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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later.Support Elizabeth on Patreon.

16 Comments

  1. BonobosOnTheBay
    August 27, 2016 @ 5:12 pm

    I was first introduced to you when a friend of mine lent me your book after reading it I immediately fell in love with your style. Yet again you demonstrate why you are my favorite rationalist writer.

    Reply

    • Chicanery
      August 28, 2016 @ 1:26 am

      Phil is a Marxist, occultist, arguably postmodernist writer. Not a rationalist. I’m surprised you came to the conclusion he was.

      BTW, Phil, when I clicked reply it gave me Sean Dillon’s details instead of my own.

      Reply

      • BonobosOnTheBay
        August 28, 2016 @ 2:26 pm

        When I say rationalist I mean like, “internet rationalist” or something. Not like classical (decarte, kant etc…) rationalist.

        Reply

        • Elizabeth Sandifer
          August 28, 2016 @ 2:43 pm

          I admit, I’m still a bit bemused by the description, since Neoreaction a Basilisk is pretty harshly dismissive of Yudkowskian rationalism, but one doesn’t get to pick one’s own literary movement, so if my brand of occultism and Marxism-influenced cultural criticism strikes you as fitting in with that movement, well, I’m just glad to be one of your favorites. 🙂

          Reply

          • David Gerard
            August 28, 2016 @ 4:00 pm

            well, everything else in “rationalist fiction” is better-written than HPMOR *, so this would mean you’ve come up with something in rationalist nonfiction that’s better than everything presently in the field. Not that that’s hard.

            • except “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Optimal”, which is utterly the author’s Magical Realm dressed in LessWrong tropes. The horror, the horror.

          • Ezekiel Davis
            September 3, 2016 @ 8:06 pm

            (I hope this isn’t too late to get an discussion…call me a bit shy to comment in a new space)

            I can agree with most of this. I’d tried out HPMOR a while back and back out after a couple chapters. All the others i tried within that “genre” we’re better at keeping me engaged

            However i disagree with your characterization of Friendship is Optimal. The author of it in his afterword(Link if you’re interested:http://www.fimfiction.net/story/62074/13/friendship-is-optimal/authors-afterword) seems to have the intent of preaching to the masses of the danger of screwing up “FAI” by way of ponies.

            Granted I think I can see where you’re coming from….the fact he finds a world in which we turn into girl toys as “Mostly right” can be weird and there’s some odd sexual stuff in the text that can certainly be criticized …but it’s doesn’t really look like an excuse for the author to indulge in whatever gets his rock off.

            And to be fair it is fetishism in the “Technofetishism” Sense of the term..and the other stories in that area may count. Hell
            Caelum Est Conterrens Translates into something similar to NAB’s description of Eroticzation.

          • David Gerard
            September 5, 2016 @ 1:14 pm

            No, it’s blatantly Magical Realm, and it’s really obvious that, whatever the author thinks or claims he’s doing, the driving motivation is to write about sex with MLP ponies in simulated reality. Nothing in the story makes sense (even less sense) without that. With a bit of Dominatrix CelestAI forcing the subjects into it. It’s a pretty stereotypical example of Magical Realm fanfic.

          • Ezekiel Davis
            September 5, 2016 @ 8:52 pm

            It seems obvious to you but on my end this is the first time i’m hearing of this. A bit odd that the people i’ve seen talk about it online seem to not touch those parts but that’s partially why i’m here.

            The parts you find that don’t make sense probably don’t on my end too. However i don’t see how it leads to the conclusion about the driving motivation. I guess i’m biased against text-based assertion of the author.

            Thing is …if you don’t want to go deeper into it that’s fine. The story will still suck if it was a purely AI horror story or excuse for some fetish underneath it. There’s better stories on both those ends. Defending fanfic even from characterization i don’t agree with isn’t something i put much value in. Especially when the enjoyment i get is from laughing at it.

            (Though if the latter is the case it will probably still be better than the wotch,)

      • Chris C
        August 28, 2016 @ 5:45 pm

        I think the fundamental reason someone might think of Phil as ‘a rationalist writer’, despite his very good cause for not associating with that questionable moniker, is that he’s adept at calmly pointing out where other people have spoken absolute bullshit.

        Reply

  2. Eve Schmitt
    August 27, 2016 @ 6:40 pm

    “Archiving video games isn’t important anyway.”

    Says a bunch of gamers.

    If I hadn’t read everything before that part, I would have been very confused as to why people who play video games aren’t interested in seeing their favorite artistic medium preserved.

    Apparently the nihilism of GamerGate devours even the basis of its own existence.

    Reply

  3. Desdemona.GC
    August 28, 2016 @ 6:00 am

    When Vox Day says ‘we don’t care.’ He’s echoing the sound I hear from, well, everyone I know. But not in the way he means it.

    We have four sons, six, fifteen, eighteen and twenty-one; all gamers to some extent (although the six-year-old only cares about catching Pokemon and the results of cross breeding in Monster Legends), and none of them care a toss for #gamergate. It’s a non-event. I have even quizzed them about it, as I enjoy following a good SJW vs. Alt Right stoush on line as passing entertainment and wondered if they had heard anything of interest. You know, to bond with the young’uns.

    None of them know who Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkeesian, Brianna Wu, et al. are… nor had they heard of Vox Day, Sargon, Milo and Adam, or the Internet Aristocrat. And they didn’t care. I probed further over a few weeks and none of their circle of friends, college friends, or work mates seems to know in any detail. A small sample, I know, but it’s all I got time for.

    The most reasoned response I got was from my eighteen-year-old’s girlfriend, ‘Some idiots arguing about some feminism shit online, I think.’ followed by a shrug as she got back to kicking his ass in C.O.D. (let me tell you that burns him up, but strangely enough doesn’t end their relationship). She’d heard about gamergate in a college lecture, but it didn’t sound like something she would be interested in.

    None of them read any gamer press. NONE. Not one of them buys a physical magazine of any description, nor reads any online reviews or gamer sites. It’s all word of mouth, trial and error. And youtube players with games given to them by the manufacturers to promote along with their Loot Crate! There’s some ethical media for ya.

    Does any of it really matter? I’m genuinely asking, because it sounds like another internet storm in an echo chamber.

    Reply

    • Luca
      August 28, 2016 @ 6:17 am

      Well, of course it matters, the harrassment these women are facing is very real and terrible, even if most people haven’t heard about it. And it absolutely affects women working in the industry, whether they are developers or journalists. The idea that just because it’s happening online that means it’s not real is just another illusion.

      Reply

      • Elizabeth Sandifer
        August 28, 2016 @ 2:49 pm

        Yeah. I think I answer this question pretty directly. No, literally none of their points or claims matter, because it’s just a fractal of lies and bullshits. And yet the harm they’ve caused is vast and immeasurable.

        Reply

  4. mr_mond
    August 28, 2016 @ 7:46 am

    Brilliant essay. Thank you.

    Reply

  5. ajr82
    August 29, 2016 @ 2:48 pm

    Really enjoyed this one, thanks! Have you Jay Allen’s piece on chan culture at http://boingboing.net/2014/12/31/how-imageboard-culture-shaped.html ? It seems to fit in with quite a bit of what you’re saying in this one.

    Reply

  6. taiey
    August 31, 2016 @ 3:57 am

    “Low-affect, grumpy, perpetually fed up and tired.”

    …so, Vivian Jones has depression.

    Reply

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