Posts Tagged ‘internet’

Caught In The Web

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

Without remembering exactly when I first heard the term “internet,” it appeared in my house somewhere after 1990 as a dial-up modem. I had absolutely no interest in it for some reason. I was skeptical towards it some time later even when we got the faster, more convenient ISDN. The thought of communicating with strangers around the world seemed very unpleasant to me. Closing in on 2000 some homes near us started getting cable modems that put them online 24/7. Soon thereafter it was the norm.

I began using the web infrequently to search for topics I found interesting. Later I would start using IRC, unwillingly at first. But it had benefits for communicating with friends. You were a nick on a screen and nothing more. However, the system with channels was clearly altering the way people met new contacts and made social bonds. Not in a good way. I noticed it. The amount of drama, gossip, conflicts and lies where downright disturbing. Often people behind nicks did not reflect who the person was in reality at all.

Some people I had a good impression of, whom I felt I knew after long periods of chatting, but then “met” them again when a careless comment revealed their actual character, made me want to turn around and run. I had some serious arguments with people who were present on the channels to the point it seemed we were ready for a time and place to rip each other to pieces. Only to meet by coincidence, looking at each other, embarrassed, laughing and shaking hands. This was the norm by the way. My worst examples in each end of the spectrum are not even bad compared to what other people did. I can mention a person who attempted ordering an assassination and something close to a local gang war as the worst ones. And most of these people where just the normal guys and girls in town.

As a protection against this ridiculous form of skewed socialization I and some others moved out of channels like #yourtown to ones set up for networks of people who used to be together out in the real world. This improved the situation somewhat but still had problems. People would invite in others they knew, just like in real life. The difference was of course that it still had some of the same problems as the major channels. You had to deal with persons who were not there physically. People you under normal circumstances would never bond to, but ended up doing still because you kind of knew the friends of your friends more that way. This resulted in networks being formed in a more unnatural way, at least to some extent that was important. Every circle of people that formed around me at that time that had come out  of internet communication was quickly torn up by levels of conflict that were unusual in our culture prior to this. Including one episode of severe violence that had substantial effect on the local community as a whole.

The final solution to this came around 2002/03. MSN. I quickly faded my IRC use to looking at the screen now and then a few times a day to pulling the plug forever in 2004. So did “everyone” else. I looked at my hometown channels list of nicks just before quitting. The only names remaining were those of a few nerds who were the original inhabits. MSN was perfect. Just a list with your actual friends to talk to. As a add-on you had forums for different interests. I left most of those to because of many of the same reasons as IRC. That it had the tendency to put incompatible people in the same “room” in a situation that would not occur in a purely IRL setting.

So here we have a example of how social networking online went from one primitive prototype and back into just private messages and forums for whatever interests the person had. You could still be on the internet with gloves on and nothing was centralized yet. There was a very clear distinction between your life and the internet, even when you consider the negative impacts it could have had already at that point. 

However, here I should add one important thing. There were some other sites then, used by a certain kind of troubled people, which were similar to later ones like Facebook. It is interesting for me to note that the users of these that I knew often correlated with Leftism, r-selected traits and somehow using the internet purposely to find partners or sexual adventures.

Then came 2007…

Everyone was talking about this Facebook. “You have to join. It’s fantastic! You are not there yet?”

No, I was not there. I quickly learned that this was a new network that was different. I instantly felt a deep opposition to the idea and decided to not go on it. I got even more reluctant when we met friends out or invited them home. They seemed to know everything about everyone because of Facebook. I found that repugnant because one of the interesting things about meeting people is to talk about what’s new and what they have been up to. Knowing it all beforehand seemed to take away a lot of the point about going for a cup of coffee or visiting someone. Not to mention that everyone you knew were supposed to know certain things about you all the time the moment you did it. You could of course join and not broadcast everything, but it seemed to me that careful use was not the rule but the exception.

