American Apocalypse: The #LaPalma Megatsunami Scenario



by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

It is very, very unlikely that our worst fears about what’s going on at La Palma will be realized and there will be some sort of “megatsunami.” It’s so unlikely as to not be something any of us should be worried about.

But I love me a scenario, so let’s run it. Let’s think about what would happen to the United States on a political basis, if a huge fucking wave crossed the Atlantic and destroyed a huge chunk of the American Eastern Seaboard.

My initial reaction is given how divided the country is at the moment, that the country would decend into chaos and something akin to the “Red October” that the MAGA New Right keeps babbling about would happen. The political and economic implications for the United States would, on paper, be enough to destroy the country unto itself.

But let’s think about this more deeply.

It could be that some of the assumptions I’m making aren’t right, that I’m jumping to conclusions. The country would be in shock for the first few days after the event and there would be a massive power vacuum across a huge swath of the country. It could be that the first reaction to the event would be for the country to unite. A lot would depend on how much of the Federal government was still functioning after the possible destruction of D.C.

It seems logical to conclude that it would be the massive economic depression that would strike the globe that would be the thing to cause some sort of MAGA New Right-themed “revolution” in the United States. If Trump survived the event, he would likely somehow be ranting about how now was the chance that MAGA had been looking for — it would be their time to strike. Or, more specifically, Steve Bannon would be saying that.

So, it’s very possible to imagine after the initial shock wore off and the economic implications of the event began to sink in that the usual finger-pointing would begin to happen and be taken to the next level as a huge, populous portion of the country struggled to get the lights on and to figure out what happens next.

I could easily see 20 or more small MAGA states descend into some sort of MAGA New Right themed revolution, which would, in turn, strain the already gobsmacked Federal government.

But, again, I may be assuming the absolute worst a little bit too much this time. Or not. If there was going to be a Second American Revolution, this time with the intent of “making America great again,” something like a huge fucking wave destroying a huge chunk of the country is probably the best bet for it to happen sooner rather than later.

I have to take a moment to ponder how otherwise deluded the MAGA New Right is for thinking that they could pull off a “Red October” without a massive wave striking the US Eastcoast. Revolutions usually, by definition, are Leftist and for all their talk of how much they fucking want to fuck their guns, MAGA cocksuckers have — if the January 6th Insurrectionists are any indication — proven to be massive wussies.

Anyway, hopefully this will stay just a idle daydream.

Red October: America’s Endgame Enigma


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

The general unease in the United States right now comes from there being no obvious endgame to what’s going on. On one hand, it seems clear that the country is going to peacefully slip into autocratic managed democracy when Republicans brazenly steal first the 2022 mid-terms and then the 2024 presidential election. Here are some reasons why we won’t have a civil war:

  1. It’s not in our nature to have a civil war.
    For all the hateful rhetoric on the part of the MAGA New Right, it’s possible that in the end, they manage to pull off a peaceful transition to autocracy. In fact, at first, at least, the chance from democracy to autocracy could be so subtle that only a few hysterical people like me even notice. For the average person, it will just be a replay of 2000, only worse: it will simply be accepted that the only way a Democrat can become POTUS is if that party also control Congress. People will say “the system worked” and move on.
  2. Republicans have gamed the system.
    It could be that by 2024 – 2025 the actual administration of elections will be so corrupt that it will be a fact of life that people shrug and take for granted. It will be the first step towards Americans becoming Russians in that they will no longer feel as though the government expresses the will of the people. And that will be that.
  3. Not Trump 2024
    Another reason why we could slip peacefully into autocracy is it’s not Trump who is the Republican nominee, but someone other than Trump. If this is the case, when I honestly don’t see why we would have a civil war. Autocracy is so popular within the United States –and the opposition to it is so weak — that our transition to an actual autocracy will in the end be so easy to pull off that there will be no need to resort to violence. Blue States will get angry, but, lulz, they always get angry, right Mr. Eastman?
  4. Autocracy is very popular in the United States
    A sizable portion of the United States’ electorate wants an autocracy. They want one so bad that they seem like a cult to people who aren’t all that thrilled at the prospect of one. So, it’s possible that they will wrap up the transition into autocracy without any violence at all. By the time people realize what they’ve lost, it will be way, way too late. The United States will be nothing more than a Russia clone with an identical political dynamic. There will be a MAGA-themed Constitutional Convention to “pass a balanced budget amendment” and we’ll still have President DeSantis (or whomever) 30 years from now.
  5. Anti-MAGA forces are just too weak willed.
    Again, it could be that when push comes to shove, the whole thing will be over before it even starts. There will be a lot of angry tweets on Twitter, but in the end, because Twitter liberals aren’t willing to risk anything in the real world, we slip peacefully into autocracy and that, as they say, will be that.

