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The Onion -- Onion Social CEO Appears Before Hague Tribunal To Be Tried For Crimes Against Humanity, Promote New Website Features
'THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS—Called before the International Criminal Court to address charges of breaching the Geneva Conventions as well as to publicize the game-changing innovations his website has recently introduced, Onion Social CEO Jeremy Rosenbaum appeared before a Hague tribunal Thursday to be tried for crimes against humanity and to promote new website features. “That I stand here before you today accused of heinous and inhumane acts is an abomination, an outrage, and an exciting opportunity to give the world an exclusive first look at the new functionality coming to Onion Social,” said Rosenbaum in his opening statement, stating that the charges—which include genocide, unethical human experimentation, forced disappearances, military use of children, and the development and deployment of WMDs—hold no merit; however, the CEO did confess to colluding and conspiring to create new Onion Social photo filters that make connecting with friends and family even more fun. “These baseless accusations and groundless criminal charges are merely a way for my critics to drag the good name of Onion Social through the mud. But try as they might to sully the new donation app that shines a spotlight on causes you care about, I place my trust in the process and am confident in my ultimate vindication.” At press time, video of the judges delivering Rosenbaum’s guilty verdict could be seen on Onion Social’s new live-streaming function.'
TheOnion  facebook  hubris  satire 
june 2018 by adamcrowe
The Disturbing High Modernism of Silicon Valley - Study Hacks - Cal Newport
A Revealing Memo A couple weeks ago, BuzzFeed leaked a memo written by Facebook VP Andrew "Boz" Bosworth in the summer of 2016. It contained the following
culture  high_modernism  analysis  modernism  hubris  silicon_valley 
april 2018 by jbkcc
Spiked -- The great lie at the heart of the Cambridge Analytica scare by Brendan O'Neill
'...Through exercising enormous power over the flow of information, these ‘dark, dystopian data companies’ came to play a ‘pivotal role in Brexit’. In the words of the Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr, the leading figure in this chattering-class conspiracy theory, they ‘delivered Brexit’. That is, so great was their ‘voter-manipulation effort’ that it is not an exaggeration to say they are responsible for Brexit, as surely as the man who tells his dog to attack someone is responsible for that attack. -- Let’s leave aside that these panickers about the demos really do view voters as the unwitting attack dogs of the wealthy and powerful, as malleable creatures who respond to the stimuli of filthy-rich populists. The more important point is that the narrative they are writing around Brexit is, ironically, an enormous act of misinformation. It is an act of Orwellian erasure of the truth of the recent past and its replacement with a lie. Two lies, in fact. Firstly that, courtesy of ‘dark’ but powerful networks, people came to be surrounded by Leave propaganda. Utterly untrue. The politics of Remain held far greater sway in public discussion, offline and online, in the run-up to the referendum. And secondly that many Brexit voters failed to think for themselves and instead fell victim to a ‘psyops operation’ and its ‘mass sentiment change’. This is a libel upon the electorate. Because in reality, British voters’ embrace of Brexit against the wishes of virtually the entire establishment represented one of the great acts of free, independent thought in the history of British political life. -- There are many reasons we should be critical of the panic about data-mining and its ‘delivery’ of elections to sinister people who pay handsomely to ‘control mass sentiment’. It presents itself as a kind of anti-capitalist, anti-Big Tech, anti-elite initiative, but in truth it pushes a powerfully elitist view of ordinary people as easy prey for the powerful. As blank minds easily filled by the memes and messaging of ‘dark, dystopian’ groups. It calls into question the very ideal of democracy, because what is the point of asking the public its opinion if significant sections of the public are so hollow that they can allow themselves to become the playthings of ‘a member of the global 1%’, in Cadwalladr’s phrase? This Remoaner rage disguised as investigative journalism does far more to demean the value of democracy than any fat-cat paying millions of pounds to spread memes ever could. -- ... In reality, the Brexit vote demonstrated the resistance of the public to powerful political messaging. It showed that ordinary people are not the clueless, unwitting fodder of the powerful that middle-class elitists imagine us to be, but rather that we are capable of thinking for ourselves and deciding, as individuals and communities, to reject the overtures of those who are wealthier, more influential and, in their view anyway, better placed than us to make big political decisions. More than any other election of recent times, and perhaps since the expansion of the franchise 100 years ago, the Brexit result confirmed the public’s capacity for free thought. It was proof of the value and wisdom of democracy. The rewriting of this referendum as an exercise in the manipulation of mass sentiment is a grave insult to voters and to the historical record itself, for what this referendum really confirmed is just how immune ‘mass sentiment’ is to the patronising, technocratic diktats of those who have dominated society for decades now. -- Indeed, this is why they are still in meltdown about the result. This is why they are pumping so many resources into uncovering the ‘dark, dystopian’ forces that must have poisoned our brains. Because they sense, rightly, that their ability to dominate the political and public narrative is weaker now than it has been for years. Their stranglehold over political information and political life has been loosened, and by the rough, non-Guardian reading public of all people. They have been rebelled against, and they are so horrified by that, so disgusted by it, that they will try to rewrite that rebellion as an act of mass sheepish conformism. Don’t they know yet that we’re not as stupid as they think and that we won’t fall for their low, anti-demos political claims? We will resist this new nasty narrative as surely and reasonably as we resisted their fear-driven propaganda for Remain.'
