It seems as if people are going collectively mad and it increasingly appears to me that social media is to blame for this phenomenon. The human brain is not designed for social media, it triggers our worst instincts. The same people who were berating you three weeks ago if you protested against the quarantines because you might spread a deadly virus, are now the same people urging you to get out onto the streets. We’re reaching the point now where it’s considered far-right if you don’t support looting random stores.
For what it’s worth, I don’t like slogans like “believe women”, “I’m with her” or “black lives matter”, because it reduces people to some arbitrary box that we fit them into. To me you are first and foremost an individual. I think Morgan Freeman gave the perfect answer to the question of how you’re going to get rid of racism in this video:
Critics will say that you can’t solve a problem by simply pretending that it doesn’t exist. But that’s not what we’re aiming for. We’re aiming to move on from the problem. One of the mistakes the modern left is making, is that you can’t heal a trauma by continually ruminating on it. That’s a positive feedback loop that leads to depression: You feel miserable, so you think about bad things that were done to you, so you feel even more miserable and start thinking even more about the bad things that have happened to you. You need to look towards the future.
It’s also worth noting all the mediocre celebrities on Twitter who are signaling their support for Black Lives Matter, whereas they have never spoken about any political issues before. Why are they doing that? Are they suddenly politically outspoken? No, they are afraid. There is clearly a climate of fear in the United States right now.
It reminds me of that video I have seen of Saddam Hussein carrying out a purge against his political officials after a failed plot against him. He sits in a room filled with party officials and one by one they are taken out of the room to be executed. When the first few ones are taken away, party officials spontaneously stand up and start shouting “I LOVE SADDAM HUSSEIN”! This is a far-fetched theory perhaps, but when you have celebrities showing up out of nowhere, proclaiming that BLACK LIVES MATTER!!!, could it be that they are afraid of a mob that cancels your tours and edits your Wikipedia page to add a “controversy” section when you offend them by accident?
Social media creates an extreme pressure to conform to some group. American Republicans have transformed into a parody of themselves, under the leadership of Donald Trump. They call natural gas “molecules of American freedom” and transform the government into a cleptocracy for billionaires. The American left has similarly become completely ridiculous. I see people arguing that looting the local Target does not harm the local community. America doesn’t seem to have sane moderate people anymore, or at least their voices are not being heard.
Unemployment rates for young Americans have skyrocketed to around 40% I’ve read. That’s a whole lot of people who would be interacting with coworkers, who are now stuck in their tiny apartments browsing Twitter. If there’s any social media platform out there that is a recipe for mental illness, it’s probably Twitter. It’s easy to say something in 280 characters that feels good. If you want to explain that something that feels good is nonetheless factually incorrect, you will generally need more than 280 characters. Twitter is a hivemind, the people who guide that hivemind are the ones who decide what the trending hashtags will be.
The thing I want to make very clear here however, is that the middle class white twenty-something year olds in the streets, are not doing this to “help” black people. We have video after video after video, of dignified black men and women, asking middle class white twentysomething year olds, to please stop using their peaceful protests as an opportunity to vandalize people’s property. Ultimately, what’s going on there is the same entitlement of the woman in Central Park who calls the police on a birdwatcher, expressing itself in a different manner. They feel entitled to destroy other people’s neighborhoods because it helps them feel good about themselves, but then they insist that this will somehow dismantle capitalism or white supremacy.
There’s one thing I can guarantee you: The people who tell you that these riots will bring down capitalism, are the kind of people who do not understand economics. The Fortune 500 companies love what’s happening right now. For McDonalds, Walmart or any other big companies, physical property is just a tiny portion of their assets. What makes these companies truly valuable, is branding and intellectual property. That’s the sort of stuff you can’t destroy when you smash in a window. You can rest assured however, that small businesses don’t recover from riots like these. And then I haven’t even mentioned corporations like Amazon yet, that don’t have anything they stand to lose in this situation. Rest assured that Jeff Bezos is having the time of his life right now.
I’ll tell you who the rioters are. In fact, I coined a new term to describe them: The 90 IQ 90k college debt generation. They’re the kind of people who had a grandmother who dutifully saved money for them every month so they could go to college or buy a house one day, but they blew it on a “gap year” that they spent backpacking in New Zealand to “find themselves” (don’t worry though, they compensated the carbon emissions by recycling their plastic).
These rioters are bourgeois white twentysomething year olds, who grew up in the suburbs but screwed up their own lives and will never live up to their parents. They rent shitty apartments and will continue living with roommates until they’re 47. You can recognize them by the fact that they all look the same: Plugs in their ears, shitty tattoos, manbuns that reveal receding hairlines, patchy beards, jeans with manufactured holes in them made by a child in a Bangladeshi sweatshop, thick-rimmed black glasses and checkered button-up shirts.
