Locklin on science

Muh government flying saucers

Posted in fun, War nerding by Scott Locklin on May 29, 2021

The idea that there are space aliens who cross the vastness of space to molest a fat waitress from Peoria is one of those things that always stretched credulity. In current year 2021, we have the situation where every  cannibal on the planet has a streaming video camera attached to the internet. The idea that the space aliens are flying around buzzing our cities and military installations (both covered in always on cameras) without being filmed by some narcissistic nitwit taking selfies or someone’s home surveillance camera is absurd. We can’t even control our military and spook’s ipotato use well enough to prevent them from giving away covert operations. We know there are unexplained aerial phenomena. I have a book by William Corliss on the topic. But at this point, the actually physical unexplained phenomena in the skies are vastly more documented. For example, ball lightning used to be widely disbelieved because there was no video footage, just eyewitness accounts; now we have lots of it.

Still none too many flying saucers caught on ipotato, and the ones that we do find are either jets, fraud, or various kinds of obvious atmospheric or optical-glass related optical illusions. Now we have the American government coming out and showing us documentation of unexplained aerial phenomena. As the esteemed Statistician to the Stars William Briggs put it, this is eminently fake and furthermore it is also gay.

Here’s a fun debunking of pyramid UFOs (shared by Doc  Briggs) apparently shown on mainstream media as something we should be amazed at. The TLDR is it’s an obvious artifact of triangular irises on common image intensifiers.

To be sure, the US government keeps many secrets, generally of the type covering up its growing incompetence, totalitarian shadiness and almost unimaginable corruption. The media, barring a couple of honest people (who are routinely condemned by right thinkers everywhere), lets the government get away with it, more or less because they’re now the same people.

The question remains, why should the government release this nonsense, and why now? There are reasons, and they’re mostly obvious.

For one thing, there’s been a well funded political movement to do this. Robert Bigelow (minor  motel oligarch) dumped some money and political clout into doing it. Through various political shennanegins, he got the government to pay his non-profit to investigate flying saucers, and mutate into a whole lot of horse puckey about warp drives and so on. This is all well documented in a New Yorker article on the topic. For those of you who were unaware, this is how most decisions in the government are made. Oligarch or sinister corporation bribes politician (Harry Reid in this case, presumably now passed on to Bubbles Rubio), politician allocates money for a project: that’s pretty much how everything gets done in America today. Things regular people actually want are irrelevant, though of course there is a large contingent of American people who want belieb and so this isn’t wildly unpopular even if it is kind of weird.

The follow on reasons are pretty obvious too. Modern lizard-media loves meaningless nonsense like this. It allows them to distract the rubes with irrelevancies while the oligarch lizard men who run the place continue with their squalid and evil shennanegins. Actual investigative reporters would have done what Mick West’s series of videos did, pointing out that all of these “UFO videos” are obvious nonsense, and the government, as usual, has been wasting our money in ridiculous ways at the behest of some lizard-man whose purpose it serves.

In case you’re not Adam Curtis (or eXile) fans you might not know the story of Vladislav Surkov, the stage manager of Russian Democracy, and the various US equivalents. Modern governance is the distraction of the masses with drama; basically the agon of professional wrestling applied to political spectacle. As it was said regarding Surkov

In contemporary Russia, unlike the old USSR or present-day North Korea, the stage is constantly changing: the country is a dictatorship in the morning, a democracy at lunch, an oligarchy by suppertime, while, backstage, oil companies are expropriated, journalists killed, billions siphoned away. Surkov is at the centre of the show, sponsoring nationalist skinheads one moment, backing human rights groups the next. It’s a strategy of power based on keeping any opposition there may be constantly confused, a ceaseless shape-shifting that is unstoppable because it’s indefinable.

