[Serios] Discutie libera pe diferite topicuri
2020.10.26 21:44 CuriousCesarr [Serios] Discutie libera pe diferite topicuri
Rar gasesc pe cineva cu care sa am discutii ample pe subiecte importante. Mi s-a sugerat sa postez intrebarile/ topicurile de discutie pe subredditul asta caci ar fi mai productiv decat as cred. So here we go!: 1).
E evident ca avem o distinctie de clase si e cumva "fuzzy" in sensul ca nu sunt delimitari/ milestones clare intre clasele sociale. Deasemenea, diferitele clase sociale nu se translateaza in aceleasi clase economice. I.e.: o persoana de status inalt (gen mica personalitate locala) nu e neaparat la un nivel echivalent de bogatie. Dar pe langa aceste 2 sisteme (social and economic classes) eu vad si o clasa intelectuala. Puteti sa elaborati pe topicul asta?: niste nivele, distinctii intre ele, caracteristici specifice nivelelor respective, trecerea de la un nivel la altul, observatii proprii, etc. 2).
E "un breath of fresh air" sa vezi ca cineva vorbeste de altceva decat fotbal, ce tzatze are X, ce masina si-a luat vecinul, etc., are spirit de observatie si poate sa-si structureze ideile intr-o maniera usor de digerat de catre toti. Voi cei care va recunoasteti in propozitia asta, care aveti alte ocupatii mentale decat "pasiunile mondene" descrise mai sus, de ce credeti ca ati ajuns in punctul asta? What makes you smart? Credeti ca e vreo rutina/ factor anume, ceva genetic, social upbringing, environment, preferinta voastra personala sau pur si simplu un mix al tuturor elementelor in varii proportii? 3).
Sa-l citez pe Zed din League of Legends: "The unseen blade is the deadliest.". Din cele trei clase mentionate mai sus, "elita" cumva e invizibila si singurii vizibili care sunt un pic peste mase sunt undeva la middle/ upper-middle class. Mai anume: magnatii orasului/ tarii pot sa fie un mosulica care sta cu voi la coada la Profi, in timp ce ala care se coboara la costum dintr-un Ferrarri e ori fiul lui mosulica sau un upper middle class care vrea sa flaunt around. Bine mai sunt si oameni care sunt cu adevarat bogati si o arata, dar nu cred ca asta e norma. "Regula" se aplica peste tot: tipul hiper-intelligent nu se imbraca neaparat cu pantaloni cu jartiere si poarta ochelari de tip "ochiuri de aragaz". Se poate ca cei de sus in clasele respective sa fi atins un anume nivel de intelegere socio-filozofic din care sa derive faptul ca nu trebuie sa te bati cu pumnul in piept? Sau e mai degraba un fel de optimizare a timpului?: stii ca esti in top, nu vrei sa-ti pierzi timpul cu cei de jos (caci efectiv nu te ajuta nici pe tine si nici pe ei) asa ca nu umblii cu pancarta de "cine sunt eu" dupa tine. Or are there other factors at play here? Care sunt parerile si experientele voastre cu asta? 4).
Sistemul economic e foarte ciudat la ora actuala. Lasand Guvidul laoparte (da, joaca un rol si ne impacteaza financiar, dar sa extrapolam), m-a tentat ideea de business de mai multe ori sincer, dar de fiecare data cand incerc sa rumeg conceptul vad ori ca ideea e buna dar nu stiu eu sa vand (sfatul vostru ar fi sa invat sa implementez si sa vand atat ideea cat si pe mine; dar am simtit ca raportul efortul meu-beneficiile dobandite ar fi fost prea slab pentru ideile respective) sau pur si simplu marketul e deja acoperit. Pe unde se invart banii; cum credeti ca se pot face bani buni fara clasicul "9 to 5"? In mod surprinzator am vazut ca nu exista neaparat o corelatie intre inteligenta unei persoane si succesul financiar. Cum imi povestea un prieten: "ba, stiu un patron de local in centru, e tip fain, se poarta bine cu stafful si managuieste ok localul, ba dar efectiv nu stie sa scrie. Cand trebuie sa scrie ceva mai mult decat propria semnatura, il cheama pe un chelner si-l pune sa citeasca bine documentul si dupa sa scrie dupa dictare.". A fost un eye-opener povestea lui si mi-a sedimentat ideea de mai sus: economic success isn't necessarily tied to intellectual prowess. 5).
Odata cu cresterea intelectuala/ economica, apare o anume libertate (atat mentala cat si posibil temporala) si apar "jocuri" mai interesante. La lowest levels in cele 3 arii (intelectuala, economica si sociala), jocurile sunt simple: iesi la scara cu vecinul/ na, spargi o samanta, ultimele barfe sunt discutate. Mai pe la middle/ upper-middle class (in toate), apar chestiile mai interesante: vreti sa mergeti la munte/ mare/ sauna/ bazin/ climbing/ adventure park/ etc. . Ce se intampla pe la upper classes? Teorii, experiente? Se cam aplica >citatul asta<
dar cred ca there's more to say about it. 6).
Cateva chestii personale?: Varsta, sex, locatie, ati calatorit/ trait in diferite orase/ tari, current life position (angajat/a, casatorit/a, business ownea, intre joburi, etc), unde v-ati plasa in cele 3 categorii de clase? Sincer mai mult sunt interesat de cat de strans legata e capacitatea voastra cognitiva de castigul vostru. Adica: toti care sunt cu adevarat destepti sunt business owners/ au niste "aranjamente financiare" substantiale? 7).
Intrebari/ topicuri pertinente de la voi? 8).
Se zice ca "silence is golden". Credeti ca exista lucruri pe care unii oameni le stiu (sa le numim golden rules) care le confera un avantaj/e major fata de restul in anumite domenii si pe care le pastreaza doar pentru ei? Exemple? 9).
Sanatate mintala si fizica? Care sunt elementele cele mai importante pentru acesti doi factori? Da, stiu: "eat right and work out", dar estimez ca mai sunt si alti factori care au jucat un rol pivotal in sanatatea voastra pe care poate i-ati descoperit pe parcurs (sau ii aveati intrinsec). De exemplu la mine: workout e good dar daca vreau sa fac un bulk de obicei ma ingras; ca sa nu ma ingras cand mananc mult trebuie sa mananc chestii acide/ amare in paralel cu mesele (apa cu lamaie, muraturi, bors, grapefruit, etc.). 10).
Care e principalul vostru tel in viata? Care credeti ca e principalul tel in viata al omului de rand pe care-l vedeti zilnic in autobuz? Dar a oamenilor din grupurile voastre de prieteni? 11).
Cum v-a afectat inteligenta capacitatea de a va intelege cu altii? Am observat ca cu cat mai "citit" esti, cu atat devine un adevarat exercitiu sa te intelegi cu cei mai "necititi". Daca tu esti mega la zi cu ultimele trenduri in tehnologie, bio-chimie, AI, socio-economie, etc., si te intalnesti cu Fane care e mega microbist, lucrator la benzinarie, trebuie efectiv sa faci un adevarat exercitiu mental ca sa te intelegi cu el: prinde-te care e social rankul tau in ochii lui (daca te vede si ia de fraier atunci nici n-are rost sa incerci urmatoarele), prinde-te ce ii place, prinde-te de toanele in care e, compara toate cele antecedente cu un baseline/ stereotip pe care l-ai facut legat de el, etc., ca sa te poti prinde ce topicuri (si pe ce ton) poti deschide cu el. 12).
Am intalnit o anume categorie de oameni care suspectez ca se afla in toate domeniile: oamenii care lucreaza de dragul de a lucra. Mai anume: tipul care sta sa puna bolobocul timp de 2 ore de 40x pe peretele tau ca sa fie la 0 grade in toate punctele chit ca vizual nu se vede o denivelare; cadrul medical care iti povesteste cu mare amploare totul legat de simptomele tale si toate cazurile aferente/ similare tie care i s-a parut lui interesante; programatorul care foloseste ultimele librarii, face 3 fisiere de incapsulare si exporteaza functii si variabile prin 3 macrouri pentru ca pur si simplu ii place arta de a scrie cod. Inteleg ca oamenii vor sa fie buni in ceea ce fac si sunt entuziasmati de topicul respectiv, dar de ce nu vad diferenta dintre eficient (ati umple timpul ca sa fie umplut) si efectiv (a cauta cea mai scurta si buna cale de a face un lucru)?
Fiecare punct e un subiect in sine. Alegeti un numar, puneti numarul intrebarii in fata si scrieti un raspuns. Stiu ca e lung si multumesc ca ati citit pana aici. Am zis sa folosesc internetul pentru ceva mai util decat glume de umplut timpul, memes, etc. . Si sperabil ce va iesii din discutia asta va fi util pentru noi toti.
Edit: mici corectii.
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2020.10.21 02:23 LounginInParadise The student that just brings a notebook to class...
My whole academic career I’ve never brought more than my notebook, a pen, and an open engaged mind to class... I do it for myself, and I’ve never really questioned it - for me it allows me to make the most free form / interconnected notes, when I hand-write things I feel it helps me retain the things I’m learning better, not having a computer in front of me forces me to engage in the lecture or seminar - there’s no distractions, there’s no laptop to hide behind - I’m not just attending I’m present.
This has never been something I’ve questioned much, in my undergrad sure most other students had laptops but I never thought anything of it and they never thought anything of me. I’ve recently started grad school, at a quite elite institution with lots of very wealthy international students (that’s far from my socio-economic background). I’ve been showing up to class with my trusty notebook and pen, stowing my notes in nicely divided folders... my usual thing.
But for the first time ever I’ve been getting comments about it from my peers - ‘oh that’s so old school’ - ‘how do you work like that?’ - ‘we’re going to need you to type up your notes for our google drive!’ Etc. It’s suddenly made me very self-conscious about my approach to learning, and I have noticed that when I show up to the seminars I’m the only person in the room without a laptop in front of me, when I get out my paper and pen I almost feel naked in the classroom. I wonder what my professors think, because clearly the other students with their shiny MacBook Pro’s have noticed it... it’s not that I don’t have a laptop, it’s just my entire life I’ve never been encouraged to use one in a classroom environment - in school electronics were banned!
So I wanted to get the perspective from ideally academics and other post-grad students about this, am I doing something wrong? What’s your perception of the student with just a notepad?? reminds me of this meme (which I feel on a spiritual level!)
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2020.10.16 19:11 Rajarshi1993 A Comparison of Bengaluru Riots and Tanishq Outrage, and Some Lessons
Muslim outrage in India is fierce, violent, disciplined (in the sense that everyone knows when, where and what to do, and can act on short notice), organized, motivated and effective. It causes destruction, loss of property, possible loss of life, grave injury and total public disorder. The end result is deep, fearful mistrust and effective intimidation. Simultaneously, it is defended by many groups which have no business defending it, probably because they have vested interests.
By contrast, Hindu outrage is sporadic, disorganized, loud, impulsive, unguided (and sometimes misguided
) and ultimately harmless. We have no clear sense, no clear agenda, no clear goal or objective in the long term, and no clear objective in the short run. We have garnered zero groups with vested interests in defending us or picking up our cause.
Take the recent Bengaluru riots and then let us compare it with the Tanishq ourtage.
- Goal: - The aim of the Bengaluru riots were to (1) put the guy who posted the meme behind bars, and (2) cause enough destruction and damage to property to intimidate Hindus. - The aim of the Tanishq outrage were.... what, exactly? To make Tanishq release a public apology? To make TV channels retract the advert? Monetary compensation? Legal action against Tanishq? To end Hindu-Parsi friendship? How does any of that shit benefit us? Only positive is some increased awareness of the reality behind interfaith marriage.
- Means: - Bengaluru Riots: They burnt vehicles, attacked Hindu houses and people, police officers, etc. - Tanishq outrage: Twitter drama, for the most part.
- Result: - Bengaluru Riots: First goal accomplished. Second goal accomplished. - Tanishq Riots: Everyone hates us, Parsis desperately trying to remind us of their patriotism and fearing Hindu aggression, general attitude of mockery towards Hindutva, Hindus confused, several educated people on the Indic Side feeling kinda ashamed.
- Reprisal: - Bengaluru Riots: None of the perpetrators suffered any negative consequences. - Tanishq Riots: We are now the laughing stock of India. Congrats.
My point it simple. We need to be able to organize ourselves before we move. Otherwise, we will accomplish nothing other than generally disrupting the peace and earning a bad reputation for it.
What we should
have done was to create a petition, state in it very clearly what our grievances with the advertisement are, state in that petition clearly what we desire from Tata as remuneration (do we want a public apology, do we want them to stop airing the ad, etc.) and to have it signed by as many Hindus as possible, and to place it before Tanishq marketing executive, and if necessary before Mr. Tata himself.
To do this, we would have first been required to very clearly articulate the grievances first. We needed to state that the advertisement was sending a very dishonest message, one that undermines and understates the actual suffering of many a Hindu girl who has had a love marriage with a Muslim without the desire to convert to his religion. It glosses over actual Indian marital laws which prohibit inheritance of property of a Muslim man by a Hindu wife, and other laws and socio-cultural aspects of the Muslim families which eventually force her to make a decision to convert of be deprived of her basic rights as a married woman. That there is nothing romantic about a woman having to choose between her faith, her love, and her rights - and keeping only two of those three.
We needed to make it clear that our outrage is not that we are simply "offended",
but that we are greatly aggrieved by the portrayal of a very real and serious issue as a near-nonexistent apprehension on part of the Hindu wife. This is because affluent Hindus who have no intention of marrying Muslim Men will now begin to hold those Hindu girls who do
fall in love with Muslim boys with the woke standard that this apathetic advertisement establishes, while in reality they must be very pragmatic in their attitude to the marriage.
Having placed these clauses in a clearly written petition, we were then to suggest acceptable means of remediation, and then sign it and place it before the marketing executive of Tanishq first, and then his successive bosses. If they refused to consider it, then
some outrage against them would have been justified. This would have also given us the time to decide upon an effective maneuver for the actual outcry, in the event that the petition were to be rejected.
Instead, we manifested our impulses in a purely rajasic
outpouring of rage and anguish, none of which was heard. All that can be observed by those who do not understand the ideas here is that Hindus are an easily offended, censorious and chaotic people. Within a month people will forget this issue and fickle public sentiment will be dissipated. Not much good shall ultimately have been accomplished, but the reputation of our community shall have been tarnished. We will gain no gravitas, neither from respect - for this was not an honourable course of action - nor from fear, for we achieved nothing.
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2020.10.12 17:28 The_Planderlinde The HRE: Not Holy, Not Roman, Not Empire: r/historymemes and Voltairist Propaganda
I'm joking with the title, by the way.
This is my first Badhistory post, in where I will be looking at the common meme that appears on historymemes
as in The Holy Roman Empire was not Holy, not Roman, nor an Empire. This meme comes from that famous quote said by Voltaire: The Holy Roman Empire was not holy, nor Roman, nor an empire.
It's become quite popular in the subreddit and I've found countless memes joking about the HRE through this. But how correct is this?
Well, first the quote. Voltaire said his famous line when the HRE was only 60 years away from its death and when it was a shadow of its former self. When he said it, the quote was pretty accurate but for people to take it and then describe the entire history of the HRE as never being holy, roman or imperial would be if I was to look at the Roman Empire in 476 and summarise that for its entire history it was a weak, corrupt and politically and militarily inefficient empire. So, using this quote to describe the HRE's history is generalising 1000 years into an inaccurate line.
It was during one of my trips through Historymemes that I found a certain meme and inside it, this comment
. Now the meme is standard but I found the comment especially jarring which is why I will be looking at it specifically but also zooming out and examining at the general not holy, not Roman, not an empire meme. Anyways, sorry for the long introduction.
The Holy Roman Empire however was not a single state, it was a collection of states non of which were ruled by an Emperor. So it’s not an Empire.
The definition of an empire is incredibly broad and hard to define. Merriam-Webster defines it as ‘a major political unit having a territory of great extent or a number of territories or peoples under a single sovereign authority, especially one having an emperor as chief of state’.
Yet even with that, I found it hard to conclude whether the Holy Roman Empire qualified as a legitimate empire or not. There is an argument that it wasn’t an empire but rather a federation, but according to Peter H. Wilson, that argument and the concept of federalism ‘easily confuses more than it clarifies’.
Defining the empire as federalist perpetuates a sort of Dualist view that sees the Empire’s history as a constant struggle between prince and emperor, with the former eventually winning out, either as early as 1250 with the collapse of the Staufers, in 1648 with the Peace of Westphalia or as late as 1806, with the Empire’s dissolvement. Another problem is dissociating the term from its modern usage in Germany and Austria because many of the aspects of these federal republics would be seen as fundamentally alien to the empire1
, which ‘always had a dominant, if shifting, political core and always ruled its population through a complex hierarchy defined by socio-legal status.’
The view that with 1648, the Holy Roman Empire became mostly irrelevant and that it became a sort of German adjunct to Habsburg Austria, serving as a passive object of Austria’s rivalry with the ascending power of the Hohenzollerns, oversimplifies the more complex development of the empire and underestimates the continued significance of the Empire’s constitution during the 17th and 18th centuries. The narrative that territorialization was propelling the empire inevitably from a loose monarchy to a federation of principalities and that the Habsburgs, having failed to reassert stronger monarchy in the 1540s and 1620s lost interest in the empire beyond the men and the money that they could extort for their own purposes ignores and misses several aspects and continuities of the empire and how it’s elements remained within a common political culture up until 18062
Despite this, does the HRE still qualify as an empire? The Empire was not a unitary state and it only loosely fits with the definition that an empire is the dominance of a core over more peripheral territory that is only loosely integrated or kept entirely separated. But what I find interesting is the user’s argument for the HRE not being an empire. He says an empire is any single state ruled by an emperor and that the HRE wasn’t a single state, it was many states none of which were ruled by an emperor. I find this confusing.
While the HRE was by no means a unitary state, rather a patchwork of lands and peoples ruled by a changing imperial jurisdiction, his statement that none of these states was ruled by an emperor is perplexing. Because while imperial authority was changing and sometimes barely existent during interregnums, this patchwork of lands and peoples were ruled by an emperor.
In conclusion, the empire only loosely fits into the definition of an empire and can be considered that it wasn’t an empire at all. So the user (and the general meme) is partly right on this.
The Holy Roman Empire was not ruled by a religious leader of any kind, nor did it have a state religion, all of the member states weren’t even the same religion. So it’s not Holy.
This is perhaps the easiest part to debunk. First of all, his statement that the Holy Roman Empire was not ruled by a religious leader of any kind can be argued. Consider the Holy Roman Emperor’s position as chief advocate and guardian of the pope and the empire’s purpose of providing a stable and political order for all Christians and to defend them against infidels. The holy part was integral to that purpose3
Most importantly, consider Charlegmanes visit and later coronation in Rome. He was handed the keys to the Holy Sepulchre, and he was crowned on Christmas Day, not only because it was a central holy day for Christianity but because that year fell on a Sunday, and it was believed to be exactly 7,000 years since the Creation. His acceptance of all these religious symbols signalled Charlegmane’s assumption of the mission of protecting Christianity and his joint partnership with the pope as leaders of Christendom4
But did this religious symbolism continue under the later Holy Roman Emperors beginning with the Ottonians? Well, it was during the 10th century, when the Ottonians took power, that the notion that the emperors were sacred rather than pious. Otto I’s renewal of the empire in the 960s included an emphasis on his role as Christ’s Vicar, wielding a divine mandate to rule. While they never claimed to be priests, their coronation rituals resemble a bishop’s ordination by the mid-tenth century and in the 2 centuries following Charlemagne, emperors regularly held church synods to discuss ecclesiastical management and doctrine. This trend of pious emperors stopped with the investiture dispute and the Holy Roman Empire never pursued sacred monarchy to the same extent as found in England and France5
The title, Holy Empire (Sacrum Imperium) was first used by the Staufers in March 1157 during a renewed bout of imperial-papal tension, pursuing an idea that the HRE was already sanctified by its divine mission and that it did not need papal approbation. This idea survived the downfall of the Hohenstaufens and continued into the Great Interregnum6
The user then says that the Empire had no state religion. Yes, it did, for quite a long time, up unto the Reformation, the Peace of Augsburg and the Peace of Westphalia and even then only Calvinism, Lutheranism and Catholicism were allowed7
: no other faiths. He then says not all the member states were of the same religion. Yes, they were, up until the Reformation with the exception of the Hussites.
So with that, how Holy was it? Well, for the most part very: Christian elements were heavily intertwined with the empire’s political structure. Not to mention the idea of the emperors as sacred, the position of the Emperor as the Vicar of Christ and Charlemagne’s partnership with the pope as joint rulers of Christendom. Yes, it all starts to fall apart with the Reformation, but this user perceives the history of the HRE as ‘everything before 1517 never happened.’
So as a conclusion, the Empire was pretty holy at least up until 1517 but the case could be made that it remained holy even after the Reformation.
The Holy Roman Empire did not rule over Rome or any ethnic Romans, they were not a successor state to the Roman Empire nor were their Emperors related to the Roman ones. So it’s not Roman.
This is the part where I get blinded by an angry byzantinist.