They are, for all practical purposes, genetic dead ends. If I had to make a guess, I would say they have a fertility rate of 0.52. They’re incapable of forming stable relationships, they spend their youth going back and forth between “friends with benefits”, “long distance relationships” and “Tinder hookups”, so they will generally die childless. They’re not even capable of falling in love anymore, if they ever did have children it would be inevitable that the kids would grow up with divorced parents.
It’s a good thing that they’re going to die childless, because besides not passing on their mediocre genes, they don’t have anything that would help their children grow up to live happy lives. They live in overpopulated big coastal cities, in houses without gardens, with random other people who also need some place to live. The fact that they don’t reproduce is the only good thing they have going for them.
They went to college to study “sociology” or “cultural anthropology” and shock horror, turns out that’s completely useless in the real world! Turns out that gets you a job at a fancy coffee shop. Will they ever acknowledge that they wasted four years of their lives? Of course not! “College teaches you how to think critically!” They will repeat to each other, like retarded parrots. Keep in mind, the moment they graduated, they lost all interest in the subject they studied. They won’t voluntarily open a book about anthropology, no, that was simply an easy major.
What defines them, more than anything else, is that they don’t have passions or opinions of their own. They adjust themselves to what is trending on Twitter or shows up on their Instagram feed. They are incapable of forming opinions on their own, because they have ten second attention spans, as their minds were completely poisoned by social media.
Autism is a masculine trait, that makes it difficult to adjust to social norms. But these people are the opposite of autistic: They are incapable of deviating from social norms! If Twitter proclaims that plundering a black neighborhood will end racism, or that you can riot without spreading Corona if you wear a bandana over your mouth, these people will believe it.
They are not truly informed about anything. Their favorite insult is “Karen”, until Twitter comes up with a new trending term. For all practical purposes, their opinions are determined by a handful of Silicon Valley social media executives. They are the people who claim to love science, yet they don’t know a thing about the world and make no attempt to learn how the world around them functions. What they mean when they claim to love science, is that they think you should “listen to the experts”.
They have every branch of human knowledge accessible through a device in their pocket, but do they use it, to learn about the world around them? No, of course not. They can’t tell you the name of an insect or a bird. They don’t care about anything other than their little hypersocial circlejerk. They can’t tell you a single author or academic they like, other than J. K Rowling. They might tell you that they like Foucault, because they heard about him in college, but they don’t have the slightest realization that what he was warning us about is happening around us now.
They vote for Bernie Sanders of course, because they want free shit. They don’t want to take responsibility for any of their own dumb mistakes. They want their college debt to be forgiven, so that the guy who worked overtime to pay for his daughter’s graduation worked for nothing. They want to live in the kind of society where you are simply rewarded for expressing the right opinions, where every attempt to rise out above the average person’s mediocrity is ruthlessly squashed.
They will join every stupid useless protest you can think of, as long as it is culturally sanctioned. Pussy hat protest? Sure, great, believe women! Climate change protest? When I get back from Machu Picchu I’ll be there with you guys! Hey, did I ever mention how authentic the locals still are in Peru? It really hasn’t been spoiled by tourists yet! Have you seen my new Tinder profile pic yet? It’s me with some orphans in Cameroon! Oh today we protest against racism? Great, don’t start looting the Apple store without me guys!
They don’t spend money on stuff. No, they’re millennials, they’re far too cool for that. They spend money on “experiences”. What sort of experiences are we talking about? Flying back and forth between a number of South American cities for a few months as you check off tourist hotspots on your “bucketlist” and sleep in shitty youth hostels, so you can call yourself a “backpacker”. Or better yet, they spend money on the unique experience of signing up for debt slavery in exchange for the privilege of playing beer pong with people who forgot your name within seconds of meeting you.
They consider themselves socialists, but they have the mysterious habit of expressing their socialist beliefs by denigrating blue collar and/or rural white people. They’re the type of socialist who uses “I bet he works at a gas station” as an insult. They’re the kind of guy who tips five dollars on a fifty dollar bill and then starts rambling about how you can’t address systemic inequality within the framework of a capitalist system when they notice their date is looking uncomfortable.
No, they express their socialist ideology by calling their landlord a “parasite”, because God forbid you manage to earn a living for yourself by managing property instead of working for a hip new tech startup. My dad lived with his parents until he was 31 years old, but they’re renting apartments in overpopulated cities that eat up half your aftertax salary and then they blame “neoliberalism” or “capitalism”, instead of blaming themselves for being dumbasses who signed up for debt slavery and insist on living in some place that lonelyplanet.com tells you is really hip and cool.
