The following article was published on August 5th of 2020 on Medium, in the thick of the election war. I don’t do predictions much, but this one turned out to be particularly predictive and explanatory regarding the Occupy Rotunda protest, so it’s worth a second read.
I’ve been asked by a surprisingly large number of my friends of late what is actually going on. A lot of people find 2020 to be incomprehensibly crazy, and I view it as very comprehensibly obvious. But if this is right, then we’re in deep shit, so hopefully I’m just reading more into what’s actually going on than is actually there. It’s probably nothing. You should just quit reading.
But if you’re still here, I’ll catch you up. These are the sort of conclusions you might draw if you’ve been following along with this publication the past couple of years. (almost every link herein is to a prior article)
We first identified the Media Engine of Chaos in 2018. Summarized, that’s when the intersection between social media sharing mechanisms, and virtual news media optimizing for viral content to farm clicks, leads to echo chamber amplification for profit. As mankind transitions into ignoring the world out our windows in favor of the world of the glowing screens, this echo chamber amplification becomes drastically more important for the formation of our world views. The glowing screens are our world. And echo chambers, if tightly wound, mean people are living in different worlds from each other. Any culture sufficiently distant from another culture, when in close proximity, ends up looking evil, and our media drives us into these warring echo chambers to make money. At the bottom of those echo chambers are not people, but rather amorphous group-thoughts known as “cultures,” bent on self-preservation for Darwinist reasons. The stronger the echo chamber, the tighter and angrier the culture becomes. Something like 2020 was going to happen, because of the business model of modern media.
The chance a civil war happens in the United States in any given person’s lifetime is around 37%, based on a historical frequency analysis, purely because we live so long and because the United States isn’t as old as we like to think it is. Risk analysis professionals were upping that to 35% over the next decade, back in 2018. And that was before Kavanaugh, the midterm violence, the impeachment debacle, and a global pandemic of a disease almost curiously tailored to be a big deal, but not such big a deal that it’s obvious how to react to it. And then we had this Minneapolis PD snuff film dropped into the pot.
But that’s not even all of it.
We also have two Mass Movements brewing, emergent cultural phenomena that live at the bottom of the echo chamber pits created by the media, which exhibit all the properties Eric Hoffer identified in “True Believer.” The bottom of a media echo chamber is fertile ground for these things to form.
Most Americans probably haven’t bought into one or the other of these, at the root level, but enough have that they have outsized influence in the echo chambers they inhabit. I’ve been calling these mass movements “Social Justice” and “MAGA,” but we could assign a different title to either if we wanted. Titles are just semantics.
These Mass Movements are new in their operational parameters. Previous cultures propagated by books, speeches, traditions, newspapers, and such, which make their behavioral indoctrinations slow to propagate. The new mass movements speak in memes, because a meme has a higher informational density than an article or video. Articles become memelike, because their goal is to kite a share of the Attention Economy from the article’s web “embed” presuming nobody’s going to click on it anyway. The velocity of memetic propagation spikes due to compression rates, and the cultures become reactive, amorphous, and can turn on a dime. Instead of being tied to something clunky like “The Bible” or “Western Liberalism,” they don’t have to go by fixed rules, because they can send out updates on the feed. The behavioral indoctrinations are malleable. Imagine being a social justice practitioner who circumnavigated the globe, only to return home and discover there were no longer 37 genders. They’d have to change their Tinder account, and then spend two months on social media patching their behavioral programming updates. If they were MAGA they’d have to find a QAnon archive.
But “not all MAGA are QAnon,” and “not all social justice are infinite gender believers,” blah. Stash that. I’m talking about the ones that are. Titles. Semantics.
What the people fighting these 21st Century Mass Movements don’t seem to realize, is that they cannot be beaten because the movement is not tied to a book, but instead is tied to a feed. Their crowdsourced nature means they move like water. This is a new thing. Censorship begets the Streisand Effect, and you can’t even beat them by silencing them. They are everlasting.
Pretend for a moment QAnon is just a fat dude in his mom’s basement who learned enough fortune telling concepts to be able to finely craft anonymous cryptic messages that seem real. Pretend he dies of diabetes complications. Someone else would just write the next QAnon. An immortal Nostradamus, born of the feed, like some William Gibson caricature. QAnon is a modern techno god.
