The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Monday, April 20, 2015

Antifa guest-post at Jihadwatch

From Jihadwatch, The Daily Mail:

Gerry Gable, editor and publisher of anti-Fascist Searchlight magazine and leading expert on the extreme Right, who worked with the MoS on our investigation, said last night: ‘This is the biggest and most significant meeting of Holocaust deniers that Britain has ever seen. It is a very worrying development.’

The reason this comment is there at JW, is because the UK has let in a horde of foreigners, with their inflammatory comments against "zionists", despite that Her Majesty's Government recognises Israel's sovereignty; but it hasn't let in people who actually support said sovereignty, like Spencer. The Brits've even banned Geller. So Spencer's angle is, really, just to highlight the hypocrisy. Gable is an ally ... on that much.

Gable's an interesting guy. David Irving hates him (with good reason; Gable burgled his home). Gable also seems to be at loggerheads with other antifa outfits. He's a Zionist who is ambiguous about the EDL. He'd probably support a ban on Spencer. But Geller... not so sure.

posted by Zimri on 18:28 | link | 0 comments

Sunday, April 19, 2015

What did Scalzi know and when did he know it?

John Scalzi's Old Man's War was entered into consideration for a Hugo under conditions that, the Hugo committee now admit, flouted the rules.

Scalzi had the option of claiming that the Internet was young (ten years young in 2005 but hey) and that everyone was still blundering around, and of saying - yeah, I guess we all goofed. Well maybe. But if so, it's interesting to watch how Scalzi thrashes around and makes excuses. He doesn't sound contrite at all. Asking him to apologise for polluting the 2006 process is quite out of the question.

Given the bluster now, I have to assume that Scalzi knew that his situation was queer at the time. Back in January 2006, he floated some unease that they might nominate a different six-year-old work, Agent to the Stars. But now I'm seeing the guy do a lot of deflection. So, I suspect deliberate sleight-of-hand, on OMW's behalf.

posted by Zimri on 11:34 | link | 0 comments

Backdated material as protest-vote


The Worldcon can rule, if it pleases, that pre-posted material be considered; and that the backdated work with the most votes get a nomination-slot. (Preferably only one would get this form of "nomination", so that the ballots aren't stuffed every year with Golden Age zombies.)

In this form, the chosen zombie would become a pointed form of "no award", delivered to the sort of book that those voters wish had been on the slate. Suppose for the 2001 slate I had written in, say, Dune. Or Ender's Game for 2013.

posted by Zimri on 11:00 | link | 0 comments

The 2006 Hugo award for best-novel*

Over 2002, one John Scalzi serialised a sci-fi book on his website: Old Man's War. In 2005, the publisher Tor picked it up. In that form it was in 2006 nominated for a Hugo. (This is an award which the Sasquan / Worldcon put out every year. It's kind of a big deal.) The nomination was accepted as valid, and - when Neil Gaiman bowed out - OMW entered the ballot.

It is standard among publishers of peer-reviewed journals, at least, that they don't publish stuff that got published already. For awards of the best book in a given year, the awarders prefer that the book had actually come out in that year. Such rules are typically interpreted such that webpage-publishing counts as publishing. In effect, OMW had its shot in 2002 / 2003, and didn't get a nomination then. So it can't go through the editors and get a new shot, now. And so we find here; the rules in effect 2006 were, I believe, in Article 3 of the Constitution of the World Science Fiction Society, September 1999:

  • 3.2.1: Unless otherwise specified, Hugo Awards are given for work in the field of science fiction or fantasy appearing for the first time during the previous calendar year.
  • 3.2.3: Publication date, or cover date in the case of a dated periodical, takes precedence over copyright date.
  • 3.4: In the event that a potential Hugo Award nominee receives extremely limited distribution in the year of its first publication or presentation, its eligibility may be extended for an additional year by a three fourths (3/4) vote of the intervening Business Meeting of WSFS.

To that, one might suggest that a crisis was averted by the simple fact that, hey, OMW didn't win; but - well, keep reading. I have to make a lemma (er, digression) first though.

John Wright this year has a similarly pre-posted story which the Worldcon has now ruled unqualified. Vox Day disagrees with the decision and claims precedent: Card's Ender's Game and Herbert's Dune were both shortstories, both became novels, both novels are classics and both got awarded in 1986 and 1966 respectively. I propose (as lemma) that Vox is wrong for 2014 and that the WSFS was wrong for 2006. I am open to arguments that Ender's Game, had it come out in 2006, would be disqualified as well. Dune is a more difficult call, given how much else was added to it on its way to becoming what it is. OMW, for its part, didn't take on nearly as much redaction as Ender's Game took let alone Dune. But anyway, the 1974 Constitution (Article 2 being relevant here) wasn't as clear as was the 1999, so - past, different country, etc etc. Based on the rules of 1986, Card's Hugo rests free of an asterisk.

