There are three problems I see clearly:
Capitalism and winner take all selfishness as a worldview.
Engagement algorithms and data collection used to enhance engagement algorithms.
Power structures that govern in a top down hierarchy.
Those three things are most easily seen from my perspective in:
The US economic model.
Facebook and other for profit social media.
The US political model.
In a different age, I would have said those three things represented ‘evil’. It’s telling that in our age, I am unable to opt out of any of the above without putting my family at risk or severing relationships that I value.
We are - as they say - ‘locked in’ which is the main point of all control systems. Control systems, by the way, is another name for all three of the evil problems mentioned above.
Here’s my weekly update - I’m getting tired of freaking out about the news but I never get tired of thinking of how our world can be a better place for all of us.
Here’s an interesting story that came up this week:
I have several friends who are recovering alcoholics. Talking with one of them recently, she told me a story about how when she decided to stop drinking and shared it with friends, she had been surprised by the reaction many of them had. Most were supportive, but many of her drinking friends - those who were functional in almost every way - told her that she was over reacting. They told her that she didn’t have a problem. They insisted that she didn’t actually need to stop drinking or look for help in stopping drinking. Some of them went so far as to show up at her house with alcohol to ‘prove’ that she didn’t have a problem. Others became angry at her for ‘over-reacting’ because of a few bad experiences. They pointed out all the fun times they had shared. They pointed out all the beneficial things she had experienced because of drinking. She resisted their insistence that she didn’t have a problem and affirmed that it was no problem for her if they wanted to continue, but she was stopping drinking for herself and her family. They took it personally. Some of them even stopped talking to her. I had the same experience when I stopped drinking while I was in the Marines. I’ve had other friends who went through the same thing with drugs, smoking, or other addictions.
When you identify something that is making your life less happy - those who are invested in that thing are going to resist you stopping it. Even if you are only stopping it for yourself. And, if you go a step further than my friend did and you begin pointing out that other people might also be suffering for it - you should expect to meet resistance. Maybe it’s that your friends are being killed in auto wrecks because they are unsafe at any speed. Maybe it’s that your friends all smoke and you’ve realized that tobacco is deadly. Or maybe you realize that Facebook is doing something to people’s brain chemistry and you choose to limit your time and upon seeing the benefits of that you decide to share that with others.
We are - as they say - ‘locked in’ which is the main point of all control systems. Control systems are the biggest and most lucrative business going.
I’ve recently updated the about section at Antichrist2020.com
Antichrist2020 is not a campaign website. Antichrist 2020 is a site built with the hope of helping people see the truth in front of them. We, personally, do not believe in the devil, the antichrist, the second coming of Jesus, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, or any other religion. We do believe that there is some seriously ugly manipulation going on in the world and we don’t mind pointing our raised middle finger at the culprits.
Antichrist2020 is an international society of philosophers- that is, of men and women who would live no differently if there were no laws; of men and women whose behavior is not a sequence of reflex jerks caused by conditioning, but rather a result of some cerebration, or of some mystical whimsicality of their own…Eminent scientists, physicists, and medical doctors are members-likewise snake oil merchants, spiritualists, and charlatans- even a Catholic priest….
Antichrist2020 provides a haven for lost causes, most of which- but for our sympathy- might become quite extinct…a good many of our members are what might be called insane by crazy people. We are people who still believe disarmament of nations would be a good thing….
Our only doctrine is that of suspended judgement, temporary acceptance,and eternal questioning…
Much of the content of this site prior to the year 2020 is one man’s blog over a period of decades that has gone through many different names and domains – but there is a very strong thread of anti-authoritarianism, a desire for a true human utopia, and ultimately a love of the things that we humans are best at and an undeniable but unfortunate amusement at the worst of what we do.
Humans are awful…but also amazing and wonderful. I’m human and presumably, so are you – but there is a small chance that you are machine, alien, or other – and if that is the case – I’m amazed and honored to be read by you.
Here’s some of what I’ve been reading this week:
How to Spend Less Mindless Time Online - We all need to do this.
The No Surf Manifesto - A short and easy Declaration of Independence from mindless web surfing
Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire a 500-year History. This is the first couple of hundred pages. A friend sent me this and I found the introduction to be pretty compelling.
Unfuck the Internet - Take this with a grain of salt. Mozilla is an open source product, but it is still a product and it never pays to imagine that a product doesn’t have an agenda.
A Short History of Bitcoin - This is a great overview of this important economic invention.