Looking back at Facebook I wonder why it happened. A network like that had certainly been technologically possible for years. And there had been some other attempts at similar ones before. But most people had a sense of a border between the internet and IRL. As in: you put on decent clothes when you  go out, you don’t go to the store in underwear or walk around your garden naked. A bit of a clumsy analogy, but you get the point. Somehow people were very willing to break down those boundaries. Why take the gloves of then? Did the users of those similar networks before pave the way, push the boundaries further and somehow pull the rest of the population with them into this new level of doing it? Or was there a strong media campaign driving people towards it that was orchestrated by the creators?

I joined in 2009, in the summer. I made a compromise. I would not add people I had been in the same room as once. I would add people I knew well enough, then, or in the past, like the guy who sat two seats behind me in the German class I attended for two weeks in 97 would not be enough. So I was there doing nothing important. Somehow parodying the whole thing or doing it with a tongue in cheek attitude when I did anything at all. So for the first years it had very little impact at all. I mostly kept things as they were by doing my communication at MSN or SMS and some forum activity.

MSN was scrapped, and people I knew in real life wanted to use Facebook for messages so I had to do so as well. They quickly introduced their own Messenger. And suddenly, together with a lot more, the internet was centralized around the monster imitation Facebook…It had by then taken over networking, chat, personal home pages, dating services etc. to such and extent that you could almost call Facebook the heart of the internet. The metaphor of the boiling frog comes to mind here

In my point of “revelation” in 2015 I finally used Facebook for activism. I had done so on occasions earlier, but not very actively. I did some posting now and then on Islam and the breakdown of family values from 2011. My prediction or hope of a rising movement in 2015 included a rebellion against this form of networking as well. As I clearly saw how the peer pressure there and in the media had finally caught complete hold. Just before the migrant crisis most people were ready to say no…but they did not.

A few days before Christmas 2016 I deactivated Facebook and kept the Messenger service only. Just a week ago I deleted the account completely and set up a Messenger linked only to my phone number. Only that and a Instagram profile remains, together with a newer free-speech service named Gab that is another kind of animal I will leave out of this, for now. I had intended to get to this point since 2015.

This monster clearly acts and shapes the internet in this way. It is the same pattern mirrored there as in the outside world: feedback looping. In my retelling of how I witnessed the rise of the internet I left out another very important event just to avoid mixing them up. In January 2007 I watched Steve Jobs introduce the iPhone. That event is hugely important as it marked a shift in people’s use of all these things. People would soon be able to have the internet not only 24/7 on their desktop and laptop at home, work or school. They would soon be on it 24/7 everywhere. Life went total as most people picked it up towards 2010 and it caused further innovations in various services.

I like many others have seen notable behavior changes in people after 2007. And even I being alert to this feel that my perception and experience of the world have changed. Even when leaving all this behind I can sense it around me like some sort of field. By that I don’t mean I can sense the microwaves. It is more a presence I know is there, everywhere, that my instincts detect as a threat, which it undoubtedly is. I can illustrate what I mean by this. In 2012 we where hit by a bad storm during Christmas. It knocked out everything. The mobile network, most emergency services and lines of communication went down. At one point the power went out and we were in total blackout as in a pre-1900 state. It was like some switch was shut off. My whole body and mind had a stress reduction response that was very notable. My thoughts was “Freedom!” And that was what it felt like. 

A YouTube personality I found on Stefan Molyneux’s show brought my attention to another strange psychological phenomenon that is well known but somehow less talked about. Mass hysteria. She further connected it to social media. Where she theorized that it not only caused it, but made it more frequent and long-lasting. And pointing out that it was much more difficult to cure it because of that. This further reinforced the notion I have picked up that white people tend to be much more sensitive to outer stimuli and how it affects perception of reality. That makes the current overload of media and virtual social interaction a significant contributor to our current situation. Although not being the origin of our problems it has been speeding up the decline to an extent I find hard to calculate.

We should study how this artificial shrinking of the world, distances and communication methods really affect us. What happens in the body, the brain and its various systems when you meet someone in person compared to communicating over the web? And so on…The difference might be more important than we think or tend to feel about it. Because in our time there is a huge cliff between how we consciously think various things affect us compared to what they actually do. And this lie at the heart of it all. The disconnectedness.