They are completely convinced that every hipster has a fundamental human right to live in Brooklyn or San Francisco while smalltown America dies out, the government is tasked with figuring out how to violate the laws of time and space so that hipsters can live in the coolest places in the country without having to cough up ridiculous sums of money every month.
They are the people who grew up in bourgeois comfort, but they have nothing to show for it. They grew up in stable households in the suburbs, with kind and tolerant open-minded parents who fed them cod liver oil and literally just wanted them to be happy, but now they’re nobodies with no real ability to contribute something meaningful to society. They had every opportunity, but they squandered it and now they live hand to mouth.
It’s embarrassing when your parents were middle class, but you can’t live up to them. But what do these people have? Not the physical symbols of middle-class status, like cars or houses in the suburbs. No, they convinced themselves that those things don’t actually matter, that it’s much better to live with roommates, sell coffee for a living and convince yourself that your “career” as an artist is going somewhere.
They don’t have the material wealth, but they have the cultural heritage of the bourgeoisie: They can show the world that although they’re generally materially worse off than working class people, they do have the status symbols. They understand and use terminology like “privilege”, “womxn”, “latinx”, “bodies and spaces”, “non-binary” and “problematic”.
This is in a nutshell, the demographic you’re dealing with. These are the people who are looting your country. They don’t really have any redeeming virtues. When grasshoppers show up in high densities somewhere, serotonin concentrations in their brains go up, they become hypersocial locusts and start destroying everything around them, until they die off. Humans are not that different. The big American coastal cities are filled with hypersocial people who are incapable of doing something meaningful with their lives.
The only real recommendation I have right now on how to deal with them, is to turn off your social media. Tiktok, Reddit, Twitter, Instagram, these are not the kind of platforms that enrich your existence. I myself plan on simply no longer using these mediocre clickbait platforms. If you interact with these people, they will contaminate your mind with their ignorance. I have friends in the real world and things in the real world that I want to devote my attention to. If you want to do yourself a favor, open a book written before 1950. Social media is the lowest common denominator, where people with no redeeming virtues whatsoever determine the narrative. In the long run, these people have no future. Be patient.
A+ post. I know people this describes to the letter.
If a person’s opinions all come from the top 5 most popular websites, are they even a human being anymore or are they just a bipedal wifi hotspot?
I agree re: old books. Only quality lasts, and on top of it before every idiot was on the internet in the last 20 years, it seems like normal cattle didn’t even read. They just went to their dumb jobs and came home to watch sitcoms or the Big Game and left the thinking to people willing to spend spare time in a library digging up dusty old tomes.
>If a person’s opinions all come from the top 5 most popular websites, are they even a human being anymore or are they just a bipedal wifi hotspot?
They’re a useful tool, that’s for sure.
A handful of guys in Sillicon Valley now effectively decide what people believe, but most people don’t seem to find this scary.
No, they don’t. They aren’t even able to abstractly comprehend that reality: info forms ideas that determine behavior, so if someone controls the info you get, they control what you DO.
Honestly I don’t know whether to consider it a bad thing or a simple inevitability, but the fact of the matter is that most people, while self-aware and self-determinate, are still effectively machines, cattle even–I won’t even deny such tendencies in myself. Perhaps it’s something that wouldn’t be that big of a deal in a more primitive society with strong leadership, yet democracy brings out the worst of this fact and the internet exponentializes the problem, perhaps because civilization has evolved faster than our species.
It’s practically inconceivable that we’ll culturally shift and accept that we’re not all free thinkers with valuable and unique opinions and even less so that people would collectively accept the brand of cattle, or even a softer euphemism. There just really doesn’t seem to be a proper solution outside of some sort of upheaval, and yet even that would require either enough ubermenschen or people willing to accept the brand.
What are the best books pre-1950?
I like it. There are loads and loads of people like this of all ages, and in Europe also at least, not just the USA.
I studied maths at uni for four years and consider it a waste of time, largely because it seemed all my colleagues were like the people you describe in this text. I really hated it to be honest.
Looking back it seemed the courses were calibrated so that basically any fool could get a degree in anything, without making any real effort.
I’m not joking, 90 IQ seems about right.
A friend of my dad who is seventy was going on about how great Uni was, he said with a straight face “people go to uni to learn how to think”
It’s absolutly ridiculous, as if a university is a magic building that transforms knuckleheads who don’t really give a shit about anything into clever people.
“they are not truly informed about anything”
IMO people like this often end up as authoritarian schoolteachers.
No wonder kids are pissed off!