The words Holy, Roman and Empire were only combined as Sacrum Romanum Imperium in June 1180 and despite them being used more frequently from 1254, they never appeared consistently in official documents8
. For most of the HRE’s existence, it was simply ‘The Empire’. Unlike those in Byzantium, the people who lived in the HRE did not refer to themselves as Romans, because the idea was that the HRE wasn’t the Roman Empire, it was its successor9
The idea of Translaio Imperii began in 800 with Leo III and Charlemagne and was rooted in the Bible. The idea that Charlemagne had succeeded the Roman Empire rather than just reviving it, was put forth by Frutolf of Michelsburg10
. This Translational Ideology followed that the Roman Empire passed from Rome to Constantinople (fourth century) then from Constantinople to Charlemagne (800), then from Charlemagne to his successors in Italy (843) and finally from his successors in Italy to the German Kings (962) so an argument can be made that the HRE was a successor state to the Roman Empire, at least if you ignore the whole ‘legitimate successor a few miles away in Greece’ thing.
As for the HRE ruling over Rome, no, the city was in the hands of the Papal States which was practically independent but the emperors were coronated in Rome (at least up until Charles V). Holy Roman Emperors would spend time in Rome, sometimes months, sometimes a year or two but never too long. The main power base of the Empire was centred in Germany11
I don’t know what he means by Ethnic Romans. Does he mean the Romans of the Roman Empire? I’m really not quite sure. As for the Holy Roman Emperors having no relation to the old Roman Emperors, I believe he’s meaning familial relations as in the Roman Emperors weren’t ancestors of Charlemagne or other Holy Roman Emperors, which in that case I suppose he’s right (there have been claims that the Habsburgs were descendants of Caesar).
But what I found perhaps most fascinating is when he’s asked about the Byzantine Empire. Now the Byzantine Empire or the Eastern Roman Empire or just ‘The Roman Empire’, checks all his boxes. It did rule over Rome, at least for a while, its citizens considered themselves Romanoi (I’m not sure if that counts as ‘ethnic Romans’, again I don’t know what he means by that), the Byzantines were almost certainly a direct successor state (actually they weren’t a successor state to the Roman Empire, they WERE the Roman Empire) to the Roman Empire and its emperors were related to the old Roman Emperors. But then as he argues his claims with another person he proceeds to say this
I agree that the Byzantine Empire is not a successor to or continuation of the Roman Empire as previously stated
So yeah. There’s that. Anyways, Reddit, that has been my attempt at debunking or at least clearing the Not Holy, Not Roman, Not Empire meme that so often appears in historymemes
. If I got anything wrong, which I'm sure I did, mostly because my main source is one book (though it is regarded as a very good book), please correct me on that. I am new to this so I am expecting a few mistakes.
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2020.10.09 04:04 Ralts_Bloodthorne First Contact - Chapter 322 (The War)
Vuxten sat on a rack of expended missile pods, wearing only his adaptive camouflage and light body armor. It still made him snort that standard uniform was armor that covered his back, chest, the back of his arms and elbows, the front of his legs and knees. It was light, all angles, and let him have full range of movement without the plates sticking out.
It could also absorb the kinetic shock of a high-vee round that would have blown through the armor that Corporate Security had tried to give him back when he was just a janitor.
The magnetic accelerator rifle in his hands could have shot clean through heavy CorpSec armor on the lower power settings. The pistol on his hip could have done the same on low-velocity setting.
The weapons that the CorpSec had tried to give him couldn't shoot through the thin overlapping warsteel plates in the soles of his boots.
A heavy loading frame moved up and dropped another set of missile pods, still reeking of unburnt propellant, next to him and the driver thumped away, back to where the empty pods were being delivered.
One thing he had learned was how to be somewhat out of the way, but easily acceptable, when he had some down time. That way the troops could tell he was just sitting around, so they wouldn't feel that they were disturbing him.
And also that anything that might be said would be off the record.
Vuxten's datalink pinged to let him know that someone was looking for him. He was surprised to see it was a member of the Armored Herd.
He snapped his rifle back together and waited.
The Lanaktallan moved between the stacks of expended pods, dodging out of the way of the loading frame, then moved up to him. He was dressed in standard Unified Military dress, a flank covering, a vest over a sleeved shirt, sash, and helmet. He had on the equipment harness and Vuxten noticed the Lanaktallan only had a pistol that was flashing a purple warning that it was unloaded and on safe.
"You are Vuxten, the Telkan officer, correct?" the Lanaktallan asked.
"Yes," Vuxten said, putting a slight questioning tone at the end.
"Armored Vehicle Primary Gun Operator Ninth Class Ho'odaLo'o," the Lanaktallan said. "I am not sure I should be speaking to you, but I wish to and I feel a need to speak with a Telkan. Speaking to an officer will be seen as less of a problem, in my opinion."
Vuxten had been around Lanaktallan for most of his life so he easily recognized how nervous the Lanaktallan tanker was.
"Go ahead, Operator Ho'odaLo'o," Vuxten said.
As Ho'odaLo'o shuffled in place for a long moment Vuxten suddenly understood why so many Terrans took up bad habits like smoking, 'chewing', or twisting.
It gave a being something to do with their hands to fill out the awkward spaces.
"I was born and grew up on Telkan," Ho'odaLo'o suddenly blurted out. "My parents were sent there by the Penstentit Corporation and they worked as guest services at one of the resorts."
"I see," Vuxten said carefully.
The Lanaktallan was quiet for a long moment, still nervously shuffling.
"I joined the Unified Military Forces so my family would not longer accrue debt because of me and traded my promotions for waivers for my family," Ho'odaLo'o said quietly. He looked around and leaned close to speak quietly. "I volunteered for dangerous assignments in order to ease my family's debt so that my father and mother no longer had to work in risky factories."
"I understand," Vuxten said. He tapped the rifle. "That is kind of how I ended up here."
"I knew you would understand," the Lanaktallan said. "That is why I came to see you. My family was there when the Precursors attacked."
Vuxten just nodded, swallowing thickly as he remembered the crowd charging down the street, wailing, tearing at themselves and each other, killing anyone they encountered. "And afterwards?"
"I received a communications from the office of someone called, uh," he touched his datalink. "Brentili'ik, who is the System Director."
"Oh," Vuxten felt his stomach drop and resisted the urge to change his grip on the rifle.
"My family had survived," the Lanaktallan said.
Vuxten managed not to breathe a sigh of relief.
"You are with the Confederate military, correct?" Ho'odaLo'o asked.
"Yes. Telkan Marines are part of the Confederate military's order of battle," Vuxten said.
"The Most High in charge of my unit is working with the Confederate military," Ho'odaLo'o said.
"I am here to ask you, Lieutenant, who would I talk to in order to have my family taken care of by the Confederate military in case I am killed here?" he leaned forward conspiratorially again. "I do not trust the Unified Council to apply the payment for my death, after the cost of my tank is deducted from my death bonuses, to my parent's debt."
Vuxten felt sick. He reached up and tapped his comlink, going through the retinal menus quickly. It took him a second to find it.
"Go talk to Confederate Military Legal Services," Vuxten said, tossing the Lanaktallan the directions. "They'll be able to help you."
The Lanaktallan shuffled nervously for a moment.
Vuxten sighed. "Trooper Ho'odaLo'o, report immediately to Confederate Military Legal Services to have them examine the status of your family still residing in the Telkan system and to ensure they are correctly listed as your next of kin."
"Thank you, sir," the Lanaktallan said. He gave the two fists to the pectoral salute of the Lanaktallan and trotted off.
Vuxten shook his head and dug in his top pocket. He lucked out and had a piece of stimgum left. Being an officer is complicated,
he thought to himself.
A'armo'o trotted into the battle center that two days ago had only been partially finished, stopping just inside the door and looking around. It should have taken weeks or months to get the massive room online but the Terran Confederate Military Forces were all at stations. A'armo'o could see multiple holotanks set up, two places for virtual meetings, and multiple monitors all manned.
He was only standing there a few moments when a Terran moved up and nodded.
"How can I help you, sir?" the Terran asked.
A'armo'o liked the Terran honorific. It had a certain weight and feel to it that even the long drawn out restating of ranks of his own military did not have. It was short, quick, and carried everything he needed.
"I wish to access the digital battlefield. I am interested in the tactics of the Confederate military in taking their objectives," A'armo'o said.
"One moment, sir," the Terran said. He had interesting looking markers on his lapels. A'armo'o couldn't remember all of the Terran ranks, but since there wasn't crossed rifles he knew the Terran wasn't a Marine, since the middle point of the marker didn't have a circle with a star, he knew it wasn't Aerospace. No fierce bird at the top of the rank meant it wasn't Navy. The insignia was point up on the 'stripes' and was missing a weird little wedge in the middle, so he wasn't Space Force.
Plus, it was the angled line on top and the round line on the bottom all in black, rather than the gold or black weird ones for officers.
A'armo'o was proud of himself that he was able to quickly deduce that the Terran in front of him was Terran Army Enlisted.
Now if he could just remember what the three pointed bars over two rounded bars meant beyond 'Sergeant' he'd feel better.
"All right, sir," the Terran said. "I've verified your ID and ensured you are cleared for this area and the information you are requesting. Any live streaming data has a sixty second delay for non-commanders, just so you know that."
"Ah, security. I approve, Sergeant," A'armo'o said, seeing if he was correct about the ranks.
The Terran nodded, then turned and made a waving motion. "If you will follow me, sir."
A'armo'o trotted over to a single station, his tendrils curling in surprise when the seat turned liquid looking and reconfigured to be more comfortable for a Lanaktallan. The screen unfolded five more screens that arranged themselves in a highly expensive but optimal configuration.
"All right, sir, have a seat and the interactive enhanced virtual reality system will guide you through what you are looking for as well as assist your understanding," the Terran said.
"Thank you," A'armo'o said, settling down in the seat.
The Terran back up and the small area suddenly grew walls and a ceiling, muffling and then eliminating the sounds from the rest of the room. The screens waited until he was comfortable, then moved to the proper positions and made minute adjustments until they were perfect. He knew that somehow the system was tracking his eye movements.
A virtual keyboard and touch context menu popped up right as a voice, a Terran female voice, spoke in his ear.
"If you need assistance, simply state 'Assistance Request' and I will assist you immediately," the voice said.
"Thank you," A'armo'o said.
"You are welcome, Great Grand Most High of Armor A'armo'o," the voice said.
A'armo'o tapped his way through the menus, slowly picking up speed as he got more comfortable.
The system was amazing. It had all the data he could possibly want to learn about.
A small part of him was surprised they would risk an intelligence failure on this scale.
Then he realized, with a chill, that the Terrans didn't care
if he knew the specifications of the Terran Main Battle Tanks, the maximum effective range of a magnetic accellerator rifle, the blast radius of a standard implosion grenade, or the flight ceiling of an aerospace striker.
He took a minute to calm himself at the unspoken declaration of superiority. That he was laughably outclassed to the point that the Terran military doubted the data would even do him any good.
He started simply, tapping the icon for Task Force Angry Duck.
From there it broke down into various units: The Space Force Fleets, the Aerospace Wings, the Navy Fleets (He was surprised to see there was wet-water surface and subsurface craft in operation on the planet), the Marine Expeditionary Forces, and the Army, well, Armies.
It took him a minute to navigate 7th Army, V Corps. He sat and stared. V Corps had nine infantry divisions
, three tank divisions, aerospace assets, artillery divisions, two cavalry divisions, the Telkan First Marine Division, and even more units.
He was surprised to find his forces listed in between 3rd Armor and 38th Armor.
A'armo'o checked quickly and found that his units were all listed as "Depot Maintenance" and not in combat. He did further checks and found out that the "Maintenance" part wasn't some polite fiction, but virtually all of his tanks were undergoing heavy maintenance, something called "Service Life Extension Protocols."
Curious, he tapped Third Armor and immediately blinked at the sheer size of it.
So far it had been pretty standard. A foreign interface, sure, but pretty standard data.
There were three tabs that A'armo'o had never seen before. GESTALT SYSTEM STREAM (WARNING! COMBAT ENGAGED) SOCIAL MEDIA STREAM (WARNING! COMBAT ENGAGED) BATTLE TACTICAL NET STREAM - TRUCKER UPDATES AND PATCHES
The last one was locked out and he watched at the sheer amount of data that was registering on it.
A'armo'o sat for a moment, thinking about the fact that the Confederate military had a dedicated channel entirely for one person's input into the tactical network.
He had to admit, he was curious about what the raw data looked like, but decided not to go down that route.
He checked the social media stream, curious about it. It required him to load up three additional pieces of software into his datalink, all of them digitally signed by Confederate Intelligence. Why not?
he thought. The software and firmware installed and he entered the social media stream.
Immediately he was bombarded by short messages, text emblazoned pictures, short videos, all started streaming by. Each one had hearts or smiling/laughing/crying/angry faces, green arrows pointing up, green arrows pointing down, all streaming past it.
Along with small icons of Terran male genitalia. If you built it, they will draw a dick on it,
floated up in A'armo'o's mind and he snorted in amusement.
He idly wondered if his Second Great Most High had realized who had drawn the Terran genitalia on the back of his helmet yet. I did it and it amused me
, he thought. His datalink replied with an image of A'armo'o laughing, tinted and angled as such a way as to seem slightly malevolent. He recognized the image, it was from where he had been talking to Trucker three days ago.
"Assistance required," A'armo'o said.
The eVI popped up. "How may I help you, Great Grand Most High A'armo'o?" she asked.
He told her quickly what he wanted and she helped him put it together and then send it anonymously to his subordinate.
After he sent it to the intended recipient, he went back to looking at the stream.
One caught his eyes.
It was of a fearsome looking Terran Main Battle Tank shooting at everything around it, surrounded by explosions and fire. At the top of the image it read "YOUR OLD OBSOLETE TANK". The bottom half of the image was a yellow citrus fruit on small weak looking tracks, a rubber band shooter made up of a piece of wood and a single rubber band on the front, and a pathetic looking flag with a crudely drawn Space Force logo on a broken tree branch at the back. The bottom text read "YOUR MODERN STATE OF THE ART SUPER-TANK!" Underneath the image was the saying "It's an older meme but it checks out."
A'armo'o laughed at that one. He understood and got that.
He added a heart logo from his personal account and let the images and text scroll by.
The next one that caught his eyes took a moment for him to understand.
On the left was a female Rigellian in a flexing pose that showed off all of her muscles and her impressively swollen mammary glands (A'armo'o frowned at that. He didn't remember them having mammary glands. He checked the database real quick and say that, no, they didn't. The males did. For some reason the highly detailed drawing was inaccurate but still was accumulating approval), clad only in a thong. Above her head it read "YOUR PREVIOUS DUTY STATION". On the right was a malnourished looking Terran female all muddy and dirty with small insects and wavy lines coming off of her (A'armo'o looked it up. Apparently the lines stood for foul odor) and the logo "YOUR CURRENT DUTY STATION" above it.
The two images were repeated on the lower half, only the text was different.
Above the Rigellian was "YOUR CURRENT DUTY STATION" and above the foul smelling small dirty malnourished Terran female was the logo "YOUR NEXT DUTY STATION AFTER TWO YEARS".
It took him a minute to understand it, and when he did, he added his own approval icons as he laughed. It's true. It's so true.
The video he stopped on was strange. It showed a Lanaktallan tank firing desperately at a Precursor that was pushing it back until the sheer face of a cliff blocked it off. Suddenly there was an annoying tune played on a horn and the camera angle changed to show the edge of the cliff from the bottom, as if the viewer was the tank commander. A massive Terran Main Battle Tank flew off the edge, then went to slow motion, the tracks clattering, the guns firing. The Terran tank commander was plainly visible as she gave a wink, a thumbs up, and smile that made her white teeth glint from the backwash glare of the tank's guns.
The Lanaktallan TC looked up and said "It's so beautiful" as it flew overhead.
It went to full speed as the Terran tank landed on the Precursor tank, which had wide opened shocked white and black eyes that were spinning in surprise. Debris flew out as the Terran tank played the annoying abrasive tune on the horn and roared away.
The video made no sense of A'armo'o, but it was apparently popular and had been shared to the Armored Herd network, where it had been watched nearly fifteen thousand times and had six thousands approvals.
Curious, he checked the timestamp for when it had hit the Lanaktallan channels. First, he was surprised to see that the Terran battlefield network now included a "Great Herd Social Media Stream". Second, that as the Great Grand Most High, he had access to such things as 'morale baseline', 'engagement level', 'troop stress level', and other socio-science data.
When the video was seen by the first Lanaktallan it had been rapidly been shared. As it had been passed around, morale saw an actual uptick. A'armo'o checked a few videos and was startled to see even the most grizzled and hardened tanker watching the video and bursting out with laughter as the Terran tank crushed the Precursor and raced away.
Another video popped up, crossing from the Third Armor media stream to the Armored Herd channel.
It was a short video of a Terran female tanker, in her body armor and uniform, leaning forward and touching the side of a cringing Lanaktallan tanker's face. She said "Just say my name..." as the image zoomed in on her mouth and the Lanaktallan's ear. The image switched to the same Lanaktallan, desperately firing his TC's weapon as the main gun fired, hitting a Precursor machine that far outweighed and outgunned the tank. The Lanaktallan looked up and screamed "INSANE FEMALE LEMUR!"
A Terran Main Battle Tank dropped out of the sky and crushed the Precursor tank before roaring away in a cloud of debris and dust.
"Commo and Co-op Play Saves Lives!" flashed on the screen.
A'armo'o found himself laughing, adding his own approval to the image. He saw that his men's morale raised slightly again.
He had meant to come in and watch the battlefield from Third Armor's point of view.
Instead, as he asked the eVI for assistance, he found himself helping craft image macros, memes, and short videos with the help of 432nd Psychological Warfare Company.
Second Great Grand Most High of Armor Va'arna'ash saw he had a message on the base datanet. Curious, he opened it.
It was a still image of when he found his helmet, with Terran male genitalia drawn crudely on the back side in glow in the dark green paint stick, with the caption "Who drew a dick on my hat?" His tendrils were curled and his crests inflated with anger.
There was more to the image and he scrolled down.
It showed him glaring at the Terrans around him, holding his hat, his body language offended.
it was the lemurs" it said.
There was more to the image.
He scrolled down.
It showed an animated image of the Great Grand Most High of Armor, A'armo'o, laughing wildly, almost insanely, all six eyes wide open, braying his laughter.
"BUT IT WAS I! YOUR SUPERIOR!"
Va'arna'ash curled his tendrils and inflated his crests in annoyance.
Surely the Great Grand Most High could act his age and rank.
submitted by Ralts_Bloodthorne
to HFY [link] [comments]
2020.10.08 06:29 synthesis_maybe Anyone over 30 feel increasingly alienated by popular culture?
I mean it’s not the younger generation’s fault, but I feel increasingly alienated by seeming nonsensical slang (like “cap” etc.), obsession with anime and cosplay stuff, hip hop artists with face tattoos who valorize unwarranted wealth (when those of yore told hard stories of living in genuinely hard socio-economic circumstances), “thirst traps,” weird dances, using legitimate trans and gender issues as social cred rather than education and building legitimate solidarity (like punk rockers of the past 40 years), and recapitalization of old culture (like pavement or dystopia) claiming they’re edgy for referencing it.
The whole cultural landscape seems so unfamiliar and to be honest utterly vapid. Maybe I’m an old fogey in my thirties. I don’t seek any of those pop culture references. They pop up all over the place including in myriad news articles. Memes have been around since the 90’s, but I don’t get most of those within ladt several years. I’ve always felt like a cultural outsider, but even more so now. Anyone relate? (Once again, I’m not shitting on younger generations. I admit I’m a fogey, but I’ve been able to relate to most things until recently. Has there been some kind of cultural shift that I’m clueless about?)
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2020.10.07 17:13 marc1309 What the Facebook ban means for QAnon?
On October 6th, Facebook announced
an updated to their policy on "Movements and Organizations Tied to Violence". In its announcement they state: "Starting today, we will remove any Facebook Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts representing QAnon, even if they contain no violent content. This is an update from the initial policy in August that removed Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts associated with QAnon when they discussed potential violence while imposing a series of restrictions to limit the reach of other Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts associated with the movement. Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts that represent an identified Militarized Social Movement are already prohibited. And we will continue to disable the profiles of admins who manage Pages and Groups removed for violating this policy, as we began doing in August."
In the initial August 19 announcement, Facebook sought to disrupt the ability of QAnon to operate and organize itself on Facebook and Instagram. This was followed by a September 30 announcement that Facebook would be down-ranking QAnon content in Facebook search as a supplemental effort at disruption. Facebook's initial actions against QAnon were not enough to disrupt the movement, especially as it continued to evolve into lighter forms like Pastel QAnon
and found its way into other communities, such as the health and wellness community
, save the children
; as well as, tested ways to circumvent the initial Facebook sanctions. Though it is easy to be critical of Facebook taking time to act against QAnon, the platform did try novel solutions prior to using the ban hammer, which is never the optimal solution.
Furthermore, it is important to know that the QAnon from July and August, was a different movement than October QAnon. Though this may be a weird concept to wrap ones head around, this researcher has yet to see a movement evolve as fast as QAnon or radicalize as fast as QAnon. Also of note, the socio-political environment globally is much different in October than it was in July or August. I am certain this has come into play when Facebook was deciding to ban QAnon and other "militarized social movements". Over the past six weeks alone I had seen a trend in more violent content on Facebook, especially with the circulation of memes and videos promoting VRA (vehicle ramming attacks) with the slogan "all lives splatter" or "Black lives splatter we don't care about your protests”. This behavioral escalation in the QAnon communities over the past six weeks have likely played into the decision taken by Facebook.