Goldman Sachs Notices Dot-Com 3.0 Collapse

Saturday, June 10th, 2017

Get ready for the taste of pavement. For some time, Amerika has been reporting on the Dot-Com 3.0 bust heading our way.

Where Dot-Com 1.0 died in 2000, and resurrected in the early 2000s, the current boom began with the shift to mobile devices in 2007 and has seen its fortunes fall as mobile devices have become less of the grand boom that people hoped.

Now, the markets are noticing that top tech stocks are over-valued:

Goldman Sachs on Friday released a report on the top five outperforming mega-cap names in tech with some warnings on valuations and concerns that their volatility has become extraordinarily low. In fact, the stocks had become closely correlated to safe haven plays, like bonds and utilities.

…What it found is that the current-day tech stocks have advantages in cash flow, valuation and cash balances over the top five tech names in the first quarter of 2000 — just before the bubble burst. But the current group is behind in profitability, as measured by gross profits and total assets.

The group makes up about 13 percent of the S&P 500, but has accounted for almost 40 percent of its year-to-date performance. The stocks are among the top holdings of hedge funds. The analysts noted that mutual funds, aimed at core, growth and value, are overweight all but Apple, and the five companies combined are 11.8 percent of those mutual fund holdings.

What is the product of this third iteration of the internet, which is powered by social media and search engines? Advertising. So, the internet is the new television… and yet, people are dropping out of the internet as an entertainment medium as it becomes destroyed by the herd behavior that destroys every human endeavor.

Those with the attention span and experience to know how the promise of the internet has died are starting to speak out about its centralization under social media:

In Sunde’s opinion, people focus too much on what might happen, instead of what is happening. He often gets questions about how a digitally bleak future could look like, but the truth is that we’re living it.

Everything has gone wrong. That’s the thing, it’s not about what will happen in the future it’s about what’s going on right now. We’ve centralized all of our data to a guy called Mark Zuckerberg, who’s basically the biggest dictator in the world as he wasn’t elected by anyone.

One of the most important things to realize is that the problem isn’t a technological one. “The internet was made to be decentralized,” says Sunde, “but we keep centralizing everything on top of the internet.”

Who is “we”? The answer is simple: the consumer. The internet went from being a place of many sites offering diverse information to a few big companies that control everything because the consumer audience wanted safe, convenient, easy and cheap data. So they turned to centralizers like Facebook, Wikipedia, Google search, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, Apple iTunes and Netflix.

That in turn ensured that all those independent producers of content stopped producing. What is the point to investing twenty or forty hours of time a week in online content in exchange for a few hundred visits a day? People abandoned the internet to the new conglomerate overlords. These then used their market power to expand so that now, they are all fighting for their share of the herd flowing through.

In other words, the decentralized behavior of the herd caused centralization, much as it did in government, and this centralized force then had an interest in managing, controlling and manipulating the herd. The human pattern repeats yet again, and soon, we will bear witness to the force of its emptiness.

They Have Made The Internet Into Daytime Television

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

Donald Trump shows another role for himself: ringmaster. He knows that as long as the goes on, the audience will cheer, and while they are cheering, they support him.

To that end he stands at the front of the three rings and gestures with his baton. Sometimes, he summons the daredevil, sometimes the clown. And sometimes he just trolls the media by typing “covfefe” into a microblog, possibly merely as a joke on the need for coffee before one can be coherent in the morning, a staple of family-friendly comedy for the past three decades at least.

He knows that business opportunities appear to those who recognize the actual state of things versus the hype, or the hive buzz created by the intersection of media, academia and social chatter. In his understanding, media is an overvalued industry about to fall, and it is to his advantage to both use them and destroy them with non-news that fascinates them.

But then, for the rest of us, there remains the unpleasant task of avoiding seeing the term “covfefe” for the next forty-eight hours. Every carny and barista out there who wants to show how clever he is will be riffing on it, the media will be full of it, and soon even academia will offer papers showing how in a postmodern context nonsense language is used to accelerate totalitarianism.

This society as a whole is entirely devoid of ideas, but the worst of all may be the internet. It is presumed to be a space of ideas, where symbols are more important than the time, space, money and status differentials dividing them. In reality, it has become daytime television, or entertainment for those who are stuck in a path that leads to nowhere but its own repetition.