More to the point the Sasquan guys didn't tell the voters about how the book's backstory conflicted with the Hugo's own rules. So, those voters who went for OMW at the time were not, in the main, protesting those rules. They might not have known that the book belonged in an earlier slate. Those voters were duped. By accident, perhaps. Either way if they had known that this choice was tainted, they likely would have voted for someone else. Perhaps for the eventual winner, which was Robert Charles Wilson's Spin (also Tor). But perhaps for Charles Stross's Accelerando. Perhaps for Noah Ward after all. We just don't know.

And that means that Wilson's Hugo has a fat ugly asterisk pasted on it.

posted by Zimri on 10:52 | link | 0 comments

Thursday, April 16, 2015

More retractions

The novel Terms of Enlistment is a lot like Old Man's War.

Each novel worshipped at the altar of Heinlein. And the author of each has turned around and spat upon the genre's fanbase:

My withdrawal has nothing to do with Larry Correia or Brad Torgersen. I don’t know Brad personally, but Larry is a long-time online acquaintance and friend. We’ve known each other since before our writing days. I have no issue with Larry or the Sad Puppies. I’m pulling out of the Hugo process solely because Vox Day also included me on his “Rabid Puppies” slate, and his RP crowd provided the necessary weight to the ballot to put me on the shortlist. I think Vox Day is a shitbag of the first order, and I don’t want any association with him, especially not a Hugo nomination made possible by his followers being the deciding factor. That stench don’t wash off.

Yeah, there's an apology... to one guy. It was a very narrow apology to that one guy. That one guy has accepted it. I'm still waiting for my apology.

If he even wants to give one. Since he's already deemed me a stench that don’t wash off.

UPDATE 4/17: Amazon saw fit to delete my comment appended TO MY OWN REVIEW. Which comment - after noting the Puppies controversy - made clear that I had no intention of changing the text of said review, nor of altering the rating I'd given it. I don't know why the comment got the eraser, but I can think of one possible excuse: quoting Kloos's own words. As you can read above, those words contained an obscenity.

At this point, I'm beyond caring. Kloos's book wasn't that good and it wasn't that important - I did him a favour by reviewing it when I did. I also have to consider Kloos's own fine example - when caught in a controversy, just walk away. So I've decided to delete my review from Amazon.

posted by Zimri on 20:02 | link | 0 comments

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Upload #110 - feast of crows

Back in 21 September 2014 I had de-linked "Solomon's Revenge" and "Reformer from Pharaoh's Family" because their content was going to be in Throne of Glass. Not so much, now. I've put those essays back up here, perhaps with better arguments in "Reformer"'s case.

On a less defeatist note, "Islamic Ethics" was basically incomplete before. I've gotten a much better handle on its topic sura 35; I see it as revolutionary, so aligned with sura 28. Also "Interceding with God" on sura 39 is in a better state now, definitely aligned with sura 28 - in fact 39 quotes from 28. (Found this out from Sale's translation-with-commentary, back in 1734. A long time ago... so, I really should have known better.)


posted by Zimri on 18:26 | link | 0 comments

Monday, April 06, 2015

Jonah Goldberg: fan of the state of emergency

We knew that Jonah Goldberg didn't really mean any of that crap he wrote in Liberal Fascism when he didn't resign from National Review in support of John Derbyshire. Here, he proves it again:

And third, substantively saying the Civil Rights acts were unnecessary is sort of like saying to someone who escaped a burning building: “You, know, you really didn’t have to throw that chair through the plate-glass window to get out.” In other words, it treats an extremely exigent moment in American history as if it were amenable to solutions spit-balled in an endless college seminar.

It was fine to blow apart the Constitution, and to institute a racial-caste society on blacks' behalf; because The World Can't Wait. And you shouldn't mention it because feelbad.

TL;DR on the rest of Goldberg's column. I tried reading further but he was just renegotiating the price, to paraphrase Churchill.

UPDATE 4/8 - Not a lot of self-awareness at NRO.

posted by Zimri on 20:52 | link | 0 comments

Defend Christian martyrs - whut

Reuters, idiotically, has the Pope calling to defend Christian martyrs. Think about that for a moment. Reuters needs to think about that too, and change their headline.

I'm not saying that the Pope has crowned himself in glory either. He's not called out those who have done these crimes.

posted by Zimri on 20:37 | link | 0 comments

So much for all that

I lost my old IMG files when Yahoo blasted my SBCGlobal server. So I'll try this on Google.

As you know, I like computer games, and I've tried to keep what I'd bought. One of these vintage games was/is Grim Fandango. Every time I'd bought a new computer, I installed the software on it. Heck I dragged the DVDs all the way here to Colorado and installed the thing on this machine over here.

