[FRIAM] (not) leaving Twitter

glen gepropella at gmail.com
Sun Jan 8 06:13:38 EST 2023

Dispositional belief (by which I mean acting as if you believe) in some thing requires there be a somewhat coherent thing in which to believe, whether or not that thing actually exists (e.g. a mathematical limit). That's necessary for *progression*. Admittedly, there can be a ball of uncertainty around the thing and around any wandering path to the thing. But there does have to be a thing in order for it to be fideistic. Apotheotic conceptions (e.g. The long-termism) follow it to a T.

Of course, there are "behaviorists" out there who impute a thing onto agnostic or wave-riding opportunists. (People impute such upon me all the time.) And then, given enough data about the actor's behaviors, if their actions really *do* converge over a long enough time and toward a small enough ball around some thing, then whether or not they're merely opportunists or True Believers is a distinction without a difference. As long as we can effectively *treat* them as if they believe in the thing, then it's irrelevant whether or not they actually believe in the thing.

So your question of "can't one just ...?" Sure. Of course. But the coherence of one's actions is a practical indicator for fideism. And Musk exhibits it. The Uihleins' exhibit it. I think Thiel does, too. Estimating what any of them might do, or why they might do what they do, then, depends on how coherent you can make the thing and their trajectory towards that thing. (It's also a good way to manipulate people by estimating what they *might* believe in, then dangling something that looks like it in front of them. E.g. Facebook's Metaverse, decentralized finance with the cryptobros, or the tendency to ignore the bullsh¡t of ChatGPT.)

In order for actor A to avoid imputing belief in a thing onto actor B, actor B's exhibited repertoire has to be incompressible enough to resist reduction to 1 or a few things. And the controller/modeler has to have at least as much variation as the system being controlled/modeled. So actor A has to have enough of a (perhaps latent) repertoire to recognize the limits to B's repertoire. It's a fine line between genius and insanity. But whether that line is a limitation of the observer or the lack of a limitation of the observed is particular to the case.