Social Justice cannot be beaten with the sticks and swords of reason, because it updates on the feed. “Identifying as black” only works until it doesn’t, and the tribe can pivot from loving Rachel Dolezal to hating her instantaneously, for anyone plugged in to that feed. From “leaving the house is murder” to “silence is violence” in the span of a week. There’s no cognitive dissonance, because there’s no book to be dissonant with. There is only the feed.
Over this framework, the tapestry of 2020 is woven, and by this framework 2020 makes a lot of sense.
Let’s pretend Trump is a generally narcissistic TV show host who thinks he’s always right, but who formulates his opinions with a “Magic 8 Ball.” Presume he’s random. But as the avatar of the MAGA tribe, his actions must be opposed at all costs by the Social Justice Tribe, even when the Magic 8 Ball randomizer turns out to be correct. This is the root of the Orange Man Bad meme. And this sort of effect is magnified when Trump self-selects his opinions in opposition to the media, because the media’s addiction to outrage porn drives it to be so frequently wrong, which makes Trump right in those instances.
The Democrats blowing their wad on impeachment before the election, instead of waiting to see if they can beat him at the polls first, was incredibly strategically unsound. But they didn’t do it for strategic reasons. They did it because the beast at the bottom of the echo chamber demanded it. I know operatives within the Democratic Party apparatus who basically copped to that.
The constant stream of daily anxiety piped out for clicks by the media provided cover for December and January to prevent the US from identifying the real threat — that of Covid-19. And even if they did identify it, any measures taken by Trump early enough to stop its entrance into the country would have been viewed as authoritarian, because all opinions revolving around Trump are intensely binary and echo chamber driven. The media mouthpiece of the Social Justice tribe attacked Trump for closing the borders, and then later attacked Trump for not closing them sooner.
When “lockdown to flatten the curve” hit, it had broad support, in order to keep ICUs from being flooded, provided the damage done to the economy from it was temporary. But when the curve was not only flattened, but flattened so low that hospitals started to flirt with bankruptcy from the lack of patients, the goalposts had been hit, and ordinary reasonable people felt reopening the economy was sound. When the avatar of MAGA tribe said it, though, he must be opposed at all costs, so Social Justice Tribe moved the goalposts to “lockdown until a cure.” When states began reopening, Social Justice Tribe disseminated behavioral instructions on the feed saying “leaving the house is murder,” and were vocally refusing to participate in the opening of the economy. And there was no way the government could force them to leave the house even if they wanted to, because Social Justice Tribe could bunker in forever.
And then, the Minneapolis PD Snuff Film.
Advocates of reopening the economy should actually be very happy with the massive George Floyd protests, because that’s what flipped the Social Justice behavioral instruction feed from “leaving the house is murder” to “not leaving the house is racist.” It was a tremendously powerful signal to people in the middle that it was okay to restart the economy. Without the Floyd protests, we might still be mired in a semi open state with much more damage being done economically.
The Black Lives Matter protests of 2020 have a widely different character from one city to the next. In Minneapolis, they are obviously directed at a corrupt police organization that has a very bad history of similar incidents. But they spread globally (as far as Paris France) not because erudite Parisians objected to the killing of George Floyd, but because they needed a socially acceptable excuse to get out of the house. And as those protests petered out, the pseudo-religious subfaction at the bottom of the Social Justice rabbit hole hijacked them in places like Rich White Liberal Portland and Rich White Liberal Seattle, where the protests were not about police violence at all. They were simply an echo chamber angry at the other echo chamber. They were raw culture war, attempting to burn the nearest building associated with the avatar of MAGA.
Liberals around the globe banded together to make sure schools opened, considering them one of the most essential elements of an economy. Liberals in the USA banded together to keep them closed seemingly because Trump said to open them.
Doctors in developing countries, and countries who are approaching Covid-19 apolitically, are widely prescribing HCQ early and their CFRs and hospitalizations are low. There are now 53 studies showing positive results for HCQ, and only 14 showing neutral or negative results, ten of which were specifically testing using it in the late stages of the disease. Some countries in Europe and the USA are banning its use early, seemingly because Trump said something positive about it.
