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Sturgeon's House


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Everything posted by Collimatrix

  1. Collimatrix

    "Pigs" Have A Hard Job

    The fact that the car drove for 18 miles after the driver even noticed proves that pistol has no stopping power.
  2. Collimatrix

    United States Gun Control Megathread

    Pictured, the Union being awesome:
  3. That is a fair and good question. My model is that Trump is an insurgent, populist candidate. His opposition is what could loosely be termed "the establishment," which consists more or less of the entire US government minus the military and some law enforcement. There are exceptions here; there are plenty of anti-Trump officers in the military, although his popularity with the enlisted is near-universal. There are probably also some anti-Trump law enforcement officers. I can't imagine that many senior FBI members are fans, for example. Trump's opposition also includes organizations that are not formally part of the US government, but work in concert with it so closely that they might as well be. These are organizations such as all accredited institutions of higher learning, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), most of the press, any respectable publications such as scientific journals or magazines that people read to look smart, like The Economist, and the trendy and cool part of the tech industry (e.g. Google and Facebook), which has been in bed with spooks and worse for at least the past ten years. Trump's base consists of an extremely ad-hoc coalition of evangelicals, manufacturing-sector union workers, certain sectors of industry but not others, nationalists, anti-immigration hardliners (who substantially overlap with the union workers for obvious economic reasons), the NRA (although they're not exactly in love with him), and various ideological cranks. Also, much was made of Trump's support among extremist racialists, but it's been pointed out before that those people are too rare to matter when it comes to counting votes. Think tanks, libertarians and churches can go either way, no way to safely generalize. However, Trump is extremely polarizing so there are relatively few people in the US who are entirely indifferent to his presidency. Trump has very few friends in the government, his base of support lies almost entirely outside of it. So he has to make frequent appeals to that base, and keep them excited and fired up otherwise his many enemies could dismantle his presidency. He is, again, so polarizing, that if Trump were to lose power, the results would probably be extremely painful and humiliating for him. Therefore, if Trump did anything to strongly alienate what little support he has in the government, I would be shocked and conclude he had lose his mind. For example, if he tried to win over socially liberal opponents and bolster some of his libertarian-leaning base by de-funding and publicly humiliating the DEA for the years of awful and pernicious shit they've done, I will conclude that he's nuts. It would make some people happy, but it does not fit into the model of a dispassionate and Machiavellian Trump that I entertain. The Trump I envision always puts practical concerns before ideological ones; he simply has too many enemies to do otherwise. If Trump were to concede on the border wall in any public way, I will conclude that he's mentally incompetent. This is not the same thing as not building the wall, although at this point I think he will. If Trump publicly says that, no, on second thought the wall is a stupid idea and he spoke to some economists at the Reason Institute and actually free trade and immigration is totally a good idea, he's fucking screwed up. A lot of Republican politicians have tried to make peace in the past by publicly sacrificing some previously held principle (c.f. Dubya's "I'm a uniter, not a divider.") Trump has so far not taken that bait, but if he does on the wall, I will have to conclude that everything he did heretofore was some sort of gigantic fluke. If he gets politically outmaneuvered and is unable to build the wall because he can't secure funding, that's different. If that happens, you'll know because he'll be screaming that the only reason there isn't a big, beautiful chunk of concrete standing proud above the Rio Grande is that the goddamn Democrats just couldn't get their act together. That is the tactic he's using now, but the Democrats have proven so feckless that I don't think they can deny him his wall in the long run. That's also why I disregard any piece that talks about how wrong Trump is on issue XYZ and he really needs to change his mind. For starters, nearly the entire media hates Trump and will publish any fool thing that paints him in a negative light. It's beyond parody at this point. Second, that's exactly the sort of bait that previous Republicans became