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Matt Forney

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Confessions of an Online Hustler by Matt Forney, published in 2013. See the Amazon version of this review. Rating: 4/5.

confessions-of-an-online-hustler-matt-forney Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat: This book isn’t for the casual reader. Despite the title, it’s not a “life interest” story with a morass of prurient and scandalous details, nor is it a deep social or philosophical commentary. It is very specifically written for those who want to grind a living from online writing and punditry (especially those who write on controversial subjects like HBD and feminism, as does Matt Forney). If that doesn’t describe you, I can’t in good conscience recommend you buy this book. On the other hand, if you enjoy writing and wish to make a living as an iconoclastic blogger, then this book will definitely add much value and save you a lot of trouble.

Much of the book is taken up with the technical details of setting up a WordPress blog and publicizing it. As someone who has been blogging for 5 years and counting, I can testify that this book has an accurate and succinct summary of all the most important things you need to bear in mind. You can find the same information for free elsewhere, but the problem is that the Internet has a low signal to noise ratio – it will take time, and may well lead you down dead ends. Why not fork up the equivalent of an hour’s worth of a minimum wage job and spend a single evening’s reading time to avoid going through all that?

But at least to me the most interesting and original part was Matt’s (well, not entirely his, but he refined it) concept of “tiered blogging.” I have come to much the same conclusions on my own, if via annoying and costly errors, but it was great to see it so lucidly formulated and systematized. Here’s the lowdown. A Tier-3 blog is an everything-that-interests-me kind of blog, where you post whatever the fuck you feel like. The problem is that unless you develop a cult of personality, like Tucker Max, then you’re not going to get massive amounts of traffic (or money) through that alone. But you will notice that some posts of yours are going to get a much better response than others. Say, to take my own example, while most readers couldn’t care less for my ramblings on Human Biodiversty and dog pictures at AKarlin, a great many of them are interested in reading my ramblings on Russia. So I create a far more narrowly specialized Tier-2 blog like Da Russophile that is specifically about Russia just for them. This audience is much more homogeneous than my AKarlin audience – they, at least, are all interested in Russia at a minimum, whereas the AKarlin folks may be interested in HBD, dog pictures, professionally trolling me, and any combination thereof.

Once you get your Tier-2 hustle going, you can start thinking of making money. But it’s not as simple as putting up a ton of ads and retiring with your laptop to the Caribbean; unless you manage to become a “superstar” blogger, it is extremely unlikely that you will ever make any significant money from running ads. It’s virtually impossible if you are an original thinker and would rather cut off your hands than engage in the vacuous vapidity that passes for mainstream commentary. Getting money through donations and affiliate marketing can be more profitable, but they will (realistically) only get you a modest secondary income – and an unstable one at that. Selling information products is where the real game is at: DVD’s, software, music, and, of course, books. This is Tier-1, the “summit of hustle mountain.” Almost every “professional” pundit does that: Liberals like Glenn Greenwald and conservatives like Steve Sailer, players like Roosh Vorek and “online hustlers” like Matt Forney himself. And for that matter I too will soon be joining their ranks with my upcoming book The Dark Lord of the Kremlin about the Western media’s war against Putin’s Russia.

But at this point, I have to make my own confession. I lied to you back there. In reality, I got the whole “tiered blogging” thing ass backwards. I started out writing at Da Russophile, but did not have the discipline to keep it confined to Russia period, and started mixing it up with unrelated things like peak oil and my shifting political ideologies. That drove away a lot of people. Only gradually over several years did I realize the vital importance of compartmentalizing my interests – which can be fickle as well as controversial – away from “hustles” with dedicated but easily alienated audiences. To illustrate the concept, say my Da Russophile audience consists of 100 liberals, 100 conservatives, and 100 people who care nothing for anything not Russia related. Now suppose that for every post about Russia there I were to also write a post defending gun rights and a post on global warming. I would alienate both the liberals and the conservatives, bore the hardcore Russia watchers, and create three times the work for myself to boot. It’s raving lunacy!

But unfortunately, that’s only obvious in retrospect. I could have saved myself a lot of time and disillusioned readers had I practiced “tiered blogging” from the very start.

