-associated incident” a plausible source of Covid-19.
  • A huge container ship ran aground in the Suez Canal, disrupting trading for much of the world.
  • Anthony Fauci gives hope to the least of us as he demonstrates that a slow-witted, narcissistic ass-wipe can hold the highest-paid government office.
  • NASA launched its Double Asteroid Redirection Test to determine whether we are currently capable of protecting earth from an asteroid collision, showing that science can be used for something other than marketing useless garbage to gullible cretins.
  • The ultra-left are so obsessed with getting you vaccinated, that they threatened your job over it. Because nothing says that they want to protect you quite like threatening to turn you into a homeless drifter that eats garbage out of the gutters. Thankfully, the courts are succeeding so far in blocking that bullshit.

With all that said, here is the image that describes 2021, depicting the most honest man to stand at the house podium:

I don’t know about you, but I miss the days when conspiracy theorists were wrong about stuff, and mainly just went on about a flat earth and space aliens. But now that the left is so insistent that the idea that there are reptilians in government is a harmful and dangerous conspiracy theory, that gets me to thinking. Streisand Effect, and such.

Nostradamus was still a hack.

Howard Stern, Get Over Yourself.

Howard Stern’s remaining audience largely consists of boomers who mistakenly remember a time in which Howard Stern was cool, and Gen Xers who started listening because the boomers did.

While it’s obvious that Stern’s best days are behind him, he’ll sometimes fire off his mouth in an attempt to stay relevant. I’d have no idea what he had to say if it weren’t passed along by new media, which is pretty sad considering his history of proclaiming himself as “King of All Media”. That’s a ballsy thing to proclaim one’s self, but he didn’t use any of that to make the following statement about those who refused the COVID vaccine by reason of their personal freedom:

“Fuck them. Fuck their freedom. I want my freedom to live. I want to get out of the house. I want to go next door and play chess. I want to go take some pictures.”

Howard Stern

If Howard wants so badly to do those things, he can just do them. That’s what those who appreciate their freedoms have been doing with those very freedoms. If Howard himself has been vaccinated, he’d face no risk of getting COVID, if the vaccine were as effective as other vaccines. And if he weren’t (by reason of medical exemption), he’d be taking a risk intrinsic to living life, comparable to catching the flu.

That’s how it goes, sometimes, you don’t have the same kind of health that someone else has, and that makes your choice of activities more narrow than theirs. Fact of life.

Howard, who once upon a time was marketed under the pretense of being shocking and anti-establishment, is now taking a pro-establishment position with no risk of retaliation on the part of advertisers. And over what? He wants everyone else in the world around him to get a vaccine they might not even want, just so he’ll feel safer going outside and doing stuff.

And we’re supposed for feel bad for him after he spent the better part of his life as a multi-millionaire who made bank by contributing nothing to society except firing off his mouth on the radio, and making a movie that no one cares about.

Not everyone can understand why anyone would watch videos on YouTube about people playing video games or eating food, when people can just do these things themselves. I wonder how many of these same people listen to a radio show about a rich man who goes to night clubs and talks about seeing anatomical features that half of all people have?

Another point one can make about Stern is that he talks as though he thinks we’re still consuming the same old news stories that were going around at the early part of the pandemic:

“The other thing I hate is that all these people with COVID who won’t get vaccinated are in the hospitals clogging it up.”

Howard Stern

Remember back when they opened stadiums up with hospital beds, to prepare to treat an expected influx of patients? Remember when they closed those makeshift treatment centers down because, as it turns out, they didn’t need them? What hospitals is he going to that he couldn’t get in because of all the COVID patients?

What’s more, Howard is blowing his stack, saying that people who refused the vaccine should be denied medical care, overlooking the fact that people can refuse the vaccine for some compelling reasons, such as the suspicion that it hasn’t been sufficiently tested before being released to market, or due to concerns over spike proteins.

It’s easy to see past all the bluster and realize that the real reason why Howard is so salty is because we’re going to be the ones writing the history books, by reason of the fact that we’re the ones going out and living life and procreating.

What’s really sad about this is that we lived to see the day that Howard used his platform to proclaim the following:

“Fuck their freedom.”

