Why I left the 8088 MPH team

In short, it wasn’t my choice. Then who decided? Jim Leonard, aka Trixter. So is Jim able to singlehandedly decide who is and isn’t part of the ‘team’? Yes, apparently. So, it isn’t really a ‘team’ then, is it? No, it is not.

What happened is a long and complicated story, some of which you may have been able to read between the lines already in these two earlier blogposts. I think it is only fair that I make the full conversation between Jim and myself available, so it’s not just a “he said, she said”. So you can read back what happened exactly. And I will give my view on this:

In short, given the aftermath of BLM protests-turned-riots after George Floyd’s death, and the fact that there were even BLM/Floyd-inspired protests in my country, I was curious about Jim’s view on this, given that these riots had taken place in his country, and some even close to where he lives.

As far as I am concerned, this was a conversation between two people who have known each other for many years, and could be considered friends. And it was a conversation where I showed interest in current affairs and cultural phenomena.

Also, given that we are more or less the same age, I would have assumed that Jim would have a similar liberal, humanist outlook on these things, given that this was the dominant view in Western culture for as long as we can remember, and this woke ‘successor ideology’ has only come into vogue in recent years. Not to mention that just common sense, logic and rationality would lead you in that direction anyway.

But apparently I was wrong. For some reason, Jim did not apply any kind of rational thinking or common sense, but seemed to have been fully emerged into the dogma’s of the woke cult. Which resulted in him just giving knee-jerk reactions. To the point where he escalated by asking me if I were a “White Supremacist”. Because apparently that’s what you call people who don’t want to racialize everything, and who don’t want to judge people based on the colour of their skin, but on the content of their character?

Shortly after that, I let the conversation rest for about a month, and I wrote the first article on wokeness. I don’t know if Jim read that, but when I picked up the conversation again, a month later, he only insisted even more. Instead of just asking, he started literally calling me a “White Nationalist”, and basically became completely unhinged. For no apparent reason as far as I am concerned, as I have said nothing even remotely racist, unlike him.

Not wanting to get too deep into this whole woke/CRT/intersectionality thing again, but there are a few things I’d like to mention.

First, there is this article that talks about Learned Helplessness, which also explains why this woke view on ‘White Privilege’, ‘White Supremacy’ and such, is actually a form of racism in itself.

Secondly, the article also explains how this creates a mindset where black people think they have less agency than they actually do. The included diagrams make it very obvious that the *perception* of racism has changed a lot, while the actual racism has not. Because of the framing of CRT/BLM, people blame more things on racism/discrimination, rather than on their own actions.

Or, in the words of the ever insightful and eloquent Helen Pluckrose:

Speaking of Helen Pluckrose, for more background regarding woke/postmodernist ideology, as well as its antithesis, premodernist ideology, I can suggest this excellent article from 2017, which is still relevant today:

This also covers another pet peeve of mine: how the enemies of Modernity make everything political, and put every topic and opinion either under the left-wing or the right-wing label. If it’s not the one, it must be the other.

Which boils down to this: CRT/BLM is supported by left-wing. So if I am critical of CRT/BLM, then I must be right-wing, and the fact that I even want to discuss this topic means that the discussion is ‘political’.

None of which is true. But that is what I ran into. First, Jim clearly gave me an ‘ultimatum’: as a proper wokie, he made ‘political’ topics ‘off-limits’, where ‘political’ can be any subject we don’t agree on. Free speech, free opinions… we can’t have any of that! And apparently, it was fine that he called me an asshole, White Supremacist and whatnot… but ohnoes, I responded to his many insults and deliberate misrepresenting of my statements with an f-bomb. Totally inappropriate! I mean, why would Jim hold himself to the same rules as me? He can say and do anything, but I must bow to His Greatness, and only speak when spoken to.

These were terms that I was not willing to accept. So I mentioned on the team mailing list that Jim called me a White Supremacist, and that I was not willing to work under those circumstances. To which Jim responded by removing me from the mailing list, Github, Trello and whatever other team resources I had access to. He even blocked me on Twitter. He tried to cover up this cowardly ego-act by claiming he was afraid that I would delete the team resources if I had access. Yea right… Firstly, I didn’t have the rights on most resources to do that, and secondly, I would never do anything remotely that childish. I guess it says a lot about him that he thinks like that.

