1. Troll Food
Even though most people would consider me “far left,” it’s awfully tempting to make a career out of baiting the left. I saw some posts on Facebook taking a crack at lefties being outraged at Milo Yiannopoulos, and making a raucous. I didn’t know who Milo was and didn’t bother looking him up, suspecting that it was some random hack (it always is) that was good at pushing buttons; I wasn’t disappointed (I’m a little bit disappointed at myself because I eventually bothered to confirm my own suspicions). Like Ann Coulter, these hacks make a career out of triggering the left. They don’t have any worthwhile ideas, but they know that getting a reaction is all it takes to get the money.
As a Magic: The Gathering playing geek, I found out through the grapevine a few years ago about the Jon Finkel online dating thing. Here’s the tl;dr.
- A female troll outs former Magic champion Jon Finkel publicly on a geeky tech website called Gizmodo, about a bad date on OKCupid with Finkel. Finkel’s profile didn’t have “Magic champion” on it, and was therefore being dishonest by hiding his dweeb status.
- Magic geeks and nerds of various sorts bite the obvious bait; get triggered; Gizmodo and random writer gets paid.
- Feminists get triggered at geek rage. Obv patriarchy.
- Poo-flinging of epic proportions ensue.
- Gizmodo and writer gets paid more.
The left is the easiest of all types to bait into getting triggered certainly, but the truth is that everyone is easily triggered these days, and this is because nobody’s actually thinking on their own. This is the result of accepting ideology by association.
Wait, but what about legit attacks from the right-wing?
It’s true; there are some “semi-planned narratives.” A popular one goes like like this: Get a member of the “left victim class” to repent and attack their own type, defend the status quo, and reject progressivism vehemently.
Ben Carson: Create an elaborate but fictional account of being an aggressive black mired in the evils of “black culture” saved by the Lord.
Milo: The flamboyant gay that loves Catholicism, trolls the easily triggered left, and spews verbal diarrhea to get a reaction.
There is some alt-right bait there to be sure, but this is not really an attack on the left. Like our less accomplished Gizmodo troll, these are just ways to grab some cash; it’s not ideological. The result though, is very much like the shitshow with Jon Finkel.
- Milo says stupid shit to bait the left.
- University invites this stupid hack to speak???
- Left throws out a tantrum???
- Alt-right weirdos love Milo now
- Libertarians get triggered because free speech
Now idiots from all sides are baited. Make the monies. The more important question to ask though, is why you mad bro? Why would idiots like Milo Yiannopoulos, Ann Coulter, Alyssa Bereznak, or Donald Trump offend you? There are many idiots in the world, and some will naturally have a desire to share their idiotic opinions. These are all examples of talentless hacks who were elevated by the easily triggered left. Their only brilliance is in realizing that they could make an easy cash grab out of a kind of Streisand Effect, where the more you try to suppress some idiot, the more backlash and popularity they gain. Now the idiot right defend them as “thinkers” and libertarians defend their “free speech,” I suspect, mostly for the lulz, but some because, they are now themselves triggered by the “attack on liberty from the regressive left” …or some stupid shit like that. Not to say that free speech is bad or that censorship is good; this misses the point.
What is the value of shitty ideas? They get exposed, revised, and exposed again. It builds an immune system. When you rely on censorship you’re telling me that you have no immune system anymore. When you’re triggered or offended this signals that you’re scared of the common cold. Now the political right love it because they think they’re “winning” when liberals squeal this way, but they’re in fact, just as caught in the maelstrom, but they have way bigger issues than this which we’ll get to in another post.
This elevating of the talentless troll is completely unnecessary. A talentless troll, a weak one at that, is now king of the U.S. and how did this happen? A severely weakened immune system. America and the larger world is very much looking like a transplant patient on immunosuppressives or an AIDS patient succumbing to some random opportunistic infection. Do you even know what a healthy immune system even looks like anymore?
- Milo is just a self-hating homosexual with stupid ideas.
- Ann Coulter is just a hack that confuses thought with ridiculousness.
- Alyssa Bereznak is just a garden variety cunt.
- Donald Trump is just a classless shit-gibbon.