This of course applies to the US, which is where Surkov got the idea in the first place.  Chucking flying saucers in with the mix is excellent for the political establishment, which wants people to be engaged in irrelevancies rather than noticing all the shitty things they’re doing. You know, small things like the largest transfer of wealth in US history, so Oligarch Bezos can keep up with his girlfriend’s lip-filler bill, or the fact that the Wuhan coof might have been something dumb the US government did; something which was a “conspiracy theory” a few weeks ago, but which appears to be increasingly likely.

Finally, let’s think about flying saucers from the point of view of A/B testing type things. What kinds of people believe in flying saucers? Are they anything like the newly minted national security threat of “Qanon?” Qanon is pretty much a case study of government disinfo operation, conducted online. A lot of people were figuring out a lot of shit about the fabulous Mr Epstein; a perverted Zelig who knew …. pretty much everyone in the US political, financial and scientific establishment and had no visible means of support and apparently a shitload of blackmail material on important people. He was also part of a corrupt generational gang of people fairly obviously at least highly influential in the politics of America, if not outright running the place. Gislaine Maxwell’s daddy’s lawyer was the present Secretary of State’s dad for pete’s sake. The last attorney general’s dad gave Epstein, someone with no education, his first job teaching math at an elite prep school (he also wrote a weird book about oligarchs having underage sex slaves). None of this is remotely debatable, but none of these people want you to notice, and the increasingly incompetent political establishment really wishes you’d think about something else.  Poison such speculations with weird assertions about Donald Trump being a superhero and whatever the rest of the “trust the plan” nonsense is, and you turn a dangerous organic movement investigating corruption at the highest levels into harmless, passive directions.

Flying saucers? Great way to get people of certain psychological disposition to publicly identify themselves on social media. Lots of Qanon types won’t self-dox, but will talk about flying saucers; makes them easily identifiable, so we can keep an eye on them. Plus, it gets them to talk about flying saucers instead of the uncomfortable fact that a pedophile blackmailer is socially related to huge swathes of the US political establishment, and this has been true unto the generations.

Finally, stories about flying saucers have literally always been spook disinfo. Originally it was a cover up for a sort of early spy technology called Project Mogul. These were weather balloons designed to spy on soviet nuclear tests. They looked kinda like flying saucers. One of them crashed at Roswell in 1947. There were other balloon espionage machines, and I’m sure the Eisenhower administration would prefer people think about flying saucers than admit them. Lots of 80s and 90s UFO sightings were stealth fighters and other black projects. Adam Curtis even documented the release of fake “secret documents” to UFO researchers in the 90s. There’s no reason to believe the present horse shit is any different, and it’s become such a part of American folklore after decades of USGov baloney on the topic, it’s like people are programmed to look at the magician’s hand holding the shiny flying saucer rather than the hand picking their pockets.

All this might be a stretch of course, but distracting the public with “disclosures” of optical artifacts as flying saucers  doesn’t hurt the political establishment, and it definitely fits the “Surkov model.” So, pay no attention to the alleged UFOs; the present crop is particularly egregiously ridiculous.

 

Edit add: Pewds weighs in:

Note, more investigative journalism here than all the alleged investigative journalism which has been caterwauling about this subject. From a schnerd who plays video games and posts on youtube for a living.

Outer limits predicted ipotato twitter mobs in 1963

Posted in Book reviews, fun by Scott Locklin on March 11, 2021

 

I remember watching old Outer Limits episodes when I was a kid. They scared the crap out of me, but usually in a good way. Watching them as an adult, you realize how genius they were. It was fielded  as a knock off of NBC’s “Twilight Zone” and  follows the format of miscellaneous weird science fiction stories with zinger at the end. The writing was vastly better though. Unlike anything else I’ve seen on American television, even the lousy episodes have character development, plot, a moral point, an insanely great idea or two, humanity and atmosphere. Of course, the atmosphere is all deep cold war pitch black dark. Even the black and white cinematography is pretty great; a rarity for the era. Even the Alfred Hitchcock  Presents series doesn’t stack up on consistently amazing cinematography.