There is a need to clarify the Facebook labeling of QAnon as a "Militarized Social Movement", this is a different policy than their "Dangerous Organization
" label. Dangerous org label means that Facebook will ban all presence of, the praise of, support of, and representation by others of the dangerous organization. The "Militarized Social Movement" label means that if an account, page, or group "represents" QAnon these entities will be taken down; however, this doesn’t mean QAnon content will be banned entirely from the platform. The current implementation of the Facebook policy will exclude at the moment QAnon adjacent communities and accounts: in example an account, page or group that label themselves as a health and wellness entity, though posts QAnon content, will presently not be affected. This is significant for the Pastel QAnon community on Instagram that has survived the Facebook ban thus far.
This is not the final position of Facebook, they will certainly be monitoring the QAnon community for ban evasions and shift in tactics and labeling as QAnon will attempt to circumvent the actions taken by Facebook.
It's important to also note that the "Militarized Social Movement" label is one applied by Facebook to fit its own internal policies and terms of service. This however does not determine if QAnon is an organization, movement or religion, this remains the preview of subject matter experts.
Facebook, unlike Twitter, had taken action against QAnon in a single swoop a few hours before their announcement on October 6th. Here is the damage so far:
· QAnon public Groups pre-ban 186, post-ban 18
· QAnon public Pages pre-ban 253 post-ban 96
· Instagram Accounts pre-ban 269 t post-ban 141
Facebook’s actions will do permanent damage to the presence of QAnon on the platform in the long run. Short and medium term, what we will see are pages and groups reforming and trying to game the Facebook algorithm to see if they can avoid detection. However, with little presence on Facebook to quickly amplify new pages and groups and the changes to the search algorithm this will not be as effective as it was in the past.
Already, in QAnon communities on Telegram, Parler and Gab, there are talks of using Facebook to discuss and promote "news", "truth" or "facts" and to talk Q related content on alternative platforms. Nevertheless, this will be a solution for those already in the movement, and it will slow down the radicalization pipeline in the short to medium term. This will, however, push those already convinced by QAnon, onto platforms where they will interact with more extreme content they may not have found on Facebook, and this will radicalize some individuals more than they already are or will accelerate the process for some that may have already been on this path. However, it may cut off or turn off neophytes that are not as convinced by QAnon and the wider far-right ecosystem.
This will also cut off QAnon influencers from a large part of their followers. Alternative social media platforms (Gab, Parler, MeWe), or communication platforms (Telegram) are not as effective for promoting content or merchandise, which will impact grifters who were profiting from QAnon, as well as limit the reach of proselytizers.
Though Facebook has taken this large step, there will be much work that remains for them to maintain this and follow through to make sure QAnon doesn't reappear on the platform. There is also the challenge of QAnon light, Pastel QAnon
, Save the Children QAnon
, wellness QAnon
, etc. Also, a bigger issue is YouTube has yet to take action against QAnon. YouTube Videos are central to QAnon as video is the most used medium to circulate QAnon content across digital ecosystems. As long as QAnon content still has a home on YouTube, we will continue to see their content on all social media platforms, and there is not much Facebook can do about that. This will require a multi-platform effort. This implies that even though Facebook banned QAnon, this will not slow down the flow of new members into QAnon who can be pilled by existing QAnon believers in their circle of friends, who share QAnon videos across various platforms.
Additionally, it will be difficult to curb the various conspiracy theories that have been adopted and co-opted by QAnon or that may be QAnon adjacent. This will still act as radicalization vectors into QAnon. Technology and platforms provide a vector for extremist movements like QAnon; however, at its root it is a human issue, and the current socio-political environment around the globe is fertile for the continued existence and growth of QAnon. This is a step int he right direction; however, this is not the end game and there is much work ahead for those of us working in this space. Already QAnon influencers are stating that Q had warned about this when he told everyone to go dark and remove any mention of Q/QAnon from their social feeds. They are taking the Facebook sanctions as a Q-proof. Therefore, for those already embedded in the QAnon movement, these actions simply confirm their ideological belief that they are in an information war against the deep state, and this is simply the latest attack by the deep state against them. For some this will mean a doubling down of their efforts. For others, this is part of wider efforts to manipulate the outcome of the election by silencing support for POTUS and thus further rigging the election.
For the Qvangelicals, they perceive this as a part of the spiritual warfare that is currently on going ahead of the election and that Satan is fighting along side the democrats to make sure that God and his chosen one Trump will not be elected. For this segment of the QAnon community, it is part of a wider eschatological battle. The information war is part of the salvific mandate of Christians in the USA, who have been chosen by God to defeat the Luciferian deep state. The more political side of QAnon are seeing this as a continued infringement on freedom of expression by Facebook and that QAnon is not a violent movement (I beg to differ
, and I believe I have demonstrated it is a violent movement
.) This segment echoes existing talking points on the political right and should not surprise any observers or researchers in this space. Nevertheless, it will reinforce the ideological beliefs of the segment of the community. Of note, the international QAnon communities have been heavily affected by this. Facebook has managed to take down multilingual QAnon content, which is not an easy feat considering i had found QAnon communities in 75 countries.
submitted by marc1309
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2020.09.27 23:27 AmandaCant22 My mom's (48F) political Facebook views are making it hard for me (28F) and my brother (30M) to have a decent relationship with her.
Edit: If you do want to comment and provide advice, please actually read what I wrote to my mom. I'm not looking for advice on whether or not I should use Facebook or discuss politics with her. I'm asking for advice on whether or not I should try to provide guidance on seeking factual information on the internet, concerning politics.
Both my brother and I are having a hard time continuing to connect to our mom when she keeps sharing false and fearful Facebook posts. When my brother speaks to her, he can't help but get very angry thinking that people like our mom are participating in spreading false, dangerous information. When we try to talk to her about her political views, she classically deflects to some Obama and Hillary crap. Maybe she'll never share our political views but at least maybe I can show her how one can be manipulated and how she needs to check for sources. I basically wrote up a report and used screenshots from her FB posts to point out some things.
So, how can you guys help me? I was hoping to get some advice on how this comes across, whether or not you guys think this will even accomplish anything (will this just put a further strain on our relationship?), or if I should change some words or thoughts. Obviously, I love my mom very much and I just want to explain, respectfully, why what she is doing is wrong.
We certainly live in unprecedented times. A vast amount of humans are being manipulated using fear and lies, blinding us into exploiting our emotions to sow hate and deceit. Most importantly when you’re emotional, you can’t think critically. Our fast, emotional responses to online posts have got to stop and we need to think deeper about what and why this information is being presented to us.
Case in point, this post:
Screenshot from FB: Joe Biden "you're full of s***"
After some online searching, I did find the video (from Youtube) that should’ve gone with this post.
MUST WATCH: Biden tells union worker "you're full of sh*t...I don't work for you"
Legitimate news articles (from CBS, CNBC, & Vice) explaining what happened:
Joe Biden, accused of wanting to end 2nd Amendment, responds: "You're full of sh**"
Joe Biden tells factory worker 'you're full of s---' during a tense argument over guns
Watch Joe Biden Tell a Union Worker He's 'Full of Shit' on Gun Control
I’m not trying to stick up for him, I honestly don’t like this candidate, at all. What I am trying to do is show how easy it is to be presented with something that appears factual but isn’t. We all need to think critically! One can imagine the advantages of sowing blind hate into people, and everyone is at risk.
Now, let's dig deeper into “Original Sharing Poster”. I was pretty suspicious of this person, considering her name is “A** Barnh****”, she’s a Farmer at Farm Town and shows really no other personal information (Her last name has the word "Barn" in and she's a"farmer" on a game). She has almost exclusively uploaded political memes in the past year, all of them extremely and radically opinionated. However, I did find some other pictures posted earlier this year that support her being a real person (pictures of gardening and her family). That being said, I can’t truly determine if she is a real person and not a political robot; but by looking at her posts, I can tell you that she is really obsessed with emotional, political memes that really don’t provide context or factual information.
(Please, please note the difference of a meme to an opinion piece from a news source. One provides sources and logical arguments for their opinion written by a professional journalist and the other just provides a quick emotional statement that may or may not be true and written by any person who has the internet.)
It is proven that people both in and out of the country are using the anonymity of social media to pretend to be a “good ol’ American” and share this hateful, fearful rhetoric.
Russia 'meddled in all big social media' around US election Why Russia's weaponization of social media will continue in 2020
Threat to US elections in 2020 is not limited to Russia
We all have to rise above being polarized by suspicious social media posts & biased news sources, do research, and think for ourselves. These days, our social media feeds are so tailored to us, liberals and conservatives are living on a different planet. One sees completely different news and interacts with their own community almost exclusively.
Political Polarization & Media Habits Pew Research Center
Netflix: The Social Dilemma
I urge you greatly to remove politics from your Facebook feed and seek out news from unbiased news sources, that way you have the freedom to form your own opinion on what’s going on.
Top neutral news companies:
BBC - Homepage
CBS News - Breaking news, 24/7 live streaming news & top stories
Associated Press News
Occasionally, please check the following independent, media bias chart:
Media Bias Chart by Ad Fontes Media
When your news source doesn’t have an ulterior motive, you’ll find it has a lot more information and less fearful opinions.
Here’s another post that was actually shown by Facebook to be false when I saw it on your page. Please take a look at how you can come to that conclusion yourself:
Screenshot from FB: FactCheck.org COVID statistics
The real FactCheck.org article can be found here:
CDC Did Not 'Admit Only 6%' of Recorded Deaths from COVID-19
A quick Google search "Fact Check Covid 6%" found the real article. It takes a few moments to check the facts being presented to you. Please strive to be the few people in your generation taking that initiative to find the truth. Our school teachers taught us that not everything you read on the internet is true, well, I guess it's our time to teach our parents that.
Mom, you are a loving, kind, and intelligent individual. I know you are not like the people who knowingly share hateful, false rhetoric in the name of disparaging a political candidate or even our own government facilities. All over America, so many men and women are doing this and are essentially being tricked into unquestionable tribalism (we are good, you guys are bad) using fear and hate. Oftentimes, we wouldn’t actually feel so heated one way or another if we looked at the logical facts and not what’s being spewed by people on the other side.
That leads me to my next Facebook Post breakdown, this one is more about critically thinking about our viewpoints, questioning what is right, and to find your own voice on the opinion.
Screenshot from FB: Obamacare & socialism
Socialism has been ingrained in us as being bad. This is not Karl Marx’s socialism to lead us to communism. Liberal thinkers just want what most other countries of the same socio-economic status have. Literally, any other country like ours has socialized (universal) healthcare, is a thousand times better for it, and are not communist countries. Their people don’t have to worry about being financially ruined by one hospital trip. Don’t Americans deserve that?
Projected costs of single-payer healthcare financing in the United States: A systematic review of economic analyses from the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health found that “There is near-consensus in these analyses that single-payer would reduce health expenditures while providing high-quality insurance to all US residents.”
Note that many, many countries around the world enjoy the luxury of having universal healthcare: Countries With Universal Healthcare 2020. I read a lot of opinions online of people in these countries and have not found many complaints about universal health care. I do read of people talking about how messed up the US system is and how they feel sorry for us. And I see a lot of people talking about how their life was absolutely ruined because they developed a disease or sustained an injury and wish they just died so their life insurance can help their family and are no longer a burden. So many people feel that way, all for what, so insurance and pharmaceutical companies can get rich?
Why Does Medicine Cost So Much? Here's How Drug Prices Are Set
Understanding high drug costs and the role of pharmacy benefit managers
Please take a look at this article:
How Are Socialism and Communism Different?
(Provided based on a post not seen here, essentially showing this: Ann Landers - Socialism, Communism explained )
Mom, I wrote this as a last-ditch effort to get you out of your dangerous Facebook political views. I beg you to stop sharing these political posts and start really thinking about right and wrong. It is very hard to have a close relationship with you when you are taking part in the false spreading of fear and hate and when you blindly consume these opinions. It's honestly the reason brother's name has such a hard time regularly talking to you. Choose kindness and sharing, like I know you've taught us to do. I love you, please think before you share FB posts.
So any thoughts? Am I being too tough on her? Are any of my statements false? Anything I should add? Should I just scrap this completely and try to ignore it?
She just lost her cousin who she was very close to, so I won't be sending her this quite yet but this has been swirling around in my head. If I could just convince her to stop, research, and think, I would be so happy.
I know this is quite long but any advice you have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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2020.09.27 19:08 biggreekgeek Flatten the Curve. Part 53. IoT Surveillance. Recorded Future can Predict our Future. Petraeus. The Pandemic Era and Environmental Collapse. Oh. Do you Remember All the Dead Elephant's? I Do. And It Gave More Evidence of the Environmental Collapse Cover-up. It's Worse Than They Tell Us.
I'm back. And it's time to get back to work. I know that a lot of you have been refreshing and looking out for my posts, and I'm sorry. Life just got way too busy and left me too tired to write. And even though you probably thought that I'd gone missing, I bet you the Surveillance State didn't. Nope. The all seeing eye knew exactly where I was. And not only me, it knows where you are. It knows where all of us are. And it probably knows us better than we know ourselves.
2010, August 28 • Google, CIA Invest in 'Future' of Web Monitoring. The investment arms of the CIA and Google are both backing a company that monitors the web in real time – and says it uses that information to predict the future. The company is called Recorded Future, and it scours tens of thousands of websites, blogs and Twitter accounts to find the relationships between people, organizations, actions and incidents – both present and still-to-come. In a white paper, the company says its temporal analytics engine "goes beyond search" by "looking at the 'invisible links' between documents that talk about the same, or related, entities and events." The idea is to figure out for each incident who was involved, where it happened and when it might go down. Recorded Future then plots that chatter, showing online "momentum" for any given event. "The cool thing is, you can actually predict the curve, in many cases," says company CEO Christopher Ahlberg, a former Swedish Army Ranger with a PhD in computer science. Source Here
That's so amazing isn’t it? You can actually predict the curve
. Well now, let's think, were have we seen that curve terminology before? Population Curve? Nope, that's not right. Curve Your Enthusiasm? That doesn't sound right either. Right, it's Curb Your Enthusiasm. Duh. The Learning Curve? Ugh. I just can't remember, can you? Oh shoot, that's right, it's the Title of My Post's, Flatten the Curve
. Ok. Moving on. Let's get back to Recorded Future.
Occupy Wall Street Media Monitoring • In 2011, Recorded Future reported, "... gaining online momentum for the Occupy Wall Street movement. When we look more carefully at influencers in this discussion using our Influencer Map, we find that Iran Press TV is the second largest influencer after the U.S. media!" Source Here
Recorded Future saw online momentum for the Occupy Wall Street Movement. But. But. Does that mean they knew the social discord was going to lead to today's riots? Could they be manipulating police to follow orders without fear of repercussions for the future? Nah. They couldn't have, otherwise police officers wouldn't be going to go jail after violating a citizens rights, right?
2020, June 22 • Police in America’s biggest cities are failing to meet even the most basic international human rights standards governing the use of lethal force, a new study from the University of Chicago has found. Researchers in the university’s law school put the lethal use-of-force policies of police in the 20 largest US cities under the microscope. They found not a single police department was operating under guidelines that are compliant with the minimum standards laid out under international human rights laws. Among the failings identified by the law scholars, some police forces violate the requirement that lethal force should only be wielded when facing an immediate threat and as a last resort. Some departments allow deadly responses in cases of “escaping suspects”, “fugitives”, or “prevention of crime” – all scenarios that would be deemed to fall well outside the boundaries set by international law. Top UN human rights expert urges US to listen to demands of protesters. In other cities, police guidelines failed to constrain officers to use only as much force as is proportionate to the threat confronting them. Source Here
Hmmm. Maybe the militarization of our police is starting to make a lot more sense now, doesn’t it? It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy to know that pretty soon that same police force will be able to track you anywhere.
May 15, 2012 • CIA Chief: We'll Spy on You Through Your Dishwasher. It's great that you've got so much new household hardware connected to the internet. Especially for the CIA, whose director wants to spy on you through it. More and more personal and household devices are connecting to the internet, from your television to your car navigation systems to your light switches. CIA Director David Petraeus cannot wait to spy on you through them. SOURCE HERE
What's David Petraeus talking about? The Internet of Things. That same Internet of Things that 5G is being rushed out for. That same Internet of Things that will help usher in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. That same 4th Revolution that the World Economic Forum is calling the Great Reset. Perfect Plan. Crisis. Crap your pants. Solution. If you think the Surveillance State is omnipresent now, just wait until the infrastructure is built for the next level of control. For our safety, of course. Keep Calm and Carry On. The Not Normal New Normal is going to be very dangerous. And to save us from the Not Normal New Normal they have to keep us safe from Fake News with Fact Checks. Wash Your Hands and Wear Your Mask
. Keep your Contact Tracer App Up to Date. Don't gather in large groups, use the internet to keep in touch with friends and loved ones, that way we can data mine those conversations to keep you safe from conspiracy theorists antivax who propagate propoganda.
September 2, 2020 • Although the coronavirus pandemic has altered how people live for some time now, the knowledge that it will have an end is a faint light at the end of a long socially distanced tunnel. But, according to new research, that light may be further than we thought. Infectious disease expert and coronavirus task force voice of reason Anthony Fauci believes we may be entering a “pandemic era.” Because of course we are. Source Here
The Pandemic Era. Line up and get shot, errr, sorry, I meant, line up and get your shots. Don't be an antivaxer. Save Civilization, Get Your Vaccination
. Remember, we won't have a second wave, it will just be one long continuous wave. Wait. Hold up. Nope. That's wrong. We are having a second wave. Surf's up so don't wipe out.
His assertion comes from a new report in the scientific journal Cell, whose author David Morens, a medical historian and colleague of Fauci’s at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, predicts that coronavirus might be only the first of a series of worldwide diseases. These types of diseases have been cropping up more and more frequently, according to research. The phenomenon is similar to the exponential growth of climate change, meaning if a “pandemic age,” becomes a reality, it joins humanity’s very real race to doomsday. Neat!
Ah. The Pandemic Era and Environmental Collapse. Amazing! It's the sequel that we've been waiting for! Mad Max and Pandemic Road. And who is causing the upcoming doom? Why us, who else. You see, the enemy isn't at the gates, that Trojan Horse was yesterday's news. The Terrorists that were threatening Western Civilization have been beaten back, only to be replaced by an enemy that can't be seen or heard. The Biological Terrorists. And how are we responsible for the Great Bioterror that needs a Great Reset?
As for the culprit to this acceleration? It’s us, of course. For how humans are causing this acceleration, Fauci and Morens point to deforestation, urban crowding, and wet markets for wild game, which have been wreaking havoc for a century and contribute to environmental degradation around the world.
Us. It's always us. We don't listen. We just Keep Calm and Carry On. But now we're going to have to listen. We won't have any choice, will we? The environment is collapsing. It's our fault. We own the companies. We package small items in big boxes because, marketing. We dump toxic chemical waste that poison people. We make cellphones that are outdated in one year. We're the one's lying about plastic being recycled. What? You actually thought you were doing your part and saving the environment?
2020, September, 21 • The industry's awareness that recycling wouldn't keep plastic out of landfills and the environment dates to the program's earliest days, [NPR] found. "There is serious doubt that [recycling plastic] can ever be made viable on an economic basis," one industry insider wrote in a 1974 speech. Yet the industry spent millions telling people to recycle, because, as one former top industry insider told NPR, selling recycling sold plastic, even if it wasn't true. Here's the basic problem: All used plastic can be turned into new things, but picking it up, sorting it out and melting it down is expensive. Plastic also degrades each time it is reused, meaning it can't be reused more than once or twice. On the other hand, new plastic is cheap. It's made from oil and gas, and it's almost always less expensive and of better quality to just start fresh. As it turns out, less than 10% of plastic has ever been recycled.
Ever. Source Here
It's us.. We demand these things. What? Does that shock you? Of course that's why they make our goods disposable, the public demands it. It's not like marketing works and the demand is a manufactured need to increase their profits. Nope. It's us. Our existence is killing the planet. This wouldn't be happening if there weren't so many of us. Because this is obviously the first extinction level event that could be happening because of abrupt climate change.
2020, September, 25 • A New Mass Extinction Event Has Been Discovered, And It Triggered The Rise of Dinosaurs. Source Here
Oh. Six mass extinction events. But it's us isn't it? Just look around. Birds falling from the sky. Fish washing up on shore. Elephant's dying
WAIT! HOLD UP!
Didn't I write about the Elephant's dying? Yep. Flatten the Curve. Part 30
And didn't I say that it was cyanobacteria because I saw a pond that looked like it was outgassing hydrogen sulfide gas in a video I linked to? Yes, yes I did. And guess what? The Greek was right.
More than 300 elephants in Botswana have been killed by toxin-producing cyanobacteria in waterholes, government wildlife officials said Monday. But that explanation doesn't satisfy some conservationists. The deaths, which took place over the course of three months, were first recorded in May and reported in early July. Their cause was initially a mystery; Botswana ordered laboratory tests to be carried out on carcass, soil and water samples as speculation grew over the deaths. Cyanobacteria are routinely found in water, but not all produce toxins. Scientists worry that climate change will trigger the bacteria to produce more toxins as water temperatures rise and conditions become more favorable for the bacteria to grow. Source Here
That doesn't satisfy some conservationists? Really? Worldwide reports of a rotten egg smell. Dogs dying when they jump into cyanobacteria filled waters. Rivers turning red. Nah. The New Normal is our New Normal, until AI turns it into our New New Normal.