illiberalism  elitism  hubris  propaganda  conspiracy  minitrue  schadenfreude 
march 2018 by adamcrowe
The Onion -- American People Admit Having Facebook Data Stolen Kind Of Worth It To Watch That Little Fucker Squirm
'Saying it was ultimately a small price to pay in exchange for the splendid spectacle that has followed, millions of Americans admitted Thursday that they didn’t really mind having their Facebook data stolen if it meant getting to watch that little fucker squirm. “Sure, it sucks that my private information was confiscated and used in unauthorized psychological surveys—that’s completely inexcusable—but man, looking on as that arrogant piece of shit tries to keep it together has been great,” said longtime Facebook user Jerry Boesen of Naperville, IL, adding that he could hardly wait to see the massive pit stains appear on the smug prick’s signature gray T-shirts as he fumbled his way through a series of nationally televised interviews. “Just imagining that little fuck sitting alone in his office and avoiding phone calls as he attempts to fend off a never-ending deluge of lawsuits and congressional inquiries—My God, I think I could die a happy man.” At press time, the American populace was reportedly squealing with delight as shares of Facebook stock plummeted to yet another low.'
TheOnion  facebook  hubris  schadenfreude  satire 
march 2018 by adamcrowe
Breitbart -- Nolte: Mark Zuckerberg's Fatal Error – Not Leaving Everyone the Hell Alone
'...The world would look much different for Zuckerberg today had he kept his authoritarian impulses under control and governed Facebook in the same way Ma Bell and the U.S. Postal System were governed 35 years ago when those were our primary means of communication. -- For example, threats of violence, criminal conspiracies, and committing actual crimes (child pornography, etc.) were all illegal via phone and mail. Those guidelines not only made sense; they were easy for users to follow due to crystal clear boundaries. -- So, yes — and this is the key point — there were “community standards” governing the phone and mail. But those rules were not arbitrarily created by the same monolithic entity in charge of one of our primary means of communication. Rather, those laws were created by the lawmakers who represent us. -- In other words, Ma Bell and the post office did not control the way in which Americans communicate. They were not monitoring our phone conversations or reading our mail to see if we were engaging in whatever the arbitrary definition of “hate speech” was. By extension, they did not have the power to purge users via those arbitrary rules. -- Moreover, there was even the equivalent of a “block” button back then. If you were harassed, you could get an unlisted phone number or rent a post office box to which you alone controlled access. -- Facebook (along with Twitter and YouTube) are all guilty of bait-and-switch. They lure us onto their platforms with the promise of unbridled free speech, create their respective monopolies, and then go the full-Kafka against opinions that personally offend them. -- When you are talking about something as sacred as free speech, the exchange of ideas, and the right to assemble, monopolies like Facebook should not have the power to purge anyone. If you are not breaking the law, you should be left alone. -- Unelected corporations should not be in charge of how we communicate. Like any public place, only representatives accountable to the public should make the rules that govern the town square of Facebook. -- Yes, the left and their media allies would have a tantrum if Zuckerberg governed Facebook like a public utility. But in that situation Zuckerberg could at least stand on the following principle: "Hey, free speech is free speech. If you are offended, block him. If you are harassed, block him. If you believe someone posted fake news, out them with facts. If you believe someone lied, tell the truth. If you believe someone is denigrating you, ignore him. If you believe someone is breaking the law, send a screencap to law enforcement. We do not tell people, even evil people — commies, Nazis, Antifa, the KKK — how they can or cannot speak. That is up to your elected officials. Additionally, we have no algorithm that controls the flow of information because that would be un-American. Finally, no one, not Obama, not Cambridge Analytics, gets access to your data. That is solely up to you. Facebook is an equal free speech playing field where you control what you do and do not see. If you don’t like it, don’t look at it. So quit your godless crybabying and remember sticks n’ stones." -- No matter how much a far-left CNN or Washington Post whined because Zuckerberg refused to censor conservatives, this simple standard equally applied would be very difficult to argue with. Plus, if that actually was Zuckerberg’s standard, a lot of us would be defending him right now, instead of hoping the government moves in to break his fascist public square into a thousand pieces.'
