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How Does Technology Rewire the Intricate Circuitry of the Teenage Mind?

By Ben Hunt | 44 Comments

The central course of our children’s lives is being mind-warped by social media and smartphones, not in some ethereal ghost-in-the-machine sort of way but in an actual neural-wiring sort of way, and this research note by Kiril Sokoloff and the 13D team shows how.

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Why Am I Reading This Now? 03.04.24

Recent major media stories that feel to us like they’re part of a larger narrativ‌e campaign.



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Recent major media stories that feel to us like they’re part of a larger narrativ‌e campaign.



Why Am I Reading This Now? 02.26.24

Recent major media stories that feel to us like they’re part of a larger narrativ‌e campaign.



Why Am I Reading This Now? 02.19.24

Recent major media stories that feel to us like they’re part of a larger narrativ‌e campaign.



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Recent major media stories that feel to us like they’re part of a larger narrativ‌e campaign.



City of God / City of Man

An AI in the City of God

By Ben Hunt

The City of Man always wins.

The Visigoths always sack Rome. The Vandals always sack Hippo. Augustine always dies in the siege. Bad things always happen to good people … at scale.

Here’s how we use generative AI to flip the script.

Men of God in the City of Man, Part 1: Virus

By Rusty Guinn

This is a story about a virus and the gain-of-function research that produced it.

It’s not what you think.

Men of God in the City of Man, Part 2: Carriers

By Rusty Guinn

Every virus needs carriers to spread. Even a narrative virus.

We can learn a lot from what they have in common.

Men of God in the City of Man, Part 3: Memetics

By Rusty Guinn

In the same way that genetics governs how physical viruses reproduce within a host, memetics governs how narrative viruses reproduce within a culture.

And the memes which govern our narrative virus are powerful.

Men of God in the City of Man, Part 4: Epimemetics

By Rusty Guinn

Every narrative is built on memes that have evolved and adapted to human culture over centuries.

But some environments change the way that those memes are expressed. The effects can be explosive.

Men of God in the City of Man, Pt. 5: Epidemic

By Rusty Guinn

Men of God prophesied as early as 2007 that God would make Donald Trump the President of the United States.

Our narrative virus gave these predictions fertile ground to take root.

Men of God in the City of Man, Pt. 6: Pandemic

By Rusty Guinn

Surprising outcomes in reality world that seem to confirm a narrative often produce explosive growth in its scale.

But also in its scope.

Men of God in the City of Man, Pt. 7: Mutation

By Rusty Guinn

Narrative viruses are not immune to events in reality world – especially when we have made those narratives part of our identity.

And when a narrative becomes part of our identity, it changes what we need to be true.

Men of God in the City of Man, Part 8: Zoonosis

By Rusty Guinn

Physical viruses sometimes jump from one species to another.

Narrative viruses sometimes jump from one culture to another.

All it takes is the right virus and a susceptible host.

Men of God in the City of Man is a nine part series about a narrative virus that infected the charismatic and Pentecostal churches in the United States. It isn't a story about Christian Nationalism. It isn't a story about January 6th. It isn't a story about why people voted for Trump. It is a story about a story. It is a story about the language that created a self-sustaining movement defined by its unwavering belief in a fundamentally corrupt electoral system.

Recent Notes

Breaking News #16: Technology and the Teenage Mind

By Harper Hunt

We all know that technology can be bad for children. But a new paper from 13D Research, which was republished on Epsilon Theory, really drove home the point of just how bad it can be be and the impact it has on the wirings of children’s minds. In this episode, we discuss this research and what we can do as parents to help mitigate the damage technology is doing to our children. We also cover the election and the impact of Trump’s legal problems, Elon’s Musk’s pay package Joe Biden’s scripted press conferences and the importance of embracing difficulty.

Why We Don’t Trust Each Other Anymore

By Kyla Scanlon

We are saying everything, but also we are saying nothing, just sort of talking at each other about things like “rizz” and “Price-to-Earnings Ratio”. 

How do we fix that?

The End of History and the Triumph of Fiat World

By Ben Hunt

The great danger of generative AI lies in its use by governments and corporations to cement the most anti-human misalignment of all – the misalignment of rulers from the ruled, of the State from the People.

Fannie Mae’s Affordable Housing TM

By Charles Marohn

Last month, Fannie Mae launched a new financial product they call a Social Mortgage Backed Security, designed to “improve access to affordable housing” by lowering credit standards for borrowers. As ET contributor Chuck Marohn points out, this makes home prices in affected areas go up, and doesn’t touch truly cheap housing.

How Does Technology Rewire the Intricate Circuitry of the Teenage Mind?

By Ben Hunt

The central course of our children’s lives is being mind-warped by social media and smartphones, not in some ethereal ghost-in-the-machine sort of way but in an actual neural-wiring sort of way, and this research note by Kiril Sokoloff and the 13D team shows how.

Breaking News #15: Useful Idiots

By Harper Hunt

Over ten countries are currently engaged in hot wars in the Middle East. But you wouldn’t know if from the media coverage where what has been going on has received limited attention. In this episode we dig into why that is. We also cover Tucker Carlson’s recent interview with Vladimir Putin, Joe Biden’s attempts to tackle shrinkflation and airline seating, why politicians from both sides have no interest in addressing the border and the importance of embracing your yellow pants moment.