On paper, this will all happen peacefully and in the open. The center-Left lacks the leadership and the backbone to do anything about it. Trump becomes president, he picks a successor and at some point in the 2025 -2029 timeframe, we have a MAGA-themed Constitutional Convention and that will be that. President Flynn or DeSantis or whomever will become effectively president for life and 20 years from now we’ll be talking about Generation Flynn (or whomever.)

Under this scenario, we’ll avoid the any conflict with a rising China because the United States will recede to Fortress America at just about the same time. Millions of center-Left people will flee the country and the United States will begin a downward spiral into a “shit hole country.” Those who remain who don’t kowtow to the autocrat will be “re-educated,” killed or tortured into submission.

That, at the moment, seems like the logical endgame to what’s going on. But for one thing.

Donald Trump.

Or, to put it more broadly, how the MAGA New Right has developed enough bloodlust that they may very well bungle what should be a historical gimmie and lose everything because they want to murder people like me for political reasons.

In this other endgame, because of Trump saying the quiet part out loud, when we have the Certification Crisis of 2024 – 2025, instead of the MAGA New Right letting history run its course, they intentionally push us into civil war just because they have come to glorify political violence for the sake of political violence. Here are some reasons why we will have a civil war.

  1. Republicans have come to glorify political violence
    Something you see a lot these days within the bullshit echo chamber of the MAGA New Right is the belief that because “liberals won’t leave us alone” that they are being “driven” to extremism. There’s a lot of leading not-so-vague talk as to what all this would ultimately mean. But it’s clear that for a number of “thought leaders” within the MAGA New Right that they have accepted that at some point in the future, they’re going to have to resort to violence to get what they want.
  2. Republicans no longer believe in democracy
    It is now clear that like any good fascists, Republicans no longer believe in democracy unless it’s for the specific purpose of gaining and keeping power. This view of the system they’re supposed to a part of leads them do extremely distablizing things that help push the country to the brink.
  3. Trump 2024
    Just Trump being the 2024 nominee would, in itself, be enough to cause a civil war at some point in late 2024 – early 2025. He just has a special knack for “owning the libs” in such a way that if he stole in 2024 election and said the “quiet part outloud” that Blue States would grow so enraged that it would be they, not Red States, that left the Union and caused a Second Civil War. But Ron DeSantis is polling exceptionally well at the moment, so either Trump politically shivs him at some point, or he co-ops him, making him his VP, opening the door to DeSantis becoming America’s Putin at some point down the road a little bit.
  4. Steve K Bannon.
    Bannon and his toadies are actively working to destroy the framework that we use to administer free and fair elections. So, it’s very easy to imagine a situation where this gambit works in ways that Trump himself is too idiotic to pull off personally and it will be so egregious that, again, Blue States leave the Union and we have a Second American Civil War.
  5. Extreme negative polarization
    We’re in for a bump four or so years, no matter what, because negative polarization, on a systemic level, has reached a critical mass. When one of your political parties is fascist and would rather crash the global economy instead of even appear to work for the good of the nation — you got a problem.
  6. A lack of shared values
    As the big blow up on Twitter in the last 24 hours about a Stephen Colbert song and dance gag about getting vaccinated proves — we can’t even agree on what’s funny. A combination of this and negative polarization is leading to the United States being two nations, one Red, one Blue and when we get around to attempting to elect the next president, the system simply won’t be prepared for the passions it will stir up.
  7. A potentially historic miscalculation on the part of Republicans
    It’s possible that, much like European powers in the lead up to WW1, when the time comes and Republicans have a choice between peacefully transitioning us into autocracy or fucking with us all so we want to take up arms, they will choose the latter not because they have to, but because they want to. It’s possible that by the 2024 — 2025 period, Republicans will see a civil war as their only choice to consolidate power, even if it’s clear that they could get everything they ever wanted within the system they so obviously loath.

