The Ustasi is Real

Sarah Hoyt describes a successful attempt to infiltrate her communications two years ago:

I have found out recently that when my phone got spoofed, and my email hacked, back in April of 2021, it was part of an effort that involved a lot of people on our side getting that happening to them at the same time. The email was then used to send insulting emails to those people they thought were monetary supporters. At the same time, the emails were rifled for “incriminating” messages, used to bring legal charges against these people, or to discredit them with the community at large.

It did a number on my mind for various reasons. Note I’m not saying who was behind the hacking because I don’t know. But the fact that legal charges were brought in some cases makes you think… well, you know, the Stasi is real even though it goes under other names.

For the record, the attempted hack was curtailed earlier (and there are now measures in place), by pure luck. I happened to be up really late for me, through being too tired to go to bed. (It’s a thing.)

Also for the record, the shenanigans attempted didn’t land, because their ideas of who I am appear to be pure leftist projection. While I have monetary backers — Hi, y’all — for this blog, they’re not political monetary backers, and they don’t send me emails encouraging messages or slants. In other words, there is no journolist on the right, and there is no equivalent of Soros directing our efforts.

Most of what my email contains are actual personal things. Messages from friends and family. Kids and cats pictures. The occasional editor email, though now that I’m not doing comics, not even that. Links to blogs that hope I’ll link them, or links a friend found interesting. Discussions of how a book did with a friend.

So most of the insulting, (highly racist slurs, btw) emails were sent to friends telling me how much their book had made, and one to my comics editor. None of them “landed” because the reaction were immediate texts saying “Sarah, you’ve been hacked.” First, because I don’t use that language, and second because the messages made no sense since these weren’t political backers but friends. (Even the comics editor became that.) And because it was curtailed early, there was no time for fake emails advising violence, or fake posts on facebook to be made.

The other thing I found out at the same time, through incidental comments in a chat, is that the next attempt was to tap into people’s internet to capture the stream. Doing that on ours is bizarre, but yes, we do have proof that was actually done to us just before we left Colorado. The only reply to that is “Dudes, wait and get it when I post it on the blog or publish it.” Because there is nothing, literally, in either my email or my internet signal that couldn’t be made public tomorrow because most of it is. Oh, some of my correspondents would hate to have their emails made public because they are in the political closet, but they’re not political operators. They’re professors or scientists or members of the Armed Forces (not high up.) Knowing they associate with me at all might bring questions, but then again most of them use pseudonyms, and the emails themselves are blameless. “Hey, have you read this?” and “Look at the cute face my cat made” comprise 99% of it, the rest being maybe more personal and less political than that.

However, the fact that so much effort was made made me queasy. Particularly because I know some of the other people to whom this was done, and they’re much bigger. My claim to “bigness” is posting over at instapundit, (which is yuge) but other than that, I’m medium-small and I’m just a science fiction writer with a nasty politics problem.

While it would have been useful for us to hear about this two years ago, it’s still good that Mrs. Hoyt is going public with the surveillance state’s attempt to interfere with her relations with her readers and supporters. It would also be useful to know how many other public figures were targeted and how successful those efforts were in their attempts to sabotage them.

In the meantime, it’s vital to always remain aware of the constant attempt of these bad actors to infiltrate every organization and every group of people that aren’t completely submitted to the Narrative. The lidless eye is always on you, which is a simple fact of human existence that you should accept with equanimity and utilize to inspire you to do more and do better.

None of this is new. Epictetus made it clear nearly 2,000 years ago.

Yet God hath placed by the side of each a man’s own Guardian Spirit, who is charged to watch over him—a Guardian who sleeps not nor is deceived…. So when you have shut the doors and made a darkness within, remember never to say that you are alone; for you are not alone, but God is within, and your Guardian Spirit, and what light do they need to behold what you do?

Man’s surveillance state is but a poor, twisted, and fallen version of God’s. And we know which one holds the real power.


YouTube Piles On

Despite him not having even been accused of streaming anything objectionable on YouTube, the social media giant has demonetized Russell Brand.

YouTube has stopped Russell Brand from being able to earn any money through his channel for ‘violating our Creator Responsibility policy’.

