Lion of the Blogosphere

Archive for January 2019

There really was a white guy with a rope

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Or maybe not, this just keeps getting weirder:

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 31, 2019 at 11:20 PM

Posted in News

Fake news headline

Headline at USA Today: “Assault on ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett serves as a stark reminder that lynching and noose symbolism is still prevalent”

Will we get an apology when the story is proven to be a hoax? Not likely, the fakestream media never apologizes for their fake news stories, they just move on to the next outrage.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 31, 2019 at 11:25 AM

Posted in News

The rope

They confirmed video shows Smollett walking across the street from the two possible persons of interest. Police said in the video he walks out of frame for about a minute and reappears on another camera “wearing a rope like a neck tie.”

And then 45 minutes later he’s still wearing the rope.

Click the link to the article to see the picture of the “persons of interest.”

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 31, 2019 at 8:20 AM

Posted in Crime, News

More info about the Smollett attack

Police were summoned to an apartment in the 300 block of East North Water Street after a man who identified himself as a friend of Smollett’s called 911 and said that a “well-known” person had been assaulted and battered after leaving his apartment, and they wanted a report.

I think that’s a key piece of information that it wasn’t Smollett himself who called the police.

Perhaps Smollett left the apartment to cheat on his gay boyfriend with some gay hookup, but the encounter went bad, and Smollett came back to the apartment all beat up, and he doesn’t want to tell his gay boyfriend that he left for a gay hookup, so he makes up a dumb story about being attacked by racists, and then the friend insists on calling the police and Smollett can’t think of a good reason to stop him from doing so. And then when the police come, Smollett sticks with his attacked-by-racists story.

Police reviewed video from dozens of public and private surveillance cameras in the Streeterville area. As of 2:45 p.m. they had not seen any images of the attackers. Investigators have found footage of Smollett alone inside the Subway shop.

Consistent with the gay hookup gone bad theory, Smollett voluntarily went somewhere private where there would not be video cameras, and then got into the fight.

A source familiar with the investigation told CWBChicago that the rope was “thin clothesline, straight out of the package.” The Sun-Times reports that the rope “didn’t necessarily resemble a noose” as has been widely reported.

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Smollett was still wearing the noose around his neck when police arrived at his friend’s apartment nearly 45 minutes after the attack, according to a police spokesperson. Police took the rope as evidence.

This part is a little mysterious. So there really was a rope. Not a “noose,” thus not a symbol or racism, but also a strange way to attack someone. Could be the rope was used for something sexual.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 30, 2019 at 1:34 PM

Posted in Crime, News

College, part 7: why do for-profit colleges suck so bad?

A lot of conservative types reflexively support for-profit colleges, because everyone (on that side of politics) “knows” that the free market is always best! Despite the empirical evidence that for-profit colleges are a big scam.

For starters, it’s wrong to think that there’s no competition between colleges just because they are not-for-profit. Just like for-profit colleges, the nonprofit colleges have stakeholders, and management trying to increase value for the stakeholders, with value measured in prestige and the size of the college’s endowment, as well as some other measures.

Thus we see that for-profit colleges are coming into a market where there is a lot of competition from long established competitors with huge brand reputations that are impossible to crack. It’s more likely for a new business in the beverage industry to supplant Coke and Pepsi than it is for a new business in the college industry to supplant Harvard, Princeton and Yale.

There’s very little profit in providing a product that’s a good value to the customer. It’s a lot more profitable to sell something overpriced. As often as competition causes prices to decrease, competition can also cause prices to increase, because competing companies need to spend a lot of money on marketing to win customers from the competition, and then those marketing costs are passed on to customers in the form of higher prices.

For-profit colleges have to compete against publicly funded colleges that charge a reasonable tuition. It seems like a rather unobtainable dream that a company is going to make a lot of money in education by providing lower tuition than state schools but at the same time providing a better degree. Nope, it makes a lot more sense for the for-profit enterprise to offer a crappy education, and sucker in stupid people with advertising and using high-pressure salespeople, and then relying on the fact that the stupid people are paying with government loans and lack the future-time-orientation to realize that those government loans are real money they have to pay back later. The true entrepreneurial nature of the for-profit college is its innovation in making it as enticing and as easy as possible for stupid people to take out student loans and enroll. Whereas, the typical nonprofit college has an obtuse enrollment process and probably doesn’t advertise.

The Obama administration introduced some smart policies to crack down on giving away student loans to students attending crappy for-profit colleges, but that moron Betsy DeVos has reversed a lot of the good that came from Obama.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 30, 2019 at 12:58 PM

Posted in Business, Education

MMORPGs and socialism

MMORPGs that charge a monthly subscription fee (like Final Fantasy XIV, aka FFXIV) need to give their customers a reason why they should stay subscribed. Unlike the real world, people can opt out of the fantasy world if they don’t like it. (Well, people can opt out of the real world by killing themselves, but it’s less common than people just quitting a videogame.)

Consequently, MMORPGs don’t want a setup like the real world where a few people are billionaires and everyone else has no chance in hell of ever catching up to them. I’ve observed that the following methods are used in FFXIV:

1. You advance by playing the game. The more you play, the more you advance. It’s not like the real world where you can go to work every day, put in your 8 hours, and not be any closer to Jeff Bezos than you were before.

2. Profitable activities are limited. For example, you can only run Dungeon Roulette once per day to get the reward; you can only find one “map” per day from gathering (maps give you valuable rewards); there is a maximum number of “tomestones” you can get per week (and the tomestones are exchanged for the best armor and weapons). These limitations prevent people from getting ahead by grinding the most profitable activity for 18 hours per day, which would make for a boring game. They don’t want to game to be like working on an assembly line where you do the same activity over and over again, and nothing but that.