This would be an epic self-own on the part of the MAGA New Right because they pretty much have a clear shot at turning the United States into a Russian clone without firing a shot. They would lose that if they forced the issue and made desperate Blue States organize their defense not in halls of Congress, but on the field of battle.

In general, I’m of the opinion that Blue States would win a Second Civil War, even though the gratuitous use of sized WMD would make such a victory extremely costly. Even if Blue States won a Second Civil War, the whole world would be remade while we fought it.

WW3 would happen around the world as regional wars broke out all at the same time. Billions would die after a number of limited nuclear exchanges. So, one could imagine the post-Second American Civil War Era being a lot like what happened after WW2.

But that’s only if the Blue States win. And, this time, the entire globe would be recovering from an epic clusterfuck of our own making. If you wanted to be hopeful, you could say just like after WW2, such a horrible global experience would cause humanity to work collectively to solve existential issues like global climate change.

Yet, I’m doubtful.

A Second American Civil War would be extremely high risk, high reward, to the point that maybe slipping peacefully into autocracy isn’t all that bad after all. But the fact remains — I honestly don’t know which one of those two paths we’re going to go down. There is the third option of some sort of temporary military junta, but that’s the least likely of the three scenarios.

Anyway, get a passport. Start thinking existentially on a personal basis. You probably have a few years. Use them to prepare.

Macro trends are not on America’s side. As I keep saying, 2024 is going to be it. It’s the year when either the United States turns into a Russian-style “managed democracy” or there’s a civil war. Now, this isn’t going to be a complete list of the 50 states, but I am going to highlight some of the states that may be more problematic should a Second American Civil War erupt.

Oregon
The state is really two states and, as such, is probably going to be a major flashpoint in any Second Civil War. What’s likely to happen is Portland will buck any attempt at a putsch on the part of bonkers Right wing nutjobs in the rest of the state and, as such, either there’s a really blood struggle in the state or there are a massive amount of political refugees from the Portland area as the rest of the state sides with MAGA.

Virginia
Again, this is really two states. There’s the NOVA-Richmond-Hampton Roads urban corridor and everything else. It’s very easy to imagine a situation — especially with Virginia’s historic ties to the first Civil War — where the state implodes as we grow closer and closer to a Second Civil War. Too many good old boys in the rural areas of Virginia might get wrapped up in the “Lost Cause” mythos and decide to seize places like Danville (the last capitol of the Confederacy) or Richmond (another Confederate capitol.) If nothing else, simply because of the larger population of the “Blue” parts of the state, there will be significant violence and political refugees as the Blues consolidate power.

Michigan
I don’t know as much about this state, but it definitely seems as though once the pre-war process of coups and political consolation begins that there will be at least a coup attempt on the part of the Far Right. Again, don’t underestimate how once you actually start murdering people that the dynamics of things change significantly. It’s very possible that there would be a coup in the state, it would fail, and there would be significant political violence as the state’s Blue population fought back and put the state firmly on the Blue side.