Okay, so now the ball was in the court of the rest of the team. Did I say team? Whoops, nope. There is no team. Only one person reached out to me, and we could discuss what happened in more detail. I haven’t heard from the others at all. Apparently they were fine with Jim calling me a White Supremacist, and removing me from the team single-handedly (does that mean they too think this? Based simply on Jim saying that?). They didn’t care that I wasn’t part of the team any longer, or that Jim had made it impossible for me to return to the team, as it stands. The disconnect between him and me would have to be resolved, and it is pretty obvious, at least to me, who is in the wrong here.

I mean, I can’t even begin to imagine how you can think that someone whom you’ve known for many years, who’s never made political references, let alone racist references, is somehow a White Supremacist, and is somehow trying to be a political activist, or whatever it is he thinks. What’s worse, I can’t even begin to understand how you can think that it’s just fine to call someone a White Supremacist, and then think you can still make a demo together. You know that when you do that, you cross a line, one that is not easy to get back from. You chose to burn that bridge.

And I don’t understand either how the rest of the people from 8088 MPH could just be silent when someone boots one of the members out of the team, under some vague accusation of “White Supremacist”. I mean, unless you’ve been living under a rock, it should be pretty obvious that accusations of “White Supremacy” are being thrown around gratuitously by radicalized activists, so when you hear that accusation being thrown around, the first thing you do is smell a rat, not think the accusation is an accurate representation of someone’s stance.

But well, with the exception of one person, apparently nobody thought that. After the release of Area 5150, I asked what exactly the other team members thought. But only two people responded, and both of them gave me the same bullshit ‘political’ nonsense. One of them even went into an unhinged rant, making all sorts of assumptions about me that were obviously wrong. When I pointed out that in all my years of demoscene and writing music, I have NEVER included any kind of political statement whatsoever, and even on this blog, I have only written two blogs regarding ‘wokeness’, which obviously were related to what happened with Jim (but were written AFTER our initial clash, so could not have *caused* the disagreement with Jim), there was no response.

I guess I am just deeply disappointed. Both in people in general, and in these people I considered to be friends in particular. You’d think there’d be some kind of bond, some mutual trust and respect after having made 8088 MPH together, visiting Revision, and then staying in touch for years after that, working on a successor. But nope, apparently none of that means anything to them.

But to me it means I won’t join another team lightly. It takes months, if not years, of intense work and collaboration to make a demo of the caliber of 8088 MPH or Area 5150. I thought it should be obvious that this requires a good team, with mutual trust and respect. But apparently others think you can just call people a White Supremacist and think they’ll just continue making a demo with you. Well, not me anyway.

In closing, I would like to mention the book The Parasitic Mind, by Gad Saad. I read it recently, and I recognized various aspects. Like Gad Saad, I value freedom and truth a lot. And I like to approach things with a healthy combination of rationality and humour. Jim’s behaviour in the conversation can be described as ‘enemy of reason’. Some of Gad Saad’s descriptions are spot-on for this case.

This is also about the two modes of thought, as formulated by Daniel Kahneman. “System 1” is where you act primarily, based on emotions and preconceptions, where “System 2” is more elaborate, logical reasoning.

Gad Saad argues in his book that you can use nomological networks of cumulative evidence to show that something is likely to be true (or false). And if you read back the conversation, you can see that I try to bring in various sources of information, and try to approach topics from various sides. Sadly, Jim does not bother to even look at them. He outright rejects sources, simply based on the messenger (or more accurately: the radicalized activist propaganda against the messenger that he has been exposed to). So there’s a problem with that approach: you can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. Well, at least I tried…

It just surprised me that even demosceners, who should be more System 2-oriented, can be so socially awkward they they are only going for knee-jerk System 1-thinking when the topic is more social/cultural than technical, and don’t bother to dive any deeper in the subject matter, even when it’s being spoonfed to you, and aren’t able to keep an open mind and have a more logical, rational approach (not even the rather obvious possibility that organizations such as BLM and Antifa might not be exactly what their name implies). And instead, actually choose to behave like a total asshole toward you, and not even have the self-reflection to see what you’re doing. To me, Jim shows all the signs of having been radicalized.

For everyone who is as daft and insensitive as Jim: https://thepushback.us/2022/12/09/the-woke-mind-virus/

Anti-woke isn’t anti-black, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT, or anti-equality. It’s neither MAGA nor fascist, and it’s absolutely not discriminatory or extremist. Anti-woke rejects the artificially constructed forced morality binary. Elevating arbitrarily chosen “grievances” and protecting select groups above others can only end in disaster. Not all grievance rises to a level that requires or demands redress. Don’t allow yourself to be manipulated.