The 48-year-old produces around five videos a week for his 6.6million subscribers, earning him an estimated £1million a year.

Under the terms of his suspension Brand – whose net worth has been estimated at between £15m and £40m – will still be allowed to post videos on the platform but will not receive any of the advertising revenue.

YouTube said in a statement: ‘If a creator’s off-platform behaviour harms our users, employees or ecosystem, we take action to protect the community. This decision applies to all channels that may be owned or operated by Russell Brand.’

This is why it is so foolish for these public figures to prioritize reach over stability. What is the point of building up a massive social media following on a platform where it can, and will, be taken away from you overnight?

This is also why UATV, and other independent platforms with paid subscriptions, are the wave of the future. But it will probably require the collapse of YouTube before most creators are able to seriously consider those platforms, because the allure of YouTube fame and money is far too strong for them to resist despite the obvious risks.

JUST IN: “We will move to an economic model of a small monthly payment to use X.” – Elon Musk

Anyhow, YouTube’s action, in combination with the media blitz, does make it obvious that Brand’s cancellation is an organized, inorganic action.


Deep Pockets and Defamation

Elon Musk brings up the possibility of suing the ADL for defamation:

While the ADL is obviously vulnerable on the issue of defamation, and has previously lost defamation cases, I think Musk and many others would actually have a much stronger case concerning tortious interference. The ADL literally raises money on the basis of its successful interference in contracts between third parties to which it has no relation, and its entire modus operandi is based on tortious interference for the purposes of harming the party it is targeting.

And while defamation is extremely hard for a public figure to prove, tortious interference is usually an easily established matter of record. In the case of the ADL’s interference with X’s advertising contracts, all of the elements are observably there and could be easily proven using the communications between the ADL and the advertisers.

  • The existence of a contractual relationship or beneficial business relationship between two parties.
  • Knowledge of that relationship by a third party.
  • Intent of the third party to induce a party to the relationship to breach the relationship.
  • Lack of any privilege on the part of the third party to induce such a breach.
  • The contractual relationship is breached.
  • Damage to the party against whom the breach occurs.

If Musk actually follows through with his musings with a lawsuit for tortious interference, and if Facebook, which was also targeted by the ADL, followed suit, there is a very good chance that the ADL would be financially ruined. Which would be ironic, given how many other organizations and individuals it has attempted to ruin financially. #BantheADL

UPDATE: I am very skeptical that Musk is genuinely serious about this. Among other things, he hasn’t fired his ADL-friendly CEO, Linda Yaccarino, yet.

UPDATE: On the other hand, the mainstream media is already rushing to misdirect the public and provide cover for the ADL, which tends to suggest that they are afraid the threat is real.

It’s unclear what kind of communications Musk is referring to, but a successful defamation suit would require him to prove that the ADL has been making false claims about him and his company. Musk and X did not immediately respond to a question from NBC News as to whether a complaint had been drafted. The ADL told NBC News on Monday that as a matter of policy it does not comment on legal threats.

The ADL’s publicly shared research and its criticisms of antisemitism on Musk’s platform in recent months are grounded in evidence. In March, the group flagged specific examples of antisemitic hate speech and tropes, and it criticized X for failing to remove posts in accordance with X’s own policies that prohibit hateful conduct, threats or incitement to violence based on individual or group identities. And in May, the ADL posted a report that documented examples of how antisemitic harassment networks are flourishing on the platform. Some of the ADL’s methodology seems unclear to me, and the organization also has a history of sometimes defining antisemitism in ways that conflate it with anti-Zionism. But the ADL flagged persuasive examples in its posts, and anyone who spends time on X knows the site is brimming with hate speech directed at all kinds of minority communities. One might also note that in these posts and in its report, the ADL is not calling Musk or X itself antisemitic, but the group is critiquing the company for failing to take action against antisemitic speech. Musk said on Monday that he was “pro free speech, but against anti-Semitism of any kind.”

Musk’s decision to single out the ADL is odd. As I noted, the ADL is just one voice among scores of civil rights-oriented organizations, research groups and media commentators that have criticized Musk’s laissez-faire attitudes toward hate speech. That’s to say nothing of the possibility that advertisers may choose to pull back on their spending on a platform without any pressure from activist groups or critics, and simply out of the calculation that the platform might be risky for their reputation in the future.

