HWFO February 2022 Housekeeping
Link to the Paul VanderKlay podcast and quick notes about Ukrainian Nazis
Very quick Ukraine thoughts.
This is not entirely going to plan for Russia right now, but the lack of deep advancement by his armored divisions shouldn’t necessarily be seen as a failure. You can really only drive a tank about 50 kilometers in a day, and currently the Russians seem to be going about as far per day as time allows. (Full disclosure, I always pull for the underdog in wars that don’t involve me.)
While I do not believe Putin’s actual goals had anything to do with rescuing the Ukrainian population from a cabal of evil drug addled Nazis who’d taken over the country, Putin’s criticisms about Neo Nazism within Ukraine are rooted in fact. Just look at these guys!
Here’s The Guardian in 2018:
“There’s nothing inherently wrong with national socialism as a political idea,” says Alexei, another militia member, as the men move stealthily through moonlit trees frosted with ice. “I don’t know why everyone always associates it immediately with concentration camps.”
Gee I wonder. Here’s Time Magazine from one year ago:
After the worst such attack in recent years—the massacre of 51 people in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019—an arm of the Azov movement helped distribute the terrorist’s raving manifesto, in print and online, seeking to glorify his crimes and inspire others to follow.
The battalion’s first commander and a former Ukrainian parliamentarian, Andriy Biletsky, stated that Ukraine’s national purpose was to “lead the white races of the world in a final crusade … against Semite-led Untermenschen [subhumans].” […]
Internally published examples of speech that Facebook now deems acceptable include “Azov movement volunteers are real heroes, they are a much needed support to our national guard”; “We are under attack. Azov has been courageously defending our town for the last 6 hours”; and “I think Azov is playing a patriotic role during this crisis.”
The materials stipulate that Azov still can’t use Facebook platforms for recruiting purposes or for publishing its own statements and that the regiment’s uniforms and banners will remain as banned hate symbol imagery, even while Azov soldiers may fight wearing and displaying them. In a tacit acknowledgement of the group’s ideology, the memo provides two examples of posts that would not be allowed under the new policy: “Goebbels, the Fuhrer and Azov, all are great models for national sacrifices and heroism” and “Well done Azov for protecting Ukraine and it’s white nationalist heritage.”
It sure would have been nice to see that amount of nuance when differentiating between “Covid-19 is a Chinese bio-weapon sent to attack America” and “dude I don’t think we can rule out it coming out of that virus lab down the street from the wet market.” And it’s doubly hilarious that the social group calling everyone a Nazi who thinks gender is binary in 2020 is whole heartedly supporting a military that includes actual legit really for realzies Nazis in its ranks. Look at that photo above! Behold!
Here’s the full two hour Paul VanderKlay podcast. I think it turned out wonderfully, except for my lack of lighting. I hope to get that fixed soon.
This publication is and will always remain free to read, and any money earned through Substack subscriptions or Patreon will be dutifully spent on the author’s alcohol fund. But to give something back to the readers, anyone who does contribute to said alcohol fund will gain access to a private Slack server to discuss HWFO topics with other HWFO readers (and me) outside the public eye. Around 100 people are yammering away in there right now, and some of the article topics are born from these discussions. I’ll post an updated access link in a few days, as subscriber only content. If you’re a Patreon supporter you can gain access too, just email me.
Handwaving Freakoutery (HWFO) began as a Medium publication in 2018 primarily geared toward mathematical analysis of gun violence in the USA, examining media narratives, disproving many popular ones, and offering alternatives. As we went down this journey together, we discovered that media falsehoods are driven largely not by shadowy actors attempting to manipulate the narrative, but by market forces requiring the media to adopt false narratives for profit, both inside and outside the gun space. We later began to understand that the media behavior is connected to the evolution of culture, so we developed a framework for speaking of cultures themselves, and examined how the internet is increasing the rate of cultural evolution, how the media is connected to this rate increase, how the divergent cultures themselves are fueling the culture war, and how all of this indicative of various doomsdays.
HWFO pivoted to Substack in 2021 because Substack is way cooler for various reasons. One of the things Substack is worse at, however, is having multiple tabs where I can index articles for prior reading, grouping them by topic. So we’ll do that here, and we’ll update this post once per month as I continue to migrate Medium material over to Substack, supplementing with new articles as I go.
Index by Topic
HWFO in Other Media – Podcasts, TV, other websites.
So Long Medium – the pivot from Medium to Substack.
