Sunday, April 23, 2017

“Civilized men are more discourteous than savages...”

"...beware the punditry, no matter how well-degreed they are, or well-spoken, or well-coiffed."

Did China Eat America’s Jobs? - Freakonomics: "Look at all those downstream effects from China’s manufacturing growth that David Autor identifies in the U.S.: job loss; wage depression; higher welfare spending. In another research paper, he and his colleagues found yet another downside. Many economists had suspected that greater competition with China would create incentives for American companies to invest more in research and development and become more innovative. But it hasn’t worked out that way. Instead, Autor and his colleagues found, Chinese competition has lowered profit margins for American manufacturers, leaving less money for R&D and resulting in less innovation. 

DUBNER: People like you – meaning economists, not like you David Autor necessarily – you know have been telling us for several decades now that globalization would be largely a win-win. I’m not so naive as to think that there are no losers. I get that. But that overall, we Americans should kind of sit back and relax, that it would be good for the median U.S. resident. So I don’t feel that way anymore and tell me if I’m wrong to not feel that way. And additionally if I’m wrong maybe to blame you and your cohort a little bit. 

AUTOR: I think if we had realized how traumatic the pace of change would have been, we would have at a minimum had much better policies in place to assist workers in communities that suffered these very severe and immediate consequences...

DUBNER: So David I know you’ve said that economics wasn’t entirely wrong on this prediction that global trade would kind of work out okay. But I do think a lot of people would disagree. Obviously it’s a matter of degrees. So if that’s my view and I think that you know many or most economists were wrong on something as basic and important as this, why should we ever listen to what you wonderfully educated egghead economists have to say when it comes to something as important and broad as macroeconomic issues that will affect my actual life? You can predict all you want about currency stories abroad, etc. But if it’s my life, my livelihood, my job, my family, and my ability to provide for them, you guys are supposed to be the nonpartisan, smart, apolitical cohort out there. And I trusted you and now I’m sorry I did. Because if I hadn’t, I might have changed course 15 or 20 years ago. And while I might well I might not be in great shape I’d certainly be in better shape than I am now...

This program has gone on and on about the folly of prediction. In fact, there’s a Freakonomics Radio episode from years ago called “The Folly of Prediction.” We talked about how one of the most common explanations of smart people, when their predictions turn out to be inaccurate was that “Well, we did the best we could considering the information we had at the time. If we’d had better information, we could have made a better prediction.” But you know what? If you had better information at the time, you wouldn’t have to make a prediction; the future would be obvious. But that’s the thing about the future – it’s rarely obvious. Which leaves a lot of room for all kinds of people to make all kinds of predictions that may or may not come true.

I’m not calling out David Autor here – again, I really appreciate his transparency and his doggedness. But the story of Chinese manufacturing and American labor is yet another reminder of how humble we should all be when we make a prediction, and how cautious we should all be when we hear one. Think about this: if the vast, vast majority of political pundits and TV journalists and even the most revered analytics geeks got the 2016 presidential election so wrong – and that’s a simple, binary choice, the Blue Team versus the Red Team – then how much harder is it to predict the downstream consequences as something as vast and broad as a global labor upheaval? I don’t mean to get all preachy on you; that’s not the Freakonomics way. But I will say this: beware the punditry, no matter how well-degreed they are, or well-spoken, or well-coiffed. Don’t assume they can know the future any better than you do; and don’t assume you’re such a genius either."

"The Invisibles" is a 1500 page (59 issue) masterpiece of Occult Literature, written in comic book form."

Alan Moore and Grant Morrison Occult War for 25 Years | "So here's where we get to the part that most articles on the Moore/Morrison feud have missed. I'm a comics reader but probably not expert enough to really detail the history or quality of work other than at the 'fan' level. But I am an expert on occultism. And I can say this: the war between Moore and Morrison isn't just a "writers' fight", it's a "wizards' feud." It is two very different views on magick using comics as a medium to fire salvos at each other....

