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Zero Hedge: The Bullshit Crash of 2016.
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Easy_C Offline

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Zero Hedge: The Bullshit Crash of 2016.
Just came across this interesting post on Zerohedge, the site that every Wall Street banker reads yet will never admit to reading.


His basic thesis is that there is a major disruption in the "bullshit market", and lays out a fairly good case. What's interesting to me, and I will get to it later, is that he also explains a contributing factor as to why the left has gotten so nuts.

His explanation of what "bullshit" is vs. regular old lies:

Quote:The liar is trying to present something false as true. But the bullshitter doesn’t actually care whether what he’s saying is true or false, relevant or irrelevant. He represents himself as concerned with the truth, but in fact his only concern is presenting a certain appearance or creating some particular impression in his audience. Frankfurt thinks that this is a much more subtle and powerful strategy, and therefore a much more dangerous one.

The bullshitter is competing with those around him to seem a certain way, or he’s competing with them to avoid seeming a certain way. Or perhaps he wants to make someone else seem some way, or make some proposal seem some way, seem noble or contemptible, dangerous or safe. Or he wants to fit in, or stand out, or be admired, or pitied, or feared, or promoted. The truths he speaks in the course of his effort to achieve these things may be completely irrelevant to the point he’s supposedly trying to make. But unlike the liar, the bullshit artist doesn’t actually have to say anything false to mislead. He might, but he also might not, he might just talk about a lot of irrelevant true stuff. (Machiavelli tells us that a Prince should almost never lie…)

This is a way of deceiving that’s much safer for the deceiver than outright lying. A lie can be destroyed by a single incongruous truth. It’s much harder for a single fact to pierce the veil of bullshit, because it’s more difficult for a single fact to dispositively establish that some set of considerations is irrelevant, or that their importance is being exaggerated. Humans are instinctively angry at the liar, but the bullshit artist slides right past our evolved defenses. Frankfurt thinks this is a much more powerful and subtle strategy than lying, and therefore a more dangerous one.

Regarding how it's a "market" of sorts. This is something that is a double edged sword: as people leave mainstream sources, they can find either more "awake" sources like we know or onto batshit crazy places like Tumblr blogs.

Quote:Every issuance of egregious bullshit that’s at all consequential is, in fact, an exchange, involving at least two parties. There are people who produce egregious bullshit, often for a living, and there are people who buy it, and hold onto it until and unless they see through it. The producers are paid by the consumers, not with a permanent transfer of the scarce commodity, credence, but with a conditional loan that can be recalled at will. The unique and distinctive transaction in this market is the temporary exchange of egregious bullshit for credence. Sooner or later, this credence may be repossessed by the credulous person, when the bullshit becomes discredited in his eyes. (When and if the bullshit artist’s ulterior motives become too readily apparent, or crucial facts turn out to be too obviously false, or the emotional impact simply fades.)

So really it’s a commodity market, because while some truths remain true forever, bullshit gets used up over time, like gasoline, or sugar, meaning new bullshit must constantly be produced.

The objective of each established vendor of bullshit is to get the customer to constantly roll over his credence to a new story from the same source, instead of repossessing it and looking for another vendor. But if the perceived credibility of the pool of existing vendors, in aggregate, declines, for some reason, new vendors with equally low quality bullshit who were shut out of the market before will become able to enter and compete.

Every time a prestigious institution or a prestigious public official lowers a standard somehow to compete in the market for putative pieces of public information, whether in an internal or an external struggle, every time we see egregious bullshit from an unexpected source, some players outside the Establishment lose their tinfoil hats. Every time a prestigious news source uses an invidious headline or elides a crucial fact, other, less trusted sources of information suddenly seem more credible. Disenchanted television viewers move from the news networks to the Daily Show, opining that there’s no difference except the entertainment value. But once they have, they’re just as likely to wander on over to the Onion, even though they might never have thought of that as an alternative to CNN or the Washington Post before the move.

That means this market has an odd and dangerous feature, one that makes it similar to the market for lemons. As exchange value – price, in the case of used cars, and credence, in the case of bullshit - goes down, average quality should also get worse.

And He ascribes the shift in information flow to three main effects resulting from the technological shift:

Quote:The First Consequence of the Technological Shock: Too Much Information

Now that we have this supposed analogy on the table, what’s the exogenous technological shock supposed to be? Why might the combined market for bullshit and sincere attempts to tell the truth in public be crashing, again, right at this moment? What is it about all our tweeting, and Facebooking, and Googling, and emailing, and chatting, and constantly talking on the phone, and instant messaging, and posting of ominous videos on Vimeo, and tinderizing, and dressing up as plush toys, and organizing two-day conferences about Derrida’s influence on the Ninja Turtles action figures, and writing things for Zero Hedge, that could possibly cause a similar problem?

