How to route around federally filtered news and history?

This blog has started to document the extreme statist bias that occurs in our news and other political information sources, including even much of the libertarian blogosphere, by the effects, direct and indirect, of tax money, the motivation to lobby to obtain some of that tax money, and effects on surrounding culture, including even people who believe themselves to be “libertarians” but associate primarily with paycheck vampires and each other. The United States federal version of this paycheck vampire culture I call the Orange Line culture after a D.C.-area subway system near which most of the area’s media, governmental, and academic institutions are located (see the anti-blogroll at right for a partial list).

Ron Paul’s campaign routed around the D.C. establishment in two ways: (1) the Internet, and (2) Hollywood and New York City entertainment shows. It’s no coincidence that Paul was on Bill Maher, John Stewart, Jay Leno, and similar entertainment shows far more than on election news coverage by D.C.-centric reporters. The threat the Internet poses to traditional media has been much noticed, but less noticed has been the growing rift between Hollywood and D.C. and the willingness of Hollywood to facilitate the process of “routing around” Orange Line culture.

Mencius Moldbug among others has documented how such biases amount to information warfare against taxpayers. These federal attacks against the interests of property and freedom, which threaten the statist’s tax revenues and political power, have dominated mass media for at least a century. He proposes “Revipedia” as an “information warfare” project to counter the information warfare that is perpetrated, as Orwell described, in both political news and history against traditionalists and libertarians by paycheck vampire culture.

Mencius’ main good idea is to bias the research towards old and very new sources (via the bias of online sources towards pre-1922 and post-1995), which eliminates the intermediate ultra-statist 20th century but includes the relatively libertarian 18th and 19th centuries and the libertarian early years of the Internet. This introduces a bias that partically balances out the profound Orange Line bias still found in most media, including the blogosphere.

But MM goes on to propose administrators to filter content — supposedly chosen to share our “reactionary” values. This is a very bad idea, not out of some atavistic blind faith in democracy, but out of information warfare considerations. Administrators are dangerous because they can be targeted for smearing and corruption by the Orange Line. They are central points of failure that can be blackmailed. The extra power of administrators also discourages non-administrators from participating. I certainly would not participate unless I had equal editing privileges, and I’d encourage any other reactionary to act likewise.

Besides the crude temporal filter, we should use a crude geographical one. Our task is to eliminate the vast bias that has been and continues to be introduced into political thought and history by the narrow beltway culture. OrangeFreePedia might use, formally or informally, automatically or mentally, geolocation to exclude any contributions from the Washington, DC area, government universities, and government labs. My “Orange Line” anti-blog is a first stab at a mental filter that the reader can use.

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9 Responses to “How to route around federally filtered news and history?”

  1. Ron Paul » How to route around federally filtered news and history? Says:

    […] Former Beltway Wonk wrote an interesting post today on How to route around federally filtered news and history?Here’s a quick excerptRon Paul’s campaign routed around the D. C. establishment in two ways: (1)… […]

  2. Mencius Says:

    You need administrators not because you want to recreate the machine. Indeed, as you point out, it is impossible to fight this thing with its own tactics. Any competitors will be (a) smeared, (b) assimilated, or (c) succeed and turn out to be worse than what it replaced.

    You need administrators just because you can’t get off the ground without a revolutionary cadre. For any kind of open-source anything, building a critical mass is the first step.

    And you need editors to produce any kind of content that is actually both good and collectively edited. Ergo, it makes sense that – as in Wikipedia – the editors and the administrators should be the same people.

    The problem with Wikipedia isn’t that it has editors. It’s that it’s an intellectual one-party state. In keeping with Conquest’s Second Law – any organization not explicitly reactionary tends to become progressive – the Wikipedia admins are quite leftish and, I assume, drifting fast.

    This is the key to the factional design. If you have multiple factions, they can actually purify themselves. They can enforce intellectual discipline. They can splinter and merge and do all these great things. In a multiparty encyclopedia, it is perfectly appropriate and not at all rude for dissidents to tell faithful servants of the State that they are in the wrong place, and their criticisms are not relevant.

    There is no reason that a pure Orange Line perspective should not be available in one place, or that it should not be as well-written as its opposition. The most convincing refutation is provided by displaying the dissident story right next to the official story and the various crackpot stories, and making it as easy as possible to flip the view between them. If this was done for “gold standard,” say, you would have a win right there.

    That said, I love the idea of the geolocation bias. Sure, it’s unfair. Sure, there are reasonable people inside the Beltway. But – when in doubt, cut it out. Plus, it would really make them fume.