This does not mean I agree with everything here. I think Forney’s attitude to regular blogging is too strict and disciplinarian, and may well be part of the reason that writing a new blog post now brings him about as “as much joy as a crack whore sucking off another dirtbag behind the club dumpster.” While there’s no disputing that discipline in blogging is a good thing, is it really worth it if it sucks all the joy and passion from what should really be a hobby? If that’s how you look at it, then how is it any different from your bog-standard, soul-crushing 9-5 job then?

I appreciate Forney’s nods to the Cracked school of writing that intersperses bouts of flippant levity in between paragraphs of actual information. This makes it much more readable than your standard, dry as a nun’s nasty self-help book. (See what I did there?). For all that, perhaps the reader could have done with a couple less allusions to pasty-faced virgins and homosexual orgies, Matt.

The one very substantial issue I disagree with him is on optimal book pricing, especially as applied to e-books. He claims that $10 is an entirely normal price for a Kindle book, and that charging less can even hurt your total sales because customers have learned to associate low prices with poor quality. A nice and plausible enough theory, with only one problem: Actual data doesn’t support it. The “sweet spot” for Kindle books in terms of maximizing revenue has been convincingly demonstrated to be $3-$4 (with a 40% markup if said book is non-fiction).

Self-improvement is a roadmap, not a guided tour. There can be no guarantees of success – as Matt himself, unlike the vast majority of self-help gurus, is honest enough to admit. Nonetheless, it is safe to say that reading this book will appreciably improve your chances of success. And considering that a hell of a lot of money can depend on this – maybe even a new career – this book way more than pays for itself in terms of the additional positive expected value it generates for you. If you wish to make serious money through blogging – well, through writing books and propagandizing them on your blog – then you could do a lot worse than getting hold of Matt Forney’s literary debut and spending a couple of hours digesting the hard-won wisdom in its 120 pages.

At the very least, as Matt himself might say, it would be “healthier than some of the other things people do in their spare time, like going to furry conventions.”

(Republished from AKarlin.com by permission of author or representative)
 
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The past two days I had the pleasure of observing the blowout over a post by blogger Matt Forney about rape – or more precisely, about “how to rape women and get away with it.” It’s completely satirical, quite funny, and one can’t help but by impressed by the size of the balls (no homo) needed to write that shit in a culture where rape is far more of a taboo than murder. Not very logical that, is it? But it’s true. You can assault people with reckless abandon or even shoot up civilians at a Russian airport in any number of FPS games, but rape is a no-no (so is even normal sex, for that matter). Unless you’re in Japan, but I digress…

Anyhow, I don’t know what set off the tripwire – Mr. Forney had published the article in question months ago – but within a few hours he was getting a flood of Internet hate from assorted Tumblr feminists and their angry beta male orbiters. The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s “Director for International Freedom of Expression” expressed the hope he’d get fired; others called for him to be raped and/or killed. The Anonymous brigade also joined in. After a couple of days, they blackmailed him into taking the post down. You can still read the original here at this blog (which is ironically enough dedicated to PUA hate).

As anyone can quite clearly see, the real issue Mr. Forney was addressing was false rape, and more specifically the campus rape industry that has sprung up in recent decades to employ the new legions of Gender Studies majors. According to those moonbats, something like 25% of female university students were raped in the course of their studies (suffice to say pulling down your panties after having had too much to drink and regretting it afterwards qualifies as “rape” in their bizarro-world). One almost can’t refrain from making jokes at their expense, but since that doesn’t tend to turn out so well, I will focus on statistics as is my wont anyway. After all, facts and data are much more difficult to censor out of existence than articles that can be construed – however tendentiously – as “promoting” rape.

