Thursday, September 17, 2020

PC cripples technological progress

The unhinged extreme left is ruining the fundamental Western values: freedom, democracy, nation states, family, natural roles of sexes, control of the traditional cultures over territories, integrity of the scientific research, cultural heritage, the historical truth, moral values rooted in the Judeo-Christian religions and the Greco-Roman civilization, and many other things.

These pernicious trends are mostly promoted by "people working in certain convenient jobs" such as education and media (jobs that are subsidized and/or detached from the broader economy – where the employees do well when everyone else is in trouble which really means that the inkspillers and NGO members and others are parasites, not constructive members of the whole) but it is easy to see that the insanity is penetrating to most other jobs and industries, too.

Managements of corporations are increasingly turning into despicable pußies serving far left perverts. But there is still some engine beneath all these things that allows the society operate and the science and technology to advance, right? Well, only to some (shrinking) extent because the technological progress is being undermined by the SJW junk, too. I want to use a seemingly apolitical fact – the fact that the Czech Škoda Enyaq SUV was embraced with far more enthusiasm than other cars based on the Volkswagen Group's MEB brand – and argue that basically everything about the superiority is political in character. And this political disadvantage of the VW brand cars is a prototype of the gradual sublimation of the Western industrial supremacy in general.

OK, let me start by assuming that you understand that for 1000 years, Czechia has been a full-blown part of the Western Europe, an autonomous kingdom within the Holy Roman Empire (later called HRE of the German Nation), the entity that Hitler considered the "First Reich". In 1806, that outdated confederacy was formally dissolved (thanks, Napoleon) but already before that, since 1526, Czechia was pretty much an integral part of Greater Austria (its Western part since the 1867 compromise with Hungary), also a "Western country", where it belonged up to 1918. This sentence is a placeholder for the reminder that you should learn something about the Czech and Czechoslovak history and their Western character.

Fine, in 1869, Czech industrialist (with some training from German-speaking technical schools) Emil Škoda [the surname means the damage or the pity] bought a factory founded in 1859 and quickly turned it into a huge company here in Pilsen that became the largest factory in Austria-Hungary. Heavy machinery, guns, tanks, tramcars, trains, machinery in nuclear power plants etc. In 1925, the Škoda company (now in Czechoslovakia) bought the carmaker Laurin & Klement, see the 20-minute-long Škoda Story for a cute short history of the carmaker, after the carmaker founded in 1895 (as a bike company) faced some trouble due to a fire and other events. (There are many great facts there, the statement at 6:54 that the Luftwaffe bombed the Škoda companies in April 1945 is of course a ludicrous error. The Nazis were still firmly in control of Bohemia and the bombardment was done by Britons, Americans, and also Russians at the end of the war.)

All big companies were nationalized during communism (well, some of them already in 1945) and Škoda Works (in Pilsen, tramcars etc.) was separated from Škoda Auto (in Mladá Boleslav). The East-West technological gap became increasingly clear and Škoda cars became the primary inspiration for the British car jokes of the 1980s. But you know, in the Soviet bloc, it was only Škoda that could compete with the Western cars at all (see more comments about the quality of Czechoslovak communist cars). With hindsight, it's agreed that the cars were better than they were painted. And many pundits agree that during communism, Škoda still displayed some "ingenuity of the golden little Czech hands on budget". Many of the cars were still "cool", were winning on the rally circuit 17 times in a row, and other things.

Fine, soon after communism fell, the Volkswagen Group took Škoda Auto and stopped the path towards oblivion (other, seemingly similar Czech brands, were less lucky). For some two decades, Škoda Auto was supposed to produce cheaper versions of the VW brand cars, exploiting the VW Group technologies and a cheaper labor force in Czechia and perhaps Slovakia. I think that since about 2012, it was the case that the Škoda cars were actually better than the VW and Seat counterparts. This was counterintuitive, unexpected by/for many, and contradicting the egos of some VW managers and their deeply rooted German supremacy, if you allow me to borrow some SJW jargon. But people who weren't stuck in the inertia of the post-Cold War era have been giving "better reviews in average" to Škodas relatively to VW since 2012 or so. As the time was evolving, the percentage of Škoda victories in these fratricidal VW Group contests was growing towards 100%.

Škoda Enyaq, the first Škoda's purely electric SUV, represents just a large jump in this trend that has been increasingly clear for at least 8 years. This SUV with 585 liters of space, 10 or 13 inch "iPad" in the middle, luxurious interior, and BMW-like grill (of course, Škoda cars has had similar grills well before BMW did, and even before BMW was founded, it's just the ignorant Westerners who know almost nothing about Škoda and its history!) costs below EUR 35k, 40k, 45k in the versions with approximately 50, 60, 80 kWh batteries.