Pax Technica • What is the internet of things? This pax will not be dominated by any one state, Howard argues, but by “a special kind of stability in global politics, revealing a pact between big technology firms and government”. The categories of democracy and dictatorship will fall. In their place, he claims, will be data-driven socio-technocracies, built on the intensive reporting of our behaviours, habits, tastes and beliefs, seamlessly transmitted by the devices we use, carry and interact with. We won’t need to express our political preferences and needs: our white goods and driverless cars will express them for us. Source Here By tracking us in intensive and intrusive ways – not only in our homes, but in our vehicles and bodies – data-driven devices can nudge, manipulate and mould our behaviours, habits and preferences, limit our autonomy, and bring quantification, segregation and discrimination to what is currently a political economy held together by social fuzziness.
They'll be able to shape and modify our behavior. And when you put Recorded Future and other companies into the mix, guess what happens? They'll shape and modify our behaviours before they become our behaviours, because they'll already know how we'll behave in the future. Kind of like the shaming of antivaxer behavior before they announce:
Annual COVID-19 Vaccine May Be Necessary. Source Here
Or priming us for AI to save the environment:
According to a recent survey by Intel and the research firm Concentrix, 74 percent of business-decision makers working in environmental sustainability agree artificial intelligence (AI) will help solve long-standing environmental challenges; 64 percent agree the Internet of Things (IoT) will help solve these challenges. As the field of AI develops, so will the potential to protect the environment. From the land and air to both drinking and ocean water, AI is shaping up to be the key that governments, organizations, and individuals can tap to work toward a cleaner planet. Source Here
Do you see where all this is going? The AI and IoT will be everywhere. It will save us from the Collapse, which really means, it will save us from ourselves. Do you see the convergence that's taking place? No? Let me remind you. Because if we are the problem, then we aren't alone.
Coronavirus which is killing and infecting people all over the world was created in a Lab in China's Wuhan, such an idea would have been labelled a conspiracy theory until a few weeks ago. But earlier this week, a Chinese virologist Dr Li-Meng Yan, in an exclusive conversation with WION claimed that the deadly coronavirus was developed in a government laboratory in Wuhan. She also said that Chinese government was aware of the COVID-19 spread. And now Professor Giuseppe Tritto, an internationally known expert in biotechnology and nanotechnology in his book 'China COVID 19: The chimera that changed the world' has said that he believes the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is behind the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), leaving little doubt that this viral “chimera” was artificially created as a bioweapon. Source Here
Researchers claim long-term exposure to air pollution in China killed 30.8 million people between 2000 and 2016. Source Here
We're going to war against China, while they get the security apparatus up for AI in the war against our minds and individuality. For an environmental collapse they blame us for. And they will focus our shame into anger towards China.
The system will be set up. We will go to war with China. And the system will be fully executed by the time the war is done. It will have to be, for our safety, of course. And AI will keep us safe. Right? RIGHT!
Wait. So then why are all the elite building Doomsday Bunkers? Almost like the 1% are covering their bases in case AI can't save us.
One of the most insidious things about gaslighting is the denial of reality. Being denied what you have seen. Being denied what you have experienced and know to be true. It can make you feel like you are crazy. But you are not crazy. Dr Robin Stern, associate director at Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and author of The Gaslight Effect says that usually “when people are abused there are signs that you can point to that are much more obvious. Someone who has been hit or threatened for instance – it’s easy to see and understand how they have been hurt. But when someone is manipulating you, you end up second-guessing yourself and turning your attention to yourself as the person to blame”. Source Here
DARVO - Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender. Or, Gaslighting. It's a popular term. It's a great way to make us feel like powerless victims. Gaslighting makes us feel like we need to be saved. When you're searching for answers but only end up finding confusion, it's setting you up to accept any New Normal answer they'll eventually give you. Need someone to blame for the state of chaos? Here's China. They're the problem. We're All In This Together, and You're Either With Us Or Against Us
. And there will be people against the war, and therefore against us, so we'll need surveillance to protect us from the enemies within. Because another War will be a necessary evil. World War Three will be the War to save the planet by destroying the planet. Makes sense, doesn't it? And when our planet is worse off than before? Then we'll need the surveillance to help us decide when to have Climate and Pandemic lockdowns. The omnipresent Eye of AI will guide us and safeguard us against Fake News and Not Normal New Normal Narrative disrupting lies. We will have to kill what's left of our privacy because dangerous thoughts are born in secrecy.
We must become a transparent society, because the truth doesn't need to hide. The truth is universal. But who decides what is true? Not us. We can't be trusted. Look what we already did with our privacy, we destroyed our planet. So we have to become dependent upon the system and trust the choices that the system makes. We can't just follow system orders though, we have to become a part of the system, a unified whole working towards the common good of all mankind. But what happens when you question the choices? What happens if your thoughts and actions disrupt the Not Normal New Normal Narrative?
Let's check back with David Petraeus a year later after openly musing about how the IoT will make surveillance ubiquitous in our society.
2012, November 9 • Petraeus Resigns From CIA After Feds Uncover 'Extramarital Affair' Source Here David Petraeus, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has resigned. Petraeus told CIA employees Friday in a letter that he was stepping down "for personal reasons... After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours."
2012, November 11 • How I Was Drawn Into the Cult of David Petraeus. The biggest irony surrounding CIA director David Petraeus’ downfall is becoming a casualty of the very publicity machine he cultivated to portray him as superhuman. I have some insight into how that machine worked. Source Here
2020, November 15 • Now the CIA Is Investigating Petraeus. Anyone who thought the scandal around CIA Director David Petraeus was winding down can think again. Now the CIA is investigating its former leader while some agency veterans whisper that they never liked him anyways. Source Here
Oops. I think David said something that he shouldn't have said about IoT and Surveillance. It's a quick fall from Superhero To Villan when you reveal the Superhero Clubhouse Secrets.
Look. Listen. Think. Question. All the time. The information is out there. So's the truth, even if it's camouflaged. Because the truth is, the big picture is a lot more complicated than thought reducing and behavioral shaping memes. Life isn't black and white. That's why they call it a Grey War. And the Grey War is happening all around us. And in the coming weeks I'll be posting some eye opening stories about the Dark Web, Blockchain, and the current narrative about inequality. About a certain pharmaceutical company and how it's DNA tests are failing the grade. We will dive into the Uighur Minority in China. And most importantly, Cicada 3301, and how it seems to be playing a larger role than most of us realize. And some updates on the current microbial imbalance that is starting to cause havoc on our planets environment. And as if that isn't enough for eye opening revelations, there is a disturbing trend that I've noticed regarding asteroids and impacts. Because why not, after all, 2020 isn't a real party until a Rockstar crashes the party.
I may have been too tired to post lately, but I wasn't too tired to read. Thanks again for all the comments and PM's checking in on me. It meant the world to me, even if I didn't have time to respond.
Heads up and eyes open. Talk soon.
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2020.09.25 07:36 Atrixover690 [Meme] Tea party more like Socio party
2020.09.24 15:32 bananaziale Hi help a college kid out! uwu
Hello po, I know that this community is a fun place to share memes and have a healthy discourse in socio-political views, I kind of thought na maybe may mga priority audience ako dito na in line sa Case Study ko.
[Trigger warning: Suicide, depression, and self-harm]
My case study tackles on the suicide mortality here in the Philippines. So I am looking for people who had or still are struggling and feeling a decline in their mental health. The reason why I turned here in Reddit because of the sense of anonymity. In the google form I will attach, I won't ask for your real name, contact info, or your address. Complete anonymity po, basta ang importante is that you live in the Philippines.
These are just some of my objectives for my study:
- To investigate the priority audiences who are affected the most.
- To analyse the status quo of our community's mental health status.
- To be able to measure if we are able to instil better education and awareness in mental healthin our community.
- To investigate if there are still any stigma in seeking for professional help: counselling,psychotherapy or analysis, and medicine that pertains to mental health.
Google form link:
This online interview is kind of long, but it's mostly multiple choice and checkboxes. If you find the questions difficult or offensive, don't hesitate to comment on this post or message me here in Reddit. It would make me feel very sad if I cause any offence to anyone who are participating. I am also someone with a mental illness (OCD and GAD) so I tried my best in the Google Form to be respectful. Thank you.
 Removing the link muna, thank you for those who answered and gave some good criticisms!
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2020.09.22 15:07 _memelord666 The absolute state of this sub [and why it needs to be saved]
First off, it's good to have a subreddit dedicated to atheism in India. For an atheist/humanist like me, it's absolutely essential that we atheists in India share a forum for elegant and civil discussion on the various aspects of atheism in India, rationalism, scientific temper, et al. You cannot believe my joy when I stumbled upon atheism
. One of the best subreddits, in my opinion considering the quality with which it is moderated and set up. It isn't just a random sub for 13 year old religion bashers. A lot of really intelligent discussions take place, regarding important issues: LGBTQ+ rights, gender equality, women's rights, secularity, separation of State from Church, etc. These are issues of upmost importance to a country like India which is overrun and ruled by religious nationalists and extremists masquerading as "inclusive Indians". The mods in athesism
have a phenomenally well documented list of FAQs about atheism, the various aspects of atheism, common philosophical queries, and what the stance of the subreddit is.
Now, that may not be what the mods of this subreddit envisioned, but,
in my opinion, that's the standard we should look up to.
The problem: Half the posts in this subreddit are just religion bashing low-tier memes that could've made by a 13-year old. Yes, as critical thinkers, we should criticize the hypocrisies, the ills, etc of religion and religious practices. But religion bashing beyond a point becomes desensitized; it ends up making more of a joke of critical thinking. [also would like to note the insane Islam bashing posts here]. Moreover, there doesn't seem to be any coherent and specific purpose that is inherent to this sub. Yes, it's about atheism, but what about that? There's a subreddit for coming out, so what does this need to be?
Firstly, a proper introduction to the concept of atheism by the mods, followed by why the kind of atheism that needs to propagated should be the one linked with humanism, scientific temper and critical thinking. As far as I remember, unlike the European Renaissance, there's never been significant and public attention drawn to critical thinking in Indian history. Therefore, a forum for this is absolutely vital. There are more pressing issues in India that scientific temper can address, even in the field of religion, than quoting parts of religious texts to prove your point, and there are better ways of expressing this opinion in a more nuanced way than mediocre memes. Critical thinking and atheism are more or less invariably intertwined, thus this sub can move from primarily religion bashing memes to nuanced and explicit critique of religion and every other threat to humanism and rational thinking in this country.
Secondly, this sub needs
better moderation. A comprehensive summary sprinkled with Street Epistemology-type introspection should be very useful in encouraging the more intelligent part of this community to come out and also potentially attract more people, which is probably the primary goal. Maybe a simple makeover of this subreddit and we can "advertise" the sub in a more popular subreddit like india
, because both these subreddits have largely very similar views on politics, humanism, critical thinking, and socioeconomic issues.
Thirdly, to the handful that are likely to read this: we need to focus on more pressing issues, have more elaborate and explicit discussions on the aforementioned topics.
Finally, as an Indian, atheism was a huge eye-opener to me. I've always been an agnostic, but the lens through which I view the world changed quite drastically ever since I became an atheist. I've come to view socio-economic and political issues from a largely humanist standpoint. I've become more alert and active in seeking out the actual answer rather than blindly believe in something.
From an atheist Indian who wants the community to grow.
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2020.09.21 19:05 leftlibertariannc "How Democracies Die" as Context for Cancel Culture and other Failures of Left
The book, How Democracies Die
, offers interesting context for understanding the cancel culture phenomenon. A central thesis of the book is that failing democracies rarely involve one evil political party driving authoritarianism opposed by a benevolent party fighting for freedom. More typically, both opposing parties become corrupted, and it becomes a race to the bottom.
We are seeing this now unfold in our country, where cynicism has infiltrated both the left and right, and ultimately, this is why so many left-leaning types like Sam Harris have become hypercritical of the left. They see the left ultimately as succumbing to the same failures that have consumed the right for decades.
However, we should understand these degradations of democracy and free speech holistically in the context of the political environment, not in isolation.
So, for example, much of the cancel culture and the "moral panic" about hate speech is in response to a breakdown in traditions of the fourth estate. Newspapers use to be the gatekeepers of information and for all their failings, they imposed a reasonable level of quality controls. Now, it is has become a free for all on social media with wildly inaccurate stories or sensationalized memes going viral on a regular basis. Few people even read newspapers any more, let alone the wire services, which tend to be the most neutral, fact-based sources of news.
So, it should be no surprise that the left propagates their own streams of inflammatory memes and viral videos. This is no different than what is happening on the right. It has become information warfare where the truth is irrelevant. And to some milder extent, this information warfare has reached college campuses and even scientific disciplines. However, this is not about the left or the academia going off the rails. This is about our whole society going off the rails and the effects reaching even our most respected, sacred institutions. Now, even the CDC is doctoring its guidance based on political motivations. It is happening everywhere. There are no innocent, scientifically impartial parties any more, not even the CDC during a pandemic.
It is through a similar lens that we should understand rioting and violence. Ultimately, when the state commits systemic violence against citizens with impunity, the people are going to respond with violence. That does not make violence morally defensible, nor is it even advisable from a strategic standpoint. And it may often not even be fact-based or rational. However, it is human nature to respond to violence with violence. And so, to understand rioting we must also understand its underlying context, what ultimate drives it. I have no question in my mind that our criminal justice is brutally authoritarian, unparalleled among developed democracies, and there is plenty of data to back that up.
And this authoritarianism impacts blacks more than whites, even though it is questionable whether systemic racism contributes significantly to this authoritarianism. Either way, it doesn’t matter. Blacks are going to be on the frontlines of a violent response, simply because they are disproportionately impacted by state violence. It doesn't matter whether these impacts are a result of white racism, socio-economic status and cultural legacies. The response is going to be the same.
Again, I am not making an argument to justify rioting or violence. I am just saying that when democracies fail and authoritarianism takes hold, there are no innocent parties. All sides become lured into violence, dismantling of free speech and a cynical view of pushing propaganda to support their cause, regardless of truth.
This is what we are seeing now. And I would be careful in analyzing the failures of the left in isolation from the greater forces at work. The level of corruption and authoritarianism on the right is unprecedented. This does not justify the failures of the left but it helps explain them.
And ultimately, we, as voting citizens, have no control of the actions of rogue citizens who are rioting and very little control over peer censorship in academia. What we do have direct control over is who we are going to elect as the next president, congressional representative, or senator. So, to state the obvious, let’s not vote for any candidates who are adding fuel to the fire and going to make things worse.
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2020.09.07 21:49 thereluctantpoet I'm tired.
I’m tired of it all.
I’m tired of rational, respectful discourse and nuance being dead. I’m tired of cut-throat partisanship and the discarding of morals and decorum. I’m tired of people trivialising communication, reducing it to cartoon faces and worn-out memes. I’m tired of true relationships being slain at the altar of digital communications and social media. I’m tired of push notifications and things that are trending. I’m tired of influencers and the incessant reach for online celebrity, millions clamouring for someone - anyone - to pay attention to them no matter what debasement is required. I’m tired of TV screens with aesthetic people feeding us selective truth and bias confirmation. I’m tired of people rejecting knowledge in favour of feelings.
I’m tired of watching as the world ignores climate change and the unrest that may soon turn to war. I’m tired of being sickened by those in power unwilling to do anything about it, all for the sake of bits of paper with numbers on them. I’m tired of the encroachment of large companies into every aspect of our lives, surreptitiously siphoning off privacy and freedom while keeping us distracted with new shiny toys to play with. I’m tired of being coerced into a socio-economic system where people are treated as single-use objects of output to be discarded when it become convenient for those in the upper echelons.
We know this - all of this - is wrong. When Netflix is turned off and there’s nothing left to scroll through on social media we feel restless, unfulfilled. We wander the aisles of stores filled with all the wrong choices looking to fill the holes that exist perhaps because of the aisles themselves. Progress, we call it, as another over-priced coffee shop is erected in another gentrified neighbourhood; our state-sanctioned psychoactive now even less of a drive as we yell our desires at a metal box with pictures on it. Progress we call it, as more of the Earth is ripped apart to fulfil our every fleeting whim.
The status quo must change, and time is running out before we no longer have the power to sway its direction. Maybe you’ve even started to feel it too, sitting there reading these words. Some days it feels like malaise — an unease — others, excitement, but underlying it all and in every corner of the globe there seems to be an electricity in the air. We watch as the proverbial storm of socio-ecological showdown rolls in off of the water and comes barreling towards us and we cannot help but be terrified and exhilarated all at once. We know that within that quickly-approaching storm lies the power to disturb us, and perhaps to be disturbed is what we desperately need. Perhaps to be shaken out of our slumber and awoken to our true state of affairs an abrupt but vital action before our ability to care has withered and died. Or perhaps it’s too late. Perhaps the storm is not here to disturb, but to destroy. Perhaps our attention has been too long drawn towards immaterial things, and it’s too late to reach high ground before we are overwhelmed by the deluge that is to come.
But I don’t really know. All I know is that I’m tired of it all, and where there was once the desire for action now remains only the desire to escape.
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2020.09.03 04:03 fauxpase PUBG ban is another devious red herring by the evil overlords to serve multiple purposes. Here me out.
is another red herring
in the series of countless red herrings to distract the public attention.
These distractions have been coming and going all the time, whenever it suits the government. For example, first the Zamaat was vilified and they were made scapegoat. When people sensed the Covid situation was getting worse, triumphalism on LAC was used to distract the public attention. When people started learning the reality about LAC situation, they were distracted by Rhea-SSR case. And now PUBG ban
. If you look closely at the timing and impact of these red herrings you will be able to understand how they are the most devious tool to avert socio-political predicament.
Just when people were started speaking up about student issues
, economic crisis
, gross mismanagement of Covid
, lapdog media, the discourse is yet again being turned into a non-issue. Banning PUBG not only distracts the people from the real issues, it serves other purposes as well. People shared memes
about PUBG getting banned because students disliked a youtube video
. This meme is not only a grotesque joke, but it also trivializes student issues and warns the students, to never speak up again.
This meme shows the students their place. That nobody really cares about them.The absurdity of the situation can be understood by the fact that the people who were sharing a video about students issues yesterday are sharing these memes trolling the same students today.
What these inconsiderate memers don't realise is, someday they might also face issues, and their issues will be turned into a joke as well.
Someday they will also need answers and accountability.And then they will also be declared spurious Indians at that very moment when they ask an uncomfortable question. They will also turn into a joke.
I am sharing two articles, they are great read on the issue. 1 2
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2020.09.02 07:10 rainbowpineapls walking
listen, walking is a form of patriarchal misogynist colonialism developed by the white slaver to conquer every other form of human under white supremacy and capitalism based on this obscure file I found while I was driving at night reading 12 rules for life while I was high on 17.5 weeds and at least 14 acid after my first gay experience that gave me the understanding that the nuclear family is the most racist oppressive thing to ever grace the earth because it subjects sons to war and is the cause of rape I don't understand why everything isn't free because labor theory of value and my sock puppet talked to me once and told me that guillotines are the solution to the wealth inequality because reading books and becoming an expert in a related field is just too much work so I think maybe some memes and feelings are the way to go idk, college degrees and math are racist because they require competence and I'm not very competent and things I don't like need some sort of horrible thing attached to them to make me feel better about myself and get the pity power from inherently nice people even though I am not actually a nice person I want other people to think I'm a nice person because it would be really nice if I was nice but I still want to be seen as nice so I'm going to champion lots of causes that have nothing to do with me because I think that's what good people do and I want to be good people, I actually think I am good people after doing nothing but sharing lots of face book articles and following political trends that originate from foreign powers that do not have my, or my fellow countrymen, actually countrymen is nationalistic and racist, colonial, imperialist term that is also very patriarchal because Putin is a man and he has a bear I think, anyways his former government is great because free stuff, I don't actually want to learn about the realities of this form of socio-economic governance but a kgb bot told me it was pretty cool so I think I will attend a rally because I am poor, its not my fault though because I'm oppressed I would be a very great and awesome person if rich people weren't oppressing me, they are stopping me from living my best life and that's not very cash money, do you like the word cash money? I like it, actually since I hate learning anything I think just making memes and quick quips, similar to the same people that I claim to hate to get people on facebook and reddit to get really angry, because being angry creates change, also violence maybe but I don't want to get violent I just want other people to get violent on my behalf for a cause I don't actually care about I just want to be seen as a good person, after all I'm on the internet and its not like I actually have to suffer the consequences of my actions because I don't own a small business and I have nothing to lose because of course the wealthy have taken everything from me don't you see its all violence inherent in the system, the system is violent and that's why I also have to be violent because I never learned about the velvet revolution because its not cool and sexy like guillotines and stuff, by the way I disagree with killing one group of people but if they are rich I think killing is okay, don't worry I will still continue to take the moral high ground because I can just say free healthcare or something and all my similar minded friends will agree that we are good and the other is bad because they disagree with me, even though I don't know what my own beliefs are because I just gobble up information given to me and if daddy tells me that supporting this cause will make me a good person I will do it because I have no life, and I am a very...very sad little person.
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2020.08.19 02:40 DuncnIdahosBandurria Century Pacific ups the Coco Wars ante against Axelum (Wednesday, August 20)
Happy Wednesday, Barkada --
The PSE closed up 88 points to 6157 ▲1.44%.
Thank you verneornitier
for pat on the back, and to StefanJanobski
for being a reader since before the lockdown. Remember those days? Back when it was possible to consider a packed restaurant or bar to be "great atmosphere"? That's how long they've been a reader! That seems like forever ago.