Magically, the two believe in very different things. Neither of them are exactly orthodox, but Moore is a more traditionalist kind of wizard. He is an admirer of Aleister Crowley's "Thelemic" magick, and the philosophy in his Book of the Law. He appreciates the value of magick as a kind of art form, and in turn, considers art to be a kind of magick. Grant Morrison is from the school of "chaos magick", who practice magick that is less worried about rules and ritual and more about trying to get things done. Magick can be done from just about anything, as long as you have the right intention. Chaos magicians tend to like mixing up elements from a whole variety of different cultures and history, to reinvent it all to fit whatever they're in the mood for, and have no problem with doing magick for personal gain (or to change the world) rather than just for human transcendence. Moore's very loud statement of declaring himself a Magician in public may just have been a factor in motivating Morrison to go whole-hog with the 'occult comic book' thing, when he started on "The Invisibles" in 1994. "The Invisibles" is a 1500 page (59 issue) masterpiece of Occult Literature, written in comic book form. Its winding plotline tells a single long story (with various sub-plots) about a group of occult rebels using magick to try to liberate mankind, opposed by a cabal of black magicians in positions of power and authority trying to use sorcery to control and oppress humanity. It is, simply put, one of the greatest comic series of all time."

Cassie Jaye on Feminism and Men's Rights Activists.

"Cassie Jaye (Filmmaker, "The Red Pill") joins Dave Rubin to discuss her views on feminism, Men's Rights Activists, and her experience making her documentary "The Red Pill.""

Sunday, April 16, 2017


Clearly I have yet to get a handle on this whole "blogging while having a job" thing, but what kind of heathen would I be if I didn't post up on Zombie Jesus Day?  A mature, reserved, respectful heathen.  That's who.  Sure.  But who wants that?

Friday, March 10, 2017


3/10 - 5/3/1 deadlifts, Power Half Hour Stretch
3/9 - Simple + Sinister/swings + TGU
3/8 - Defranco Simple Six, 5/3/1 press, chins, dips, speed bag
3/7 - Simple + Sinister/swings + TGU
3/6 - 5/3/1 power cleans, squats
3/3 - 5/3/1 bench, chins, pushups, pushdowns, cable curls
3/2 - Simple + Sinister/swings + TGU, Power Half Hour Stretch
3/1 - 5/3/1 deadlifts, situps, backxt
2/28 - Simple + Sinister KB/swings + TGU, Power Half Hour Stretch
2/27 - Defranco Simple Six, 5/3/1 press, chins, dips
2/24 - 5/3/1 power cleans, squats, Power Half Hour Stretch
2/23 - Simple + Sinister KB/swings + TGU, Power Half Hour Stretch
2/22 - Defranco Simple Six, 5/3/1 bench, chins, pushups, Power Half Hour Stretch
2/21 - Simple + Sinister KB/swings + TGU, Power Half Hour Stretch
2/20 - 5/3/1 deadlifts
2/17 - Defranco Simple Six, 5/3/1 press, chins, dips, Power Half Hour Stretch
2/16 - Power Half Hour Stretch
2/15 - 5/3/1 power cleans, squats, sauna
2/13 - Defranco Simple Six, 5/3/1 bench, chins, pushups

The Will to Prepare to Win - "As complicated as life can be, the road to success is usually straightforward. Continually outwork those around you and you’ll eventually rise towards the top in whatever you pursue. Just don’t expect it to be easy. If it were easy, everyone would do it, and we know that’s not the case."

 Katie Anne - #Recomp pt. 2 ✌ 170lbs in 2011 to now. The other...: "170lbs in 2011 to now. The other day I posted a photo when I was a runner, weighing anywhere from 114lbs to 135lbs during that phase in my life. Soon after, I was injured running and decided not to run in college. And subsequently, I set my sights on bodybuilding. However, I was seeking extremes for everything. Leading to weight swings of up to 25lbs in a matter of a few weeks (binging, restricting, etc). Throughout this time, I learned #moderation, not deprivation. I learned consistency over extremes. Each phase teaches us important lessons. Remember that."

