Social media controls the world


#1167

Yeah in tiny sound bites out of context, it’s hard enough to read long tweets or “conversations” in Twitter as it is. Going back even worse. I also thought deleting did little because of retweets.


#1168

Well, Wheaton left because people wouldn’t stop harassing him, so that’s one less reason to ever go back.

He’s on Counter Social I think, which is a fine place if you know what you’re looking for.


#1169

OH man. See. I am on Twitter so little I didn’t even notice. I just assumed not everyone tweets all day so no worries if the Trek guys don’t post for a bit. Besides if I miss them on there i might see it on Instagram which I also barely use. I heart something about once a week.

And I am only on that because I had a low key celebrity tell me that their followings can also affect what jobs they can get. Apparently the people in charge like to hire celebs with sizable followings for free marketing and press.

I felt like I was doing my duty in following a few people that are not out there with a million followers. (no not Wheaton and Stewart, but I am following some others in the hopes +1 helps in some way.)


#1170

William Gibson’s feed on Twitter is worth following. As is David Simon’s.


#1171

I only knew cause I follow his wife and it came up one day.

He didn’t Tweet a crazy amount so disappearing for a while wasn’t something I noticed for a while.


#1172

Which is what i liked. Usually something clever, or funny or game related. I don’t mind political stuff which I think i did too on rare occasion. I just had to unfollow and step away from some other celebrities because they posted all the damn time and, Vin Diesel, it seems like you post about yourself all day long and Shemar Moore, I could only take a few days of you trying to sell your phone cases.


#1173

Yeah, i kept sending Charlie Kirk photos of that guy in diapers at the TPUSA rally, and some trumper said that I should stop posting, my time was coming soon.

But, that wasn’t enough of a direct threat to suspend the guy.

The system doesn’t work, if you don’t use bad words, you don’t get banned.


#1174

I haven’t gotten a death threat in a while.

I’ve lost my touch I guess.


#1175

not empty


#1176

Just checked, Margaret Cho is still following me on Twitter.


#1177

I got that Barack Obama follow back, so. you know. No big deal.


#1178

This is a video accompanying the Economist article below it. I like the cut of his jib, so to speak.

“It’s ‘fuck off’ to everything,” says Adam Curtis (pictured below), describing public sentiment today. The British documentarist sees himself as an optimist amid dystopians, and as a classical journalist whose medium happens to be film. For 30 years he has produced a rich body of documentaries on politics and society for the BBC—and in the process, has emerged as a cult-hero to young thinkers trying to comprehend a chaotic world.

“HyperNormalisation” is a word that was coined by a brilliant Russian historian who was writing about what it was like to live in the last years of the Soviet Union. What he said, which I thought was absolutely fascinating, was that in the 80s everyone from the top to the bottom of Soviet society knew that it wasn’t working, knew that it was corrupt, knew that the bosses were looting the system, knew that the politicians had no alternative vision. And they knew that the bosses knew they knew that. Everyone knew it was fake, but because no one had any alternative vision for a different kind of society, they just accepted this sense of total fakeness as normal.

There is a sense of everything being slightly unreal; that you fight a war that seems to cost you nothing and it has no consequences at home; that money seems to grow on trees; that goods come from China and don’t seem to cost you anything; that phones make you feel liberated but that maybe they’re manipulating you but you’re not quite sure. It’s all slightly odd and slightly corrupt.

No one is really sure what Trump represents. My working theory is that he’s part of the pantomime-isation of politics. Every morning Donald Trump wakes up in the White House, he tweets something absolutely outrageous which he knows the liberals will get upset by, the liberals read his tweets and go “This is terrible, this is outrageous,” and then tell each other via social media how terrible it all is. It becomes a feedback loop in which they are locked together.

The other interesting thing about Trump is that he doesn’t actually do that much. I know that he’s brought in some bad things. But what might be happening in the structure of power in America is happening outside that world. So in a sense, he is slightly hypernormal. I don’t know. … They have their own pantomime hysteria about Russia, for example. I’m sure Russia has done some terrible things but that’s not the reason people voted for Trump. People voted for Trump because they’re really pissed off. They feel marginalised and anxious about their future, and they wanted to send a message, and the liberals are not paying any attention to that.

