Slate Star Codex on Creationism and the Outside View

Scott Alexander at the Slate Star Codex blog has reviewed Inadequate Equilibria by Eliezer Yudkowsky. I’ve read substantial excerpts from the book (on the new Less Wrong site,, and the book will be interesting to anyone interested in epistemology and/or game theory, in particular, Pareto-suboptimal Nash Equilibria and how to escape them. More about that in future posts.

One of the topics in SSC’s review is epistemology, particularly how evolutionists (that includes me) can judge that their belief in evolution is better-founded than creationists’ belief in creationism. SSC grapples (as does the book) with something called the Outside View. Briefly, this is when you try to look at your judgments as if you were an objective third party, from a distance. E.g., you may think you’re a better-than-average driver, but apparently most people do, so maybe you’re just biased. After all, it’s a fact that a significant proportion of people who think they’re better-than-average drivers are wrong. Maybe you’re one of them.

But if you think in terms of the outside view you can get yourself all knotted up. SSC goes off the rails here:

I believe in evolution. But about half of Americans believe in creation. So either way, half of people are wrong about the evolution-creation debate. Since I know I’m in a category, half of whom are wrong, I should assume there’s a 50-50 chance I’m wrong about evolution.

SSC admits this is a “pathological” application of the Outside View. Yes, it is, but why? Because there has been no evidence put forward.

But surely the situation isn’t symmetrical? After all, the evolution side includes all the best biologists, all the most educated people, all the people with the highest IQ. The problem is, the true Outside Viewer can say “Ah, yes, but a creationist would say that their side is better, because it includes all the best fundamentalist preachers, all the world’s most pious people, and all the people with the most exhaustive knowledge of Genesis. So you’re in a group of people, the Group Who Believe That Their Side Is Better Qualified To Judge The Evolution-Creation Debate, and 50% of the people in that group are wrong. So this doesn’t break the fundamental symmetry of the situation.

But fundamentalist preachers and pious people are not evidence about the world, nor is Genesis. Evolution is about the world. Any given book may or may not be about the world. What is evidence about the world? The world! This is really just obvious. Now I guess someone could respond with, “Oooooh, no it’s not!” But note that kind of rejection of evidence rejects everything. If I can’t trust what my eyes tell me about the world, then I can’t trust what they tell me the words are in the Bible, either. I also can’t trust them when they tell me that this dude has a degree in Theology hanging on his wall. And I can’t trust my ears when creationists tell me, “All the most pious Genesis scholars are on our side,” etc. See, the fantastic thing about bullshit is that if you push it hard enough, it destroys itself.

SSC mentions a true psychological case study known as the Three Christs Of Ypsilanti, in which three men in a mental hospital all thought they were Jesus:

…imagine that when Schizophrenic A was confronted with the other Christs, he protested that he had special evidence it was truly him. In particular, the Archangel Gabriel had spoken to him and told him he was Jesus. Meanwhile, Schizophrenic B had seen a vision where the Holy Spirit descended into him in the form of a dove. Schizophrenic A laughs. “Anyone can hallucinate a dove. But archangels are perfectly trustworthy.” Schizophrenic B scoffs. “Hearing voices is a common schizophrenic symptom, but I actually saw the Spirit”. Clearly they still are not doing Outside View right.

But if you can’t trust your senses, you can’t trust anything. This gets us to radical skepticism a la Rene Descartes and David Hume, etc. See above remarks on pious Genesis scholars, etc. (Note: Phil Collins was their drummer. Har!)

And in particular, if you can’t trust your senses, you have no reason to believe that there are two other people hanging around near you who also think they’re Jesus. So you have no need to engage with the intellectual problem they pose. There is no intellectual problem they pose.

(I’ve included more on the Three Christs Of Ypsilanti at the end of this post.)

So overall, when SSC worries,

…half of people are wrong about the evolution-creation debate. Since I know I’m in a category, half of whom are wrong, I should assume there’s a 50-50 chance I’m wrong about evolution

…he’s fretting for no reason. Creationists have basically no evidence on their side. If they really are saying “People who are pious accept creationism” as evidence for creationism – I’ve never heard that one before – just point out that a person’s adherence to a religion has nothing to do with the soundness of their judgments about the factual topic of evolution. Things like junk DNA, the blind spot in the human eye, and bacteria developing antibiotic resistance are relevant evidence. Creationists’ opinions about these things are not evidence. Evolutionists’ opinions aren’t evidence either. Why even discuss people’s opinions as if they’re evidence?