Howard Stern, whose entire career is owed to free expression and the private ownership of the means of production, is apparently selective when it comes to what freedoms are applied, and how.

Because Howard Stern (and leftism in general) is out of touch with reality, they lack the cognition that freedom is not granted by human government, it’s axiomatic in a similar sense to natural law. Everyone has a right to their own sincere convictions. Everyone, when attacked, has a right to defend themselves. Everyone has a right to their own property, without it being unjustly or unfairly extracted. If any humanly devised system ignores these axiomatic fundamental rights, they still exist, and the system itself is in the wrong. Whether you’re a celebrity, radio personality, or king, if you ignore or act contrary to these rights, you are wrong.

But no one has a right to a life that’s free from risk. Risk, including the risk of getting sick, or getting attacked by an animal, or ending up impaled on something, is an intrinsic element of the reality that we live in. Attempts to alleviate those risks are usually reasonable, but sometimes not. Attempts to eliminate those risks are often wrongheaded.

If COVID is something you’re concerned about, you can plan accordingly for yourself. What you can’t do is limit another person’s freedom of movement or bodily autonomy. Whatever choices you make for yourself, you do with the possibility of whatever consequences that follow as a result.

While Howard Stern is free to have his own opinion, that includes his right to a misinformed or misguided opinion, a right he’s done nothing to waive. While Harlan Ellison may not like it, people do have a right to be ignorant.

But if you’re one of the few people left who still listen to Howard Stern, you should ask yourself what you’re listening to. When you listen to a rich man with a radio show hobnob with strippers and ruthlessly lampoon members of his own cast, is it really because there’s nothing else to listen to? As a person who gets up early in the morning, goes to work, comes home to eat poor people food, and usually barely pays the bills, it’s easy for me to say that Howard Stern doesn’t speak for me.

Educational Institutions Pass Students Bad At English, Fail a Generation

The education system has long been infiltrated by the left-wing establishment. That’s not a secret.

Their infiltration of society and monopoly on the major institutions is such that they can do just about anything they want, and there isn’t much that the general population could do about it, regardless of how many of us are aware of it. But when I see what they are doing with the education system that they have uncontested control over, one question comes up:

Just what is it that they’re trying to do?

This question is especially relevant now, now that some institutions are doing away with bad marks for poor English. You know, the ability to properly express one’s ideas in a way that an English-language people will understand.

This development doesn’t mean that one can have poor English and still pass an English course, as one might interpret this story (not that that’s stopped many a graduate). This has more to do with whether an understanding of the English language is central to the subject studied, as the Daily Mail story points out:

Academics at Worcester University have also been told that if spelling, grammar and punctuation are not ‘central to the assessment criteria’, it is fairer to judge students only on their ideas and knowledge of the subject.

Sound fair? One might think, except there’s one major problem: an understanding of the English language is central to one’s success in any course taught in the English language. Saying that understanding the language in which a subject is taught should not be required for success in that subject is actually worse than saying that understanding calculus should not be required for success in advanced Physics.

When a student is being passed in spite of their ineptitude, it might seem like they’re being done a favor, but they’re actually not, and neither is anyone else. The purpose of college or university or any career-training program is to prepare students for careers in their fields by teaching them the skills needed to succeed in their respective fields.

No one wants co-workers or employees that are too inept for their jobs.

Like many stupid ideas, this one has it’s requisite good intentions:

The move comes as universities come under increasing pressure to boost the progress of ethnic minority, disabled and disadvantaged students, as well as ‘decolonise’ courses.

The implication that minority students are inherently deficient with spelling, grammar, and sentence structure is, in itself, insensitive. Ethnic minorities are certainly capable of learning English. In fact, one of the most famous English-language websites was written by a man whose first language was Armenian, and he has a page where he makes fun of bad English in the emails he receives.

If you’re a dean or professor at an English-language university, and a student is in danger of underperforming by reason of poor English, here is a step-by-step guide on how to handle this problem:

  1. Overcome the disbelief that such a student was somehow admitted into your institution.
  2. Offer this student tutoring on their language, so they’ll be in a better position to succeed in their courses. Any respectable English-language college or university should provide English workshops, tutors, or office-hours with English professors. If not, your college or university is garbage.
  3. If for any reason the above doesn’t work out, the student gets a failing grade. This signifies that the student is not ready to succeed in a competitive career world where basic language skills are essential for success.

