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Tuesday, February 05, 2019

No one really cares

That's the one thing you can reliably count on. The masses simply don't care enough about anything to ever take action unless they are starving. Techcrunch explains why so few people quit Facebook and Google... and by extension, Amazon and Twitter.
Privacy advocates will tell you that the lack of a wide boycott against Google  and particularly Facebook is symptomatic of a lack of information: if people really understood what was happening with their data, they would galvanize immediately for other platforms. Indeed, this is the very foundation for the GDPR policy in Europe: users should have a choice about how their data is used, and be fully-informed on its uses in order to make the right decision for them.

I don’t believe more information would help, and I reject the mentality behind it. It’s reminiscent of the political policy expert who says that if only voters had more information — if they just understood the issue — they would change their mind about something where they are clearly in the “wrong.” It’s incredibly condescending, and obscures a far more fundamental fact about consumers: people know what they value, they understand it, and they are making an economic choice when they stick with Google or Facebook .

Alternatives exist for every feature and app offered by these companies, and they are not hard to find. You can use Signal for chatting, DuckDuckGo for search, FastMail for email, 500px or Flickr for photos, and on and on. Far from being shameless clones of their competitors, in many cases these products are even superior to their originals, with better designs and novel features.

And yet. When consumers start to think about the costs, they balk. There’s sometimes the costs of the products themselves (FastMail is $30/year minimum, but really $50 a year or more if you want reasonable storage), but more importantly are the switching costs that come with using a new product. I have 2,000 contacts on Facebook Messenger — am I just supposed to text them all to use Signal from now on? Am I supposed to completely relearn a new photos app, when I am habituated to the taps required from years of practice on Instagram?

Surveillance capitalism has been in the news the past few weeks thanks to Shoshana Zuboff’s 704-page tome of a book “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism.” But surveillance capitalism isn’t a totalizing system: consumers do have choices here, at least when it comes to consumer apps (credit scores and the reporting bureaus are a whole other beast). There are companies that have even made privacy their distinguishing feature. And consumers respond pretty consistently: I will take free with surveillance over paid with privacy.

One of the lessons I have learned — perhaps the most important you can learn about consumer products — is just how much people are willing to give up for free things. They are willing to give up privacy for free email. They are willing to allow their stock broker to help others actively trade against them for a free stock brokerage account with free trading. People love free stuff, particularly when the harms are difficult to perceive.
As a general rule, if your plan involves "waking people up with the truth", it's going to fail. If you consider that even Jesus Christ himself could not change a petty regional power structure with the truth, you probably shouldn't count on anything else changing on that basis either.

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63 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous February 05, 2019 6:02 AM  

"if people really understood what was happening with their data, they would galvanize immediately for other platforms. Indeed, this is the very foundation for the GDPR policy in Europe: users should have a choice about how their data is used, and be fully-informed on its uses in order to make the right decision for them.

I don’t believe more information would help, and I reject the mentality behind it.
"

It goes wrong right out of the gate: knowing is NOT understanding.

Most internet users KNOW, but very few of even the professionals UNDERSTAND.

Indeed, the responses of the professionals to Snowden's revelations were telling: they didn't know and when told they did not believe, and even after they knew incontrovertibly they still don't understand.

Oh, sure, they understand some of the technical implications of what is possible with the state of the technology as it is, and the state of legislation as it is, and yawning chasm between the two.

But they refuse to understand what this portends because they have a stubbornly progressive indoctrination about human nature and they cannot ever accept the depravity of man, which necessary truth is central to understanding man's behaviour.

Blogger Unranked Chevron February 05, 2019 6:16 AM  

I really thought that Comicsgate could change the comics industry. But Marvel's actually doing better now than when cg started. We pointed out all of the industry's myriad failings and shortcomings but people still buy stuff with their favorite ips on them.

Blogger Bastion Harm February 05, 2019 6:25 AM  

If you consider that even Jesus Christ himself could not change a petty regional power structure with the truth, you probably shouldn't count on anything else changing on that basis either.

True. People won't wake up until it's too late. He will have to return, emerging from the heavens with flames and lightning bolts and earthquakes all around before anyone of these people wakes up. And then, of course, it will be too late for them.

Blogger Stilicho February 05, 2019 6:25 AM  

MPAI

Plus, many of those actually capable of understanding are too apathetic or lazy to do anything about it. The tragedy of the commons plays its role as well as most wait for someone else to deal with the problem while they continue grazing away their future.

Blogger Amethyst Dominica February 05, 2019 6:29 AM  

People like Free Shit and will step over their own mothers for Free Shit. Why does the Democrat party win 95 percent of the Black vote despite pursuing policies that have broken up their families and left them in a perpetual state of learned helplessness? Because they promise black people Free Shit. Why do people still try to make Communism work in spite of the millions of people it has either directly or indirectly killed? Because if someone out there CAN make it work, then it means Free Shit for All for all time. What are a few corpses or a few genocided ethnogroups or a few fallen nations when compared to the Almighty Promise and End Goal of human civilization: Free Shit?

