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Piracy Guide 2018
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Just a PSA that in The Current Year there is absolutely no need to pay for almost anything. Save the money, use it to go on holiday, drink it away, give it to me (http://akarlin.com/donations/ ), etc. instead.

This will also be a reference post for future review posts.

scihub-doi-768x208

Papers

Use Sci-Hub: https://sci-hub.tw/

Emil Kirkegaard has a short for dummies guide: How to use Sci-hub to get academic papers for free

Considering the greed and rapacity of academic publishers, stealing papers isn’t just a moral right but a moral imperative. In my experience, it works 99%+ of the time. Literally the only paper I can recall not finding there – and I have downloaded well more than a thousand – is an obscure 1981 paper on Racial Variations in Vision (apparently, Aborigines have much better eyesight than other races). But somebody added it to Sci-Hub eventually, anyway.

Books

Use Library Genesis: http://gen.lib.rus.ec/ (unblocked version)

Emil Kirkegaard has written up a short guide for this as well: How to download ebooks from Library Genesis (libgen) for free

Coverage isn’t as good as with Sci-Hub, but it’s still pretty impressive. I find approximately 90% of the books I want there.

Cases in which you can avoid using Libgen:

  1. You respect the author and want him/her to get money for their work. Even so, you can still download the book from Libgen to avoid the restrictive DRM practiced by most booksellers, inc. Amazon, while buying a symbolic copy from the store.
  2. You want a high quality paper version. My physical library hit its minimum size around 2015. Since then, it’s actually been slowly growing, but almost entirely by dint of high quality books, usually hardbacks. Uppening the scale even further, antiquarian books not only look very good on your bookshelf, but are as legitimate an investment as, say, Swiss luxury watches or art pieces.
  3. When said book isn’t available on Libgen. This is the case for some very obscure books, as well as books that came out very recently, or very long ago.

Many books will be in epub/mobi format. There are many ebook readers for Android that you can use to read them. I use Moon Reader. It has exportable highlighting/notes, and I find its visual options even better than the Amazon Kindle’s. I suggest getting the pro version for a few bucks to get rid of the annoying ads.

The only major format it doesn’t support is djvu, which is popular in Russia. EBookDroid handles that.

I would also recommend Calibre for managing your ebook collection. There are plugins for stripping DRM off your existing, store-bought ebooks (DeDRM).

Films

Sponsoring Hollywood in any way whatsoever is basically a sin at this point.

My favorite torrent client is qBittorrent.

While Western countries don’t really care if you pirate papers and books, Hollywood and MPAA have an order of magnitude more lobbying power than Elsevier or Penguin, so this is most definitely not the case with movies.

I strongly recommend getting a paid VPN if you live in the West. I use NordVPN, though others I know swear by PIA VPN.

I would actually recommend getting a VPN regardless. The Wild West days of the Internet are coming to a close, and regulatory agencies around the world are rushing to block “extremist” content and set up national firewalls. This is going to get worse before it gets better, so you might as well get a head start on this.

Games

This is one medium where piracy is low and unattractive.

Market near-monopolist Steam/Valve offers low prices for the amount of content – very low in places like Eastern Europe. Probably not so much out of the goodness of GabeN’s heart as the existence of companies like Humble Bundle which will step in were Steam to get out of line.

The technological specifics of modern video games also limits piracy in that most of them are now dependent on constant updates and patches.

 
• Category: Miscellaneous • Tags: Productivity 
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  1. Market near-monopolist Steam/Valve

    I like Gog better since you can download setup files and pretty much do with them what you want. If you’re into new blockbuster titles, Steam is probably much better though.
    Anyway, thanks for the post, should be useful for many of your readers :-)

  2. DFH says:

    I would also reccomend audiobookbay and its offshoots for audiobook torrents. The coverage is better than generic torrent sites in my experience and it is far easier to search through.

    Considering the greed and rapacity of academic publishers, stealing papers isn’t just a moral right but a moral imperative. In my experience, it works 99%+ of the time.

    I find it failing much more of the time, maybe 1 in 5 papers won’t be on there. I tend to download history/philosophy papers, maybe their coverage is worse.

