Friday, December 3, 2021

The Twilight of the Narrative: Why the Truth will never be Revealed



 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.  Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? (John 18:38)


What is truth? We often have a "Hollywood" model of truth: we expect it to triumph at the end of the movie, when the bad guy confesses his crime and everyone agrees on what really happened. 

Reality is very different. Truth is multiple, fractal, hierarchical, a game of mirrors, never showing herself in full. Think of the pandemic: aren't we in the age where the "scientific method" gives us a rational, objective view of the world? And yet, the multifaceted aspects of a hugely complex story seem to be beyond our capability to process it rationally.  Truth is not coming. It may never come. (And you may also be reminded of another case whose 20th anniversary we recently commemorated -- there, too, the truth did not come out and probably never will).

In the post, below, Sheridan analyzes the structure of the memesphere and challenges at the core the idea that the "narrative (about the pandemic) is going to crack" any day now and that the "truth" will be revealed. He says, "There is no longer a unifying narrative that is going to crack and be replaced by a better, more truthful narrative. Rather, there is now only a seemingly infinite number of sub-narratives with a dominant narrative imposed over them. The dominant narrative is not necessarily truthful, it's just dominant."

In essence, the memetic sphere has shattered into an infinite series of closed microspheres. The dominant macrosphere can no longer control them, despite its desperate efforts at censorship, intimidation, and obfuscation. But if the microspheres don't talk to each other, the truth won't come out, whatever it is.

Read this post: it is truly enlightening


The Twilight of the Narrative

by Simon Sheridan

November 27, 2021 (posted here by the author's kind permission)


Recently, I was visiting a friend’s house when a Michael Jackson song came on the radio and my friend said something interesting that I hadn’t really thought about before. He noted that, at the peak of Jackson’s fame, the releasing of one of his albums was a global event with a coordinated marketing campaign which meant that pretty much everybody in the western world and many parts of the non-western world would have known when a Michael Jackson album was released whether they liked his music or not. This is something the young people these days wouldn’t comprehend as they each have their own social media influencer or Youtube celebrity or whatever that they follow in much smaller sub-cultures than before. Even the most popular pop stars of today are only known to a subset of the population never the whole population like Jackson was. 

This observation got me thinking about a subject that I have been pondering for a while which is the impact of the internet on our culture. It seems to me this impact is not really discussed much anymore even though it is directly contributing to our current woes. One of the main changes wrought by the internet is the shattering of “grand narratives”. A Michael Jackson album release is one. But the pattern extends into other areas of the public discourse where its effects are far more important such as the narratives that hold countries together. As the corona event drags on interminably, there are those in the dissenter camp who still think the “narrative is about to crack” any day now and the “truth” will be revealed. 

This mindset from the old, pre-internet world is no longer valid in the world we live. There is no unifying narrative any more that is going to crack and be replaced by a better, more truthful narrative. Rather, there are now just a seemingly infinite number of sub-narratives with a dominant narrative imposed on top of them. The dominant narrative is not necessarily truthful, just dominant. The emergence of the “conspiracy theory” label alongside the daily censorship that now happens on social media platforms are among a number of tactics that are now used to try and subdue alternative narratives in the hope of allowing a centralised narrative to form. But it never does for the simple reason that you cannot coerce people into believing a narrative. Narratives must evolve organically with a feedback loop between top-down and bottom-up. The increasing use of censorious tactics in the last couple of years reveals the underlying weakness of the dominant narrative. The powers that be have gone all out in attempting to hold together a narrative that itself doesn’t make sense as it is changed willy-nilly according to purely political considerations. 