So you can imagine that I was... a little disappointed at Tim Schafer's recent comments. I was going to snail-mail the intact DVDs back to him. But he doesn't have an easily-accessible mail addy. I then figured it was too much like hard work to find one, so:

As an aside, I still can't find that last HoD logo at because AT&T have mostly locked out those old pages from Wayback. But then, it never was all that great; graphic-design, as you ALSO know, isn't my thing. So I've put up a placeholder title-splash which is, at least, better than the placeholder I'd had here since 2011. The font is Wizzta 1.3; it's pretty good.

Next stop: Far Cry 4. 625 3rd Street, San Francisco, CA 94107.

posted by Zimri on 20:11 | link | 0 comments

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Throne of Glass is down for a bit

Throne of Glass hasn't been selling (whatever version you call it). So I need to rethink it.

The (real) second-edition will be more-focused, shorter, and cheaper; I'm also purging that "Algerian" Microsoft font from the front cover. The fat to be trimmed will be from the appendices for the most part.

posted by Zimri on 18:02 | link | 0 comments

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Radishes and rabbits

A few weeks ago, I ran across the meme-generator White Rabbit Radio, which panders to white fans of the Nazi Holocaust.

I say this because their logo has the Schutzstaffel's lightning-bolt logo deep in their rabbity eye-pupils. This symbolism is even less subtle than is that in the mulatto Frenchman's quenelle. But anyway, despite all that, I gave the Radio a hearing. Because - well, first, I'll admit, I was bored. But I did find that some of the non-Nazi memes deserve a hearing, starting with that famous "anti-racist is anti-white".

One meme over there was more complex than some of the others. In it, Adolf Hitler had been brought back to life and claimed he had foresworn his past misdeeds. The old villain "proved" this by moving straight to Israel... wherein he instituted Diversity. Israel, naturally, swiftly became a hellhole entirely hostile to the Tribe(s) - starting with observant Jews. The subtext is that Israelis know exactly what Diversity is and wouldn't ever allow it there. Therefore, Jews who pretend Israel as their homeland cannot deny homelands to other deserving peoples; like to, oh, white peoples.

It is possible that the Radio had intended just to troll the Jews and to stroke-off those fanboys of the SS who make up the Radio's audience.

But the Radio does more than that. The Israelis in the cartoon short never were very liberal; they spend most of their energies earnestly explaining to Hitler what his policies will mean for their nation. At least the Zionists here don't really deserve what they got; and the Hitler here comes off as a scheming hypocrite. I could see something like this coming from a conservative Jew as a warning to his liberal colleagues.

Other nationalists have noted that there exists a sharp break in Jewry between the pretend-universalist Diaspora and the nationalist Israel. And I think they've also noted that it might be worth the nationalists' while to take note of this:

Today, the slogan “Open Borders for Israel” is a way to point out the naked nationalist double standard and the stark existence of Jewish privilege. A decade from now, “Open Borders for Israel” may be policy. Will this somehow improve our own situation?

From a nationalist perspective it's our own situation which must be paramount; it's our own right to exist that must be asserted. SS-chic, as we find in the Radio - and in the "Daily Stormer" blog for that matter - focuses on the situation of others; it denies the rights of others to exist. The Radio's whole argument is "why one and not the other". Well... why, if "not the other" is all one can think of as a public emblem, should anyone support the one?

posted by Zimri on 18:53 | link | 0 comments

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Don't nominate a governor to lead the GOP

Any State governor currently running for office is neglecting his State. He might be talking a big game about Federalism, but if he's running for the office of Lord Of The Seven Kingdoms then he doesn't mean it.

Popular and powerful governors do have a way out: to seek out both like-minded governors and like-minded officials at the county-level within states like Colorado. This is Federalism turned against DC (and against Hickenlooper). This seems a more consistent way to preserve your state's interests and other states' interests.

So don't vote for Jindal. Don't vote for Walker. Don't vote for Perry.

posted by Zimri on 17:40 | link | 0 comments

Monday, March 16, 2015

How to rip text from a TRS-80 DSK image

I've let out here and there, on this blog, that before I moved here I owned a TRS-80 Color Computer and a lot of old magazines. I managed to save some of the product. I've mentioned TIMPIST; there's more where that came from.

Bad news: It was all locked away on stuff I couldn't access easily. Good news: Last night I spent some hours figuring out how to get at it.

So. Say you've inherited a collection of .BAS files on a .DSK image, and you want to read 'em in a text editor. You could, I guess, read the files straight off the .BAS with Pilot352's CoCoDSK viewer. Problem with that is that everything in the DSK's likely all "tokenised". That means that the original CoCo has helpfully (for the CoCo) turned the program's BASIC words like "DRAW" and "PLAY" into single-character tokens. This saves space on the disk, and the computer likes it; but you don't want to put up with that - you're a human.