The National Crime Victimization Survey is a dataset of interviews with a vast and representative sample of the US population that aims to get an objective picture of the true incidence of crime in America. The graph below is from the book The Better Angels of our Nature by Steven Pinker, a dyed-in-the-wool end-of-history type liberal: “It shows that in 35 years the rate has fallen by an astonishing 80 percent, from 250 per 100,000 people over the age of twelve in 1973 to 50 per 100,000 in 2008.” Now one has to give the feminists their fair due; if not for their anti-rape campaigns, the rate of decline would have likely been slower. Nonetheless, it is ironic that the public panic over rape and sexual assault has risen to fever pitch at precisely the moment in history when the real lifetime risk of becoming a victim of rape has never been lower.

incidence-of-rape-us-pinker

Now to be honest again, I do not know if the 50 per 100,000 figure is entirely accurate. Checking the data directly gives 243,800 rapes for an over-twelve population of 257,542,240 in 2011, which translates to a rate of 94 per 100,000 for 2011. Whence the discrepancy? I don’t know. Maybe Pinker made a mistake in his calculations. Or maybe it’s a semantic difference; whereas Pinker refers to just “rape”, the NCVS study linked to above calls it “rape / sexual assault.” Maybe they are treated as distinct crimes? Regardless, it is not even in the same ballpark as the 25% victimization rates – during four years of college – cited by the campus rape industry. It is, in reality, as gauged by a representative sample of the population of whom half will be women, much less than 1%, and probably around 0.1% or 0.2%.

Moreover, the NCVS destroys yet another gender feminist trope: That only 10% (or 1%, or whatever) of rapes are reported to the police because of pressure from the patriarchal rape culture. In reality, this figure was 55% in 2002, 49% in 2010, and 27% in 2011; the latest figure represents a puzzling drop, true – for a start, it isn’t replicated in reports of domestic violence – but even if it marks a new normal as opposed to a weird fluctuation during one year, it would still mean that the rate of rape reporting is many multiples higher than what the radical feminists claim.

So in short the situation we have as of recent years is that the rate of rape is 50-100 per 100,000 of which some 12.5-50 per 100,000 is reported. This closely tallies with the official reported rape rate of 27.3 per 100,000 (though bear in mind that this measures individual rapes and a few women will report more than one rape per year).

As of 1995, the rate of conviction for rape was about 20 per 100,000 of the male population over ten. This would make it around 10 per 100,000 of the total (to make it comparable with the data above), and while I would think it likely this figure has increased since then, let’s assume that it has remained stable (obviously kudos to anyone who can hunt down more recent data from a reliable source). So as of today there is a man convicted for every third woman who reported being raped – and that’s even before we take into account the fact that a man can well be responsible for raping several women, which would make the true conviction rate even higher. After you adjust for the serial rapists, who surely account for a very considerably fraction of real rapists, the rape conviction rate will probably be around 50%. Which is quite different from the figure of 5% that the campus rape industry cites.

For comparison, from the same link, in 1995 there were around 6 convictions per 100,000 for murder. In the same year the murder rate was 8.2 per 100,000. So the conviction rate for murder, a crime that is typically much, much easier to prove than rape, was at slightly less than 75%.

So the conviction rate for rape is, in reality, impressively high. It would be absolutely great if it accurately reflected a coin toss risk of conviction for rapists, but I don’t have nearly the amount of optimism in the criminal justice system that the radical feminists might ascribe to me. Here is a quotation from a 1996 Department of Justice study that tried to quantify the incidence of false rapes:

In about 23 percent of the 21,621 cases, DNA test results excluded suspects, according to respondents. An additional 16 percent of the cases, approximately, yielded inconclusive results, often because the test samples had deteriorated or were too small. Inconclusive results aside, test results in the balance of the cases did not exclude the suspect.

The FBI reported that, in the 10,060 cases it received, DNA testing results were about 20 percent inconclusive and 20 percent exclusion; the other 18 laboratories (11,561 cases) reported about 13 percent and 26 percent, respectively.*

So we have about 20% of cases in which DNA results flat out exculpate the suspects, and another 20% in which results are inconclusive. This is even before we stop to consider that these results merely set a minimum floor, as the remaining figures do not exclude consensual intercourse.

A series of other studies compiled by Frank Zepezauer – one of which took place in the US military and allowed the use of polygraph testing – set the rate of false rape reports at around 25%-60% (but weighted more towards the higher figure).