It’s as if SSC is saying, “I am wearing a green sweater. But there’s a creationist wearing a green sweater too. So either way, half of all the people wearing green sweaters are wrong about creationism vs. evolution!” Um… what? This isn’t even a thing. And it’s just as relevant as saying, “A lot of creationists feel subjectively certain about creationism, just as I feel subjectively certain about evolution. So there’s a 50% chance that I’m wrong!” Dude, NO. Your evidence for evolution is not that you feel pretty certain about it. Your evidence is the fossil record, etc.

Indeed, this totally puts the cart before the horse. We feel pretty certain about evolution because of the evidence for it. The feeling of near-certainty is not itself the evidence!

In this sense, I think the Ypsilanti Jesus example, where all the evidence is “I just know,” really has drawn people off on a tangent about the outside view. It’s an unfortunate side detour, that has wasted the time of people like SSC and not really produced much else, other than that one semi-amusing blog post on LiveJournal.

More on the Three Christs Of Ypsilanti:

Another SSC quote:

The Three Christs Of Ypsilanti is a story about three schizophrenics who thought they were Jesus all ending up on the same psych ward. Each schizophrenic agreed that the other two were obviously delusional. But none of them could take the next step and agree they were delusional too… They should have said “At least 66% of people in this psych hospital who believe they’re Jesus are delusional. This suggests there’s a strong bias, like a psychotic illness, that pushes people to think they’re Jesus. I have no more or less evidence for my Jesus-ness than those people, so I should discount my apparent evidence – my strong feeling that I am Him – and go back to my prior that almost nobody is Jesus.”

Note it’s important that each one’s “evidence” for his being Jesus was entirely a mystic feeling that he was Jesus. But that’s not evidence. More on that in a second.

SSC also links to this sorta famous (in rationalist circles) piece about Jesus, which I linked to above:

The idea, if you don’t want to click through, is that Satan doesn’t bother trying to tempt Jesus with worldly power or whatever. He just says, “Look, dude, of all the people who think they’re Jesus, what are the odds that you’re actually Him?” I don’t buy this argument, because the entire assumption is that Jesus has some divine epistemological uber-magic that is a source of complete certainty. But anyway, in the story Jesus doesn’t fall for it; he just pushes Satan off a cliff. LOL. (Also, Jesus could simply work a miracle – say, levitating a mountain or whatever – to reassure Himself that he’s Him, granting the weird assumption that He’d need to re-assure Himself. And how could there be thousands of dudes thinking they’re Jesus while Jesus’s life is still going on? He has to enter the historical record first. Satan claims he’s showing Jesus the future, but why believe the Father of Lies? All right, whatever, getting off topic.) The point is, whatever you think of this story, a fundamental point within it is that Jesus’s only evidence for being Jesus is that he feels subjectively certain that he is. That’s also the case for the Three Christs of Ypsilanti; it is fundamental to both that the only evidence for Jesus-ness is “I have a special feeling.”

But DUDE. Our evidence for evolution is not that we have a special feeling about it. It’s the fossil record, etc., etc., etc.


Miscellany 5: Peak Miscellany?

1) Penetrating comment by Jim:

Roosh is the only Middle Easterner banned from Britain. They fear the truth more than they fear terrorists who drive trucks into nativity scenes.

2) Speaking of Jim’s blog, from a commenter at another post,

Deep State operatives are now in a prisoner’s dilemma.

Quite. The question is, as the walls close in on the seditious FBI agents and others, who will rat out whom first? Who will be the first to run to Trump or the public with more evidence of the corruption?

Whoever comes out of the cold first will be able to cut a deal. Those who don’t…

3) Circa February 5, 2018: WordPress’s official “Recommended Posts” feature has a new release by one Kathi S. Barton. The photo has two male chests and it’s described as “M/M LBGT Erotica Paranormal Romance.” In other words, it’s gay porn.

Update: It was STILL there on February 9! Nothing ever lingers that long, usually they only last a day! So not only did WordPress decide to make this a “Recommended Post,” someone at WP is actually futzing with their algorithm to keep gay porn on their first page of results! What the fuck!?