New York
Yet again, we have a situation where once politics fails us that the otherwise banal regional differences in a state tears it apart. New York City is far more progressive than the rest of New York State and, depending on how things work out, it’s possible that New York City could become a revolutionary hotbed to the point that is tears itself away from the rest of the state and proclaims itself a Free City. This almost happen during the first Civil War. If nothing else, there will be a serious jiggling of the relationship between NYC and the rest of the state to the point where it aligns itself in any Second Civil War with New Jersey and Connecticut in a way that update New York does not. Or, again, there could be significant political consolidation as Blues from all over the northeast flee to New York and the MAGA-friendly natives of the state flee elsewhere.

Maine
I really don’t know that much about this state other than a vague belief that the northern part of the state is far different than the southern part. It’s very easy to imagine significant consolation in the state one way or another as people flee to it as the rest of the country buckles. The state is big — if sparsely populated — and it’s strategic location near the Canadian border might be enough for it to be the home to large refugee camps.

Texas
Texas would be in an odd situation as the country fell into civil war because its long-term political trend is shifting Blue, but it’s part of the South and a lot of people consider themselves Southern and MAGA. So either it simply buckles into its own intra-civil war or the MAGA cocksucker fucktards push out all the Blues who flee to Blue States nearby. The end result would be a lot of pissed off former Texans who would be of great benefit to the Blue cause.

California
In a sense, the whole fate of the United States rests on what California does. If it simply bolts from the Union, then that significantly hobbles the Blue cause on the ground. California sitting on its hands and become its own nation in the event of a Second Civil War makes it far more likely that either Red states win or there is some sort of half-ass balkanization of the United States. But if California stays and fights, then they could provide not only the necessary economy and population for a Blue state victory — after many, many dead — but also something of a vision for what America would look like after we’re finished bombing ourselves into oblivion.

The Deep South
It’s very easy to imagine at the onset of a Second American Civil War most of the old Confederacy on a political level getting extremely excited and having a massive amount of momentum to either leave the Union outright or support the Republican controlled Congress’ attempt to brazenly steal the election. Then reality would sink in — all of the Southern states have significant African American populations and once politics is no longer a viable method of solving problems then the far more brutal dynamics of realpolitik would kick in. I just can’t imagine millions of African Americans lulzing a return to the Confederacy, no matter how badly the white political establishment of those states may want it. So, even though the South has a lot of people and a big economy, it would be, on a regional basis, too busy fighting a race war to really help the Red cause all that much. If things really grew as radical as I fear they will — probably because WMD are stolen and cities start to get vaporized — it’s the Deep South where you’re most likely to see some WW2 level atrocities as radicalized whites begin to murder blacks en mass.

As for the rest of the states, their ability to pick one side or the other is probably far easier and their biggest problem would be dealing with political refugees.

Nothing is going to change. Nothing will be reformed. There will be no “boom” that fixes our lingering existential problems. Things are only going to get worse. TrumpWorld is above the law on a political basis and always will be. The only way we will get any accountability is if, in fact, we do have a civil war and the Blue States win. Otherwise, we simply slip peacefully into autocracy and that will be that.

Jesus, Tik-Tok Is Up To Something (Digital Telepathy?)


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Let me be clear — I do not think Tik-Tok (and Big Tech) can read my mind. But there continue to be times when I struggle to understand how an algorithm would know something so fucking specific to what was going on in my mind.

In this case, I have something so specific that I can point to it and wonder. Now, obviously, you don’t know what’s really going on in my mind. And it’s possible that there is something I did without thinking about it (no pun intended) that tipped Tik-Tok off to what I was thinking about. But, either way, things are very Soft Singularity no matter how Tik-Tok figured something out about what is rolling around in my mind.

So, here we go. There’s a famous picture of man in a crowd of Nazis who is the only person not to do the Nazi salute. Here it is:

Ok, no big deal. Well, would you believe I was looking at my Webstats and I saw that someone had literally asked the question, “Why is there a circle in the picture?”

This question was at the forefront of my mind for some time. Then, just today, Tik-Tok pushed me a very, very specific video that answered that very question.