    When said book isn’t available on Libgen. This is the case for some very obscure books, as well as books that came out very recently, or very long ago.

    There are a lot of books published before the 2000s and never republished that it doesn’t have. For instance it is lacking Correlli Barnett’s excellent Pride and Fall series.

  3. songbird says:

    I think it is amazing that there are many medical papers still behind paywalls today. Some are even very old, like from the ’70s. Almost all the research seems to be facilitated by public funds or by charity.

    I don’t know about the economics of it, but it seems to me that e-publishing is basically free. Of course, you still need to have the work peer-reviewed, and that costs money. But the system really should be designed for open access, funded by patrons, but not all individual readers.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  4. AaronB says:

    Libgen has been a godsend, thank you!

    All formats can be easily converted to pdf online.

  5. songbird says:

    I’d also encourage people to use open-source programs when possible. I know sometimes they aren’t really optimized for the user, but many are virtually indistinguishable.

    Personally, I always found it sort of galling that Microsoft charges so much for what is basically the same product that was developed in the ’80s. I’m not talking about Windows, but word-processing, etc. I think that is an interesting business dynamic: when you have a virtual monopoly on a product and make heaps of money on it, competitors (that compete in other fields) sometimes come along and fund a free-version.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  6. Many books will be in epub/mobi format. There are many ebook readers for Android that you can use to read them. I use Moon Reader. It has highlighting/notes, and I find its visual options even better than the Amazon Kindle’s. I suggest getting the pro version for a few bucks to get rid of the annoying ads.

    Not quite sure what you mean by “highlighting,” but if you mean the feature of being able to copy chunks of text from the epub book (which many readers indeed woefully lack), then I would wish to put in a word for the Android app Lithium. It’s free (i.e. no annoying ads), has all the features you would expect, and it can also override the settings in the epub file, which is a great plus (e.g. replace the pre-set font with your favorite font).

  7. All formats can be easily converted to pdf online.

    Give EPUBs a chance before you start converting them to PDFs. Their footnote system with pop-up windows, if properly implemented, is a godsend when reading old or foreign books.

  8. For torrenting, some VPN providers give you a SOCKS proxy you can put in qBittorrent. This enables you to continue not using the VPN/use a different VPN for your main internet connection while the torrenting is always protected. I find this to be preferable to just always using VPNs.

    PIA provides a SOCKS5 login, but the information to login can be found here: https://helpdesk.privateinternetaccess.com/hc/en-us/articles/236265587-Can-I-Use-SOCKS5-

  9. @songbird

    Microsoft is a government fixture at this point for all practical purposes. I always think of that when I work with Excel and wonder what is stopping them from having multiple cells for one row(useful for some forms of management). Or why they can’t bother integrating OneNote, Excel, etc to actually function well with each other.

    Essentially they exist to live off licenses as a tax on business. Yipee.

    • Replies: @songbird
    , @Thorfinnsson
  10. PapayaSF says:

    This is a good source for free and legal public domain comic books, pulps, and more: http://comicbookplus.com

    For recent and not-so-legal ebooks: https://forum.mobilism.org/index.php

  11. @songbird

    Some additional pointers on book & scientific paper piracy.

    Download the software application (it’s not an “app”–F Steve Jobs for ruining the world) Calibre: https://calibre-ebook.com/

    Calibre organizes your ebooks, and it also allows you to reformat them and convert them to different file formats. This is ideal if the pirated (or even legitimate) copy you acquired isn’t the right format or file type for your eReader. Likewise you can simply turn ebook formats into PDFs if you’re going to do some work with the literature on your PC.

    Then install the plug-in DeDRM for Calibre. This allows you to strip the DRM from most ebook formats, including Amazon Kindle. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, this means you can “borrow” a kindle book from the Prime library and strip the DRM from it. Thus you can get any Kindle book for free (well, less the annual cost of your Prime membership) and distribute it to others.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/Piracy/comments/3cwx4u/can_you_strip_drm_from_kindle_books_borrowed_from/

    I favor piracy on pure self-interest grounds as opposed to any high-minded moral rationalizations.

    Don’t be the virgin buyer–be the chad pirate!