Saturday, February 11, 2017

"...the real assumption that they bring to the news, even beyond their partisan affiliations, is an expectation of a smooth narrative."

All the News That's Fit to Fake - Hit & Run : "They expect news stories to look like the movies or TV shows that they're familiar with. Even if they're regular journalism consumers, the stories they remember best are these well done stories that tell a compelling narrative and make them feel like they're watching a movie or TV show. In reality, stories are messy and have real loose ends. That's the real bias that readers have to combat, and it's something that people in the media have to think about. Because, on the one hand we want to provide good, compelling narratives, but on the other hand, we don't want people to think they live in this world that's made up of these easy, compelling narratives. They don't."

"We're all living in a novel, and we've got a choice as to which kind of novel we're living in."  "I'm dreadfully sorry for the people who are living in naturalistic novels in the James T. Farrell tradition; you know, where everything comes to a bad end, and all there is is injustice and stupidity in the world. People are living in that tunnel-reality because artists created it for them. And they were good artists, in that they were strong, they were powerful, they were influential, and so there are millions of people living in that reality. Then there are people who are living in the heroic Hemingway tunnel-reality still, and there are a lot of timid academic people living in a T.S. Eliot tunnel-reality. Most of the country is living in a television-tube reality. I'm delighted to be living in science fiction. It's one of the more open and exciting tunnel-realities to be live in."

"I think government should be treated like religion, everyone should be able to pick the kind they like. Only it should be contractual not obligatory. I wouldn't mind paying tax money to a local association to maintain a police force, as long as we need one. But I hate like hell paying taxes to help the US government build more nuclear missiles to blow up more people I don't even know and don't think I'd hate them if I did know them." 

"I am the Iron Fist."

"...for many Americans, cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias hide those easy answers behind Hitler hallucinations."

I, too, side with the gay immigrant of Jewish descent who dates black guys. Instead of anti-free speech violence & thuggery.  And Gay Jewish immigrant who dates black dudes is the weirdest definition of Nazi White Nationalist ever.  The mental gymnastics required to even make the claim is mind boggling.

UC-Berkeley Protesters Set Campus on Fire, Shut Down Milo Yiannopoulos Event - Hit & Run :

Berkeley and Hitler | Scott Adams' Blog: "Speaking of Hitler, I’m ending my support of UC Berkeley, where I got my MBA years ago. I have been a big supporter lately, with both my time and money, but that ends today. I wish them well, but I wouldn’t feel safe or welcome on the campus. A Berkeley professor made that clear to me recently. He seems smart, so I’ll take his word for it. I’ve decided to side with the Jewish gay immigrant who has an African-American boyfriend, not the hypnotized zombie-boys in black masks who were clubbing people who hold different points of view. I feel that’s reasonable, but I know many will disagree, and possibly try to club me to death if I walk on campus.  Yesterday I asked my most liberal, Trump-hating friend if he ever figured out why Republicans have most of the Governorships, a majority in Congress, the White House, and soon the Supreme Court. He said, “There are no easy answers.” I submit that there are easy answers. But for many Americans, cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias hide those easy answers behind Hitler hallucinations."

Thugs Indulge Their Weimar Dreams and Become the Totalitarians They Claim to Hate - "Well, that's how they imagine it in their fever dreams, anyway. In reality, the Nazis didn't show up and the protesters themselves were the only totalitarians in sight. The Black Bloc thugs—"about 150 masked agitators who came onto campus and interrupted an otherwise non-violent protest," says UC-Berkeley—seem to imagine themselves as stars of a Weimar Germany reenactment. In their minds, they march through the streets as the phalanx of the center-left Eiserne Front (or, more likely, the communist Rotfrontkämpferbund), battling their deadly enemies in the Nazi SA between sessions at the beer hall. But the anti-fascists couldn't find any Nazis at Berkeley. 