The false rape figures of 2% or so that you see bandied about by feminist organizations typically reflect only the percentage of those that the police explicitly recognize to be false. Given the very high burden of proof needed for that (because seriously questioning rape victims is a taboo today unlike the case in the 1970′s) this figure would obviously not be the same thing as the actual rate of false reports.

To sum up so far you have a yearly rate in the US of:

  • c.75 (50-100) rape victims per 100,000, vast majority women.
  • c.30 (12.5-50) rape victims per 100,000 reported to the police, vast majority women.
  • For which 10 per 100,000 will get a conviction, all men except for some weird cases.
  • Therefore, taking into account serial rapists, something like half of the rape victims will be “avenged” (at least on paper).
  • But of the women who report rape to the police, about 25% to 50% will be either lying or greatly distorting what really happened.
  • The last figures are backed up not only by the cited estimates of the prevalence of false rape accusations, but by realistic assumptions about the fallibility of the criminal justice system.

As per the last point, it’s too much to hope for that the criminal justice system will only, exclusively nail real rapists. In reality the deck is, if anything, stacked against innocent men and “pseudo-rapists” (i.e. the drunk fratboy who has sex with a consenting and equally drunk chick who really, really regrets it the morning after) because the pro rapists are almost by definition more proficient at it in the first place and would take care to cover their traces and create alibis.

Based on the above rough numbers, it is a reasonable estimate that in the US probably more than 25% of convicted rapists are in fact innocent, while a good 25% or so are the type of “pseudo-rapist” described above. And of course while far from all rape convicts will go to jail, their criminal record and the sheer opprobrium associated with rape will generally create multiple problems for them for the rest of their lives such as finding a job, maintaining good relations with friends and family, and wooing romantic prospects. In fact even a false rape accusation can wreck lives because whereas women are allowed to remain anonymous, the accused does not have that same privilege.

Now I know this concept of the “pseudo-rapist” is going to get me flak from the feminists but what can you do. Alcohol lowers inhibitions. People might do stupid things when they’re drunk, but they never do things that they don’t actually want to do – including those which are highly embarrassing in sober retrospect. Whereas female behavior in modern times is highly slutty (not that I’m complaining! – at least personally…) this goes against the human evolutionary heritage – not to mention the superstructure created by the traditional private property system – which prizes female chastity. Men simply do not prize women who sleep around a lot, so they have a biological imperative to protect their sexual reputations in order to get committed, higher quality mates. In a tiny minority of cases – but which constitute a sizable number in proportion to the number of real rapes! – this means that making a false rape accusation is preferable to a woman than letting it be known that she happily slept with the poor beta/omega bastard while blind drunk.

This doesn’t, of course, change the fact that many real rapes still go unreported (about 50% of them) and “unavenged” (also about 50% – and 75% when you adjust for the unjustly convicted). But at this point you’re not going to improve these percentages much by heeding feminist calls to criminalize more and more sexual activity and stacking the legal deck against men even more than it already is. At this stage we are well into the area of diminishing returns to legal sanctions, with any further tightening now only serving to vastly increase the number of ruined lives due to false or misleading rape reports while only ensnaring a few additional real rapists.

TL;DR version. I do think that some of the wilder MRM claims that 90% of rape reports are false are vast exaggerations with questionable motives. However, radical feminist claims of patriarchal rape cultures on American college campuses (which are some of the safest places for women in the world and history) or which minimize the incidence of false rape claims – or argue that the very concept of a false rape is a product of patriarchal thinking, which is downright loathsome and totalitarian – are if anything even more risible and incredible.

This post was about the US. The next one will be about international comparisons, and the conclusions drawn from there will make this post look tame and politically correct by comparison.

(Republished from AKarlin.com by permission of author or representative)
 
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Anatoly Karlin
About Anatoly Karlin

I am a blogger, thinker, and businessman in the SF Bay Area. I’m originally from Russia, spent many years in Britain, and studied at U.C. Berkeley.

One of my tenets is that ideologies tend to suck. As such, I hesitate about attaching labels to myself. That said, if it’s really necessary, I suppose “liberal-conservative neoreactionary” would be close enough.

Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics, Gnosticism, and Russian cosmism than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.