    That said, for those with troubled consciences:

    • Copyright is a state-granted monopoly, and its term in America is completely unreasonable:

    The 1998 Act extended these terms to life of the author plus 70 years and for works of corporate authorship to 120 years after creation or 95 years after publication, whichever end is earlier.[3] Copyright protection for works published before January 1, 1978, was increased by 20 years to a total of 95 years from their publication date.

    • Most publishing houses are female-dominated pozzed criminal enterprises
    • Most published authors are themselves part of the Cathedral
    • Jeff Borgzos is a bald creep
    • Academic publishers are criminal rackets–Elsevier has a 40% profit margine

    I also highly recommend NordVPN, and not just for piracy and evading the censors. Using a VPN provides you with strong protection from Man in the Middle attacks. It’s not foolproof as a truly skilled attacker could exploit Intel/AMD security flaws to potentially introduce malware onto your machine, so for additional protection I recommend getting a laptop with a 4G LTE radio (available on most Thinkpads) so you can connect via cellular networks rather than WiFi (note: also not truly foolproof owing to stingers).

    For additional privacy install the extensions uBlock Origin and uMatrix into your browser of choice. It’s also generally a good idea to browse in private mode.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin, songbird
    • Replies: @Anonymous
  12. songbird says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    That is really the curious part of it: how much governments – foreign, domestic, national, state, and local spend on it annually. The sum must be staggering. Why it is so – bribery, Byzantine bureaucracy, or a culture Microsoft created, is a very interesting question.

    And where government pays to have its own software developed, it is usually an exercise in staggering incompetence and corruption. What is really so bizarre are all the local, state-level projects. For instance, for particular university systems.

  13. Books, movies, TV shows and games are so cheap nowadays that piracy is not worth the effort. Having time to consume it while devoting proper attention to work, family, travel and other recreation is the real conundrum.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  14. Dmitry says:

    With books, I prefer to buy the physical ones. Especially the cheaper, older, ones on topics you become interested in by yourself. This way you can follow your own interests, rather than reading the books which are fashionable or being talked about in the media at the time (this seems the ultimate in the herd mentality).

    For old books, even with the shipping costs, it’s still usually very cheap to buy it online, and even if you only decide to keep them afterwards if you liked them. Also visiting bookshops is always interesting.

    • Replies: @songbird
  15. @Ali Choudhury

    Library Genesis and SciHub are often *more convenient* than the alternatives, and some books are unreasonable expensive (especially those from academic publishers). Using Calibre and DeDRM combined with the Amazon Kindle Prime Library is only slightly less convenient than paying for it from Amazon.

    Sort of agree when it comes to visual media (Netflix & chill a lot easier than hang on for a few minutes while I torrent this babe), but I refuse to pay on principle as Hollywood is one of the world’s leading centers of evil and needs to be destroyed.

  16. songbird says:
    @Dmitry

    There is a certain serendipity that comes with browsing physical books. I know, sometimes, I’ve picked up a book because it looked dusty and the title appealed to me. If you can flip through a few pages, it’s not really as big a gamble as it seems. I’ve discovered some of my favorite books this way.

    Recent bestsellers are usually quite terrible. It is a mystery to me why some people tout them. I can only conjecture that book fads are some weird social phenomenon, somehow akin to virtue signalling – an exchange of information for some subconscious purpose, like showing you have bad tastes in order to copulate with others who have bad tastes. Or maybe making friends who have bad tastes, so you can copulate with their sisters who naturally will also tend to have bad tastes.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  17. @Daniel Chieh

    A way to avoid the dreaded MSFT tax is to purchase from Bonanza criminals.

    Just go to Bonanza.com and search for the MSFT product of your choice.

    As an example I acquired over a dozen license keys for MSFT Office Professional Plus 2016 (that’s every Office product, even Access) for about $12 each.

    I believe these people are sysadmins who work for companies that have VLS agreements with MSFT, so they can generate license keys on demand.

    One Spanish Bonanza criminal I was working with suddenly stopped responding to my e-mails, and not long after that I received a letter informing me that I’m a “victim” of software crime. Poor schmuck must’ve gotten popped.