decadence  faggotry  victimhood  illiberalism  minitrue  goodthink  hubris  facebook 
march 2018 by adamcrowe
Trump, Kushner and the businessman fallacy
Simon Kuper MARCH 8, 2018
The “businessman fallacy” — the notion that a rich businessman (never a woman) can run government better than a mere politician — is Donald Trump’s basic promise. That’s why the combustion of his son-in-law, fellow real-estate heir and senior adviser Jared Kushner — whose business dealings in the White House scream conflict of interest — is so telling. Kushner incarnates the businessman fallacy.......The businessman-turned-politician is often blinded by hubris. This usually stems from the “money delusion”: the idea that life is a race to make money, and that rich people (“winners”) therefore possess special wisdom.

Many businessmen imagine they pulled themselves up by the bootstraps in a free market, something that more people could do if only there was “less government in business”. This self-image usually omits context: the fact, say, that the businessman’s father built the company (before being jailed on a ridiculous technicality) or that government enforced his contracts and schooled his employees.....Rich Americans tend to feel contempt for politicians because they have learnt to treat them as lowly service providers who will sit up and beg for donations.
Simon_Kuper  Donald_Trump  Jared_Kushner  nepotism  businessman_fallacy  White_House  conflicts_of_interest  oversimplification  privately_held_companies  family-owned_businesses  hubris  generalists 
march 2018 by jerryking
The Onion -- Elon Musk Offering $1.2 Billion In Grants To Any Project That Promises To Make Him Feel Complete
'FREMONT, CA—Calling his profound feelings of emptiness “almost too painful to bear,” Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink, the Boring Company, and a variety of other tech and infrastructure firms, reportedly offered $1.2 billion in grants Wednesday to any project that could make him feel complete. “Even after all I’ve accomplished in this world, there is still a gaping hole inside of me that no amount of innovation or entrepreneurship has been able to fill,” said Musk, who added that he would consider funding any initiative, in any industry, at any scale that might begin to close the ever-widening chasm at the core of his being. “If you can prove that your venture will give me any measure of wholeness—anything, anything at all—my money is yours. All I ask in return is to feel some sense of purpose in this bleak and pointless existence.” Musk went on to offer an additional $1.2 billion to anyone who could show him the meaning of what people often refer to as “love.”' --
TheOnion  hubris  satire 
february 2018 by adamcrowe
Silicon Valley Is Turning Into Its Own Worst Fear
There’s a saying, popularized by Fredric Jameson, that it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism. It’s no surprise that Silicon Valley capitalists don’t want to think about capitalism ending. What’s unexpected is that the way they envision the world ending is through a form of unchecked capitalism, disguised as a superintelligent AI. They have unconsciously created a devil in their own image, a boogeyman whose excesses are precisely their own.

Which brings us back to the importance of insight. Sometimes insight arises spontaneously, but many times it doesn’t. People often get carried away in pursuit of some goal, and they may not realize it until it’s pointed out to them, either by their friends and family or by their therapists. Listening to wake-up calls of this sort is considered a sign of mental health.

We need for the machines to wake up, not in the sense of computers becoming self-aware, but in the sense of corporations recognizing the consequences of their behavior. Just as a superintelligent AI ought to realize that covering the planet in strawberry fields isn’t actually in its or anyone else’s best interests, companies in Silicon Valley need to realize that increasing market share isn’t a good reason to ignore all other considerations. Individuals often reevaluate their priorities after experiencing a personal wake-up call. What we need is for companies to do the same — not to abandon capitalism completely, just to rethink the way they practice it. We need them to behave better than the AIs they fear and demonstrate a capacity for insight.
SiliconValley  technology  artificialIntelligence  culture  capitalism  hubris  regulation  libertarianism 
december 2017 by petej

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