Lion of the Blogosphere

Archive for August 2019

I say that Gary Gygax really did create Dungeons and Dragons

The point of this quite long article is that Gary Gygax isn’t really the creator of D&D because he stole the most original ideas from other people and claimed them for itself.

Gary Gygax may indeed have been a grumpy bastard who double-crossed people and refused to listen to any advice besides his own, but he definitely created D&D. Good ideas are a dime a dozen. To actually write a bunch of rulebooks all by himself, and then sell them to other gamers, that’s all the hard work, and that’s what Gygax did. Were it not for Gygax, fantasy role playing would have just been a few nerds in Wisconsin and the wider world wouldn’t have known about it. I don’t see D&D as being something that was inevitable that someone else would have created if not for Gygax.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 27, 2019 at 10:04 AM

Posted in Nerdy stuff

If super-high-IQ people are so smart, why can’t they … ?

This question has come up repeatedly, and it’s based on a misunderstanding of what high IQ means. It’s the ability to reason. High IQ people also tend to know more stuff, because learning by reasoning things out is one of the main ways of learning.

As I’ve previously written, there are three main ways of learning: by reasoning things out, by rote, and by mimicking. High IQ people don’t have that much of an advantage in learning things by rote, and have no advantage in learning by mimicking. For this reason, having a high IQ doesn’t mean you can learn a foreign language easily, if at all. There are many dumb people who speak multiple languages, and smart people who speak only one. Henry Kissinger was very smart, yet he could never learn to speak English without a thick accent.

Social skills, which are related to having what they call “common sense,” are learned by mimicking. When you have a conversation with people, it comes spontaneously, it’s not like solving a math problem. When high IQ kids are rejected by the peers because they are too different, they lose out on the opportunity to develop the social skill that other kids develop. It’s kind of like learning to speak a foreign language without an accent: if you miss out on exposure to the language at a young age, for most people, even very smart people like Henry Kissinger, it’s impossible to catch up.

Rick Rosner, who has a very high IQ, nevertheless was an outcast in high school, and he infamously forged papers so he could attend high school over and over again until he could finally get it right. But getting high school right never helped him stop being what I consider somewhat of a weirdo. (Not that there’s anything wrong with being a weirdo.)

The other question which comes up is, why can’t super-high-IQ people automatically become wealthy? This is something I’ve pondered for a quite a bit. The answer is that value creation rarely happens at the individual level, but rather at the business entity level. And having a high IQ doesn’t help you get hired into working for a business entity. An article at Quartz magazine explains how 500 hiring professionals were asked to rank six applicant traits in how highly they were valued, and intelligence came in dead last. All of the other more valued traits are the types of skills learned by mimicking rather than by reasoning things out.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 27, 2019 at 9:32 AM

Posted in Biology

D&D is a very white hobby

I’ve been watching the webseries Critical Role, which is eight white people playing D&D. (Exception: This guy appeared as a guest player on one episode.) Every other D&D video I’ve come across also features white people (although generally nerdier and not as good looking as the people on Critical Role).

It’s easy to explain the absence of blacks. Only people with a higher than average IQ would enjoy D&D, and the average black IQ is only 85 compared to 100 for white people. But what about the absence of Asians? Considering how Asians are heavily represented in other nerdy activities like videogames, they are very underrepresented in D&D videos. Probably because D&D requires more verbal creativity, especially when played at the higher levels like they do on Critical Role. Asians like grindy computer rpg games like World of Warcraft, but not so much D&D which was the forefather of those types of computer games.

It’s not an issue of Asians not liking to be on camera. There are lots of Asians making videos about photography gear, and many videogame streamers are Asian. The most famous Hearthstone streamer, a guy who calls himself Trump (before Donald Trump became president), is Asian. Asians are very well represented in online videos for hobbies they are interested in.

Finally, a word about Hispanics and D&D. My best friend who I played the most D&D with when I was a kid was Hispanic. But he was more privileged than me. His father drove a Mercedes, a car that my parents never could have afforded. And his father also owned a boat, which I understand are real money pits. When his father took us to Great Adventure, he went on all the rides with us (not something my dad would have done), and he bought us lunch without the slightest grumbling about how the food was overpriced. Unlike my cheapskate parents who would have snuck food into the park to save money. Yep, my Hispanic friend definitely had the cooler dad. But at the time, I didn’t know he was Hispanic. I though he was white like me, except he had a Spanish last name and his father had a slight Spanish accent. And I’m pretty sure he also considered himself white.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 26, 2019 at 3:58 PM

Posted in Biology, Nerdy stuff

New Monmouth poll, Biden drops to third place!