By itself, this would not be a problem, but the internet has taken over public discourse — you can do it without leaving your home and waddling through this diversity-blighted, corporate-owned, broken and dysfunctional wasteland — and in order to be heard, voices must be competitive, which means descending to the level of simplicity and “spicy” clickbaity text as the rest.

If the Alt Right has a weak point…

Most of the blogs now focus on, in emulation of Mencius Moldbug, making a very simple concept look as complex as possible. They invent matrices, theories, metrics and indices. The reason for this is that it makes the audience feel like geniuses for grasping a detail as if it were the whole. That is a modern theme, found in self-help books and science: tiny traits being amplified to world-controlling theories.

And we know Moldbug was just taking a college-educated view of Maddox, whose satirical-fanatical egotism was an obvious trope at the start and wore thin over time. Neither really managed what Jorn Barger saw in the blog, which was a real-time means of responding to events.

Of course, my original writings were from before those. They actually had some academic grit to them, and focused on the philosophy behind events rather than tangible and exciting use of metaphors as if they were reality. From the early 1990s onward, I have been writing against democracy, in favor of culture and race, against materialism, and in favor of transcendental and naturalistic deep ecology outlooks. My sites offered academic writing, informed by philosophy, long before Maddox or Moldbug. In fact, most of you are making a name for yourselves by rediscovering or ripping off ideas I wrote about two decades ago.

But professional analysis and sober diagnosis does not compete with “X theory is the source of everything bad, and LARPing is the solution” as seems to dominate the blogs. Like self-help books or modern science, blogs specialize on finding a new detail every week to hype into an apocalypse and a solution. This is why, over time, they fade away: one can only keep promising doom and salvation for so long.

People do not realize that whatever defines a medium migrates to every corner of it, including those that think they are underground. The Alt Right is not immune to the daytime television conversion of the internet. Instead, it absorbs it and takes it into its own unique form, so that now we get esoteric complex Rightist writings that have become clickbait and self-help.

The only solution to this is to demand more from the internet. Is it a library, a newsstand, or a television? The fools say it is all three, but the wise realize that only one form will predominate, and it will subjugate the others, as is the rule of nature. I say we go for the library, actually learn something, and then act instead of distracting ourselves with dramatic but empty theory.

Why The STEM Shortage Is A Myth

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

People react to threats with manias. They create a symbol to drive away the blood-god, and then they cling to that symbol in a pathological and obsessive manner.

It is such with the incoming economic collapse of the West. We are facing the results of centuries of bad policy all crashing down together, and our political establishment will do nothing to admit or counter this.

Our talisman against economic failure is “jobs,” and as a subset of that, the religion of STEM was born. Instead of noting that the liberal arts, when not infested with Leftism, are necessary for learning critical thinking, the herd has decided that we should all be computer programmers.

There is only one problem: they have not looked at how computer programming has changed since the 1990s.

During that time, the internet was a wild west. There were new demands, namely learning how to make many servers work together as one. People had to develop the big apps like search engines, blog software, email clients and application frameworks.

But now, all the semi-difficult thinking has been done, itself mostly derived from the work done to make the operating systems and networking protocols invented back in the 1950s and 1960s. We are at best flies feeding on the carrion of the past, converting something functional into another form of television or newsmagazine.

Applications have standardized in other fields as well. The other development from the early 1990s was the gradual stabilization of an industry standard operating system, Windows, and although it has a couple tag-alongs, it basically still rules the day thanks to its momentum caused by that standardization. (Windows itself was based on the theory behind another 1960s-era operating system.)

What won the day? Time. Time and many people working on iterations of existing technology, gradually improving it until functional versions were available. If we have a problem now, it is that people need to justify their jobs, and so keep “improving” applications in ways that make them less functional. In many ways, we are simply re-learning the past as we roll back these “improvements.”