4) Huffington Post editor: Kill All Men!

The important thing is not to let this make us forget that leftists are all about peace and tolerance.

5) Speaking of the insane hatred in the modern Left, last summer I noted that if you go out of your way to reject civilized restraints in your political movement, “you’ll constantly be in conflict with your own so-called allies, your energy will be largely diverted to attacking them and defending yourself from their attacks, and overall you’ll doom yourself to an irrelevant strife-ridden hell of your own making.”

Scott Alexander also has noticed this obvious point (see above link), and now so has Sarah Hoyt. You might recall the recent imbroglio in which pink pussy hat marchers were forced by their own even-more-radical wing to abandon the pink pussy motif. The rationale was that not all women have pussies that are pink, and, even more insanely, “not all women have vaginas” (this last thing being about trannies). Hey guys? Yeah they do. If you don’t have a vagina you’re not a woman. Hoyt notes,

Alas, the pink hats having been declared hateful, there was no escape. Besides, a movement that attracts people who are offended by everything, anything and the vaguest things, is going to have members who are offended by everything.

Quite. Or to put it even more tersely,

A movement that attracts people who are offended by everything is going to have members who are offended by everything.

6) Ending on a positive note: Elon Musk launches a car into space, proves human race not out of it yet.

Via The Dark Herald.

Red Pill in Fiction: Kelley Armstrong’s Driven

Driven, by Kelley Armstong. Estrogen-infused cheese. Basic run-down: Fantasy fiction about werewolves, told in first person from the point of view of a “female alpha.” Intimations of love triangles (quadrangles, pentagons, hexagons) all over the place in the first few pages.

This is a fantasy novel, so we might expect the inevitable Prologue. But Armstrong, not one to do the bare minimum, surpasses the standard requirement with a two-part Prologue, gah!

Here we go.

The narrator wants what she doesn’t want. As is often true with women, the narrator, who is plainly a stand-in for the author, wants to dominate men. She wants to boss them around, have them obey her, etc., ’cause she’s such a fuckin’ tough guy. Of course, she also does NOT want that.

Now an observation on drama as it’s written by non-top-tier female authors: Women have nothing at stake. In anything. And so for them drama is simply a game, a game that one plays to relieve boredom. Unlike men, who will suffer reproductive death if they get into a fight with the wrong other man under the wrong circumstances (because they’ll die or be humiliated, and women don’t mate with humiliated men), there is simply nothing at stake for women. They plainly don’t generally even imagine the idea of there being something at stake. Thus the drama is pointless, it has no internal logic (it doesn’t need to have it, since it is not about anything); it veers from topic to topic at random, it contradicts itself, etc.

An example of this comes when, at the end of Ch 1, the son and daughter of the “female Alpha” (for fuck’s sake) are pressing to have their mother let them meet the Big Bad of the story (Prediction as of end of Chapter 1: Big Bad’s penis will be in the narrator’s vagina by the end of the book). After the kids argue with their mother for a page or so about why they should get to meet the Big Bad, the son says, as an additional argument, “He will also see that we are not intrigued by him.” Dude, you just spent a page avidly arguing to be allowed to meet him.

Why wasn’t the author bothered by the blatant contradiction here? Well, if drama, for females, is zero-stakes distraction from boredom, then there’s no particular reason it has to be internally coherent. “Yes it does!” you’ll say, if you’re a man or a reasonably intelligent woman. After all, how can there be any drama if the situation is utterly senseless? If it even contradicts itself? How can I be on the edge of my seat, how can I experience any emotional tension, if the ostensible tension can’t even decide what it is!?

Well, apparently not all minds see that problem, obvious though it is. The idea is to get your blood pumping with pointless emotional outbursts, not to make some sort of sense. Each moment is disconnected from all other moments, so that if two kids are intrigued by a man at one point in time, it matters not all that five seconds later they’re proclaiming, “We are not intrigued by him.” That’ll show him!

For any women reading this, a note: For men, the analysis of interactions that may involve conflict must actually make sense, since everything is potentially at stake, including one’s life. Strategy, tactics, understanding the enemy’s goals and beliefs to aid in the prediction of their moves… these are all not only a thing; they’re vital.