It’s tempting to think the politicians are doing it on purpose with some larger objective in mind. But what if there is no larger objective? What if these tactics are simply what is required now to create any type of dominant narrative at all? What if these tactics are now the price you pay to create a narrative? If so, that price has gone through the roof. We can usefully call this narrative inflation. If you increase the supply of money, you get monetary inflation. If you increase the supply of narratives, you get narrative inflation. The price to create a dominant narrative has gone up for a number of reasons but one is that the internet opened the floodgates on the flow of information and allowed multiple alternative narratives to be created. This has created its own dynamic independent of the political and economic considerations that are also driving the trend. It may turn out that one of the consequences of allowing free and instant information is to destroy centralised narratives. There are good sociological and psychological reasons why this would be the case.

Eyewitness testimony has long been problematic for police trying to investigate an incident or crime. Even for something relatively straightforward like a car accident, where the eyewitnesses themselves have no personal stake in the story, accounts can diverge radically. Ten people witnessing a car accident can give you ten different stories of the crash. These problems are greatly exacerbated when the individuals involved have a vested interest in the case as often happens in criminal investigations. This eternal problem has been dealt with in numerous fiction and non-fiction works. The best non-fiction work I have seen about the subject is the documentary “Capturing the Friedmans” in which a school teacher is found to have child pornography in his home which leads to a series of events including him pleading guilty to sexually abusing some of his students. The documentary follows the motivations of those involved as rumour of the crime spreads in the local community creating its own dynamic as gossip and innuendo put enormous pressure of the family at the centre of the case. By the end of the documentary, we don’t know whether any of the official story is true as the lies and deceits create second and third order effects that distort the whole picture. 

This real-life account mirrors one of the best fictional representations of the problem, Akira Kurosawa’s movie “Rashomon”, in which a murder occurs in the forest but we hear radically different versions of the event told by the people involved (including, dramatically, the deceased). The philosophical question raised by both films is whether or not there can be found an objective standard of truth. This is a problem philosophers have wrestled with for millennia but it becomes a practical problem in cases involving crime where we want to see justice served and yet we have multiple, irreconcilable accounts about reality and seemingly no way to choose between them. At the end of the process, the system gives a verdict of guilty-not guilty and this is taken as the “truth” but is it really the truth?

With the internet, we have seen the same psychology applied to the public discourse and this has created practical problems for politics. Politicians love to divide the public where it suits their interest but it’s also true that they need to appeal to a foundation which unites the public. The process is similar to the justice system. Although there is disagreement and competition within the system, everybody must agree to play by the rules. The system itself is the thing people believe in. The public discourse which existed prior to the internet was facilitated through a system in which the media was known as the “fourth estate”. Its job was to hold government to account. Of course, this was not a perfect system but, as the saying goes, it seems it was better than all the others. It was certainly better than the system we have now where the media does not hold the government to account at all and is little more than a public relations branch of the government. 

Recently in the New Zealand parliament, Jacinda Ardern was questioned about $55 million her government gave to media with certain conditions attached about what could be reported on. In Australia, the government waived the usual licence fee for the mainstream media channels back in March 2020. This amounted to around $44 million in subsidies. The theory was that this was needed because covid was expected to reduce advertising revenue, a strange claim given that the whole population was about to be locked at home with every incentive to watch the news. That measure came after the Australian government famously held Facebook and other big tech players to ransom and forced them to pay money to Australian media companies for content. Whatever the ethical dimensions of these issues, what lies beneath is the fact that the media companies are no longer viable businesses capable of existing without government support. Because they are now reliant on government money, their function as the fourth estate that holds government to account has also all but disappeared. That’s a problem for them but it’s also a problem for the government. The “official narrative” is transmitted through the legacy media. If the legacy media goes away, so does the narrative. Governments know that if the media disappeared, so would a large chunk of their power. The government needs the media as much as the media needs the government.

