[FRIAM] The lies of Trump and ecDNA

glen gepropella at gmail.com
Wed Feb 28 09:35:23 EST 2024

If we reframe _angry & want more power_ from a peculiar ascription to a particular populist ethic, it makes more sense. Victimhood is a common part of populist ethics. And even if/when they get power, e.g. in Trump's case, they can maintain that ethic by relying on conspiracy theories about things like the deep state. Or in Putin's case, as Jochen points out, use such an ethic (cynically in his case) to manipulate a population by Othering.

While collections of facts/inferences might contradict each other, the bond is consistent. "The people" cohere as Us against the Them. It seems to me that, for example, Trump and Putin are starkly different populist leaders. Trump leads by some kind of intuition (or trial and error), whereas Putin leads by conscious executive function. It's unclear to me which is more stable in a society deeply awash in "content". If our experience with things like monte carlo simulation, evolution, and generative AI tell us anything, I think it is that the Putin's are on their way out and the Trump's are on the way in. It seems like bullshit generation, combined with aggressive and flexible selection strategies, will win out in less stable environments ... or in environments where it's not easy to estimate their moments or fixed points.

On 2/27/24 13:09, Marcus Daniels wrote:
> I don't see a problem with mixing the ethic of a tribe with an ethic of an individual.  If the party fails worse things happen then if an individual ethic is violated.   There is the same sort of ethic of the tribe trumping (heh) individual ethic of evangelicals.   A reasonable person is simply aware of where, when, how, and why one steps away from the party line.    The problem with populists is that there is no ethic.  Complaints are reinforced and corralled only for sake of creating political force.  If it starts out being for one thing and turns into something else that is contradictory, that's fine.   We see that daily with Trump, but my local left-leaning politicians do it too.  The peculiar thing is that the MAGA folks mostly seem to like that they are a tribe, even if the tribe isn't about anything.   They are the angry white rural voter, and they want more power.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Friam <friam-bounces at redfish.com> On Behalf Of glen
> Sent: Tuesday, February 27, 2024 11:13 AM
> To: friam at redfish.com
> Subject: Re: [FRIAM] The lies of Trump and ecDNA
> Yeah, good point. MAGA was actually coined (?) by Ronald Reagan's campaign, I think. But the sentiments behind it (nostalgia, exceptionalism, jingoism, etc.) are age old. And they seem more nest/hive/collective oriented than individualist mandates like the Commandments. It would be less like "What would Jesus do?" and more like "What would the Catholic Church do?"
> In some ways, right populism is a different phenomenon from the same generator as left populism. As irritating as it is to have to take Wokeism seriously as a concept, it rings true for me. Does one support Palestinians because it's right to support *everyone*? Or does one support them because the Other/They supports the Israeli state? Similarly, does support Israeli victims of Oct 7 because all asymmetric warfare is evil? Or does one support the Israeli state because it's ensconced as sovereign by Us/Ours? How does one balance the ethic of one's tribe against the ethic of oneself?
> On 2/27/24 10:56, Jochen Fromm wrote:
>> Hmmm I am not sure. I'm still trying to understand cultural evolution better and how exactly fascism and authoritarianism fit into this picture.
>> One thing I just noticed is that Trump's slogans are actually very similar to commandments - which serve as cultural genes in religious contexts. For instance "Make America Great Again" is a political slogan and the name of Trump's MAGA movement, but it is also a commandment like "You shall not murder". A call to action and an abstract instruction how to act. It appeals to all those people who do not feel great - Hillary Clinton's deplorable people. "Build the wall" and "Lock her up" are similar political slogans which are also commandments to expel immigrants and to imprison opponents. These are the genes of Trump's primitive strongman ideology.
>> -J.
>> -------- Original message --------
>> From: glen <gepropella at gmail.com>
>> Date: 2/27/24 7:26 PM (GMT+01:00)
>> To: friam at redfish.com
>> Subject: Re: [FRIAM] The lies of Trump and ecDNA
>> IDK. It seems like ecDNA, in general, can be either good or bad. And
>> mitochondrial DNA feels like a boon, overall. Maybe a better analogy would be ecDNA <-> media and MAGA to the oncogenes being promoted. I think a useful foil for stressing the analogy is the difference between a filter bubble and an echo chamber. If we define a filter bubble as the sieve through which the ambience extrudes and an echo chamber as an agent-oriented selection bias, we can classify MAGA cult members as victims (incompetent consumers of media) and perpetrators. The perpetrators might be like the Federalist Society, where they seek echoes of their beliefs and put them in power. Or they might be like Joe Rogan, where they promote/amplify toxic materials they find in the wild. The latter seem like trans-acting ecDNA ... and Rachel Maddow might be similar to Joe Rogan in that sense, only considered toxic based on what they promote, not promotion in itself. The former seem like oncogenes. The rest, like some random soccer mom at the Jan 6 riot, don't seem like either of those to me.
>> On 2/27/24 08:51, Jochen Fromm wrote:
>>   > The lies of Trump and his MAGA cult are a bit like extrachromosomal DNA that is apparently behind many malignant cancers. Both are normally part of selfish entities - single cell organisms or narcissistic con men -  and disrupt or distort the normal fabric of the world they live in. Interestingly ecDNA takes the form of tiny circles just like plasmids in bacteria. And it spreads faster than DNA in chromosomes, just as lies spread faster than the truth. As Jonathan Swift said "Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it"
>>   >
>> https://www.the-scientist.com/cancer-may-be-driven-by-dna-outside-of-c
>> hromosomes-68590

ꙮ Mɥǝu ǝlǝdɥɐuʇs ɟᴉƃɥʇ' ʇɥǝ ƃɹɐss snɟɟǝɹs˙ ꙮ

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