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SPAM: I do like the new index, Sam-I-Am

Journal by burnitdown

New Slashdot Index

More streamlined, more graceful. I like it. A lot, so far. It brings Slashdot into line with the Web 2.0 aesthetic without going into all of the extraneous junk they throw on websites to make you curse out loud. Good stuff.

User Journal

SPAM: School shooters: don't blame guns, blame social dysfunction

Journal by burnitdown

While some school shooters are delusional, and usually seek the attention, others like Jeff Weisse, Pekka-Eric Auvinen and now Matti Saari are of the ideological type, attempting to communicate through mass death what could not be said in words, because words can be ignored if inconvenient to the listener.

In essence, our society has decayed so far that we have created an alternate reality in which we operate as if it were reality, composed of our institutions and public opinions. Reality itself remains far away, doubly so because it is often complex and does not make a good sound bite, election slogan, advertising jingle or hip new saying to impress our friends.

Scientists Would Analayze School Shootings, Not Judge Them; Why Don't We? by Brett Stevens

Good points here. I'm not a gun fanatic, but I think citizens need something to defend themselves against parasites and government (often a parasite).

User Journal

SPAM: Common grammar/spelling errors that are easily avoided

Journal by burnitdown

JCSoRocks dropped me a friendly note on the forums, and I saw his signature contained the following:

loose != lose

There are a number of easily avoided English screwups.

1. Rediculous -> ridiculous
2. Irregardless -> regardless (irregardless is a double negative, so literally negates its meaning)
3. Their/they're/there = They're (they are) busy putting their (ownership) brains over there (place).
4. Whose/who's = Who's on base, and whose jockstrap is that in the corner?
5. It's/its = It's (it is) a good day for any weird creature to enact its (possessive) revenge upon Tokyo.
6. And of course: Don't lose your loose change.

Any others?

User Journal

SPAM: Why Slashdot Idle will become very important in your life

Journal by burnitdown

Slashdot.org (the original) is losing visitors. They have roughly 25% less visitors now compared to a year ago.
The five largest based on website visitors (sorted, largest first): Digg.com, StumbleUpon.com, Slashdot.org, Propeller.com and Fark.com. (Reddit.com is in 6th place, and is about to overtake Fark.)

http://www.centernetworks.com/social-news-traffic

This journal post is not an essay.

It's a simple observation: most "social news sites" (or news aggregators) are LOLCAT fodder. They like silly articles, stupid pictures, dumb videos, moronic parodies and any article that implies revenge on people smarter than them.

Slashdot, for all of the problems you can list, is a notch above this. That's all I'm claiming right now: a notch above.

Slashdot's focus has always been science, which is closer to reality than LOLCAT land.

Idle.slashdot.org has the potential to be a news aggregator for all of the non-explicitly-science stuff, and could help edge out the LOLCAT morons who we would have called "AOL users" generically in 1996.

I now understand the importance of Idle: it's a better option than other social news sites.

User Journal

SPAM: WHITECHAPEL review, and thoughts on Metalcore, Deathcore...

Journal by burnitdown

Whitechapel - This is Exile

I had a flashback to the early days of 1993. Death metal had just about peaked, and many people were looking for the next big thing -- in terms of style. Brutality was the catchphrase, and since millions of American kids had just rediscovered early Napalm Death thanks to a desperate search for the roots of underground metal, new bands were popping up that promised to be more brutal than before, usually by playing much faster and eliminating all melody. This flashback was prompted by hearing the hype about Whitechapel in one ear, and the reality played in the other.

Read the Rest: Whitechapel - This is Exile review

User Journal

SPAM: Blood interview

Journal by burnitdown

Blood Interview

We caught up with Germany's Blood, who mix the brutal attack of grindcore with the concise theatrical presentation of death metal, to ask a few questions about life and the art of underground music.