That’s the thing that I’m really fascinated by. I think the old mass democracies sort of died in the early 90s and have been replaced by a system that manages us as individuals. Because the fundamental problem is that politicians can’t manage individuals, they need us to join parties and support them and let them represent us as a group identified with them. What modern management systems worked out, especially when computer networks came into being, was that you could actually manage people as groups by using data to understand how they were behaving in the mass, but you could create a system that allowed them to keep on thinking that they were individuals.

This is the genius of what happened with computer networks. Using feedback loops, pattern matching and pattern recognition, those systems can understand us quite simply. That we are far more similar to each other than we might think, that my desire for an iPhone as a way of expressing my identity is mirrored by millions of other people who feel exactly the same. We’re not actually that individualistic. We’re very similar to each other and computers know that dirty secret. But because we feel like we’re in control when we hold the magic screen, it allows us to feel like we’re still individuals. And that’s a wonderful way of managing the world.

Its downside is that it’s a static world. It doesn’t have any vision of the future because the way it works is by constantly monitoring what you did yesterday and the day before, and the day before that. And monitoring what I did yesterday and the day before and the day before that and doing the same to billions of other people. And then looking at patterns and then saying: “If you liked that, you’ll like this”.

They’re constantly playing back to you the ghosts of your own behaviour. We live in a modern ghost story. We are haunted by our past behaviour played back to us through the machines in its comparison to millions of other people’s behaviour. We are guided and nudged and shaped by that. It’s benign in a way and it’s an alternative to the old kind of politics. But it locks us into a static world because it’s always looking to the past. It can never imagine something new. It can’t imagine a future that hasn’t already existed. And it’s led to a sense of atrophy and repetition. It’s “Groundhog Day”. And because it doesn’t allow mass politics to challenge power, it has allowed corruption to carry on without it really being challenged properly.

The problem I have with a lot of investigative journalism, is that they always say: “There should be more investigative journalism” and I think, “When you tell me that a lot of rich people aren’t paying tax, I’m shocked but I’m not surprised because I know that. I don’t want to read another article that tells me that”. What I want is an article that tells me why, when I’m told that, nothing happens and nothing changes. And no one has ever explained that to me.

I think it has something to do with this technocratic world because it doesn’t have the capacity to respond to that kind of thing. It has the capacity to manage us very well. It’s benign but it doesn’t have the capacity to challenge the rich and the powerful within that system, who use it badly for their own purposes. That’s the downside and we’re beginning to get fed up with it. And that’s allowed those on the margins of society to come in and start kicking, and we have no idea what to do about them.


#1179

Worse was in an even later special when he complained incessantly about having to play with his kids when he came home from work because his wife let the kids unwind on him… and complained more about her in general… the wife he cheated on. He is extremely self-centered.


#1180

Google CEO Sundar Pichai is testifying before Congress right now.

https://www.cnn.com/specials/live-video-2?adkey=bn

Republican after Republican are acusing Google of liberal bias because when they search for news about their tax cut all they get is negative results. Same for searches about their bullshit Obamacare replacement the AHCA. They are dumbfounded that the first three pages are just results saying people will lose healthcare.

Pichai is doing a great job deflecting, where I’d just shout at them that they present what people search for and post.

These guys straight up know that someone at Google is personally downranking conservative pages.

PS - there’s an awesome guy in the audience, right on camera behind Pichai with a silly moustache and monocle.


#1181

Now Issa is suggesting that Google’s results should reflect the population in terms of politics. Like every search should be X% conservative and Y% liberal based on the population.

He’s comparing this to Google’s efforts to increase their workforce diversity.


#1182

That’s Rich Uncle Pennybags.



#1183

These idiots actually think that. They are totally convinced that people manually decide what google shows you… like little elves living in your computer.


#1184

Every Republican on this committee is convinced that Google is out to get them. This is how they win. They keep repeating over and over that there’s bias and suddenly Google starts highlighting Breitbart more just to avoid the charge.

The last guy wanted Google to investigate its employees for political bias on the basis that there is a #resist thread on one of their internal forums. No evidence that there is actual bias in their products, just a straight up political attack.


#1185

Yeah, well they can only do this shit for like 2 more weeks.


#1186

I dislike pewdiepie even more. If he’s not strongly condemning this then he’s condoning it.