notorious for chomping down on. Even if Trump actually is wrong on issue XYZ, he's maintaining the stance he has for a reason. He can't afford to break up his coalition by suddenly changing course. Even if an important part of his coalition really is wrong on issue XYZ (see DEA above). Similarly, in the international arena, if Trump were to start talking about how the Saudis are horrible allies really, and frankly they deserve to lose all US support and weapons sales, and if that results in them all being dragged out into the street and messily murdered so much the better, and then if he were to actually withdraw US support, I would conclude that Trump was crazy. If he were just to say it as a way to put pressure on the Saudis, and then squeeze them for something he wanted before going back to being friends, then that would be classic Trump. Again, abandoning the Saudis would make some people happy, but the Saudis make themselves too useful to Trump to just abandon like that, odious though they are. Particularly if you believe the rumors that MBS had his close relatives tortured, and then passed the juicy information about whom they were making campaign contributions to on to Trump. I don't know if I endorse that particular theory, but I suspect something like that did happen. Basically, if Trump were to do anything to attempt to win over detractors but at the expense of part of his base, I will become convinced he doesn't know what he's doing. If he says one thing and then does something that seems completely at odds with what he said, then I am not convinced that it is a sign of incompetence necessarily. Trump posturing just to put pressure on people I can buy. That's smart, in a cutthroat sort of way, and Trump is definitely cutthroat. Trump actively undermining his own support in any sort of attempt to appease or win over his opponents would genuinely surprise me. That isn't going to work, and he should know better. If Trump were to carelessly reveal what he actually believes in a way that alienated his base, I would consider that a mistake. How grave a mistake would depend on the circumstances. I have only a vague notion of what Trump actually believes or what his actual motivations are. But let's suppose he's actually a snobbish elitist who views most of his supporters as ignorant mud-yokels. Actually, I think it's pretty unlikely he thinks like that; he has trophy wives and gold-plated hair and everything. He's so nouveau riche it's painful to look at, and he probably thinks of himself as a man of the people, just rich thanks to hard work, talent and some luck. But for sake of argument. If he were to publicly indicate that he actually holds his supporters in contempt, that would convince me that he'd either gone senile or just gotten astronomically lucky thus far. Or let's suppose that Trump really is a white nationalist. Again, I'm having difficulty reconciling that idea with what I've seen, but for sake of argument. If he were to publicly disclose this, it would make a very small part of his base overjoyed and the majority of them disgusted. Pumping up a tiny portion of your base at the expense of the greater portion is just stupid politics. So if Trump has any wildly unpopular opinions that would drive away voters, he'll keep them private. That's what it would take. I would be looking for a large, unforced error that cost Trump his political base. If he says things that sound idiotic, that doesn't necessarily mean he's an idiot. He could be posturing to make his opponents spend money they don't have to, like he did in 2016 when he held rallies in states he had no hope of winning, but did anyway to get the Hillary campaign to waste more money on their safe states because her campaign and events were more expensive than his. If Trump says something that seems at odds with his previous stances, again, it's not necessarily a fuck-up. I think we can say in retrospect that his tweets about being willing to continue DACA were a ploy, and a very successful one at that. The ploy did make his base anxious, but only the most drama-prone actually split with him over it. As Trump took no concrete actions to actually reverse his position, the vast majority of his base were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and where rewarded by the conspicuous public humiliations that the Democrats suffered from the ploy. If Trump says something that is only dubiously in English and doesn't make any logical or semantic sense, that doesn't necessarily mean he's an idiot or that he's had a stroke. I mean, it could be, but it will be a while before we know because Trump says complete nonsense every once in a while. I am convinced that he does this for the sheer joy of watching people go ballistic on Twitter. If I could make thousands of people lose their shit just by typing "covfefe" with my thumbs, I can't imagine it's a vice I would or could resist.
  4. Collimatrix