The Outer Limits is ultimately schlock,  but the team who put this together were genuine artists. They understood the human condition beyond anything we see today on television, in movies, in newspapers; pretty much anywhere. Their themes were often at the level of archetypes, and they explored human emotional range in a way that modern nerdoid arrested development screenwriters find impossible. The emotions were painted in broad brush strokes required for a pulpy format, but they’re the eternal verities of the human condition rather than the autistic whining about victimization, generally by elites impersonating the oppressed, that characterizes modernity.

They had some talented actors; I daresay, they actually discovered a lot of really talented actors who later went on to do good work elsewhere. Martin Sheen, William Shatner, Martin Landau, Ed Asner, Robert Culp, Shirley Knight, Bruce Dern, David McCallum, Barry Morse, Donald Pleasance, Cliff Robertson. The Screenwriter for Chinatown wrote an episode, as did Harlan Ellison (whose episode was later turned into …. the Terminator, complete with successful lawsuit). Anthony Lawrence and Robert Dennis also contributed to the screenplays; they wrote half of the decent television of the era. There is actually nothing bad about these shows, other than the dumb bug eyed monsters they had to jazz up with some bubble wrap and masking tape. If you can’t get past that, you’re a cretin anyway; CGI effects look just as bad. And some of them are actually damn scary.

The first season was mostly written by two guys. Two insanely talented guys. One of them, Joseph Stefano, co-wrote Psycho with Hitchcock. The other one, Leslie Stevens, went on to make a cool movie in Esperanto called “Incubus” starring William Shatner… I guess you can’t win them all. They even composed some of the music. The second rump season is fairly unwatchable without the influence of Stefano and Stevens.

While the OBIT episode is a must watch for current year, there are others which tell us something about our present predicament. I’m pretty sure “The Architects of Fear” will actually happen in the next couple of years. Also “The Invisibles” is almost certainly a documentary about how the government of most Western countries presently work; allegorical or otherwise.

 

I suppose part of my affection for these old TV shows is nostalgia, but they really do hold up. Other stuff which held my youthful interest such as Space 1999 definitely does not hold up; pretty much everything about that one is bozoid, except for the special effects: the stories are weird, the acting and character arcs are atrocious -it really has very few redeeming qualities other than it brings me back to being 6 or whatever. The special effects are good though! Another goofy one from my youth which was justly forgotten is The Starlost, and while The Fantastic Journey was interesting for its influence on Lost, it was also worthless (as, frankly, was Lost, which was trash).  Others I can think of; Space Academy, Logans Run, Jason of Star Command, Buck Rogers, Future Cop, Planet of the Apes, Six Million Dollar Man, Man from Atlantis; really, even then I knew they were garbage; about as valuable to posterity as Mork and Mindy and somewhat less entertaining.

Sure, something like the OBIT episode relies on the 1960s TV trope of the courtroom drama, but it was true: it tells us something about human nature that was somehow lost over the years, along with the ability to make a movie that doesn’t involve whiny neurotic caped dipshits in tights. It tells us why privacy is important, and how civilizations can destroy themselves with surveillance and paranoia.

 

Psychedelics are a waste of life

Posted in fun, Locklin notebook by Scott Locklin on January 17, 2021

Psychedelic enthusiasts are an irritation of modernity. People make wild claims about these substances. These claims are mostly demonstrably horse shit. I write this in the hopes that I’ll influence some young people to at least examine their choices. I don’t think psychedelics are the worst thing in the world, but they’re definitely not a good thing. I think their use is bad for  moral character, and I think it is trivially obvious that civilization has decayed since their use became popular and widespread.

My bona fides: I’ve used the things on and off from teenage years to my mid-30s, primarily for entertainment, but I also attempted various “man optimized” tricks with them that are presently popular. I’m a scientist, at least somewhat capable of reasoning and looking objectively at myself and others. I’m allergic to bullshit; even very popular bullshit -maybe especially popular bullshit. Psychedelic enthusiasm is popular bullshit.