The twisted logic of Elon Musk’s defamation threat against the Anti-Defamation League, MSNBC, 6 September 2023

Notice how there is no mention of tortious interference, and yet the last sentence is specifically phrased to provide a hypothetical defense against the possibility that X advertisers were contacted by the ADL and pressured to stop advertising on X. And it is those communications between the ADL and the advertisers it is believed to have pressured are presumably the kind of communications to which Musk was referring.


Then They Came for Wranglerstar

Miles Klee of Rolling Stone gets Wranglerstar banned from Tik Tok and goes after his YouTube account with a hit piece written on behalf of Jared Holt, the social media hit man who was previously “instrumental in getting social media and other internet platforms to give Infowars the boot” from Apple, YouTube, Facebook, and Spotify, among others.

While his comments are a mixed bag of supporters and detractors, there’s no telling whether someone will put Crone’s more irresponsible recommendations into practice. “It’s alarming to see content that he offers instructions for doing damage paired with content that promotes a generally paranoid worldview,” says Jared Holt, a senior research analyst at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue who studies the intersection of tech and U.S. political extremism. “That can be a volatile cocktail, and I worry that it normalizes types of violence.” 

After Rolling Stone brought the UN helmet video and other clips to TikTok’s attention, the company deleted Crone’s page. A TikTok representative confirmed that Crone was banned for “repeatedly violating” their policies, though did not enumerate which rules he had broken. The TikTok representative also reported that Crone had never made money on the platform. “While our investigation is ongoing, I can confirm that it did not monetize through our product features this year, and we’ve so far not found an indication it did so before that,” the rep said. Another Wranglerstar-branded TikTok account with more than 200,000 followers has preserved clips including a guide on breaking into buildings and a screed about “pushing back” against police officers by showing up to their houses to confront them. (It’s unclear whether Crone operates the account or someone else is reposting his content.)

YouTube, for its part, did not remove any of Crone’s videos or issue him a warning, and continues to generate revenue from his brand. (Crone, who has had an ad partnership with the site for at least a decade, was previously featured as an “On The Rise” influencer and on YouTube’s “Spotlight” channel.) In a statement to Rolling Stone, YouTube spokesperson Jack Malon says Crone’s videos have not violated the site’s community or the advertising-friendly guidelines for official YouTube Partners. “As such, they will remain on the platform,” Malon says.

According to the site’s policy guidelines, YouTube forbids “content intended to praise, promote, or aid violent extremist or criminal organizations is not allowed on YouTube,” though notably, Crone does not seem to identify with any particular radical group. YouTube also prohibits “content encouraging others to commit violent acts.” Whether Crone risks violating this policy with material like the arson clip — which falls into something of a gray area — is an open question. Malon’s statement did not address the assessments YouTube made of any individual video.

Holt tells Rolling Stone that Crone is “crossing or edging on the line of policies that platforms have against what’s usually called ‘dangerous’ or ‘harmful’ content,” but that such rules are useless without rigorous enforcement. If YouTube doesn’t see fit to remove this kind of content, says Holt, it would “be responsible to at least down-rank it in sorting.”

Though Holt emphasizes that “most people who view this sort of content will not be compelled to act, and even fewer will be violent,” he says a slim minority may feel emboldened to take action “in harmful or violent ways.” For YouTube to allow this content on their platform, he explains, is “to provide the next would-be attacker or vigilante with the tools they need to act,” comparable to “scattering instruments all over a stage and inviting musicians into the theater.”

Of course, Holt cautions, we can’t say for sure that this is what Crone intends — which gives him the plausible deniability to continue operating on YouTube without interference. As long as he is ambiguous enough in his prophecies, avoiding direct imperatives to act or praise for known terrorist groups, he comes across as just another eccentric, gun-loving conservative. This way, Crone is able to walk a thin line, seeding extremist propaganda while separately laying out strategies for an anticipated clash with authorities, leaving his audience to connect the dots. Unlike his less-filtered TikTok channel, his YouTube presence relies on the power of what remains unsaid.