Obviously, an enormous amount of new, very low-quality information has become publicly available to everyone. (Along with a very large but still smaller amount of new, very high-quality information, the problem being that we haven’t yet really collectively learned how to tell the difference in the new environment.) It seems to me that the consequence is that the persuasive value of the average piece of bullshit is collapsing. This is happening because the supply is increasing greatly, while fewer people attach less lasting credence to each piece. This affects our faith in existing institutions partly because they’re what’s available for people to lose faith in, because you can only lose the illusions you already had.

Quote:A Second Consequence of the Technological Shock: Coming Up With New, More Extreme Forms of Bullshit

But it’s also true that most large institutions contain many groups of people doing various different things. Inevitably, for a variety of reasons, some of those groups are more focused on publicly stating the exact truth as they understand it than others. Some people have searched diligently for genuinely important truths for a long time, with great skill. Occasionally they succeed in finding one. The advent of new organizational technology – computers and the things they’ve led to – helps these people. But there are only so many who can and will do the lonely, difficult, sometimes boring work, and actually finding significant new truths is very hard.

Coming up with new forms of bullshit, and organizing new communities of bullshit artists around them, seems to be much easier. Entrepreneurial people associated with existing political parties, newspapers, interest groups, universities, or other prestigious institutions have considerable organizational advantages in the struggle to keep up with the depreciating value of bullshit, and may be responsible for a large fraction of the increased supply
. New organized interest groups must grow up around existing institutions like vines, whenever organization and communication get easier and cheaper. Naturally each has its own preferred line of bullshit.

Quote:A Third Consequence of the Technological Shock: More Rapid Turnover of Egregious Bullshit

For both of these reasons, the passive one and the active one, the initial effect of the new technology should be a decline in the average perceived credibility of existing institutions’ output of putative pieces of public information, along with an increase in its perceived quantity. A Democrat is now more likely to publicly say or write that the DNC, and a Republican that the RNC, is terrible. And we’re also more likely to hear about it. Having heard these things, we’re now less likely to accept anything either party says. If even they say they’re terrible…

[b]Over time, at least outside of subsidized in-groups, all but the very finest examples of bullshit are eventually detected and persuasively rejected by someone in the crowd. Sooner or later, someone successfully points out that the Emperor isn’t wearing any clothes. The motive or gimmick beco
mes obvious to everyone, and the dishonesty becomes transparent.

The Internet has dramatically amplified this oracular collective capability, because more eyeballs are now seeing each potential piece of bullshit with greater clarity, sooner. The people behind the eyeballs now find it much easier to communicate their skepticism to each other. So we reject dishonesty much more quickly and with better accuracy. Common “knowledge” of both truths and untruths, making it known to all that everyone knows that everyone supposedly knows something, has, as Dennett points out, become both much easier to produce, and much easier to destroy.

One thing that he doesn't really point out? That leftists have gone batshit crazy precisely in line with the rise of click-bait driven advertising markets. They truly are the willfully ignorant. It is one thing to be misinformed, but many of them are the ones who deliberately avoid any information that might go against the preconceived notions.[/quote]
(This post was last modified: 07-24-2016 10:25 AM by Easy_C.)
07-24-2016 10:16 AM
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RoastBeefCurtains4Me Offline

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RE: Zero Hedge: The Bullshit Crash of 2016.
This is a major theory for me. I'm going to give these ideas a lot of thought. They may settle down to being a slight restatement of what I already knew, or they might give me a lot of insight.

Key things that jumped out at me:
  • The distinction between actual lies, vs. a wall of bullshit that contains vaguely true statements, but these statements are designed to distract, mislead, and obfuscate. The bullshit is effectively false, but you can't easily dismiss it or argue the conclusions with ideological opponents, because they can still always point to their pet facts to support their wrong conclusions.
  • The idea that modern technology naturally generates an increase in bullshit, and an increase and diversification of bullshit points of view, all of which are spammed at us across more and more forms of media and communication

The idea of the bullshit market makes sense, but the point is slightly esoteric. However, this theory explains how and why the level of bullshit has gone up.

I will say that counter to this theory, we do see a lot of outright lies in the media as well. We saw this with the RVF meetups this past spring and Roosh's tour last year. We also see outright censorship, as with the European media reporting on rape statistics, or Facebook and Twitter censoring people like Milo.

I think they are counting on the bullshit to hide these things. Actually, when they say they are just disallowing "hate", this is more of the same kind of bullshit. To us, they're outright lying, but in their minds, what they are saying is true, and they are bullshitting rationalizations for their actions.

I'm the tower of power, too sweet to be sour. I'm funky like a monkey. Sky's the limit and space is the place!
-Randy Savage
07-24-2016 01:37 PM
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