    Bonanza criminals also allow you to get access to Enterprise versions of MSFT software which require a VLS to get. You can for instance get Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB, in which extremely criminal Windows 10 features such as Cortana, Asimov (the spying), and advertisements are removed. Downside of LTSB is that it doesn’t have MSFT Edge or the MSFT Store, but those are minor losses.

    Enterprise Windows also lets you create a Windows To Go installation on a flash drive, which is highly useful for hijacking other personal computers or if you corrupted your PC’s Windows installation and can’t boot from it. Of course in typical MSFT fashion you can only create these on MSFT Certified flash drive partners, as opposed to any old flash drive like you can with Linux Live.

  18. Dmitry says:
    @songbird

    With the physical book there are also no distractions. With the laptop, it is very easy to switch pages, and start browsing the news.

    Recent bestsellers are usually quite terrible. It is a mystery to me why some people tout them. I can only conjecture that book fads are some weird social phenomenon, somehow akin to virtue signalling – an exchange of information for some subconscious purpose, like showing you have bad tastes in order to copulate with others who have bad tastes. Or maybe making friends who have bad tastes, so you can copulate with their sisters who naturally will also tend to have bad tastes.

    Aside from whether they are good or not.

    The latest book might be great. But I don’t understand the idea that everyone would suddenly be interested in the same thing, and supposed to be reading it just when it is released.

    In my case, I get interested in topics, and read (usually old books) based on the topic, rather than its release date.

    I could understand that with certain genres (literature, science), there could be advantages to reading the book the moment it is released.

    For example, to read Anna Karenina in 1870s – it was probably much more exciting for people who still lived in the society it described, than for people who read it decades afterwards as a ‘classic’.

    Of couse, there is some herd aspect, e.g. to read the latest Mishel Houellebecq novel – that people feel less lonely when they are all reading it at the same time.

    • Replies: @Anon
  19. Anonymous[679] • Disclaimer says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Don’t be the virgin buyer–be the chad pirate!

    Wow, get a load of those dumb Americans, with their silly ideas about following laws, believing in “the system” and respecting property rights! If only Anglo-Saxon countries would encourage CHAD behavior of stealing, cheating and abusing the system, they would be awesome places to live, like Brazil and Russia!

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  20. Dmitry says:
    @Anonymous

    Americans, with their silly ideas about following laws, believing in “the system” and respecting property rights! If only Anglo-Saxon countries would encourage CHAD behavior of stealing, cheating and abusing the system, they would be awesome places to live, like Brazil and Russia!

    Sorry, but America is the country with more imprisonment level criminals per capita, than either Brazil and Russia.

    https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSfZmBcNpf2l5mryCjIFOeCrGHvVJP7EbBJtVWDaightE4a1P4G

  21. @Dmitry

    Russia does lock up an awful lot of people as well though.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  22. China doesn’t have blacks who account for a large part of crime in the US (iirc they even commit 50% of murders which is just bizarre).

  23. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry

    Americans, with their silly ideas about following laws,

    America has more prison-level criminals in total, than China, despite China’s several times larger population.

  24. Dmitry says:
    @German_reader

    Russia does lock up an awful lot of people as well though.

    Americans, with their silly ideas about following laws

    Yes but with this sentence, “Americans, with their silly ideas about following laws” – nobody on this forum is writing with Russia and Brazil.

    Although that point – which was probably fair from me – said, now I feel bad about how far I took the comments section offtopic.

  25. whahae says:

    What torrent sites do you guys use? I still use PirateBay on the rare occasions I want to get a movie or a TV show but the site really feels dated in current year.

    • Replies: @JL
  26. @Anonymous

    Virgin detected.

    Anyhow, rigorously following laws in autistic WEIRD ways makes zero sense these days, even from a social perspective: https://altright.com/2017/12/30/whites-must-start-playing-the-minority-game-in-2018/

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  27. Owen C. says:

    I tend to do a mixture of piracy and legal purchasing. If a particular album means something to me or if I can’t find it on the torrent sites, I’ll track down a physical copy off eBay or Discogs. If I can’t find a game on Steam or GOG, I’ll pirate it.

    We have a lot of charity shops in my city, which is my country’s arts and culture capital, and I tend to look there for music, films, books and games.