As a species, we are hardwired to pursue the greatest reward for the smallest sacrifice, and there's no reward greater than Free Shit, except perhaps, Eternal Life, but since that's behind a paywall called Death and the price for it is to submit yourself to God, and to put the love of your fellow humans above the love of Free Shit, well...most people aren't interested in it. They'd rather have the sure thing, right now, no delayed gratification...

Blogger richards February 05, 2019 6:32 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger steb February 05, 2019 6:34 AM  

"It goes wrong right out of the gate: knowing is NOT understanding."

Nope. Everyone understands, but a diffused cost is never going to outweigh a personal benefit.

Blogger James Dixon February 05, 2019 6:34 AM  

> One of the lessons I have learned — perhaps the most important you can learn about consumer products — is just how much people are willing to give up for free things

Most people who don't understand this also don't understand how close to economic catastrophe most people live. They choose free things over non-free things because the alternative is not having it or not putting food on the table.

Details on how bad things are for most people can be found at https://www.marketwatch.com/story/most-americans-have-less-than-1000-in-savings-2015-10-06

Could most people do better than that? Probably, but the simple fact is they don't, often because they don't know how. Why do you think Dave Ramsey is so popular?

Blogger Peter Gent February 05, 2019 6:44 AM  

A little word study is sometimes a good thing. With the way Christians throw around the word love, it would be good if the they understood the actual meaning of the biblical word (agape) that compromises the primary (over 320 times in its various forms) usage of love and especially the love of God in the New Testament. While it has many nuances of meaning, its root goes back to two things: sacrifice and action.

Godly love, indeed the love that God himself defines in 1 John 4:16, is exampled by the self-sacrificial action expressed in John 3:16. It is not passive or seeking itself in the other, to possess something. It is active and giving, imparting worth to that which is worthless or undeserving. It is not earned but gifted.

So to those who profess Christ, what are you doing, what are you sacrificing, to express the love that Christ demanded of you? How are you entering the fight; what money changers or other ungodly activity have you driven from the temple, which today is your own life since the Christian is told he is temple of the Holy Spirit.

There are no sidelines to those who are called to agape by God in Christ Jesus. There is only sacrificial action.

Blogger JACIII February 05, 2019 7:16 AM  

People live in a cloud of apathy re: tech. Nothing will change until they are pissed off.

"Pissed off" is a fine motivator and Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft take pains to insure there is never more than a lukewarm upset amongst the general, largely retarded, population. Marketing has absolutely extended into the reliable practice of marketing to such an extent it is Perception Engineering and the tech giants have $$$$ to spend on this.

Blogger Robert What? February 05, 2019 7:30 AM  

I don't use Twitter. I stopped buying from Amazon a while ago. I deactivated my FaceBook account and I'm in the process of moving my company's email off of Gmail. What do I win?

Blogger Desdichado February 05, 2019 7:33 AM  

The problem is that the entire corporate culture is infused with this crap. NOBODY is free from it. A few years ago, when Target had their stupid tranny bathroom virtue signaling, I decided not to shop there. So where else am I going to go? Wal-Mart doubles down on a top executive saying that she immediately dismisses any supplier that's made up only of white men. If you're pissed off about GM laying off Americans so they can post better profits and move more production to Mexico and China, what are you going to do? Go to Ford? Chrysler? They are just as bad.

The problem is that the poz is so invasive and pervasive, that it starts to become really difficult to avoid it. How many people DIDN'T watch the Superbowl because of the poz in the NFL?

I'm not sure what the solution is; what strategy can actually turn it around, but scattered boycotts probably isn't really the answer for most corporations, because they're effectively invisible to them. I think maybe public shaming is better, although harder to pull off. If Trump chastises GM in his upcoming SOTU, and cites it as evidence for the need for tariffs, then that might have an impact.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan February 05, 2019 7:56 AM  

"Waking people up with truth" that is a large part of the sinkhole known as the conservative blogosphere, combine that with the virtue signaling of never disqualifying and discrediting our enemies and shazam never ending loserdom.

Conservatives exist to unify the D party and the prog factions and then lose to this gaggle of human refuse.

Blogger Shadowfax February 05, 2019 7:59 AM  

I believe part of the problem is that most people in the West have never lived in a totalitarian state. We're too trusting and think we have nothing to hide anyway. 'Why should anyone come for ME of all people?'

East Germans are far more perceptive concerning the lying media then West Germans are. Many of the former say they see Germany slowly turning into a GDR 2.0. Most West Germans still laugh about that.

OT: RGB is supposed to have been to a concert in her own honor. That's been affirmed by a Supreme Court spokesperson, and people tweeted about how great she looked. Yet so far there is not one single picture and, according to a commentator on GP, there was no reference to her presence from the stage.