It’s so straightforward that it’s hard to see how anyone could screw it up. If helping minorities is what you want to do, then actually help them to succeed. If you give anyone a passing grade in spite of their inability, you’re setting up that student for a future where their honest assessment would come from their employer, from whom it would be many times more devastating.

I don’t know what it is that those colleges and/or universities are actually trying to do. But whatever it is, they can have fun doing it. This is because employers actually make lists of colleges and universities that they actively avoid hiring from. If a school has a bad enough reputation for turning out poor-performing employees (or worse, activists), employers simply dumpster resumes that list that particular school. And thanks to the connected nature of today’s world, it doesn’t take long for a school’s bad reputation to get around, and there’s more at stake for schools to graduate students that actually know what they’re doing.

As for me, I’m taking more interest in targeted career programs. These respect students’ time by focusing on material that would be relevant to their career path, while eschewing gen-ed courses that do little more than add expenses to a student’s education, adding bloat to an over-swollen education system.

Aside from that, there’s still some value in two-year trade schools that focus on real-world skills and turning out students that are actually employable. It’s my understanding that these are huge in Japan, which would be another case in point about how Asians value practical skill over superfluous bloat.

Eventually, employers will have to recognize the value of targeted career training, as the diploma mills that continually turn out activists will leave them with little choice. And the sooner, the better.

2020 Digital Manga Sales 3X That of DC and Marvel Sales Combined

In times past, Americans were at least credited as being the world’s entertainers. It seems that role is shifting, if graphic novel sales are any indication.

Sales for graphic novels in 2020 are in, and they show the Japanese manga industry destroying American comics, eclipsing Marvel and DC comics combined by three to one.

The following shows the top ten sales for graphic novels in 2020:

1. My Hero Academia vol. 1 
2. My Hero Academia vol. 2 
3. Demon Slayer vol. 1 
4. My Hero Academia vol. 24 
5. My Hero Academia vol. 3 
6. My Hero Academia vol. 23 
7. Uzumaki hardcover 
8. My Hero Academia vol. 4 
9. Demon Slayer vol. 2 
10. My Hero Academia vol. 5

The list is dominated by Japan’s current most popular manga series, Boku no Hero Academia, as well as Demon Slayer and Uzumaki. What didn’t even place are western comics like Superman, Iron Man, or even Batman.

I remember a time in which Japanese manga was obscure. But times have changed, and Americans have taken a liking to the Japanese graphic novel format.

When one directly compares comics to manga, the reason for the preference by general audiences is easy to understand. While comics usually sees about thirty new pages each month, manga sees 15-20 new pages each week (granted, US comics usually have more color pages). While comics focus heavily on merchandising, in manga, the pages themselves are the focal products. While US comics lean heavily on iconic established characters, in manga, new series’ can thrive because the writers are great at getting us to care about new characters.

What’s more, American comics have recently focused heavily on virtue signaling through expressing activist causes. Natch, western readers viewed this as the cringe it is, which has a lot to do with why westerners are turning to Japanese manga and anime. What’s more, the influencers of western social media have no influence in Japan, and have even been spurned by Japanese content creators that take notice.

But comic companies do get the added perk of getting to blame their fans for their comics not selling well by attributing poor sales to sexism and racism on the part of the fans.

How’s that for a cynic’s quest? “What’s that, comic companies? The Japanese are handing your butts to you in sales? Here, have a soapbox, upon which you can feel a smug sense of superiority.”

Then there’s the big reason: Western audiences are reading more manga because manga tells better stories. As a matter of philosophy, the Japanese desire to produce superior products, and their entertainment is no exception. Readers take manga seriously because manga authors take them seriously.

Recently, I discovered a manga called Made in Abyss. It’s cute appearance is disarming, and it’s easy to be skeptical by reason of it. It really drives home the cuteness, with characters like the adorable Nanachi:

A character designed by someone who gives a care.

