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paulkienitz

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Bay Area, California
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 1,044

About Me

Software engineer who thinks a lot about the future. http://paulkienitz.net/future/

Journal Archives

Trump transformed the GOP... but not by very much

Before Trump, the Republican party was defined by a philosophy of small government, low taxes, free enterprise, and individual responsibility. After Trump, everyone not willing to accept being blatantly lied to, or to accept overt bigotry, has been driven out. The GOP is now defined by cruelty, graft, corruption, violence, insurgency, white supremacy, rejection of basic public health policy, and gargantuan amounts of gaslighting bullshit in place of any discussion of facts.

Though a rather extreme transformation on paper, it has made astonishingly little difference in practice to who is and is not a member of the Republican party.

Trump went digging beneath the surface of the small-government individual-liberty party to find the subterranean layers of racism, corruption, and fascism. He sure didn't have to dig very far.

Just 'cause the likes of Sachs are the bad guys doesn't make these redditors good guys.

Fuck all market manipulators, and the whole practice of speculative betting in general. Tax every trade, bring stability, and use stocks for investing in actual long term revenue and growth. We need to turn off the bubble machine.

the GOP wants insanity to be the ultimate white privilege

The GOP stands for nothing but privilege anymore. They defend rich people who want to be privileged above working people, white people who want to be privileged above minorities, and kooks who want their chosen belief systems to be privileged above reality itself.

We could go on at length about other privileges they support men over women, Christian over nonchristian, native born over foreign, straight over LGBT+, rural over urban... but the one that has now come to truly define conservative America is the attitude that once one of them chooses loyalty to a religious or ideological belief system, they should then somehow be granted exemption from reality checks.

"collective faith" is what gave value to every past bubble.

Bitcoin could not have been more perfectly designed to produce worthless bubbles if it had been overtly created for that explicit purpose, and that is indeed what it does. It inflicts numerous costs on society and has yet to provide a benefit except to crooks and gamblers. And it will eventually go the way of all bubbles, especially since quantum decryption is not far off. There are cryptocurrencies which have some level of security against quantum algorithms, but bitcoin is not one of them.

Like I said, the redditors are no less parasitic than the wall streeters

Sure, we cheer when some shitposters manage to screw privileged bankers, but look at the broader picture. They created a stock bubble that blew up, and then popped, and the results are exactly the same as when anyone else creates a bubble: the canny ones get out early and make a fat parasitic profit without having contributed a damn thing to society, while all the enthusiasts who see the bubble in the news get converted from stakeholders to bagholders.

We need to treat the entire practice of stock speculation and daytrading as an evil to be stopped. Short or long doesn't matter, banker or citizen doesn't matter, NOBODY should be making their money this way. Tax every trade.

YES. I am so tired of all the poor-mouthing when it comes to public investment.

We are the wealthiest society that has ever existed and ought to act like it.

and might I add

Regular Trumpism is the same as QAnon except with less overt wishful thinking. It's just as founded on lies, and just as attractive to people whose motive is to participate in hate and violence. In both cases, people mostly join up not because they are tricked, but because they are assholes.

call QAnon what it is: not a cult, a hate movement

We commonly hear QAnon believers described as crazy, kooks, deluded, brainwashed, in a cult, and a whole laundry list of other terms which treat them as if they were suffering from hallucinations or mental illness. That needs to stop, because what that description does is absolve them of responsibility for their bullshit.

When we see someone acting without sanity and ignoring reality in favor of some bogus story, our natural assumption is to frame it in terms of a deficiency in their ability to know fact from fancy, and thereby imply that they are in some way powerless over what has happened to them. But that's not true here. Though occasionally someone mentally ill will surface in that scene, for the great majority of people there was nothing helpless or powerless about how they started avowing such nonsense. Every step of the process was a choice made by a capable and responsible adult.

The essence of the Q bullshit is that it's a libel that justifies hatred and violence. It accuses non-conservatives of heinous acts so that conservatives can be justified in hating them. And QAnon believers were not tricked into hating because the libels somehow magically overpowered their sense of reality -- they chose to set aside their sense of reality because they wanted to believe the libels. There is no otherworldly hypnotic power to Q's bullshit, any more than there is to Trumpsky's. Nothing about it can take away someone's ability to be skeptical. What takes away people's skepticism is the desire to join a hate movement. Hate isn't a side effect of delusion -- delusion is a side effect of hate. The hate isn't an accidental consequence of the fantasy, it's the motive for why the fantasy was ever taken seriously in the first place.

The majority of people in QAnon are indulging in hate because they want to. Implausible libels are the excuse, not the cause. The reward they seek is not to find meaning in a confusing world, as with most cults or conspiracy theorists -- the reward is that they get to enjoy hating. It's a powerful feeling and they love feeling it. From that, all the bullshit and the lies follow. Some of them have totally suppressed their critical thinking and will naively believe whatever the movement tells them (and if so, some can be saved when they see the predictions fail)... but for a lot of others, I think you'll find that they are not just passively being led around by propaganda, but are actively participating in the doublethink, and are just as likely to produce lies of their own as to uncritically believe someone else's.

QAnon is a vicious hate movement, and the people in it bear full moral culpability for participating. They are responsible for freely choosing to support hate and violence, not to mention supporting a public discourse based on lies. Barring evidence to the contrary that may come up for individual cases, we need to treat them as fully responsible for the harmful behavior they indulge within this movement.

Racism and doublethink go hand in hand.

You almost never meet a racist who isn't either fooling themselves, or faking it too well to spot the difference. They're the least honest political faction there is, and that's saying something next to the fake libertarian corporatist greedhead wing.

she hit exactly the right line to sum up all the shit that had just happened:

OUR FLAG WAS STILL THERE.
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