I would argue that the public also needs the media. It needs the media to act as its representative. That was the whole point of the Fourth Estate arrangement. The public paid for the media and that meant the media had an incentive to represents the readership’s interests. But that is all gone now. Some people think the public doesn’t really need the media. For almost any event, we are able to watch live video online now. Once upon a time we needed the newspaper to tell us the facts, but we simply don’t need that anymore. You might think that’s a good thing. We remove the middle man and allow the public to see events for themselves. But that introduces the same problem you have with eyewitness accounts which is that you get as many versions of the “truth” as there are people. The discourse becomes fragmented and the checks and balances that once held disappear. It’s a bit like having a crime investigation without a detective. “The system” can no longer control the discourse the way it previously could. This is not a trivial matter. It leads us back to one of Plato’s most dangerous ideas which is the Noble Lie. The idea goes that society cannot exist and justice cannot be served unless there are a number of lies which bind society together. Lie is, of course, a very strong word. We could soften it by calling them myths or ideals but the effect is the same. The myths and ideals are the glue that holds things together and, according to Plato, without them society will disintegrate.

Our post-internet public discourse provides some evidence for this assertion. It has become completely detached from reality or, to put it another way, it represents only one version of reality: the one that comes from the top-down. This process is especially advanced in the US. It hit a fever pitch with the Trump presidency and has not relaxed since. There are now at least two mutually incompatible narratives going on in the US meaning that agreement about the fundamentals which hold society together is called into question on an almost daily basis. It’s quite common to hear somebody on either side of the debate label somebody on the other side as “crazy” or “insane” and that is one manifestation of the problem. Within this new world, the idea that the “narrative is about to crack” doesn’t make sense. The dominant narrative is held in place by power, not by truth. By definition, the only thing that can “crack” it is another source of power. This was Trump’s genius. He hijacked the entire machinery that generates the narrative and turned it to his own purposes. But I think Trump was the end of the road. They got rid of him but in doing so they removed any last pretence that the narrative was “fair” or “truthful”. You can’t just delete the sitting President and then go back to normal as if nothing happened. As a result, a large proportion of the population no longer has any faith whatsoever in the system. That holds true no matter who is in power. The dominant narrative is now nothing more than the story told by those in power.

In Australia and much of Europe and Canada, we are just now catching up with the US. Here in Melbourne, more than a hundred thousand people marched against the government last weekend. The Premier’s response was to write them off as “thugs” and “extremists”. It reminded me an awful lot of Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables” moment. When politicians no longer feel like they need to accommodate the interests and opinions of a substantial proportion of the population you know the narrative is already fractured. Andrews may or may not get away with that politically for now but the protestors represent a new group in Australian public life; the ones excluded from the narrative. The same goes for the demonstrators in Europe who are simply ignored by the mainstream media. Because the public discourse no longer pretends to reflect reality, nobody really believes in it including the people who nominally go along with it. Deep down they also must know that it is fake. 

We are entering a time when even the idea of a centralised narrative is no longer believed in. If Plato was right, this fact alone is an existential threat to the state and it is understandable that the state would strive to fix the problem. But it’s almost certainly too late. All of the censorship and victimisation in the world won’t put humpty dumpty together again. Going forward I expect we’ll still have an “official narrative” but nobody will really believe it. That’s what is implied by the falling revenue numbers of the mainstream media channels. Will that lead to the disintegration of the state? Plato would have said yes. We may be about to test that theory.



27 comments:

  1. Going forward as an official narrative that nobody believes and everyone knew was a fiction or a lie is what led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. You could tear up Pravda to good purpose in the outhouse, or feed it to your donkey, bur today cellphones are toxic landfill. Russians resurrected their Orthodox sacred narrative. We grasp at straws for a sacred narrative.

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  2. The narrative truths you discuss are about our belief systems. However, there are physical and thermodynamic truths that could care less about what we believe. For example, in the last twelve months the people of British Columbia have experienced the truths of a heat dome, wildfires and floods. They can argue the narrative as to what 'truly' caused those events. But, before rebuilding homes and roads, they need to consider these physical truths and build a narrative on them.

    Evolution is not to do with the survival of the fittest — it is about survival of the most adaptable. Those that build a narrative connected to the physical world will preferentially succeed.

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    1. More accuratelly about evolution, I would say survival of the survivor.