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/02/she-looked-quite-glam-justice-ruth-bader-ginsburg-makes-first-public-appearance-since-cancer-surgery-attends-concert-celebrating-herself/

I wonder are we seeing that part of the 'Trump prophecies' play out? Paraphrasing: "He'll replace five SC justices: one will die (not the one you think [so I guess not her, and Scalia was already dead when that prophecy was made, it's not clear how he / Gorsuch fits in]), one will retire, three will be caught up in a scandal." I guess other SC justices helping her to cover up the terrible state she's in would qualify.

Blogger pyrrhus February 05, 2019 8:01 AM  

Consider that in the Milgram Experiment, it was demonstrated that almost 2/3 of the population will administer electric shocks to a subject to make him cooperate, even when they know it might result in death, if an authority figure in a white lab coat told them that it was necessary and they would not be held responsible.
Kind of blows up the "most people are good" theory...Roger Zelazny called these folks "trimmers."

Blogger Shadowfax February 05, 2019 8:04 AM  

@14

RGB -> RBG

Blogger Ron February 05, 2019 8:15 AM  

@Robert What?

What do I win?

Peace of mind.

Blogger Innamorato February 05, 2019 8:16 AM  

A few years ago I spent a lot of time and money trying to avoid tech complicit in the Snowden leaks. It was frustration and disappointment with little upside.

There are hills to die on - like starvation - and hills to walk past. That the masses will never care about anything is a given.

But we care enough to listen to unauthorized right wing commentary and even put money up for various things. We will find a way to have our community one way or another.

Blogger Damelon Brinn February 05, 2019 8:20 AM  

People, especially women people, don't want privacy even if it's free and easy. Privacy gets in the way of letting the world see everything you do. People used to worry that the Internet would make it possible for strangers to find out what you had for breakfast. Now they worry that not enough strangers are liking and retweeting their pictures of their bacon and eggs.

Anonymous Anonymous February 05, 2019 8:35 AM  

@19:

A sound if wordy restatement of "MPAI".

But also above we read that "Everyone understands."

I cannot reconcile these two propositions; they are fundamentally opposite.

"two men say they're Jesus
one of them must be wrong ...
"

--Dire Straits, Industrial Disease.

Blogger Johnny February 05, 2019 8:47 AM  

Free stuff is a curse. That is why so much internet bandwidth is commercials, and why facebook keeps chugging along.

As for going along with the crowd. That actually works pretty good, most of the time. But then every now and then the crowd will be marching off a cliff.

Blogger James Dixon February 05, 2019 8:51 AM  

> So to those who profess Christ, what are you doing, what are you sacrificing, to express the love that Christ demanded of you?

Show, don't tell. Examples and leadership are what people need, not platitudes.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine February 05, 2019 9:06 AM  

Your sins will be made known to all.

"Most internet users KNOW, but very few of even the professionals UNDERSTAND."

I keep trying to explain it to people. It turns out that not only do most people not know what "strange attractors" are, but they can't be brought to understand what they are and how they may be algorithmically discovered and utilized. The manipulative potential is just unbelievable. People who are concerned about Terminator human extinction scenarios should be concerned about this stuff instead and with the same intensity.

"Plus, many of those actually capable of understanding are too apathetic or lazy to do anything about it. The tragedy of the commons plays its role as well as most wait for someone else to deal with the problem while they continue grazing away their future."

Whom would be chattel rather than king.

"Nope. Everyone understands, but a diffused cost is never going to outweigh a personal benefit."

No they don't understand. They understand that they don't currently care because it doesn't hurt yet. Not the same thing.

An addiction like any other. A sin the same as the others. Temporal benefit at eternal cost. Everyone assumes they're going to be top dog, but in most dogpiles all of the bottom dogs don't end up extinct. Those who will not learn with their minds will learn with their bodies, and those who will not learn will not continue to live.

The Bible isn't joking when it says that the rocks will praise God -- the literal rocks -- if Man does not.

Blogger dc.sunsets February 05, 2019 9:19 AM  

In other words, a restatement of Nock's Isaiah's Job, published in 1936.

There really is nothing new under the sun.

The fun part is that !Science! really is beginning to see the tiniest hint of how human brains actually work, and the results are not encouraging.

It is clear (to me at least) that there are multiple, almost-independent cognitive systems (different "minds") operating at all times in our skulls. The hemispheres "think" differently. The primitive brain (the limbic system) "thinks" differently than does the neo-cortex. At all times, most of our actions are controlled by the autonomic mind, AKA Kahneman's "System 1" or what I prefer, the impulsive mind. It's fast and low-energy, and thus preferred over using the deliberative mind (System 2.)

The Impulsive mind gives an answer to "what should I do?" and the Deliberative mind either rubber-stamps it (usually providing a convenient rationalization for doing so) or it overrides it with often great difficulty.

Rubber-stamping is driven by either herding behavior ("everyone else is doing the action, so it must be right and I don't want to stick out like a sore thumb from the herd," which is essentially adopting the superstitions and dogma of whatever is popular) or by emotionally-charged biases and/or time-preference shortening ["I want that pleasure, and I want it now, so I'll ignore the very predictable negative consequences of (procrastination/drug-or-alcohol-indulgence/sex-without-thinking-what-comes-next/gambing-with-the-house-payment/etc.) which is the foundation of VICE, and why prudent Christian societies punished both offering and indulging in vices.]