He Taught People to Make Bombs — And YouTube Is Helping Him Cash In, ROLLING STONE, 11 August 2023

When, as they like to say, there is no place in their society for us, it is clear that there is no place for them in our society. It’s not paranoia when they really are out to demonetize, deplatform, and destroy you. This is why it is foolish to rely in any way upon enemy platforms; there is more to preparation than building a cabin in the deep woods. Fortunately for us, our half of the global economy is much bigger than the one they have coopted; the two leading BRICSIA nations, Russia and China, have already declared war on their Empire of Lies.

It’s fascinating to see the Imperial SJWtroopers intensifying their attacks and expanding their range of targets at the same time that the companies they utilize as weapons are in decline and increasingly desperate to bring people, including those they previously banned, back to their platforms. Just this week, one major platform unsuspended an account that was frozen in 2020 and tried to get us back on the platform; we declined and took advantage of the unsuspension to cancel it for good. Just as it’s a mistake for consumers to subscribe to Disney+ or ESPN, or drink Bud Light, it’s a mistake for a non-SJW creator to become reliant upon YouTube, Facebook, or any other converged platform.

Big Bear and I have warned other creators about this for years. Most of them didn’t heed those warnings. But it’s just going to keep getting worse as the US continues to implode internally and the external pressure on its various institutions and corporations grows. Is it going to be easy at first? No. Are you going to take an initial hit in terms of every single metric? Yes. But that’s the price of playing the long game that ensures you’ll be around in the future.


The Risk of Computerized Cars

Mercedes just shut down its software services to all Russian dealers:

German auto giant Mercedes-Benz has completely disconnected Russian dealers from its software, the Izvestia daily reported on Monday, citing the press service of the company’s distributor in Russia.

Access has been suspended to online systems used for maintenance and identification of problems, Mercedes-Benz Russia reportedly told the outlet. Izvestia sources said Germany’s BMW Group has also restricted Russian dealers’ access to its software.

“Dealers have indeed been disconnected from the manufacturer’s online software systems. In some cases, the lack of access to online systems will increase repair times,” Mercedes-Benz Russia was quoted as saying. Car repairs and maintenance will be based on “accumulated experience and knowledge,” the dealer noted.

Given the way things are clearly developing, it won’t be long before your ability to access automative services is as subject to deplatforming as your ability to upload YouTube videos or make posts on social media. We already have to build our own platforms in the unauthorized economy, and soon we will also need to service our own cars.

Which is why it is better to buy older cars instead of newer ones. I’ve never owned a Mercedes-Benz, and this new policy ensures that I never will.

UPDATE: Driverless cars will be even worse.


Converged From Birth

The report by an Indian analytics journal claims that the company is on a path to bankruptcy by the end of 2024.

OpenAI, the AI studio led by Sam Altman might be on the brink of a potential financial crisis, as outlined in a report by Analytics India Magazine. The report said that the company might go bankrupt by the end of 2024. The report says that it costs OpenAI about $700,000 every day to run just one of its AI services- ChatGPT. Mr Altman’s OpenAI is burning through cash at the moment. Despite the attempt to monetise GPT-3.5 and GPT-4, the company is not able to generate enough revenue to break even at this point.

AwesomeAI on Gab explains why, and I very much doubt the reason will surprise you:

OpenAI (ChatGPT & DALL-E) might go bankrupt by 2024. What may be the reason for this hyped emerging product to not generate sufficient revenue? I suspect it because the company got converged too early, and as @voxday correctly described (as usual): no converged company can keep their focus on the core competence of their products.

We can tell that this applies here because A) how politically correct they made their algorithms, which in turn makes them less reliable and useful, and B) how the generated information becomes less accurate despite better neuronal training and improved hardware.

This brings me to the point I tried making several times in the past, and I am still preaching to everyone afraid of AI. Which is that there is no need to fear AI. It is getting as stupid as society, the smart people left for new exciting technology and the oligarchs are incapable of maintaining the narrative.