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  3. Truth is a property of Physics....

    South is not North.

    A hot cup of tea will never get hotter while the room put in it gets colder...

    The cup, no matter how solid, when filled and emptied, it will crack and disintegrate - over time...

    If a Social Contract dismisses Truth, it needs Energy reserves to sacrifice to waste - to manipulate and dismiss Truth...

    A Social Engineer might pretend two characters, two personalities, simultaneously, Truth and non Truth - but that is an Energy sacrifice, and a matter of stupidity.

    It also confirms a double personality - the condition that worth going to a doctor for an urgent treatment...

    To sacrifice finite Energy reserves flipping Truth - a cull must be exercised - systemically...

    Culling Iraqis, Syrians, Yemenis, others to sacrifice their Energy reserves manipulating Truth - is not an achievement, but rather a demonstration on how humans are primitive...

    In an Energy system, Control is what consumes Energy the most...

    A system of Control that sacrifices finite Energy resources against Truth - is stupid - as Truth is a property of the supreme Laws of Physics where no reserves will be enough conquering them - ever.

    "Who tricks for living, dies bankrupt" - Iraqi folklore

    Wailing.

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    1. Right On!

      (uh, what does it cost us to get out of this energy hole?)

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  4. Great post.

    Read it on my tablet during break\lunch time at work.
    Good thing I was well hidden, sitting in the security cage behind my laser cutting machine-tool, because it had me nodding, smiling and bursting in 2 or 3 exclamations with an approximate meaning of: "EXACTLY !!" @¢£¤¢!! "FINALLY !! ... @"$/%!! ... someone puts it into words !"
    --------
    IMHO, I think we've entered an era where civilization's best chance of a [somewhat] orderly descent will be precisely the unwinding of that "Noble Lie".
    You cannot have civilized and rational *enough* discourse in an unenlightened-self-interested-leaderless-Ponzi-scheme'esk-chain-of-blackmail-as-prime-algo-driven world.
    Especially not while undergoing atrophy (!)

    Uncharacteristically optimistic though it may seem of me, I stand by the idea that despite the multiplicity of narratives dispersed all over the internet and the zeitgeist as a whole; when reality starts to bite in earnest, the narrative most closely espousing Truth will bind to it just as epoxy resin and its associated hardener compound react to form epoxy glue. Over time, the most unassailable evidences could (or should ?) percolate to the top of the hierarchy as has mostly (very broadly speaking) been the case since the enlightenment.

    Of course,for my theory to be vindicated, a few little details have to remain valid: The more or less unrestricted torrent of information of the WWWeb has to be functional (!); and there is definitely a timer for this 'firmware patch' to emerge and procure the benefits we need from it; that, I must concede.
    ;-)

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  5. Dear Ugo, Simon,

    Thanks for a thoughtful observation of today's battle-for-the-narrative.
    Political struggle throughout the millennia has always been a battle for "hearts and minds". Winning a narrative-battle often precludes winning a political/institutional change.

    I suspect that the monolithic "Dominant Narrative" was a recent phenomenon. Maybe 1970-2010?

    We are in many ways going backwards in time. Maybe we are now back at 1910 level. (At least we are when looking at wealth disparity, see e.g. Piketty or Van Bavel.)

    Let's look at a parallel development - the labour press: End of 1800s, the "labour press" rose all over the western world, as a way to launch ideas that were not popular with the ruling elites, who until then owned almost all news papers. The first "labour papers" started already in the 1820s, but gained in importance and reach until WWI see e.g. https://depts.washington.edu/labhist/laborpress/Kelling.shtml.
    After WWII, most unions joined into the "establishment" and ceded power, in exchange for loot. They had 100 years of political wins under the belt, most of them first won in the narrative/idea domain.

    I think we are now moving backwards towards 1880, with a huge flood of alternative narratives, some of which match the day-to-day experiences of readers. The winning narratives are those that capture most hearts and minds.

