Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Mob Rule and Algorithms



Peter Hitchens is scared. In his recent Daily Mail piece, he sees Britain changing in ways he couldn't previously imagine:

Is THIS a warning? In the past few days I have begun to sense a dangerous and dark new intolerance in the air, which I have never experienced before. An unbidden instinct tells me to be careful what I say or write, in case it ends badly for me. How badly? That is the trouble. I am genuinely unsure.

I have been to many countries where free speech is dangerous. But I have always assumed that there was no real risk here.

How can one not be scared? In fact we are inching toward mob rule, where the mob's ideology is a perverse blend of PC "progressivism" and corporate-sponsored militarism. And no one seems to get any more that mob rule and liberalism are not the same thing.

In both Britain and the US, we're now a hair's breadth away from a kind of Orwellian techno-authoritarianism. My sense is that Britain, with its more developed acceptance of "hate speech" laws, its actual criminalization of "offensive speech" (whatever that means), is further down this slippery slope than the US. And let me predict right now: Five more years of this sliding, with our Two-Minute Hates and our algorithmic policing of thought crime, and more people are going to wish they got red-pilled when there was still time.

And yes, by red-pilled I mean something like the fact-based discursive brashness of a Milo Yiannopoulos or the methodical refusal to toe the line of a Jordan Peterson.

Check out my Idiocy, Ltd. and begin the long, hard reckoning.

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