Something I’ve noticed is that a lot of otherwise reasonably intelligent people have a blind faith in scientists. For a long time, it wasn’t possible to speak critically of Catholic clergy, because they held a position comparable to that of scientists today. The Catholic church didn’t really have to cover up child abuse, because society itself covered it up for them. People simply wouldn’t believe that a Catholic priest would do such a thing. They were perceived as the epitome of virtue. Today, scientists have a similar position in society. We think critically of bankers. It’s popular to see them as the epitome of sin. But scientists, at least according to most reasonably intelligent people, are incapable of sin. They are entirely selfless and the normal human objectives of status, wealth and glory simply don’t cloud their judgement.
So, what happens when you have a Dutch virologist on video, opening a bottle of whiskey when he hears that a Mexican child in the Netherlands has been infected with the Swine flu, because he realizes he’ll make a lot off money off vaccines? People deny it. It’s low status to be critical towards scientists and their motives. It’s extremely low status to be critical towards vaccines. So the typical crowd that writes our dominant cultural narrative, is incapable of acknowledging or processing information like this. You know the kind of people I am talking about. They have Phd’s, blue checks on Twitter, live in overcrowded cities in tiny apartments that eat up half their salaries, work at universities and conceal their hatred for working class people by pretending to love other cultures. The video you see above, is the modern day equivalent of a Catholic priest abusing a child on video. A 1950’s Catholic housewife wouldn’t know what to do with that. Similarly, if you’re the kind of reasonably intelligent person who adjusts to societal trends, you’re just not able to process a video like this. The only kind of people left who are capable of processing information like this, are low status people. Unemployed white trash don’t trust scientists, because they don’t trust the power structure altogether.
This is the problem we’ve arrived at. It doesn’t matter if you’ve found evidence of people’s corruption anymore, because what matters to most influential people isn’t the truth anymore. What matters to influential people is holding the correct fashionable opinions, because those opinions allow them to signal a high social status. As I mentioned earlier, we now live in an era where people with Phd’s live in overcrowded cities where they rent tiny apartments that eat up half their salaries. Status used to be closely associated with wealth, but wealth is no longer a real status indicator for most young adults. Status indicators sometimes become old fashioned. It used to be high status to have a lot of children, that lingered among the poor for a while, but now it has gone extinct.
Similarly, for most young adults, wealth and ownership are not really status indicators anymore. Young adults don’t look at a landlord who owns half a neighborhood as a high status individual, as someone to emulate. They look at being socially well-connected as a status indicator. A blue check on Twitter, a lot of followers on Instagram, those are now the main status indicators. How do you maintain a status of being socially well-connected? You signal the opinions and beliefs that well-connected people have. If you say that Epstein didn’t kill himself, or that 5G is bad for our health, or any of that sort of stuff, you signal low status opinions and start isolating yourself. So, people will hold onto opinions that are not supported by factual evidence, because they want to maintain a high social status.
It was fashionable among blue checks on Twitter and Washington Post/NY Times editors a while ago, to ramble about “post-truth politics”. This was an overly complex and pseudo-intellectual way of complaining that Trump and his press people would sometimes get their facts wrong. However, the real post-truth politics we have arrived at, is that influential people stopped basing their opinions on facts. It doesn’t matter if what you say is correct anymore. What matters is that it resonates with other people’s feelings. I see a lot of conservative/libertarian types on blogs complain that the CDC told people masks don’t work against Corona. What they don’t understand is that we live in an era where facts no longer matter to most people. People expect to be lied to, they happily lie to each other and they are perfectly fine with it all.
The most obvious and tragic example to me, would probably be the explosion of transgenderism in teenagers. The fashionable belief is that these teenagers were born “in the wrong body” and now they must have surgery to make their bodies resemble whatever gender they have in their minds. Besides the fact that this idea of our body being separate from our true selves is a remnant of some Neo-platonic baggage that slipped into western civilization when the Greeks turned Christianity from a Jewish heresy into a new religion and rears its ugly head again like a bad herpes infection every now and then, a cursory look at the evidence will show to you that it doesn’t make sense.