What we see isn't a failure of intelligence. It is a failure of REASON, which is tantamount to letting the Impulsive Mind determine actions. It doesn't matter how high ones IQ if the seat of it, the Deliberative Mind, sleeps through the decision-making process.

Blogger dc.sunsets February 05, 2019 9:26 AM  

This is why the Nock's Masses cannot be "saved." Individuals may behave as individuals, but in the aggregate, most people behave as a single multicellular organism. This is what animates booms and busts, asset manias, the cycles of war and peace...it is the engine of history itself.

Trends, both salutary and pathological, will run their course and change. There's no controlling either, not when their duration and amplitude are governed by the spontaneous organization of billions of individual cells in the tree of humanity. Nock was right, to the core.

And Etienne de la Boetie, too, was correct when he noted 500 years ago that ALL political systems axiomatically exist on a foundation of widespread consent. This was true under Stalin, Lenin, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot, etc., so the amplitude of collectivized evil possible is far worse than any of us can probably imagine. Don't tilt at windmills, I tell myself.

Blogger Daniele Grech Pereira February 05, 2019 10:02 AM  

"As a general rule, if your plan involves "waking people up with the truth", it's going to fail. If you consider that even Jesus Christ himself could not change a petty regional power structure with the truth, you probably shouldn't count on anything else changing on that basis either."

This black pill is going to give me the back door trots something awful. But at least the medication is working.

Blogger Nobody of Consequence February 05, 2019 10:06 AM  

People respond with "Why should I care I'm not doing anything wrong." I say "The Jews in 1930s Germany said the same thing."

Blogger Kat February 05, 2019 10:18 AM  

What's a good replacement for FB groups? There are a few groups on FB that are actually good - for instance local mom groups coordinating activities or crowdsourcing information.

Please don't say Telegraph. Searchable and saveable threads in groups is one of the few reasons I like FB.

Blogger Timmy3 February 05, 2019 10:42 AM  

People are not doing Facebook much. It became another platform that is increasingly ignored although useful on occasion. My family is posting less there. I’m posting much less. Clamping down on speech means people have less reason to use it. The information is bland. I got censored once for posting a Google search. The Left is the new puritans.

Blogger TaurianVita February 05, 2019 10:46 AM  

As Vox has mentioned numerous times, I work with a privacy platform called Idka (www.idka.com). Our experience with individuals/consumer users is just this. Sad, but true. Enterprises and groups, which often have privacy policies that they want to implement or adhere to, are the first movers. I admit, I still use Google and FB for a few things, because I am a professional networker and can't fully ween myself off of the "surveillance economy" platforms. Uff da!

Individuals want to be where their people are. So we will try to partner with Brave, DuckDuckGo and others to create a "privacy bundle" which more and more people can use. Stay tuned!

Blogger dc.sunsets February 05, 2019 10:53 AM  

Lastly, Leftism as we know it is a complete failure of REASON. This defect is driven by human neurobiology, where on one pole you have a person who demonstrates very little impulsivity because his Deliberative Mind is invited to override herding/emotion/bias-driven filters, and on the other pole you have a cat-rescue-hoarder lunatic woman who will carry a box of kittens into her cat-corpse/cat-feces-covered house because her compulsion to "altruistic" behavior is too big to override, even if neighbors try to force her to "see" the reality of her actions. Belief comes first, and it overrides sensory input and sidesteps REASON.

Most of us are genetically preset for a segment of that spectrum between those two extremes. Everyone herds (Homo sapiens is a social animal species) and everyone has emotions. If the compulsion of herding or emotion is strong enough, having an IQ of 190 is meaningless, akin to putting a lunatic at the steering wheel of a car with 800 horsepower. If the transmission is in N, all the HP in the world is irrelevant. This is why we often see 140+ IQ people all-in on Leftist lunacy because Leftism is today's dominant superstition, it's POPULAR.

I named this the Colloquy (Society) Effect.

Charles Mackay wrote the book on Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds over 160 years ago. This isn't new, it's part of who we, as a species, are.

Blogger veryfunnyminion February 05, 2019 11:04 AM  

Jeepers, so many words being used by so many folks to simply say the same thing: Women ruin everything. Again.

Blogger Nate73 February 05, 2019 11:10 AM  

This reminds me of the attitude of the early Objectivists with Ayn Rand (and I'm sure some marxists as well). The idea that if only people would read Atlas Shrugged then they would understand how great capitalism was and finally get rid of big government. Somehow that never happened...

Blogger DonReynolds February 05, 2019 12:02 PM  

"And consumers respond pretty consistently: I will take free with surveillance over paid with privacy."

False conclusion.
If Facebook and Twitter and Yahoo and etc charged 50 dollars a year and all the others were free, would everyone quit the tech giants and go with the little guys? NO, not even if they were promised privacy in the bargain.