It reads like a Dungeons and Dragons story, as directed by a DM so sadistic you’d think he went to college for it. Not only are the heroes in danger of dying by monsters, there’s also danger of poison, parasites, and random mutation by influence of the environment. It’s to the point that fans have even expressed doubt that beloved characters like Nanachi might survive from one season of the anime to the next.

Suffice to say, Made in Abyss wasn’t made for kids. But it’s a great example of how manga has an edge that’s often missing from American comics.

As for what is made for kids, about ten years back, I decided to check out a random episode of the anime, Doremi Naisho, out of curiosity. The episode had to do with “indirect kissing”. That’s surprisingly mature. Yet, Japanese children are better at consuming media with more mature themes because Japanese parents know how to raise children that are better behaved.

Surprisingly mature.

In America, fad parenting takes on many forms, some of which with cultish adherents. You’d think that they’d be quick to figure out that their novel approaches don’t actually work, but noooooooo

Then there’s Dragonball Z, whose many heroes could give Superman a wedgie without breaking a sweat. But it’s more than a simple power fantasy. Involved stories are used to develop characters to the point that, when characters are in danger, there’s a sense of peril, and when they die, it actually comes off as a tragedy. And nearly every major character does, at some point.

Also, there’s Sailor Moon. I don’t get it, but some people like it. That’s cool for them.

Reading this, some might think I’m dead-set against American comics, but I’m not. I want to see them succeed. But right now, the writers of American comics aren’t doing what it takes to make that happen.

There is an Asian proverb that I’ve been using quite a bit lately. You could probably already guess what it is, especially since it’s so fitting, considering the topic. Confucius said, The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell. When considering how manga is far outselling traditional western comics, it’s interesting that the groups who aren’t obsessed with profit are greatly overtaking those who are primarily driven by it.

If I’m not getting what I’m looking for from one party, I will receive it from those who are offering it.

Take your fake meat and shove it.

lina disappointed

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 I could have simply walked out, requesting nothing of the distressed menu that was before me.

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

F4CB0AA5-8C3C-422E-A763-98CA0C9032E5

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 Meat-Eaters are More In-Touch With Reality

ccapp-theoutbackerburger-2x.pngSource: The Outback Steakhouse menu

While the rest of us live happy, healthy lifestyles, vegans go to-the-hilt trying to convince us that we aren’t really happy or healthy, and they attempt to make the meat-eating diet out to be the cause of our woes.

Their motives are not hard to understand. It’s obvious that their problem is with meat-eating, and they work hard to ensure that the choice that they’ve made for themselves is also the choice that they make for the rest of us.

To this end, they attempt to characterize meat eaters as callous and indifferent. As vegans see it, meat-eaters are low-IQ knuckle-draggers who couldn’t care whether our actions today burn the world to the ground tomorrow.

What vegans don’t comprehend is that meat-eaters are happier and healthier for some very good reasons. Among these reasons is that we understand our impact on the world, and the nature of the world that we live in, and these facts are something that we’ve come to peace with.

Among the fallacies common to vegans and to those obsessed with nature is the idea that nature is a personal entity concerned with balance and order. Such thinking is a clear projection of one’s own values onto a theoretical personal entity.

The fact is, nature is not a person. Nature is not a goddess, nor is it anyone’s mother. Because nature is not a personal entity, it is not concerned with regulation or with maintaining a balance. Nature is simply a broad term used to refer to the physical world around us. Nature puts no forward effort into replenishing what is excessively used, nor does it make a conscious effort to cull what has become too successful. Nature is a thing, and it’s a thing that we decide how to live in. When humanity makes a choice that impacts the natural world, that impact is weighed against the benefit to us, and we make the choice we deem to be more beneficial to us.

Most of us have come to peace with the reality of the world that we live in, and have accepted it. That acceptance is what enables us to live happily. As this happens, among the least happy among us are the outliers who stand in opposition to the choices agreed upon by the collective.

Another fact that we’ve come to peace with is the understanding that suffering is an intrinsic part of life. Livestock winces the moment it’s killed as it’s nerves send pain signals to its brain. Plants initiate defense mechanisms when we harvest from them. You feel upset when a motorist taunts you for deciding not to drive. The fact is, suffering is everywhere.