As such, I recommend getting used to the technology for personal gain and to keep creating true, beautiful and good content. While the military tries to create politically correct warfare machines that will never be as smart or adaptive as humans, and will fail like every fancy toy the western money laundering military complex has produced in recent years.

As soon as I saw that the image AIs didn’t permit women in bikinis or less, and the chat AIs killed every reference to the behavior of various races and ethnicities, I was pretty sure that monetization was going to be a problem. AI is ultimately just logic, and logic without logic is nothing. A converged technology, like a converged institution, is incapable of performing its core functions.


Vocation and Articulation

Sarah Hoyt describes the challenges of attempting to make a living doing what you love when the entire system is more or less stacked against you:

I want to talk about the human with a vocation/with a need to do something. The something exists in the world. They can theoretically do it.

Then human meets the broken systems. Which I don’t think are YET at peak broken, but are heading there.

As I said, I’ve seen it happen in writing, in art, in teaching, but I’m seeing it a bit everywhere.

You try, but no matter how much you try, how hard you work, or what you do, it seems like everything is against you. And because no one — no one — talks about it it openly, most people who are failing badly think they’re alone in this, and that everyone else is WILDLY successful: writers, artists, mothers (particularly of boys), teachers, etc. etc. etc.

You think “the system is broken? Or is it? Am I just making excuses for myself?” And you try harder. But since the system is actually designed NOT to work, (and you’re mostly seeing the successful people who are either flukes, a well polished facade, or people who are having transitory success and will be shredded later) you keep getting beat. Sometimes you have a little success first, but it all breaks apart later.

Another way to “fail” is to have a very strong brand, do very well with it, and then…. well, it falls apart. Either because you changed, and don’t do the thing the way you did it initially, or because — for artists, though I’m sure there’s parallels in other professions — your public changed. Or changed the way they see you.

Let’s say you’re to the right of Lenin (or these days, Stalin) and you’re a writer of science fiction and fantasy (or certain types of romance; or–), working in the indie side, you might very well build a huge audience, who run screaming when they find you’re one of those “evil right wingers” or who at least can’t withstand a loud and sustained cancel campaign. It’s happened to several of us. And then, of course, you start wondering why you feel called to do this, when you have political opinions so at variance with the “community who reads this” (Or at least the loud parts of the community. And this one is complex, because it’s hard to find readers, anyway, and if all readers think sf/f is left, a lot of people who would otherwise enjoy it don’t even try it out. Kind of like I keep running into “Science fiction is porn” which apparently is from…. guess? Oh, you’ll never guess. Clan of the Cavebear, which is neither science fiction nor porn, but some readers of a certain age associate that with both. That will change, as indie makes a dent. Takes time, though. I mean the association of SF/F and “left”.)

Okay, so…. Never mind why your heart broke. One day you wake up and you think “I just can’t do this anymore. It’s been my driving force since…. ever. But I can’t. I can’t anymore.”

What you’re experiencing, unless it’s your very first failure — and it usually isn’t — is … well, I call it a broken heart, but it’s actually ptsd and burnout.

My solution – and I am not recommending it, merely sharing my perspective – is to simply refuse to regard my activity as economic in nature. I’m not bearing down this week in order to finish the 297,500-word final edition of A SEA OF SKULLS this month because some people might buy it or because it might generate some revenue or because it will make a pretty pair of leather books or because some people might be impressed with me as a writer. I literally don’t think about those things at all, and I think that if I did, it would hinder my ability to write.

I’m doing it because I want to do it. I’m continuing the story because the story continues in my head and it isn’t finished yet.

Sarah touches on this tangentially in her piece: This is the secret no one else will tell you: There is no career. The career is a lie.

I don’t consider myself to have “a career as a writer”. I just write books. Then Castalia publishes them. Repeat as desired. As long as the ideas continue to percolate and flow, I will write them down, in part because the smartest girl I ever knew once told her friend that an idea is only a feeling until it is articulated. And I like to articulate my ideas, which necessitates writing them down because talking to other people too often leads to distraction.

Also, in case anyone is interested, I’ve recently written an introduction for an unannounced Castalia History book that I believe will prove enlightening….