Thanks also to Bien for the nice email, and to Mark for his approval of my puns. My puns! Compliments like that are going to make my hair wet... you know, because my head will get tubig
WW: 22043508 PH: 164377
Top 3 MB indices:
2020 IPOs ▲5.66% Logistics ▲1.85% POGO Gaming ▲1.80%
Bottom 3 MB indices:
MiddleClass ▼1.17% D30 Targets ▼0.12% Fast Food ▲0.02%
Main stories covered:
- Century Pacific [CNPF 16.20 ▲1.50%] signs $50m contract with Linaco Group, a Malaysia coconut producer… the multi-year deal will expand the cooperation between the two companies that started two years ago, where CNPF produces white-label coconut products for Linaco Group, which Linaco Group then re-sells under its own branding/packaging. This is sometimes known as “contract manufacturing”, “white-label”, or “OEM” (original equipment manufacturer), but it all means the same thing: Company A makes the product and sells it to Company B, and Company B then sells the product to the public under Company B’s branding and packaging.
- MB: CNPF is a recent entrant into the coconut business, but has done well for itself since doing so, supplying Vita Coco under a long-term contract, and branching out into several coconut product categories like desiccated coconut, virgin coconut oil, coconut flour, and coconut milk. CNPF appears to be the main competitor of Axelum Resources [AXLM 2.36 ▼0.84%], which recently revealed that it struggled to source coconuts during the ECQ lockdown and left many customer orders unfilled as a result of prioritizing “its most important customers”. CNPF did not make clear if it suffered from the same supply chain issues, with the underlying coconut market growing for both, it will be interesting to see how this emerging rivalry plays out.
- Vantage Equities [V 1.12 ▲10.89%] profit ▲118% y/y… Q2/20 profit of P418m, up 118% from Q2/19 profit of P191m. V is an investment holding company that invests directly in stocks, bonds, and other companies. V owns a payments and remittances subsidiary that noted a 70% decrease in net income. V attributes this drop first to “stiff competition” in the remittance space, and second to the COVID pandemic. The other side of V’s business, the management of assets like stocks, bonds, or other securities, V said that it was “light already on equities” when the mid-March crash hit, so they were not impacted by the sell-off except in their mutual fund holdings. V said that their fixed income portfolio gains offset the losses from the mutual fund side, and then “were able to ride out the volatility and are now booking gains from the fixed income portfolio.”
- MB: *Referring to COVID specifically, V says that it expects “assets under management to remain at these levels until there is a cure for COVID19 and we see a recovery in economic growth.” V is referring to the 6000-level of the PSE when they talk about “these levels”. Even more interestingly, V says that “with rising cases and a failure to contain the spread of the virus, there is a risk that asset prices may fall back to their lows.” V is referring to the 4500-to-5000 level when they talk about prices falling “back to their lows.” That’s something to keep an eye on. TL;DR: The market is sideways until we have a vaccine, unless virus spread continues unconstrained. Then we’ll re-test those scary lows. *
- MB (1): Ok ok ok... for any of my new subscribers who were not around to read my take on V's Q1 results, you missed out on the best paragraph of MDA text that I've ever read, wherein V summarized the absolute insanity that was the social and economic context for everything that happened in Q1. It's worth a re-read so for your reading pleasure I've included it below. I just wish they'd have continued the post-apocalyptic fanfic into Q2... "The start of 2020 was not auspicious at all as first, markets were put into turmoil when Trump killed an Iranian general in a drone strike. Oil spikes 5% and USD/PHP goes from 50.60 to 51.20. Next was the Taal Volcano eruption, closing down cities as far as NCR. All of this happened in January. Also we get the first reports of a killer virus in Wuhan. This eventually spreads from China to all over the world, eventually sending the globe into lockdown. As the coronavirus spreads, US Treasury yields start falling. From around 1.8%, the 10y UST hits a low of 0.318% before eventually settling around 0.50%. The 30y UST yield hits below 1%, the first time in recorded history. Equity markets fall 3%, the worst declines since the Great Depression. The Fed has to go into crisis management and swiftly announces it will do everything to support the economy. They slash interest rates by 1%, essentially driving rates down to zero. It also promises unlimited asset purchases, with a wide scope of bonds that it can purchase, including MUNI bonds and junk bonds. Here in the Philippines NCR and Luzon is put under lockdown, with business grinding to a halt. After closing for a few days, PSE reopens and is promptly down 20% to 4000 but eventually recovers some of its losses. As liquidity becomes scarce, fixed income markets are hit hard, with banks seen liquidating their holdings. From trading at 3.125%, the benchmark 10-64 was sold to as high as 5.575 before BSP calmed markets by announcing its own bond buyback program. BSP also promptly cuts 50bp in an unscheduled meeting, and cuts RRR by 200bp. The 10-64 and bonds across the curve start being bought, with the yield down to 4.7%."
- Rockwell Land [ROCK 1.55 ▲1.97%] profit ▼108% y/y… Q2/20 loss of P47m, down 108% from Q2/19 profit of P564m. Remind me if you’ve heard the one about the Manila-based real estate developer with hotel interests that had a bad time during the pandemic and lockdown. Anyway, ROCK is not particularly different from its peers in that it suffered downturns in its residential and commercial segments, but it is also worth noting that ROCK’s hotel segment was crushed by the virus and managed to turn in a P7m net loss for the quarter.
- MB: The company is not in any danger, as it just concluded a P1.68bn buy-back of its seven-year bonds under a buy-back program it started 6 weeks ago. Though it’s clear that ROCK’s NCR-heavy focus, and consumption-heavy focus (hotels, cinemas, malls) hurt the company in ways that other firms which were more geographically diversified and socio-economically diversified were not.
- ABS-CBN [ABS 7.25 ▼1.36%] unable to file Q1 and Q2 earnings reports on time… the ex-top broadcaster, owned by the Lopez Family and denied legislative renewal of its broadcast franchise by the… by Congress, disclosed yesterday that the non-renewal caused ABS’s auditor to request additional documents and extend the length of its audit. This, according to ABS, has put ABS in a position to miss the filing deadline for those quarters without incurring “unreasonable effort or expense”.
- MB: Despite being railroaded out of domestic broadcasting and clearly still trying to administratively come to grips with the implications of that, ABS appears to be pivoting hard to digital, and… having some success? ABS just passed the 10 million subscriber mark for its YouTube channel, which is still the most-subscribed domestic news channel. No investor should expect some kind of Christmas Miracle here, though, as this is not like some 80s movie where a quick montage and some fighting spirit will replace the gaping hole in ABS’s revenues with an upstart digital presence. Revenue growth here will take time… and it comes with certain risks, such as how GMA’s Youtube channel was hacked yesterday to display “SpaceX Live” as its channel title and a scam bitcoin giveaway as its top video.
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2020.08.12 04:59 snyczka Episode two preliminary scrip (rough first draft)
Episode 2: The Conference
Streets of Vienna. Old timey [Noir?] music (or, alternatively, something similar to the start of this song
) plays. TITO is furtively moving from rugged street to rugged street. He spots a police officer, in front of the station, shaking hands with one of the Völkisch henchmen they faced at the flat. TITO scribbles something in a piece of paper.
Cut to TITO-TROTSKY apartment. TROTSKY’s hand placing an old-fashioned pin on that station in a map of Vienna.
Cut to TITO spying on a group of people to which the henchman is handing out letters- presumably orders.
Cut to TROTSKY’s hand placing on the side of the map a sepia-marked photo of one or two of the men in that group: likely the only ones they could identify. [music get less heavy/more lively?]
Cut to TITO fixing a car. It is unclear why we cut to this place. He scribbles something on his notes, then sees a pair of boots at the side. In a panic, he sullies his face with whatever he finds (grease, for example) and comes out. The Völkisch henchmen is there. TITO, relieved that he doesn’t recognize him, smiles and gives the thumbs up.
Cut to TROTSKY, placing yet another pin in the map. The POV is on TROTSKY’s shoulder, letting us see the totality of the map: several pins across the whole city (except ghettos) and several photos at each side of the map. Music dies down
TROTSKY: [Russian equivalent of Cursed Cancerous Outgrowth] [subtitles display “TR: Cursed Cancerous Outgrowth” at the bottom]
TITO: [bursts in] Ye banker! Pray to the layers in the cat! [subtitles display “TI: Hey, Comrade! I’ve got the newsletter of the party!”]
TROTSKY: [confused] Why are you using code? [irritated] There’s no one else here!
TITO: [apologetic] Well…I mean… it’s good practice… [trails off] (…I could use some practice)
TROTSKY sighs, non-verbally saying “You’re hopeless.”
TITO passes the letter and TROTSKY opens it. His face lights up.
TROTSKY: [enthused] Well, what do you know? [reading eagerly] A socio-political coalition-building and dissent expression conference for censured parties!
TITO: [aside] So, a meeting— (you could have just said meeting.)
TROTSKY: [Paying no attention to TITO and interrupting] A meeting for the oppressed! Just imagine! Intellectuals, activists, revolutionaries; all together in defiance of the Habsburg empire!
TITO: [Concerned] Yeah, I mean… that seems a big risk.
TROTSKY: [not concerned at all] About as big as tailing a trigger-happy band of ethno nationalists. Your point?
TITO: [further worried by TROTSKY’s reaction] Look, comrade, we’re talking about assembling a revolutionary front in a place that doesn’t even have freedom of assembly! I mean, doing it in Paris is one thing, but the heartland of Imperialism?
TROTSKY: [with defiant optimism] All the better! What can a dying empire do to stop the march of progress?
TITO: [deadpan serious] Prisons, Trotsky. It can do prisons. [TROTSKY gets up and walks out of POV] Look, I’m just saying that, with all the Völkisch activity over Vienna, maybe it’s not the best time to go big and bold. [POV cuts to focus only on his face] We can still fight for socialism, but… for now… more quietly: like, uhm, posters... [straining] or pamphlets, or… [He turns with POV to TROTSKY, putting his coat on] what are you doing?
TROTSKY: [casually] By the way, I’ll be bringing a newcomer.
TROTSKY vanishes into the doorway.
TITO: [as he hurriedly gets up] Like anything but
Cuts to the sidewalk. TITO and TROTSKY standing on the stairs before the door of an apartment, the POV behind them.
TROTSKY reaches to knock. TITO stops him.
TITO: [The POV cuts to TROTSKY’s side] [Worried] But why him? Out of all people, Him? He’s got no class appeal, no involvement with the cause, [whispers] he might even support private property…
TROTSKY: [The POV cuts to TITO’S side] [Like a teacher to a student] And that is precisely
why he has
to come. [The POV cuts in front of them, the door behind it] Widely known as one of the brightest minds of Vienna, boundary breaking research, he’s even anti-religious! He’ll fit right in.
TITO: [unconvinced] Right… but, what makes you so sure he’ll agree to come?
TROTSKY: [cheerfully] Ay, there’s the rub, Tito. [places his hand on TITO’s shoulder] You see, fellow intellectuals have…[ponders his words] well, their very own code, per se.
TITO: [bitterly remembering every time TROTSKY had talks with “fellow intellectuals”] I know.
TROTSKY: [inspired] We turn dialogue into a form of high art, an intricate game of verbal chess— (where wisdom moves the pieces of rhetoric…)
POV briefly cuts to TITO’s eyes rolling as he tunes out TROTSKY’s dissertation. some improvised, inintelligible “intelectual” gibberish is heard.
TROTSKY: [winding down as the POV returns to the front] In conclusion, it all boils down to simple- yet elegant- dialogue.
TITO: [somber tone] Dialogue and
TROTSKY: Oh! [eagerly] Leave the persuasion to me! [a song similar to death note’s Light theme B
TITO: [puzzled] I was
leaving it to you, yes.
TROTSKY: Now, we know our target, though intelectual, does not specialize in political science… (trails off as TITO rolls his eyes again, arms crossed as he tries to tune them out) [sparse intellectual gibberish as the music blares up and the POV cuts behind them. Occasionally, we hear snippets of phrases, like “sure, I’ll have to stress on the Ideological openness” “we can afford to leave out that
people's front”, as TITO slowly grabs onto his neck and looks up.]
The POV cuts above TITO, overwhelmed as a stream of words washes over his face (similar to the math meme
TROTSKY: So, you ready?
TITO snaps out of it. The music cuts abruptly. the POV switches to TROTSKY’s side.
TITO: [utterly lost] uhh… for what?
Cut to TITO’s side.
TROTSKY: [sighs in frustration] Just... keep quiet and play along, alright? [he reaches to the door]
POV cuts behind them, TROTSKY taps on the door and- like a jack-in-the-box- out pops Freud, high out of his mind on cocaine bearing the FreudCokeFace.
COKED-FREUD: [barely registering] GUTTEN TAG!
Cuts to Inside the apartment. HITLER and STALIN are playing chess in the living room. STALIN moves a pawn and checkmates HITLER.
HITLER: [furious] Again?! Fuck you, Stalin! You and your pawns!
STALIN: [amused] Not my fault you underestimate your pawns. Lost half of them by turn twenty.
HITLER: [erupting] So did YOU! And still- (you pull a win out of your arse!)
STALIN: [cheerfully interrupting HITLER as TITO, TROTSKY and coked out FREUD enter the room] TROTSKY! TITO! Fuck you!
COKED-FREUD: [ecstatic] And fuck your mother!
EVERYONE looks at FREUD in confusion.
TROTSKY: [taking initiative] Ahem. As I was saying…
COKED-FREUD: [interrupting] So you want me go give a lecture?
TROTSKY: [cautiously] Well, it’s more like a dialogue… or several, consecutive- (and bilateral exchanges.)
COKED-FREUD: [enthused] Ah, so a debate!
TROTSKY: [starting to stress] Well, there certainly can be debates there, but-
STALIN: [butting in] Wait, you’re talking about the socialist meeting?
TROTSKY: [caught off guard] Stalin!
HITLER: [repulsed] Socialist?!
COKED-FREUD: [even more repulsed] MEETING?!
TROTSKY: [restraining his rage] Stalin… and I… have some things to discuss.
Cut to TROTSKY closing the door on another room in the apartment.
TROTSKY: [enraged] What is wrong with you?!
STALIN: [unfazed] Do I list it alphabetically or thematically?
TROTSKY: [frustration mixing in with rage] It was a rhetorical question, you brute!
STALIN: [sone-faced] It was a rhetorical answer, comrade. [TROTSKY turns away in frustration] Oh, come on. I was just curious. Unlike you, I am still waiting on my invitation.
TROTSKY: [exasperated] Don’t tell me you got yourself purged from the party. [emphatically] Again
STALIN: [irritated] Temporarily suspended, but that is besides the point.
TROTSKY: Yes. Yes you are.[TROTSKY starts to walk to the door] The whole point of my visit was to enlist Dr Freud. You have no reason to get involved.
STALIN: Unless… [trying to stop him from leaving] you could involve me
back in the party, and I
could help involve, ehm… “Dr
.” Freud [visibly doubts the legitimacy of the title], in this… [trying to remember] err...
TROTSKY: [sighs at the door’s threshold] Stalin, I highly doubt you could be much use. The socio-political coalition-building and dissent expression conference for censured parties-
Stalin: [interrupts] Yeah, that! The meeting!
TROTSKY: [losing his patience] The Conference
… it needs more men like Freud, and less brutes like you. Through principled intellect, I’ll earn the comradery of this fellow scholar [he leaves].
Cuts to STALIN, sitting, stifling a laugh.
STALIN: [reaches out with his voice] I’ll give you ten minutes.
TROTSKY: [from outside] I’ll do it in five!
STALIN: [To himself] Fifteen, then.
Cut to the living room of the flat. COKED-FREUD is holding a king piece, queen piece and his face close to TITO’s face.
COKED-FREUD: [ecstatically]... SO, if you really think about it, the queen represents all the freedom and pleasure that chess can offer, with all that moving about, AND the KING is the repressive
father figure that castrates your strategies and deals out the ultimate punishment if you don’t get him killed!
TITO: [in a soft scared string of voice] I liked
Hitler: [huffing] welcome to my life.
COKED-FREUD: [interjects] You mean OUR LIFE!
TITO: [infinitely relieved] Comrade! Where did you go?
HITLER: And what was that about the socialist…(kabal you and Stalin were speaking about?)
COKED-FREUD: AND the MEETING! You thought I’d agree to go to a plain, garden-variety MEETING? NO INTERNS? NO PRESS? [stumbles aside] NO AUDIENCE?
never said meeting. I said [slowly and deliberately] socio-political coalition-building and dissent expression conference for censured parties-
HITLER: So, a subversive meeting.
TITO: [immediately] Basically.
TROTSKY: A CONFERENCE!
[eyes TITO to death] A SUBVERSIVE CONFERENCE!
COKED-FREUD: [noting the distress on TROTSKY and trying to de escalate] Ok, ok… no need to make a scene. [winding down] Look, I find the concept of attending appealing, but its subversive nature might be… err, [whispers to himself: “man, I am coming down”]
TROTSKY: As a matter of fact, subversive might be too strong a word for this. [song similar to death note’s Light theme B
kicks up as TROTSKY’s voice (“for what is is subversion in the context of an absolutist regime really alluding to…?) cuts off into intelectual gibberish]
During TROTSKY’s “Dialogue,” FREUD makes no noise as his sight drifts away, his internal voice begins to manifest. “I could really use some more cocaine now.” “Wasn’t that the last batch?”
By the end of the monologue, TITO is looking at the queen and king, distraught; HITLER is trying to make sense of what he heard, FREUD is still in deep thought, and STALIN has just come into the room.
TROTSKY: So… are you in?
HITLER: [confused] I only got... half of what you said.
TITO: Welcome to my life.
HITLER: [ticked off] And half of that
sounded like Marxist talking points!
TROTSKY: Oh, sure, so everything you disagree is Marxist, right? I am only asking for some open mindedness and an afternoon of your time to engage the controversial. You don’t have to agree, you just have to listen.
FREUD: [absentmindedly] Yes…
TROTSKY: [excited] Ok! So you’re in?
FREUD: Yes… Yes, I should get more cocaine.
TROTSKY: Yes, co-what? [he reacts as though he’s been dealt a low blow]
STALIN steps in and pats TROTSKY in the back. Cut to a close-up on which STALIN whispers to TROTSKY’s ear “Twenty minutes”. Cut back to the room.
STALIN: [slick] So, Freud.
FREUD: Not now, Joseph.
STALIN: Heard you were looking for cocaine?
FREUD: [lights up] YES now, Joseph!
STALIN: Tell you what, if you come with me to Trotsky’s meeting, [TROTSKY looks at him in frustration] I’ll fetch you coke for a week.
FREUD: TO the MEETING, then!
Cut to TROTSKY’s face, left dumbfounded as STALIN whispers to his ear “Twenty seconds.”
Cut to TROTSKY’s face in the same framing, though more composed and serious, looking straight to the POV. It is the afternoon in the streets of Vienna and he has STALIN, TITO, FREUD HITLER and the road behind him. Cut to the door in front of TROTSKY, where he knocks in a rhythm (the start of the Internationale, maybe?). It opens slightly.
DOORMAN: [Rough tone] Invitations?
TROTSKY hands in the LETTER. We hear a tear from inside.
DOORMAN: Comrade Trotsky and Comrade Tito. Welcome.
TITO and TROTSKY get in. FREUD steps in.
DOORMAN: Hey! who are you?
TROTSKY: [bothered] with me.
STALIN steps in.
DOORMAN: And you?
STALIN: [Insulted, with a “are you kidding me face”] You are new here, are you?
TITO: [stepping in between the two] Uh… he’s with me.
HITLER steps in.
DOORMAN: [deadpan] only one extra per invite.
HITLER: OH! Real open minded, Trotsky.
TROTSKY hurriedly hands him some cash.
TROTSKY: Here, just get yourself something and wait for us.
HITLER: oh, I’ll wait, alright. I’ll- [Door slams shut in his face]
Cut to HITLER in the streets, sitting in a bench with another reject in front of the building.
HITLER: Open minded my arse.
BENCH-MAN: Tell me about it. My friend roped me into this meeting with my girlfriend. Figures I got left out. It’s all crawling with socialists anyway.
HITLER: Aw, come on. There’s likely no more than eighteen socialists in all of Vienna. how many can there be in that “Conference
”? [said mockingly].
BENCH-MAN: Oh, a lot more than that.
HITLER takes a pause of shock, stares at the BENCH-MAN
Cut to a great hall filled to the brim with activists, scholars and variety revolutionaries. Like a career expo, the different factions are split into stands of different ideologies, from anarchist to communist to socialists to anarcho-liberals to syndicalists. There is a stand in the background belonging to the “Judea’s
”, and around six different banners being flown at any moment.
TROTSKY: [Victorious] Welcome, Dr. Freud, to the-[Looks to where FREUD went]
FREUD has already snorted some nose-candy to delight his evening and has latched himself to a random and soon to be concerned socialist.
COKED-FREUD: HAVE you CONSIDERED how THE STATE and THE EMPEROR resemble a CASTRATING FATHER?
TROTSKY is left at a loss.
STALIN: [Patting TROTSKY in the back] He’ll fit right in.
PETROV: Stalin! [delighted] Fuck you!
STALIN: Too soon to see you too, old friend! [he walks out of view]
TITO: [awkwardly] So, uhm, do I just… uh…
TROTSKY: [defeated] I’ll ensure Freud keeps his teeth in.
TITO is left alone. Without a point of reference, he is lost in a world of pamphlets and phrases. Escaping from the crushing loneliness, he takes refuge in an anarchist stand.