However, all the big opportunities have gone. Over the past decade, we have seen a gradual decline of programming from a Wild West to a type of blue-collar clerkship:

U.S. tech talent shortage discussions tend to focus on getting more young people to go to college to become CS grads. Nothing wrong with that, writes Anil Dash, but let’s not forget about education which teaches mid-level programming as a skilled trade, suitable for apprenticeship and advancement in a way that parallels traditional trade skills like HVAC or welding. Dash encourages less of a focus on ‘the next Zuckerberg’ in favor of encouraging solid middle-class tech jobs that are primarily focused on creating and maintaining tech infrastructure in non-tech companies. Dash also suggests ‘changing the conversation about recruiting technologists from the existing narrow priesthood of highly-skilled experts constantly chasing new technologies to productive workers getting the most out of widely-deployed platforms and frameworks.

As with all things in the post-collapse West, the technology industry is trading on the image of the past. Maybe in the 1950s, and as late as the early 1990s, there was room for radical innovation that required a nerd priesthood to demystify the machine. Now, however, this technology has been integrated into everyday life, and has shown little actual utility beyond what we were doing with it in the early 1990s: office applications, email and online ordering.

This means that the market will collapse inward and be distributed outward at the same time. The new programmer does not work for a fancy technology company, but labors away at a regular business, in charge of multiple functions that involve more configuring existing software than developing new, groundbreaking work.

Programming itself has changed as well. The roll-your-own days are gone, replaced by extensive libraries that one ties together with little more than object oriented scripting in order to produce apps for mobile devices or the web. All but a few applications of this require skills that are now taught as rote by programming boot camps.

Consequently the big money is gone, too, although the market is still catching up to that fact. The radical technologies of one decade, returning high margins, are the expected parts of reality with low margins in the next decade. The best bubble comparison for the internet is long-distance calling. When the phone system was new, long distance was expensive and a lucrative market; as soon as the technology matured, however, the prices came down and the industry mostly went away.

The same is true of the internet. What will be left will be like the shopping malls of the 1980s: you go to Google and for any search, see a list of approved sites. You can then shop at any of those, including non-profits in which content has been denatured for your safety. The former Wild West will be a managed experience entirely driven by consumer demand.

Accordingly, programming will calm down as well. Most offices will have a guy who codes up the web site, maintains the network, and answers help calls from people having trouble with their computers. It will be well-paid, but not beyond what a good plumber makes. The gold rush is over, and the boom in needing engineers and programmers is also fading.

There never was a STEM gap, after all. We had enough people here to do the jobs, and the jobs were going away and losing their shine anyway. Even those who flocked to Silicon Valley to earn a quarter million a year soon found that expenses ate away most of that. Every time the herd stampedes, it destroys what it stampedes toward.

In the meantime, politicians are hyping free college and a STEM boom because it is easy. Industry wanted more workers so it could take the best and pay everyone else peanuts. Most people have ended up with jobs they dislike, doing rote tasks they have come to hate, in a predatory environment. This is what always happens when the herd fascinates itself with a gold rush.

This is the nature of markets, and if your politicians promise you a future based on STEM, they are lying. The real future lies elsewhere: in finding jobs that match capabilities of our co-ethnic citizens, and sending everyone else home, because the great wealth boom is not only over, but was always a scam.

Net Neutrality Lunges In The Wrong Direction

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

The Left specializes in creating mental spam. Every few weeks, there is a new distraction that they hype into an end-of-the-world style issue, not so much because they care about the issue, but because they need to keep their base panicked and angry so that they become a personal army to crush opposition and demand Leftist power.

Currently the Leftism media-political establishment is raging about net neutrality:

Federal regulators will move to roll back one of the Obama administration’s signature Internet policies this week, launching a process to repeal the government’s net neutrality rules that currently regulate how Internet providers may treat websites and their own customers. The vote on Thursday, led by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, will kick off consideration of a proposal to relax regulations on companies such as Comcast and AT&T. If approved by the 2-1 Republican-majority commission, it will be a significant step for the broadband industry as it seeks more leeway under government rules to develop new business models. For consumer advocates and tech companies, it will be a setback; those groups argue that looser regulations won’t prevent those business models from harming Internet users and website owners. The current rules force Internet providers to behave much like their cousins in the legacy telephone business. Under the FCC’s net neutrality policy, providers cannot block or slow down consumers’ Internet traffic, or charge websites a fee in order to be displayed on consumers’ screens.