I’m not even going to get deep into “psychological studies” because, as we all know by now, these are almost entirely bullshit: until recently they were saying you’d grow broccoli-like tumors on your noggin if you took the things. Now that enthusiasts who enjoy the things (instead of literal CIA mind control assassins and other government weirdoes) are involved in the “research” they’re being touted by irresponsible people as the next CBD oil panacea (and yes, CBD oil ought to be considered on all fours with snake oil unless you have some otherwise untreatable epilepsy or nausea). That’s the main reason I’m writing this: the enthusiasts are almost entirely unopposed at present. Not only are the enthusiast “researchers” unopposed, but people who are personal enthusiasts are generally unopposed and have unearned social status. I confuse the shit out of these people, because I have a fairly extensive history of use, but still maintain they’re about as personally useful as sniffing glue.

I’ll rely on a few statistics from the literature, but mostly I’m just going to rely on the humble tools of experience and rudimentary common sense. I won’t address their use in alleged treatment modalities for depression or whatever other than to vaguely doubt they’re any more effective than something like benadryl (which is apparently a pretty good anti-depressant, even if it does make your brain into swiss cheese taking it long term). I’d argue that the types of improvements in outlook measured as a positive outcome of psychedelic use would be similar for any novel, extreme and unfamiliar experience; most of which are less obviously bad for you. While you have Berkeley dipshits like Michael Pollan actively shilling for this nonsense, other Berkeley lumpy-head dipshits who are vastly more intellectually honest and scientific in their reasoning are at least raising doubts. It boggles me one need to credulously rely on “studies” -you just need to look around to know the irresponsible Pollans of the world are selling snake oil.

People who use the things on a regular basis think they bring back profound insights, because the drugs make looking at a flower feel profound. Yet, the actual insights brought back by people on their “trips” tend to be the type of thing a bit of self reflection would take care of, like “I’m mean to my family sometimes, and that’s kind of shitty.” I’ve yet to hear of any sort of improvement in creativity or even a single interesting idea anyone has ever brought back from psychedelics. Amphetamines have a vastly better track record of being useful stimulants for creativity; the last half of Paul Erdos career was fueled by benzedrine as have countless musicians, engineers and writers. There are many people who claim dropping acid made them more creative. But none of the people who make this claim are observably more creative than people who didn’t drop acid, and 99.9% of them are more mush-headed and self-regarding, which does seem to be a cognitive side effect of these drugs.

The feelings of profundity are another thing that irritates me. If trippin’ balls is the most profound thing that happened in your life, you lead a sheltered life. I’d put it at best on the same level as going on a roller coaster or committing a minor crime as a law abiding citizen.  I can think of any number of life experiences which were, for me, vastly more profound than tripping balls: sex, hunting in the forest (a primal altered state; every sense razor sharp), looking at nature through a microscope or telescope, old time religion, violence,  falling asleep, travel, newborn babies, heavy deadlifts, seduction, auto accidents, looking at the night sky, fighting, learning calculus and linear algebra, prolonged lack of sleep, love, dreams, even a really nice bottle of wine is more profound than muh trippin balls.  I mean, psychedelics are different from these experiences, they’re just not that amazing. I’m pretty sure (never tried; heard stories) taking a shitload of dramamine or robotussin is actually more amazing, and probably about as good for you.

The people who use aren’t good advertisements for their habits. While I know some who are heavy users, and some large fraction of my close friends are novelty seekers who have tried or used at one point or another, and everyone’s favorite burnout living in his cool apartment over mom’s garage is Joe Rogan, there are a lot of deserved stereotypes about people who use. Generally they’re more credulous about stupid things; astrology, weird nutrition, Q-anon, alien visitations, privilege theory, Russians under their bed, lost civilizations of ancient astronauts, magic crystals, whatever. I mean, that’s actually kind of cool: in principle you can talk to such people about anything. Except, perhaps, the idea that the church of psychedelics is worshipping a false god. The stereotypical “burn out” psychedelics user (who, admittedly, also probably smokes hella weed -which, if it needs to be said here, is also obviously bad for you) has all of the symptoms of pre-frontal lobe lesions; poor emotional regulation, apathy (drop out maaaaan), poor attention span and poor ability to concentrate and solve abstract problems, bad memory, poor impulse control. I’m not saying everyone that uses such drugs has brain damage, but a lot of users who identify with use of the stuff sure act like they do. On the upside, poor impulse control people are fun, and psychedelic users who are beyond hippy couch potato tier tend to do stuff which is more adventurous than most.