So instead "[t]hey shattered the glass of our Amazon Pickup Center, one of the few places Berkeley students can receive packages without fear of them getting stolen. They created a bonfire of trash in the center of the chaos, picked up barricades to drive through the building's glass walls, set off fireworks, and left a trail of rage-filled destruction in their wake as they stormed the very streets we call home," in the words of a student who saw a peaceful anti-Trump protest hijacked by visitors from 1930. Oh, and they sold a whole lot of books for Milo, who is less a Nazi than a professional troll and self-promoter who has tied his personal brand to that of Donald Trump. Brownshirts also missed the date at Gavin McInnes's speech at New York University. Anti-fascist crusaders had to settle for pepper-spraying McInnes himself before he'd even opened his mouth, and cursing out cops for not beating up McInnes and his supporters. And they got themselves arrested for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and criminal mischief. McInnes, by the way isn't a Nazi either. The co-founder of Vice and serial hipster's major "offense" seems to be that he's a Trump supporter; he's also a self-described "Western chauvinist," seemingly a male chauvinist, and no fan of Islam. 

Arguably, a Nazi did show up for the very first act of anti-Nazi direct action of the Trump era, when avowed racist Richard Spencer was violently attacked the day after the new president took office. Ironically, he was giving a TV interview at the time, during which he denied being a neo-Nazi—he's just awful in so many other ways. But that's close enough for the incident to have sparked a Nazi-punching craze, with allegedly serious articles in major publications pondering the ethics of committing battery against people for their political views.

Curiously, each major target of violent anti-fascist ire has actually been further and further from an actual Nazi, from Spencer, to Yiannopoulos, to McInnes. This suggests that the threshold allegedly justifying physical assault is movable, making anybody at the outer edge of the shifting acceptable realm for speech eligible for a punch. If it's Nazis all the way down, ultimately, only two black-clad douchebags will be left standing in a basement somewhere, fists clenched, glaring at each other with each wondering about the other's anti-Nazi bona fides. Which is a big part of why it's not OK to punch Nazis..."

One thing that bugs me in the wake of the violence was the "denunciation" by some on the left of how the Black Bloc protesters invaded the march and weren't emblematic of the movement as a whole.  The weren't "real" Democrats or Leftist or whatever.  They were *anarchists*!  [See also, No True Scotsman fallacy.]  Maybe.  But this is from the sidebar of UC Berkeley News after the riot: 

No mention of the students and other people who were pepper sprayed and beaten for having different political opinions...

Training - "Control the things that you have control over; don't worry about the rest..."

2/10 - deadlifts, situps, backxt
2/9 - Power Half Hour Stretch
2/8 - press, chins, dips, DeFranco Simple Six

The Age Old Question: What Is Vag? – Jim Wendler: "Question:  Just got done reading your 531 book. Looking forward to doing this. One question for now. What the heck is vag? 
 Answer:  That would be short for “vagina.”  While some may see North of Vag as a misogynistic term, I can only shake my head and hope they were not publically educated; I’d hate to see tax dollars being wasted that way.  It is simply a rallying cry to not be a pussy.  And if one can’t see past the simple and obvious point I am trying to make, I can only hope they never vote or procreate.  The ego behind adults telling other adults what words they can say or not say is amazing.  I never trust these people as they clearly have nothing going on in their lives and instead, spend time policing the world.  No Man (or Woman) of Action would ever bother with this. They are simply too busy getting shit done than weeping like a martyr. Being a victim is not sexy."

Curapupas — Eight years ago my journey began with a feeling. ...: "Eight years ago my journey began with a feeling. It was a feeling that I need to take care of my body. That feeling slowly became a desire and a passion, not only to exercise and be healthy and eat right, but a hope to celebrate my body in a way I had only ever seen others do."

Stress and Lifting: Get Off Your Knees – Jim Wendler: "One important lesson that I've learned is when things get out of hand in  life, keep the things that you can control, controlled. This keeps you from  going insane."

amymurphyfitness:  Transformation Tuesday...:

Why Men of Action are Better – Jim Wendler: " didn't strike me until recently WHY people with passion are so much better. Of course, you have the general attraction to them; everyone who has it, can appreciate/respect what others' are doing. Your interests can be polar opposites yet two people can have an admiration for the other. But there is another thing that makes a person with passion so damn awesome: They tend to stay the hell out of your business. This is because they are too damn busy to gossip, to force their shit down your throat. Their ego isn't so big that they claim to know what to do with your money, your time, your beliefs. Hell, there are actually adults out there telling OTHER ADULTS what words they can or cannot say. The ego on people these days. Unbelievable.

