I never thought of the similarity between Kevin Kelly’s One Thousand True Fans (from 2008) essay and Albert Jay Nock’s obscure epic Isaiah’s Job (from 2006) – both are about eschewing mass market appeal – and narrowing in on a select group (Kelly’s thousand true fan’s – Nock’s the Remnant) who truly understand whatever it is your’re doing. The similarities are rather odd.
I just got memoirs of a superfluous man on kindle – I guess I’ll have to check and see if there are any similarities to classic issues of Wired…
- By raw coincidence from – here is this line from McSweeney’s – specifically regarding prayers to end war and murder
Mudslides, freak lightning storms, untreatable illnesses–those are God problems. But YOU killing each other with killing machines YOU created to kill each other seems like a YOU problem. Go do something about it! But, hey, that’s just this God’s opinion.
As Hoffer put it – we walk between the devil and the dragon.
- My favorite SMBC so far – sort of related to my “Let’s Kill Hitler” book idea.
- One of Tyler Cowen’s better posts – regarding Moore’s Law and Social Media – some nuggets
Manipulable people can be reached with a greater flood of information, so over time as data on them accumulate, they become more manipulable.
It is often easier to manipulate smart people than stupid people, because the latter may be oblivious to a greater set of cues and clues.
There is a performative dimension that renders both sides more rigid and dishonest.
The socially sensitive, very smart people will become the most despairing, the most manipulated, and the most angry. The socially insensitive will either jump ship into the camp of the socially sensitive, or they will cultivate new methods of detachment, with or without Stoicism. Straussianism will compete with Stoicism.
Social sensitivity is the nugget of wisdom – that seems like more of a spectrum disorder (to use the parlance of our time)
Something I wrote on another email exchange
Communication enhancing technology seems to have the effect of reducing our natural ability to communicate with each other – I guess they’re substitutes, not compliments.
I do think Americans are largely losing the ability to have effective conversations with people even slightly different than them, as well as losing faith in their deeply held ideas.
Quoting my own emails is the height of pretension, but I do find two of these ideas interesting, namely
- Communication technology is a substitute for communication ability
- We are losing faith in out ideas – even though we cling to them more tightly.
It seems that we have no hope of convincing anyone else of our beliefs, either due a lack of faith in our abilities, or a lack of faith in the veracity of our beliefs.
For those of you who haven’t talked to me in person the past week there was a large controversy over redistricting my daughter’s elementary school. The lines were drawn over neighborhood lines, which set forth all sorts of divisive talk and feelings, which should be expected with the root action being divisive in nature.
- It was announced late on a Saturday night
- The entire neighborhood was having outraged conversations on Sunday
- I had the website going Monday
- My neighbor (who has a printing company) had the yard signs ready on Tuesday
- Wednesday they announce that they were withdrawing the issue from consideration (after much angry talk by the potentially excluded people, both in person and on social media)
- Thursday we have a meeting where they explain how everything was overcrowded and how people could voluntarily transfer if they so desired.
Much as I knock social media – it really was a help to a just outcome in this case. Just to give Mark Zuckerberg his due…
From this episode of The Atlanta Podcast
Jail is for people you’re scared of, not people you’re mad at
After about 20 years of missing him for one reason or another. I saw him last night at the City Winery – which is a very, very impressive venue
Worth reading in it’s entirety – quotes
Intersectionality is like NATO for social-justice activists.
Today’s identity politics has another interesting feature: It teaches students to think in a way antithetical to what a liberal-arts education should do. When I was at Yale in the 1980s, I was given so many tools for understanding the world. By the time I graduated, I could think about things as a Utilitarian or a Kantian, as a Freudian or a behaviorist, as a computer scientist or a humanist. I was given many lenses to apply to any one situation. But nowadays, students who major in departments that prioritize social justice over the disinterested pursuit of truth are given just one lens — power — and told to apply it to all situations. Everything is about power. Every situation is to be analyzed in terms of the bad people acting to preserve their power and privilege over the good people. This is not an education. This is induction into a cult, a fundamentalist religion, a paranoid worldview that separates people from each other and sends them down the road to alienation, anxiety, and intellectual impotence.
I am of the opinion that anything that happens on a college campus is overly hyped – but he does make some good points about the Fox News effect (rewarding bombastic statements on the right) and the notion of identity politics as viewing everything through the lens of power.