Immanentize the Algorithm

A brave new world of thought control.

Some disturbing developments have been afoot in the socio-political realm for quite some time. We are all familiar with the censorious behavior of Big Tech, where you can be deplatformed for being a Bad Person. But only the right kind of Bad Person. Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States, can’t be allowed on Twitter, for instance. However, the Taliban is welcome.

We have seen over the past year Democrat politicians openly asking Big Tech to censor conservatives. They aren’t even being subtle about it. They have full-on embraced a model referred to as the corporate governance model. I follow Jonathan Turley’s blog, and he has covered this issue in excruciating detail. For those that don’t know Mr. Turley, he’s on the left, although he is what you might call a classical leftist: a believer in freedom of speech. That almost makes him a conservative these days.

Turley tells us that Democrat politicians, such as Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., are calling upon corporations to do what the government constitutionally cannot: censor viewpoints that they disagree with. Inevitably, this almost always involves corporations controlling, deleting, or suspending, the stated opinions that people like Senator Warren deem “unacceptable.” Like, for instance, skepticism over COVID-19 origins, or the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines developed over the past year, or the truth of climate change, etc. Usually these are embraced by conservatives, although not always. (For instance, large numbers of black Americans are refusing to get vaccinated, which is ironic since President Biden and his handlers routinely engage in fantasy that vaccine holdouts are only found on the right.) There’s a legal argument to be made that these private corporations are becoming agents of the government. And as government agents, they lose their own first amendment protections. The Supreme Court has ruled consistently that private corporations acting as government agents are bound by the U.S. Constitution. All that is needed is the right case and the proper court and I think Big Tech can eventually be reined in. Not before, however, a lot of damage has been done.

They frame these calls for censorship as a “harm reduction model.” As always, it’s Safety First for these fascists. Liberty, freedom, agency . . . all that stuff has to go. When you frame having a viewpoint or opinion as “causing harm,” you’re engaging in the absolute worst kind of venal manipulation. My hat’s off to the Left: they really know how to win.

Turley says: “In her letter, Warren gave the company 14 days to change its algorithms to throttle and obstruct efforts to read opposing views. What was most striking about this incident is that Warren was eager for others to see her efforts to promote a form of censorship.”

Pretty remarkable, when you really sit down to think about it. A sitting United States Senator, asking a corporation to engage in censorship, because there are People Out There who think differently than she does. Unfortunately, all the latest polls show a seismic sea change in public opinion on the topic of censorship. Particularly among the 18-25 age demographic, there is a huge increase in support of corporate governance censorship. We are moving to a very dark place in our culture. Big Tech, Big Corporations are essentially adjuncts to the Democratic Party leadership. They are flexing their muscles against conservatives like me. This should worry all of us, conservative or not. The test of whether a policy is sound or just is what is called the Other Shoe Test. Simply switch the sides and see if you would be comfortable with a country where Big Corporations and Big Tech persecuted the Left. I have a few friends on the Left, and this potential idea deeply disturbs them. Unfortunately, they are not willing to be like Jonathan Turley and call out Democrats and their Big Corporate adjuncts.

For me personally, the most disturbing aspect of all this is the increasing weaponizing of the algorithm. They want to keep tweaking and adjusting those ubiquitous algorithms to censor what you see, what you read, what you’re allowed to say, what you’re allowed to write. For the record, it shouldn’t matter if what you have to say is wrong or misleading. Of all the rights we once held, perhaps one of the most precious is the “right to be wrong.” We are losing our most precious rights. People are losing jobs, livelihoods, access to crowdfunding, etc. The fight is very real, and people are actually being harmed economically.

16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
Revelation 13: 16-17.

I share the above scripture merely to showcase a potential application; I’m not suggesting necessarily that current events represent its fulfilment. Nevertheless, it’s hard for this observer to deny that we are on an extraordinarily dangerous pathway to tyranny. It seems to me that all the dire pieces are falling into place for the eventual endgame. Buckle up. Be wise. Things are going to get quite interesting, soon.

10 thoughts on “Immanentize the Algorithm

  1. William F. Buckley had a popular phrase in the 1970s, I believe, in which he said, “don’t let them immanentize the eschaton.” Basically, this means not to let left-wing utopian visions be implemented by secular institutions that are certain to mess it up. The only utopian visions that will actually work are the religious visions of the Savior coming to bring true justice to the Earth during the Millennium.

    I am guessing that Mormonchess’ title is saying that the leftist utopians are using AI to try to create their vision of a perfect world, which is of course more like Satan’s vision of a perfect world in that only “correct” speech is allowed. I am right, mormonchess?

  2. It is similar to one of the responses I got on my recent post. Instead of any real arguments, it was essentially a “who do you think you are?” You have to be the right person, with the right name, with the right credentials, and probably with the right thinking for your thoughts and ideas to even be considered. You are wrong for wrong’s sake. The left are masters of this kind of thought control, but they aren’t the only ones. It is an elitist mindset of any kind or stripe for those who think they should be in charge.

  3. Yeah it’s a play on the “immanentize the eschaton” concept.

    I know this Lewis quote has been shared before, but it’s so perfect with respect to what’s going on right now:

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”

    ― C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology (Making of Modern Theology)

    The problem with folks like Sen. Warren — and all those who cheer her on — is that they are being tyrannical while convinced that they are helping people. And that’s assuming the best of motives. On a more cynical note, all of this could just be a power play to destroy people like us: honest dissenters from the pravda party line.

    I cannot imagine a senator doing what Warren is doing even ten years ago and getting away with it. That’s how swiftly the political climate and the Overton windows have shifted. We are moving to dark places. (Despite which, I know who ultimately wins.)

  4. I think we’re returning to the days where the 1st estate (nobles) and the 2nd estate (clergy) used to tension off each other (see pre-French revolution political and socio-political dynamics). Today’s media complex is certainly functionally similar to old priest classes. They are moral arbiters. They also have a shamanistic role perfrormatively expressing existential fears.

    From a cultural evolutionary point of view, it’s interesting how we’re again headed into a two sub-group ruling class. The standard example of this is in chiefdom (~1k to 100k) sized polities. Here you generally had a religious/cultural leader and a governing/military leader who tensioned off each other. The functional result was to prevent any one person from having too much power for too long. The god-king solution eventually solved that boundary problem. I wonder if we aren’t seeing a societal trend toward much the same – in many decades, a new “king” who also dictates near total moral power? We certainly need some new governance solutions if pan-nationalism (globalism) is to ever come close to being stable.

  5. Chris G, interesting. Yes, there are weird things going on, but 3 Nephi 6 and 7 seem more on target to me. The secret combinations and the breaking into tribes seems to describe our days very well.

    The good news is that just a few years later things got much better.

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