I haven't yet found a shortest-way (heh) to render .BAS on .DSK to text. Until we get that, here's what to do instead: load up and save that .BAS file again, this time as ASCII. Pilot352 says his app works great at reading ASCII and, despite some weirdness in the app, he's more right than not.

If you can boot up your CoCo in tandem with your PC, bully for you, but that won't work for everyone. For the rest of us there's a solution: emulators. Personally I use Xroar. You will, also, need to get your old CoCo's ROM onto the Xroar folder on your PC - and said CoCo's DOS ROM. There will likely be three files you'll need for that: the normal BASIC, the extended BASIC and also the DOS. There are ways of ripping all this from your CoCo; once you've done that, at least you won't have to do it twice. Others can try the Color Computer Archive. (I am assuming for the latter that you had once owned a legal CoCo, and simply left it in an attic in an old house or something.)

When you have the files in gear - say you had a CoCo 64 - create a batch file with this in it:

xroar -vo sdl -machine cocous -bas color64bas.rom -extbas color64extbas.rom -cart rsdos -dos disk10.rom -ram 64 -kbd-translate

Now run Xroar. Oops! It probably won't work. So run Xroar by way of that batch file. You SHOULD get that lovely green screen. Now mount the .dsk as a disk (Insert Disk in Xroar); remember to make it write-enable and write-back. You can now go to your green screen and "DIR" the disk; and - more to the point - you can "LOAD" the .BAS file you want. "LIST" it to make sure: woot! detokened! Now, "SAVE X.ASC, A" to get that thing into ASCII. When you exit this screen, the .DSK should be updated with the new ASCII file. Load up CoCoDSK, read it in, and you'll have your detokenised ASCII right there in the window.

posted by Zimri on 19:28 | link | 0 comments

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Onion pays homage to Terry Pratchett

Doctors in charge of providing ongoing medical care for Terry Pratchett announced Monday that the former author—whose mental and physical health have deteriorated since he was first diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in December 2007—has entered a critical state of rapid decline, causing his condition to be "even more hilarious" than before.

...His face betraying genuine emotion, Wachter then related several side-splitting episodes of recent Pratchett senility, including the former author's scrubbing his face and hands with scrambled eggs, his insistence that his table lamp had become pregnant, and his increasingly vehement demands to play "Mr. Horsey" with medical attendants.

Read the whole thing.

posted by Zimri on 19:39 | link | 0 comments

Upload #109 - setting boundaries

'Tis now time to disclose my thoughts on sura 6. This is another rummage through ye olde back-catalog ... a VERY long time in coming (perhaps a decade). For this, I had identified two chains of argument whose links had to be forged before I could harness them.

The first chain deals with the status of the Qur'an and of its suras as part of the Abrahamic Book. It is probably familiar to you; said chain has been hammered out in several of the ongoing "Upload" posts. The two links here are those essays about Uthman's mushaf: the sequence of 17 > 6 > 4 ("Muhkam of the Furqan Wasiya"), and Uthman's role in collecting suras like especially 17 ("Martyr for the Book"). Also in 2008 I'd whipped up a few words about the disputes over whether sura 6 should be split between vv. 91 and 92; this went into "The Scriptures of the Women", really as a placeholder for this project. And the recent "Parodies" had an "appendix" on Uthman's belief in Q. 6:1-91's Abraham, and on how he used it.

Meanwhile I'd pulled "Muhkam" off my site. It stayed off for two and a half years. So, that was annoying.

My other chain of argument is shorter. This deals with sura 6's catalog of outsiders. These included Peoples of the Book, but not exclusively. Some of these OTHER peoples had attributes that looked Hindu to me, or at least (H)indo-Aryan. So, when did the Arabs first meet the guys in question? Qutayba bin Said, sure; but that's much later than this sura.

Again, here I didn't have enough information. I'd tried to figure out the borderlands periodically since 2011: "Ghazwat", "Embargo Against The Turks" and "Return of the Shah". But I could apply these results only to the 720s AD. The information I needed for the 650s, I've just learnt, had been published in the meantime: Kevin van Bladel, "The Bactrian Background of the Barmakids", ed. Anna Akasoy, Charles Burnett, Ronit Yoeli­Tlalim, Islam and Tibet - Interactions along the Musk Routes (Ashgate, 2011), 3.43-88. Also I didn't want to post a standalone project that didn't affect any other projects here.

Here are the new projects, then. First: "The Turkish-Islamic Frontier", which deals with the Aryan para-Hindus between the Arabs and the Turks. Second, the big one: "The Addition of the Book", pinpointing sura 6 to the earliest 30s / 650s. Third: the extranea are now purged from "Parodies" and "Women". I'd also picked up some other minor fixes here and there.


posted by Zimri on 16:41 | link | 0 comments

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