The Washington Pravda and the Wall Street Izvestia

By Ben Hunt

Today both Wall Street and the White House are determined to tell you a story that inflation is over and mission accomplished. Wall Street because they want a cheaper price of money and the White House because they want to win an election.

It’s not a lie, per se, but it’s not a truth, either. It’s all just story, all the way down.

And like all sclerotic institutions, Wall Street and the White House rely on their media organs to tell the story.

Cursed Knowledge #27: Panera Lemonade

By Harper Hunt

Panera’s in hot water over their charged lemonade. After building their brand on clean and healthy food, they’re now facing several lawsuits claiming their lemonade caused permanent heart damage and even death. So what’s really going on with the lemonade? And why is the story surrounding it so misleading?

Useful Idiots

By Rusty Guinn

Yes, Virginia, western news media are often useful idiots.

But let’s be real: so is Tucker Carlson.

The Bitcoin ETF Tipping Problem

By Dave Nadig

ET contributor Dave Nadig was there at the beginning of ETFs, and he’s forgotten more about their structure and operations than I will ever know.

In this excellent note, Dave digs into the Bitcoin ETF “tipping problem”. It’s a fascinating read on where narrative runs headlong into the real world of market mechanics.

Death and Rebirth: In Precious Metals, Crypto, and the 6th Grade

By Matt Zeigler

“Nice yellow pants, freak.”

Nobody is immune to getting slapped with a label, especially when you’re a new kid in middle school. The trick is not selling out. The trick is owning your identity.

That’s true for Wall Street, too.

It’s All True

By Ben Hunt

Eight thoughts that I can’t reconcile about about Justin Mohn, the 32-year-old in Levittown, Pennsylvania who murdered his father, cut off his head, and made a YouTube video showing off his trophy and saying he did it because his father, who worked for the US Army Corps of Engineers, was part of the “Biden regime” and was a “traitor to his country”.

It’s All True (Eight Thoughts on Justin Mohn)

By Ben Hunt

Eight thoughts that I can’t reconcile about about Justin Mohn, the 32-year-old in Levittown, Pennsylvania who murdered his father, cut off his head, and made a YouTube video showing off his trophy and saying he did it because his father, who worked for the US Army Corps of Engineers, was part of the “Biden regime” and was a “traitor to his country”.

Breaking News #14: Harvard Material

By Harper Hunt

Harvard has some of the most stringent admission standards of any university. Most people will never have the opportunity to receive a degree from this elite institution. But that doesn’t mean you can’t obtain your “graduate certificate” in fields like Museum Studies, Social Justice and Digital Storytelling all for the bargain price of $12,880 from the Harvard Extension School. Of course, Harvard won’t accept these credits in its main programs and you can’t get any federal loans for it, but you can tell your friends that you attended one of the world’s elite institutions. In this episode, we discuss how things got to the point in our higher education system where programs like this exist and what can be done to fix it. We also cover the declining narrative of electric vehicles, the challenge of measuring inflation, Vivek Ramaswamy’s master plan, 90s alternative music and a lot more.

Men of God in the City of Man, Part 9: Pathogenesis

By Rusty Guinn

A single virus can cause disease of the body in several ways at once.

A single narrative can cause disease in society in several ways, too.

This is the story of a new disease from an old acquaintance.

The Intellectual Rot of the Industrially Necessary University

By Ben Hunt

The intellectual rot of the modern University perverts and diminishes the works of its faculty and administrators, no matter how smart they are, no matter how well-intentioned they are. It is a rot that requires plagiarism and promotes antisemitism.

We require a new Reformation, and here are its theses.

Breaking News #13: The Curious Case of Claudine Gay

By Harper Hunt

Claudine Gay recently resigned as President of Harvard due to allegations of plagiarism. But the story behind that is far more important than the headline itself and gets at much bigger issues within the academic world, In the episode, we dig into those details. We also discuss what the recently launched ETFs mean for the future of Bitcoin, why attacks of hedge fund managers based on the carried interest deduction are misplaced, whether a soft landing is possible and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King.

Non-Linguistic Inflation Framing in the Wall Street Journal

By Ben Hunt

We do a lot of work here to understand how the media frames issues linguistically, but we haven’t done much to see how that carries over in graphical narrative representations. Would the same patterns we see in the WSJ’s words be represented in the WSJ’s pictures?

Oh yes.

“Yay, College!”

By Ben Hunt

Every once in a very great while, the direct beneficiaries of a yay-something narrative construction overplay their hand so egregiously, embarrass themselves so publicly, reveal their mediocrity so clearly, that the Common Knowledge propping up the yay-something narrative collapses.

This is the breaking of “Yay, College!”.

Breaking News #12: The Aggrieved Trump 2024 Narrative

By Harper Hunt

The news about the election has been heating up recently. But it unfortunately has not revolved around the process of people voting to determine the outcome. The combination of Donald Trump’s legal issues and efforts to remove him from the ballot in blue states have dominated the recent election coverage. In this episode, we tackle both of these issues and how they are playing out in narrative world. We also discuss the reporting around the recent ceremony in Iran to mark the anniversary of the death of Qasem Soleimani, why S&P 500 yearly forecasts still exist and what we can learn from Rick Rubin. We also all offer our New Year’s resolutions for 2024.