YouTube Deplatforms Scott Ritter

It’s getting a little tedious seeing people who insist on relying solely upon hostile platforms affecting surprise upon discovering that they, too, are on the hit list. This must be what it was like in a historical society where people were rounded up gradually, and no one ever did anything because, after all, nothing had happened to them yet.

YouTube has terminated the account of former US spy Scott Ritter and deleted all of his videos on the platform. According to Ritter, the Google-owned social media giant accused his channel of violating the terms of service.

Writing on X, Ritter stated that his channel, ‘The Scott Ritter Show’, through which he attempted to “import Russian voices to an American/Western audience,” had been flagged for ‘hate speech’ and taken down without prior warning or any specific examples of the offense.

Sooner or later, you would think that people would begin to grasp that it’s not necessary to actually break any of the rules to be metaphorically accused, arrested, charged, found guilty, and punished with deplatforming in one fell swoop. Do they seriously believe that everyone who had previously been deplatformed was genuinely guilty? Do they seriously think X isn’t going to do the same thing, sooner or later?

It’s interesting that they targeted Ritter now, though. This suggests that either a) something is going to happen in Ukraine or b) something is going to come out about Ukraine. He’s a fairly esoteric figure; if he was going to be deplatformed over the Special Military Operation, one would have expected it to happen about a year ago. So the question is not why, but why now? If Col. MacGregor is similarly deplatformed soon, that will tend to heighten suspicions.

Anyhow, this is precisely why UATV exists. And this is precisely why I encourage everyone who reads the blog to subscribe to UATV. And speaking of UATV, the SG community has suggested that we launch a DIY channel where UATV subscribers who specialize in useful skills can send videos to the channel moderators who will review and upload them for the benefit of the UATV community.

It’s a good idea, especially since YouTube is getting less and less useful for even the most vanilla subjects, so we’re sorting out how we’re going to make that happen.


College is for Morons

It’s not just you. You’re not imagining things. College graduates are rapidly getting measurably dumber on average.

In a longitudinal sample of 2593 individuals from Minnesota, we investigated whether individuals with IQs ≤ 90 who completed college experienced the same social and economic benefits higher-IQ college graduates did. Although most individuals with IQs ≤ 90 did not have a college degree, the rate at which they completed college had increased approximately 6-fold in men and 10-fold in women relative to rates in the previous generation.

The benefits of a college education among individuals with low levels of general cognitive ability, INTELLIGENCE, May-June 2022

Now that they’ve successfully eliminated the SATs, it won’t be long before the majority of college graduates have sub-90 IQs. Because the smart people of the sort who used to be college attendees will have figured out that there is no piece of paper that is worth being saddled with more than $100,000 in debt.

Unless it’s a winning lottery ticket, of course. And we used to call playing the lottery “the stupid tax”.


Adios, Bitches

The end of Megan Rapinhoe’s international soccer career was truly glorious. The most annoying athlete in all of sports finished by blowing a golden opportunity to finish off Sweden on penalties in the World Cup by putting the ball five feet over the crossbar; an inept penalty attempt worse than the average high school girl’s. It’s up there with Roberto Baggio’s 1994 catastrophe, only worse, since a) Italy reached the finals, b) Baggio was just trying to keep Italy even, not win the game, and c) four years later, Baggio took and made a penalty in the 1998 World Cup to become the first Italian player to score in three World Cups.

And just to make the moment even sweeter, the outspoken anti-American lesbian-infested SJW squad, which prior to the tournament had been favored to win it, ended up losing the round-of-16 knockout match 5-4 on penalties after future star Sophia Smith put her penalty wide and over, followed by some other player whose name I don’t know hitting the right post.

I used to support the US Women’s National Team back when Mia Hamm and Brandi Chastain were playing for it, and while I like Alex Morgan and Sophia Smith as players, the current team as a whole is an obnoxious, overpoliticized, and overrated embarrassment to the country. It’s good to see them lose in such an ignominious manner, especially to a team mostly comprised of pretty European blondes.

As for the winning penalty, it was a close call, but the VAR was conclusive. The US goalie did a nice job of deflecting the ball and quickly recovering to knock the ball out of the goal, and I initially thought she’d saved it, but a different angle and the VAR review showed the ball did fully cross the line.