On 10/31/22 10:06, Marcus Daniels wrote:
> Why are those communities fideist?  Can’t one just ride waves of uncertainty as a curious person or as an opportunist watching for opportunity?
>> On Oct 31, 2022, at 9:04 AM, glen <gepropella at gmail.com> wrote:
>> OK. But even if that's true, there's an overpowering thread of fideism in many of these communities. E.g. longevity (parabiosis), long-termism, transhumanism, sea-steading, cryptocurrencies (not including wider blockchain), climate optimism, etc. Christianity intersects much of this because it's a little bit apotheotic, which is one reason many offshoots like Mormonism can infer more weirdo beliefs from the basis set. Another example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Mission_Society_Church_of_God
>> That thread is, I think, easily distinguished from the Fire & Brimstone, End Times type. That progressive fideism combined with their technical foci couple Thiel and Musk fairly tightly. I suspect the Uihleins might be the opposite, more regressive. It's relatively easy to believe that Musk is acting in Good Faith, and similarly easy to believe the Uihleins are acting in Bad Faith. Thiel's more occult. It's inadequate to write him off as simply weirdo. That insults us proud weirdos.
>> On 10/31/22 07:07, Marcus Daniels wrote:
>>> Thiel is a Christian weirdo.
>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>>> On Oct 31, 2022, at 6:50 AM, glen <gepropella at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> Do you get this:
>>>> https://theweek.com/speedreads/972170/peter-thiels-largest-disclosed-political-donation-ever-possible-jd-vance-senate-run
>>>> Doctorow has an interesting take:
>>>> https://pluralistic.net/2022/10/26/boxed-in/
>>>> "The Uihleins are ideologues, but it's a mistake to view their authoritarianism, antisemitism, racism, and homophobia as the main force of their ideology. First and foremost is their belief that they deserve to be rich, and that the rich should be in charge of everyone else."
>>>> I'm not convinced. But it's plausible. What do Musk, Thiel, and the Uihleins have in common? They *probably* think they're better at something than the rest of us. What is that something they think they're better at? If you answer that, then maybe it'll explain why Musk bought Twitter?
>>>>> On 10/31/22 06:42, Marcus Daniels wrote:
>>>>> I don’t get it.  It seems undisciplined to put his successful companies at risk to buy this money loser, while at the same time getting all this bad press.
>>>>>>> On Oct 31, 2022, at 5:11 AM, glen <gepropella at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>> Yeah, I deleted all my Tweets, unfollowed everyone, and removed all my followers. Musk is an asshole. I know my lack of participation means nothing. But at least I won't be (as) complicit. There are no good billionaires <https://patrioticmillionaires.org/2022/09/21/dont-trust-the-good-billionaires/>.
>>>>>> It's interesting how, in some cases, the existence of the most horrible of any species (e.g. Uihlein <https://www.propublica.org/article/uline-uihlein-election-denial>) can make the others seem "good". It's like a murderer saying "At least I'm not a rapist." Or a rapist saying "At least I'm not a pedophile." And a pedophile saying "At least I don't kill 'em." Honor among thieves.
>>>>>> As SteveS mentioned earlier, I'm almost diametrically opposed to effective altruism for exactly this reason. The argument is basically: Hustle! Then Dole. I'm willing to change my mind. https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/YgbpxJmEdFhFGpqci/winners-of-the-ea-criticism-and-red-teaming-contest
>>>>>> Even when we give Billionaires [ptouie] the benefit of the doubt, forgive them for their rapacious and exploitative methods, and
>>>>>> say "At least they're doing Good Things, now", the Hustle! Then Dole lifestyle hones/perfects dystopian Taylorism <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Winslow_Taylor>. It's only when these old codgers begin to see Death a little more clearly, do they discover some sort of moral frame, while (metaphorically) meditating at the edge of their infinity pool built on the ridgeline of some desert mountain range. And, as we see in Musk, their lifetime of isolation within the outsized scope of their own influence (because, well, money is God, omnipresent, omniscient, etc.), puts them at risk of dimension reducing attractors like most individualist, right-wing causes. E.g. "free speech" (distinct from free speech, with no quotes).
>>>>>>> On 10/30/22 11:37, Jochen Fromm wrote:
>>>>>>> Until now I have used 3 Twitter accounts for scientific, development and personal stuff. I have used them more frequently since Google+ was shut down. One main reason why I do not use Facebook or Instagram is Mark Zuckerberg. As Grady Booch used to say "Facebook is a profoundly unethical company, and it starts at the top, with Mark Zuckerberg".
>>>>>>> For Twitter it is similar now. I really don't want to support a platform that belongs to someone who likes to insult others, like Garry Kasparov or the real Tesla founder Martin Eberhard or many others, just the way Trump likes to do it.
>>>>>>> The note for advertisers was plain marketing. His intention to save the world? A lie. This town square stuff? Nonsense. He certainly didn't write this, it was more likely written by Twitter's CCO Sarah Personette and her team. However, he has created his own hell by buying the platform he is addicted to.
>>>>>>> https://www.theverge.com/2022/10/28/23428132/elon-musk-twitter-acquisition-problems-speech-moderation
>>>>>>> I am using Mastodon instead now, which does not belong to an egomanic or eccentric billionaire. Yes, it is named after an animal which died out at the end of the Pleistoscene, but the distributed and decentralized approach is much better than having one big centralized system. My new Mastodon accounts are here:
>>>>>>> fediscience.org/@cas_group
>>>>>>> berlin.social/@JochenFromm
>>>>>>> ruby.social/@jofr
>>>>>>> -J.
>>>>>>> -------- Original message --------
>>>>>>> From: Steve Smith <sasmyth at swcp.com>
>>>>>>> Date: 10/30/22 6:50 PM (GMT+01:00)
>>>>>>> To: The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group <friam at redfish.com>
>>>>>>> Subject: [FRIAM] (not) leaving Twitter
>>>>>>> https://mashable.com/article/please-stop-tweeting-leaving-twitter
>>>>>>> https://mashable.com/article/i-was-going-to-quit-twitter-but-elon-musk-takeover
>>>>>>> I have a *very* limited twitter engagement myself.  Same with FB and *zero* with anything else *but* Instagram where I restrict myself to viewing and posting and liking the equivalent of "family" snapshots for my family and closer friends.
>>>>>>> I tried *mostly* to ignore the implications of a Musk privatization-takeover of Twitter during all the on-again off-again period but/and now as it has become a "done deal" I feel more able to engage in thinking about that (unable to avoid thinking about that?).  I thought I might de-activate/delete my nearly unused account when I discovered that I had a renewed interest (morbid fascination) in watching it spin out (decohere) or not from the front row.   I found myself looking for whether Musk's magic pixie dust would somehow trigger a phase transition (likely there will be one, but probably not the kind most of us hope for).
>>>>>>> Earlier discussions on *this* forum touched on what would make for a proper *metaverse* (not the one Zuckerberg is trying to create from whole-cloth).   My (very loose) engagement with the Cardano/Catalyst work and interest in blockchain is motivated by this as well.
>>>>>>> Musk's attempts to characterize Twitter as a "town square" feels very off-base in many ways:
>>>>>>>    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-twitter-is-unlikely-to-become-the-digital-town-square-elon-musk-envisions/
>>>>>>> What do "town squares" look like in "company towns"?    And why does most social media so often feel more like a rolling street-brawl?
>>>>>>> I worked *peripherally* on a project at LANL trying to address the possibilities/implications roughly 30 years ago:
>>>>>>>    http://library.sciencemadness.org/lanl1_a/lib-www/pubs/00285557.pdf
>>>>>>> there were some good insights, but it was all so young and fresh and raw at the same time...

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