The way we experience the world can be positive or negative. A work of art can induce a positive emotion. To be spurned by a potential suitor can induce a negative reaction. A boxer receiving a left hook experiences a very obvious kind of suffering. To live is to experience, and that includes suffering.

While vegans are obsessed with limiting suffering any way they can, the rest of us have come to peace with the fact that living means sometimes experiencing suffering. While vegans worry themselves awake over the possibility that something they did caused a mouse they never saw to feel pain, the rest of us are aware of suffering as a part of life, and sleep well for having come to peace with that.

Our parents and grandparents have experienced suffering in one form or another, we’ve suffered, and our children will suffer after us.

A vegan might respond to this by asking whether you’d be okay with suffering if you or someone you care about is hit with a brick, this would lead pretty well to the next point: Meat-eaters are healthier and more mentally sound because they’re primarily concerned with the state of human lives, rather than animal lives.

Humans stick with human kind. Humans respond more sympathetically to the pains of our fellow human beings. Humans are inclined to dine with fellow humans. Humans seek sexual relations with other human beings. Humans socialize with human beings.

Animals are much the same way, with animals of one kind usually preferring the company of their own kind. When a wolf dines, they are likely to do so in the company of other wolves. A cat does not concern itself with whether it’s treating a fish humanely before it eats it. A rabbit that desires to copulate seeks out another rabbit as a partner.

While a vegan might seek out a rare outlier in an attempt to defeat this point, the fact is, it’s impossible to deny the tendency of most animals to stick to their own kind, and the efforts of the vegan would stand out as an obvious attempt to deny the reality of the natural world.

The fact is, meat-eaters understand the reality of the world we live in, and have come to peace with it. This makes meat-eaters happier and more sound-minded, as we’ve embraced reality for what it is, rather than what we prefer it to be.

If veganism were nothing more than a choice that one made for one’s self, I wouldn’t have any concern about it except for the nutritional deficiencies intrinsic to a meat-free diet. But because vegans are out to make veganism everyone else’s diet, and they’re willing to employ all manner of misinformation and deception to bring such an outcome about, there is a bit more urgency to respond to it.

Obviously, the belligerence with which vegans seek to change the world doesn’t lend itself the qualities of a peaceful mind that is better in touch with the world around it. It does just the opposite. At their best, these vegans maintain a veneer of serenity, even if only because they understand the value of maintaining such an image.

But the reality is, it’s meat-eaters that understand how things are, and as vegans have been climbing the mountain seeking wisdom, they’ll be surprised when they finally find meat-eaters waiting for them at the summit.

The Pokedex Meltdown from My Perspective

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A few weeks ago, during E3, the staff of GameFreak has revealed that not every pokemon from previous Pokemon games will be making it into the upcoming Pokemon Sword and Shield. Considering how entitled that people are becoming, it’s not hard to imagine that some of them would throw a fit when faced with the prospect of not getting everything they want.

What I didn’t anticipate was just how important it is to certain fans to collect over 800 of something, most of which won’t have any meaning to them outside of the act of collecting them. The sheer unreasonability of these interesting persons is exemplified pretty well in a reply that I got to an observation that I’ve made on this matter:

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This self-professed overlord of lunatics is taking the news so poorly that he’s willing to destroy the game company that gave them the game that he enjoyed to begin with. If there are any geese out there that lay golden eggs, this news might just put them on edge.

Now that the temper tantrums are dying down and the mouths emitting them are finally tiring out, we can finally start hearing voices of reason on this matter.

When I heard that not every pokemon from previous games would be making it to Sword and Shield, it really didn’t bother me much at all. This has to do with my previous experience with Pokemon, and with similar games.

When I first got into Pokemon, it was when I watched the first episode of the anime in 1998, when it debuted in the States. Since then, I also played the video games and the trading card game.

The Pokemon Trading Card Game (Pokemon TCG) was and is similar to other trading card games in that a few new sets are released every year, and that it didn’t take long before the multitude of different available cards made it difficult for new players to emerge onto the competitive scene, and making it challenging for the game makers to maintain a balanced game that’s fun to play.