You have to grant one thing to the friend of your dad: If he’s seventy, he probably remembers Uni from a different era. At this point all the normies go to Uni, so it’s now a waste of time and energy, but it used to attract relatively intelligent people.
It’s been diluted for a very long time in my opinion.
“Official, state sanctioned education”, there is lots to debate.
For example ages ago I heard the English TV star of yesteryear Angus Deaton had a degree in french and german.
If he knows french and german competently right now I would be surprised. It’s not something one learns in three years at Uni and then bang it’s done forever, this guy is certifed.
No, it’s something anyone can do quite easily nowadays with the modern internet. Also it’s like being good at tennis, you have to keep at it to stay good at it. To an extent.
To me, modern education systems are pretty much 1) a racket to make money 2) bad, because they bolster the ego of untalented people.
It would be better for untalented people to stare at the truth squarely and honestly, but having a degree allows people to indignantly think “I’m not thick, I’ve a degree in whatever!!!”
Do you really think “these people” have no future? Because I think reasonably well paid jobs like school teacher or civil servant or whatever they do might stay around for a while.
Being thick isn’t a problem.
Twitter is such a godawful cesspool, even by social media standards. It makes sense as what it seemed intended to be; namely, simple updates for those interested in the minutia of a given person’s life (whether that inherently has connotations of narcissism and devalues it is a different story that might take more information and contemplation), but people seem to have wound up treating it as so much more, which is a detriment to what they attempt to use it for. Users are now approaching it as a venue for actual pontification and discussion, which is absolutely horrible for the state of public discourse. For one thing, anything worth saying on a complex issue just can’t be boiled down to 280 characters, yet we insist on it because keeping it short helps it gain traction. Sure, you can use multiple posts and even break up your sentences between them, yet it’s bothersome enough to be an off-putting option, plus there’s a simple inevitable gravitation to squaring it away, which not only limits expression but sequentializes it, turning fluid and organic lines of thought into top ten list-level bullet points. Even something as benign as challenging a friend on his opinion of a particular videogame was just a hassle and felt more burdensome than it needed to be–to some degree, I even had to adopt twitterisms in my attempt to convey my thoughts just to make what I was saying readable, which I feel notably impacted my ability to properly articulate. Even fucking facebook at least allows you to just drop a damn essay in the comments, and at least facebook doesn’t delude you into thinking you’re anyone other than some joe talking to a handful of people that he knows. Twitter, on the other hand, seems to give people the impression of some sort of pulpit, further incentivizing people to express their opinions and undue confidence on top of the piss-poor quality of discourse (that wound up informing the opinions that they feel worth sharing, in a vicious cycle of mediocrity). It’s everything wrong about democracy rolled into a single package and made superlative, and even the fascists are susceptible; I occasionally browse some far-right feeds just since the humor is better and ultimately compatible (side note, but I found this intriguing: the best political humor is invariably found in the most esoteric camp Ron Paul had decent humor back in 2012 while Obama’s was extant and Romney had fuckall. 2016 gave us early stage Trump fanaticism and plenty of decent funnies from the /pol/ crowd, Bernie at least had normie-level humor from normies in denial, Hillary had nothing. Yang had some good humor while he was around, meanwhile exempting Trump and Biden as jokes in themselves there’s no pro-candidate humor anymore), but the problem persists: the worst part isn’t that they’re attempting to approach topics that aren’t done justice by the medium, but that the consumers and producers both seem /contented with it/. I was considering making a twitter for my blog at some point just to express things that weren’t enough for an entire post–“I don’t have much to say about this movie but this shot is really well-composed because abc,” “A Mega Man game that does xyz would be cool,” etc.–but at this point I think it might be best to just consider it terminally screwed and not go near that hellscape.
Instagram is actually moderately salvageable though, as long as you curate things properly. Since the emphasis is on images rather than verbal posts, there’s less of a current of people feeling obligated to share their garbage fucking opinions (even if, tragically, it still exists, but usually just in the descriptions of inane and ugly photos that you wouldn’t want in your feed in the first place) and it’s much easier to just post cool looking stuff and find people who do the same–at any rate, it’s the best option for digitally cultivating an aesthetic now that nobody uses tumblr anymore.
Perfect example of worthwhile discourse that’s hampered by sequentialization. Note that each idea fits neatly into the character limit: https://mobile.twitter.com/0x49fa98/status/1268540669292883972
God, you’re bitter aren’t you?
I’m surprised at the level of detail that went into describing traveller kids
Oddly Specific-level vitriol
It’s a brain disease of neoliberalism. Isolated people, full of rage, facing genuine frustrations and no real solutions. Retreating into various identity politics. (see “incel”)
I’d like to think that social democracy will save us, but I’m really not sure. Could be a grim couple decades.