This is probably the most specific that Tik-Tok that has gotten when it comes to pushing me spooky content. I say this because the only because I simply can not think of any possible way that Tik-Tok would have any indication, any metric that I was interested in that specific picture unless it was reading my mind.

But it’s not. That’s crazy talk.

We Have To Begin Thinking About The Possibility That Trump Is Getting CIA Agents Killed


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I was listening to Pod Save The World recently when they said something strange — a top secret memo was leaked from the CIA saying agents all over the world were being rounded up and killed.

Both elements of this are strange. It’s strange that we would know about such a top secret memo in the first place and it’s strange that CIA agents are apparently dying at an alarming rate.

There are probably of plenty of non-Trump related possible explanations for this happening, but there is also the very real possibility that Trump has something to do with it.

Either because of his actions while in the White House or because of what he’s been up to post-presidency. But it’s one of those things that barring something unexpected, we’ll probably never know. Trump always — ALWAYS — gets away with shit and I question even if anyone would care if we learned he was selling off our on-the-ground intelligence off to the highest bidder in an effort to make a quick buck.

It definitely sounds like something Trump would do. And he’s such a greedy blabbermouth that it’s easy to imagine him agreeing to give Putin a list of all our agents in an effort to prove to Putin how powerful he was.

Trump really is a clear and present danger to American security in the long-term.

Proposal: Disrupting Facebook With A New Social Media Startup Based On Usenet Principles


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Absolutely no one listens to me, so I’ll be brief. Some time ago, I thought out a very feature rich social media network. If you go to my Instagram account, you could see me think it through hundreds of little videos. In hindsight, it was all a huge waste of time, but given that Facebook is in trouble AGAIN, I thought I’d give you a brief overview of what I came up with.

Usenet

The point is, if you used Usenet 25 years ago, you may remember how, in its own way, it was pretty feature rich. A lot of the concepts of Usenet are now used by Reddit. But the social media platform I was thinking of would be different than Reddit because it would be a direct competitor to Facebook.

Usenet

The idea is, everything with this service would be based on some of the core features of Usenet that made it so much fun to use. First, everything would be based around a “Group.” That would be the basic element of the service. You would, as part of the on-boarding process, be forced to group all your friends into Groups.

A mock up of the service I’m proposing.

This would be a way to keep different parts of your life separate. This is a real problem with Facebook at the moment. So, that problem would be fixed. But, as I imagine it, this would be a very feature rich aspect of the service, so you could create Groups on the fly that would be about subjects as well as relationships.

Usenet

Next, within each Group, you would have Posts and Threads. So, you within a Group, what on Facebook is a Status, would be a Post. And all of your Posts inside a Group would be threaded. So, if you posted something really interesting about your life in your Politics Group, if things got really animated, then you could at least keep track of what was being said.

A mock up of the service I’m proposing.

Even more interesting, a Post would be very feature rich. Each Post would have its own Slack-like channel and the ability to have up to four people in a recordable video conference. And, what’s more, you would have the ability to in-line edit each post so it would be absolutely clear what you wanted to say.

This brings up an interesting possibility — you could have content providers push their content into the service using the existing formatting from their individual Website AND that content could be inline edited by readers in a way that preserved that formatting.

A mock up of the service I’m proposing.

Anyway, I’m well aware that the social media space is cold as Pluto. Silicon Valley has moved on to VR / AR and other newer, more sexxy technology, so lulz, nothing will ever come of this. But it’s too bad. Facebook is really weak right now and if you could get some startup cash, this idea is cool enough that you would probably get some traction.

Red October: America As Failed State


by Ender

In honor of Qanon cocksuckers thinking something magical is going to happen as a part of “Red October,” I’ve decided to spam their searches for the term by using it gratuitously in my post titles until I don’t feel like it anymore.

America has a very 9/10 vibe to it right now. It feels like Something Big is going to happen at any moment, which will totally change the media narrative. I have no idea what it is, but something.

But let’s talk about the endgame to all of this — what’s going to happen to United States?

Well, there are a number of different scenarios. Let’s go through a few of the more interesting ones.