You should search YouTube (plus comments there), Google News, and other sources to create your interpretation of the reactions to the Enyaq (which you may already order but it will only be delivered in early 2021, starting with Norway in February). It's fair to say that people are generally stunned by the beauty (an even prettier SUV coupé more similar to Vision iV will be out later in 2020). A big majority is really impressed by the performance (the range tops 500 km) and especially the interior and exterior design. A very high fraction of the Internet users think it is the prettiest car ever.

The theme "Škoda beats German cars" is clearly transitioning to a higher level. Here, two long-term VW brand fans were shocked and concluded that Enyaq is €10,000 more valuable than the equally priced VW ID.3 built on the same platform (the space is 585 liters in Enyaq and 385 liters in ID.3 LOL so it really makes sense to compare with ID.4 only which will be far more expensive). It's a different league. The VW car is cheap and Enyaq is luxurious. This point may be made by looking at tons of components. The Škoda victory over VW is clear here and the real battle is "Škoda vs Audi", "Škoda vs Mercedes", "Škoda vs [the lookalike] BMW", and a few more comparisons with far more expensive brands, and Škoda seems to win those, too.

One mechanism behind this surprise is that the Westerners are just ignorant of the Czech nation, one that it is a historically Western nation politically aligned with Germany and Austria throughout history, the "golden little Czech hands", as a Czech proverb says, and about the Škoda brand and its design language and history. And Škoda still has some advantage of lower nominal salaries in Czechia relatively to Germany. But I think that the gap has become much deeper than what can be explained by the undervalued Czech currency. I would say that this is ultimately not a battle of nations and I don't actually believe that Czechs are more skillful than Germans in average, when it comes to the genetically encoded aptitude. And after all, there are lots of Germans and others in Škoda Auto, too. It's more about the attitude.

This newly amplified Škoda supremacy is actually another manifestation of the SJW-driven degeneration of Western Europe. If you haven't heard about it, search for the Audi banana girl scandal. An innocent girl eating a banana appeared in an Audi ad. After he or she saw the ad, a disgusting pervert immediately imagined sex with the little girl and claimed that others are obliged to think about the sex with the girl as well, whenever they see a girl eating a banana, and that's why lots of people at Audi have to be fired. So they were fired, indeed, a standard full-blown insane cancel culture witch hunt combined with the Puritan fanaticism. Such event have consequences. Lots of the really good people are being removed from the job (lots of important jobs) and lots of lousier as well as very lousy people are being hired instead. And that is not the only effect: even if the better people stay in the jobs, they adjust their behavior so that they behave much more similarly to the SJW-like human filth that is waiting to replace them, anyway! You can't sustain the quality and progress at Audi (or any other place) for too long if this severe disruption is taking place so frequently if not permanently.

I embedded an Enyaq ad at the top. Škoda Auto has had some amazing ads, including the Cake Car, the opposite Mean Green Car, Fabia attention test, the Taiwanese Coincidance, and dozens of other gems. They're often touching but the "recharge life" ad at the top is arguably more directly related to the "SJW influence over technological details".

That ad correctly says that people have lost it, the fun, the ease, the light-heartedness, the things that make a life a life. And now, it becomes even clearer that they're targeting the likes of Tesla: It's all about the technogadgets, mumbo-jumbo, nerd stuff, the future, hocus pocus. (See how Škoda got its car to Mars much more cheaply than Musk did.) Come on, where's the fun? The joy? Imagine the car that's electric but still a car. A car not for the future but for us. Recharge life with... Enyaq... Škoda, Simply Clever.

The second part of this commercial conveys a similar message. They care about the joy in the present, not the future. A car for the real life; the malfunctioning garage is a sign that the Škoda PR folks really aren't detached from the real world and they have a sense of humor, too.

These ads clearly convey more than some random slogans promoting one product instead of another, some tiny technical differences. They differ from the likes of Tesla but also many others in the moral attitude to the world. The real difference is that
at Škoda, people are still doing the old-fashioned capitalist progress in which one has to design and produce a cheap enough product that the consumers will need, like, and enjoy.
It's really the old-fashioned meritocracy of technology and capitalism (the consumer is our God, we have a less religious version of that slogan in Czech LOL). You must simply assume that the potential consumers are independent people who have some mostly pre-existing desires, tastes, and opinions, and you have to adjust to that. Instead, most of the companies in Western Europe and North America have been gradually switching to a completely different paradigm.
In these companies, they believe that people must be retrained to share the universally compulsory values, tastes, opinions, and priorities that have been determined to be the "right ones for the future" by the omniscient elite of mankind [the same human stuff that I call the SJW subhuman trash]
This difference isn't just an aesthetic or rhetorical one. "Consumer is our God" was really replaced with "Soros is our God" and it's not a small change. It has far-reaching consequences even when it comes to seemingly technical features of the design. Let me give you a list of some "seemingly technical" features that are actually overwhelmingly political.

