Monday, April 29, 2019

PewDiePie becomes somewhat contrite as he asks users to drop his "subscribe" meme


Sunday, PewDiePie made a serious video in which he asked people to stop using the “Subscribe to PewDiePie” meme. He mentioned that from his perspective, the Christchurch incident was unforeseeable and out of the box. This argument of his may not stand up. 

American Johnson, of “Non Compete”, who had made a video earlier (“The PewDiePie Pipline”, cf blog, April 7) on the way  Felix Kjellberg’s meme had been redpilled and blown up by extremist opportunists, did a “quickrise” video Monday morning on the sincerity of Felix’s recent video.  


Two reactions.  Well, maybe three. 

First, I’m aware of Johnson’s theory of “stochastic terrorism” that seems to be catching on and being viewed as a mainstream national security concept, a sort of “Manchurian Candidate” for ordinary American Psycho’s (like the 2000 film). ContraPoints has also covered this idea (Nov 24, 2018). But I think that the biggest problems are coming mainly from Dark Web or hidden sites like 8chan (previous post), where Wikipedia offers some very disturbing details indeed. In comparison, radicalization on places like YouTube seems much less likely (given vigorous enforcement of community standards).  However late Monday NBC offered some more analysis that says some 8chan material is still winding up on Facebook (before FB can find it) accounts of extremists. 

Second, “Non Compete” is advancing a kind of communism (he calls it “anarchist”).  There are a lot of scattered intentional communities around the US (like “Twin Oaks” and “Acorn” in central Virginia) that run moneyless communities with one or two commune businesses and income sharing.  

 There is even a confederation among these groups, of sorts.  But you would have to imagine dividing the country into reservations for these “communes” as if they were “tribes” and expecting everyone to join one of them.
  
I do think we have a problem.  On a global scale we have tremendous inequality, which goes beyond income and wealth but even cognition. You wind up, with such a huge potential population and with asymmetry, with some inevitability that some people with “nothing to lose’ will blow up. That was one of the points of Taleb’s “Skin in the Game” book.  We wind up with a moral debate on the risk we pass on to others when we don't have the same tribal circumstances. 

 There is also an increasing problem that mentioning something (or showing a meme or a forbidden symbol) itself leads to censorship. Even "learn to code".  See the Timcast today.  Tim refers to a Verge story here.  Ironically, there was a small plane running an ad banner for the subscription over NYC today, it had been prearranged. 

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