  28. Anonymous[196] • Disclaimer says:

    For free audiobooks you can download the YouTube to MP3 converter (free from cnet) then go to YouTube and find audiobooks like Thinking Fast and Slow, The Singularity is Near, Fooled by Randomness, Antifragile, etc., and drag and drop into the converter. For best use you can download a $2 app called MP3 Books (like Audible app) to your smartphone and store and listen to the MP3 books.

    Though, some people believe they absorb less through audio. Then again, there are articles and studies saying that readers absorb and recall less of what they read off a screen vs. the printed book.

  29. Anonymous[196] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Virgin detected.

    Anyhow, rigorously following laws in autistic WEIRD ways makes zero sense these days, even from a social perspective: https://altright.com/2017/12/30/whites-must-start-playing-the-minority-game-in-2018/

    Isn’t it stealing? That’s one of the 10 Commandments. Laws are supposed to approximate justice. Intellectual property theft is like other types of property theft, isn’t it? Even if the artist or author is dead (e.g., Asimov), the estate owns the property and the publisher spent time and money buying the rights and going the process of republishing (new editing, typesetting, etc.).

  30. @Anonymous

    Isn’t it stealing? That’s one of the 10 Commandments.

    Right. Moses was a big proponent of “intellectual property”, like all the other ancient writers who freely copied and modified each others works. Probably the prophets too. That’s what they really had in mind when condemning the injustices perpetrated against the poor and weak.

    What counts as private property is a norm that changes from society to society, and what many people here are saying is that no, in fact, we don’t consider pirating to be stealing because copyright has become absurd in an age when copying costs essentially nothing.

    In particular, I would say it’s the academic publishers who are the thieves, stealing scientific labor, and scihub is merely providing a means to redress this wrong.

  31. @Dmitry

    Most of the people incarcerated aren’t Americans. In fact about half are the former property of Americans.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  32. @Anonymous

    Do you think freely distributing a Mickey Mouse cartoon from the 1930s is stealing?

    Disney thinks so and the US federal government agrees, but I think the law is ridiculous. As pointed out by the Big Red Scary the concept of copyright and intellectual property did not exist during the Bronze Age, for the very simple reason that there was no way to cheaply reproduce intellectual property in that time.

    Whether or not society should protect intellectual property and to what degree is another question and one with trade-offs.

    I’m inclined to think we should just scrap the entire system. Patents are just legal monopolies with few if any benefits now that the era of the lone inventor is long over. The major benefit I can think of is when the advanced countries successfully bully poorer countries into paying exorbitant license fees for our intellectual property. Copyrights principally benefit extremely powerful corporations rather than creators, who other than a few lucky stars have shifted to other systems of compensation (Patreon, consulting, creating products, commissioned work, etc.). Florence didn’t need no stinking copyrights to produce the Renaissance.

    That said, putting the interests of powerful people and corporations who hate you and want you dead before your own is ridiculous. Anglo Saxons need to stop believing in the system that wants them dead.

    Every single Dollar you provide to Hollywood provides your enemies with more fuel to feed to the fire that propagandizes for your complete and utter destruction.

    If anything giving money to them is immoral, not the other way around.

  33. Anonymous[196] • Disclaimer says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    One-quarter of inmates in U.S. federal prisons are non-U.S. citizens.

    In this BOP graph it is one-fifth but shows citizenship. I imagine the California Department of Corrections has a huge MX citizen inmate population.

    https://www.bop.gov/about/statistics/statistics_inmate_citizenship.jsp

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  34. Anonymous[196] • Disclaimer says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Every single Dollar you provide to Hollywood provides your enemies with more fuel to feed to the fire that propagandizes for your complete and utter destruction.

    If anything giving money to them is immoral, not the other way around.

    But if they are immoral and their product is pernicious then why indulge in it, even if free through piracy?

  35. Anonymous[196] • Disclaimer says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Libertarians agree with you. They have free downloable books on the subject.

    Against Intellectual Property by Stephan Kinsella

    https://mises.org/library/against-intellectual-property-0

    A Libertarian Critique of Intellectual Property

    https://mises.org/library/libertarian-critique-intellectual-property

  36. @Anonymous

    Because it’s entertaining…duh?