SJWs promote the lazy minimalistic design

OK, lots of cars look like one another and they are losing the character. The BMWs have had some characteristic grill and rectangular shape but even the BMW is losing it. Most other companies have turned to the production of round boring blobs that don't differ from the competition, to universal NPC cars. Why is it so? The round shape without any features has been promoted to be the right thing and it's just easier for any designer to produce another copy of this non-idea than to invent something that has new beef. Pseudoscientific myths may help to sustain this laziness. For example, the car must be round in order to have good aerodynamic properties, right? No. Škoda Enyaq has many features and a muscular shape while its drag coefficient is \(c_W = 0.27\), an impressively low value for any SUV of this big enough size. While there is some "seed of truth" in the statement that "round is better aerodynamically", the correct seed is way to weak to justify what is actually being justified by it in the real life. The semi-correct proposition is just an excuse for laziness.

In particular, SJWs promote the liquidation of physical buttons

The question about physical buttons is just an example of the "lazy minimalistic solution" but it is a rather important example because it has conquered the industry of cell phones. Typical cars like Tesla don't have almost any physical buttons, everything is controlled on the touchscreen. The statement that "this is the future" is pure ideology. It's only the future if it wins in the markets and if the people have to believe in the "future" that someone imposes on them through some ideological and political arms, it is no longer a free market and no longer a Western society. There is no reason to expect this future to be better than the past because the main engine of improvements, the competition (as judged by many consumers), is eliminated in that system. The Western society demands the existence of some producers who keep on adding physical buttons and some free consumers who have the right to safely use these products with buttons and even praise them! ;-)

And be sure that there are way too many reasons to preserve some physical buttons and other tools to control "fine mechanics" which may still be seen inside Enyaq. One obvious advantage of a physical button is that the location is always the same; another one is that you only need one click, not several clicks on the screen. And that matters! Also, when you just can't see the screen well for some reasons, the physical button may save you.

Much of the glory of the iPhone and much of the multi-trillion capitalization of the Apple company today may be reduced to the ideology, presented as an ingenious invention, that there should be no physical buttons. Years before the iPhone was introduced, I had a nice Windows Pocket PC Phone with several buttons and a touchscreen but it was more complicated (and you needed a pen, not just a finger). In 2007, quite suddenly, the iPhone eradicated all these older alternatives (finger-touchscreen and App Store were genuine improvements, of course). I still believe that the "preferred design development" was no progress at all. I don't think that a cell phone "must" look like a boring flat rectangle with no physical buttons. Here is another sub-theme of the same kind:

Another example: SJWs demand the electric cars to look like sanitized objects, not like old-fashioned cars

It's said to be necessary because we're building the future, right? So everything must look "simpler" than the ICE cars. Well, thankfully, Škoda Auto disagrees. Electric cars should still look like cars. There may be an electric engine but there is no justification for bragging about it. So far, it looks like the inferior choice to most potential buyers, for very clear reasons. If you want to persuade many of them to switch to an electric SUV, the SUV should better eliminate some of the most obvious emotional obstacles such as the "different design". You need to invent a pretty car that looks like old-fashioned luxurious cars (which were optimized by a century of competition!) and the replacement of petrol by lithium should better be as hidden as possible! The comandment that "electric cars mustn't look like the old and evil ICE cars" is clearly nothing else than the part of the leftist ideology, an ideology that almost no real potential buyers actually sympathize with! But this ideological garbage is being shoved down their throats, anyway.

There is a more general point I want to return to:

SJWs think that the future must be determined by the omniscient comrades in the global SJW heardquarters, not by free people and markets

People are being constantly intimidated even when it comes to such innocent questions such as "whether a bunch of extra physical buttons is a good thing" on a phone or a car. If you like physical buttons, you are politically incorrect! What the future will be and must be is clear to the SJWs. It directly follows from their ideology, they believe. In the system where these creatures have this much power, the answer is actually determined by random twists in the mediocre brains of some uneducated, unreasonable, uncreative, and unintelligent self-declared chief ideologues of the world and especially by their mass hysterias. But only a totalitarian society may have such an idea about the future. Whether physical buttons or lithium or fusion or anything else will be important in the future is unknown at this moment and the answer will be affected by the laws of Nature but also the priorities and needs of billions of people, not just some chief ideologues.

