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comment by Odder
Odder  ·  294 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Divorce Lawyer: Facebook Is a Cheating Machine

Let's morph China and the US for fun: Mark Zuckerberg thinks you're a bad citizen because you entered a relationship with a "married" woman. You will now longer be able to use public transportation or fly on an airplane. I mean it sounds wacky and unrealistic but could you imagine?

tacocat  ·  294 days ago  ·  link  ·  

1984 wasn't a fucking instruction manual!

I actually can imagine. I don't like it

Odder  ·  294 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's more insidious and less obvious than 1984 though. 1984 was just oppression, the boot stepping on the head over and over and Big Brother brainwashing you into liking it. On the other hand, by making all "undesirable" behavior have such dire negative consequences, you can enforce good behavior, which in turn shapes social attitudes and opinions, so that the 90+% majority are bred into well-fed, prosperous, and compliant citizens, while the minority are ostracized, impoverished, and swept out of existence.

The whole prospect of this article is that you should moderate your behavior and not "talk to people you have no business talking to." That even though we know though Facebook intentionally dangles those people in front of you, and could easily figure out who you probably liked in your past and can lead you into temptation. This implies that to some extent we've already lost since the only winning move is, as the author states, to quit Facebook.

francopoli  ·  293 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Huxley was a pessimist, Orwell was an optimist.

kleinbl00  ·  294 days ago  ·  link  ·  

This is basically setting up a repeat of the coup against Chiang Kai Shek.

Odder  ·  293 days ago  ·  link  ·  

How so?

kleinbl00  ·  293 days ago  ·  link  ·  

When you reward the city and punish the country you're basically asking for the country to rise up and smite you. Creating an underclass that has no handles into the society you're raising up is the fastest way to get an uprising.

I know you said "the minority are ostracized" but it never works out that way. There's always a small enough faction that's pushed hard enough that a large enough faction that's pushed a little signs on. Before too long the government has decamped to Formosa.

Odder  ·  293 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The reason I think it might be different here is the lack of group identity among the minority. It isn't the country vs. the city, or black vs. white, or Hutu vs. Tutsi. When the only rallying cry that the minority has is "society fucked me over" and not "Xi Jinping fucked me over" it's a lot harder to summon the pitchforks and tar. This works to at least a certain extent (to everyone's benefit) today. One theory for the drop in violence in Western society in recent decades is the extent to which being violent, even once, truly and completely ruins your life. If I punched a coworker in the face 65 years ago, I might have trouble finding a job in the same town again. If I were to punch one of my coworkers in the face tomorrow, I would never find another desk job anywhere ever again.

The problem is that violent me and all my ostracized violent friends, even if we all hang out together, don't even have a tangible cause to rebel against. An attack would be futile against either the employers who wouldn't hire me, or the search engine/social network who tells those employers not to hire me, or the government who encourages such behavior. Other than nuking the whole place to the ground, the only option is trying to earn the sympathy of people trained to believe you are monsters.

The dystopia we're imagining is the extension of this somewhat reasonable power structure (violent people and felons don't get comfy desk jobs) to every other socially undesirable behavior. So long as there isn't a greedy evil dictator who tries to accelerate the program, the gradual march of progress will be sufficient to moderate everyone's behavior. Our suppression of violent behavior didn't result in an underclass of very violent people who overthrew the government, and a large group of mildly inconvenienced moderately violent people, it just resulted in less violent people, and drove anyone on the fence far away from the prospect of violence.

tacocat  ·  294 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I agree with you. It's like 1984 style information gathering had a child with Brave New World's indoctrination through pleasure. Worst of two scenarios that are sometimes seen as opposing.

I just said a thing that's popular and kinda a meme

colossal  ·  294 days ago  ·  link  ·  

But for the pleasure indoctrination to be effective, you need the same kind of information gathering proposed by Orwell. So the existence of a Brave New World like subversion through the exploitation of human tendencies already presupposes you have a kind of Orwellian network in place.

tacocat  ·  294 days ago  ·  link  ·  

No. You just need to be familiar with the stories. The people in Brave New World don't accept their reality bec they were born into it the way 1984 characters were. Blending the two is like marrying rape with fratricide. No one asked for it. No one likes it. Just listen to this because it's fucked up

OftenBen  ·  294 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm certain that this reality will exist in some form in the not too distant future.

Just like existing systems of 'justice' those who can afford to will simply buy their way through.