Lotus 1-2-3 was the main spreadsheet for many years, even though there were better products available at the same time for free or a tiny fraction of what Lotus cost. There were always better word processors than WordPerfect and better (and cheaper or free) database management software than DBase. We have seen the same thing for decades without having a word to simply describe it...and I am not going to invent one here. People will stick with the big groups because they are trusted and somewhat reliable, even when they are abusive and have crummy customer relations and even when they cost way more than they should.

People will stick with an inferior product, that costs too much, that rips off their customers, and violates their privacy. Apple is my favorite example. IBM is another good example. Microsoft is another good example, and before them it was Digital Research. What the article describes is not an aberration or anomaly...it is the norm. To do otherwise or expect otherwise, would be wildly optimistic or wishful thinking ....kinda like the imaginary libertarian society where there are no rules but somehow everyone behaves.

Why does practically every vote Republican or Democrat in the USA and have since the civil war? There are better choices, parties that better reflect the popular will, better candidates, and more promising platforms.

Go back in time, but not that far really, to the many centuries where men were ruled by monarchies and absolute rulers. Today, we call them dictators and autocrats. In the past, autocrat was very much the norm and the only alternative was to turn pirate or outlaw. People remained loyal to their kings and queens, very few joined the life of "freedom" from the whims of the autocrat. Many of the monarchies of Europe died during WWI, but not because of popular revolt by the masses, but because people believed it was the only way to end a war that would not end otherwise. A general war fatigue led many to believe that republican government would be a good trade for the wars that plagued monarchies. That notion has pretty much died out.

Blogger KPKinSunnyPhiladelpia February 05, 2019 12:56 PM  

DonReynolds wrote:"And consumers respond pretty consistently: I will take free with surveillance over paid with privacy."

False conclusion.

If Facebook and Twitter and Yahoo and etc charged 50 dollars a year and all the others were free, would everyone quit the tech giants and go with the little guys? NO, not even if they were promised privacy in the bargain.

Lotus 1-2-3 was the main spreadsheet for many years, even though there were better products available at the same time for free or a tiny fraction of what Lotus cost. There were always better word processors than WordPerfect and better (and cheaper or free) database management software than DBase. We have seen the same thing for decades without having a word to simply describe it...and I am not going to invent one here. People will stick with the big groups because they are trusted and somewhat reliable, even when they are abusive and have crummy customer relations and even when they cost way more than they should.

People will stick with an inferior product, that costs too much, that rips off their customers, and violates their privacy. Apple is my favorite example. IBM is another good example. Microsoft is another good example, and before them it was Digital Research. What the article describes is not an aberration or anomaly...it is the norm.


Yep.

Markets are pretty good, but they are not truly efficient. Every person who wants to be economically literate should study macro- and micro-economics, but reality is "off center" from the seamlessness and mathematical certainty of those disciplines. They are explanatory, but only up to a point.

Humans in markets are concerned about price and quality--and privacy--but those are just two in a whole laundry list of motivations. When I talk to friends about Facebook's privacy problems, they shrug their shoulders and say, "Yeah, I know, but I use it to keep up with the grand kids across the country and all my scattered cousins. Besides, Zukerberg isn't interested in me."

Ok, then. Vox is right, but I'd go one step further: even if they're "awake" to the truth, they really don't care.

Blogger Fargoth February 05, 2019 12:57 PM  

That's a great point about Jesus. Actually quite freeing, seeing as if any of you are like me you've spent untold hours effectively bashing your head against a wall trying to force-redpill people with facts, reason, and evidence.

Blogger Sean Carnegie February 05, 2019 1:02 PM  

What's a good replacement for FB groups? There are a few groups on FB that are actually good - for instance local mom groups coordinating activities or crowdsourcing information.

Your living room, a local restaurant's meeting room and email are the first three things that come to mind.

Blogger Nameless One February 05, 2019 1:08 PM  

It's not they don't care, it's that in a cost benefit analysis, the benefit is obvious immeddiate and the cost is only "potential". Privacy exposure is only a potential problem that may not manifest, and even if it doesn't manifest 99% of the time it's a "minor problem". It's only a real problem if you get targeted, and most people don't think they will be because they're a nobody.
This is same reason most people, left on their own, won't buy auto insurance. And why government has to force them to buy it.

Blogger Yordan Yordanov February 05, 2019 1:19 PM  

I though "educating the public" was declared bullshit once it became clear the public did not care their cloths and shoes were made by child labor.

Blogger DonReynolds February 05, 2019 1:22 PM  

@35 KPKinSunnyPhiladelphia

"Markets are pretty good, but they are not truly efficient. Every person who wants to be economically literate should study macro- and micro-economics, but reality is "off center" from the seamlessness and mathematical certainty of those disciplines. They are explanatory, but only up to a point."

I had taken economics courses for several years by the time I got to graduate school, without any intention of ever becoming an economist.

When an economics professor asked me why I did not major in econ, I told him I could never be an economist because it assumed that people are rational....and that was not true, by my observation. People are NOT rational and they do stupid crap.