If you point out to people: “This girl who says she is non-binary was raped, has a fetish for being raped and self-mutilates so she would probably benefit more from therapy than from surgery.” Then that’s considered a form of bigotry. It’s not even that people will claim you’re wrong, or try to explain to you how you’re wrong. You’re just not supposed to pay attention to it, if you’re really lucky they’ll bother taking the effort to insult you for daring to notice this sort of stuff. It’s low status to note that things around us no longer make any sense. “Doctors are injecting an autistic teenage boy who is being cyberbullied with hormones that will irreversibly damage his body?” You’re not supposed to notice that sort of stuff, get back to writing your senior thesis citizen!
There’s this old story about the boy who points out the emperor has no clothes. In this day and age, that boy would simply be deplatformed. In a world where a handful of tech companies operated out of Silicon Valley govern human communication, the truth becomes obsolete. People now have a five second attention span, if it takes them more than five seconds to figure out what you’re saying, they won’t even bother trying to understand it anyway. It fundamentally doesn’t matter anymore what’s real, because people have grown convinced that they will be shielded from the consequences of defying reality if they make sure that they’re obedient. Companies don’t care if they make a profit anymore, what matters is that investors will keep pouring money into them. Investors will pour money into them, if they expect the government will prop them up. That’s how most Silicon Valley companies now operate.
My favorite expression is “you have to go to college to become this stupid”. It applies to a lot of things. Consider some things. It’s high status to worry about global warming. It’s low status to worry about 5G. For all practical purposes, it’s impossible to get someone who graduated college to worry about 5G. It doesn’t matter whether there’s a long list of credible scientists who think wireless radiation has the potential to be profoundly dangerous for human health and non-human species. It doesn’t matter that hundreds of studies back this up. It doesn’t matter that the industry selectively funds scientists whose results suggest the radiation is harmless. What matters is that your racist uncle Bob who dropped out of high school posted some image on Facebook linking 5G to Corona, so you don’t want to be associated with it. You don’t even do this consciously. Hypersocial people just copy other people’s ideas without noticing.
Ultimately this is just how human beings operate. We adjust to what we see around us. Low status people take over the opinions of high status people. High status people take over the opinions of those at the top of the totem pole. The highest status people don’t copy anyone else’s opinions. They adopt new opinions that work well for them, but that don’t work for everyone else. Everyone else then gradually starts adopting behavior that will blow up in their faces, because it has become fashionable. Social media has had the effect of merely reinforcing this human tendency, by making us adjust ourselves to the consensus of people from around the world. At this point, the societal consensus has become so clinically wrong that if #dontchopoffyourlimbs is trending on Twitter, you need to seriously start considering chopping off your limbs.
Consider the recent Corona lockdowns in African nations. Nations that have had zero cases of deaths from corona virus, force people to stay inside. Cameroon has had seven women die in childbirth because they were unable to get to the hospital in time, due to the lockdown. Cameroon has had zero deaths from Corona. Nations where 10% of children die before their fifth birthday, where hungry children wander the streets with their faces rotting off, worry about a virus that kills eighty year old Italian grandmothers. Why are they doing this? It’s plain and simple. They look up to Europeans because of a colonial complex. Whatever white Europeans are doing, is hip and fashionable. If white Europeans are locked up in their homes because of a virus, African governments start copying that, even though it will blow up in their faces.
The reason people with some mild autistic tendencies, like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Burry and Vladimir Putin rise to the top of the power structure is because they have the increasingly rare ability to form their own opinions by examining the evidence, instead of copying what’s trending on Twitter. Autism makes you bad at adjusting to what everyone else believes. Similarly, how did Trump become president of the United States? He managed to become president, because he’s a narcissist. If you’re reasonably intelligent, it doesn’t matter what makes you incapable of adjusting to social norms, your failure to adjust to social norms will inevitably lead you to success. In Trump’s case, he succeeds because he is arrogant enough to think he’s right when everyone tells him he’s wrong. Most people would back down under such circumstances, but Trump doesn’t, Trump doubles down. How did Trump win the nomination despite that “grab her by the pussy” video? It turns out you can get away with it by just not caring. If you’re arrogant enough to not care what the herd thinks about you, the herd eventually just ends up adjusting to that.