    I’m immune to their propaganda, but people in general are not (just take the average American’s opinion on the Assman or Walt Putnam for instance).

    Generally speaking much of the content produced in the past 60 years has objectionable propaganda in it. Even things people think are innocent. Take The Little Mermaid for instance. A children’s classic, or insidious feminist propaganda which encourages young girls to disobey their fathers and place feels before reals?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  37. @Anonymous

    Intellectual property theft is like other types of property theft, isn’t it?

    Yes and no.

    Yes, because you are getting something for free when otherwise you’d have to pay for it, so the owner is cheated out of his income.

    No, because even after you’ve pirated it, the owner still has it.

    On the other hand, during communism, even stealing physical property wasn’t exactly frowned upon, provided you stole from the state. Everyone understood that the state was an enemy entity, an arm of an alien occupying power, which itself was deeply suspicious of and hostile to liberty and even basic property rights of its citizens (it gained possession of its property by expropriating the previous owners etc.), so no one cared if the “property rights” of the state.

    Now we have a similar situation, for example Hollywood itself moved to California to avoid intellectual property lawsuits on the East Coast. The system is deeply hostile, doesn’t care for our property (you can lose it to black crime, can’t segregate yourself, taxes you to support refugees, etc.), so what is the reason for following their rules, and respecting their intellectual property rights?

  38. @Anonymous

    I’m using a more restrictive definition of American.

    Blacks are not Americans for instance.

    37.9% of federal prisoners are black according to the BoP. Another 32.8% of federal prisoners are hispanic. So something like 70% of federal prisoners are not American.

    That still gets us a considerably higher incarceration rate than other Western countries, but that simply reflects that in America ordinary voters have a lot of control over the justice system and vote for law and order. In the United Kingdom they are completely powerless, so Britons view home invasions and burglarly as something inevitable. The police there exist to provide reports to insurance agencies and hunt down racists, not to protect the public from crime and put criminals in prison. Worth noting now that the murder rate in London has surpassed New York City, despite NYC having twice as many blacks (and perhaps an order of magnitude more in Greater Gotham owing to cooned out hellholes like Newark) and the ready availability of firearms in America.

    Would be interesting to see a similar breakdown in Russia. I am sure that Russians are underrepresented in Russian prisons as well, though likely not as much as Americans are in American prisons (muh hajnal line, or maybe just vodka).

  39. @Anonymous

    One has to study the enemy and his propaganda (though personally I’ll leave that task to others…not interested in recent Hollywood movies).

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    , @Dmitry
  40. @German_reader

    It’s not just a matter of recent Hollywood films.

    Even pictures from the 1930s are copyrighted.

    Pre-Hayes code Hollywood pictures are interesting to study from a propaganda perspective because of how even then they pushed sexual licentiousness.

    Take a look at these pre-Hayes Code publicity photos:

    Jean Harlow (30s sex symbol and blonde bombshell) and Ben Lyon from Hell’s Angels, and you can’t blame the Jews as it’s a Howard Hughes picture

    Joan Blondell from 1932, this photo was banned by the Hayes Code

    In 1932 this appalling film was released: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_Face_(film)

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Dmitry
  41. songbird says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    You mentioned Disney. What is kind of weird is that they very intentionally no longer sell the movie “Song of the South” in the US, because of racial controversy but they haven’t released it into the public domain either.

    Supposedly, they are interested in preserving copyright on some of the songs, which feature in a ride at one of their theme parks, but that seems like an odd and unrealistic justification. I think of it more like, as a faceless corporation they hate the idea of public domain and don’t want to boost it in even the slightest way possible.

  42. Anon[198] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dmitry

    The latest book might be great. But I don’t understand the idea that everyone would suddenly be interested in the same thing, and supposed to be reading it just when it is released.

    In its purest form it’s an American thing– the Book Club effect.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  43. Anon[198] • Disclaimer says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    the Hayes Code

    was the self-defense reaction of a society still healthy by and large.

  44. Anonymous[196] • Disclaimer says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Because it’s entertaining…duh?

    I’m immune to their propaganda, but people in general are not (just take the average American’s opinion on the Assman or Walt Putnam for instance).

