Schrödinger’s Staredown

Friends, the gyre has widened. Again. In September, Ben wrote a Brief called Schrödinger’s

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  1. That’s what this is about?!?!?!?! I just saw the pictures online and assumed it was just a bunch of ahole Patriot fans circling the wagons outside of Arrowhead. Ugh, I like my version better.

  2. The best advice I’ve seen on this is to wait 48 hrs before diving in. Let the echo chambers stop reverberating. Then look. Not easy to do these days.

  3. The Fear Industry…Do not drink anyones Coo-liad, anyone! You should always look to improve but always remain a skeptic and one Missionary trying to replace another Missionary…

    “Are you preparing for another war, Plutarch?” I ask.

    “Oh, not now. Now we’re in that sweet period where everyone agrees that our recent horrors should never be repeated,” he says. “But collective thinking is usually short-lived. We’re fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self-destruction. Although who knows? Maybe this will be it, Katniss.”

    “What?” I ask.

    “The time it sticks. Maybe we are witnessing the evolution of the human race. Think about that.”

    – Mockingjay, chapter 27…she kills the other missionary in the end…the supposed good missionary.

    [A political cult is characterised by a political or economic doctrine that answers all the ‘big questions’ about life, the world and everything else. The doctrine that is handed down is then to be conceived of as a way to live one’s life – a project, handed down from Mount Sinai, that one is under the moral obligation to spread far and wide. This is why we refer to these movements as cults. And it is this that gives them such an awesome status in the glazed eyes of their devotees.

    Finally, the political cult will usually offer their followers the possibility of a Heaven on Earth. If the follower behaves well and spreads their beliefs to others they will eventually arrive at some sort of Utopia. This is their reward for believing in the doctrines, despite these doctrines being ridiculed by others.] --Pilkington

    Just go buy some gold bars, scream hyperinflation and the like…people love fear and paranoia and it sells very well with high profit margins!

  4. Avatar for rguinn rguinn says:

    At least that long. The perilous part of the racket is the “if you are silent, you are complicit” line that seeks to compel earlier action (externally) and the panicked impression that we are not appropriately offsetting some other side’s perspective (usually an internal impetus).

  5. Totally agree, I’ve started to highly curate the content I consume. Reading primarily via Feedly, curated blogs and email news letters. Perhaps a small wiki page or something where ET readers can post their favorite sources (with a tag to identify if it’s leaning to one side of the gyre) would be neat. Would be happy to setup hosting for something like that if people are interested.

    The narrative map did spark a thought in my mind. I’ve realized it takes hard work, careful thought and an elastic mind to try and navigate these complex issues. It almost seems as if the general news “browsing” public will never go through the effort to try, as it feels to good, and is far to easy to simply get angry.

    But, how could we use data to help inform the general populous that the “chain of articles” leads them down the path towards an end of the gyre. This is sort of what Read Across the Line app tries to do. I’m imaging a chrome or safari plugin that shows you “where” on the narrative map you currently are, and where the links on the page are leading you. One could also think of an automated system that given your region “txts” you an alert if the current news station is heavily influenced. I understand that the “backfire effect” is pretty strong so this may be a non-starter.

  6. Avatar for rguinn rguinn says:

    If it were possible (and it probably is) to do this in a systematic way, this is a…really interesting idea, Willem. I’m always concerned about the injection of priors into the structure of something like this, but that goes with the territory. I’ll bring it up with the Quid team in our next conversation.

  7. Phenomenal. This is an excellent article and perfect timing. I was watching this unfold this weekend on social media and felt the emotional pulls in each direction like the tide was going out on me. Probably because of bias against a lazy media I withheld judgement and wondered what else would come to light, but I still felt strongly pulled towards the “racist!” meme. The next day the “full video” clips started coming out and I strongly felt compelled to the “biased media!” meme. What was lost on me was as you pointed out the fact that this happened rapidly. The whipsaw was like a wave on a highschool physics graph with the midline being “I don’t care” and it pulled you a great distance one way away from center and then just as far in the opposite direction. The strength of each of those pulls was interestingly strong, but the speed for that wave cycle from beginning to end was really amazing.

    It would be interesting to map these events out on a linear graph in chronological order. Things like “Kavanaugh!” “Shutdown/Wall!” etc. I wonder what they look like if we mapped them out as individual waves in a chronological sequence and then measured intensity and wavelength for each event. I think that would be an interesting exercise.

  8. Avatar for fvc fvc says:

    The beauty of managing global assets from far away in the Southern hemisphere is that we often “miss” the bluster of these false narratives. We certainly don’t miss that at all! Clear Eyes, Full Hearts.

  9. Avatar for rguinn rguinn says:

    It would. We can actually do this now when it takes place over days. Our present tools haven’t yet accommodated looking at these things over…well…hours. But no reason they can’t. We will explore it.

  10. Avatar for rguinn rguinn says:

    It is a rare luxury, but alas, I fear we shall all have our day in the sun!

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