    United States Gun Control Megathread

    Very hard to say. Typically, the police unions are very good at keeping bad cops from facing serious consequences. At worst they get paid suspension, and maybe shuffled to another job where they are less likely to cause problems. But if enough negative publicity can be generated, the union may decide it's not worth it and give him up to the howling mob. And if the mob howls loudly enough, the judge in charge of the case, who will probably have let plenty of people off for much worse in the past, may suddenly realize, though a process of completely objective logic and review of relevant precedent mind you, that this asshole deserves to rot.
  5. Collimatrix

    North Korea, you so crazy!

    I don't think it was "part of the plan" in the sense that Trump has a detailed vision of everything that will transpire in the next several months. This was improvisation, but Trump likes to improvise a lot. In fact, he seems most comfortable when he is just making it up as he goes along. His speeches read from a teleprompter were forgettable. His speeches when he is just saying crazy shit as it occurs to him are where all of his "wise" quotes come from. Like this: God help us, in ten years this will be taught in high schools as an example of incisive political rhetoric. In a way, it is. Look at how the crowd is going wild, even though the things Trump is saying are completely idiotic. I cannot emphasize this enough; this is a really stupid speech. But this is the difference between Trump and normal politicians; Trump has a lot of experience as an actor, and he can judge a crowd. He will figure out how to get into the heads of the crowd and excite them. He understands that the psychology of the crowd is not logical. It is based on feelings. He is saying words that are happy words, words that have positive connotations and associations in these people's minds, like "military," "veterans," "economy" and of course "winning." It does not matter that the way he has glued these words together sounds like it was written by a five year old. It is all based on Trump's (largely intuitive) understanding of human psychology, and this is a very active/reactive process. He is strongest when he can make up the words, the body language, et cetera as he goes along. He can gauge where the crowd is, adjust, and subtly push them to a state of excitement and even euphoria. I bet most of those people left the speech feeling very energized, and told their friends and family about how great a speaker Trump is. But they did not get into detailed discussions of what Trump's policy positions are, which is just as well because everything he had to say about policy positions was completely stupid. If you're thinking this sounds like a bizarre, postmodern deconstruction of Hitler, you're close. US political speaking takes a lot from the tradition of religious revival preaching from the 1820s-1840s. Travelling preachers would speak to crowds in a big tent in a sort of circus-like atmosphere. That is where the image of a Protestant preacher ranting about hellfire and brimstone comes from, and for a long time being good at this sort of speaking (really not formal speaking, more like a weird form of acting to excite the crowd) was a necessary skill for successful politicians. But many decades have passed, and most US politicians have become empty suits who lack this skill. Trump has it because of his experience as an actor. Trump actually has a detailed set of policy positions and theories, but he understands that a big crowd like this is not the time to reiterate Ross Perot's theories on the negative-sum nature of NAFTA. A big crowd is a chance to slowly build up the collective energy of the people and excite them by saying words like "proud!" and "ECONOMY!" and "MILITARY!" and "annex the Sudetenland!" "WINNING!!!" It is not logical at all, and if you read a transcript of the speeches you would think the man is senile because the words are just meaningless babble. It only makes sense if you see the video, and you can see how he can excite the crowd, and draw them to his side with his charming words of nonsense. The same logic applies to Trump's international negotiations. Trump does not see negotiations and deal-making as a logical process that is the outcome of two parties realizing they have common goals and interests and writing an agreement that guarantees maximum benefit for both parties. Trump also does not see the existing United States diplomatic apparatus as being very useful. He has not even tried to conceal his contempt for them; he thinks they are idiots who hide their incompetence behind big words and that he could do better. Scary thing is, he is likely right. I mean, look at this shit: US politicians were praising Ghaddafi right before they murdered him. The US State Department is chaotic evil. Anyone who rejects them will be called a dictator and bombed and undermined. Anyone who tries to play nice with them will be betrayed and impaled up the anus with a knife. It is my sincere hope that Trump will be able to change the direction of the State Department. If he works hard, he may be able to convert them to lawful evil. So Trump is going to do international negotiations in a similar fashion to how he works a crowd. Much of what he will say will seem blatantly inconsistent or illogical, and it will be, and it will seem like he is just making it up as he goes along, which he is. But that is how he did business negotiations, and he sees international