Blood interview

User Journal

SPAM: Pestilence

Journal by burnitdown

Pestilence

Pestilence were one of those classic bands that took the old idea, maybe Destruction or Slayer, and threw it pell-mell into the new idea, say Possessed or Sepultura, and made something great out of it. Starting as a death metal band known for its crushing songs, they moved on to become one of the founders of the technical death metal movement. Now you can see complete reviews of each of their works with mp3 samples.

Pestilence Review and MP3 Samples

...most specifically, a good introduction to Pestilence...

Pestilence - Chronicles of the Scourge

For those who appreciate the lure of classic-period Pestilence, making music halfway between the proto-death of Destruction and the upcoming technical death metal of Morbid Angel, this live album provides a delicious insight into both songs in progress and what the experience of a Pestilence concert might have been. With two shows, from 1988 and the following year, in reverse chronological order, this CD presents an opportunity to study this essential Dutch band in their formative habitat.

Pestilence - Chronicles of the Scourge Review

User Journal

SPAM: LORD WIND "Atlantean Monument" review

Journal by burnitdown

Lord Wind - Atlantean Monument

Probably the best work from Eastclan group since 1998, this release culminates the pagan dreamlike melodies that have been appearing in Graveland and Lord Wind releases. Over an hour long, it represents the best music currently available for those who long for the society of honor that ruled long ago, before dualistic religions, technology and finance took over our lives.

Read the review: Lord Wind - Atlantean Monument

User Journal

SPAM: SUFFOCATION interview

Journal by burnitdown

Suffocation interview

No one has or will create death metal like Suffocation. Taking the muffled hard-stop strumming of speed metal, mixing it in with the structural cryptograms of death metal, and amplifying the intensity, Suffocation innovative the percussive death metal that spawned the goregrind genre and countless imitators. Drummer Mike Smith was kind enough to give us an interview on the state of the band and its future.

Read more: Suffocation interview

User Journal

SPAM: Trash Talk - retro punk hardcore/thrash

Journal by burnitdown

Trash Talk - Trash Talk
Trash Talk Collective, 2008

When music runs out of ideas, it recycles old genres. When that happens, smart music fans look for the exceptions that give both style and substance some tweaks to make them compatible with the current time and its challenges. Where the retro-thrash movement has produced some imitators of no substance, Trash Talk comes crashing in with a punk-inspired, thrash-influenced offering that invokes elements of the underground that developed while music festered in nu-metal and metalcore. Although the band compares themselves to Cryptic Slaughter, and comparisons could easily be drawn to Municipal Waste, what fuels this mania is more akin to the suffocated rage and dissident misanthropy that made Eyehategod and Acid Bath favorites of the late 1990s. Songs are sludgy rants that explode into frenetic activity, then smash it all down again, like a self-fulfilling prophecy of doom. It is as if Trash Talk enjoy beating on their audience, lulling them into a false sense of security such as they might enjoy from media, religious or government leaders, and then detonating the result in a searing diatribe. While people will compare this record to works from Discharge or DRI, it's more like Eyehategod meets Crass with Neurosis in the wings. It's fortunate to see punk hardcore given another chance with this acerbic testament to the enduring powers of resistance through surliness.

Trash Talk - Trash Talk review and MP3 samples

User Journal

SPAM: Jesu - Why Are We Not Perfect

Journal by burnitdown

Justin Broadrick demonstrated through his early works a desire for that moment of unitivity when the conscious mind and emotions synchronized. Through Godflesh, and later Techno Animal and Final, he showed a passion for bringing colossal structures to bear on moments of quiet contemplation. With Jesu, he resurrects his music outside the ghetto that extremist offerings can be, and melds into post-rock disparate influences from industrial, shoegaze, noisepop, and so forth. Jesu, protean as all Broadrick projects are, in turn twisted from more radiantly noisy to its current softer state. On "Why Are We Not Perfect" Jesu moves the slider closest to shoegaze... Read More: Jesu "Why Are We Not Perfect" review

User Journal

SPAM: How I Became the Center of a Race Debate I Did Not Want 1

Journal by burnitdown

I think this may be the biggest surprise of my life. I tend to avoid internet message boards, and I don't interact with people as much on the internet as face-to-face. I posted what I thought was an innocent article:

I recommend two books here:

The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, by Samuel Huntington [amazon.com]
  The Great Human Diasporas: The History of Diversity and Evolution, by Luigi Cavalli-Sforza et al [amazon.com]

Once humans evolved from apes, they went through several stages to create modern humans.