As usual, the Left wants to confuse one method of addressing a problem with the set of all methods, so that their voters think there is only one way to fix the problem and any deviation from that is treason.

First, we should talk about net neutrality. The original idea of the net was that every node could forward packages to every other node, based on the idea of mutuality, or that each did the same to others. This works in a subsidized or military system, but not in a market, where some sites are massively larger than others. This means that the little guys spend their money and energy supporting Google, Amazon, Wikipedia, Apple, Facebook and Twitter, while the big companies owe them nothing.

This means that net neutrality, as a concept, was dead the minute that the internet was commercialized.

Next, we should talk about monopoly. When a large search engine like Google, or massive site like Amazon or Wikipedia, controls most of the eyeballs, the policies this site uses to list links on its pages regulate who lives and who dies. A site with low Google rank disappears and its business evaporates; a concept that Wikipedia refuses to mention — in a model like that of the mainstream media, excluding its ideological enemies — just drops out of public consciousness. Any concept of neutrality is long dead.

With those in mind, we can turn to a solution. Regulation adds expense and litigation to otherwise thriving industries, displacing little guys and favoring big guys. The consumers ultimately want the ability to see anything they want on the net without consideration of what it is. But they have already lost that, long ago.

Instead, it makes sense to let the market cure this one. If an ISP is blocking your traffic, you can sign up with a competing ISP… except you cannot, because regulation keeps the market small and so you have few options. Instead of piling more bad regulations on top of that, it is time to repeal more laws and let the problem work itself out.

If consumers desire net neutrality as much as they claim they do, they will be willing to put market pressure on their ISPs instead of relying on Big Daddy Government to do it for them.

A Solution For The Fake “Fake News” Outrage

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

Tim Berners-Lee on how to fix the internet:

Today, most people find news and information on the web through just a handful of social media sites and search engines. These sites make more money when we click on the links they show us. And they choose what to show us based on algorithms that learn from our personal data that they are constantly harvesting. The net result is that these sites show us content they think we’ll click on – meaning that misinformation, or fake news, which is surprising, shocking, or designed to appeal to our biases, can spread like wildfire. And through the use of data science and armies of bots, those with bad intentions can game the system to spread misinformation for financial or political gain.

The internet was originally designed to be decentralized so that if in wartime a city was taken out, the internet could simply route around the damage and keep communications working. The web was theorized as similarly decentralized, with many different sites offering content and users choosing from among those.

However, thanks to the consumer mentality, the internet is now centralized in the hands of a few successful but dying companies, making them arbiters of what is seen and heard, and therefore enforcers of a type of censorship of viewpoints that these companies perceive will offend some of their desired userbase.

As Berners-Lee points out, the solution is to “redecentralize” or stop our reliance on a few big sites and search engines, and instead to have many more variants such that the audience can find its own content without going through mediators, who have the exact same problem that big media does, which is a tendency to cater to the audience that uses them most, over normal people.

End Of The Internet

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

Smart money got its start in the internet before the collapse began, working on the new frontier in the days antecedent to the time when the herd took over. Since then, the internet has become a popularity contest of highly similar ideas, each claiming to be distinct.

This is consistent with an aging market. When a technology is new, it is rewarded with high-margin results for those who conquer new spaces; as time goes on, it becomes a part of the background hum, with thin margins which encourage a competition death spiral in which all participants emulate one another and thus approximate a mean.

We are now seeing the downfall of the internet as people recognize that the internet corrupts source material by forcing it into this form designated by this dying market, which is the opposite of the “wild west” the internet once promised:

But she found that publishing on the internet often had the unintended and unconscious effect of causing her to cater to the aesthetics of those platforms. “The internet should be a place with no rules, and freedom, but it’s not,” Piñero said. “There is a certain pressure to conform to certain aesthetics.” It was something I had noticed myself. Each social-media platform tends to reward certain behaviors and styles of posting, all in the interest of building fans and followers who are invested in the performance of a persona (maybe even more so than the Geppetto-like person orchestrating it all). Instagram is a place for intimate-seeming photos, Twitter for clever quips and collaborative memes. Facebook demands an unmitigated rawness that can be terrifying at times. With all, the works are often made to fit the platform, not the other way around.

Much as content adapts to its audience, it also adapts to the medium through which it is communicated, which on the centralized internet means relatively few sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Reddit. As a result, the message is being contorted to not just fit in the medium, but to do what the audience rewards, a sort of consumerism based on imaginary internet points.

After all, these imaginary internet points determine whose content is at the top of these sites and therefore, who gets the benefit in search engines like Google and Bing. That means that social media itself has become a market for popularity such that the content which appeals to the broadest segment of the market dominates, crowding out the voices that do not conform.

This reveals a weakness in demotism itself, as expressed in systems like democracy, capitalism and social popularity. What is most popular is always wrong; what is least popular is a mix of crazy and the hard-to-identify rare moments of sanity. As a result, the herd outweighs sanity and demands that what flatters it become the norm, even if it is insane.

What this means is that the free riders game the system and by appealing to the sympathy of others, corrupt the dialogue with nonsense information:

As CBS2’s Jessica Borg reported, chances are you have probably seen something like this on your Facebook feed – a friend shares a heartbreaking photo of a baby or a teenager with a life-threatening illness.

The post urges you to “like,” “comment,” or “share.”

…Barrios said such fake posts are part of a scam called, “like-farming.” They can put your computer security at risk, or your personal data if you donate.

Humanity is learning in this century that when we set up “games,” or proxies for purpose measured by method, people take advantage of them, and the result is corruption and opportunism. The internet falls into this difficulty because of its tendency to standardize content to form, which means that the lowest common denominator clickbait wins out.

This shows us the end of the internet: a once decentralized system, which aimed to be decentralized because it knew the fallibility of centralized systems to “gaming” or other attacks, became centralized because the herd came in and demanded the same entertainment they got from their televisions.

As a result, it has now lost truth value, not so much because of the “big corporations” but because the users rapidly destroy anything good in a quest for individual self-importance, attention and profit. This mirrors what happened to Western society as a whole when individualism took over.

Someday we may learn that people are either geared toward some purpose in common, whereby they can cooperate, or they turn into bickering monkeys who tear apart everything good for the benefit of the individual. The internet was once a refuge from this, but now it merely exemplifies it, and has lost utility as a result.

How They Will Censor You Without You Even Knowing

Monday, February 13th, 2017

Oh look! The forces that can be have discovered that common carrier barriers to liability vanished in the 1990s, and so they can put pressure on the parts of the internet that are vulnerable, namely the parts through which the bulk of traffic flies. In order to impose control, they are censoring the backbone:

Several Pirate Bay users from ISPs all over the world have been unable to access their favorite torrent site for more than a week. Their requests are being stopped in the Internet backbone network of Cogent Communications, which has blackholed the CloudFlare IP-address of The Pirate Bay and many other torrent and streaming sites, reports TorrentFreak.

Here is the beast of it: they pitched the internet to you as a space, or something self-sustaining. But really, it is data that is contained on wires, hard drives, routers and terminals. As a result, it is susceptible to physical attack, namely that the person who controls the physical parts can alter the “virtual reality” in any way they please.

If one is a manic censor, the only goal is the end result, so it makes sense to find the highest-traffic areas through which most internet packets go, and to use those to rip the heart out of the open internet. When maniacs like myself talk about “redecentralizing” the internet, what we mean is to move it from using a few key points of transit to many, so that this cannot happen.

It is clear that we can no longer trust our species. Everything we do must be anarchic, or designed to work around the control gambits of others. They have much to lose, and they will do anything they can to coax, convince, brainwash and deceive us into following their agenda of manipulation.

Reddit Blames Content Censorship On Form

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

Every message has content and form. Content is what it communicates, and form is how it communicates. A message can have perfectly good content, but be expressed in a form — for example, obscenities and epithets — that renders it into spam for most audiences.

When a social media site censors user-submitted data, the question is whether they are objecting to content or form. Consider these two messages:

  • “Multiple racial groups cannot coexist in the same society without destroying it.”
  • (string of racial epithets, obscenities, pejoratives and attacks)

Maybe they express the same idea, if we distill it to its absolute core. Maybe both are relevant. But it is more understandable if the latter is removed because it is closer to graffiti, linguistic vandalism or spam. This is not categorical so much as a question of its direction and intent. Does it aim to communicate, or to hammer people with a viewpoint in a form designed to provoke them?

Reddit claims that it removed the subreddit (sort of like a hashtag) “/r/altright” on the basis of form, as as co-founder Alexis Ohanian argued recently:

This is our trust and safety team enforcing a violation of our content policy regarding personal information—doxxing is the shorthand for it—but basically, these communities continue to violate our policy, and we shut them down.

However, Reddit banned three subreddits: /r/altright, /r/alternativeright and /r/identitarian. These were not engaged in the same behavior, but did share the same topic. This proves that Reddit was not censoring for aberrant behavior, but for content which did not fit within the narrative that Reddit is advancing.

In other words, Reddit admins disagreed with the content, not the form, and as a result used a claim of a violation — doxxing, which normally means revealing the identity of a user on the site, which did not happen here — to remove ideological non-conformists. They are doing this in order to provide a “safe space” for users to feel unchallenged, as if they were in a shopping mall or other commercial establishment.

The thing is… that model will not work. People need open spaces for interaction, and that interaction will sometimes be contentious. Debate and discourse originate not in conformity, but in people probing multiple different approaches and then bringing them together to create accurate portrayals of reality for as many aspects of it as are possible at this time. Over many interactions, this view gradually clarifies to a greater degree, but that requires the ability to dissent from whatever the dominant group opinion is at the time.

Social media has been unable to provide this space because social media is centralized. One corporation, such as Facebook, “owns” the space of interaction and censors it to create the type of inoffensive shopping experience that it is believed consumers want. However, that approach is incompatible with the internet, which is based on groups separating by perspective to clarify those views.

This is why social media is dying:

A new report has revealed that out of the total 66 ads that aired during Super Bowl LI, only 30 of them included a hashtag – while 41 percent displayed the firm’s URL.

The shift was a new strategy for corporations to bring more traffic to their websites, rather than just gaining popularity on social media – with just five mentioning a Twitter handle, and four a Facebook page.

Centralized media does not work because it tries to be like a publication, where strict editing is enforced, when it is more like the local pub. At your local, people debate hot topics and it grows contentious, which causes some to separate out into their own groups. The old internet, where people visited many sites for different outlooks, functioned by this principle.

However, profit demands getting as many warm bodies as possible into a single place at the same time. To make that happen, social media companies have dedicated billions toward removing any viewpoints which might conflict with the perception of harmony, agreement and safe shopping. That approach has died because social media companies, under the guise of removing objectionable form, removed merely controversial content.

People on the internet do not want the managed experience that they might expect in a regulated social space like a shopping mall. They want the interaction that a pub provides, and that can only happen when we redecentralize the internet and get away from the 6-10 really large sites that control most of the traffic, and have a fiscal interest in making it as bland and inoffensive (but salacious) as possible.

Twitter Censors Top Alt Right Accounts In “November Purge”

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016


Flailing social media site Twitter, which seems unable to sell itself despite that being the endgame of its ruling junta, following the departure of its Chief Operating Officer Adam Bain and consequent dive in stock prices, embarked on a censorship tantrum targeting top Alt Right accounts today in what many are calling the “November Purge.”

Each account now displays the well-known Twitter “account suspended” page and all of the user content — years of witticisms, news, memes and conversation — has become inaccessible to these users. This shows the problem of social media and The Cloud, which is that when the powers that be choose to censor, the user loses all that they have contributed twice: first, in that they cannot see it, and second in that the others for whose benefit it was written cannot see it.

If this keeps up, the internet will decentralize from having a few big sites — Facebook, Wikipedia, Reddit, Amazon, Twitter and others — having control over the content, to many tiny sites which are independently maintained each having their own content. While this is positive, the next battle will be over thousands of SJWs writing to internet webhosts to demand cancellation of the accounts of “problematic” sites.

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