3. Every few months there’s a new update that slowly resets everything by introducing higher-level gear. You won’t stay the most powerfully-geared person in the game by doing nothing. There’s always an opportunity for newer players, or more casual players who don’t play as often, to catch up.

I think this can tell us something about the real world, about the sort of ideal society that most people would want to live in. And it’s not the type of society promoted by Ayn Rand.

On the other hand, I think we need to be realistic about how the real world really works. I think that many liberals see college as akin to a leveling up mechanism used in MMORPGs. Anyone can go to college, put in their time, and come out at a higher level! But does that make sense when it leaves people in debt? And especially screws over people who accumulate debt but never get their magic degree? Or people who get suckered into getting useless degrees from bogus for-profit schools?

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It should be noted that MMORPGs have become a niche genre of videogames. The vast majority of gamers are playing competitive games like League of Legends, Fortnite, or shooters like Call of Duty and Overwatch. These games are more like the real world. I was stuck in Bronze when playing Overwatch with no chance of ever even breaking into Silver, no matter how much I played.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 30, 2019 at 11:55 AM

Posted in Economics, Nerdy stuff

False flag vs. hoax

It’s a false flag if the events happened as Smollett described, but the attackers were pretending to be racist Trump supporter to deflect blame from themselves.

It’s a hoax if Smollett made stuff up.

I initially assumed it was a false flag, because hoaxes are usually made up by losers, and Smollett is a successful actor. But based on Michelle Malkin’s column, it’s starting to smell like a hoax.

Smollett appears to have really been attacked. There’s a photo of his bruised face.

Maybe Smollett was attacked in a manner that he doesn’t want known. Perhaps it was a result of him trying to buy drugs or a gay blow job. And then someone calls the police, so he makes up this dumb story.

Meanwhile, the fakestream media reports this as if it were the gospel truth, without the slightest concern that they are falling for another fake story.

* * *

Additional reporting from Reason magazine. Real reporting, they talked to the Chicago police, unlike the fakestream media that are just repeating each other.

So apparently Smollett told the police about the MAGA stuff the second time he spoke with them.

* * *

By the way, I never heard of or saw a picture of this guy until this story broke yesterday. And I think that the vast majority of Trump supporters would align with me on that.

And I never heard of Trump supporters actually saying “maga” as a word.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 30, 2019 at 9:21 AM

Posted in News

Jussie Smollett attack: this sounds like a false flag

Attackers acting like a parody of how leftists think that Trump supporters behave.

I suspect that the attackers had some personal grudge against Smollett, and pretended to be racist Trump supporters to deflect attention.

I also predict that fakestream media will take the bait and be outraged for several days, instead of actually doing any real investigative journalism.

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Hermes writes in a comment:

The dead giveaway is the noose. Nooses exist only in the fevered imaginations of leftists as a symbol of racist right-wing extremism. Every time there’s an incident in the news involving a noose, it turns out to be a hoax.

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Another possible theory is that Smollett knows his attacker(s), and is covering for them, and he made up the story.

Why would Smollett not want his attacker prosecuted? Maybe he was attacked by his ex-16-year-old gay lover? Or his drug dealer? Something like that he’d rather keep secret.

* * *

Must read, Michelle Malkin’s column, she has some more information that makes Smollett seem to be lying (or vastly exaggerating):

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 29, 2019 at 1:43 PM

Posted in Crime

College, part 6, how a Harvard degree is like the best armor in WoW

I’ve often described college degrees as a positional goods. In other words, the value of the degree is not in the intrinsic value of the degree, but in that not everyone has one. The person with a degree will, in many cases, have entry to a career denied to someone without a degree, even though the person with the degree didn’t learn anything in the course of acquiring the degree that would make him a better employee. Thus, to a large extent, college education is a negative-sum game. People are spending vast sums of money and giving up four years of their lives to steal a desirable career from someone else possibly more deserving.

I’ve also pointed out, over and over again, there there’s a huge difference between an elite degree (such as a degree from Harvard) and a run-of-the-mill degree. However, the pricing of college tuition doesn’t reflect those difference. A degree from Harvard will cost the same amount of money as a degree from Boston University, even though the Harvard degree is a lot more valuable. (In fact, the Harvard degree is actually less expensive in most cases.)

Who gets to buy which degree reminds me a lot of how things are set up in online role-playing games like World of Warcraft (WoW) or Final Fantasy XIV (FFXIV). These games have a basic virtual currency, called “gil” in FFXIV and “gold” in WoW, but in order to discourage what videogamers call “RMT” (that is real-money transfer, people paying real money for virtual currency), they’ve created alternate currencies that can’t be traded between players (called “tomestones” in FFXIV, they are obtained from running dungeons) and only these alternate currencies can be used to buy the very best armor and weapons which are only for sale from NPCs (that is non-player characters).

In the same manner, admission to Harvard isn’t auctioned off to the highest bidder in U.S. dollars. Instead, Harvard looks at alternate currencies that can’t be traded between people, such as high school grades, test scores, extracurricular activities, and leadership potential.

Another way in which a Harvard degree is like the best armor in WoW or FFXIV is that it can’t be traded to other people. Just like a Harvard degree, after you get your super-powerful armor after trading in the required number of “tomestones” to the NPC, you can’t give that armor to any other player.

People talk about a college bubble, but because college degrees can’t be bought and sold like stocks, houses or tulip bulbs, college education can’t be a bubble in the same manner.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 29, 2019 at 1:04 PM

Posted in Education

Trump to win Nobel Peace Prize for ending war in Afghanistan

Just kidding.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 29, 2019 at 10:54 AM

Posted in International

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