After that, modern humans underwent more aggressive development. This differentiated population groups.

Much like different programming languages are optimized for different tasks, but you can create just about anything in just about any language, human populations are different based on the optimizations that came about through their branch divergence.

This creates ethnicities, nationalities, and clines as mapped by Cavalli-Sforza.

Huntington points out that most of our modern wars have been caused by the nation-state, or an "imperial" grouping by politics that crosses these optimization lines, and suggests that as the superpower age winds down, people will identify with their optimization more than abstract and often illusory political concepts.

This is especially useful in understanding the difference between Georgia, Ossetia and Russia. For those who live in nation-states of an imperial nature, like the United States, Canada, Russia or UK, it's hard to grasp this, but not every country views itself as composed of generic people.

They view themselves as an organic nation, a notion which we may quaintly call "tribalism" yet seems to unite people with values more solidly than financial or political motivations.

The future will be determined by the struggle for these organic nations to define themselves.

All IMHO.

Then, out of nowhere:

I never thought the race-war bozos would make it onto /. It's the usual propoganda: Name check someone prominent (who didn't say anything in support of your argument), add some bogus theory with no support (but imply that it comes from the famous names), through in a little kernel of plausibility (hey, there's racism right? Maybe we are all genetically pre-disposed to hate each other), and stir.

Much like different programming languages are optimized for different tasks, but you can create just about anything in just about any language, human populations are different based on the optimizations that came about through their branch divergence.

See? Hmmm ... seems plausible. But think: Maybe I'm different based on the country I was born in, the way my parents fed me, raised me (the fact that I had loving parents), their wealth and social connections, the forces and choices that formed my personality. My education, the books I read, what I chose to study, my teachers and role models, how hard I worked at it, how well I networked, the career and jobs I chose, the person I married, the city I live in ... Where does this genetic optimization come in?

I recommend the same books as burnitdown, only you should read them and not just name-check them. I read Huntington's Clash of Civilizations [foreignaffairs.org] when it was first published in Foreign Affairs. It says nothing at all about genetics or "optimization", only super-national cultural groups called 'civilizations', which are genetically diverse (see list here [wikipedia.org] ). You can read more here [wikipedia.org].

I haven't read Cavalli-Sforza, but The Economist seems to think [wikipedia.org] that his work challenges the assumption that there are significant genetic differences between human races, and indeed, the idea that 'race' has any useful biological meaning at all. Hmmm ... that seems opposite the ideas that burnitdown cited.

So Burnitdown is just talking out of his backside, start to finish. There is no outside support for it at all. I can't even imagine how it applies to Georgia, Russia, and North & South Ossetia. Does anyone know closely their populations correlate genetically? And why, on that basis, would South Ossetians want Russian more than Georgian citizenship? What the heck is 'Russian' genetically, anyway -- the country stretches from Europe to the Pacific; are they really genetically homogeneous?

Whenever I read something like this, I always try to remember: Think of the people who promolgate this theory of inevitable race-war hatred: From Milosovic to Bin Laden (who rails against Jewish people) to the Rwandan Hutu extremists to the KKK to, yes, Adolf Hitler. What have they accomplished? Then think of those who say that humans can integrate and live together regardless of supposed 'race', from Thomas Jefferson to Abraham Lincoln to Martin Luther King Jr., to Mahatma Gandhi and almost any current leader of prominence. Who has been more successful? Whose side would you rather be on?