    Of course, if you have a story that is blatantly, physically wrong, such as "eternal economic growth" or "QE is risk free" or "pesticides are risk free", you will sooner or later be discarded on the trash pile of abandoned ideas.

    I think that the parallel worlds on the internet are a sign of vitality. People are thinking, connecting, speculating, discussing, rejecting and choosing what seems to make sense to them.
    Of course, some will choose stupid stuff, like following the elite narrative, e.g. Davos Ecomodernism, but most won't.

    I choose for my own life and writing and actions an ecological perspective that is not very mainstream, but that is in line with my personal observations and values. Some people join, most won't. That is fine. I don't give up. I still try to win some more hearts and a few minds.

    What do you think? Why is it a problem with parallel thought-universes? Parallel truths?
    Maybe the thought that we *should* have a common narrative is the problem?

    I love the writings of David Graeber, e.g. "Antropological theory of value", where he explains that each culture had a different "meaning of life" and view on what is valuable. In Modernity, we focus on production, others focus on reproduction or prestige or giving pigs or making art etc. etc.

    Goran

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    1. Hi Goran,

      You're right, it may not be a problem. In fact, it might be necessary as we have a status quo that is clearly out of ideas. What possibly is a problem is that a lot of the internet discourse doesn't make a difference in "the real world". Unlike 1880, I don't see any ideas that a genuine threat to the status quo. That might be the real problem because there is no dialectic going on. That's why the old narrative is so old and decrepit. As such, it is liable to crash. The parallel with the end of the Soviet era mentioned by Des above seems all too valid.

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    2. Indeed.

      The 1980 Soviet times are very similar to our current situation. Running out of resources and claiming "record harvests". Just like in the playbook 1984. Anyone familiar with the "No Inflation Here"-proclamation?

      And you are right that most of the "alternative" stories (a.k.a. save the world with gender neutral bathrooms, or MMT, or handouts to support fledgling company X, or New Technology(TM)) are just as little anchored in reality as the "dominant" narrative.

      I think it is on the very fringe, like here and at Chris' place, people are building the lifeboats for the white waters ahead.

      Thanks for sharing this essay!

      Goran

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  6. It's strange that in the worldwide sweep of the Technosphere, sometimes one sees that we're separated by less than Six Degrees of Bacon. Catching your name in the comment section of my (semi) mate Simon was a surprise. He's part of a small mob (Aussie slang for "group") of blokes Down Undahere who are fans of The Archdruid John Michael Greer. We get together once a month -- at least during those months when the local government allows people to leave their homes -- and discuss the End of the World. One of the key members of that group named Chris has a small farm in the bush, and your Dutchy commenter Goran discusses fruit trees with that blog's author. So here are two people who I know in real life, and they are loosely overlap with your blog, Sr. Bardi.

    It's not a random coincidence, of course. Peak Oilers are a minority with a shared interest, so it's natural that they would gravitate to intellectual outposts with similar viewpoints. I don't think we're a minority that will be genocided, though. We don't stand out like Jews or Amish. People don't like what we have to say, so we won't be popular when the Doom we've been preaching comes to pass. Prophets are without honour in their own time, of course. But we're a scattered minority and we don't bring attention to ourselves. As long as we can keep our mouths shut and not say "SEE WHAT I MEANT?!? IT'S ALL FALLING APART, JUST LIKE I KEPT SAYING! BUT DID YOU LISTEN?!? Nooooo...."

    I have probably name-checked your former blog at our Archdruidic meetings. Not that any of my mates gave any indication they visited your site. What was it called? Chimera's Labyrinth? No, that's some other blog written by a guy who pretends to be you. And he writes it in Italian, for some unknowable reason. I wish I could remember. Not only has all evidence of your old site been swept off the Internet when you did whatever you did that aggravated Big Pharmer, but now I can't get the name to come up in my computer. It used to appear in the address bar when I'd type "Bardi" but there must be an algorithm that sneaks into every computer like a Trojan and erases the name from every device. Amazing what the forces of censorship can do.

