December 2020.


Soon, and maybe already, governments won't matter

14 Dec 2020

We will soon, if we have not already, enter an age where high-tech business interests are more powerful than the government, and what the government says or does will no longer really matter. Now, the news will still cover it, and people will still be engaged in it, and have opinions about it, and will act as though it matters, because that is what we are conditioned to do, and will continue to be. But reality of the situation, whether or not anyone really knows about it or cares, is all of those things are still downstream from the high-tech, algorithm-filtered communications channels that color everything we think and do. What will that look like in practice? Contrary to what we might expect, it will look exactly like China.

The communist government of China currently has a "social credit" system where they keep track of how supportive or problematic a given citizen is to The Party with a sophisticated surveillance system involving facial recognition, surveillance cameras, and learning algorithms. Replace the cameras and facial recognition with user-created profiles where they dump their every momentary thought, and this is exactly how big tech regulates and censors your online behavior, and subconsciously guides your brain with every tap, swipe, and scroll. Based on your social credit score, restrictions are to be enforced upon you (automatically, via the various systems' interlinked algorithmic processes, with no admin action required) such that you may not be able to acquire certain services or products or to go to certain places if your score is too low, that is, if your thoughts and actions stray too far outside what is permitted. This is what social networks are doing now, upscaled to an entire (MASSIVELY GIGANTIC) centralized society.

The saturation of social media and other electronic communications (which are already filtered through learning algorithms designed to make us look and click) will continue to increase. The thing about filtering all of our communications through learning algorithms is that it starts to negatively affect our collective mental health. Feeds driven by algorithmic AI are saturated with content that is designed to make you, personally, as emotional as possible in that moment, because that is what drives engagement (liking, favoriting, reposting, replying, etc).

This, combined with the exponential increase in devices the own manufacturers of which have described as "intimate" like smart watches and other smartphone-connected things, and combined with the Internet of Things, means that in the near future, and probably right now, one hundred percent of our daily lives will be saturated by communications and everyday actions that are tracked, keyword-indexed, fully monetized, and added to the algorithm. Everything you express publically and privately will be used to evaluate, via a sophisticated learning algorithm, your social credit score. That score will then be used to assign you a permissions level, just like a user account in a computer system, but it will be the permissions that you have to conduct your day-to-day business in real life. Thus, the social pressure mounts against you, and you do as you're told just to get on with your life. And before you know it, you love Big Brother.


Small talk

4 Dec 2020

I hate small talk. Is it just me? It certainly feels like it is. People act as though the idle nonsense they barf out when they have nothing to say means anything.

It seems to me like people can't bear to be alone and quiet. Can you imagine actually getting energy from being around other people, instead of having them drain you like a phone on full brightness? The only way I can recharge, really, is alone. Solitude is my preferred state, because I have no obligations to anyone. Nobody is demanding my attention which, I think, is the most draining thing of all.

So many people only converse to achieve their own conversational agenda. Sometimes they're even bothered by the fact that someone else is trying to actually add to the conversation. People want to reach their own desired end, then stop. Woe unto those who dare pick up the subject and try to run with it.

Is it about being the center of attention? Technology has made us all into insufferable narcissists. We all expect, demand, want, but don't consider what they could gain by stopping, listening, and giving our attention readily.


Weak men

3 Dec 2020

My generation is far too comfortable, including me.

It's sad to think that I grew up unable to see the value in challenge, delayed gratification, and personal improvement. Gold can be dredged up from the very bottom of one's lowest lows. There's always a lesson. I wish I had known that earlier. If I had, it would have become habit, and I'd be better off.

Instead, I'm stuck with a set of old habits that incline me toward laziness and the subsequent depression. I believe that laziness usually leads to depression. I wonder how many cliched teens in the 1990s and early 2000s called themselves "lazy," like it was a part of their identity, and made online monikers based on that. A lot, I'd guess. Now you know why millenials are the way they are: An entire generation of young men, forcibly bred to be as depressed as possible in adulthood.

Okay, maybe not forcibly, but if it really had been purposeful and systematic, how much would the world look different? Not much.