3-Way Lead as Dem 2020 Picture Shifts

Bernie and Warren tied for first place.

Wow, one of my predictions never came true so quickly!

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 26, 2019 at 1:40 PM

Posted in Politics

The Inappropriately Excluded

I have not read this article before today. I have nothing profound to add to it, but I think it’s worth reading.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 26, 2019 at 9:39 AM

Posted in Biology

Joe Walsh, what a loser

Russiagate is a deep state liberal conspiracy to delegitimize the elected President because they hate his politics and the people who voted for him. Throwing your lot in with those people shows that you’re just an opportunist and not a patriot.

I go back to endorsing Ted Cruz as the best successor to Trump, even though Ted Cruz has many faults.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 26, 2019 at 7:37 AM

Posted in Politics

Last week’s Morning Consult poll (can Bernie win?)

The follow key points:

1. Bernie is in second place.

2. Bernie has the highest favorability rating of any candidate.

3. Bernie leads as the second choice among Biden supporters. (And it’s the same in the other direction, Biden leads as the second choice among Bernie supporters.) This indicates that there is a sizable percentage of Democratic primary voters who want to vote for an older white man.

I say that there’s a good chance that Bernie could wind up winning the nomination. If there is a Biden collapse, as there was a Giuliani collapse between December 2007 and January 2008, Bernie could be the beneficiary of that collapse. Especially given that Bernie is likely to have a big win in the New Hampshire primary.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 25, 2019 at 7:18 PM

Posted in Politics

Joe Walsh 2020

Based on this article, I definitely would be very happy if Joe Walsh took over the presidency from Trump.

HOWEVER, the more likely outcome is that Walsh damages Trump in a primary battle, making it easier for a Democrat to take over, who will then appoint extreme liberals to the Supreme Court and declare open borders.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 25, 2019 at 7:04 PM

Posted in Politics

Joe Biden and Rudy Giuliani

In the summer of 2007, Rudy Giuliani was well out in front of all other candidates running in the Republican primaries, and he stayed there all the way until the beginning of December when his poll numbers began to sink. Then came his disastrous early-January showings in Iowa and New Hampshire, where the conventional wisdom says that his liberal views on abortion were at odds with what conservative primary voters wanted. But if you ask me, I think he didn’t do especially well in the debates.

John McCain, who perhaps won because he was the most famous candidate running against Rudy who said the correct conservative things about abortion, lost big-time against Obama.

Could Joe Biden be the Rudy Giuliani of this election cycle? Like Giuliani, he’s the most centrist candidate in a party that seems to want hardcore leftism. Like Giuliani he does poorly in debates. Actually, a lot worse than Giuliani. Like Giuliani, Biden does especially poorly in Iowa, but is banking on a big showing in South Carolina (and Giuliani was banking on a big showing in Florida, which never happened).

Also, and I don’t throw this accusation around lightly, but I really do think that Biden is in the early stages of some sort of dementia and maybe just five more months is enough time for it to become more noticeable.

In 1992, when Barry Goldwater was 83, I saw him give a talk at my law school, and my reaction was that Goldwater was going senile. Even though I nevertheless enjoyed hearing from him, it was obvious that the man who ran for President many years before was no longer the same person. And I was right. Approximately five years later, in September 1997, it was officially reported that Barry Goldwater “is suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.” But notice that there were five years between it being noticeable to me, someone who didn’t know him and never even heard him speak before, that there was something wrong, and the official public acknowledgement. And this isn’t just Monday morning quarterbacking. I remember telling several people afterwards that I thought Goldwater was going senile, and that I thought it was very sad.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 23, 2019 at 3:47 PM

Posted in Politics

Not your normal NAM/immigrant crime

As reported by CNN, a large number of Nigerians were charged with internet scams, and 17 of them have been arrested in the United States.

They were running all of the scams you are probably already familiar with, but strangely the most profitable scam was posing as good looking men in the military seeking romance from older women, who were suckered into sending large amounts of money to their fake younger online lovers to help them out of made-up jams.

I’d have figured that men would be more easily conned (because some way that men think with there penises), but apparently older men are more likely than women to realize that a beautiful young woman being interested in them romantically is too good to be true and therefore must be a scam.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 23, 2019 at 2:59 PM

Posted in Crime

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