RANDOM ANARCHIST: Hello, Comrade!
TITO: Fuck you too.
RANDOM ANARCHIST: [puzzled] What?
TITO “comes to”.
TITO: Sorry. Uh… force of habit.
RANDOM ANARCHIST: And what a habit.
TITO looks more closely at the stand.
The scene breaks into four different pictures arranged like a four-squared board resembling a political compass, but it's all leftist.
In each square, TITO is standing close to the stand, each one looking ever so similar on their flags and furniture, with the random representative of the faction standing in strikingly different positions inside each stand.
TITO: [In every square simultaneously] So… you’re the way forward for the people?
RANDOM EVERYONE: [with a “I couldn’t possibly” tone] Oh, not me
RANDOM ANARCHIST: [slams fist on table as his square takes purchase] Anarchism! That’s the way!
RANDOM SOCIALIST: [slams fist on table as his square takes purchase] Socialism! That’s the way!
RANDOM COMMUNIST: [slams fist on table as his square takes purchase] Communism! That’s the way!
RANDOM SYNDICALIST: Anarcho-Syndicalism! That’s the way!
RANDOM ANARCHIST: How the people of the world have accepted the oppression of the state is beyond me!
RANDOM SOCIALIST: How the people of Vienna tolerate such oppressive inequality is beyond me!
RANDOM COMMUNIST: How the people’s of the world have not yet arisen against the bourgeois oppressors is beyond me!
RANDOM SYNDICALIST: How the workers of the world haven’t united ‘gainst the oppressive capitalist state is beyond me!
TITO: Yes! The Imperial oppression is the evil of our times!
RANDOM ANARCHIST: Of our times? Comrade, don’t be so naive! So long as the state has existed, oppression has prospered.
TITO: [Confused] well, I mean… There can be different degrees of that evil, right?
RANDOM ANARCHIST: You’re looking for the difference between a noose and a firing squad.
TITO: No, but really. Can you really say that an Imperial monarchy is no different from, say, the french republic? Sure, Revolution is still necessary for both, but I’d say that- (one is closer to the final revolution than the other.)
RANDOM ANARCHIST: [Interjecting] Get out of here with your Marxist hot-take! If it leads, it’s gotta ROT!
TITO: Wait, aren’t you with Marx?
RANDOM ANARCHIST: Of course not! I told you. Long as there’s been a state, remember? [with heavy resentment] We’ve been fighting against statist oppression since before that hack
Marx got out of his pampered diapers!
TITO: [searching for common ground] But doesn’t his plan lead us to Anarchy?
RANDOM ANARCHIST: [mockingly] Through a dictatorship?!
TITO: [almost to himself] Of the proletariat…
RANDOM ANARCHIST: [stubbornly] A dictatorship is a dictatorship. A state is a state. And freedom, our goal, can only happen when that oppressor is done for! If it leads, it’s gotta ROT! [starts listing] Capitalists, Marxists-
RANDOM SOCIALIST: [continues the lists as his stand gains purchase] Anarchists, even the so called “liberals” are all part of the oppression! Yes, that’s what they are!
TITO: Now, come on! We are all in the same struggle… [aside](I think)
RANDOM SOCIALIST: Are we? Because I’ve learnt of the time before that utter madman, [with pure disdain] Marx
, made it all about class struggle.
TITO: but all through history there’s been class struggle.
RANDOM SOCIALIST: No, I’ll tell you what there’s been through history, [like a religious zealot shouting “satan!”] inequality
! Long as there’s been inequality, oppression has prospered. [magnanimous] In old Rome, it was the plebeians versus the patricians. Now it's Bourgeois and proletariat, rich and poor; it is the disparity, not any one invented group.
TITO: [trying to sneak a point in] But, if you end with the bourgeoisie…
RANDOM SOCIALIST: [interjecting] You get the tyrants. In Rome it was Caesar and Augustus, now Marx and Engels want to play revolutionaries.
TITO: But how can you end the oppression, if the rich keep won’t stop oppressing?
RANDOM SOCIALIST: The state, of course!
TITO: [reasoning this out as he goes] But the state oppresses… the poor, mostly… in service of the rich… [comes up with an idea] why not destroy the state then?
RANDOM SOCIALIST: Oh, real clever. An ox starts trampling on your crops, so you burn the field?
TITO: [trying to find a solution] So you… kill the ox?
RANDOM SOCIALIST: [venting out] You tame it. Use a whip with the rowdy ones, but make them work for you, for the village, the nation, the world; for the equal wealth of all. Freedom, our goal, can only exist in a fair and equal society. [begins listing] All other chants, all other creeds-
RANDOM COMMUNIST: [takes on the list as his stand gains purchase] All other ideologies are an enemy to the Science of Marxism and the working people of the world! The Revolution waits for no-one. The stage of capitalism is at its end, and the time for revolution is now!
TITO: Well, but how do we start it?
RANDOM COMMUNIST: Isn’t it obvious, comrade? We organize, we gather and we prepare to bring the power to the proletariat!
TITO: [suddenly uncomfortable] Uhh… sure, but…
RANDOM COMMUNIST: [patronizing tone] Oh, I get it. you think we, the intellectuals who toil and risk jail or even death to give you the power you deserve, the men and women who follow the Communist manifesto to the letter; you think that we
don’t have your best interest in mind?
TITO: [defensively] Oh, no! It’s not that
… I just happen to know work with some working class people- you know, I work in a car factory- (and some of the people I work with…)
RANDOM COMMUNIST: [triumphantly] Then you are the oppressed! You are he who we fight for!
TITO: [somewhat put-off by the yell] Ye-yes, but listen…
RANDOM COMMUNIST: [talking past TITO] The factory owner might feed you lies! The reactionaries might polish your chains with nationalism or religion! (The liberals might want to drown your class consciousness on empty promises of fake progress!)
TITO: [trying to talk over his proclamations] The POLICE. The ARMY. What about THOSE?
RANDOM COMMUNIST: [Takes a pause on his ramblings] Well… the way is clear, is it not? [as if stating something obvious] We rise against them... and, uh, overwhelm them. We outnumber them.
TITO: They outgun us.
RANDOM COMMUNIST: [as if talking to a child] And did that stop the French Revolution? A million hearts won’t be stopped by any gun.
TITO: [frustrated] Guns
, comrade. Guns
. Ever heard of the Paris commune?
RANDOM COMMUNIST: You need to learn your theory, comrade. [sidelining the issue] The Parisians fell because of the splitters, the bourgeois divisions tore it apart. If there’s anything to learn from Paris, it’s that we are all in this struggle together.
TITO: [looking to the previous two stands at different sides of the screen] Are we?
RANDOM COMMUNIST: [warmly] Yes. It is us against the yoke of the bourgeoisie. They are the sickness, and Marx is the cure. Freedom and equality, the ultimate goal of us all, can only come from the ashes of our oppressors. [hopeful] Once the proletariat is put in power, once the reactionaries, [pure disdain] the splitters and counter-revolutionaries are done for-
RANDOM SYNDICALIST: Aw, lay off with that statist propaganda! [the stand of the anarcho-syndicalist jarringly bursts into prominence] Sure, we ain’t the oldest kid in the block, we ain’t even the first marxist group.
RANDOM COMMUNIST: [briefly gets a flash of prominence] Splitter!
RANDOM SYNDICALIST: [belligerent] But you know what? I’d say that’s a good thing. Look, we got all these established pompous parties o’pricks crying and yelling for change, and look around: you see any?
TITO: Well, there’s been lots of revolts…
RANDOM SYNDICALIST: Failed
revolts. Failed socialism and failed
dictatorships that never cared ‘bout the workers. It’s all clear, we can’t trust the scholars to pull their heads out their pamphlets, and long as we’re not talking ‘bout dissolving the state, oppression will prosper!
TITO: but Marx laid out a path, stages of development. You first get to socialism, you then break up the state-
RANDOM SYNDICALIST: [matter-of-factly] Yeah, I’d say we’re way past that point, really. I’d say, we skip it.
TITO: [hopelessly confused] Past that… You mean going from capitalism directly to communism?
RANDOM SYNDICALIST: There you go!
TITO: [repulsed] That would be like going from feudal to socialist!
RANDOM SYNDICALIST: Whose to tell us we can’t, huh?! Marx’s been dead for decades. I tell ya, our goals of freedom and equality can only come when we rid ourselves of Marxist orthodoxy.
TITO: How would you even defend a stateless nation from the rest of the world?
EVERYONE descends into gibberish bickering as TITO stumbles in all four vignettes. The tremors continue until the squares forcefully and suddenly snap together at the same time STALIN calls out to TITO.
STALIN: [from outside the frame] Comrade! Are you alright?
TITO: [rambling in broken resolve as STALIN comes into view] The state- and the splitters- ‘ganist the Paris- and the socialist bourg- (geoisie…)
STALIN: [trying awkwardly to comfort] There, there. Had fruitful debate?
TITO: [vulnerable] I don’t know what debate is anymore…
STALIN: [has seen an unfriendly RANDOM near] You might get a chance to learn- (if I can’t help it)
RANDOM SOCIALIST: [enraged from off camera] HEY, STALIN! WHAT the HELL are you DOING HERE?!
The RANDOM SOCIALIST, with the RANDOM COMMUNIST at his wing, enters into view.
STALIN: [evasive] I don’t know. Same as you.
RANDOM SOCIALIST: I
head the Social front for equality. Last meeting-
STALIN: [trying to smart-arse his way out] Conference, comrade. Come on, “meeting”? Only uncultured swine use that word. When did you become a capitalist?
RANDOM SOCIALIST: I did not-!
The RANDOM COMMUNIST chuckles at STALIN’s joke.
RANDOM SOCIALIST: [he cools off] Fine. Last Conference
, while I
manned the stand, you
beat one of our journalists half-dead!
RANDOM SOCIALIST: [insulted] That half was pure evil! [as if telling a secret] And I have some suspicion that the other half believed in private property…
RANDOM COMMUNIST: [horrified gasp] Private property
, you say?
STALIN: [seizing the opening] Yes! in my opinion, I should have beaten him full dead!
RANDOM SOCIALIST: [Facepalming. Hard] You cannot just kill anyone suspected of being a counter revolutionary. Article 13 of the- (rules of radical debate)
STALIN: [feigning offense] Ah, so much for the tolerant left! [the RANDOM COMMUNIST turns his head in accusatory fashion at the RANDOM SOCIALIST] Lay off your diktats, comrade. [pulls on TITO’s arm] Tito, come on, let’s leave the oppressors to themselves.
Cut to TITO and STALIN drinking at the bar of the establishment. TITO is looking down at a beer glass while STALIN gorges himself with way too much salami.
TITO: [absentmindedly] How… how can you do that…?
STALIN: The secret is [munches] to keep the body cold so that you always feel a bit of hunger. [muches some more]
TITO: [confused] hunger… wait, what? [catches up to what Stalin is talking about] No! I was talking about those speakers!
STALIN: [disinterested] What about them?
TITO: You! You hustled them off you. [points out of POV] They’re still arguing about it!
Cut to the RANDOM SOCIALIST getting berated by the RANDOM COMMUNIST and having none of it. The RANDOM COMMUNIST throws a jab at the RANDOM SOCIALIST and a fight breaks out.
Cut back to TITO and STALIN.
STALIN: They really have a thing for violence... [clicks his tongue in disapproval]
TITO: [distraught] I don’t get it. You know them better than I do, and I spent all day trying to understand- [their worldviews!]
, Tito, is your mistake. People don’t go to these meetings to understand, or learn, or discuss. They go here for pecking order.
TITO: [grasping at straws] But the coalition building…?
STALIN: A fun side-gig, if that. Compromise is weakness, and only suckers actually wish for unity. No; real Revolutionaries have their
vision for revolution, and will say and do all
they can to make their
TITO: But what about the working class?
STALIN: You think Napoleon got the ok from every merchant when he took over a broke Kingdom and built bourgeois France? He fought for his
revolution; for his
class, regardless of their approval. As you see, everyone here is a pretender for the next Napoleon, whether they know it or not.
TITO: Well I… [struggles to find a response, then gives up] I guess I’m at the bottom of the pecking order.
STALIN: [Amused] Oh, no, Comrade. That’s the beauty of it.
TITO: [bitterly] Stalin, I fit nowhere.
STALIN: Yeah, me neither.
TITO: I don’t get the first thing about everyones’ theories or policies.
STALIN: [pleasantly bemused] You think I care to know them?
TITO: [yells] I’m no-one. [sinks to his seat, hides his face under his arms] I’m just a no-one who works in a car factory.
STALIN: [surprised] Wait, you work in a car factory?
TITO: [raises his eyes above his arms] Not. Helping. Comrade.
STALIN: [evasive] Uh… whatever. As I was going to say… [he gets close mischievously] Everyone here is bullshit.
TITO: [frustrated] First you say everyone here is the next Napoleon. Now you say everyone here is bullshit.
STALIN: [enthused] YES! and YES! They go together! Like flies and bullshit.
TITO: [awkward] But...
STALIN: [like a teacher] Listen. Everyone here will talk big game, right?
TITO: [in reluctant agreement] I learnt that today, yes.
STALIN: Yes, but what’s funny is, they never do anything with it.
TITO attempts to disagree.
STALIN: [preemptively] Well, so long as you don’t listen much. [paternally] The only wisdom we need to know is this: “Acta, non verba.”
TITO: What’s that mean?
STALIN: [disinterested] It’s some latin: it means that if you talk a lot, you end up not doing shit, or something like that. Basically, so long as you don’t stir too much bulshit, you can do and say whatever you want. Everyone will be too busy talking
shit to do
There’s a sudden glass ringing as TROTSKY gets atop an improvised stage
TROTSKY: [booming over the crowd] Fellow scholars, intellectuals and Revolutionaries. A word with you all.
STALIN visibly cringes.
TITO: What’s wrong?
STALIN: [somber] The stirring. It has begun.
TROTSKY’s speech: For centuries already, through the harshest of tyrannies, forward thinking men have gathered in unison to fight for the common good. [cut to RANDOM SOCIALIST and RANDOM COMMUNIST as they lay off each other, their attention goes to TROTSKY] Guided by the principles of Liberty, Equality and Progress, such people have employed civil discussion to know each other, learn from each other and unite under a common righteous banner. From this understanding, they have brought us from monsieur Montesquieu [in a suplicatroy tone] merely questioning the divine right of kings to oppress their subjects… [TROTSKY makes an effete gesture] all the way to Comrade Marx! [his tone gains power] calling for the ultimate eradication of oppression! [he lifts his fist in celebration and is followed by warm-ish murmurs of approval]. We stand, as these men- and women- stood before. The decadent opulence of the oldest living empire of Europe is under question [general buzzing of interest], the old oppressive regime rests on its last legs as more and more people find freedom from its grasp. The stage is set, and history calls on us [an energetic gesture towards the crowd] to play our part [There is general support from the crowd]. Only one question is left unanswered, then: How? How do we bring on the enduring, all-encompassing revolution without the threat of despots like Roberspierre or Bonaparte? How do we dodge the suffering and the pain of class warfare that hangs over the life of so many? I am here with a humble answer [murmurs of curiosity amongst the crowd]. Struggle without bloodshed. Progress without repression. DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM!
There is a moment of caustic silence before the crowd erupts in bellows and hateful “boo!”s. Intermittent cries of “statist!” “class traitor!” “splitter!” and the like fill the soundscape. TROTSKY is baffled, frozen on the stage.
STALIN rolls his eyes and starts cutting some more salami.
TITO, after having heard attentively at the speech; feels guilty, then angry, then emboldened. He murmurs “Ata nom verba” and plunges into the crowd. He gets up with TROTSKY and faces the crowd.
TITO: [on the stage, tentatively trying to get everyone’s attention] Um… a moment? please?
RANDOM RADICAL: GET OFF THE STAGE!
RANDOM SOCIALIST: SHUT UP, YOU TRAITOR!
TITO: [snaps] NO. YOU SHUT UP, HYPOCRITES!
TITO’s resound throughout the room. It is loud and violent enough to command silence from the radicals. STALIN, who was eating a salami sandwich, stops and raises his eyes like a deer caught in the headlights.
TITO: This idiot, of all the idiots I’ve been hearing today, is the only one I could understand. Is his solution perfect? I don’t think so. Is he a bit annoying with the theatrics? Fuck yes! Does he deserve all this shit for speaking his mind? FUCK. NO. He is a Comrade to you all, and fights for the revolution just as much as anyone here. And LAST TIME I CHECKED, this Conference
was about hearing OTHER points of view!
RANDOM RADICAL: [like a whining child from the crowd] But, comrade! What he proposes is compromise with the capitalists and their state!
RANDOM COMMUNIST: [from the Crowd] Yes! Next thing we know, there might be talk about limited private property! [with general “yea”’s from the crowd]
TITO: NO! It’s about making the Capitalists compromise with us! NO ONE is talking about PRIVATE PROPERTY.
COKED FREUD then bursts out the bathroom of the establishment, clearly pestering a RANDOM RADICAL he’s been talking to the entire evening.
COKED-FREUD: [euphoric] AND- should this THESIS I have been developing prove SUCCESSFUL, I might finally have enough for my OWN PRIVATE CLINIC!
THE WHOLE ROOM FIXATES ON FREUD.
FREUD notices TITO on the stage.
FREUD: OH! GUTTEN ABEN, TITO! WHAT are you DOING ON THAT TABLE?!
THE WHOLE ROOM fixates on TITO.
Cut to TITO, TROTSKY and FREUD getting thrown out of the establishment. STALIN peers through the door.
STALIN: [disappointed] Stirred too much bulshit, comrade. [Slams door shut. “TOO MUCH BULSHIT” heard from inside]
As they’re getting back on their feet.
FREUD: [very apologetic] Sorry for my intervention. I guess I get carried away sometimes.
TITO: [apologetic as well] Oh, it’s nothing. we were leaving anyway.
TROTSKY: [broken] We’re not coming back.
TITO: [taken aback] Uh… what?
TROTSKY: [somber] The socio-poli- (tical coalition-building and dissent expression conference for censured parties)
TITO: What with the meeting?
TROTSKY: [furious] The organizers of the “meeting
” will never invite us back. What’s more, the organizers of the “meeting”
know our address. They will probably publish it across town and leave us at the mercy of the cursed VÖLKISCH!
TITO: [thinking the anger is directed at him] Oh… well, eh… listen…
TROTSKY: [turns straight at the doors of the establishment] THOSE INGRATES!
TITO: [Relieved] Oh, yeah, those.
TROTSKY: [starts walking in circles] We need to vacate our homes. Leave not a trace. All of our work, it must be safeguarded!
TITO: Yeah, yeah, our work. But what about us?
TROTSKY: [stops in his tracks] Huh?
TITO: We’ll need a place to sleep in, right? Preferably a new home?
FREUD: [Budding in] Oh, I am more than happy to accomodate!
TROTSKY: Are you sure, comrade?
FREUD: [warmly] It’s the least I can do!
TITO: [doubtful] Aren’t you already sharing a flat?
FREUD: [unimpeded optimism] Oh, the more the merrier! I’m sure you’ll get along just fine…
FREUD, TROTSKY and TITO all turn to the bench where HITLER, now standing in a rage, is “chatting” with the BENCH-MAN.
HITLER: YOU are an UTTER LIAR! A LIAR and a STUPID ONE AT THAT! I REFUSE, I tell you, I REFUSE to believe could EVER be more than SIXTY- EIGHT state-hating, collectivizing, morally bankrupt, Traditionless, barbaric SOCIALISTS ON ALL OF VIENNA- LET ALONE on THAT SCRAP-HEAP of a BUILDING!
After a pause, BENCH-MAN tiredly says “there’s… more than 68. Much more than 68.”
HITLER: [UTTER WHITE-HOT SHOCK] SIXTY NINE?!
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2020.08.03 02:42 Otro_engranaje Pensando lo viral en las redes sociales: ¿Lo viral se vuelve banal?
¡Buenas comunidad!, en esta ocasión traigo nuevamente un breve ensayo que compartiré por este medio y por mi blog (si les resulta más cómodo leerlo por allí)
. En resumen:
Hago foco sobre las tendencias y el fenómeno de la viralización, y de cómo lo que se viraliza tiende a volverse banal, sin importancia, incluso cuando lo que se viraliza es un asunto que demanda seriedad. Introduzco el pensamiento de Halsall McLuhan ("el medio es el mensaje
"). Además cito a autores como Baudrillard y Guy Debor, cuyas tesis (El primero, con sus libros El sistema de los objetos
y Cultura y Simulacro
y, el segundo, con La Sociedad del espectáculo
) proporcionan un marco teórico bastante interesante para abordar la situación.