So the red pill’s presence here is not so much about the content of the scene, as about what it reveals about the female author’s attitude toward pointless posturing and incoherent drama. Here’s the relevant passage, which occurs at the end of Ch 1 (I’ve elided some text for brevity; you’re welcome). The narrator’s 9-year-old son is speaking about the Big Bad, Malcolm. It’s important to note here that the backstory is that Malcolm is a serial killer who’s also a werewolf.

“We want to meet Malcolm–”

A snort from the doorway. Kate [the narrator’s early-teens daughter] walked through, arms crossed almost exactly like her father’s, and the scowl on her face probably an exact mirror of my own. “No,” Kate said. “We don’t want to meet Malcolm. He’s a murdering psychopathic son of a beyotch. We know what Malcolm is. Which is exactly why we need to meet him. Look him in the eye and let him know if he so much as touches us, he’ll regret it.”

This statement is idiotic, and what the fuck is the point of it? First of all, a young teen female is not going to beat up one of the most violent and scary killers in the werewolf world. (Of course, he’s not actually that, since apparently any adult male werewolf can beat him up, as well as Our Heroine, an adult female (we also get this as backstory), but the author tells us he’s a horribly tough “murdering psychopathic” killer, and she plainly wants us to believe that.) In the context of this fictional world, the daughter’s statement is violently insane. It would be like your 10-year-old daughter saying, “I demand to meet Charles Manson so I can tell him that if he messes with me, he’ll regret it!” It’s not just that the statement is blitheringly insane; it’s that it’s so blitheringly insane that even a young, overly cocky kid wouldn’t say it.

Furthermore, maybe she means to convey, “If you mess with me, my Dad will kick your ass!” But there’s no reason for her to arrange a meeting to say that to the Big Bad. Indeed, such a message would be much more convincing if it actually comes from her Dad. Note we are not talking about a kid who accidentally bumps into the Big Bad, and in a surge of fear blurts, “If you mess with me, my Dad will kick your ass!” That would actually make sense. No, we’re talking about someone who is deliberately going out of her way to try to meet someone who can easily kill her, so she can deliver a ridiculous threatening message that might provoke him into attacking her, and which message would be better delivered by someone else anyway. The whole scene Makes. No. Fucking. Sense.

We left off here:

“Look him in the eye and let him know if he so much as touches us, he’ll regret it.”

As if to emphasize the retardation, the conversation continues,

“I think regret might be pushing it,” Logan said.

“I don’t.”

Wait, what? Is this girl in her early teens (as far as I can figure out) seriously saying she’s going to take down a serial killer? WTF? This would only make sense if the next sentence were, “And that’s when I realized I had to send my daughter into protective custody on the other side of the planet while we tried to find a medication that would cure her radical insanity.” Actually, what we get is this:

“I think regret might be pushing it,” Logan said.

“I don’t.”

Atalanta [the puppy] growled, as if in agreement.

Oh, so now their cute little puppy-doggy is going to beat up the 200-pound remorseless killer. Armstrong, FOR FUCK’S SAKE!

“The point,” Logan said, “is that by meeting him, we put a face and a scent to his name…

Yeah, so?

“…and he knows it.”

Yeah, so?

“He will also see that we are not intrigued by him…” which is why I’m persistently begging to meet him… “Nor are we afraid of him. Which isn’t to say we don’t know exactly how dangerous he is, but he doesn’t scare us.”

Which is why we’re so very desperate to tell him, “You don’t scare us!” Ya big ole meany!

An excellent event here would be if the narrator suddenly realized that her kids are too stupid to live, and killed them both on the spot. The pack shouldn’t waste resources on members who are only going to be a burden. As I said about another potential move in my review of Werlin’s Impossible, this would be great because no reader would be expecting it. And, while no sane human would behave that way, a werewolf might.

In response to her son’s “he doesn’t scare us,” the narrator ruminates,

He should, baby. That’s what I wanted to say, and yet Logan was right, in his oh-so-logical way.

WHAT!? We kids should meet a serial killer unnecessarily, and for no reason, get up in face and provoke him. This is described as “oh-so-logical”! What the fucking fuck!?

Here’s another example of self-contradiction destroying the drama: The author obviously wants us to experience dramatic tension regarding the re-admittance of the Big Bad, Malcom, into the Pack. But she states that her husband (Clay), another pack member (Jeremy), and she herself have all beaten him in a fight in the past!!! God, the fuck-wittery!

