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Situational Assessment 2018

Boy Wonder is out with his 2018 Situational Assessment.

The thoughts aren’t new to me, so it doesn’t have the same impact that his 2017 Situational Assessment had.

In 2017, hostilities continued to intensify along the existing fronts, which Boy Wonder had previously identified as (A) communication infrastructures, (B) the Deep State, (C) globalism, and (D) culture wars.

Boy Wonder notes rightly that one of the things that’s sinking the Blue Church is that its members don’t understand that narrative is no longer important. Attention is attention. Thus if you spend all your spare time watching MSNBC and pouring over news stories in The New York Times or The Washington Post, you may imagine you’re striking a blow against Trump and everything you believe Trump stands for, since these outlets put a negative spin on Trumpism. But actually you’re not, since you’re still immersed in the Trump niche. The spin is irrelevant. Follow the money: I suspect if you looked at Fox TV and MSNBC’s advertisers, you’d find a really high correlation.

Thus, the increasing disenchantment with legacy “news” channels in people under 40, and the shift to decentralized digital communication infrastructures.

If you really want to know, you divide your time equally between Blue Church and Red Religion feeds. (Hence my affection for Red Religion aggregator The Daily Mail.)

Of course, I'm a lightweight, so my eyes glaze over whenever I think of things like “Deep State” and “Globalism.” Ana Maria expended reams and reams of prose in another galaxy far, far away giving me the background on The Memo – Golden showers: check! Carter Page: check! A complicated backstory that reads like the story arc for a season of The Americans: check! – but I confess, I followed very little of it.

On the other hand, the culture war is something I can really get behind.

If you want to drive a staunch Blue Churcher absolutely nuts, Boy Wonder notes, you start feeding them tropes. Blue Church is used to tropes that were propagated with top-down authority: Uncle Sam! Swastikas! But that’s not the way Red Religion uses tropes.

What’s informing all this is an underlying shift in the underlying technology. (Shout-out to Marshall McLuhan.) Although, of course, underlying technologies also change the ways people think. May even change the way neurons process sensory data collection in the brain.

Neurologists weren’t around to wring their hands back in the days when writing was the great new underground threat to the established hierarchy. But there’s a lot of justification for seeing the religious clashes between Catholics and Protestants that dominated 15th, 16th, and 17th European history as a response to the technological innovation of the printing press, and that’s kind of an analogy.


One area that Boy Wonder does not get into in the 2018 Situational Assessment is the whole #MeToo phenomenon, which strikes me as the biggest thing that happened in 2017.

So, I asked him about it.

Blue CI coherence mechanism, he answered. (CI = “collective intelligence.”) Non-linear. Its problem is that it weaponizes too quickly. It could also be part of a deep auto-immune system: a homo sapiens way of removing dominance / tyranny that comes from way back. A lot of collateral damage, but evolution only cares about getting the job done.


In other news, I went to Walmart yesterday! Walmart is supposed to have a Dr. Scholl’s orthotics kiosk that spits out customized inserts on demand! I’ve been wondering whether the autoimmune disease arthritic discomfort might not be at least partly alleviated if I shifted the impact when I step down. My feet are almost flat; better arch support might do miracles.

But, of course, the Fishkill Walmart did not have the Dr. Scholl’s kiosk.

I spent an hour wandering around anyway and bought a Bluetooth speaker that I don’t strictly need and was deeply tempted by a 60-inch HD TV for under $300.

But I didn’t give into temptation.

TVs are the ultimate thought control technology. I mean – people with great self-discipline can limit their use of them to Netflix streaming, I suppose.

But sooner or later, that day comes when you’re feeling sick or dispirited, and you tell yourself, A couple of hours can’t hurt…

And then the next day, you find yourself reaching for the remote control again…

The most revolutionary thing you can possibly do is throw away your TV.

I imagine that’s why TVs are so cheap.

This entry was originally posted at http://mallorys-camera.dreamwidth.org/696953.html. You may leave comments on either Dreamwidth or LiveJournal if you like.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 3rd, 2018 05:21 pm (UTC)
Neurologists weren’t around to wring their hands back in the days when writing was the great new underground threat to the established hierarchy.

Good point. We never know what’s going to hit us, but we will take you down! We, will, get, our panties, in a bunch.

As much as I like to think and pretend I’ve done well at avoiding ‘rump absurdities, I’m beginning to feel the fatigue. Like even if you’re not thinking about the ‘rump, you are thinking about the ‘rump!

I too ponder (and do value) MeToo-ness stuff (what would Boy Wonder know?), messy as it is. This wave makes the whole thing worth it. It wouldn’t have happened w/ Hil at the top, and it is more important than some asshole symbolizing the top for a few years.
Feb. 3rd, 2018 07:41 pm (UTC)
Like even if you’re not thinking about the ‘rump, you are thinking about the ‘rump!

Exactement, m'dear.

Unless you opt out. Which I more-or-less have.

Yeah, Boy Wonder scores demerits for not considering #MeToo in the published piece and for writing it off as a "Blue CI Coherence Mechanism" in his conversation with moi. For one thing, it originated as a Twitter campaign and decentralized meme propagation is one of the hallmarks of what he calls "the Insurgency." For another, as you say, it never would have happened had HRC become the figurehead at the top.

The deal is that the Insurgency exists apart from the Blue Church/Red Religion orthodoxies (or heterodoxies depending upon which side of the fence you're sitting on.) It's not ideological.

The polarizing ideologies that exist in this particular time and space are gonna seem as irrelevant to people living 100 years from now as those polarizing ideologies of the Protestant Revolution seem to us now.
Feb. 3rd, 2018 06:42 pm (UTC)
I "cut the cable" a few years ago when I realized I was paying an ever-increasing cable bill while I clicked through dozens of channels that had commercials as their main content -- and that the actual shows were not anything that even remotely interested me.
I now get my news and sports (the only things I was watching on tv at the end) from online sources.
Feb. 3rd, 2018 07:44 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I read news online for about an hour every morning.

And frankly, I'd stop if I could! Current events in the media reportage sense of the word strikes me as completely irrelevant.

But, y'know. I've been a news junkie my entire life. And old habits die hard. :-)
Feb. 3rd, 2018 07:59 pm (UTC)
Television does rot the brain. Back in the 90's I'd note that the size of one's TV screen is inversely proportional to the level of one's education. Don't think that still holds.
Feb. 3rd, 2018 08:03 pm (UTC)
Don't think that still holds.

Ha, ha. No, it doesn't.

I don't think people quite understand that it's not TV content that rots their brains; it's the nature of the medium. TV saps agency.
Feb. 4th, 2018 04:26 am (UTC)
I still rely on my print newspaper as my first source of news.
We cut the cable at the last price increase (two years ago,) and my tv does not connect to the internet -- over the air channels grabbed by my antenna, for the win!
Feb. 5th, 2018 02:27 pm (UTC)
It's not the content, though. It's the way you (meaning people in general, not you specifically) interact with the content. Passive recipient v. interactive participant.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )