Amerika

Posts Tagged ‘social media’

How You Know You Are Living in a Soft Totalitarian State

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

Conservatives struggle with a fundamental problem: our ideals are perennially unpopular, at least until things get so bad that people are desperate enough for a solution that they turn to matured wisdom.

As long as the proles — the 90% of any society who belong to the category of people who need to be told what to do — have fat enough paychecks, beer, bread and circuses, they are perfectly content to ignore any long term problems. In fact, they delight in not just ignoring them but shaming anyone who notices them as a “loser,” because this makes them feel more powerful.

With the fall of Berlin, conservatism was not just marginalized by its relative unpopularity, but actively under assault for any area where its ideas overlapped with those of the National Socialists. This caused the “winners” to immediately drop those ideas, and the “losers” to hang on to them, perhaps with the disclaimer that they could be implemented differently.

Only fifteen years after the end of the second world war, America and Europe were already swinging hard to the Left, mainly because post-war prosperity guaranteed that people would be entirely unconcerned about any long-term consequences. As the saying goes, while there’s food, the peasants party, and then only worry about what to do when they wake up the next day to find themselves hungry.

Since that triumph of the Left, conservatives who speak honestly and realistically have been essentially a persecuted minority, with those who speak taboo truths finding themselves facing the terror of public opinion which seeks to deprive them of jobs, housing, friends and family:

“The thought of getting outed as ‘white supremacists’ to our employers and possibly losing our jobs is a horrifying prospect,” the user Ignatz wrote. If forced to choose between a rally, which could bring him unwanted exposure, or supporting his white family, he says he would choose the latter.

…”But, by and large, people are scared because of the exact same reasons you’d expect,” says Hankes. “It’s hard to get a job, hard to make a living, hard to have a normal social life when all your friends and family know you believe in ethnic cleansing.”

This means that we are living in a soft totalitarian state. Like regular garden-variety totalitarianism, soft totalitarian controls people by regulating what methods and ideas they can be exposed to. However, soft totalitarianism adds a wrinkle: We The People, in our endless quest for social acceptance, do the enforcing instead of government.

That extends to corporations and others who achieve their success and wealth through being popular. Consumerism, as it turns out, is a form of democracy; whatever the largest group of people purchases, wins, and so a market or competition is set up in which companies compete to be the most popular. Inevitably, that spills outward from value and quality of their products to public image, which then swings Leftward as all things do when left up to a mass of people, mainly because that mass chooses the lowest common denominator, which is always simple social sentiments instead of complex critical thinking.

In a soft totalitarian state, government uses freedom as a weapon, knowing that most people are short-term thinkers and therefore both selfish and oblivious to long-term consequences, and that in groups, people always choose a mediocre option in order to keep the group together because only a few people understand the task and have a sensible take on it, anyway. The more freedom and fewer restrictions, the more emboldened the mob becomes to engage in bad behavior, and as a result, the more it fears anyone who wants actual standards, morals, customs, values, culture, heritage, religion or purpose. The mob is the weapon.

In any democratic state, the mob takes over because it creates a market for liars. These actors go on stage, make promises they know are untrue, collect votes and then drive out anyone else. Like the Chicago “political machines” of the 19th century, they then rig the system so no one else can win. As Plato noted, they invariably import foreigners who, as people alienated from the majority, always vote for strong protectors, and so keep the actors in charge.

Their problem is that, as conductors of the masses, they must find a way to motivate an increasingly selfish and sluggish group of very distracted people, most of whom are lost in solipsistic ego-drama and attention whoring, in order to stay in power. To do this they must create vivid images like we would find in comic books of exaggerated good versus evil, with the underdog always winning because most people see themselves as an underdog, if for nothing else to justify their selfish behavior and excuse their failings, claiming oppression and therefore a “right” to take what they secretly believe is theirs, or to simply not contribute much. Politics becomes a hybrid between a circus and a football game, with constant distractions to keep the crowd interested, and then narrow characterizations to channel them into one opinion or another. This is one of the many reasons that democracy is immoral and dishonest.

Many have misunderstood this characteristic of democracy. They see how democracy acts against white people, men, Christians and intelligent people, and assume that it has singled these out for some purpose of its own. In a realistic assessment, what it is doing is forming a pretext. Democracy is the political system of equality; equality is only valuable to those who need it, which are the ones who could not succeed without it. If there are one hundred students in a class and a test comes back where grades are worse than usual, it is not the kids with As who are claiming the test was not fair. Equality creates an inherent victim narrative where those who are not successful claim to be equal, which means that the only reason they are not doing as well as the successful is that they have been victimized, oppressed or discriminated against by some force… and there is no one to blame except those who are successful. This is why all equality movements consist of taking from the successful and giving to the less successful. The war against successful groups — including white people in lands founded by white people — is a pretext for the seizure of wealth and power, followed by redistribution of the same.

You might wonder, why does this equality of power not threaten those in power? The answer is that equality is entropy. If everyone literally has the same amount of power, nothing will get done; this is why all known anarchist communes have perished, even those below Dunbar’s number, the mythical amount of people that one can personally know which allows — in theory — any political system to work. As a result, the equal crowd will always turn to a leader or protector, and who better to do this than the person who just gifted them with wealth and power taken from those who succeeded more than the herd? This creates a cycle where politicians gain power by stealing, then give it to the people, who give it back in exchange for more, and so taxes always go up, more rules are created so there can be more fines, more fees are charged to those with more wealth, and educational systems are designed to bore the intelligent and delight the idiotic.

Soft totalitarianism consists of this cycle. In the circus part of the cycle, the politicians provoke outrage in the herd about some target that can be easily destroyed. The mob, which like all groups with no individual power and full anonymity, loves to destroy, and this whets its excitement like a guillotine or race riot. Then comes the football game part of the cycle, where the crowd is encouraged to view itself as intelligent and morally upstanding for supporting blue team over red team. Finally, the politicians deliver the flashpoint: the other team victimized us, and thus we are justified in destroying them. By any means necessary. They are against our values. They threaten us. They must be destr– errr, defeated, wink wink.

We are now caught in that cycle. The Left whipped up the circus by calling the Alt Right “racists,” and there has been no greater sin according to American herd politics since 1945, so people were ready for violence. The cops created the football game by encouraging violence. Then, after one potentially mentally unstable person panicked and in trying to escape, crashed into another car which then killed one person and injured nineteen, the herd was told that it was the victim. There was the dog whistle! The crowd rushed off to smash the bad team, and the corporations, desperate for attention because it is the only thing keeping them relevant in an anarchic society with no values, used that as a pretext to wage war against the Alt Right.

In the past twenty-four hours, we have seen:

  • The Daily Stormer website being removed from GoDaddy and then invalidated by Google.
  • Amazon dropping author Billy Roper’s book The Ice Path because of complaints.
  • VDARE, Counter-Currents and others being deplatformed by Paypal.
  • Discord deleting the thriving Alt.Right chat server.
  • Numerous accounts deleted on Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, and Instagram.

At this point, we see a fundamental problem with the internet: once entirely owned by the government, it now is mostly in the hands of private businesses, and they are prone to do whatever reduces the number of complaints coming in while also giving them headlines that appease the Left, because the Left are the primarily media consumers and especially of social media, where they are most active in both finding news and regular use:

Overall, consistent conservatives are somewhat less likely than consistent liberals to get government and political news on Facebook or Twitter, primarily because they are somewhat less likely to use the sites in the first place. About half (49%) of consistent liberals (and a similar share of those with mixed ideological views) say they got news about government and politics in the past week from Facebook, compared with 40% of consistent conservatives. And while 13% of consistent liberals say they got political news on Twitter in the past week, just 5% of consistent conservatives (and 8% of groups in between) say the same.

Rather than expand to an audience which is less interested in spending its time clicking around, perhaps because it has more important things to do, the media is doubling down on its existing audience, mainly because the fortunes of the dot-com boom are fading and since statistics count warm bodies, it is essential to these companies to get as many warm bodies in the door as possible.

This means that private companies are in control of public spaces where these private companies derive benefit from making “safe spaces,” which means removing all non-Left-wing content. That realization prompted calls to regulate social media as a public utility:

Bannon’s basic argument, as he has outlined it to people who’ve spoken with him, is that Facebook and Google have become effectively a necessity in contemporary life. Indeed, there may be something about an online social network or a search engine that lends itself to becoming a natural monopoly, much like a cable company, a water and sewer system, or a railroad. The sources recounted the conversations on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to give the accounts on record, and could face repercussions for doing so.

…Under the Obama administration, the Federal Communications Commission moved forward on a plan to regulate internet service providers as utilities, barring them from slowing down traffic to a site in order to pressure it into paying higher fees. The Trump administration is pushing to reverse that move, which complicates Bannon’s message.

…Silicon Valley’s liberal cultural politics puts it at odds occasionally with more conservative, rural Trump voters. Facebook was confronted by a backlash over its news curating during last year’s presidential campaign. With insiders claiming there was an anti-conservative bias, Facebook pulled its live team off the project.

If you can imagine a town where the only public spaces — churches, pubs, parks, streetcorners and any other place where more than a handful of people could gather — were owned by a company that forbade discussion of certain topics, you can see the risk in allowing private companies to control what has become a public space that has displaced other means of mass communication. This causes concern for the removal of free speech through methods that soft totalitarianism pioneered:

This brings me to the heart of my argument, today free speech no longer hinges on the government telling people it cannot say certain words. Earlier this year the Supreme Court affirmed that “hate speech” that bogeyman of inferior minds is protected speech. Rather, what’s happened is that the concept of “corporate social responsibility” a buzzword for social justice taught in business schools across the US, has been used to deplatform and deny the right the opportunity to participate in the arena of ideas simply because they control the medium, or media, through which the message must travel.

Technology has put the spirit of the First Amendment in a difficult position. Pedants all over the internet will tell you that censorship is only censorship when the government does it, private companies can censor all they want. They can refuse to do business with an individual.

Totalitarianism is a government banning ideas and behaviors; soft totalitarianism is a raging mob that destroys anything which disagrees with the idea of the mob itself, which is that everyone is accepted and wealth and power should be redistributed to them. This is what mobs have always wanted, an excuse to destroy and loot, and resembles a slow-motion riot more than intelligent political change. With social media, soft totalitarianism has found its ultimate weapon.

For the Right to survive this, it will need to create its own internet from the ground-up based on explicit principles of freedom of speech. A good start would be decentralizing, or abandoning centralized sites like Facebook and Google, to instead user a smaller network of blogs, news sites, search engines and chat rooms that are too numerous and too unknown to become targets. Eventually, the wires and servers themselves could be furnished, presenting a space of actual net neutrality not just in its mechanics but in its refusal to allow any host to prioritize traffic from any other, because that would in itself be a form of proto-censorship of this public-private space.

We are living in a soft totalitarian state. As Plato wrote, democracy always collapses this way and leaves behind tyranny. People are loathe to realize that what most of us want, in any group, is usually wrong, mainly because a mob has no accountability and people act through social behavior instead of logical thinking. If humanity is to survive into the next century, it is essential that we come to awareness that the crowd is evil and our only salvation lies in creating a hierarchy where the smartest, not the mob, are on top.

Rumors Of Dot-Com 3.0 Implosion Spreading

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

You may have heard it here first, but rumors are starting to spread about the collapse of the Dot-Com 3.0 bubble which is based on social media and other entertainment products. Unfortunately the Obama economy was based upon it, so expect rough times ahead.

Others are starting to notice that the market is totally overvalued, which is a precursor to crash:

What truly puts the stamp of reality on what it says today, is the fact, that even as the “markets” have since (once again) risen to never before seen in history all time highs since that post some 3 months ago. The above have done nothing but either vacillate right where they stood, or worse, have lost even more value.

…Isn’t it funny when it comes to anything involving “The Valley” it always seems it’s about the next big “buy” that’ll be the reason why some insane P/E or valuation will be, “So worth it!” Never the core product that is/was supposedly its raison d’être. And it’s always just around the corner, or as close as the shareholders checkbook. Funny how that works.

Social media is dying primarily because its audience consists of people who are not responsive to advertising. It also suffers from a scourge of bots, fake accounts, manipulative SEO technicians and generally, the bad behavior of the “daytime television” audience that Dot-Com 3.0 salvaged in order to overcome the mass exodus of people when the second internet trend boom ended.

In addition, people are wary of the visibility of social media and the manipulative nature of these companies. Who wants employers looking through a Facebook profile, or to be shown only what the filters allow? With European states demanding that Facebook and Twitter censor controversial topics, social media is no longer the Wild West it once seemed to be.

The result is a shift that the numbers do not reveal. There may be just as many people using social media, but who are they? These are no longer the middle class brand-conscious consumers, but an army of baristas and cubicle slaves who have no money and would not spend it on advertising products anyway. No wonder the dying trend shows signs of instability.

Reddit Resurrects /r/Nationalism After Hack Of Moderator Account

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

Sometime yesterday, it appears that the account for Reddit user SayNoToTheism was hacked by a user named MyNamesDak from HackForums.net, a community dedicated to smashing into online forums.

In what might be a turnaround, or possibly just the innate sense of fair play which is demonstrated by many Reddit admins, the administrators of Reddit restored ownership of the sub to its former moderators and banned the hacker account. We applaud this decency and justice in a time when most of social media is going in the other direction.

Reddit Bans The Phrase “Bash The Fash”

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Reddit has long been known for one-sided censorship that favors Leftists and punishes Rightists, which is why yesterday’s banning of the user “Marusama” seems off-narrative. This user had posted the following:

This is in response to reddit admins complaining about “Bash the Fash” comments.

And yes I did leak this from meta, but fuck it this needs to be made public.

Dear Reddit Administration:

No, r/anarchism will not remove comments with terms like “BASH THE FASH”. No, we will not meekly follow commands from the site administration with the threat of quarantine or deletion. We will not stand for the oppression of left wing subs on your site, and the overwhelming targeting of subreddits such as r/RiotsAreFun. We will not submit to the demands of administrators who allow subreddits which are actively hostile and toxic, actually advocating and providing instructions on sexual harassment and rape, such as r/Incels, r/TheRedPill, or others. We will not conduct censure of our subreddit on such a double standard, to administrators with a clear right wing bias. We will not censor ourselves to allow reddit a better appearance for advertisers. We will not block open discussion for the purposes of Reddit’s upper staff accumulating more and more capital.

To summarize, no, we will not take actions against users who make comments such as “Bash the Fash.”

Sincerely, r/Anarchism.

There are a number of problems with this unrelated to content. If users are able to get away with defying the admins of the site, it will encourage a mass revolt against the rules which will need to be resolved through mass enforcement later. It also probably wants to be out of the business of being anyone’s command-and-control center, especially after it was revealed that Muslim terrorists are using encrypted chat program WhatsApp to coordinate their activities. In fact, the latter may have been more on the minds of administrators than any freedom of speech issues.

As far as content goes, this one seems a puzzler at first, but then it becomes clear: Reddit wants to be a home for the bourgeois Left which now includes the working-class carnies who have used the power of usury to buy themselves middle class lifestyles who form the basis of Reddit’s userbase. This means there must always be one pinky lifted, and those who go too far into outright violence ruin the comfortable browsing experience that Reddit wishes to sell.

On the other hand, the optimists among us might see change: social media has now seen several firms verge on self-destruction by choosing to censor right-wingers and as a result, driving away many of the power users. Power users tend to be less active, but contribute more of the interesting content, and up until now, social media has favored more active users because it gets more ad impressions from them. However, the power users are what draw the others to the service.

As a result, social media may be heading back toward a policy of “capturing the middle” and discouraging extreme behavior of all stripes. In particular, as they find themselves censoring Right wing content but awash in radical Islamism and Antifa coordinating their next attack on teenage girls, social media may be becoming wary of those it considered an audience before that are dragging it down.

Reddit Told /r/AltRight Mods That WeSearchr Links Were Okay, Then Betrayed Them

Friday, March 10th, 2017

The question remains as to whether Reddit banned /r/AltRight (and unrelated sub /r/AlternativeRight) over the topic — Right-wing politics — or the behavior of the moderators in that sub. Reddit admins insist on the latter, but it is increasingly looking like the former, as an older message reveals (backup):

I was mindin my own business when i came across this post on raltright. Anyway, it got me thinking, “Isn’t this post violating the reddit rules on doxxing in the most transparent way?” so I reported it to the admins because I’m a good concerned citizen. Anyways, I got this response. I asked a few hours later to check up on the reddit cops and got this response so there ya go. They forgot to update the rules page so im asking you all to spread this story so people know the real rules until it’s updated, posting bounties on people that you want the personal information of isn’t a reddit crime any more

In other words, when informed of the fact that /r/AltRight had posted a WeSearchr link, Reddit admins responded with:

We reviewed the post in question and found that it does not go against site guidelines.

Only a few days later, they reversed their opinion and banned /r/AltRight for “a violation of our content policy, specifically, the proliferation of personal and confidential information.” In other words, the exact opposite of what they had originally told the /r/AltRight moderators and other users.

This confirms that the ban was for political reasons. Now consider /r/AlternativeRight, a subreddit that existed for several years before the banning of /r/AltRight, and which was banned at the same time despite having a different moderation team. This was banned with no reason given, but was not home to the same WeSearchr link that caused the /r/AltRight surprise ban.

At this point, the proof of politically-oriented censorship on Reddit has become evident. The usual apologists will talk about private sites and property rights, but the fact is that like other social media sites, Reddit is requesting the trust of a community, and does not deserve it because of these Court Of Star Chamber style bans.

The mods of /r/AltRight, as far as they knew, were obeying Reddit rules… until Reddit changed the rules, which meant that the rules were not the reason for the ban, but a pretext or excuse. This makes Reddit appear every bit as untrustworthy as other social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, and makes it apparent that perhaps humanity would be better off without these sites.

Reddit Admins Claim /r/AltRight Ban Was Not Political

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Over at social media site Reddit, the admins are claiming that the recent ban of the Alt Right community there was not motivated by politics, and not sudden, in contrast to what appears to be the case:

We reached out to AltRight several times to attempt to cure the issues that we saw there. In the end, it was clear that they would not be willing to operate that community in compliance with Reddit’s rules, and so we were left with a choice: allow that community to ignore the rules, or admit that we had irreconcilable differences. There really wasn’t much disagreement about the eventual outcome.

In contrast, here is what the /r/AltRight mods said just a few weeks ago:

As one of the moderators at the subreddit, I would say we are pretty vigilant about trying to abide by Reddit’s terms of service by removing “hate” speech such as slurs or taking down material that is proliferating personal information of people i.e. “doxing.” In fact, we were purposely hyper-vigilant by having absurd warnings like NSFW tags on posts and an age restriction warning on the subreddit just to inform readers that they were entering a “dangerous” part of the internet.

The only incidence where our subreddit may have violated these terms of service was promoting the WeSearchr bounty that was looking to bring justice to the masked man who assaulted Richard Spencer, President of the National Policy Institute and Editor of Radix Journal and AltRight.com. This would not be the first time someone has been removed from a social media platform for promoting WeSearchr. I should know because I was banned from Twitter for promoting that exact WeSearchr bounty. Twitter informed me I was taking part in “targeted harassment” and then had my appeal denied. Apparently, trying to identify a criminal is now considered “doxing” but I digress.

Only one of these can be true. Either Reddit is incorrect, or the /r/AltRight guys are. And if Reddit is incorrect and is asserting that incorrect view now, then the political bias of Reddit is beyond question.

Since most of social media seems to be enforcing political correctness at this point in order to create the impression that “everyone agrees” on Leftist values, Reddit would be an anomaly if it did not enforce political censorship, but the Reddit guys seem to want to hold up that free speech banner so they can be cool like Julian Assange, Aaron Schwartz and other anarcho-libertarian hacker guys.

However, that all fades if there was no actual dialogue and no unresolved problems, but a sudden ban on a pretext. That looks less like violation of the rules, and more like a censor waiting to pounce, and eliminating a thriving community as a result. If that is the case, Reddit loses its free speech mantle and will have to admit that it is a safe space for Leftists, which then limits its wider audience and threatens to send it, like Twitter, Starbucks and Target, into a decline as Middle America abandons them.

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.

Media Went Leftist Because It Is Dying

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Why did the American media, shortly before the Obama years, shift hard-left and stay there? One theory is that their audience defected, so they appealed to the people they could count on to keep clicking on those ads: millennial internet and social media addicts. If all you need are a few million warm bodies, you can pick any warm bodies you want, so go for the fanatics.

The data seem to bear this out. As Vanity Fair reports, the vast collapse of media is both pervasive and seemingly permanent:

[R]eaders didn’t want to travel to a newsstand to buy a whole newspaper when they were interested only in one story or two. And, in so many cases, they really didn’t care all that much whose byline was at the top of the piece. Subsequently, newspaper advertising revenues fell from $67 billion in 2000 to $19.9 billion in 2014. Meanwhile, the same pummeling occurred in the book-publishing world. Many consumers didn’t want hardcover books for $25 when digital versions were available for $9.99.

Movie-theater attendance is down to a 19-year low, with revenues hovering slightly above $10 billion—or about what Amazon’s, Facebook’s, or Apple’s stock might move in a single day…Between 2007 and 2011, overall profits for the big-five movie studios—Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, and Disney—fell by 40 percent.