Beautiful Death - thoughts on the passing of my father.
She Did Not Go Gently - thoughts on the passing of my wife. (via Quillette)
Things Jordan Peterson’s Rehab Taught Me - a comparison between how Jordan Peterson handled his wife’s cancer and how I handled mine.
The Economics of Being a Teacher, by State - some math on whether blue or red states are better for the teachers who work there.
Burn the Universities and Salt the Earth - where we explain the true nature of the student loan debt crisis and fix it in the most gruesome way possible.
Intuition Reigns Supreme - where we make HWFO readers take Myers Briggs and do echo chamber graphs.
The Surprisingly Solid Mathematical Case of the Tin Foil Hat Gun Prepper - the most famous and trafficked gun article ever released by HWFO.
The Gun Solution - where we fix the entire gun problem.
Everybody’s Lying about the Link Between Gun Ownership and Homicide – where we tear apart “more guns = more deaths” with mathematics.
The Left is Making the Wrong Case on Gun Deaths – where we dive deep on male suicide and how we might fix it.
Geographic Evidence that Gun Deaths are Cultural – where we use GIS to show that “it’s the guns” is a very poor explanation of what’s going on.
The Gun Homicide Epidemic Isn’t – where we disprove the “epidemic of gun homicides” with math.
The Magic Gun Evaporation Fairy – a dive into the impossibility of gun buybacks or gun confiscation.
Gun Buybacks Don’t Work if you Believe in Math – where we calculate how many guns you’d have to buy back to avert a homicide.
Real Talk about School Shootings – where show how school shooting numbers are a terrible thing around which to craft policy.
Doctors are Wrong about Firearm Effectiveness in Mass Shootings – where we explain that magically replacing all rifles with pistols would probably get more people killed.
The “Sabika Sheikh Firearms Licensing and Registration Act” Fails Third Grade Math – where we perform some low effort mathematical dunking on a house rep.
The Gun Lane We Need Doctors In, and Government Out - where we talk about how doctors need to focus on gun suicide, and gun culture needs to do the same.
Analyzing the Ryan Thomas Balch Account of Kenosha - where we lay out the likely details of future anarchist insurgencies based on accounts from the ground at Kenosha.
Culture / Culture War
Memespace Egregores and Maajid Nawaz - where we show how a distributed agenda by an egregore would look like a coordinated agenda by a cabal to a conspiracy theorist.
Memespace Egregores and Google Maps - where we tie together all HWFO concepts into a collected Culture War analysis tool for the virtual century.
We Are All Apes Behaving Like Ants - where we put humanity in it’s place, game theoretically speaking.
The Human Tool - where we explain how all cultures war, and how you are a tool of something larger.
The Many Flavors of Wokeness - where we opine on how mental cognitive filters create information silos and barriers to communication.
Osama Bin Laden’s Letter to America - a 20 Year Introspective - where we break down OBL’s manifesto line by line.
We Gave Them Everything They Needed to Defend Their Country Except a Country - where we explain why Afghanistan failed.
Weird Ideas About Afghanistan - where we talk about the sportsmanship of war and trash the idea of spreading feminism at gunpoint.
Playbook to Fight Woke School Board Takeovers - where we, yeah umm.
A Detailed Look at Woke Update Mechanics - where we use the Dolezal Affair and the cancellation of Richard Dawkins to explain the most unique element of the Woke program.
Social Justice is a Crowdsourced Religion - where we explain the Woke engine to nonwokes.
Game Theory on the Second Civil War - where we work towards a way to avoid violent conflict using math and stuff.
Real Talk About Meritocracy - where we break down the ways in which the USA is, and isn’t meritocratic, while also differentiating between “meritocratic” and “fair.”
Science Says Sam Harris is Alt-Right – where we take a deep dive into how all prior political axes are being collapsed into a purely woke/antiwoke band.
The Two Confusing Definitions of Racism – where we explain how difficult conversations about racism are literally impossible to have.
The Five Confusing Definitions of Racism - an update.
Explaining the Social Justice “Woke Anti-Semitism” Paradox – where show how woke shibboleths combine to create anti-Semitic results.
Spot the True Believer – where we use Eric Hoffer’s “mass movement” framework to explain MAGA and Woke.
Modeling the Socioeconomic Future with Dungeons and Dragons – where we use DND to explain bell curves, Charles Murray, and silicon valley’s obsession with UBI.
Conversations with Black Folks about Cops – where we examine the police brutality problem from the perspective of someone on the street.