diplomacy as business negotiations but between countries. He is using a similar approach with Kim Jong Un as he was using with the crowd. He is making up his actions as he goes along in order to get Kim Jong Un to be in a particular psychological state; one where Kim Jong Un wants to make a deal with the United States. So he is using psychological head games. Trump was not attached at all to the June 12 negotiation date. There are plenty of months to go before the US mid-term elections, after all. If the date slips, it is no downside to Trump. As long as the negotiations still take place, he looks good for the elections. Even if the talks don't lead to anything, it looks good. North Korea has been a persistent annoyance to the US political class for years, even though the existence of North Korea doesn't really affect day to day life in the USA at all. If Trump does anything at all with North Korea, he will be able to say that he has made more "progress" on the "North Korea problem" than any other politician. Indeed, if there are delays and the talks start right in November, that would be ideal, because the idea that Trump is "dealing with North Korea" will be fresh in the voter's minds. It would look bad if the talks don't happen at all; Trump will be seen as having failed. He would need to come up with a distraction (not too difficult for Trump, he will just tweet the magic word "covfefe" and the media will forget all about North Korea). But what would be much worse is if Kim Jong Un makes an agreement with Trump... and then backs out. Then the Democrats will say that Kim Jong Un tricked Trump, and that Trump just isn't smart enough to be president. It is much better for Trump to appear to have failed at this negotiation than for it to appear that Trump was fooled. But the best outcome of all is for Trump to actually be able to work out a deal where Kim Jong Un appears to peacefully step down. Then many Americans will have mind-blowing orgasms just from reading the news because Americans think that if any country is freed from an evil dictator, then that country will become just like the USA overnight. Realistically, if North Korea gets rid of its nuclear armament then it will probably become a buffer state with Chinese patronage, but most Americans will not figure this out in time, and they will go to the polls happily thinking of all the North Koreans who will become so much happier once their country becomes a clone of the USA. But for that to work Trump needs to get Kim Jong Un to think in terms of artificial scarcity. This is an old Capitalist advertiser's psychological trick. Trump sets up a date for negotiations (that actually he did not give a fuck about), and congratulates Kim Jong Un on taking steps forwards towards peace. Then, supposedly Kim Jong Un says some mean things about the United States. It does not matter what it is that offended Trump, it could be nothing. Trump then says the negotiations need to be postponed until Kim Jong Un behaves. Then maybe Trump does some little things to provoke Kim; maybe some military exercises or he has some aircraft overfly North Korea or he does a readiness exercise of US nuclear weapons... something to remind Kim Jong Un that Trump is strong and could have his country wiped out on a whim, and maybe to plant the idea that Trump is a little crazy and might attack just because his feelings are hurt. Trump hopes that Kim Jong Un will panic and go back to negotiations, and them Trump will say that he will be happy to resume negotiations, but Kim Jong Un needs to understand that because of his previous misbehavior, Trump cannot offer him as favorable a deal as he was ready to offer before. If this trick works, Kim Jong Un will be only too happy to comply because he is worried that if he provokes Trump again this cycle will repeat and he will either have to fight, or he will end up with an even worse deal the next time. This is exactly the same psychological trick as infomercials use when they say that the sham-wow is normally $29.99, but if you call in the next five minutes it will be only $19.99! The idea is to plant in the buyer's mind the idea that they commit now (before they have logically thought the whole thing through and realized that they do not need a sham-wow at all), they are getting a better deal! It's artificial scarcity. North Korea and the USA could, in truth, hammer out a negotiation at any time. But Trump needs to get Kim Jong Un to think that the possibility may be slipping away and he needs to commit now now now! This all sounds a little silly and made-up, and anything about psychology always sounds a little silly and made-up, but I think it can be proven. Henry Kissinger would advise Nixon to use similar Capitalist mind tricks. Because Henry Kissinger was from Germany, he had a compulsion to document these mind tricks in extreme detail and in triplicate. That is just how Germans are. If Trump ever needs to do negotiations with Angela Merkel he will probably bring a briefcase full of documentation and he will slowly re-arrange the pages so that they are out of order and she will agree to whatever he wants as long as he stops doing that. So insight into Capitalist mind tricks isn't just speculation, we actually have quite a bit of insight into how they are supposed to work because Henry Kissinger wrote them down. Trump is doing recognizably similar Capitalist mind tricks. It is also worth noting that Trump spent a fair amount of time hanging out with Richard Nixon.
  6. Collimatrix