So what’s going on? Well, Armstrong wants the reader to be all like “Oh no! Don’t clutch this scary viper to your breast!” But he’ll be re-entering a pack in which three of the members have already kicked his ass! The author can’t resist indulging in a little grrrrrl power fantasy about how she’s so tough she beat up a guy almost everyone else is scared of. FFS, Armstrong. If you chance to read this: You must choose. You simply cannot have it both ways. This is why–painfully blunt criticism coming up–there is no critical praise on the back of the book. It’s because readers notice things like this. And professional reviewers are of course even more likely to notice.

Maybe this will help: A big part of any Art is making choices. You cannot have your heroine–and two others!–beat the snot out of the bad guy, and have the reader worrying about their safety in the bad guy’s presence. I don’t mean you shouldn’t, I mean you can’t. If you refuse to choose one of these, the book falls apart because nothing is believable at any level. We can suspend our disbelief to believe in werewolves. We cannot believe in werewolves who shudder with fear at a guy they’ve whupped before.

You could avoid the problem by getting off your lazy butt and changing the situation. E.g., your heroine beat the Big Bad in a fight five years ago, but since then he has been bitten by a radioactive mixed martial arts fighter and developed super skills. Or whatever. But you must provide a clear reason for the change in the situation.

Page 97: More of thing where women think they want to boss mean around. The narrator and her husband, Clay, are visiting the office of a person, Marsh, whom they don’t know, to ask him some questions about a person they’re trying to find. When Marsh finds out they’re werewolves he’s annoyed.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “We’re housebroken. Now sit.” [Absolutely outrageous. Note the deliberately provocative and RUDE behavior toward someone they’re never met before, and who has done them no wrong.]
“I –”
“Sit,” I said, pointing to the chair as Clay moved forward.
Marsh sat.

Oh, bullshit. What man would actually behave that way? What Marsh would actually do is kick them out of his office. And if they didn’t go voluntarily there’d be a fight. I said women don’t want to boss men around, though some think they do. They DO, however, like the idea of their man dominating other men. So that “Clay moved forward” and thus intimidated Marsh is a genuine fantasy: The author is fantasizing that HER man dominates other men.(*) Ugh.

(*) If you think I’m contradicting myself here about what women want/don’t want, see my comments in my post on Werlin’s Impossible: “We must say “No, that’s horseshit, women don’t really want that” about some of the novel’s aspects and “Yes, this is a woman revealing what women actually want” about other aspects. Isn’t this inconsistent? What’s the difference? Simple: Reality itself… We do not use a woman-authored text to figure out what women want (God, no). Rather, we use it to illustrate things we already know about women from observing reality.”

This point about females and intra-male violence is made at greater length by Whiskey here:

Women are obsessed with male status hierarchies.

Another example, in Ch 12. A male werewolf they have just joined up with is all entranced with the narrator’s female scent. (They’re all in wolf form at this point.) One of the narrator’s pack roughs up the newbie a little and the newbie waves off. This is doublehuff of ego airplane glue because her packmate is beating down a male from another pack, AND she herself is the cause of the conflict because she’s so astoundingly sexy. Barf. You guys should be glad I read this cheese so that you don’t have to.

One thing I’m not really conveying is the degree to which the outsider males are humiliated in these little scenes. Let me quote extensively from one of them to give the flavor. The setup is this: A member of an outside pack has found two of his relatives, in wolf form, dead in the woods. They were skinned and hung from a tree, so it was obviously murder. Someone is going after werewolves and this young werewolf has no one else to turn to, so he goes to get help from the narrator’s pack. Malcolm, a former outsider who was just brought into the pack in the last 48 hours or so, is brought along on their little investigation. In the presence of the dead, the narrator, and her husband Clay, Malcolm disses the dead, since they’re not members of his pack.

Clay hit him. It happened so fast I didn’t even see it coming. No growl of warning. No Snarl. Not even glare. One second, Clay was standing there, impassively listening. The next Malcolm was on the ground, rubbing his jaw, and Clay’s expression hadn’t changed.

Malcolm leaped up and rushed him. Clay feinted, grabbed him by the back of the jacket and slammed him into a tree, pinning him there.