...for those of us that love to do stuff, love what we do, are "People of Action", understand that life is fleeting and should not be wasted being a busybody - you are who I admire. You are what makes the world better. You are who gives others' inspiration. So play your music, feed your garden, rebuild your engine or do whatever action gets your eyes wide and your heart moving. You are what makes the world better and keeps the earth spinning in the right direction. You are what is right."

Mentoring Wendler – Jim Wendler: "Lesson:  Control the things that you have control over; don't worry about the rest...

With school, life, work, and training, I always had goals, and still do. But I see now what Darren was doing. As you get older, you become a different person. Your body changes. Your life changes. The weights I once did and the goals I once had are no longer "me." It's okay to let that part of you go and move on. You don't have to be hung up trying to recapture the weights that you once did when you were 21. I can't be that person that carried the ball 20-30 times a game in high school, played both ways and never came off the field. Chasing those dreams or those weights is a fruitless and scary pursuit that only leads to disappointment. But I'm a new person and can adjust the goals. There's tremendous freedom in not adhering to other's standards and expectations to what you should be. Rather, the goals you set are yours and should follow your mind and heart. Lesson: Your goals and your life are your own; true freedom is not allowing others to make them for you...

Even today, I remember things and quotes that he told me and help me every day. "Put your hand in a bucket of water. Take it out and the hole that you leave is how much impact you will have on the world. But the drops of water that are on your hand; those are the parts of your life that you need to worry about. Those belong to you.""

Clara's Clean Eats:

Be Your Own Leader – Jim Wendler: "Replace the silly "motivation" for some discipline - motivation is a buzzword by people that don't understand what it takes, day in/day out to succeed. I think it's time you adopt the attitude that I like to call being a Personal Leader. A Personal Leader is someone that takes responsibility for every area of his life and doesn't need someone to hold his hand. Yes, we all need support and you must look for help when needed, HOWEVER, at the end of the day, everything is on YOU. So you need to develop yourself into being the leader you need - if that means waking up early, you do it. If that means you have to take extra time for work/job to prepare, then you make it happen. If that means you have to make certain sacrifices that many other don't have to, then do it. People need to understand that to be a leader doesn't mean you have the physical and emotional presence to lead others. It may be as simple as you not being a follower. And if any time in this world we need people to not be blind followers to ignorant leaders, it is now. The thing is this: it's rare to find anyone in the world with the same goals as you. So while it may be nice to find that someone, waiting around for someone to help guide you will result in a waste of a life. This life is all you got - you'll be dead before you know it. Take what you have and squeeze all the life you can out if it. Be your own hero. Lead yourself to greatness. And greatness is not measured in medals, money or public opinion - it is measured in happiness and freedom. And when you strip all the crap away, the noise and bullshit of a fucked up, commercialized world that makes you constantly bow and suck at it's sick, diseased teat - you will have found freedom and happiness. This is turning into something more than you probably asked but I HATE when people waste their one life. Your "gut" check is here and now - mold yourself with your own hands."