    Forum Improvements and Changelog

    I thought I would put this where everyone could see it, since we've finally started doing meaningful changes to the forum, it would be good to document them.
  7. Collimatrix

    North Korea, you so crazy!

    I agree with Donward's take. This is Trump playing head games, which is something he is good at. Trump is trying to project the image that he's a crazy mofo who might just attack North Korea.
  8. So, I'm snowbound in a little motel in Rawlins, WY. It's a dinky, creaky old place with no internet, no running water, and it's built on an old Indian burial ground. Anyway, I was thinking about music. I listened to The Pierce's Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge on the way down here, end to end. Holy crap, this is a superb album. Allison and Catherine Pierce are both excellent singers with some really excellent harmonies (but not so often it gets dull). Instrumentation and melodies are varied too, but not so much it feels thrown together. And wow, the lyrics. The probity of the album's concept is immaculate. It oozes jealousy, loss, lust and toxic sexuality worthy of an opera. A taste:
  9. Collimatrix

    Tank Layout

    Walter dug up these diagrams, I know not where from: Very interesting, and you can see how much space the Soviet trick of turning the engine sideways saves.
  10. That's a good point. The only issue with a semi-rim is that it necessitates the use of a new bolt face for the AGL variant. Maybe it would have made more sense to use 23x152mmB ammunition as the starting point.
  11. Collimatrix

    Syrian conflict.

    Iraqi PM claims that the border with Syria is secure: I'm not sure what he means by this. Much of the Iraqi border areas of Syria are still held by rebels. Latest rumor is that the Tiger Forces are being re-deployed from Homs to the fight in the south along the Israeli/Jordanian border.
  12. Collimatrix

    Syrian conflict.

    Indeed. So, I get that someone disobeyed someone's honor or something. Blood must be drawn. I don't care, really, but please take it to PMs.
  13. Collimatrix

    Syrian conflict.

    I've got to say, an American and an Israeli both trying to claim the moral high ground in a thread about Syria...
  14. Collimatrix

    Tech Industry Fails

    Well done, Twitter.
  15. Google is well on the way to ruling the world. This does not mean that they don't make mistakes. We'll start with their messenger, which I greatly appreciated, but they did not. Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks so.
  16. Also, what is that automatic grenade launcher sitting to the side of the three-ammo-in-one belt? It isn't an AGS-30. Ammo looks different too.
  17. If it is semi-rimmed but the others are not, how does it fit into the common link? I'm pretty sure that the dummy cartridge on the left of the picture is 14.5x114mm. The proportions look about right, and all Russian ammunition of larger caliber is extensively crimped at the neck. Ironing out a 14.5mm cartridge would get you about 25mm. The brass AGL cartridge is also clearly a dummy. And it wouldn't have been too hard to make that necked-down 12.7-14.5mm wildcat either. This entire thing strikes me as the sort of thing that could be made easily and cheaply as a way to impress officials. Then the company could begin actually working on the concept once they secure funding.
  18. "Special armor?" It's all fucking NERA. Some models of T-72 had it. Merk IV's have it. Abramses have it.
  19. Collimatrix

    Bash the F-35 thred.

    You're on drugs, but here's some what-if for you.
  20. Presumably the ammo doesn't need to be re-qualified, surely that saves some time?
  21. Collimatrix

    Syrian conflict.

    In the ANNA News reels you can see that a small number of tanks, or in a few cases a tank and a shilka, are used with an infantry platoon as support. They're not sending in tanks alone in the cities like they were four years ago.
  22. Collimatrix

    Art Appreciation Thread

    Yep, the White forces defeated the communists in a decisive game of chess. Still better than most of the shit on AH.com.
  23. I am probably re-stating the obvious here, but this looks like an attempt to make an all-in-one heavy machine gun/light autocannon/grenade launcher. The round on the left looks like a dummy 14.5x114mm, the round in the middle looks like the same case, but necked down to 12.7mm, and the case on the right is a mock-up of a grenade cartridge. All three cases have the same rim and body dimensions, so they can all use the same links. I don't recognize the links, they don't look like links for a 23mm cannon or for a 14.5mm HMG.