Did you know that by the 3rd generation, most immigrants to the US marry across 'cultural' lines? Did you know that the rate of interracial marriage has increased ~700% in the US since 1970 [1] [wikipedia.org]?

The comment I made went from +5 to 0 within an hour. One poster even apologized for modding it up as he reversed his mods. People couldn't get away fast enough.

My question is, where did my post talk about race? It talked about European ethnicities, specifically in the context of the (then current) war in Ossetia, which is a war between three different nationalities (Slavic Russian, Ossetian and Georgian) over inclusion in two nation-states (Georgia and Russia) presided over by two nation-state superpowers (USA and Russia).

Where did I ask for a manic debate about race?

Since then, things have calmed down, but the debate still rages.

One poster rather sensibly pointed to the history of European tribes. Another pointed out that multiple factors may condition the transition from the nation-state. Someone else pointed out that denying biology where humans are concerned is trendy but not accurate. Someone else wanted to talk about whether the Scots and Irish were dumber than the English. Finally, Ghandi got called a racist and so the debate wound down.

I don't know how I got into the middle of this one, but it's fascinating and horrifying at once. Horrifying that even in the 21st century there are things we cannot discuss for fear of offending others, even if discussed scientifically. Horrifying that anything bordering on these, even innocently, is tagged RACIST by some people who seem to be dismayed at the way their lives turned out, and want to hurt others who aren't so bitter. Fascinating in that we have what's basically an ethnic war in South Ossetia, a half-black candidate for US President who is struggling with how to define himself racially to voters, a debate over the changing demographics of the USA and yet we're still fumbling over these topics.

I never wanted to be in the middle of it, but now that I have been, there's you two cents: I'd like to talk about the differences between European ethnicities without having this insane debate over taboo topics borne of personal fears interrupt the flow of conversation and scare off participants.

We don't take censorship from our government. We don't take it from the RIAA. We won't take it from our ISPs. Why, in the name of Galileo and the Salem witch trials, do we then impose it upon ourselves?

User Journal

SPAM: Weev: Universe is algorithmically designed

Journal by burnitdown

I'm not a Christian, but I agree. Whether that algorithm arose from its design or was designed is the question.

7. On your LiveJournal blog, you claim that "[e]verything is clearly algorithmically designed." What is the relation between the mathematical language of a computer and the organization of the universe? What is the role of a hacker in this relation?

If divine creation doesn't appear obvious to you, there's really nothing I can say to convince or show you. It is either truth to you, or it isn't. The role of the hacker archetype is of his own decision, but ideally it is to bring the universe more in line with the goals of the creator. We all have a choice every day of our lives to live morally or live under the shadow of evil.

Weev interview

User Journal

SPAM: Do you still support democracy?

Journal by burnitdown

The essence of liberalism is individualism. The basis of its error is to mistake the notion of the person with that of the individual and to claim for the latter, unconditionally and according to egalitarian premises, some values that should rather be attributed solely to the former, and then only conditionally. Because of this transposition, these values are transformed into errors, or into something absurd and harmful.

Let us begin with the egalitarian premise. It is necessary to state from the outset that the "immortal principle" of equality is sheer nonsense. There is no need to comment on the inequality of human beings from a naturalistic point of view. And yet the champions of egalitarianism make equality a matter of principle, claiming that while human beings are not equal de facto, they are so de jure: they are unequal, and yet they should not be. Inequality is unfair; the merit and the superiority of the liberal idea allegedly consists of not taking it into account, overcoming it, and acknowledging the same dignity in every man. Democracy, too, shares the belief in the "fundamental equality of anything that appears to be human."

I believe these are mere empty words. This is not a "noble ideal" but something that, if taken absolutely, represents a logical absurdity; wherever this view becomes an established trend, it may usher in only regression and decadence.
- Julias Evola, Men Among the Ruins

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