Constant Gym-Goer Ditched Her Cardio Workouts for Powerlifting and Lost 37 Lbs.: "For years, Alice Fields was a cardio queen, who would toil away on the treadmill in the hopes of slimming down. But her weight wouldn’t budge — until she started powerlifting. “I was getting up before sunrise and was running 5Ks every morning. It was torture. I wasn’t something I enjoyed at all. But I thought it was what I had to do to lose weight,” Fields, 24, tells PEOPLE, adding that she would heavily restrict her diet. “I’d run until I couldn’t run anymore, and I’d barely eat a thing. Yes, I might have lost 5 kilos in 2 weeks. But once I consumed a normal amount of food again, I’d put 7 kilos back on. It was the classic yoyo effect. There was no consistency.” Fields tried this weight loss method unsuccessfully for around five years, and says she “felt trapped in my own body,” until a friend introduced her to powerlifting 18 months ago. “I fell in love with the sport instantly,” she says. With help from a coach, Fields learned proper form and started on a nutrition course that focuses on your daily protein, fat and carbohydrate intake. “I started noticing changes with my body within about a month,” she says. “Not only had my strength increased dramatically, but my whole body composition changed. My bum was perkier than ever and my clothes were getting loser.” Now, 18 months later, Fields has lost 17 kg. — about 37 lbs. — that she was never able to drop with cardio workouts alone.   While she still looks at her total weight, Fields focuses more on muscle gains and lost inches. “I’m always noticing my body change in positive ways, even if the scales stay the same, because I’m losing weight in some places and gaining muscle in others,” she says. “I definitely thought doing only weights would just make me heavier, but I quickly realized, the more muscle I had, the faster my body burnt fat. Not just that, but having more muscle gives you that ‘toned look’ a lot of women want.” “You have a bigger, perkier bum. Your shoulders and arms look leaner and stronger. Powerlifting changes your whole body composition.”"

becoming-meaghan: Two years ago vs today. Almost...: "I had attempted to lose weight countless times before but going into it this time my mindset was a little different. I had always thought “do it for the ‘oh you got hot’ or as revenge for all the people that called you nasty names. Instead, this time I decided to do it for me, for my physical and mental wellbeing and to be taken seriously in my future career (w.e that may be). That shift in thinking made all the difference! Had you taken this #transformationtuesday pic and showed it to the me on the left I would have looked at you in both disbelief and estacy. But I would have said something along the lines of “I will never look like this” because my self confidence was non-existent. Fast forward to today… I’m prepping for my first bikini show, live to help and share my passion for health and fitness with others. I’m ready to take on the world. As impressive as my physical transformation may be, I believe the emotional one to be WAY greater."

Finally Off the Sugar Roller Coaster! | Mark's Daily Apple: "Back then, I was about 25 pounds heavier than I wanted to be, completely addicted to sugar, experiencing food cravings or food comas almost constantly, and living in my head where daily battles occurred regarding the food that I had eaten or wanted to eat. At that time, I was 42 and had spent my years since age 15 obsessing over food. Nutrition and fitness had fascinated me in a healthy way during this time, but a powerful sweet tooth combined with a persistent vulnerability to self-sabotage caused my twenties and much of my thirties to be mostly wasted. At different points during this time, depression and bingeing caused me to live in a bubble. I kept people at arms-length and let very few people into my world. At my lowest point, when friends would ask me to come out with them socially, I would lie and say that I already had plans even though my “plans” consisted of buying a lot of unhealthy food and eating it – stuffing all the feelings that had come up during the day — and then wallowing in my self-hatred. My overeating was so out of control that I attended Overeaters Anonymous meetings. And even though alcohol has never been a problem for me, I attended one Alcoholics Anonymous meeting out of curiosity just to see how similar it might be to my problem. It seemed exactly the same; I used food as a drug in the same way that alcoholics used alcohol...

Now, at age 50, because of the Primal Blueprint and the Primal lifestyle “laws,” I feel healthier, fitter and stronger than I’ve ever been, including high school when I was thin, healthy and played sports all year. My energy is off-the-charts—not in a hyper, bouncing-off-the-walls way but just feeling incredibly clear-headed and alert. No more brain fog! I feel like a machine running on the cleanest fuel, like there’s no sludge in my veins, and everything I eat is being put to good use. I look forward to and enjoy working out.  I’ve finally gotten rid of the excess fat that made me feel self-conscious for my entire adult life. My moods are steady, and I feel peaceful. I face my problems now rather than stuffing them with food. And, most importantly, I don’t live in my head anymore. The daily internal battles are gone, freeing up my thoughts so that I can actually engage with and enjoy other people."