To cope with this, the game makers introduced the concept of a standard competitive format which saw older cards rotated out, usually on a yearly basis. Seasoned players had to adapt to a continually changing competitive game, but that wasn’t much of an issue for them, because they remained interested in the game enough to continue buying new cards, and new players had an easier time getting into the game without having to concern themselves with hundreds (possibly thousands) of old cards that were no longer competitively relevant.

It’s because of this concept of rotation that the idea of leaving some less-relevant or meta-breaking pokemon out of a new Pokemon game makes intuitive sense to me. I’ve been playing games long enough to see the same principle applied to numerous other games, including the Pokemon TCG.

What’s more, we saw a similar practice in the Pokemon anime. Ash and Pikachu have been recurring characters, but eventually Ash got in the habit of leaving his old pokemon with the professor and focusing on new pokemon as he traveled to different regions. Even human traveling companions such as Brock and Misty have long-since gone their separate ways, and Ash’s core circle of friends have changed with time.

1484032488-3214bb8e28a979d1e3e0fe9b6cab30f5Not pictured: Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle.

It’s a simple fact of life that as time goes on, the resources available to a person changes, and these changes can result in a different life experience. If a person leaves one job and finds a different one, they’re no longer doing what they previously did for a living, and they might be making a much different amount of money. Their last job is no longer a factor in their living. If a person moves to a different area, they may have a different climate to become accustomed to, what’s convenient to them might change, and they’ll have a different set of neighbors.

One of the challenges of playing games like Pokemon is that they test a person to make better judgements over the course of the game, even as the amount of resources available to the player during gameplay changes, usually increasing, but in some cases decreasing.

Another matter relating to this to consider is that sometimes a game maker faces challenges while making games alongside Nintendo. This is due to a long-held practice Nintendo has had where, when they notice that a game is stalling in development, they’ll throw out all the assets and restart development from scratch, with only the ideas behind the game to go on. Game makers have come to refer to this practice as “flipping the table”, and it conjures an image of an abusive Japanese father getting upset and flipping a table over, allowing everything on it to fall onto the floor.

While this sounds extreme, Nintendo is usually justified in doing it. Sometimes, during the course of development, a game gets to be bogged down with features and other elements that weigh down the experience, or don’t significantly contribute to it. Development on a game can seriously slow as game makers struggle to decide which elements they can justify keeping, and a lot of time can be wasted on endeavors that turn out to be counter-productive. Sometimes, flipping the table is just what it takes to get development more focused, and the prospect of it happening may be daunting enough to get game developers focused on their projects to begin with!

With this in mind, let’s consider a few things we know about Pokemon Sword and Shield:

  • Mega evolutions aren’t going to be included in the game.
  • Neither are Z-moves.
  • Some character models, such as Wingull, aren’t animated very well.
  • There are poor textures on certain models, such as the trees.
  • Not every pokemon from previous games will be present.
  • All this in spite of the fact that a Pokemon game for Switch has been hyped for a long time.

When you consider all this, it becomes evident that Pokemon Sword and Shield have been stalling in development as the game makers have been struggling to incorporate gameplay elements from previous installments while at the same time trying to maintain a balanced game with a competitive element.

To those who don’t know Nintendo very well, the Sword and Shield gameplay demo, along with the news that certain pokemon and features won’t make it into the game, is considered evidence of GameFreak being lazy. But to those of us more familiar with Nintendo, it appears more likely that GameFreak has been struggling to include characters and features from previous games while still making a balanced and coherent gameplay experience that is to Nintendo’s liking.

While it’s easy to blame Nintendo for (possibly) obstructing progress on Sword and Shield, Nintendo usually only steps in to flip the table when progress stalls. When it comes to games that Nintendo licenses, their reputation is on the line, so there’s something in it for them to ensure that a quality product is released in a reasonable amount of time.

While there’s more that can be said, I think that perspective provides plenty to consider when it comes to the Pokedex Meltdown, or the National Dex Fiasco, or Dexit, or whatever you call it. Obviously, not everyone is taking the news well. If you happen to be in the Barboach fan club, it might be a tough time for you.