I suppose it may have been toxoplasmosis; no pictures of him with cats before LSD

Ernst Junger‘s novels got worse in literary quality after he dropped acid in 1948 too. Marmorklippen (1939) might have been his peak because of the foment in his life and his advancing age, or it might have been because he started punching holes in his brain later with his scientist friends. Can’t say, but I can definitively say that his literary style and creativity absolutely didn’t improve with use. Das Abenteuerliche Herz (1937) practically was psychedelic in its intensity (years before his use of psychedelics); he never wrote anything that visionary again.  Mind you, I think Eumeswil (1977) is a work of towering genius and I like much of his other postwar work as well, but his later work is complex, ponderous and doesn’t have the rays of artistic power that the earlier stuff does. Maybe the poetry is a young man’s flowering, and the old man is more of a thorn bush: but the point I’m trying to drive home here is acid absolutely didn’t nourish the flower -we must at least consider the possibility that it may have killed it.

In the US, rate of use is somewhere around 15-25% depending on the population segment and the survey. If there were some increase in creativity or insight or artistic or  improvement in technical/scientific change or personal awareness and social intelligence, this effect would be observable by now. We do not live in a time of great creative foment; the last 60 years since their introduction to Western Civilization have been vastly less creative than the previous 60 years. Very little to no great art, a dark age in architecture despite vastly more capabilities, chaos in interpersonal relations, even technology beyond improvements in lithography (a field noteworthy for lacking in dope fiends) has basically stalled for decades. On the other hand we do live in a time of widespread paranoia, credulity, political unrest, mass hysterias, mass mental illness, social decay, and declining standards of living. Pretty much exactly what you’d expect if a significant fraction of the population turned their brains into swiss cheese; just like your grandpa told you would happen. I’m not blaming psychedelics for the mess we’re in. I’m just inviting you to notice that things are at least not observably getting better despite widespread usage, and in fact are obviously getting worse, so the idea that psychedelics do something obviously and profoundly positive must be considered false when applied as a mean field theory.

The stuff is known to cause immediate personality changes after one use. Opinions obviously differ as to whether these changes are an improvement. This stuff was popularized by CIA mind control experiments after all. Do you think the spooks wanted people to be awesome independent minded supermen, or more mush headed and controllable? Think hard! Spooks are the ones who made it popular. Pretty sure cultures without psychedelics were more awesome than those where psychedelics have strong influence. Let’s take examples from architecture:

Wine and prayer

Peyote and howling at your spirit ancestors

 

Psychedelics are still used as models of schizophrenia and inducing schizotypical thinking in people. Again, schizotypicals who act like they have pre-frontal lesions can be fun at parties, but do you want to be that guy? Would you like to risk permanent  or at least persistent (for years) visual field disturbances? What about the people who experience complete psychotic breaks? We all know people who never came back in some sense from these substances, or who had severe mental illnesses afterwords. Enthusiasts will tell you some non-falsifiable happy horse shit about how they would have experienced psychotic breaks anyway, and the drugs just made it come out sooner.  This is incredibly stupid, and only the credulity induced by psychedelic use could make one take it seriously as an argument.  Sure, very few to no people actually die from taking such things, but losing your soul and becoming a shambling, muttering lump of flesh is arguably worse.