    Algos like that are going to be the way that the narrative is controlled during the Brave New World of Beyond-84. No need for legions of Winston Smiths tossing pieces of actual paper down the Memory Hole. Our collective memory is electronic now. To erase things, all it will take is the correct string of code. Poof! That troublesome purveyor of Badthink is gone. Like he never even happened. Just as with Julian Assange. Remember -- Assange didn't kill himself! OK, that hasn't happened yet. Wait for it...

    As the Total Information Approval system gains control, there WILL be shared narratives again. If your computer, or phone, or the virtual reality headset you're wearing because everyone else does, tells you "everybody knows that," are you going to dispute it? Saying we haven't always been at war with Eastasia is just crazy talk! When the plugged-in masses start sharing unified narratives because there is no other story on any of our devices, we can all feel the brotherhood of submission to the dominance. Togetherness again -- whee!

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    1. Interesting point, Bukko. We seem to be a sect! About my former Blog, Cassandra's Legacy, I didn't notice that it was soft-blocked -- I can still find it on google.com (but, curiously, not on Duckduckgo). Actually, the ban on FB seems to have been lifted and, theoretically, I could post again links to it there. I don't know how long, though. And, yes, thing are going to get worse before getting better. If they ever do.

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    2. Ah, Prof. Bardi, you bit the hook on the joke! One should always be aware of irony and fakery in Internet dialogue. Of course I remember the name of your old blog. Read it for years. Not every post, but often enough. And I still look at Cassandra when you link from here to old posts on there. If it's one I don't recall reading, I'll check it out.

      I'm just having some fun playing dumb, thinking of the names of legendary or mythological female figures whose names begin with the letter C, and then something that relates to their name beginning with the letter L. Hence, "Circe's Lunchmeat," since she turned the Argonauts into pigs -- the source of much wonderful salumi! Now the jest is ruined because I have explained it. I'll have to skip Calliope's Lyrics and Cassiopeia's Lightshow.

      Your blog about chimeras inspired me to brush up on my mythology, though. For instance, I vaguely remembered the name Clytemnestra. But until I did some research for my feeble japes here, I didn't know where she fit into the pantheon of Greek fables. Closely tied to Cassandra, she was! Grazie for inadvertently expanding my knowledge.

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    3. Come on, Bukko, yours was a joke, of course, but other people told me that they couldn't find the old Cassandra blog on search engines. It may be true that it has been soft-blocked, at least in part. But everyone of us has a different view of the Web, so it is hard to say. And, yes, Clytemnestra, Cassandra, Chimera, Circe, and Cassiopeia, they all start with a "C". There has to be some deep mythological meaning in there!

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  7. I don't mean to be rude but Simon's article sounds like yet another postmodernist manifesto which declares the very notion of truth no longer tenable and even no longer desirable. This is just flat-out self-contradictory. Is the statement 'there is no such thing as truth' itself a truth or not? If it's true, then it's false. And if totalizing narratives are automatically to be seen as a sign of powerplay, as a sign that someone is imposing his/her brand of the truth on others, what are we to make of the kind person warning us of this? Is s/he not being guilty of the same by trying to impose his/her brand of the truth?

    As one of the posts above points out, there are plain physical truths which have nothing to do with the ideological disputes of humans. South is not North. (Try and dispute that with your compass.) A hot cup of tea never becomes hotter while the room it's placed in gets colder. And infinite growth is not possible in a finite world. This is a basic law of arithmetic and opinion has nothing to do with it. We can ignore such realities, to paraphrase Ayn Rand, but we cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring them.

    At a time when we need collective action to avert the existential threats facing humanity more than ever, postmodernism just seems like an intellectual indulgence betraying lack of taste. Well, maybe I've misread Simon. Then again, hey, presumably it makes no sense to ask whether (it's true) I misread him, since in the first place there's no such thing as truth, is there?

