The power of Big Tech has made traditional governmental censorship almost obsolete.
By Matt Taibbi
Start with the headline: Supporting the 2020 U.S. Election. YouTube in its company blog can’t even say, “Banning Election Conspiracy Theories.” They have to employ the Orwellian language of politicians — Healthy Forests, Clear Skies, “Supported” Elections — because Google and YouTube are now political actors, who can’t speak plainly any more than a drunk can walk in a straight line.
The company wrote Wednesday:
Yesterday was the safe-harbor deadline for the U.S. Presidential election and enough states have certified their election results to determine a President-elect. Given that, we will start removing any piece of content uploaded today (or anytime after) that misleads people by alleging that widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election… For example, we will remove videos claiming that a Presidential candidate won the election due to widespread software glitches or counting errors.
This announcement came down at roughly the same time Hunter Biden was announcing that his “tax affairs” were under investigation by the U.S. Attorney in Delaware. Part of that investigation concerned whether or not he had violated tax and money laundering laws in, as CNN put it, “foreign countries, principally China.” Information suggestive of money-laundering and tax issues in China and other countries was in the cache of emails reported in the New York Post story blocked by Twitter and Facebook.
Senior Director of Policy at the Conservative Partnership Institute, Rachel Bovard, weighs in on President Donald Trump’s threat to veto a defense bill if lawmakers do not include a measure eliminating legal protections for social media companies.
This new edition of Screens of Power: Ideology, Domination, and Resistance in Informational Society, first published in 1989, reintroduces the innovative critique of informational culture, politics, and society outlined by Timothy W. Luke in Telos and other publications during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Working with insights derived from the Frankfurt School, Christopher Lasch, Michel Foucault, Guy Debord, and Jean Baudrillard, Luke maps out decisive conflicts and contradictions that leading modern economies and societies faced during the Cold War. At stake here is how to organize effectively the challenging political, social, and cultural transitions from industrial to informational institutions, practices, and values—a far-reaching transformation that continues to unfold today. The original edition has influenced research in the fields of visual studies, sociology, rhetorical analysis, politics, mass communications, government, information studies, economics, and cultural studies. During the COVID-19 pandemic of the 2020s, far more people are reconfiguring key aspects of their everyday life to flow across billions of screens. As they connect through the signs and systems of application platforms, computer networks, data centers, and software servers, this new edition highlights the significance of Luke’s original explorations of the politics behind informatics as well as Telos‘s ongoing project of developing “a critical theory of the contemporary.”
A white steel pole rises out of the sea off the Caribbean coast of Panama, poking above the waves like the funnel of a sunken steamship. Launched into the water last month, this is no shipwreck, but the base of what will soon become a floating home and, in the eyes of its makers, the first step towards building a brave new post-Covid-19 society, out on the open ocean.
“Coronavirus is an opportunity to show the world that what we’re building is actually going to be very useful in the future,” says Chad Elwartowski, in a recent video post from his beachside base in Panama. The Michigan-born software engineer turned bitcoin trader is a leading figure in the seasteading movement, a libertarian group dedicated to building independent floating cities on the high seas. Along with the bunker builders and survivalist preppers, their long-held ambitions have been bolstered by the current global pandemic. “No matter if you’re scared of the virus or the reaction to the virus,” he adds, “living out on the ocean will be helpful for these situations.”
“Much of the glue holding modern societies together is alarmingly fragile, and triggers like September 11th can shatter this facade with devastating consequences that we are only just beginning to understand. As the evolutionary biologist E.O. Wilson wrote in his 2012 book The Social Conquest of Earth, “We have created a Star Wars civilization, with Stone Age emotions, medieval institutions, and godlike technology.” Although kin psychology lies at the foundation of genetic ingroups, humans form factions around anything and simply being a member of a group is usually enough. This is called the “minimal group paradigm” and it is one of the most well-established findings in social psychology—research has shown that even beliefs about whether hotdogs are sandwiches can generate discrimination. Our instinct to assemble and join groups is so ancient and powerful that it is unlikely we will ever arrest it, and despite the more sinister ramifications that result from forming coalitions, we probably wouldn’t want to even if we could.”
“We should poison their water holes!” This was the first thing my father said when I called him after planes hit the World Trade Center where I worked. My dad was a 1960s cultural liberal and pacifist, who had opposed every war our country had fought. The moment he felt that my life was in danger, however, he discarded these superficial notions and embraced a much deeper and far more savage psychology forged by natural selection that governs how we think and feel about our relatives.
Astrophysicist, Dr. Joe Pesce, discusses the most magnetic stars in the universe. He also shines light on evidence of a fast radio burst that likely traveled to Earth from a particular type of neutron star in our Milky Way galaxy.
The First Amendment survives by one vote. What part of “shall make no law” do the other four not understand? Having a Republican-dominated SCOTUS is probably a good idea as the wider culture (and therefore the elected branches of government) move further toward the cultural faux “left” with its therapeutism, scientism, and fetishization of the Prussian-derived public administration state.
In orders issued shortly before midnight Wednesday, the court, in a 5-4 vote, set aside attendance limits that Gov. Andrew Cuomo imposed on houses of worship in areas most severely affected by the coronavirus: 10 people in red zones and 25 in orange zones. Chief Justice John Roberts and three liberal justices dissented.
New York classifies places where coronavirus infections are of increasing severity as yellow, orange or red.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and Agudath Israel of America, an Orthodox Jewish organization, alleged that the limits violated their First Amendment rights of religious exercise.
Mr. Cuomo said Thursday that the Supreme Court ruling had no effect on the state’s virus control efforts, and pertained only to a specific Brooklyn “red zone” that was no longer under such restrictions.
It is overwhelmingly clear that the response to the pandemic by virtually all governments everywhere has been to protect the health of the upper-middle and upper classes at the expense of the poor and working classes, who must either continue to work under increased hazards or simply lack any livelihood at all, while the affluent classes take a sabbatical and complain about a lack of Christmas parties.
“In 2006, a 15-year-old high school student from Albuquerque, New Mexico won third place in the Intel science and engineering fair for her project on slowing the spread of an infectious pathogen during a pandemic emergency. Using a computer simulation that she developed with the help of her father, she argued that in order to slow the spread of the disease, governments should implement school shutdowns, keep kids at home and enforce social distancing.
Good. It seems like an “alternative conservative social media” is forming with Parler, Gab, Substance, MeWe, etc, and “alternative dissident left media” is developing among left-leaning journalists that have had falling outs with the Left Inquisition.
Journalist, Zaid Jilani, gives his thoughts on Ezra Klein and Matthew Yglesias’ departure from Vox.
It is foolish to assume that various forms of political correctness are part of a Marxist plot. In reality, the systematic reinterpretation of controversial issues such as race and gender is a means of re-socialisation. A new model of civic organisation is required to meet the ever-changing nature of technology and the increasingly migrational workforce that is required to maintain it. Apart from the additional fact that such intense environmental adaptation is rendering its citizens both physically and mentally unhealthy, this is all part of the endless maximisation of wealth and resources. Without changing the dynamics of social relations, therefore, capitalism would be unable to profit at our expense.
America’s crisis of political segregation – we increasingly don’t live alongside, associate with or even marry people who think differently from us – is increasingly leading conservatives to congregate together on social media outlets designed specifically for people who think like them.
The recent rise of Parler – as well as other social media alternatives that appeal primarily to conservatives and that got their start largely by attracting the far right – raises the specter of further political polarization through digital means. Parler and others, like MeWe and Gab, are gaining momentum with a promise not to censor their users for behavior that might violate the policies of their rivals.