Microdosing is just as weaksauce. I tried it before it had a name, back when I was consumed with late undergraduate work. It was a terrible mistake. When you’re working to the limit of your mental abilities, such as trying to learn physics while working a full time job as a podunk redneck of dubious educational background, you notice when things are helping or hurting. Microdosing hurt, a lot. It is a nice stimulant; strong feelings of well being, and you don’t need morning coffee. It absolutely shreds your short term memory, and makes actual reasoning vastly more difficult. I tried lots of things to get an edge; at the time ginko and gotu kola were touted, and they might have had a mild effect which helped. Microdosing LSD definitely hurt; ridiculously obviously so. I was talked into it by a guy I knew who was gonna take a year off to microdose and learn topology. Rather than becoming Perleman or Grothendeik as he no doubt intended, he of course disappeared, literally never to be heard from again. I know people believe it helps them, but it’s entirely a subjective feeling; the science is pretty clear on this: no observable improvement on any axis. The risk/benefit ratio is vastly more obvious with speed and modafinil; both drugs help in the short term, but are ultimately probably rat poison. There is no microdosing version of Paul Erdos. The probability that you, as a special and unique snowflake, will be that microdosing Paul Erdos are basically nil. Not that you should want to be Paul Erdos; he was a genius, but he seemed to have a fairly miserable life.

Psychedelic use stinks of neoliberal suburban despair. It’s a shitty chemical induced bugman religion; a primitive and subjective one that produces no art, no beauty and no ideas of consequence. People get into this sort of thing because they’re bored, unimaginative and live in a shitty society; same as muh cummies sex degenerate people, except even more inward looking and pathetic. Widespread psychedelic use has brought no beauty or order to the world; it doesn’t make people better or more compassionate, it just makes them more compliant, subject to absolutely ridiculous conspiracy theories, and resigned to their fates as semi-lobotomized neoliberal bugmen. That said, if you still want to use such things, have at it. I don’t think you should be in jail (people who sell probably should be, and Michael Pollan ought to be flung into a volcano just on principle), but I reserve the right to make fun of you for being a credulous dipshit.

ps: even though I make fun of him for being a sperdo with a noggin even lumpier than mine,  this relevant SlateStar blog is pretty useful and good:

https://slatestarcodex.com/2019/05/09/is-there-a-case-for-skepticism-of-psychedelic-therapy/

 

On Leaving the Bay Area

Posted in fun by Scott Locklin on September 12, 2020

I left the Bay Area a couple of years ago.  I originally ended up in the Bad Area via misadventure, stayed because I had rent control and academic/business connections, and left the second or third time I had an opportunity which made sense.  I moved to New Hampshire because it was culturally similar to where I grew up, close to family, yet not ruled over by an imbecile viper pit like Boston.  Since the  urban professional class is the root of most problems in America today, I wanted to get as far away from such people as possible, their tax collectors, camp followers and Karens. Mind you Boston is vastly better than, say, San Francisco in almost every way.

The good about moving away:

Assuming you don’t move to some other urban hellscape like NYC, your life will immediately be better in obvious ways. There are no  rivers of human feces on the sidewalk of any other American  metropolis I know of. Virtually any place in America has fewer tent cities. Most of the country (now barring the PNW which has apparently imported California forestry practices) has breathable air 365.24 days of the year. Unless you’re poor or living in NYC, you will pay  lower taxes after you leave; assuming the FTB doesn’t come after you. You will also pay less in terms of rent or real estate than in the Bay Area. You’d have to work hard to find 3 million dollar shitty bungaloes with bars on the windows any place else.

Driving in NH is actually pleasant; better than 90s era Bay Area. The roads and infrastructure function more or less as they were designed to.  Speaking of roads, the Bay Area basically doesn’t have weather, meaning the simple governmental function of road maintenance should be trivial, but somehow the roads are awful. New Hampshire has torrents, huge temperature differentials, ice and snowstorms and somehow the roads are vastly better. Building new lanes or new stretches of highway takes months instead of decades. Of course, cross the border to Massholio and the roads are absolute shit again; kind of makes you think. 