Balkanization
In this scenario, the United States ends not with a bang, but with a whimper. There’s a lot of talk about a civil war, but in the end, we just don’t have it in us and as part of the Election Crisis of 2024 – 2025, three major states, California, Texas and Florida peacefully leave the Union. Then, the rest of the United States buckles and you have a significantly weaker — and poorer — rump USA. In a sense, this might be seen as the Soviet Union Endgame.

Civil War (Blue State Victory)
In this scenario, there’s a civil war, we bomb ourselves into oblivian, but in the end, Blue States win and we enter a New Age of a stronger, more powerful and more united country. We will look back at what happened around this time as the American Crisis of The 21 Century. There will be an entirely new world order because of the numerous limited nuclear exchanges that took place while we were using WMD on ourselves. But there’s a chance that Humanity might have seen how close it came to its own destruction and realizes it needs to unite going forward.

Civil War (Red State Victory)

In this scenario, the opposite happens. Red States, win a Second Civil War because Blue States are simply too weak willed. Also, the Red States are willing to use WMD to make up for their smaller economies and populations that they win through sheer bloodthirstiness.

Military Junta

With this one, we have a very bad, very brief crisis where the US military steps in for a few months or even years while organize a Constitutional Convention. It’s a very scary, for unstable time, but we’re able to rework the Constitutional enough to placate both sides for a few more decades. This would be similar to a number of Constitutional amendments that were frantically proposed around the beginning of the first Civil War in an effort to prevent it from breaking out.

Autocracy

With this, we gently — and peacefully — slip into autocracy in such a way that not everyone even realizes we’re not longer a democracy. Gradually, over a decade or more, however, the United States and Russia begin to grow identical in their politics to the point that they’re often compared as being clones of each other. Center-Left leave the United States in the millions and the country begins to retreat into itself just as China is growing in strength. The Age of Democracy will be replaced with The Age of Autocracy and we all slowly cook alive because nationalism grows to be the most powerful thing in the world.

American Taliban
This is the darkest ending. We have a civil war and because of the extensive use of WMD, something akin to an American Taliban springs up out of the chaos — specifically in the old Deep South. They’re extreme and they murder in cold blood en masse anyone they disagree with. Their existence will be the central political problem of North America for at least a generation.

The Political Implications For The United States Of A Hypothetical #LaPalma Mega Tsunami


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I love to run scenarios, so here goes: what if the long-feared La Palma Mega Tsunami crashed into the American East Coast? What would be the practical political implications for the United States?

Of all the ways that the United States might collapse into chaos, the extremely unlikely occurance of a La Palma Mega Tsunami is actually something that would do it. If you pretty much destroyed a huge swath of the American East Coast, the ensuing chaos would be so staggering that all those fucking idiotic cocksucker MAGA would finally get the MAGA-themed “revolution” they seem to think is going to happen at any moment.

The government would be so overwhelmed by the catastrophe that there would be a huge power vacuum across a massive portion of the country. All the macro problems that are drifting towards some sort of existential resolution in the 2025 timeframe would happen all at once RIGHT NOW.

But, hopefully, this is never going to happen — or won’t happen anytime soon — and we won’t have to worry about such a horrible thing happening.

‘Red October’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Oh my God, I learned the reason the White House was bathed in red light was it’s Breast Cancer awareness month. Jesus Christ is the MAGA New Right a bunch of paranoid idiots.

Well, that certainly is one way to wake on up October 1st.

I have to give the fucking cocksucker MAGA New Right credit, they make the foolish online “Resistance” of the Trump Era look like good. Just because the White House lights looked red in the middle of the night, they literally think it’s the End of The World.

But apparently human potato head Dan Scavino got into the action as well when he tweeted this picture out:

Given that the mid-terms are a year away and it would be Red NOVEMBER we would be talking about, I’m at a loss as to what this all means. But, apparently, it means something because the MAGA New Right is freaking the fuck out. They’re going nuts over the idea of a “Red October.”