Email Spam and Bayesian Poisoning
How did we all get here, in this swamp of stupidity, thoughtlessness, hyper-partisanship, and general state of a weakened immune system? Is it just that Americans are especially stupid?
It’s like spam emails:
Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business relationship with you. I got your contact from the International web site directory. I prayed over it and selected your name among other names due to it’s esteeming nature and the recommendations given to me as a reputable and trust worthy person I can do business with and by the recommendations I must not hesitate to confide in you for this simple and sincere business.I am Wumi Abdul; the only Daughter of late Mr and Mrs George Abdul.
The ones, where most people think, “bro, please.” It’s a numbers game to be sure, but their existence is pudding proof that they beat the low cost of sending out the emails. Do you know why these emails seem to always have weird and bad grammar? It’s not just to weed out the especially stupid for targeting, although this is certainly part of the process. Called Bayesian poisoning, it’s a way of weakening the email service provider’s spam filtering algorithms. Some possible poisons:
- Add random words to dilute the spam word density
- Add common or safe words to dilute spam word density
- Add real (non-spam) emails to the bottom of the thread to dilute
These attacks weaken the statistical filter, increasing false positives and false negatives.
People like Milo and Ann Coulter are the equivalent of political spam. They have no worthwhile ideas (they aren’t really even ideas). Their intention is just to make money, but the unintentional effect that it has is, like spam, to dilute the filter of what constitutes thought and ideas. Yes, some people take garbage like InfoWars seriously, but similarly uncritical people take Nigerian scams seriously too. Here, the spam filter or the “immune system” is called common sense, shared by the left and the right. As much as I hate to use arbitrary phrases like “common sense,” when I see people getting triggered by stupidity, I have to start questioning how stupid and uncritical people have gotten. Getting triggered by Ann Coulter or PewDiePie saying an inappropriate thing or three is like being triggered by Nigerian scam emails.
- The left is triggered because Nigerian scams are…well, scams.
- The right love the Nigerian scammers because…it pisses off the left?
- Libertarians are concerned about the free speech of Nigerian email spammers.
Everyone, please…just…staaap. Your stupidity is killing me.
2. Most Liberals Don’t Understand Liberal Values
Isms are such an awful crutch to thinking. You don’t have to “show solidarity to allies” or “agree with things that sound liberal” just to be a liberal. Liberals know the evils and absurdities of conservatives (not that well though, it turns out).
Mindless love of close-mindedness, authoritarianism and provincialism, everything checks out right? But what about liberals?
- Colored people=yay
- Science=When it suits them-yay
Liberals, like conservatives, know how to jerk their knees all the same. They know what buttons to click and what keywords their ideologies tell them to say yay to, but often haven’t really thought about why. This leads them to awful contortions (not as bad as the right, but this post is about the left) that can be outright anti-science and often irrational. Here are two propositions:
- Colored people should have equal consideration as white people.
- Women should have equal consideration as men.
Are you with me, liberals? Good. How about the next propositions?
- Black people are the same as white people in intelligence, athletic ability, etc.
- Women are the same as men in intelligence, athletic ability, etc.
Is it uncomfortable? If so, why? There are going to be serious difficulties finding out generally if these propositions hold true, obviously, but is it not cool to ask? If it’s uncomfortable to ask, is it because you suspect that you might find that they are different in capability? How many non-black people are at the top of professional sports (that are not restricted by wealth requirements)? Are there biological differences between men and women? Of course. But why deny these differences to the point of censorship? They are offended by mentions of race or gender for no reason other than that they feel threatened that their ideology depends on these things being equal. Perhaps this is a remnant of poorly conceived ideas like phrenology that were used by some to try to justify white supremacy in the past. If you believe this, you don’t understand liberalism. You think that people need to be equal in every way as a class to deserve equal consideration. This is not correct.
Moral consideration is a prescription, and not an assertion of fact.
If you accept this, you don’t need to get uncomfortable about facts. If you aren’t uncomfortable about facts, you don’t need to suppress them. Let the political right be uncomfortable about facts; they have many good reasons to be scared of facts.
Counter-argument: What if people don’t have intrinsic value, but only instrumental value?
