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Episode 302 Scott Adams: Bipartisanship Blooming, Facebook, Monkey Attacks, Much More

Topics: 

  • Daily Beast fake news edited photo of Jack Posobiec
  • Facebook hired political operatives to blame things on…
    • George Soros
  • Non-military invasion of the caravan
  • Avenatti arrested for beating up some woman
    • Performance-wise, his denial appeared truthful
  • Van Jones positive tweet about President Trump and prison reform
  • Black Caucus no confidence vote on Tom Perez
  • Tucker Carlson and Ocasio-Cortez agree on Amazon headquarters
    • Bipartisanship is breaking out
  • Saudi Arabia identifies the people they will punish for Khashoggi
  • 2016 Prediction: Once election is over, national hysteria would come down
    • Whiteboard comparison, 2016 worries vs. 2018 worries
  • Global warming’s 3 components:
    • 1. The Science
    • 2. The Models
    • 3. The Economics
    • The models and economics…are not science
  • The Wall: Building and testing design options on a small scale first
    • Should make both sides happy, test and observe results

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Should Twitter and Facebook be Regulated as Utilities?

The Constitution guarantees every citizen the right of free speech. But what happens when the most effective channels for that speech are corporations such as Twitter and Facebook? Does the government have an obligation to make sure those companies are not limiting free speech for some classes of users?

My sketchy understanding of the law is that the government is only responsible for making sure the government itself is not abridging free speech. I think most of us agree that we don’t want the government volunteering for any more work than the constitution says it should be doing.

But shouldn’t the federal government get involved if a few monopoly corporations start to control the national conversation by filtering out voices that disagree with them? 

That seems to be the situation right now. For example, Twitter is apparently “shadowbanning” me because of my past Trump tweets, or so I assume. That means my tweets only go out to a subset of my followers. The rest don’t know I tweeted. My followers tell me this is the case. They have to visit my timeline to see my tweets.

@ScottAdamsSays Your tweets are not at all showing up in my tweetfeed. ????

Realistically, can I quit Twitter and be a successful media personality without it? Not in today’s world. The only way I could make that work is by having a huge presence on Facebook or Instagram.

But that might be a problem too. Instagram (owned by Facebook) just removed my girlfriend’s (@KristinaBasham) blue verification badge – on inauguration day – without explanation. Was that politically motivated? She has 2.7 million followers and lots of imposters pretending to be her. The blue verification badge was invented for situations like hers. We have no way to contact anyone at Instagram to fix it. 

The same thing happened a few months ago and we worked through a friend-of-a-friend to get her verification badge back. The official explanation was that removing it the first time was just a glitch. This time my contact didn’t reply to my email.

I can’t be 100% sure that Twitter is shadowbanning me to limit my political speech. They might have a bug in their system, for example. But it would be a big coincidence if they are not, given how many Trump supporters were targeted by Twitter in the past year. 

Likewise, I can’t be 100% sure my girlfriend is being punished by Facebook/Instagram for her association with me. But it seems like a big coincidence that she lost the verification on Inauguration Day. That lack of transparency is just as much of a problem as an actual abridgement of free speech. if I can’t know whether my freedom of speech is being limited by corporate overlords, how can I have trust in the Republic? And without trust, the system falls apart.

I want to trust my government, but without freedom of speech, I find that impossible. That’s why I support creating a law requiring the government to audit the major social media sites to certify that freedom of speech still exists for all classes of users. (Within reason.)

You might think there is not much risk of losing the right of free speech in the United States. But keep in mind that I have already lost my free speech in a practical sense. The social media tools you take for granted are not available to me in their full form.

If that doesn’t scare the shit out of you, it should.

A number of you have asked me whether I have been predicting recent political events with spooky accuracy or actually causing them with my own persuasion. You might get some insight into that question by watching what happens on this topic. My intention is to influence.

How am I doing so far?

Update: Kristina got her blue verification badge back from Instagram after several days. No explanation given.

Working for the Machines

Today I see in the news that Google is trying to dehypnotize potential ISIS recruits by manipulating what content they see when they try to search for pro-ISIS stuff. That’s mind control. And it works. 

Meanwhile, Facebook is trying to have it both ways by insisting that advertising on their platform is effective while claiming the tsunami of fake news articles about the election – which outnumbered legitimate stories – had no impact on the election. But either way, it’s mind control. Because ads work.

Mind control also takes the form of A-B testing, which is common practice for most tech companies. That involves rapidly testing up to thousands of variables for different ad variations until they know what is the most effective way to manipulate consumers. In other words, mind control. And it works.

Twitter is allegedly “shadowbanning” some users – including me – because they don’t like how I might be persuading people. Shadowbanning means limiting how many of my users see my content. That’s mind control, and it works. The fewer people that see what I tweet, the fewer I can influence.

In those four examples we can see that technology companies have already replaced some portion of human decision-making. Eventually machines will replace ALL of your decisions. 

How’s that possible?

It’s possible because machines make better decisions than humans. Or they will. Consider your health-monitoring wristband. Someday it will tell you when you need to eat and what to eat. It will tell you when you are dehydrated and suggest that you take a drink. It will tell you the best time to exercise, and it will “train” you to do so, with rewards. In the short run, you will see your machines as making helpful suggestions. But once you learn that the machines always make good suggestions – and you do not – you will start taking the machine’s suggestions simply because it is easier.

I would argue that your political choices are already largely determined by Facebook, Google, Twitter and the other media companies. It feels exactly like free will to you, but it isn’t. And someday soon our technology will tell us how to eat, when to sleep, when to sip water, when to exercise, and even who to date. Once married, technology will tell you the best time of the month for procreation. It might even clear your calendar by rescheduling your day.

The inevitable conclusion of all of these forces is that machines will someday make all of our important decisions. We are probably less than ten years away from that.

Losing your free will to machines might sound scary. But you never had free will in the first place. It was always an illusion. When the machines take over our important decisions we will do the same thing we do now – we will imagine that we are making the decisions on our own. Today our important decisions are made with emotions, and rationalized after the fact. We incorrectly call this process “thinking.” In the near future, our machines will make our daily decisions using Big Data and whatever they know about us as individuals to maximize our outcomes. You’ll like that future because the machines will make better decisions than you, and you’ll have better quality of life.

In the new world ahead, you will be the robot – albeit a moist one. The machines will be doing the thinking and making the decisions. You will simply do what they program you to do. Like a robot. And all of that will happen before Artificial Intelligence is popular. In terms of capability, all the machines need in order to take over for human decision-making is lots of relevant data, body monitor sensors, and some pattern recognition software. We’re almost there.

You might like reading my book because you haven’t taken 10,000 steps yet today and your fitness band says you should.

And you might love my startup’s new app for geostreaming your location to a friend as you approach your meeting spot. Here are links:

WhenHub app for Apple: http://apple.co/2eLL3Oh

WhenHub app for Android: http://bit.ly/2fIb6L7