  3. Tex MacRae Says:

    So where do we get a revolutionary cadre?

  4. formerbeltwaywonk Says:

    Mencius, great comments, but I do differ on a few points.

    You need administrators just because you can’t get off the ground without a revolutionary cadre

    Not true in the Internet world.

    In a multiparty encyclopedia, it is perfectly appropriate and not at all rude for dissidents to tell faithful servants of the State that they are in the wrong place, and their criticisms are not relevant.

    This can be perfectly appropriate in a community of reactionaries or libertarians without any hierarchy whatsoever. This is a matter of community norms, not structure. One colludes only with those who agree to exclude paycheck vampires, people geographically, temporally, or socially overly associated with paycheck vampires, and people who don’t agree to abide by these norms.

    Now we can talk about technical exclusion mechanisms in software to be associated with these norms, but here too there is no reason to start out assuming a hierarchy. Indeed a simple hierarchy violates a basic principle of security and fault tolerance, to not have single points of failure.

    The problem with Wikipedia isn’t that it has editors. It’s that it’s an intellectual one-party state.

    You know, I suspect there is a strong “public choice” principle involved both here and in the dominance of the Orange Line in both the MSM the blogosphere. Namely, paycheck vampires get 100% of their paycheck from paycheck earners. Paycheck earners only lose a fraction and can still earn a living.

    It’s the “life/dinner” principle in reverse. In the normal life/dinner principle, the rabbit has an incentive to run faster than the wolf, because the rabbit is running for his life and the wolf just for his dinner. Now imagine a vampire that would die if the rabbit got away, but would only suck some of the blood of the rabbit so that they prey would live for another day. Here the predator has an incentive to run faster than the prey. Similarly, paycheck vampires have more incentive to promote their politics than paycheck earners. They will try to infest and shut down independent efforts by paycheck earners to free ourselves, such as the Paul campaign.

    There is no reason that a pure Orange Line perspective should not be available in one place,

    The problem is that it is available almost every place, and people do not recognize it as Orange Line originated content. Much of our battle is just a matter of proper labelling of origin: to allow prey to distinguish the memes of fellow prey from the memes of predators.

  5. Mencius Says:

    Not true in the Internet world.

    I didn’t mean your revolutionary cadre has to all be in the same room together.

    Look at the organization of the people who develop Linux. This is a revolutionary cadre if I ever saw one. They are all around the world. Moreover, the structure is resilient even though it has a single head – if Linus Torvalds went around the bend, it would at worst fragment into several competing cadres with similar goals.

    This is a matter of community norms, not structure.

    The problem is that norms don’t enforce themselves. Unless you actually have mechanisms to maintain ideological discipline, your movement collapses. It can collapse in two ways: (1) it can be taken over by its enemies, and (2) it can allow its message to dissolve into uncoordinated nonsense.

    I don’t think I can teach you anything about (1)! And as for (2), look at all the antigovernment nonsense on the Internet. The truth, as you know, is every bit as bad as your average Alex Jones show or whatever. But the only thing that will make an effective weapon is the actual truth – which means you need filtering.

    In that case, the danger is (1). So how do you prevent your institution from being assimilated and destroyed, using its own internal cohesion devices? The same way Linux prevents itself from being captured by Microsoft: make sure that there is no single point of failure. This can be done by making sure the cadre can fork and fragment factionally if compromised. While this is undesirable, it is not as undesirable as (1) or (2). The lesson from the open source world is that the easier it is to fork a project, the less likely it is to actually fork.

    The problem is that it is available almost every place, and people do not recognize it as Orange Line originated content.

    Ah. But if it is available in one place in a highly purified form, you can compare other sources to this reference sample…

  6. formerbeltwaywonk Says:

    norms don’t enforce themselves. Unless you actually have mechanisms to maintain ideological discipline, your movement collapses. It can collapse in two ways: (1) it can be taken over by its enemies, and (2) it can allow its message to dissolve into uncoordinated nonsense.

    I agree we need mechanisms — I just don’t think rigid or hierarchical organization of persons has an important role to play in those mechanisms.

    For example, there could be ideological agreements such as the oath taken by Libertarian Party members. There can be shunning — for example, shun people who associate with federal employees or work on federal contracts.

    Alex Jones is an interesting case. Lacking good information about very complex social networks, people construct conspiracy theories. Regardless of their literal truth, they have metaphorical truth which often leads people to the right answers.

    make sure that there is no single point of failure.