First, most people who say this don’t believe this consistently, nor do they behave (thankfully) in accordance with the idea they purport to have.
- Do you believe that less intelligent people have the right to live?
- Mentally ill or challenged people?
- Permanently injured or disabled people?
- What about children?
Revised counter-argument: These people should have some moral consideration, but not equal consideration (because merit).
- If you were healthy at one point, but became injured or old, do you merit less moral consideration?
As you can see, from a pragmatic standpoint, these are indefensible positions. Why are you scared of indefensible arguments?
Feminism is the idea that women deserve equal moral consideration.
Why is this so fucking hard or controversial? Is it because the conservatives have somehow dirtied the word (true), or stupid people on the left have defended ridiculous positions because all women needed to be defended simply because they are a woman? (also true) Some women are cunts just like some men are dicks. Words matter, yes (we’ll get to conservatives and libertarians in another post), but having a clear understanding of ideas and their import matter more. If you understand liberalism, you don’t need to be scared of reality.
The term “PC” as it’s used by conservatives to attack liberals, is a kind of dig at denying obvious facts (Yes, it’s more often used by idiots to simply justify being a shitty person but that’s beside the point). As you can see though, PC is unnecessary if you understand your values.
3. Preferences are not Crime; Implicit Bias is not Racism
Bro, you don’t need to be color-blind, really, and nobody is color blind in any meaningful sense of the word. Online dating apps are one of the first examples of big data backed empirical evidence of racial preferences. Liberals got uncomfortable when data revealed that black women were least desirable, and Asian women were most desirable. Back in the real world though, long before we had “empirical data,” men and women of all colors knew very well where they stood in the cultural desirability chart.
Unless you’ve been living outside of North America, somewhere where cultures are vastly different, this is one of those “obv” things that don’t require some white academic to figure out. If this wasn’t obvious to you, you are probably, in fact, medically blind. What the white academic will tell you is things like “colored women like white men because upward mobility” and “cultural icons and beauty standards are white-centric” and less often about things like “the patriarchy is strong with the colored men which women don’t like” (which is, of course, true unless you are blind in other ways as well). I suspect most colored people are surprised that the desirabilities are this close, and if you’re in your 30s or 40s and are already married/in a long-term relationship, it would probably surprise you in the sense that big data which is too recent won’t correspond with your anecdotal experiences at all, not one bit. There is no way to “get data” in the same way for the past, but there is very good reason to believe we’ve become “more color-blind” so to speak.
With the help of studies into implicit bias, we now know that it’s not just conservatives that have negative biases towards black people. Progressives and black people also do. The test is an easy game of association where you match concepts. Negative concepts and black faces match faster than with white ones (just one example, you can confirm patriarchy as well). This makes us uncomfortable, as it should. It shouldn’t come as a surprise though. Unless you are one of those silly people that claims that they are color-blind (white liberals) or that denies white privilege altogether (white conservatives), the empirical data should not surprise you. Why would it? We did in fact, grow up surrounded by white media, white messaging, with white role models, what do you expect? We grew up on TV shows and cartoons with white heroes that triumph over Asian, native, and Arab (Cobra commander was the Arab terrorist before that was a thing) villains and rescues their oppressed heroine. Do you really think this has zero effect? You don’t have to like reality, but you also don’t have to be blind either. Denying this is willful blindness. The landscape is vastly different now–Dora the Explorer is colored, and female (Does anyone know if she is a child of an illegal immigrant), probably because some people weren’t blind.
Everyone in our grade 4 class knew to ask Hon (you know, the other Asian kid in our school) if you had a math question. Where mixed races are a thing, kids know that dads are white and moms are colored. Kids are not blind, but their parents somehow are, and are embarrassed when their kids show evidence that they have, uh, healthy vision.
Facts and prescriptions are not the same.
Denying facts do not change reality, so why do liberals close their eyes?
If you believe, fact, therefore prescription, this is a type of idiocy that is often endemic to conservatives:
A: Why do you think marijuana should be illegal?
B: Because it’s illegal.
The appropriate response is not to get triggered. It’s:
A: Thank you for your time.