There is no pollution to speak of in NH. There aren’t vast seasonal forest fires in NH because the state isn’t run by lunatics preventing normal forestry management practices. Don’t give me that shit about “muh they’re developing near forests” -literally every house in NH is near a forest.  Nature is generally pleasant in a place like NH; lovely forests, beaches, mountains, lakes and rivers within an hour of the urban areas. In California when visiting the convenient parts of nature, you may have some pleasant vistas, but you’re usually only a few yards behind some asshole burbling about his stock options and green commuter package.

10am in Oakland, Sept 9

My roof in Manchester on a random day in September


The architecture of New Hampshire is a vast improvement over the filth of the Bay Area. Houses and buildings can be hundreds of  years old and still in service. You can stay in 240 year old Inns; houses of this vintage are on the market, in good repair and are dirt cheap compared to anything in the Bay Area. Living in a house made with traditional materials and designed for the local climate is a joy. While the Bay Area had some Victorian and Art Deco housing stock and a few remaining googie buildings, most of it is disgusting postwar stuff made of drywall and paste. Being surrounded by and living in ugly and ill functioning architecture is demoralizing and a drain on your over all well being. NH is a huge win here. Even the new buildings are mostly constructed of adequate materials, and brick looks a lot nicer than plate glass and concrete.

Claremont: NH

Claremont CA


The streets of New Hampshire are safe despite (or because of) the fact that any non-felon can legally walk around with a  gun in their pocket. In the years I’ve spent in NH, there have been no pitched street battles over … people saying things … in the entire state; a regular fall occurrence in “home of the Free Speech Movement” Berkeley. Despite the existence of copwatch in places like Berkeley, and the lack thereof in NH, somehow NH police are not insane stormtroopers. My couple of encounters with police in NH have been entirely satisfactory; like something from Green Acres. It isn’t just me: there was some BLM guy on NPR saying more or less the same thing about NH cops. Oh yeah: it took me 20 minutes to get a NH drivers license and register a car; something that would be tortures of the damned in the California DMV. This is across the board my experience with NH state and city employees versus California. The NH public servants have universally been competent, pleasant, helpful and even forgiving when one makes a mistake. With one exception in 1996, my encounters with public servants in California have been  less satisfactory than my encounters with the local schizophrenic homeless population shitting on my doorstep. California public servants are often malicious or insane, and when they aren’t, they’re incompetent, unpleasant and will always chose malevolence over benevolence. Hell, even the post office in New Hampshire is a vastly better experience. Overall, NH civil servants act like, you know, civil servants rather than hostile occupying Gauleiters who are eager to send you to the gulag.

Google search results on “happy NH police”; they gave this girl a kitten because hers died

Google search results on “happy Berkeley police” -they threatened to quit unless allowed to go to some idiot exercise for murdering “extremists”

 The government of New Hampshire, what there is of it, seems to be run with Prussian efficiency. There is no income tax, so the money is generally collected near where it will be used. The lower house of representatives in NH has 400 members, so each member represents about 3000 people. They’re paid $200 a term and are only allowed to meet a few months a year; as a result, “NH politician” is not the scam it is in other states, and people rarely serve more than one or two terms. By contrast, in California, the State Assembly has 80 members, and each of these assclowns represents 450,000 people and is paid a six figure salary; they only recently enacted 12 year term limits. The results of all of this are predictable. New Hampshire is run like a pleasant and civilized democracy; more or less an American version of Switzerland. California is a banana republic ruled by Google dipshits and almond oligarchs rather than the United Fruit Company.