One of the ironies of modern life is that it doesn’t matter how you fail to adjust to social norms. Everyone has become so hypersocial that any failure to adjust to social norms will almost automatically lead you to success. It doesn’t matter if you’re too narcissistic, too sociopathic or too autistic to adjust to social norms. Anything will work. Even being too dumb to adjust to social norms can lead to success. You make a living dealing drugs or committing fraud? The police don’t have the manpower to figure it out and if you do get convicted you’ll get off with a light sentence. You stay in the small town where you grew up, marry young and start working directly after high school? After a few years of living with your parents you’ll buy a house and you’ll have kids. You graduated? You’ll find yourself at age 35 in some tiny apartment with roommates, in an overpopulated city where house prices go up by 10% every year and you’ll realize you won’t have children. You’re a 90 IQ moron who reads his King James Bible and when your daughter tells you she’s non-binary you tell her it’s a phase and she’ll get over it? Two years later she gets angry if you remind her of it. You’re too dumb to be worried about getting skin cancer by laying in the sun? Turns out that hypersocial people had it wrong and sunlight is good for you after all. You hear about Corona and you simply go on partying because you think it’s just the flu? Turns out you were right and it was just the flu after all. Social conformism is a slow-motion suicide.
Nobody gives a shit if anything keeps working longer than the next paycheck, as long as they can socially advance HERE AND NOW by affirming the status quo more than the next guy.
I hoped the virus would get people to spit this poison out, that in the face of (perceived) existential threat they would say “hold on, we need to actually get this right, the gloves are coming off,” and then they would begin to prioritize accuracy of analysis over popularity of ideas.
This did not occur.
I’m uncertain how to proceed. What is there to get out of society when they verifiably are almost 100% selfish lying idiots? Ten years ago I expected that everyone was at least somewhat selfish, lying, and unintelligent, but this entire debacle has really changed my expectations.
Discourse truly is dead now except in the comments sections of obscure blogs, and even those would be shut down if they gained too much traction. Imagine it. Too many angry r*dditors decide a blog is covid skeptical, or transphobic, or any of the other imagined offenses they’ve come up with, and they will screech at the ISP and blog host until one of them caves for fear of hosting unpopular content, while they comb every available piece of information and try to fill out a dox sheet on the author until they hunt him down and get him fired and publicly branded as a retard psychopath.
Moldbug’s cathedral has taken over the entire planet.
Like I said, I do not even know what to do. Those of us who are not sufficiently conformist have nowhere to go, and are not allowed to goddamn say anything. Do we all start signaling to each other and form secret forbidden friendships, until they correlate our cellphone data and find us? What are we supposed to get out of our lives?
I probably sound angry. Well, I am angry. Normal cattle have ruined everything for anyone who is not one of them.
>Do we all start signaling to each other and form secret forbidden friendships, until they correlate our cellphone data and find us?
That’s worked moderately well for me thus far; I’ve made a few worthwhile friends ostensibly from blowing dogwhistles. The issue is choosing the correct whistles to blow; I don’t ever invoke any sort of serious commentary even as a devil’s advocate or gateway drug issues/arguments, I just partake in a rather niche brand of humor that other off-the-beaten-path types also gravitate toward (after all, if humor is how the brain processes nonsense, then people with similar senses of humor would, logically, find the same sorts of things nonsensical, which speaks not only to their worldviews but also how their minds operate). You come across a number of basic bitch /pol/ automatons spewing lame generic alt-right garbage this way, but I’ve met enough genuinely intelligent people worth keeping up with–a few I’m even lucky enough to know offline–that it’s worth it to me to continue. That said, considering that this is mostly held together with sticks and bubblegum on mainstream platforms like fakebook and twitter, and even the “private” channels that you then migrate to like discord aren’t really so private, it could quite easily come crashing down any minute. I guess all I can say is that I’m a truly lucky man to have conversation-worthy acquaintances that I can visit in person.