So, the professor explained that I had it all wrong. Economics does not assume that people are rational. Economics is what people would do IF THEY WERE rational. That short conversation is what moved me to study economics for the next few years and make it a career.

Blogger James Dixon February 05, 2019 1:41 PM  

> ...but in the aggregate, most people behave as a single multicellular organism.

As you've noted in the past, dc, the herd analogy is probably the most accurate one. We're herd creatures at the core. Our closest genetic relatives, the chimpanzees, demonstrate this fairly well.

> ...so the amplitude of collectivized evil possible is far worse than any of us can probably imagine.

Limited only by the power of he individual to resist, yes. Thus, the argument for a heavily armed populace, which makes individual resistance at least possible and costly to the oppressor.

> What's a good replacement for FB groups?

Any web based bulletin board type system could be used. The one I know of is Citedal (http://www.citadel.org/). Even something like Wordpress or Blogspot blogging software could probably be made to work by setting up appropriate topics.

> A general war fatigue led many to believe that republican government would be a good trade for the wars that plagued monarchies. That notion has pretty much died out.

So expect Monarchy to come back into fashion then. We've already seen signs of movement in that direction.

Blogger dc.sunsets February 05, 2019 1:42 PM  

Economics is what people would do IF THEY WERE rational.

Forgive me my inner aspie. This is satire, right?

After all, I think we should invest trillions of dollars analyzing other non-real-world things, for example, what Africa would look like if vibranium was real.

Blogger James Dixon February 05, 2019 1:46 PM  

> So, the professor explained that I had it all wrong. Economics does not assume that people are rational. Economics is what people would do IF THEY WERE rational.

It doesn't help that most economists apparently have never had that explained to them. Of course, contrarian investing is the rational response to human irrationality. You know the herd is going to behave irrationally, albeit in an inconsistent fashion, so plan for it and take advantage when they do.

Blogger dc.sunsets February 05, 2019 1:47 PM  

@41 James Dixon, as I see it, the purest alternative to Leftism is aristocracy, and given a significant amount of genetic determinism (not to mention eliminating the perverse incentives of "everyone can be president") it's likely to have a strong hereditary component.

At least, that describes the little community I envision as a realistic improvement to the too-large-to-manage nation-state.

I'd give quite a lot to be given the opportunity to follow competent leadership, but I think we have a lot of descent ahead before that option becomes enabled.

Blogger James Dixon February 05, 2019 2:06 PM  

> ...but I think we have a lot of descent ahead before that option becomes enabled.

You'll get no argument from me about that.

Blogger DonReynolds February 05, 2019 2:29 PM  

A general war fatigue led many to believe that republican government would be a good trade for the wars that plagued monarchies. That notion has pretty much died out.

@41 James Dixon

"So expect Monarchy to come back into fashion then. We've already seen signs
of movement in that direction."

@44 dc.sunsets
"as I see it, the purest alternative to Leftism is aristocracy, and given a significant amount of genetic determinism (not to mention eliminating the perverse incentives of "everyone can be president") it's likely to have a strong hereditary component."

I totally agree with your (James) expectation as well. It may not be called monarchy as such, but it will certainly pass the smell test.

So what is the alternative to the welfare state? Probably a return to slavery, which may only be exchanging one form of slavery for another, but at least with slavery some useful work and production was required in return.

Blogger Avalanche February 05, 2019 2:32 PM  

@34 "What the article describes is not an aberration or anomaly...it is the norm. To do otherwise or expect otherwise, would be wildly optimistic or wishful thinking ....kinda like the imaginary libertarian society where there are no rules but somehow everyone behaves."

YES! And oh-look! Here comes JF Gareipy! I listened last night and was about choking on his 'utopia of the machines will fix us and make us newer-improved humans.' Has he NEVER noticed that the vast vast majority of humans are NOT intelligent and reasoning animals -- and THEY will certainly never chose genetic engineering by machines to make the world better? And even IF you trusted some set of humans to be "improving" the human animal -- (a. why?! and b. are you nuts?!) -- they would not always (ever?) improve it in the way you/we/I might consider acceptable!

It's the "let's give genetically inferior babies to superior folks and they will raise them to be the next einstein." No. No they won't. They CAN'T!

People SUCK! Even the "good ones" who want to "make things better" {/sarc} = FORCE people to do what they think is better! Everyone rags on the NAZI's for being evil... at the start, they were TRYING to do good for THEIR people! We Alt Rights/Unapproved Rights are TRYING to save our nation. And that means being "MEAN" to the not-us. Our enemies the left-prog-commies are trying to 'do right' by ALL the world kumbaya -- which means they must destroy US because we're in their way!

My sister used to object that "if only" there weren't mean bad dictators in Africa stealing the money and food, why EVERYONE would be fed and there would be peace (I guess followed by unicorns...). She could never grasp that there will ALWAYS be dictators...