The people of the Bay Area are, taken on average, some of the lowest I’ve encountered in Western civilization, albeit with a high standard deviation. There are some very ambitious and hard working people there who may or may not be interesting or talented, but at least they keep the economy turning over: Steve Jobs, Alice Waters, Mitch Kapor, Larry Ellison are exemplars of the type.  There’s also a layer of interesting and or talented people there who work on difficult problems or are pleasant bohemian non-conformists; this group of people is who everyone in the Bay Area wants to see themselves as; John Perry Barlow, Wavy Gravy, Andy Grove, Elon Musk. There is a much larger layer of homeless scum who make life intolerable for normal people. Worse than that, most of the rest of the population consists of degenerate NPC and Karen types; vermin who will defend the right of the bum to shit on your doorstep or burn your house down. I don’t think such people deserve to live, let alone live near me. You’ll notice the missing ingredient which makes life impossible in the Bay Area; sensible working to middle class people who shut down the NPC and Karen types and roust the bums before they shit on the petunias. NH people: a normal distribution of social classes where the local aristocracy are taverners or dentists all the way down to a virtuous yeomanry of snow plow operators.

The average NH resident is something like a no-helmet motorcycle boomer who has a job as a construction worker. His ex wife is a nurse who has too many tattoos, and he takes his kids hunting and fishing. The eigen Bay Area resident has a trust fund, several mental illnesses they’re happy to tell you about, has extreme difficulty making it through a normal day even with the assistance of a half dozen brain-melting pharmaceuticals, but feels entitled to lecture you about how to live your life because they have a diploma in novel pronoun construction. 

The bad about moving away from the Bay Area:

The main downside is network effects: the Bay Area, for mostly historical reasons, has attracted a lot of talented and ambitious people. While I find NH people vastly more likeable on average, there are arguably not as many talented or ambitious ones per capita.  There are talented and interesting people around; Dean Kamen lives in Manchester, Dyn and Alumni ventures is based there, and there are a lot of old money people around who have good brains and who do interesting things. They’re just a lot harder to meet, and the overall density of talent is lower. This is in part because the population density is lower, but NH people, as peoples of the cold North, are also more reticent and less gregarious. America’s version of Norwegians. 

The lower density means there are fewer cafes and restaurants, so  you might have to drive a little farther for Ethiopian or whatever. If this is your criteria for living in a place, you should probably consider suicide. Covidiots have made this mostly irrelevant in any case.

Weather: you’ll have to get used to seasons and weather which might kill you. You probably will want a garage if you live in a winter climate. You’ll also need different clothes. Vitamin D deficiency and seasonal affective disorder are real,  but are fairly easy to deal with. It’s worth it for keeping out the weak, scurrying pustules who ruined the Bad Area. 

That’s it; that’s the extent of the downsides. If you have a remote job anyway, and you’re not a scumbag, consider living in a place like NH.  If you want to live in a less shitty version of the Bay Area, consider Austin or Seattle. Also, seekers of alternate Bay Areas: fuck off, we’re full: the last thing any functioning society needs is your contributions. If you want a genuine lifestyle upgrade and can accept that New Hampshire is better precisely because and to the extent it doesn’t resemble the Bay Area, you’re very welcome: I might even help you to move.

Nothing works in California; it is “failed state” tier. It is also a preview of the national dystopia to come if California isn’t sawed off and left to drift off to sea in a Calexit. It is either that, give it back to Mexico, or a war of extermination -nothing less will save us from the nightmarish California Dream. The Bay Area has nice weather, and some interesting people live there out of what I assume is inertia and provincialism, but there is no worse place to live in North America today. It’s a physical paradise made into dystopian hellscape by the people who live in it. 

I remember sitting in an early internet cafe on Haight street called “The Horseshoe.” It was 1996, so “internet cafe” meant you’d stick quarters into an IBM PC with 9600 baud dialup to check your email on the VMS machine at work. There was a pile of ‘zines’ there; back then, zines were the voice of the people rather than whatever corporate  panopticon twitwaffle horror is supposed represent people’s voice now. Inside this zine was Jim Goad’s essay “Bay Aryan Resistance” which is still the best essay on what is wrong with the majority of people who congregate in that wretched place. Now you’ve got natural disasters, urban riots, sinister panopticon lizard companies and a government which is completely insane to go along with it. Good luck with that. As Jim put it:

“Tony Bennet left his heart, I took a dump: I’d tell you to go to hell but you already live there.”