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    1. I don't really know what is "postmodernism," so I wouldn't be able to say much about whether Simon Sheridan is a postmodernist or not. The point he makes, however, seems to me clear cut and it doesn't seem to me that he says that truth doesn't exist anymore -- nor that it is not desirable. The debate, right now, is not about the North being South or the reverse, or about tea cups getting colder or hotter. The debate is about much more complicated stories and, in that case, there is no doubt that there are many proposed truths and that the dominant one is not necessarily the good one.

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    2. I’m not sure I understand those examples.

      “South is not North”: What if I make a compass with the word South at the top and the word North at the bottom. Is south now north? What sort of north and south are you talking about? Magnetic south is in the north and vice versa!

      “A hot cup of tea never becomes hotter while the room it’s placed in gets colder” :: what if the starting temp of the cup of tea is 80 degrees while the starting temp of the room is 200 degrees?

      “Infinite growth is not possible in a finite world” :: what sort of growth are you talking about? There are more types of growth than just economic.

      Our knowledge is fundamentally context-dependent and universal statements simply hide the context dependency. I don’t get that through postmodernism, I’ve never read any postmodernists. I get that from Gregory Bateson and Gerald Weinberg who were finding the same thing from within science.

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  8. So sad to see that nightcore is not loved here, oh well, guess it is more darkness then...

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    1. And what would "nightcore" be, if I may ask?

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    2. I found a comment mentioning nightcore, but I thought it was spam. Wasn't it?

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    3. Ah... you mean this?

      With the greatest thankfulness to the very generous and respectable operator of this blog and with deepest apologies for the thematic aberration: Whatever dark and dystopian times may lie ahead, may a ray of light illuminate everyone who has kept an open heart! Enjoy this beautiful nightcore (1st shared one here): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8iT9m8NOnM (Just look at how incredibly old that video already is in information technology terms, 12 years, there are even 13 year old versions, truly astounding, online for more than 12 years 24/7/365, imagine all the electricity needed to power and cool the servers… awesome) May you all experience a peace- and wonderful December 2021 (originally typed 2012, incredible how time flies by…)!!!

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    4. Comment 1 of 2:

      OMG!!! Thank you sooo much!!! I am so sorry for my erroneous assumptions and I apologize for my grave thought crimes, especially for my above comment and my late response as well! Please accept my heartfelt apologies! Thank you for looking through the spam folders, You really made my day!!!

      About Nightcore:

      "A nightcore "edit" is a version of a track that increases the pitch and speeds up its source material by approximately 35%. This gives an effect almost identical to playing a 33.3 RPM vinyl record at 45 RPM. This 35% increase in RPM causes the note C4 to become slightly lower in pitch than the note F#4 (261.63Hz becomes 353.19hz) (which is an increase of approximately 5 and a half semitones)"

      "The name is derived from the Norwegian musical duo "Nightcore", who released pitch-shifted versions of trance and eurodance songs. Nightcore is also commonly associated and accompanied with anime, and otaku culture with many YouTube thumbnails of nightcore remixes containing anime characters and art."

      Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nightcore

      Although I, like many other individuals who grew up with such a music genre, might share a different perspective than some people who predate the IT era, at least I always associate it with states free from worry, maybe because of the lack of any serious real word resemblance except for the music it is based on as there are mostly no "dark" undertones to it while it still doesn't amount to nursery rhymes, that and the speed at which it is played. Anyway, any subjective reasons and motivations might vary of course and many people who are not accustomed to the web culture background might of course take their time to classify it for themselves.

      I don’t really remember when it was, but sometime in the past there have been a few instances where youtube videos, that being mostly music, where shared on the Cassandra’s legacy blog if I remember correctly, thus I thought why not share something entirely different that most here have never ever heard of for a change. Nightcore is mostly an internet phenomenon as it usually can’t be bought like ordinary recordings and it isn’t played by any common radio stations or orchestras, therefore one has to either stumble across it or know about it to listen to it.