    I quite agree with this, and observe that it rules out a strict hierarchy. To the extent organization is important a “cell” structure works better.

    The problem is to invite highly motivated people in without infecting the content with the anti-earner memes of often even more highly motivated paycheck vampires. A mechanism to prevent vampires and their friends from putting themselves across as the friends of earners.

  7. Mencius Says:

    A cell structure only makes sense for a military effort. While any attempt to defeat a political system is military in a sense, one of the great lessons of the 20th century is that revolutionary techniques cannot be turned to reactionary ends.

    A reactionary effort aims at rebooting, redeeming, restoring or otherwise deworming the State, not destroying it. As such the security forces are not its natural enemy – quite the opposite, in fact. While I am pretty sure that the first thing USG would do if restored to sanity is execute an poptosis program, apoptosis and necrosis are not at all the same things.

    What we’re looking at here is essentially a software problem. You’re trying to construct a system of social credibility ratings or “karma” that is neither gameable by random trolls, nor bootstrapped by the Polygon’s own incredibly elaborate and successful credibility system, nor will be assimilated if it does get off the ground. The problem is not easy, to say the least.

    Can it be solved without anything that resembles formal structure? Perhaps. But it would be the first time any large group of people succeeded in any unstructured enterprise. Even Burning Man has a board of directors, for Christ’s sake. I am not saying what you need is an official political party, or anything like that.

    I’m afraid the fear of hierarchy is part of our programming. Read Bertrand de Jouvenel – the thing the Minotaur most hates is anything which (a) looks like a power structure, and (b) is outside its control. Perhaps there is a reason for this.

  8. formerbeltwaywonk Says:

    the security forces are not its natural enemy – quite the opposite, in fact.

    I certainly agree that this is in no way, shape, or form, a violent revolution, but I’m not sure why that rules out a non-hierarchical structure. Indeed it means that shunning is the main “weapon”, and shunning is ultimately an individual decision, not constrained by any formal organization.

    Any federal paycheck vampire has different incentives than paycheck earners trying to reduce predation. Paycheck vampires include federal security forces. They have incentives to, for example, exagerate threats and spread paranoia in order to fund their security budget. Any good Revipedia must minimize these biases by shunning from participation federal security personel, contractors, and those at institutions closely associated with same.

    You once pointed out that “conservative” (“red”) and “liberal” (“blue”) have mostly to do with promoting different kinds of government power — security in the first place and welfare state in the second place. Over the long stretch of history, the security forces been the main problem, but these days the welfare state is also a major threat. I am not interested in aligning with either “red” or “blue”. Both sides are paycheck vampires and neither is actually interested in letting paycheck earners keep more of what they earn. But they are happy to play sets of paycheck earners against each other to prevent the formation of a vampire-free political bloc.

    I am not, to use your class terminology, interested in a movement that increases predation by Vasiya or Optimate military-industrial complex people at the expese of predation by welfare state Brahmins, or vice versa. I want to wean all three from the blood of family paychecks. Any political alliance with any branch of government, especially federal government, can only be an extremely temporary expediency and mechanisms must be in place to throw temporary federal partners overboard once they are no longer needed to defeat their federal rivals.

    You’re trying to construct a system of social credibility ratings or “karma” that is neither gameable by random trolls, nor bootstrapped by the Polygon’s own incredibly elaborate and successful credibility system, nor will be assimilated if it does get off the ground.

    I quite agree with this. Given that we can route around the MSM with the Internet now, and given a rising consciousness among paycheck earners of how the interests of Orange Line vampires differ from their own, I don’t see the task to be as difficult as it has historically been.

    I’m afraid the fear of hierarchy is part of our programming.

    One could wish it were the case, but the sad fact is that leader-worship is a much stronger instinct and the structure most consider ideal is hierarchical (e.g. the utopia depicted in “Star Trek”).

    One good reason to have a rational fear of hieararchy is that all the important enterprises of paycheck vampires are hierarchical. Indeed, there is no market among the paycheck vampires, there is only hierarchiy punctuate by the occasional illusion of “democracy”. Hierarchy easily turns into extortion of the “leaves” by the “root(s)” (using the comptuer science tree as the general abstract hierarchy). Corporate hierarchies have been corrupted to enforce income tax collection. The income tax was not enforceable before the rise of the modern corporation. And I think we’ve already agreed that it’s crucial to prevent single points of failure, but a hieararchy doesn’t do that. Corrupt the root and the vampire has corrupted the hierarchy and can turn it into another tool of extortion.

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