Stop Calling it a “Coup” – where we show how the “capital insurrection” was nothing more than a continuation of 2020 behavior.
Deplatforming, Sargon, MAGA Hat Kids, and the Kulturkampf – where we compare our modern culture war to prior culture wars and discover this is new dog old tricks.
Rape Math – where we try to back-calculate the “not all men” discussion.
Don’t Read This – mid 2020 election prognostications which turned out to be on point.
The Purge Will End in Violence – where we discuss the early 2021 tech purge and what it portends in the long game.
Visualizing the Costs of Government in Border Walls - where we invent a new unit of measure.
Abolish the Federal Government and Realign the Nation Based on Football - where we use Colin Woodard’s 11 Nations Theory to map our “national divorce.”
An Outside Look at Election Fraud - where we do the math and figure that “the steal” couldn’t have possibly been enough to swing the election results.
No Uterus No Opinion? No Opinion No Obligation - where we spin contra-narrative abortion takes into a conclusion that the current framework is mostly right.
Explaining Systemic Racism to the Right, with Guns - where we make the general HWFO readership uncomfortable and lose a few subscriptions in the process.
Latinx is Done - where we make a bold prediction about the winds of wokeness for 2022.
I Offer You Joe Rogan’s Head on a Pike - media who wants to cancel someone for disinformation is throwing bricks in glass houses.
Aural Hypertext and the Memory of Man - thoughts on the “referentiality” of new media.
A Case Study of Memetic Compression Rates - where we explain how much data fits in a meme and what that means.
Facebook is Shiri’s Scissor - how human social media is analogous to artificial neural networks, how someone evil might develop such a network in order to destabilize the world, and how we’ve basically already done that by accident.
The Social Media Catastrophe - where we explain how the media is trapped in a tragedy of the commons situation which forces them to drive smartphone users insane for clicks.
The Media Engine of Chaos – where we use HWFO gun article traffic numbers from Medium to explain the root cause of all these shitty gun articles in the media, and by extension, all the other shitty articles too.
I Just Made $100 off Some Dead Kids, and That’s the Problem – where we show how the media incentives for mass shooting coverage literally increase the odds of more mass shootings.
The Long Problem – where we use the Atlanta Spa Shooter as a case study about how flawed media incentives lead to incorrect narratives.
Can Fortnite Rescue Humanity from the Attention Economy War? - where we look at ways to undermine the current media race to the bottom by picking a different activity entirely.
Rittenhouse as a Litmus for Adult Disagreement - where we show not only who’s at fault for half the country being completely wrong about Kenosha, but why they’re at fault.
Omicron Anecdotes - experiences with the increasingly less dreaded Omicron variant.
Memespace Egregores and the Covid-19 Sensemaking Crisis - where we use applied HWFO cultural theory to explain why your doctor won’t proscribe you monoclonal antibodies even though you ask for them.
The Covid-19 Sensemaking User Guide - where we show how to use HWFO media and culture analysis to make sense of the things in the Covid space that sure do seem like conspiracies.
Everyone is Wrong About Covid-19 For a Reason - where we apply “sensemaking apocalypse” mechanics to explain why nobody can seem to agree about anything going on with Covid-19.
Data From the Texas Prison Delta Outbreak Fits the Vax Narrative - where we use the prison system to show the “vax doesn’t stop Covid but keeps cases mild” narrative checks out.
The Covid-19 Red Ink Blue Ink Problem - where we show how Covid opinions are now just tribal signifiers, show how short term vaccines and mutations are going to make herd immunity impossible, and beg everyone to lose weight.
The Vaccine Might Kill You and That’s Fine - where we examine the case of undercounting in the VAERS system, make a statistical pro-vax case including that undercount, and talk about why the government wants to hide that anyway.
HWFO Covid-19 After Action Report - where we dunk on everyone because of how right we were.
Want a Vaccine? Elect a Nationalist - where we explain how “me first” nationalism beats globalist cooperation within the game theory of international relations.
Does the USA have the Worst Covid-19 Response? Not at All – where we compare the USA to other similar countries and discover we’re sort of middle of the road.
Covid-19 Stands to be Done by the Summer – where we use infection rates from prisons which achieved herd immunity the hard way to predict when we’ll be done with this stuff.
An Illustrated Guide to Plastic Straws - where we explain why not to recycle plastic.
Bezos is the Greenest Man Alive - where we show how Amazon is “mass transit for boxes.”