This sounds like Jim:

Ironically, in practice, wokeness manifests in bullying, threats, identitarian essentialism, and devaluation of others. Many times it’s just narcissism masquerading as empathy.

Update: It has come to my attention that Jim has posted a response: https://trixter.oldskool.org/2022/12/30/the-semantics-of-discourse/

Sadly, it does not address any of the core issues, and he also lies about the fact that he singlehandedly removed me from the mailinglist and other resources. Also, it doesn’t make sense that he claims “we could continue making demos together as long as we never discuss politics again” (which as I already said, is an unacceptable ultimatum), while at the same time he has blocked me from Twitter and other resources. The one who would want to continue is the one who doesn’t block the other party, and that would be me. As I said, just not under circumstances that are unacceptable, so those had to be worked out first. With the whole team obviously (as it was clear at this point that Jim had completely shut down the conversation with me, and there was no way for me to get any kind of point across, and trigger any kind of introspection. He had dug himself in too deep for that). There was no reason to block me if I had just chosen to no longer contribute. But blocking me does guarantee that I CANNOT contribute, and cannot even get in contact. And that is what Jim did. For those who still need subtitles: look up “passive-aggressive behaviour“.

Bonus: there is a rather long comment that provides quite a bit of scientific/historic information, and you can find Jim’s response once again denying science and history, as he’s still fully sucked into the cult. Jim’s response also seems to indicate that he sees no difference between my stance and the commenter’s, while there clearly is a fundamental difference (as anyone who has read my earlier articles on wokeness should be able to pick out). Spoiler:

To me, the only race that exists is the ‘human race’.

Update: Jim continues lying. I was removed from the mailing list almost immediately after my last message. That is BEFORE anyone could even respond. Which means Jim had not had feedback from anyone. Jim was also the sole administrator of the mailing list, so he was the only person who could remove me from it. Ergo, he singlehandedly removed me from it, without consulting the rest of the team (if you read between the lines, he basically admits this, since he doesn’t mention any feedback from the team, between points 4 and 5. He just pulls up a smokescreen to hide that, by claiming I’m wrong, which I’m not. He’s just being manipulative, as we’ve already seen in the private exchange as well).

Aside from the obvious logic that I had no reason to leave the team other than Jim calling me a white supremacist repeatedly, combined with all the other underhanded bully tactics you can find in our mail exchange. It should be obvious that I would have wanted an apology and some kind of reconciliation, but other than that, there was no reason not to continue on the demo. But Jim clearly didn’t want me on the team anymore, so that never happened (Jim isn’t man enough to just outright say “I didn’t want you on the team because I think you’re a racist and white supremacist, and that’s why I took action”. He wants to disguise his actions and motives, but he’s the one who decided to burn that bridge. Now he can’t own up to it).

Even now, if you read his message, he doubles down on me actually being a racist/white supremacist. He just regrets saying it to me. That’s not an apology, is it? The problem is that you think I’m a racist. Not whether or not you say it out loud. Who wants to be friends with a racist? And who wants to be friends with someone who thinks they’re a racist? So what we would need, is some reconciliation where you understand that my viewpoints are not racist (nor political for that matter). Jim is just a terrible person. And he tries to cover up for how terrible he is. He even removed the comment from user ‘Catweazle666’, to hide his denial of science and history. Just keep digging that hole deeper, Jim!

He removed it under the guise of ‘political’. Which it wasn’t. It was a combination of some historical facts, and Catweazle666’s personal view on these. There were no politics involved. History isn’t political (well, it is when you’re woke, because you want to rewrite history to suit your political agenda). So there we are, Jim has given us the perfect proof that he indeed will censor anything he doesn’t agree with, under the guise of it being ‘political’, exactly as I said.