“I put you down for disrespecting the Alpha,” he said. “This is for fighting back. I know it’s been a while, so here’s a reminder. I’m her enforcer. If I punish you, what do you do?” [The realistic response would be, “Kick your ass,” Malcolm said, as he elbowed Clay in the solar plexus. The actual answer:]

A moment of silence. Then Malcolm ground out between his teeth, “Take it.”


“I take it.”

He threw Malcolm aside.

Ick. It’s not enough that Clay beats Malcolm in a fight. He has to humiliate him in the most grindingly unpleasant way possible. Also, it’s not realistic that this supposedly amoral psychopathic killer would take this kind of treatment, but never mind that. We are well in to the realm of fantasy here, in more ways than one.

By the way, after this scene I reversed my prediction that Malcolm’s penis will be in the narrator’s vagina by the end of the book. Women aren’t attracted to men who are constantly getting dominated, let alone beaten up.

End of Ch 12, start of Ch 13: The same thing happens, but now after Malcolm, defeated, limps away from the victor (Clay), the victor and the narrator have sex. They change back to human form – they’re naked, natch – and she wraps her legs around him, talking about how he beat Malcolm down, then they fuck. In other words, “I’m so turned on that you humiliated that other male! Let’s now have sex!” Ugh! God! I thought I was red-pilled, but this little glimpse into female psychology is unpleasant even for me.

Well, that was all rather nasty, so let’s end on an amusing note.

After a book largely taken up with male-on-male violence in various forms, we get a hilarious blast of 8th-grade-girl chick crap toward the end, in Ch 20. The setup is that the narrator’s friend Vanessa has to make a terrible choice: Deciding whether or not to move in with her boyfriend! Oh no! The narrator and Vanessa debate this little dilemma for 600 pages. No, wait it just seems that long to this male reader. God, women love their trivial little made-up drama thingies. Anyway, here it is, very heavily excerpted (I don’t have the heart to inflict the whole thing on you; it actually does run three entire pages.)

“Nick asked me to move in with him.”

Pause for comparison here. The male version would be, Dude 1: “I’m moving in with that chick I’m banging.” Dude 2: “Okay, tell me the address so I can pick you up when we go to the game tomorrow.” End conversation. The female version…

“Nick asked me to move in with him.”

“And the estate?”

“That’s up to me. I can move in with him or we can get our own place. Adding another dilemma to the pile. [The “pile of dilemmas” now consists of two questions: Should we move in together, and if so where?] I valued my independence more than I valued living with a lover. Nick is different.”

“So you want to move in with him?”

“Hell, yes. Without question. Which scares the shit out of me.” [It’s so DRAMATIC!!!!!!!!]

“I know you’ve been cautious with Nick. He’s never been a model of monogamy.” [Heh. Excellent little social proof bit there.]

“Only because – before me – he never had a monogamous relationship last long enough. [Confirms social proof. Also note the “I’m special!” aside.] Moving in together takes it to a whole other level.”

“The problem is that for you, moving in says, ‘This is it.’ You’re acknowledging how you feel.”

Blah blah. After they dissect the question of whose emotions are what for another 17 pages, they eventually get around to ANOTHER topic of HOORAY, DRAMA!, which is how Nick’s kids will feel about Vanessa moving in with their Dad.

Our Heroine: “Which is the problem. It’s his home. It isn’t that you don’t want to move in. It’s that you feel you shouldn’t. It’s the Sorrentino estate, and it’s Pack territory. You’re fine with it. But will they be fine with having you there?”

She managed a weak smile. “Nailed it. I understand the territorial issue, but it’s more than that. I’m an interloper in every way.” [Thus my very presence there is bound to cause… DRAMA!!!]

Blah blah. This goes on for another ten years. Women’s ability to extract drama, no to CREATE drama out of nothing, never ceases to amaze me. “Should I move in with my boyfriend? Augh, the drama! So many questions! I need to debate this with my girlfriends for ten years first! It’s all so fraught – freighted, weighed down, like a freight train – with potential consequences and emotional thingies of emotionality! How will I react? How will my boyfriend react? How will the people he lives with react? How will the Trilateral Commission react? Will the Cato Institute write a position paper on it?! I sure hope so, because then there’d be more attention, and… DRAMA!!!”

What makes this whole scene especially funny is the fact that it comes after dozens of pages of murders – recall those two hanging werewolf corpses, etc. Who’s moving in together is not a dramatic topic. And the author doesn’t seem to have grasped then when your main characters have just barely escaped violent death, the question of who’s going to move in with whom is not even remotely interesting.