    Generally speaking much of the content produced in the past 60 years has objectionable propaganda in it. Even things people think are innocent. Take The Little Mermaid for instance. A children’s classic, or insidious feminist propaganda which encourages young girls to disobey their fathers and place feels before reals?

    Lol. So, you would say only the few who are immune to Hollywood’s pernicious propaganda in modern works should indulge in it and pirate it, but the vast majority of people should not? Piracy for me but not for thee, dupable dummy.

  45. Dmitry says:
    @Anon

    But they have the same in Russia, and other European countries.

    For literature, I can understand it (the excitement to see the new work of genius from the author or great artists). But for non-fiction genres, it seems funny, that everyone will suddenly become interested in a topic just because it is the latest fashion.

  46. Dmitry says:
    @German_reader

    People can also get too paranoid with propaganda, politics and ideology, and miss the point of something.

    This is notable with Zvyagintsev where the government, in socialistically realist habit, accuse him of propaganda (why? Because he is a depressive artist). At the same time, he becomes popular in the West in response, where critics read him as somehow particularly political and subtly telling their own point of view.

    In the end, it’s just a talented artist that shows his point of view, which is a cynical one as this is how his creative function views life.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @German_reader
  47. Dmitry says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Sexual images – it’s just ‘clickbait’ based on human nature.

    If you put anything in the image suggesting sex (such as in thumbnails), then it will have far more attention from people’s brains, without even trying.

    With the thumbnails, often you can even to click on the thumbnail, even when you have no actual interest in it.

  48. @Dmitry

    Hollywood does churn out a lot of propaganda though, all those movies about racism and the sufferings of black people…also a lot of really stupid stuff (there are all those movies about comic book superheroes now, really irritating trend).
    I’m just not interested in that…don’t even know what the most recent movie is I’ve watched (probably Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto which I saw a few years ago when I still watched tv).

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Dmitry
  49. Anonymous[196] • Disclaimer says:
    @German_reader

    all those movies about racism and the sufferings of black people

    Or the distortion (lies) about certain accomplishments, e.g., Hidden Figures.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hidden_Figures

  50. Although I watch approximately 5 movies a year (and half of that is thanks to a friend who’s really into movies and pulls me along), there are some directors I somewhat follow and even sometimes patronize by going to the cinema (Nolan comes to mind… that’s pretty much it).

    I also try to catch films based on books/video games that I enjoyed. E.g., this is stupid, but I’ll probably watch it:

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  51. Dmitry says:
    @German_reader

    I agree there is propaganda.

    But Zvyagintsev doesn’t push any real narrative or point of view. It is more expression of a general mood and depressive attitude, and a kind of slow, cynicism. At the same time, with cinematography that appreciates the visual beauty of nature.

    It’s a negative overall emotion, but obviously reflects his personality, rather than any agenda.

    People, not only politicians, were so angry with this film – but I found it nothing other than entertaining and even cinematographically, visually very attractive.

    • Replies: @JL
  52. Dmitry says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I recommend the same attitude as with books – that it’s often better to watch older films, as time is usually the most reliable filter for quality.

    Although it’s more fun to go to the cinema, sure.

    The Hollywood film I enjoyed watching most in the last year, was “Terminator 2″ (which is from 1991), that I saw on my laptop at 3am. On the other hand, I saw in the cinema Wonder Woman with a girl (who loved it), and despite that enjoyed it about ten times less than Terminator 2.

    Terminator 2 – the fact people still talk about it now, is a reliable indicator of its quality. Surely very few people will be watching Wonder Woman at 3am on their laptop, in the year 2045, unlike those of us watching “Terminator 2″ in 2018.

    If people are still talking about films or books decades later, that is one of the more reliable filters of quality, certainly more than newspaper reviews. Moreover, all older films are available instantly and free on the internet

  53. JL says:
    @Dmitry

    I agree completely with your take on Zvyagintsev and have argued at great lengths with many who see his work as political critique. It’s telling that Elena and Leviathan were both based on American scripts. Also, Elena, imo, is a much better film than Leviathan.

  54. JL says:
    @whahae

    I really like RARBG, but I’m not a particularly sophisticated pirate and I imagine there are better ones out there.

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