El ensayo: La viralización, la banalización…
La internet, tal cual la conocemos hoy, es una fuente casi inagotable de información. Las redes sociales, en el presente, son a su vez un instrumento de gran sofisticación al momento de recopilar y difundir cierto tipo de información. Ahora quizás no lo recordemos, pero en el año 2014 el boom de difusión del denominado “#IceBucketChallenge”, aquella campaña para concientizar y recaudar fondos para invertir en la investigación sobre la Esclerosis lateral amiotrófica, era (incluso un año después) el fenómeno global más multitudinario de la historia de las redes, con más de 17 millones de videos y 440 millones de visualizaciones sobre aquél reto 
; o el meme “Harlem Shake”, en el año 2013, (esos vídeos dónde una persona bailaba sola en una habitación y de un momento a otro, la habitación explotaba de gente disfrazada haciendo movimientos bizarros con la canción característica de fondo) que llegó a recopilar algo así como 175 millones de visualizaciones ese año y unas tantas miles de versiones de un mismo vídeo  
, de acuerdo a la RAE, es en una primera acepción lo “perteneciente o relativo a los virus”, pero en el siglo XXI se sumó una nueva definición: “adj. Dicho de un mensaje o contenido: Que se difunde con gran rapidez en las redes sociales a través de internet” 
. Los “fenómenos virales” son hoy moneda corriente. Año tras año vemos tendencias que van y vienen. Algunas, como el “Harlem Shake”, simples memes. Otros, como el “#IceBuketChallenge”, pretenden transmitir un mensaje más serio y profundo. Pero, sea de una u otra naturaleza, lo cierto es que lo viral
, convertido en moda
, suele ser pasajero; tiende a convertirse en banal
, trivial o carente de sustancia. Si de un chiste se tratase, si fuese solo una broma, deja de causar gracia en cuanto pasa de moda; si el contenido se propusiese enviar un mensaje, o generar conciencia sobre un problema, lo hace, pero en cuanto se haya cumplido su período de expiración, el mensaje junto con el contenido es olvidado, sepultado en la memoria de un universo repleto de tendencias que no cesan de aparecer y desaparecer en cuestión de años, meses o incluso semanas, independientemente de que el problema haya sido o no resuelto.
Pero, acaso… ¿Será que la viralización
en las redes sociales tiende a la banalización
de aquello que se viraliza?, ¿es esto cierto, o es una idea de una mente pesimista? Cuando el medio es el mensaje.
Los usos de las redes sociales son principalmente comerciales y publicitarios, aunque no puedan desprenderse totalmente de su valor como potenciales agentes de mediación social 
La anterior afirmación extraída de un artículo de los “Cuadernos de Información y Comunicación” (revista de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid), nos da a entender dos cosas: La primera, que las redes sociales, además de ser un espacio de “socialización” virtual, son un medio
. La segunda, explícita, que los principales usos de este medio son “comerciales y publicitarios”, lo que no quita que sean agentes poderosos de “mediación social”. Pero en esencia, es un medio
, y es por naturaleza un canal que no nos pone en contacto con lo inmediato,
sino con una imagen
(en lo que haremos hincapié más adelante).
Marshall McLuhan, filósofo canadiense del siglo XX, no llegó a presenciar el fenómeno de las redes sociales ni del Internet, pero no se equivocaba al enunciar lo siguiente: que “el medio es el mensaje”. Aquí el medio, entendido en un sentido más amplio, no es un simple canal pasivo por el cual se transporta el mensaje, sino que el medio
es aquí un potencial modelador y controlador, en cierto sentido, no solo del mensaje obvio y evidente, sino del sentido que el medio mismo le da al mensaje atendiendo a las circunstancias en las que ese mensaje es transmitido (No es lo mismo invitar a unos amigos a compartir un almuerzo en mi casa mientras platicamos en un bar, a enviarles una carta en la que se los invite a almorzar. El segundo “medio” supone un encuentro más formal y ceremonial). Lo anterior,
… significa que las personas tienden a centrarse en lo obvio, que es el contenido, en brindarnos información valiosa, pero en el proceso, pierden en gran medida los cambios estructurales en sus asuntos que son introducidos de manera sutil o durante largos períodos de tiempo. A medida que los valores, las normas y las formas de hacer las cosas de la sociedad cambian debido a la tecnología, es entonces que las personas se dan cuenta de las implicaciones sociales del medio.
Utilizando esta línea de pensamiento como fundamento, cabría preguntarnos entonces: ¿Qué “mensaje” transmiten las redes sociales como “medio”? En primera instancia, hay que identificar que las redes sociales son, al mismo tiempo, privadas y públicas. Esto es, cada usuario tiene su propio contenido “privado”, su propio “usuario” y accede a un determinado tipo de contenido que él (podemos o no estar de acuerdo en lo siguiente) elige. Pero al mismo tiempo, su usuario es “público” en la medida en la que está en contacto con otros usuarios; en la medida en que el contenido que publica
, justamente, se hace público
; en la medida en que el contenido que el usuario individual accede, es accesible para otros usuarios (quitando de la ecuación a las cuentas “privadas”, que no dejan de ser para un público restringido).
En segundo lugar, y tomando como modelo a las redes más influyentes (Instagram y Twitter), debemos hablar de la visualización del contenido y de los “mensajes” a los que el usuario accede. En el caso de Twitter, las publicaciones constan de 280 caracteres (siendo posible adjuntar un vídeo o una imagen) 
; En Instagram, los pies de las fotos o imágenes (principal recurso de esta red social) no suelen exceder los 150 caracteres 
. Los “mensajes” (el contenido de las publicaciones) tienden, de este modo, a ser espontáneos, impactantes y concisos. Por otra parte, esto le da la oportunidad al usuario a no detenerse mucho tiempo en un solo posteo, o una sola publicación, sino a visualizar más de una publicación, aunque esto es relativo, pues depende de la interacción que el usuario tenga con la/s publicación/es (esto es, si se detiene a comentarla o a leer los comentarios).
El hecho de que el medio
sea el mensaje
implica, además, que hace falta un contexto “para que podamos entender que el medio es el mensaje” 
. El contexto, en este caso, si bien varía la situación en la que recibe el mensaje cada usuario (dónde, cuándo y cómo de la visualización de una publicación), no deja de formar parte de un universo común que es la red social (universo aparte, pero determinante a la vez). Las publicaciones, al ser en tiempo real (uno tiene acceso a ellas apenas publicadas), y al publicarse en un mismo espacio, suelen tener un impacto general. Pero la interpretación del mensaje de las comunicaciones puede variar de acuerdo al usuario en cuanto a su región de residencia y a las condiciones socio-económicas reales
a las que esté sometido. Tenemos entonces un medio
objetivo, pero una interpretación
Este medio objetivo
(la red social) nos dice mucho del mensaje. En principio, como mencioné, se trata de un espacio público-privado, donde lo personal se mezcla con lo público, existiendo una interacción entre estos dos campos (el público y el privado). De momento, se torna casi indistinguible dónde empieza y dónde acaba lo público y lo privado. Por otra parte, el contenido (el mensaje de la publicación, siendo la publicación un medio dentro de otro medio, que es la red social), dijimos es por lo general breve e impactante, pero es también diverso. Esto quiere decir, tenemos una amplia variedad de contenido, pero todo este siendo de rápido consumo. El usuario tiene la posibilidad de acceder a más de una publicación (recordando, claro, que es relativo puesto a que también puede interactuar con una u otra publicación). Al batallar dentro de un campo de publicaciones tan vasto, la publicación
tiene que ser llamativa, y exprimir al máximo los recursos a su disposición para atraer la mayor atención posible. A veces solo basta una buena reputación de quien la genera para que esta sea atractiva.
Otro detalle, que no debemos obviar, es el siguiente: el usuario no es un espectador pasivo. El usuario interactúa
con las publicaciones y, además, crea
sus propias publicaciones. De este modo, el usuario no es meramente un receptor, sino que al mismo tiempo es emisor. No solo esto. El usuario puede formar parte de la publicación; puede reproducir el mensaje; puede criticarlo abiertamente o, en fin, puede pasar de este.
Repasemos entonces, punto por punto, las características que hemos señalado anteriormente sobre el medio que analizamos (cabe destacar que no necesariamente es esto un decreto universal):
· El medio es un espacio público-privado.
· El medio tiene implicaciones objetivas (la “publicación”, la estructura misma de la red social, la inmediatez y la virtualidad) y subjetivas (situación social y económica real del usuario-sujeto).
· El sujeto-usuario puede interactuar con la publicación
y con su contenido, así como con otros usuarios.
· El sujeto-usuario puede crear publicaciones, puede reproducir publicaciones o puede también compartir publicaciones que ha visto y puede así mismo criticarlas abiertamente.
Con esto podemos dar por supuesto lo siguiente: Al mezclarse lo público con lo privado; al mezclarse implicaciones objetivas y subjetivas y al haber una interacción entre los emisores y los receptores, EL MENSAJE (lo que se quería o pretendía transmitir) tiende a perderse, tiende a confundirse. El contenido específico corre un alto riesgo de deformarse. Tendencia y mensaje vacío.
Si, entonces, lo que en primera instancia era el mensaje
de una publicación corre el riesgo de deformarse en este proceso interactivo que propone la red social como medio, la viralización puede producirse tomando la forma
de la publicación, pero no su contenido
Un caso que, de hecho, fue el que me inspiró para redactar este breve ensayo, es el del actual reto “#ChallengeAccept” de Instagram, etiqueta que motivo a mujeres en todo el mundo a compartir una fotografía de ellas mismas en blanco y negro. Mientras que, por un lado, hay gente que piensa que se trata de una campaña sobre “mujeres que apoyan a mujeres”, desconociendo el por qué y la motivación de la misma, y acompañando las leyendas de las imágenes con frases de “apoyo” o “aliento” (como la modelo Cindy Crawford, que adjuntaba a su imagen en blanco y negro participante de la tendencia algo así como que le encantaba esa forma “sencilla” de elevarse unas a otras)
, por otro lado, hay quienes afirman que #ChallengeAccept…
… surgió en Turquía, país donde la violencia machista se ha multiplicado de manera alarmante. Los crímenes contra las mujeres de aquel país este año se difundieron con fotos de las víctimas en blanco y negro y las fechas de nacimiento y muerte, y así nació la iniciativa.
También se supone que la campaña es anterior a la iniciativa turca, desprendida de un discurso que la congresista norteamericana Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez hizo contra el machismo. Por el momento, el sentido de tales publicaciones sigue siendo difuso.
Se trata, en este caso, de un fenómeno relativamente viral que ha sido banalizado; se trata de publicaciones masivas carentes de un sentido o una sustancia (en este caso particular). ¿Por qué sucede esto? La imagen, lo espectacular y el producto.
Lo he citado en un anterior ensayo (El amor, con etiquetas.
), y lo volveré a citar aquí. Es Guy Debord quien, con su modelo de “la sociedad del espectáculo”, a mi parecer, da en el clavo. Hasta ahora venimos hablando de medios
, de mensajes
, de mensajes banalizados… pero todo esto dentro del marco de un universo particular: Las redes sociales. Y es que las redes sociales –como lo ha sido la televisión masiva a finales del siglo XX– son, en esencia, una representación
de lo real, de lo inmediato. Tal como sentencia el filósofo citado:
El espectáculo no puede ser comprendido como el abuso de un mundo de la visión o como el producto de las técnicas de difusión masiva de imágenes. Se trata más bien de una Weltanschauung
devenida efectiva, materialmente traducida. Es una visión del mundo que se ha objetivado.
El espectáculo, como modelo
de lo real, acaba desplazando a lo verdaderamente real
. El espectáculo se torna realidad en cuanto configura a la realidad misma. En este sentido, las redes sociales constituyen un mundo del espectáculo. Las publicaciones no son la realidad
, pero nos dan una imagen de ello. Pero la red social es un universo interactivo
, donde el usuario es un ente participativo dentro de este mundo “espectacular”. En este sentido, el usuario, a razón de la vida cotidiana en sociedad, construye en este espacio una “identidad”, pero una identidad dentro del espectáculo. Baudrillard, filósofo de pensamientos similares a los de Guy Debord (él no habla de “espectáculo”, sino de “hiperrealidad” y de simulación. Su obra Cultura y Simulacro
profundiza en la cuestión), habla al respecto de estas identidades.
Somos, en este sentido, ser para otros
(bastardillas mías) y no solo por la teatralidad propia de la vida social, sino porque la mirada del otro nos constituye, en ella y por ella nos reconocemos. La construcción de nuestra identidad tiene lugar desde la alteridad, desde la mirada del otro que me objetiva, que me convierte en espectáculo.
Así vistas las cosas, el individuo no se compenetra al 100% con el contenido de los mensajes; el usuario no interactúa enteramente con la publicación
y con su mensaje. El usuario, a través de esta interacción, construye su identidad espectacular. Una tendencia surge, de acuerdo a este proceso, para ser consumida por los usuarios. Los usuarios pueden consumirla de manera pasiva; pueden reproducir la tendencia y ser al mismo tiempo parte de la tendencia. Este consumo no consiste en “tener”, sino en “parecer”. Es lo que me hace
como identidad espectacular. La forma es el mensaje en sí mismo, y el contenido se debilita (de esto no se deduce que toda publicación sea una imagen carente de sustancia). El ejemplo más evidente es la tendencia del #ChallengeAccept, dónde la forma del contenido (las imágenes en blanco y negro, las leyendas de “apoyo” a la comunidad femenina) es más importante que el contenido en sí (cuya naturaleza es, por muchos seguidores de la tendencia, incomprendida). Lo viral y la lógica de la moda.
El usuario, entonces, consume contenidos; consume publicaciones; consume espectáculo y a su vez, se produce él mismo dentro de un espectáculo, que es la red social. Cuando una tendencia o un contenido se viraliza
, no se sigue inmediatamente su banalización. Su banalización es tal en el momento en que el contenido no se viraliza por su sustancia, sino por su forma.
Por otro lado, un contenido es viral cuando está de moda. Y la lógica de la moda es la lógica de la obsolescencia. Así:
… capitalismo y moda se retroalimentan. Ambos son el motor del deseo que se expresa y satisface consumiendo; ambos ponen en acción emociones y pasiones muy particulares […]. Ninguno de los dos conoce el reposo, avanzan según un movimiento cíclico no-racional, que no supone un progreso. En palabras de J. Baudrillard: “No hay un progreso continuo en esos ámbitos: la moda es arbitraria, pasajera, cíclica y no añade nada a las cualidades intrínsecas del individuo”.
La moda está destinada a ser sustituida por otra moda. Pero no muere, desaparece. Justamente nadie se detiene a llorar por una “moda muerta”, justamente, por el hecho de que nunca una moda muere: la moda es sustituida por una nueva, de un momento a otro, en la que nos vemos obligados a depositar nuestra atención.
Las tendencias virales, de este modo, es justamente por su naturaleza intrínseca que están destinadas a aparecer y desaparecer constantemente. Son un objeto de consumo, un espectáculo, una experiencia que se agota. Su contenido no suele pasar de la mera forma, y las formas son fáciles de sustituir pues, justamente, son formas. Esta lógica, de una frivolidad considerable, no es nueva en lo absoluto. ¿Por qué frivolidad? Pues, porque, así como la lógica de moda es aplicada a un producto, también es aplicada a problemáticas sociales reales: El #IceBucketChallenge es un ejemplo de ello. La campaña no fue poca cosa: se estima que 115 millones de dólares se donaron a la Asociación para la Esclerosis lateral amiotrófica solo en la primera semana, y a raíz de la trascendencia del reto. Pero, al final, en el mismo artículo de la cadena BBC, se deja en evidencia el efecto de lo pasajero
típico de una moda:
Ammar Al-Chalabi, profesor de neurología y genética de enfermedades complejas en la universidad londinense King´s College London, cree que existe el riesgo de que el público crea que estas enfermedades ya no necesitan más dinero.
Más bien es lo opuesto. "Necesitamos un desafío de la cubeta continuo", dijo.
Cómo bien dije, no se trata de un fenómeno nuevo y típico de las redes sociales de internet. South Park
, una caricatura satírica y bizarra estadounidense, tiene un episodio que hace un llamado de atención al fenómeno de las problemáticas sociales como modas, titulado en el español: Problema de Amígdalas
(13-04-2009). En el capítulo, Eric Cartman, uno de los protagonistas, contrae el SIDA accidentalmente mientras le quitan las amígdalas en una cirugía. En un intento desesperado por conseguir apoyo de sus amigos y de la comunidad, Cartman fracasa puesto que ahora es el Cáncer la enfermedad que más atención social demanda y que más sensibiliza a las personas. El capítulo es una exageración de una problemática real de principios de siglo y finales del siglo pasado (ver Historia: Nivel 1
. Netflix. Capítulo 9: El SIDA
). Conclusiones generales.
Podríamos ser fatalistas y decir que todo lo viral se convierte ineludiblemente en algo banal. Pero no es así. El caso del #IceBuckettChallenge, nos deja un lado positivo (la gran recaudación que genero el “movimiento virtual”, que de otra forma hubiese sido difícil concertarla), y un lado negativo (pasada la moda, las masas creemos que pasó el problema).
Sí sostengo lo que he mencionado en una sección de este breve ensayo: que la banalización es tal en el momento en el cuál el fenómeno o el contenido de lo viral es tomado en su forma, y no en su sustancia (Como en el caso del #ChallengeAccept en Instagram), o sea, importa la publicación en su forma estética y viral como una manera de parecer
, y la reproducimos siempre y cuando al mismo tiempo contribuye en la construcción de nuestra identidad espectacular
Cuando se trata de una problemática que se viraliza, siempre podremos solidarizarnos si esa solidaridad no implica una responsabilidad. Cuando no hay responsabilidad, no hay un vínculo con la problemática. Cuando no hay un vínculo con la problemática, el sujeto nunca llegó a conocerla realmente, sino que solo conoció su representación-espectáculo.
(3-08-2015): “A un año del #IceBucketChallenge, ¿qué se ha logrado?”, BBC,
Mundo, Salud. En línea: https://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias/2015/08/150803_salud_aniversario_icebucjetchallenge_esclerosis_ig 
(18-02-2013): “’Harlem Shake’: el baile ridículo que arrasa la Red”. El Mundo España,
Medios. En línea: https://www.elmundo.es/elmundo/2013/02/18/comunicacion/1361217707.html 
Zeichner, N. (15-02-2013): “FADER Explains: Harlem Shake”, The Fader
, Music. En línea: https://www.thefader.com/2013/02/15/fader-explains-harlem-shake/ 
RAE (Real Academia Española): “viral”. En línea: https://dle.rae.es/viral 
Caldevilla Domínguez, D.; Barrientos Báez, A.; Parra López, E. (2020). Horizontes del mundo digital: de la simulación y la banalización de la experiencia, a un uso social, ecológico e innovador de la Sociedad Red, en CIC. Cuadernos de Información y Comunicación 25, 269-277. 
(Rev. 13-04-2020): “El medio es el mensaje”. Wikipedia.
Wiki. En línea: https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_medio_es_el_mensaje 
Rubal Thomsen, M. (27-09-2017): “Twitter amplía la extensión de sus mensajes a 280 caracteres”. La Vanguardia.
España. En línea: https://www.lavanguardia.com/tecnologia/20170927/431590709836/twitter-amplia-limite-280-caracteres.html#:~:text=Twitter%20dobla%20el%20espacio%20para,de%20ampliaci%C3%B3n%20con%20algunas%20lenguas. 
Jackson, D. (22-05-2017): “Conoce tus límites: El largo ideal para cada post en redes sociales”. SproutSocial.
SproutBlog. En línea: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/contador-de-caracteres-de-redes-sociales/ 
Strate, Lance (2012). «El medio y el mensaje de McLuhan: La tecnología, extensión y amputación del ser humano». Infoamerica: Iberoamerican Communication Review 7.
P.73. En línea: https://www.infoamerica.org/icn07_08/strate.pdf 
Lorenz, T. (28-07-2020): “#RetoAceptado:
por qué algunas mujeres publican selfies en blanco y negro”. The New York Times.
Estilos de vida. En línea: https://www.nytimes.com/es/2020/07/28/espanol/estilos-de-vida/reto-selfi-blanco-negro.html 
(30-07-2020): “Desafío aceptado, la convocatoria contra la violencia de género que acaparó las redes”. Página 12.
Sociedad. En línea: https://www.pagina12.com.a281900-desafio-aceptado-la-convocatoria-contra-la-violencia-de-gene 
Debord, G. (1967): La sociedad del espectáculo.
Imprenta Quattrocento. Santiago de Chile, p.9. En línea: http://www.observacionesfilosoficas.net/download/sociedadDebord.pdf 
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, N.9, p.2 (pdf). En línea: https://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/articulo?codigo=2247601 
Vázquez Rocca, A. Op. Cit., p.3 (pdf) 
(3-08-2015): “A un año del #IceBucketChallenge, ¿qué se ha logrado?”, BBC,
Mundo, Salud. En línea: https://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias/2015/08/150803_salud_aniversario_icebucjetchallenge_esclerosis_ig
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2020.08.01 08:12 TejasNair [Weekend Long Read] Representation of Muslims in Malayalam cinema and taking the Riz test
The Riz test, inspired from the Bechdel test and Riz Ahmed’s 2017 speech in the House of Commons on diversity on screen, talks about five criteria to measure how Muslims are portrayed on Film and TV.
If the film/show stars at least one character who is identifiably Muslim (by ethnicity, language or clothing) then is the character:
- Talking about, the victim of, or the perpetrator of terrorism?
- Presented as irrationally angry
- Presented as superstitious, culturally backwards or anti-modern?
- Presented as a threat to a western way of life?
- If the character is male, is he presented as misogynistic? Or if female, is she presented as oppressed by her male counterparts?
If the answer for any of the above is yes, then the film/TV show fails the test.
We look at Malayalam cinema that is said to be making the most progressive films in India right now and analyse how many films passed with flying colours and how many barely made it and how many miserably failed.
The 50s and 60s had few films that headlined Muslim characters which told normal human stories within the milieu. The 1960 film Umma directed by Kunchako had polygamy as its central theme. There was also Subaidha, Ayisha and Khadeeja in the 60s.
“The new wave sidelined women and Muslim characters. While commercial cinema was under the influence of MT Vasudevan Nair and his Valluvandan characters. Stories around upper-caste Hindu families became the norm. Superstar films were also anti-Muslim,” says CS Venkiteswaran, film academician and author.
Some of the commonly observed motifs of misrepresentation would be Muslim characters invariably lacked education, practiced polygamy and families were largely patriarchal in nature. Women in typical traditional costumes who get married at a young age, bear several children, languish inside kitchens and put up with patriarchal oppression. While men in white skullcaps, goatee, green belts tied around a lungi and white banians, would propagate polygamy, misogyny, were superstitious, economically backward and uncouth.
Statistically mainstream Malayalam films between 80s and 2000 had only a handful of Muslim hero characters. In the action thriller Moonam Mura (1988) directed by K Madhu, written by SN Swami, Mohanlal plays an ex-cop Ali Imran who is assigned for a mission, but his religion doesn’t add any value to the story. Similarly, in His Highness Abdulla (1990), he played Abdulla who eventually wins over the Hindu Thampuran’s heart and marries his adopted daughter. While Mammootty has played the iconic writer Vaikkom Muhammed Basheer in Mathilukal (1990), the evil Murikkum Kunnathu Ahmed Haji in Ranjith’s Palerimanikyam and world war veteran Khader in 1921 directed by IV Sasi and scripted by T Damodaran, based on the Mappila Uprising. Interestingly none of these films were directed or written by those who belonged to the community.
If one goes by Census of India figures, Muslims makes 26.56% population in Kerala and by that count, the Muslim representation in mainstream cinema cannot be counted as enough.
The 1988 Sathyan Anthikad film, Ponmuttayidunna Tharavu, written by Raghunath Paleri, has an elderly Muslim landlord, Hajiyar (Karamana Janardhanan Nair) who doesn’t allow his third wife, Kalmayi (Parvathy) to step out of the house, petrified that a younger man will snatch her from him. Kalmayi in her traditional attire and gold finery is a typical Muslim woman stereotype who seems content with her confinement, which was also a reflection of the society back then.
Amina Tailors (1991) directed by Sajan, reinstates every Muslim stereotype—uneducated, roguish, oppressed women and misogynistic men. Amina is illiterate who learns to read and write for her lover, without her father’s knowledge, while the mother is a mute witness to the father’s boorish, misogynistic behaviour.
Ghazal (1993) directed by Kamal has a heroine, who seems to have put the villagers under her spell with her blue eyes. Despite being madly in love with a young man in the village, she agrees to wed the much-married elderly Thangal (Nasser) to seek revenge for raping her years ago. She ends up killing him and herself on the wedding night as she feels she isn’t chaste enough to be with the man who loves her. Set in North Kerala, the film also adds to labels (polygamy, illiteracy, patriarchy, anti-modern, impoverished) associated with the Muslim community in that region. Thangal’s wife is again a silent observer to her husband’s philandering. But Perumazhakalam (2004), about a Hindu woman and Muslim woman who gets acquainted by an bizarre twist of fateengages us with its heartful human-interest story (which is inspired from real life).
In Vinayan’s Dada Sahib (2000), Mammootty plays the double role of a Muslim father and son. While the son is an army man, the father is a freedom fighter. The son’s surname and religion typically result in him being arrested for espionage. The elderly father meanwhile runs from pillar to post seeking help from the police and government, doling out fiery speeches to prove his patriotism. In return he gets abused for his religion and being traitors historically! It also speaks about a narrative where the Muslim characters were required to prove their integrity and patriotism in a society which kept doubting their credentials (again reflected the society mindset during that time, which surprisingly remains the same). Suresh Gopy who played Muhammed Sarkar in the Shaji Kailas directed FIR (1999) had to resort to the whole good Muslim speech for those who questioned his intentions in the film.
Though in some of the most feted political thrillers of the 90s, Muslim characters are invariably drug peddlers, bomb-creators and anti-nationals. They were either the villain’s henchman or anti-establishment figures scheming against the hero. Or they placed Muslim characters, simply to “represent a community”—like Baputti in Shaji Kailas’ Aaram Thampuran (1997), who is Mohanlal’s buddy and man Friday. While dropping him at Kulappuli Appan Thampuran’s mansion he excuses himself from entering the premise saying—"Namukku paranjittullathu ithreyellu. Ini Bappootti kayari ashudhamakkunnilla.” It’s a sly castiest statement. Jagathy plays Khader Khan in Ranjith’s Rock N Roll, a caricaturish Kozhikode Muslim who lives to eat.
In Priyadarshan’s Kilichundan Mambazham (2003), set in Malabar, the template isn’t free of clichés either. Abdu and Ameena are in love but circumstances force Ameena to be the third wife of a rich merchant, Moidhooty Haji. Haji (Sreenivasan) right from the wedding night comes across as this libidinous man who considers women fit only to have sex, procreate and cook. In one scene he asks Ameena— “You get to eat biryani four times a day? What else do you need? When Ameena keeps postponing their consummation, a frustrated Haji drags his first wife to his bedroom for sex. Finally he gives Ameena the triple talaq so that she can go back to her lover (with an odd Muslim custom as an excuse) and chooses to stay with his first wife. That apart, the film and its actors gave the impression of being part of a shoddy fancy dress party with awfully rendered Malabar Muslim slang topped with loud mannerisms.
In many mid 90s films, Muslim characters were placed to add humour. Cochin Haneefa used to be at the receiving end of quite a few roles like that.
The 2006 Shaji Kailas suspense thriller Baba Kalyani reinstates the favourite Bollywood Muslim stereotype—How Hawala invariably links to Muslims and the Pakistan nexus. In the film Mohanlal’s Baba Kalyani finds out that antagonist, Babu (Indrajith Sukumaran), a college lecturer by the day is a kingpin of a terror organization in the state. He is said to have undergone Jihadi training in Pakistan and is planning a massive explosion.
Vineeth Sreenivasan’s love letter to the Muslim woman’s veil, Thattathin Marayathu (2012) has a hero who is mesmerised by the heroine’s face framed inside the veil. “When she puts it, I am unable to focus elsewhere,” is his constant refrain. The heroine meanwhile lives a sheltered existence along with her divorced sister and submissive father in a home ruled by her misogynistic uncle. When her love affair with the Hindu boy is revealed she is beaten with a belt by the Uncle. The girls (her elder sister is blamed for walking out of an abusive marriage) despite being educated are shown to be mere puppets in a toxic patriarchal space. One can’t deny that a reversed narrative would have resulted in Love Jihad.
“Earlier in Malayalam cinema, most of the villain characters had Muslim names or very rarely Christian names. I once asked this writer why he made that cruel villain a Muslim character? He replied, “It’s just a name, that’s it.” I think that’s the biggest disaster that can happen to a writer. It’s not just a name, that its name is Islamophobia is what we learnt much later. We need to think before we even pick names. When we start procrastinating, writing becomes dangerous,” observes Writer PF Mathews.
In Ustad Hotel (2012) directed by Anwar Rasheed, written by Anjali Menon, the heroine belongs to a rich patriarchal Muslim family where women are expected to cook and bear children. Though she is an architecture student, she agrees to an arranged marriage, and hopes to be “allowed to work” post marriage. Shahana is also seen performing for a rock band at night without the knowledge of her family. While the hero’s sisters though initially are married off, they are later shown to be taking care of the hotel business. And during the beginning of the film the mother is only there as a symbol of procreation (though it can be argued that it’s a reality in many Muslim households). The father is displeased by the daughters she gives birth to and after the son is born, she conveniently dies. The scene where Dulquer Salmaan’s Faizi raises his eyebrows at a Muslim man who admits that the bunch of children rallying around him are his own would again be a stereotype.
"A heroine who portrays a Muslim character wears a burkha, jumps over walls and sings rock music for liberation, or when she goes out for work, the family runs behind her and hands her a hijab (Take Off). There is no attempt to go deep into their culture, thinking or aesthetics," says Parari.
The Murali Gopy scripted Tiyaan (2017) is strewn with celluloid Muslim stereotypes where they draw kohl-eyed hooligans who rape and kill as Pakistani born bad Muslims and the namaaz reading, good Samaritans who walk in the backdrop of Arabic chants as the good ones.
Last year’s B Tech set in the backdrop of an Engineering college in Bangalore is about a group of friends and how the death of their young Muslim friend turns their life upside down. Though a well-intentioned commentary against islamophobia, it dissolves into a middling narrative with cliched social media inspired memes being converted into dialogues. The ones who passed the test
The first film which went against every single checklist in the Riz test has to be the Muhsin Parari directed and written KL10 Pathu (2015), set in the backdrop of a place (Malappuram) that has never got its due in the movies. If TV Chandran’s Paadam Onnu Oru Vilaapam depicted the regressive reality of how Muslim girls forced into early marriages are left in the lurch once pregnant, others showcased the youth who indulged in bigotry and treason. Even the recently released Amazon Prime web series, Family Man had a Malayali antagonist, Moosa, who hails from Kasaragod and joins the ISIS after his family gets slaughtered in a riot. But in his debut film, Parari debunks every stereotype associated with the district and creates a democratic, fun space. Be it having a progressive, independent fun-loving heroine who wears a hijab without fuss, to men who planned their days around food and football to an adorable Jinn, with kohl-lined eyes, as the narrator. There are lovely undertones of Sufism, in music, architecture and poetry. It’s a smartly written film that digs deeper into the socio-political milieu of the region, where conversations flow freely, friendships are legendary and people are warm and frothy, along with precisely retaining their dialect and portraying their culture authentically. "It did justice to the tagline we used— “Mazha Mayayudey Paryayamanu” which questioned the inclusiveness of the mainstream Malayalam cinema. Also, KL10 Pathu was the first movie in which a Muslim girl in Hijab was depicted unapologetically," offers Parari.
In their next film, Sudani from Nigeria (2018), Muhsin and Zakariya—who makes his directorial debut—achieve the same honesty and integrity in depicting the life of Malappuram residents. The narrative follows Majeed, a Sevens football team manager, and his friendship with an immigrant Nigerian player, who finds himself at the Manager’s home being lovingly tended to by his mother following a broken leg. Considering the landscape, culture and people were always misrepresented, the makers pull all the stops to bring it all back to perspective. Be it their passion for football and food, their ability to open their hearts and homes to a stranger and their quirky sense of humour, naivety and taking pride in their nativity. While there are women who happily thrive in the conditioned patriarchal space, there are also young, financially independent sort who refuse to settle for a partner who aren’t as qualified as them.
“Though I thought that was going the extreme, without a single grey character and a village filled with kind-hearted people. I don’t see a balance there,” says CS.
In the 2017 film Take Off, based on the real life story of nine Malayali nurses who were held hostage by terrorists in Iraq, Parvathy plays Sameera, a Muslim nurse who gets a posting in Iraq. Sameera, who hails from a lower-middle class family, gets married into an affluent, conservative Muslim family where women are expected to take care of the home and children. When she decides to pursue nursing to help her father pay off the loans, the husband and his family don’t take it well, resulting in a divorce.
Sameera is one of the most realistically sketched Muslim female characters in Malayalam cinema — all her battles are fought staying within the system. Even in her husband’s home, it’s not shown as an outright rebellion, but a matter of standing up for herself. She is trying to fit into all the roles as best as she can — be it nurse, wife, mother, daughter or daughter-in-law.
Manju Warrier plays Saira, a postwoman wearing a head scarf in C/O Saira Banu—but nowhere in the narrative does the religion or gender have a say in their character arc. The only reminder would be when she talks about getting beaten up by her father when she was in school for removing her hijab to save a pair of kittens from getting soaked in the rain.
Films like Big B, Anwar, Annayum Rasoolum have characters who don’t fall into Muslim stereotypes. Big B main leads are named with an eye on communal harmony—Bilal (Muslim), Eddy (Christian), Murugan and Bijo (Hindus) are orphans adopted by a good Samaritan Mary teacher. And none of the characters are pigeon-holed because of their religion.
There are interesting unconventional, organic depictions. In Aami, one of the stories in the anthology 5 Sundarikal, Fahad Fasil is a rich Muslim who plays interesting mind games with his wife over the phone during a long journey. While Neelakasham Pachakadal Chuvanna Bhoomi has Dulquer Salmaan belonging to a conservative Muslim family in North Kerala on a journey to find his lover. It also shows his patriarchal and traditional household where the mother is anxious about the son marrying someone outside the caste.
The 2017 romance Mayaanadhi about two star-crossed lovers has a track about a popular film actress who is a Muslim and how her life is controlled by her misogynistic brother. When a clip of her midriff gets revealed in a film, he immediately puts a stop to all her film ambitions. However, one has to note that it's a role seldom given to a Muslim woman on screen.
While the Soubin Shahir directed Parava is a beautifully framed film in the backdrop of a milieu he comes from, Mattanchery and their passion for pigeon racing. It’s a tribute to a subculture and milieu and their ordinary lives where religion never comes in the way of the narrative.
In Aashiq Abu’s Virus, a medical thriller inspired from the Nipah outbreak in North Kerala, the Muslim community are carefully drawn out, there is a lovely spontaneous romance between a young doctor Abid Rehman and his sweetheart Dr Sara Yakub and they hint at the stereotypical demonising the community has to endure when the prime Nipah giver’s lover is questioned about his whereabouts.
“That’s why I say that one of the significant developments in Malayalam cinema in this decade has been the phenomenal presence of Muslims in the industry be in direction, cinematography or other technical aspects which in turn helped in creating a more sensitive and productive narrative for the Muslims in cinema,” maintains CS.
But then it's also true that one of the most poignant gay romantic stories, that too between two Muslim characters can be seen in the recently released Moothon, directed and written By Geethu Mohandas. The love story between Akbar and Ameer is so organically written, enacted and crafted, making it perhaps the most sensitive and politically perfect depictions of Muslims and homosexuality in Malayalam cinema till date.
(By Neelima Menon via Full Picture
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2020.07.25 16:16 sixpack222 "Karren" phenomenon in US by a foreign perspective ! Thoughts ?
I want to start out by pointing that in my opinion the term " being a Karren" or simply "Karren" is a socio-political issue with a substrate of racial issues in USA , specifically related to minority groups "frustration" on the majority ( being white ) from a socio-economical perspective with the second part being the political aspect , most people advertising for this label being on the left or far-left side of the political spectrum .
On every TV channel , left or right of the political spectrum this subject is politicized one way or the other , therefore there is a hell lot of subjectivity..depending on wich side you are on , conservative or democrat ! Then you must go into subdivisions like activist & socio-political groups ( Antifa, BLM , Bungaloo ,White Nationalists ,etc ) And so there isn't any objectivity on the matter , it all depends on how you look at it from a sociological perspective !
Few or close to none are considering how this sociological idiosyncrasy would affect parents who want to name their daughter Karren or people with the name Karren and how this will spread preconceptions and hatefull behaviour towards them on the long run if this idiosyncrasy is not stopped in it's tracks ! It will further give bullies more material to bully innocent victims who are just named Karren or people who are labeled such just because of a personality trait, like being more vocal or flegmatic !
Without a clear definition of a "Karren" , this would be the end result and ostracization of certain people is the byproduct of this culture idiom ! Considering it's wide description , these types of micro-agressions and labels would be common and applied to many citizens , depending on their quasi-pshychological state in a particular moment . This cultural label could encompass almost anybody given a timeframe of an individual's state of mind and personality, depending of course by the enviromental situation he is in , therefore this gross subjectivism would actually end creating the very thing people are "attributing" to "Karren-type behaviour" .
The ostracization of the "Karren-type" behaviour model would only deepen the socio-political crisis in USA without a complete knowledge of the underlying problem . The fundation of the cultural label lies as I specified in racial issues and political non-conformitary views , the undertones being that of a culturally and racially divided society structure . This becomes clear by observing the obsession of racially charged elements in society and racial classification as being the sum of an individual's ego/self .
Would parents in the near future decide not to name their children Karren because of this ... and if so , consider that memes you publish or internet comentary along these lines would only help maintain this idiosyncrasy ? Would people named Karren experience mistreatment and social ostracization at their workplace based on the cultural stigma in American society today ? If not , then how come compared to EU , US has very little employee protection against random or biased firing in a firm/job and the employer has much more power over the employee ? Isn't it a fair thing to say that this cultural stigma would affect a person's livelyhood like any other would .. ?
And so , nobody consideres the full implications of " Karren phenomena" applied to a real world eviroment that can have serious consequences in terms of psychological trauma and enabling bullies and other people ( like media narrators , opinion makers,political commentators, influencers, tabloids,etc ) to make more labels and divisions in American society !
What are you thoughts about my perspective as american citizens and how do you view yourselves this idiosyncrasy ?
- From EU
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2020.07.14 02:59 chadtrad Caravan Magazine: Propaganda in the name of objective reporting [Long Read]
The caravan is a monthly magazine which claims to publish long-form narrative journalism
I was reading the July 2020 issue of caravan magazine and here are few instances of them twisting the facts (this analysis covers only Cover story, written by Suraj Yangde) It is claimed that the Delhi riots were anti-muslim :
Here is an excerpt from the article :
Of the media outlets that carried news of the protests, all except a very few have done nothing to hold the police to account for their role in the anti-Muslim riots in Delhi just months ago
Nothing could be far away from the fact as the detail in the riots was approx 2 : 3 To prove the point here is the article from the first post
, archive link
The main accused of the Delhi riots is a Muslim Tahir HussainTo prove the point here is an article from IndianExpress
, archive link
Here is complete coverage of Tahir Hussain's charge sheet by OpIndia
, archive link It is claimed that a young Dalit boy was killed just because he visited temple:
Here's an excerpt from the article:
It is no exaggeration to say that the case of George Floyd has received more attention in India than any of the recent incidents in the country’s endless onslaught of caste crimes. In the state of Uttar Pradesh, the young Dalit Vikas Kumar Jatav was shot after he dared to pray at a village temple
A few days ago it was reported that a young Dalit boy Vikas Kumar Jatav was shot dead, two different versions are given regarding that story While his family have claimed that he was killed because he visited the temple but the police version claims that Dalits of that region are not prohibited from visiting the temple and that Vikas was killed due to money-related issue, a report by Quint
The investigation, in this case, is ongoing and unless and until the verdict is announced it is stupid to claim that he was killed because he entered the temple It is implied that Chote Lal Diwakar was killed only because he was Dalit:
Here's an excerpt from the article:
Dalit politician Chhote Lal Diwakar and his son were shot after an argument over land
Recently, a video surfaced in which father-son duo was visible having a spat over land. Later, they were shot dead, even though spat over land has been mentioned by the author but their use of keyword Dalit gives away their intention to another instance of using loaded words to dog-whistle. The father-son duo was killed not because they were Dalits, but they were building MNAREGA roads over land owned by somebody else. Report from NDTV
, archive link
Yes, it was a sad affair that they were killed in broad day-light. But to use it as an argument does not seem right because their killing had no relation to caste issue, on top of that the criminals who shot the duo were nabbed immediately by the policeThe author has tried to give a castist angle to honor killing:
Here's an excerpt from the article:
In Kerala, a young Dalit a man had his hand hacked off by the brother of the dominant-caste girl he loved.
Honor killings are bad and wrong, although the identity was not revealed by the author so in this particular case pinpoint, refutal of the claim is not possible. But honor killings are often done by family members because they don't want their kin to take their own decisions, it's part patriarchy, part ego, part socio-cultural factors, but the author seems to think that all the crimes against Dalits are castist in nature It is implied that SavArnAs are aggressive towards other religion/caste:
Here's an excerpt from the article:
Huge numbers of Indian Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, and Sikhs are from these outcaste groups, having converted to try and shake off the stigma they carry in Hindu eyes.
Here's another excerpt:
Slurs of caste and color overlap and pair together in Indians’ vocabularies. Darker groups—south Indians, Siddis, Africans, and others—face rampant discrimination.
The author has tried to paint a picture that so-called savarnas are always the aggressors. This is wrong on so many different levels :
- Animosity exists between various groups, but they exist for historical reasons and not because of Savarnas's narcissism, for instance, the animosity between Hindus and Sikhs goes back to the time of Dayanand Saraswati and his book where he criticized Sikh gurus for their lack of knowledge. To claim that such fault lines exist due to caste is not a sign of a well-formed mind.
- Above lines also exposes the ignorance of this author as this argument essentially assumes that the majority is always wrong and minority is always oppressed [insert - "main main minority mera Shoshan Hua hai meme here"]
- Buddhists, lolwut, the author is losing it
- The author claims that South Indians face racism (with the clear implication being that it going only one way), although it is a known fact that south Indians use all sorts of slurs towards North Indians (every region uses slurs against each other because it's banter and not racism)
Claims about the caste system and how it's fundamental to Hinduism :
The author has claimed multiple times in this article as to how the caste system is Vedic in nature and is fundamental to Hinduism.
There are two aspects of this, first is based on theory and other practices prevalent in our society.
- First, let's talk about Theory:
It has now know that the modern-day caste system has no resemblance to the Vedas and this falsity comes from English translations done by Christian missionaries.
Since this post is not about the caste system in general so I won't go into much detail, but here are few resources too further get info about the caste system Agniveer's article on the caste system The complete archive of agniveer's article
I found this answer
on Quora if you don't want to read multiple articles by Agniveer.
It is problematic but to claim that present-day caste-system was mentioned in Vedas in wrong
The above-mentioned manipulations, wrong representation, and brainless logics are present in pages 36-37, this post is already too long, I don't have willpower to disprove all manipulations (there are too many of them) but I think I have already proved my point.
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