Hopefully, this is just more nutty MAGA New Right froth and we can all just roll over and go back to bed. Idiots.

Steve K. Bannon’s Podcast Whackpack Needs Me


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

At the moment, the only way I can tolerate listening to fucking human tumor Steve K. Bannon’s podcast is if I drink a huge amount of rye. And, yet, I find something about it interesting. And there’s something missing: me.

He and I are in some ways so similar that I think it would be amusing to have us play off each other. Having someone who, like, uh, disagrees with him, is the element that’s missing to his hate-filled, rage-filled podcast. He and Peter Navarro get way too overheated with their self-generated bullshit that it would be quite entertaining to have me in the mix.

People would download the podcast specifically to hear me get “owned.”

I think what I see with his podcast is has a lot of potential from a surreal, over-the-top entertainment level, more than any kind of serious podcast. It pretty much like listening to Howard Beale rant on a podcast.

Adding me to the mix would be very interesting and entertaining. I know I like to rant a lot on this blog, but I can also be quite measured in my conversations when need be.

Why Is It So Difficult To Imagine Tik-Tok Reading Our Minds?


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Tik-Tok can not read our minds. This is simply me idly imaging why it would be so hard for us to believe that it could.

If I’m regularly being pushed videos on Tik-Tok that have no logical explanation other than there is some way that the service is rooting around my mind, why is it so difficult for anyone to believe me? And, that, is really, why this bothers me so much — reality (especially a shared reality) is very, very important to me and if something is obviously happening and I’m the only person seeing it, it makes me question my own sanity and I fucking hate that.

The biggest obstacle is how unexpected something like that would be. The moment one establishes that something is even possible, you begin to have severe cognitive dissidence as you process it. There are a lot of questions associated with this possiblity.

If Tik-Tok of all people can read our minds, who else can? And what’s the technology being used for? How extensive is it? Is it a point-to-point technology or is the information that Tik-Tok (and others) is gleaning from reading our minds being aggregated and processed somewhere for some later, nefarious reason?

Then there is the issue of how such technology could be developed in secret. Digital telepathy would be equal to the mass adoption of the Internet itself in historical and cultural significance. And, given the national security implications, Tik-Tok being able to read our minds in secret might, in itself, be seen as an act of war on the part of the Chinese government at some point.

It also opens up the Pandora’s box of, essentially, the Singularity already being here now, but in secret. Or maybe some sort of “soft Singularity” may exist. And, again, the issue of — why hide such technology and what’s the long-term goal of its secret use?

Also, how do you explain how subtle, granular and nuanced some of the editorial decisions this mind reading technology seems to be making about me (and others.) Now, obviously, some of this comes not from any mysterious mind reading technology, but they really do have some very advanced “algorithms.”

And, yet, how is it possible that these “algorithms” could figure out not just the phenotype of girls I like, but their personalities? Is it even possible that it’s not just mindreading going on, but some sort of AI hooked up to what it finds out about me? When a service can figure out that there is a specific young woman in New York City that I would fall in love with at first sight if I met her in person…that’s pretty eerie. That takes some abstract thought on whatever “algorthims” are involved.

If my mind is being read — which it isn’t — it’s not just being read, it’s being read and rooted around in to make some meta-editorial decisions using the videos I’m being pushed on a regular fucking basis.

Or, put another way — given how eerie, how spooky, how specific Tik-Tok is when it comes to what it pushes me these days, whatever the reason seems like a pretty severe national security threat. If it takes bonkers white racist Tucker Carlson to draw attention to it, then, lulz….I guess?

But, again, if Tik-Tok has mindreading technology, then, you know damn well that Facebook, Google, et al have it, too, they’re just a lot more sly about it. Tik-Tok, because its nebulous connection to the autocratic Chinese government doesn’t give a shit.

Anyway, thanks for attending my TEDtalk. I don’t believe Tik-Tok can read our minds, but I fucking hate how spooky their algorithms are.