Add to that the music industry being half the size it was in 1996, and the television industry still reeling from cable and now being replaced by online streaming, and we see what a larger pattern: these industries were dependent on the fact that their products were difficult to acquire, but now that the internet has obliterated that, the product is being seen in a way that is independent of its scarcity, and people are less likely to care about it because it is all (roughly) the same in quality. Call it media entropy.

In the meantime, the big events that the news-entertainment media once relied upon are now in decline, causing people to wonder if there is a future for media at all:

Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel for the first time, the 2017 Oscars are down 4% in viewership and 13% among adults 18-49 from what the 88th Academy Awards ended up snagging in its final numbers last year. Like the metered market numbers of early today, that equals a nine-year viewership low for AMPAS’ annual ceremony. In fact, the 2017 Oscars were the third-least-watched of the 21st century.

We have gone back in time to an era when news was local and newspapers served the secondary function of keeping us updated on the events in politics and industry, but had no other significance. As in that time, people get their news from other people, but now it is not about local events, but specialized events like genres, niches, in-groups and other identity adornments.

Couple this with the NFL in free fall, the press getting locked out of the White House, and the shaky performance of social media, and we see a general pattern: when media was scarce, it was valuable; now that we have seen enough of it to realize that it is all the same, it has proven itself irrelevant, and people are retreating from it.

Like many industries, media had a growth curve. When it was new and there were only a few newspapers, radio stations and movie theaters, it was highly prized; now that it is matured as a technology, it is expected as a background hum, sort of like previous technological wunderkind like search engines and electricity.

The grim fact is that most of the industries which arose with the industrial revolution were never worth as much as anticipated, and as we reduce their scarcity, they fall in value, revealing that much of our economy is based on make-work and pretense. This in turn reveals that our economy is unnecessary, and that we need to find a purpose instead of merely trying to using “it makes money” as our cause for existing.

Leftism Replaces Responsibility With Conformity

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

Conformity has two parts: first, do whatever everyone else is doing; second, avoid offending anyone but those that you can rebel against because they are in power and therefore, whatever you do will not actually harm them. This allows the attention whoring individual to both have his cake and eat it too, being a rebel who is not actually a threat, and as a covert conformist, to be rewarded for his obedience.

To disguise his utter conformity, the individualist disclaims responsibility. To be cool is to be indifferent to the world around you and the consequences of your own actions, which every rebel acts out by thwarting or attacking the dominant powers, but never directly, instead spreading around the damage as externalized socialized cost.

Being cool however means being sociable in a way that makes everyone feel accepted. Indifference conveys this by asserting the absence of standards and purpose, which means that no one can be doing wrong. This takes on another dimension because the assertion of indifference becomes important in order to make people feel comfortable, and so even contentious acrimony has its place, if it supports the right ideas.

That in turn adjusts the meaning of “responsibility” from a duty to be accurate in what one does to a duty to not offend others while advocating indifference, which in turn requires obliterating any information which does not support the indifference narrative:

“Academics must understand that they are utterly responsible to [sic] whatever they post on their social media channels just as they are for the words they say in a classroom, and such reckless tweeting, clearly made by this lecturer is a prime example that some may be unaware, or indeed neglect their duties of responsibility when expressing one’s views.

“[We] would appreciate that ALL lecturers understood that whatever their comments, they will be held responsible for their remarks given their position of authority and trust.

Basically, be cool — avoid being right — so that everyone feels content and therefore, you can benefit from the advantages of civilization without the risks. That is the point of the petit rebel: take all that you can, and give nothing back, while justifying it with some vague sense of goodwill so that you fool all the other monkeys into defending you.

That mental virus destroys society as surely as Communism but slower because it is of a less intense degree. When standards are lowered, those who take on higher standards also make themselves inefficient in that they have assumed a burden which will not reward them. At that point, the rest become de facto free riders who argue that the lowered standards are in fact a moral good. This puts the onus on those who want higher standards to “prove” that those are necessary, which cannot be proven of course, and so the free riders reap the marginal difference between the minimum required for the illusion of civilization and the minimum required to maintain civilization by adopting the former. Their “cool” is a way of suppressing those who want higher standards.

When writers on this site endorse elitism, it means this: if you want civilization, you must constantly fight back against those who erode standards and justify the difference with socially popular illusions. That is the eternal death of humanity, and Leftism is one of its many faces. Where normal and sane people are responsible, Leftists are responsible to public image, and this is why they leave ruined civilizations in their wake.

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.

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