Beware of singlethink!
There are some forms of art, literature, visual and other, which are so grand that you cannot go around them, no matter how much you try. I wish I had found another example, rather than referencing Nineteen Eighty-Four, yet again, but it is simply too good and too precise not to recall it.
George Orwell imagined a political lockdown world, where perpetual war secured the political power of three totalitarian governments in three super states. The way the people were duped into maintaining a perpetual war and supporting war waging leaders was by three main inventions: newspeak, doublethink and ingsoc.
Ingsoc is an imaginary political philosophy grounded on bias and fallacies of the mind; we should read this just to remember that we can do this without even blinking, by mistake, by democratic process:
We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.
So, all you warriors out there, don’t you make believe with your intentions for you are all humans too. And if you are a social justice warrior or a human rights warrior or an inclusivity warrior, if by playing this warrior script you are going to get the power then, just like all humans, you’ll have the hardest of times to let it go. Social justice, human rights or inclusivity need no war. Find a god damn better metaphor and think more about the fact that the means contaminate the end by justifying it, as, in reality, the means justify the end.
Newspeak is a constructed way of speaking. This is another thing in progress throughout the entire planet. We do it currently in three different ways, all converging into scarce concepts populating our current culture: political speech focusing on less and less problems, entertainment delivering ever more precise dopamine hits and the good intentions of civil society praised as solutions which obliterate ideas, failing to see that fertile ground has a lot of shit laid on top beforehand. We currently, in the PC landscape, are so anxious to implement the darn change already that we simply translate intention as solution and consider it done.
The one pillar of Orwellian dystopia which is different in the worldwide trends of today is doublethink. Doublethink is meant to force people to hold contradictory ideas as having equal truth value. Well, no. We are in the process of devising singlethink, where we carefully forge exactly a specific amount of truth and value to every known concept, and consider it a thoughtcrime to assign more or less truth or more or less value to a concept than the norms of singlethink devised.
Singlethink is in the making by the whole carefully constructed system of intellectual isolation, concerned with creating exclusive safe spaces, liberally using blocking buttons and encouraging corporate level service denials to individuals.
Singlethink by corporation. I am glad Milo was removed from Twitter, but I am strong enough to confront the fact that it is a guilty pleasure and that it is fundamentally wrong. Just as Elon ordering denial of service to someone who criticized his event management skills, so does Twitter overact in blocking individuals from accessing the network. This is Robin Hood type of justice and I do not want a world ran like that. Milo should loose in court and be jailed for instigating people to hate and violence, and if we don’t have laws to make it so we should work to make these laws, not rejoice that some business people made a PR stunt and removed a user from a platform.
In the future all we’ll have to communicate on will be platforms. Should they be decentralized systems or private enterprise, depends highly on how resistant will the first world be in assimilating the hunger of the second and third world. If we allow decisions about participation to be made by targeting individuals, we are paving precedents for abuse.
Singlethink by blocking. Blocking people and removing them from your feed is OK and it is a health decision for avoiding triggers. But if blocking someone alters how ideas were exchanged and effectively obliterates history and spoken interaction, we are building a scary future where we’ll simply loose our species’ highest paying evolutionary advantage of learning and continuing from where people before us have gotten our civilization.
Singlethink by safe space. Removing people from conferences, which is what inspired this after reading Hash Array’s article, defaulting to removing Douglas Crockford from Nodevember, because other speakers refused to speak if he was allowed to speak on stage, is totally and completely crazy and it is what makes singlethink so close to reality it makes my skin go bumpy. Basically this is a childlike approach of refusing to play with the kids that don’t play your way.
Singlethink is dangerous and it is already here. People dismiss ideas and arguments by the time they reach the third sentence, in a five thousand words long article, because some kind of trigger warning was missed or because some concept is not held in the recommended and promoted rules of singlethink.
Listen, the army of trolls doxing people and threatening women with rape and fucking up the life of anyone who is a rational, tolerant and open minded human are not the subject here. Be aware of the difference. The problem is when things are far from obvious. The problem is when we blatantly carve out varying meaning and shades of gray from ideas. I am not supporting idiotic people who say that racist comments are protected by freedom of speech. They are not. They should be banned, just not by private entities, but by us, by law, by society as a whole.
Singlethink is the death of progress and paradoxically it is a fruit of the progressive’s work.
You many not like being blocked, but strong blocking is a feature, not a bug in my view. It is part of privacy and controlling your social environment.
Yes, but breaking dialogue that occurred and happened in the past is not, it is rewriting history by deletion.