SJW and a little blue bird
I write this in the backdrop of the killing of George Floyd and the protests that ensued. I understand voices of color and I understand the frustration that compels them to violence, the unquenched need to be heard, to be considered. That this comes in 2020, in the country that deems itself the epicenter of modern civilization is a shocker. That too after 8 years of a black president!
I have personally encountered racism but in Australia and the UK, never in America. Not to say that because I haven't faced it doesn't exist. I talk primarily with the protests in mind and how the militarization of American police and their disregard for black citizens perhaps is the most important catalyst here.
What is also important to note is the sharp left turn that discourse has taken in American politics. Campus Marxism has become rampant on mainstream media and in Washington DC. While I understand the sex appeal of communism and socialism on college campuses, utopian ideas of equality and freedom espoused by those who have obviously never lived under either of the two systems. Therefore, lacking the knowledge that these systems propagate. These ideologies also deprive people of material benefits therefore lacking any redeeming feature. But then almost all of us were such idealists in School and college, but then we grew up, we realized the fallacies in these systems and realized that capitalism, warts and all, is perhaps the best system to eliminate poverty and provide people with a better lifestyle.
What puzzles me therefore is the rise of these ideas in DC. How does the temple of capitalism get defaced by these communist ideals?
I have done some thinking and I think twitter is to blame.
Bear with me as I explain this.
Twitter, and other similar platforms survive on outrage, there is little to no good news around those corners. The entire modus operandi of users to get followers and increase engagement at Twitter seems to be to get people riled up. Angry people
1) Vent out on the platform
2) Scream at those who might not agree and
3) repeat the cycle ad nauseum resulting in increasing revenues for twitter.
You could say twitter has monetized outrage. Now on twitter all users are equal, but some users are more equal than others. These are your verified twitter handles. The blue tick mark next to their name somehow lends credibility to their word, all else equal it tells you that this is a person of influence in the real world and therefore you must believe in what he says.
Verification on twitter is a black box, perhaps entrusted to young interns to identify influential voices on the platform. Campus leftists, SJWs, and their Ilk get easily verified because hey that is a name that intern remembers. The soap box on campus has now been replaced by this galactic microphone that allows them and empowers them to carry their message loud and wide.
At the same time journalism has met is untimely demise. With media outlets losing revenues and slashing budgets the painstakingly compiled news report has been replaced by the English grad who picks up tweets from the internet and compiles them as a story, 10 times a day. This lazy copy paste hacks mainstreams the outrage economy established by twitter. Do we really need a news report a day on twitter feuds and who said what to who? But that is exactly what you are served and what you gulp up.
Matt Taibbi wrote a sharp piece on how this Social justice crusade has destroyed the American press and in the subtext you see a familiar face again. Twitter.
There are were maybe around 200K verified accounts on twitter in 2016, surely, they are more in number now but that is a very small minority of users. This small subset using the amplification that twitter and mainstream media offers has the capacity to influence a large number of people. After all, only 10% of America is on twitter, the rest just get to know about what was said and done in the news.
So, do I agree with the DJT when he wants to curb twitter, no.
Will twitter regulate itself? no chance.
So, what should be done now? I frankly do not know.
But this is in my mind an accurate summary of how we got here, where parts of Seattle are autonomous areas with communism enforced by open carry guards.