Oppressed by the Tubz!

The Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It’s not a big truck. It’s a series of tubes. And if you don’t understand, those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it’s going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material. Ted Stevens- Senator, Idiot. The Department of Redundant Redundancy

So I’m this medium famous guy (not me personally, I could give you my real name and you’d come come up with… nothing) and I put myself out on twitter and facebook expecting universal love and adulation and instead there are these mean peons (hey, it’s the software calling you that, not me) who disagree.

Bile, venom and lies: How I was trolled on the Internet
By Fareed Zakaria, Washington Post
January 14 at 9:47 PM

We now live in an age in which that education takes place mostly through relatively new platforms. Social networks — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. — are the main mechanisms by which people receive and share facts, ideas and opinions. But what if they encourage misinformation, rumors and lies?

In a comprehensive new study of Facebook that analyzed posts made between 2010 and 2014, a group of scholars found that people mainly shared information that confirmed their prejudices, paying little attention to facts and veracity. (Hat tip to Cass Sunstein, the leading expert on this topic.) The result, the report says, is the “proliferation of biased narratives fomented by unsubstantiated rumors, mistrust and paranoia.” The authors specifically studied trolling — the creation of highly provocative, often false information, with the hope of spreading it widely. The report says that “many mechanisms cause false information to gain acceptance, which in turn generate false beliefs that, once adopted by an individual, are highly resistant to correction.”

Now stop right there. Cass (“If you can kill them, why can’t you spy on them?”) Sunstein? The Neolib apologist?

The whining continues-

As it happens, in recent weeks I was the target of a trolling campaign and saw exactly how it works.

Boo who?

In my own experience, conversations on Facebook are somewhat more civil, because people generally have to reveal their identities. But on Twitter and in other places — the online comments section of The Post, for example — people can be anonymous or have pseudonyms. And that is where bile and venom flow freely.

Elizabeth Kolbert, writing in the New Yorker, recalled an experiment performed by two psychologists in 1970. They divided students into two groups based on their answers to a questionnaire: high prejudice and low prejudice. Each group was told to discuss controversial issues such as school busing and integrated housing. Then the questions were asked again. “The surveys revealed a striking pattern,” Kolbert noted. “Simply by talking to one another, the bigoted students had become more bigoted and the tolerant more tolerant.” This “group polarization” is now taking place at hyper speed, around the world. It is how radicalization happens and extremism spreads.

I love social media. But somehow we have to help create better mechanisms in it to distinguish between fact and falsehood. No matter how passionate people are, no matter how cleverly they can blog or tweet or troll, no matter how viral things get, lies are still lies.

Pffft. You blowhard bubblegum (thing that calls into question your mother’s fidelity and I don’t know her but am sorely tempted by its aliterative capacity), you expect civility?

Nobody kisses your ass here. At best you can expect deserved dismissal of your Beltway bootlicking pandering prognostication and if you can’t deal- Shut Up!

EVERYBODY hates me. I revel in their scorn. I’m not here for adulation, there are rooms that people are obligated to stand and applaud when I enter. I choose psuedonimity because it encourages you to examine my logic free of an appeal to authority. If you think you need a crutch to generate sympathy you will find none in this quarter, nor should you.

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  1. Vent Hole

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