I objected that, in her imaginary world, suppose there were *just* enough food for all children to survive -- not enough to thrive and succeed, just to survive. (See: african babies being charity-fed enough to birth another generation that needed to be charity-fed enough to birth another gener... ). Then *I* would choose to arm up and join with others of my kind to get ENOUGH food for her/my/our children. And yes, that meant OTHER children would starve! My loyalty is NOT to them, but to the children of MY people! (Yes, she's a good bit libertarian, my sister... Her husband worked to get Bernie elected! Sometimes, I think I'm a changling!)

The norm is r/K. Period. End of wishing.

Blogger Avalanche February 05, 2019 2:43 PM  

@35 " Vox is right, but I'd go one step further: even if they're "awake" to the truth, they really don't care."

From here "Climate Change Risk Communication:
The Problem of Psychological Denial"
http://www.psandman.com/col/climate.htm

"...
for most people the stage after awareness isn't support or opposition or reserved judgment. It's apathy. When people are newly aware of an issue, the most common response is not to have much of a response. Sometimes we have a brief "Oh my God, this is serious" reaction -- but it is hard to convert that feeling into sustained action or even sustained interest. It most often recedes into apathy. Yes, we're aware, at least more aware than before. But we're not interested.

"Apathy" has pejorative connotations, but apathy about most issues is our normal state. Nobody has time or energy to deal with every issue that comes along. We have to choose. That is, we have to be "apathetic" about most things. Anyone who wants to get a particular issue onto our worry agenda -- not to mention our action agenda -- must compete first for our awareness, then for our continuing attention, and eventually for our allegiance.

For any one issue, the vast majority of people who know about it aren't allies or opponents or undecideds; they're apathetic.

Then there's denial.

Denial looks like apathy. In fact, denial actively masquerades as apathy; people in or near denial will tell you they're just not interested. But unlike apathy, denial is unconsciously motivated. If I'm really "just not interested" in your issue, that's apathy -- your issue didn't make my list. If I can't bear to get interested, if the issue threatens my sense of how the world works or arouses emotions I cannot tolerate, that's denial.

The distinction matters because the appropriate messaging for apathy and the appropriate messaging for denial are antithetical in crucial ways. If the diagnosis is apathy, the treatment is to get me interested, to arouse more concern. If the diagnosis is denial, trying to arouse more concern will backfire, propelling me more deeply into denial. The treatment for denial is to help me bear the concern I'm already feeling.

But in other ways messaging aimed at apathy and messaging aimed at denial are compatible. A sense of futility often accompanies both apathy and denial. So persuading people that there are useful actions they can take works for both groups. Efficacy is common ground.

Efficacy

Here are some common reasons people give for not getting involved in an issue:

"I'm not a powerful person. Nothing I do is going to help."
"There's really nothing for the individual to do. It's all up to governments and institutions."
"It's too late. The die is cast."
"The issue is simply too big. There is nothing to be done."
"Everything is foreordained."

Psychologists often distinguish among these sentiments: powerlessness, hopelessness, helplessness, fatalism, futility, etc. In particular, believing there's nothing you can do is genuinely different from believing there's nothing anyone can do. (The psychological literature often uses the terms "self-efficacy" and "response efficacy" to refer to these two kinds of efficacy.
...


My example; I tried not using Google to search, but found DDG a lot less helpful. NOW, finally, Google has gotten SO censorious, SO useless at providing the kinds of results I am looking for, that I have to struggle with DDG to get the answers I need. (Yeah, I know, same engine, apparently -- but the results REALLY differ...)

Blogger Daniel February 05, 2019 2:44 PM  

So gurdjieff and Robert Antón Wilson were right

Blogger Daniel February 05, 2019 2:45 PM  

Yeah. Fb is slowly dying

Blogger KPKinSunnyPhiladelpia February 05, 2019 3:55 PM  

dc.sunsets wrote:Economics is what people would do IF THEY WERE rational.

Forgive me my inner aspie. This is satire, right?

After all, I think we should invest trillions of dollars analyzing other non-real-world things, for example, what Africa would look like if vibranium was real.


If you don't think economic thinking has a lot to do with how the world actually operates, you're aspieism has got the best of you.

This is especially true of micro-economics. I move from time to time in some non-quant academic circles, and, of course, these folks are all into high taxes and medicare for all. So I'll ask them, "Do you believe in fixing prices?" And some will say yes, for the common good, and some will say, no.

And I tell them "Everyone should take micro because it teaches you very important things -- for example, if you fix prices, shortages occur. And socialized medicare for all is one big price fixing scheme. That's why rich people in England go to private healthcare -- they can get not only what they want, but what they need. With the NHS, they may get neither."

Of course the current health cares system in the USA has its non-governmental price fixing activity, but it's the insurance companies that fix prices, though with much less insidious outcomes than governmental price fixing.

But it's still bad.

Blogger JimR February 05, 2019 4:17 PM  

re: the Milgram experiment. It was faked.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2013/10/02/the-shocking-truth-of-the-notorious-milgram-obedience-experiments/#.XFn8yYWIZhE

Blogger Rhys February 05, 2019 8:39 PM  

As someone said about poz being everywhere...the right needs a way for people to support them that's still compatible with the average sedentary consumer lifestyle. We'll always be limited in scope if people are required to boycott all major corporations that they regularly but from. If anything, the fact that you can do this while supporting the left is why they have so much power.