In summary, I give this book 8 out of 10 chunks of cheese.

Index page for my Red Pill in Fiction posts:

FISA Memo: FBI Lied to Obtain Wiretap Warrant on Trump Campaign

The just-released FISA memo can be read at innumerable links on the Net. (It’s only a few pages.) Here is one link:

The memo tells us this:

The FBI obtained a warrant under false pretenses to overturn the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election.

The FBI officials knew the allegations they used to get the warrant were at best unreliable, biased opposition research, and at worst total fabrications.

They knew the so-called Steele dossier was funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign, that is, by the political enemies of Trump. The FBI deliberately withheld this information from the FISA court when it asked the court for a surveillance warrant.

To surveil Trump, the FBI only needed to wiretap one member of the Trump campaign who would be communicating with Trump and other members of the campaign on a regular basis. The warrant for surveillance was for Carter Page, an advisor to the Trump campaign. Page communicated with people in the campaign, so all those people—including Donald Trump himself—had their communications heard by the FBI.

This happened in October 2016. The FBI’s hope was to obtain damaging information that could be used either to prevent Trump from being elected, or to have him impeached or distracted and politically hobbled if he won the election.

This is obvious because there was no legitimate basis for an investigation, as the FBI knew. And at least two FBI agents have said they wanted to keep Trump from being elected. At least one of those was participating in Mueller’s investigation until his anti-Trump statements became public. Additionally, then-FBI Director Comey protected Trump’s political opponent Hillary Clinton, even though she was known to have violated national security laws about the handling of classified information. Comey let her walk while his FBI was investigating her opponent, who was known to be innocent.

This is treason. Intelligence services conspired to, and attempted to, overturn the outcome of an American Presidential election.

The people involved should go to trial for treason, and if found guilty, should be subjected to the penalty the law provides for that crime.

Just release the goddam memo already

Trump, release the motherfucking memo. Enough of this “building up suspense” bullshit. If you’ve ever read a novel in which the author tried to drag out the suspense too long, you know there’s a “breaking point” after which the reader simply becomes bored.

It goes like this:

Footsteps were approaching the door… was it her hero? Or the killer, come to take his last revenge? She cowered in terror, desperately looking for a way out, but there was only one exit.

The footsteps drew closer…


You can keep this up for several sentences, always increasing the tension, but if you drag it on too long, the reader simply becomes irritated and bored. Imagine another ten pages of



Very quickly the tension is replaced by the first irritating stirrings of boredom. And the reader starts feeling angry at the author for ruining what could have been a good scene.

(For an excellent example of this, try the Harry Potter book with the werewolf dude. I don’t read these books, but I was in the room when my sister was reading this passage to her kids. Basically, there’s a long conversation in which Rowling tries to dial up the tension by not having a character make a revelation which is in his interest to reveal immediately. It’s something like “I, Sirius Black, am a werewolf!” or whatever. But the conversation goes something like this:

Harry: Why were you out that night running around?

Black: You have to understand how difficult my life is.

Harry: But why were you out that night running around?

Black: All my life I’ve been different from other people.

Harry: But why were you out that night running around?

Black: I’ve always been excluded, hunted, by those who don’t understand.

Harry: But why were you out that night running around?

Black: Can you have sympathy for me, Harry?

This shit goes on for literally pages. Just a little bit into it, you’re not thinking, “OMG, the tension is killing me!” You’re thinking, “J. K. Rowling is such a twat.” She won’t just have Black reveal the key fact, which he could do by just uttering one simple sentence. Plus, she’s an incompetent author, since she could have arranged for it to be too difficult for Black to reveal it by having his mouth be injured so he can’t speak or whatever. But she didn’t even bother, so she’s just being lazy, incredibly lazy. She envisions the reader desperately clutching the book, going “What will happen next!?” when in fact we’re yanked out of the story entirely, and thinking, “Jesus, just get on with it, Rowling!”)

Trump, you’ve dragged this memo thing on a little too long. But you’re still close to the optimal amount of tension, not too far beyond it. But there is the danger that this thing will be “yesterday’s news” by the time we see it. Don’t wait too long!

And the American people have the right to know what their government is doing.

Don’t overthink this. It’s not complicated. Release the motherfucking memo.