The ideology is teamed up with the laziness, the fine work on details may be omitted

I have already made this point but I needed a headline written in the bold face. The disappearance of the creativity from the Western products isn't "purely" due to ideology and the deteriorating quality of the people who have the power (plus their decreasing motivation to do things right). It's "also" due to laziness. The actual reason is a combination of these things and they unfortunately work in a symbiosis. So the ideology is often used as an excuse. The real reason why someone doesn't do the work to optimize some feature of a car is his laziness.

Why do you think that only Škoda and Rolls-Royce have the damn umbrella?

For decades, Škoda cars had the "simply clever solutions", details that just make the driver's life better in very ordinary situations, details that (almost) no one added before. An ice scraper is hidden somewhere. A firmly attached but elastic silicon-style funnel allows you to get the fuel or oil to the right place. Gloves to clean a cable for Enyaq. Or a 2-part cleaner, you may pull the cable through the 2 parts and the cable is clean. And especially the umbrellas in the door. I think it is spectacularly clear that the "added value" of the umbrella in the door hugely surpasses the extra expenses. It's often raining outside and you don't want to think about your personal umbrella all the time. It's also a bit nontrivial to store your personal umbrella if you are in the car. The door umbrella is clearly something that cars should have. Only Škoda and Rolls-Royce have it. Why? I think it is because the pressure for designers to optimize the details has become way too weak in most companies. It's more important for them to erase girls with bananas in order to please SJW perverts than to do real work!

The number of the simply clever details is "many dozens" in a typical new Škoda and they undoubtedly help the sales although the things also cost something. You hear "simply clever" in most reviews of Škoda cars and most readers and viewers of the reviews think that many of these details are simply clever, indeed. Why hasn't any other company erased this comparative advantage? Decades ago, lots of companies would realize that they needed dedicated workers (and perhaps whole deparments with folks) who do this stuff at all times. They could even semi-plagiarize the slogan. Audi would be adding lots of "straight handy" gadgets instead of the "simply clever" ones. But it's not happening because the people aren't sufficiently motivated to do the real work that they used to do (and that they still do at Škoda Auto). Uncreative mediocrity has become more beneficial even for the personal material well-being of designers and similar jobs. Designers are increasingly hiding in the unremarkable mobs of mediocre colleagues, too. They do the things they do (or they fail to do the things that they don't do) because the same is happening in all the other companies, too.

Not every detail that is invented must be the "winner" and of course I am not sure that even "all the Škoda's simply clever details" are really making the total car's value-minus-expenses higher (Škoda has a culture of adding many such things partly because the inventions and improvements were "formally encouraged" during communism and the designers only got a few dollars of premium salaries for such things, so an umbrella simply isn't a result of a multi-billion research project there LOL). But there's a broader point. It is important to do experiments. A LED-illuminated vertical grill is a fun idea. Someone must try because it may be what makes the people much happier to be with their cars (it may be the most important advantage of an electric car, too). And someone else should elaborate on these experiments. Another, more expensive carmaker may try to place another LED screen into the grill so that cars may broadcast whole movies for other drivers, to give signals etc. (Please send me 0.5% of profits from this idea if you make it a reality, thanks.) The number of such possible directions is huge and some of them may substantially improve the cars and become "standard" in cars of 2025. But these experiments aren't really taking place.

All these negative trends boil down to the "control of the mediocre SJW ideologues over the future" which is increasingly affecting science and technology as well. You don't need to invent umbrellas, grills, and funnels if it is enough to shout at your colleague who incorporates a girl with a banana into an ad. You don't need to do research on string theory (or even learn string theory) once you find out that it's enough for making your living to persuade 50,000 hopelessly idiotic laymen that physics doesn't need string theory (or particle physics experiments) at all and you are valuable just for bringing this (totally wrong) gospel to them. It's just incomparably easier for mediocre people without any significant talent to do things that are politically correct right now than to do things that are simply clever or ingenious and that require hard work, time, energy, talent, expertise, and sometimes good luck! And if the PC stuff is enough to replace the hard and ingenious work, you can be sure that mediocre people who can only do PC virtue signalling but they have no other talents will supersede the great people almost everywhere and mankind, science, technology, and the economy will suffer correspondingly.

And that's the memo.

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