Blogger Doktor Jeep February 05, 2019 9:12 PM  

I got off the "we must educate the masses!" bandwagon a long time ago when I realized that they are incapable of being educated.
It's almost a dialectic versus rhetoric sort of thing.

Blogger Up from the pond February 05, 2019 11:52 PM  

Rhys wrote:the right needs a way for people to support them that's still compatible with the average sedentary consumer lifestyle.

True, most of what we hear on the real right has to do with lifting, hiking, boycotting society, growing our own food, etc. No problem with these things, but speaking of persuasion tactics, insisting that being on the right requires doing those kinds of things sets the motivation bar impossibly high up.

I do not want to grow my own food. It's too much work.

I do not want to go off the grid and eat out of tin cans.

The right won't get many adherents among real people if it keeps sperging about such things. It's a turn-off.

Blogger Up from the pond February 06, 2019 12:06 AM  

DonReynolds wrote:Lotus 1-2-3 was the main spreadsheet for many years, even though there were better products available at the same time for free or a tiny fraction of what Lotus cost.

Is that a good example? I entered the workforce 25 years ago and distinctly remember being introduced back then to Lotus 1-2-3 and being told it was "the new thing everyone must learn" to its being abandoned and replaced by Excel almost overnight. Humorous: the authorities who were insisting to me, the greenhorn, that Lotus 1-2-3 was the wave of the future were trying to sign me up for a $300-per-head Lotus 1-2-3 training course. I was considered a fool who was committing career suicide, when I refused to take the course. Within a month, I had another job and everyone there was taking to Excel like a duck takes to water. Never had to take a training course to learn Excel, by the way. Memories!

Blogger Up from the pond February 06, 2019 12:07 AM  

@56 Point being that "Lotus 1-2-3" sticks in my mind as an inferior technology that was swiftly junked.

Blogger James Dixon February 06, 2019 3:34 PM  

> Point being that "Lotus 1-2-3" sticks in my mind as an inferior technology that was swiftly junked.

The story I've always heard is that Lotus 123 was only junked because Microsoft deliberately modified MS-DOS so it wouldn't run. I've heard arguments on both sides of that story though.

Blogger JimR February 06, 2019 3:48 PM  

Lotus 123 died because MS realized that most people at the time just used the spread sheet as a list of items, and Lotus123 was a pita to use that way. Lotus had the better product overall, but the users weren't using it the way the developers thought they should

Blogger Chris Ritchie February 06, 2019 6:07 PM  

@54 - "Education is the (((Answer)))"

I followed the Libertarians for a couple of years when I was first getting interested in politics, awakening if you will. I even went to a conference. I thought, "Great! Let's get these things implemented. What are your plans for implementation?"



Libertarian: "We must simply educate people to our side. That's all we can do."

I got off that band wagon too. Found Vox, and have turned my attention to rhetoric, story telling, etc. A common sales axiom is people buy based on emotion and back it up with logic. The logic doesn't have to be real. It just has to work enough in the mind of the buyer to justify them making the purchase. The key is emotion. And as has been pointed out earlier, we are pack animals driven by the emotional need to belong.

Libertarians don't have the right answers anyway. They deny human nature. And I am suspicious when the brightest minds behind the movement are all ((the religion that shall not be named)) atheists.

Blogger James Dixon February 06, 2019 7:32 PM  

> Lotus 123 died because MS realized that most people at the time just used the spread sheet as a list of items, and Lotus123 was a pita to use that way.

The DOS versions of Office weren't any better than 123, but the Windows version was much better. Once Windows 3.0 came out and MSOffice was released for it, both Dbase and 123 were doomed.

Blogger Francis Parker Yockey February 09, 2019 4:17 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Francis Parker Yockey February 09, 2019 4:19 PM  

@40
Humans in markets are concerned about price and quality--and privacy--but those are just two in a whole laundry list of motivations. When I talk to friends about Facebook's privacy problems, they shrug their shoulders and say, "Yeah, I know, but I use it to keep up with the grand kids across the country and all my scattered cousins. Besides, Zukerberg isn't interested in me."

Yeah. Most people realize that, when you look at social media from the standpoint of advertisers -- or even that of Facebook management -- the end user is the "product."

But if you think about it from the standpoint of the end user, the major elements of the "quality" of the product are:
--the functionality of the user interface, and
--the existing user base itself.

The greater the number of people already using the system, the higher its perceived value to the end user.

So on the supply end you have the near-zero marginal costs of any digital/ software product, and on the demand end you have the unopposed positive feedback of more users = higher perceived value to the next prospective user. It's a natural monopoly. Not for the textbook reasons of overwhelming capital costs/ economies of scale, but for demand-side reasons -- because much of the value of the product to customers is the existing customer base

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