The part where he claims he was “trying to help me” because I would have been “deeply troubled” is hilarious (not to mention completely arrogant and misplaced). Anyone who reads the conversation, can see I was not asking for help, nor was he giving it (but perhaps he means that he thinks that everyone who doesn’t share his opinions, is deeply troubled and needs help). Also, it is clear that I wasn’t deeply troubled. I was more surprised that groups of people in various parts of the country were tearing down entire city blocks in riots, based on ideology that at least as far as I had looked into it, was basically a conspiracy theory (similar to the classic antisemitic conspiracy theory where a small group of powerful Jews would control the world, except the Jews were replaced with ‘White Supremacists’ in this version. A conspiracy theory that Jim has clearly bought into, given that the only ‘proof’ he goes on for me being a ‘White Supremacist’, is that I do not condemn ‘The System’ enough to his liking. As such, I must be ‘complicit’ in this ‘system’, which makes me a ‘White Supremacist’, despite the fact that I have never uttered anything remotely racist or white supremacist myself. That is how radicalized he is). Given Jim’s responses, and his inability to have a reasonable, factual conversation, but instead shut down and start insulting his otherwise calm and rational discussion partner, he is the one who is deeply troubled. Are his social skills that bad that he can’t even read a conversation properly? Or is he again lying and manipulating to make himself look good in the shitshow that he himself created, at my expense?

His claims about deleting resources are also quite sad. The fact that *someone* may have done this in the past still doesn’t mean that *I* would ever do that (aside from the fact that as I already said, I wouldn’t have the rights to do that in the first place). I’m a different person. Apparently Jim is a very poor judge of character. And apparently, Jim thinks very lowly of me. Again, where’s the mutual trust and respect, if I were to do a demo with him? The fundamental difference here is that Jim judges me on things that he *thinks* I would say or do (but never actually said nor did, nor even planned to say or do, as he is very wrong in his judgement), whereas I merely judge Jim on things he *actually* said and did.

His tribal groupthink is also obvious in how he thinks he is a spokesperson for all Americans, when he describes what he thinks. Whereas in the conversation it is clear I only asked him what *he* thought, and would in no way generalize that to ALL Americans. We’re all individuals, all capable of making our own decisions, forming our own thoughts etc.

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5 Responses to Why I left the 8088 MPH team

  1. nickysn says:

    A lot of people have become radicalized, unfortunately. 😦 I find it that now it’s impossible to talk about politics. With so many people I avoid talking about it, because otherwise it would ruin our friendship. Also, because the conversation is so irrational (i.e. “System 1”), it really is pointless, it becomes like “arguing with the radio”. Which is a form of self-censorship and is very unhealthy for a democracy, but it’s a fact.

    • nickysn says:

      For example, in Bulgaria we also had BLM protests. You might wonder why, especially, since 1) the Bulgarian police didn’t kill a black person. The U.S. police did; 2) Bulgaria never had slavery in all its history, and it didn’t even have colonies 3) Bulgarians themselves were historically victims of slavery, see:


      Note that this period continued for several centuries, it’s far longer than the U.S.A. has ever existed.

      In fact, the English word “slave” is probably related to the Slavic people, who are white and who were victims of slavery. See also:


      But of course, this is apparently not taught in Critical Race Cources in American universities. And American NGOs (sponsored by the Democrats) who pay for these protests simply don’t care and respect individual countries and their culture and history. We’re all opressors, according to them, and therefore must share their guilt, just because we’re white.

      • Scali says:

        Which, oh the irony, is a very racist thing.
        I always say that the Nazis would be proud of intersectionality. It is a racial hierarchy that is even more sophisticated than the one the Nazis had developed.

    • Scali says:

      I don’t even consider this to be ‘political’ in the first place. It’s *made* political, as I said. To me, this CRT/BLM thing is an academic-turned-cultural phenomenon first and foremost.
      I am not one to talk about politics in general. But this cultural shift, regardless of political direction (as I say, I agree with the article I shared about Enemies of Modernity, that it is being attacked from BOTH sides… the extremist right-wing backlash against the extremist left-wing adoption of CRT/BLM and such is just as damaging to our society) is one we should all worry about, because is this where we want to be going?

      • nickysn says:

        I agree with the article as well. What’s interesting is that here, in Bulgaria, all this wokism and social justice is being pushed by a supposedly right-wing party, which is kind of the opposite of Western Europe, where this is considered “left-wing”. Here, due to our communist past, anything left of center is accused (without proof, of course) of being “communist”, “pro-Russian”, “anti-European” and “anti-western”. So, a pro-western social-democratic party (similar to what you probably have in the Netherlands) would be accused of being those things. And that’s how they polarize our society. If you support such a party, people will say “Oh, you want to return back in the USSR era! You should go and live in Siberia!”, etc. On the other hand, the right-wing party is pushing all this wokist nonsense, that nobody believes in, however many people are afraid to admit so, because they want to be accused of being “anti-democratic” or “communist”. And it becomes impossible to have a rational conversation with anybody.

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