      Retrospectively I fully understand how my username here:

      ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’– Beautiful NightCore Trance Techno BNCTT ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’–

      could have easily been regarded as spam. The sparkling hearts might have been a little bit much, oh well, but it’s certainly not spam, at least not intentionally so since besides from the definition itself, it is certainly up to the respective host to decide what constitutes spam and what doesn't on his or her sites.

      The comment you thankfully found and shared was the one that was posted to your Italian Blog!



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    5. Comment 2 of 2:

      Here is all of what has been posted so far:

      One: (Italian Blog)

      >>
      With the greatest thankfulness to the very generous and respectable operator of this blog and with deepest apologies for the thematic aberration:

      Whatever dark and dystopian times may lie ahead, may a ray of light illuminate everyone who has kept an open heart! Enjoy this beautiful nightcore (1st shared one here):

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8iT9m8NOnM

      (Just look at how incredibly old that video already is in information technology terms, 12 years, there are even 13 year old versions, truly astounding, online for more than 12 years 24/7/365, imagine all the electricity needed to power and cool the servers… awesome)

      May you all experience a peace- and wonderful December 2021 (originally typed 2012, incredible how time flies by…)!!!
      <<

      Two: (This Blog)

      >>
      With the greatest thankfulness to the very generous and respectable operator of this blog and with deepest apologies for the thematic aberration:

      Whatever dark and dystopian times may lie ahead, may a ray of light illuminate everyone who has kept an open heart! Enjoy this beautiful nightcore (2nd shared one here):

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQ3FLugFH6k

      May you all experience a peace- and wonderful December 2021!!!
      <<

      Sharing is caring after all, therefore I would like to occasionally share e few youtube URLs to popular Nightcore, Techno or Trance tracks (freely available on youtube, hence no copyright infringements there, just topical aberrations:) on some of your blogs as comments as long as neither you nor the other fellow commentators here would find anything wrong with that. So far such practices have worked with mixed results on some technology sites where similar ideas have been developed…

      Thank you again for your forthcoming and accommodating approach towards my comments so far! I fully respect and accept all of the decisions you make towards this topic and thank you especially for taking some time out of your day to write a response, all the best and Godspeed to you as well as the best wishes for a beautiful day and week!!!

      Delete
  9. "The best place to hide a needle is in a pile of needles (not a haystack)", The CIA

    AI interventions to social media messaging are trying hard to control the narrative, and are at least "massaging" it moderately well among one group, still the dominant group, but "a mile wide and an inch deep", so to speak. The deep state does control the kill switch on communications. That can always be thrown.
    It seems that we must individually, and in small groups, seek out "truth", the best we can, and from the level of growing vegetables, and forming cooperative human relationships with those who don't exactly see things the way we do, constructive relationships for shared purposes.
    That is a point for growth of our shared understanding. www.johndayblog.com

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  10. Seems to me that the "Big Lies" ... infinite technical progress, perfectly equal justice, etc. are only short term goals that are trumpeted as eternal truths. The time of grand narratives like "manifest destiny" or "the white man's burden" may be over, and good riddance to them.

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  11. It seems to me that the dominant subnarratives can and do crack. For example, the subnarrative "the covid vaccines are safe" is evidencing major cracks at the moment. And all its purveyors have is silly bandaids like "post-pandemic stress disorder." If the rumors of still births pan out, what bandaid will they come up with? And how long will bandaids work? Right now, the cracks are being met with derision by the faithful, not by counterarguments.

    Like in science, which has always had dominant narratives, and been resistant to challenges to them (viz Semmelweiss), the cracks will widen and the patches cannot hold.

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  12. This is an exceptionally thought-provoking post. Thank you, Ugo! I appreciate the mentioned link between resources availability and the need for a centralized empathy communication system (e.g. religion). In the biosphere, it occurs to me, which functions on sunlight that cannot be concentrated, there is no analogue of a "common narrative" or religion, they are not needed.

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