These are the sorts of behaviors the HWFO echo chamber culture model predicts. Trump is the avatar of MAGA, and therefore must be opposed at every possible step regardless of the harm that opposition may cause. Even if some people die in the process. The cognitive dissonances of this behavior are not apparent to people catching their behavioral instructions from the feed, and those dissonances reinforce people’s opposition to Social Justice Tribe, and even kite some of them into the MAGA Tribe if they’re desperate enough to seek out some way to oppose it.
And now you’re up to date, but we still haven’t gotten to the question my friends are asking me. What happens in 2020?
There’s this election thing.
Full disclosure: I don’t care who wins the election.
2020 is going to be like 2016 but worse. Instead of two groups of voters, one voting vehemently against Hillary Clinton and the other voting vehemently against Donald Trump, it’s going to be one group voting against Trump and the other voting against the entire Social Justice Echo Chamber.
The case against Trump is pretty straightforward.
He lies a lot. He’s narcissistic. He’s an authoritarian populist. He panders to Christians without being Christian. “America first” is at odds with global leadership, and puts us at odds with traditional allies. His civics knowledge is very poor. He’s unethical. He’s obviously misogynistic. There’s a reasonable case he’s racist. This Quora article is an easy run-down of why some people would vote for a three-day old unrefrigerated dead fish before they’d vote for Trump. The thing that stands out to me, though, from that A-Z list (it’s 26 items long, even though some are redundant) is that many of the items go away if you simply ignore him. They’re mostly about things he says, or tweets, not about policy measures. And that speaks to the bigger underlying problem with Trump. He’s a shit leader. Possibly the worst ever.
Some people don’t need a leader. They observe, orient, decide, act — the classic OODA Loop. For people like this, ignoring Trump is easy. Most of those probably quit paying attention to him right around COVFEFE. But many people don’t behave that way — they need a leader to tell them what to do, and Trump is not a reliable person to follow. Further, Trump made his hay by continually harassing the Blue Tribe in the country, and they are simply worn out. Their threadbare personas could not possibly survive an additional four years of being harassed by the person they’re supposed to be following.
This wouldn’t be as big a problem in decades past, because “the people who follow” could pick an alternate leader when they didn’t like the president, such as a mayor, or a pastor. The erosion of religion in the USA has funneled the population into a corner where whoever is sitting in the White House that year is their default, only leader.
This group will do anything to get rid of Trump, and if they cannot get rid of him at the ballot box, they are going to resort to violence. If Trump wins, I think we will see nationwide violence on the scale of Portland, in dozens of major US cities, and I don’t think my opinion on that is far fetched, nor is it rare. I think a lot of people think that. I just think I have a better understanding of why.
But Trump might win, and here’s why. There are a laundry list of issues that could cause someone to vote for a three-day old unrefrigerated dead fish instead of a Democrat. Any Democrat. And before one or more of these list items triggers you, be clear I am not stating I believe in one, more, or all of them necessarily. I am only saying that some people believe some of these, which is enough to make my case that Trump could win.
We know Epstein didn’t kill himself because the state had no case against him. He was going to walk on Double Jeopardy. The chances that Bill wasn’t talking about diddling underage sex slaves in emails to Epstein on Hillary’s infamous email server are probably near zero. The Democrats chasing Trump via Epstein formed a circular firing squad with a Trump hologram in the center, because Trump was one of the only people to cooperate with investigators the first time Epstein went to jail, and many people in the firing squad (media execs, Democrat donors, anyone well connected in New York or Silicon Valley) was either complicit in what was going on, or was actually participating. There are a lot of people very angry about Epstein, and some might vote against any Democrat purely on this issue alone.
Kavanaugh didn’t rape anyone. He wasn’t even accused of rape. He wasn’t even accused of attempted rape. While the accusation definitely qualifies as sexual assault by modern standards, the accusation itself runs along the border of a poorly executed standard John Wayne / Captain Kirk / James Bond pickup line, as a teenager, in 1982. And based on accusation alone, Democrats attempted to destroy his career on a national stage. I understand that women fear rape, and that fear is strong, and often warranted, but men fear false accusations of rape as well, and often so do their wives. Normalizing a culture where there is perceptively no difference between a false accusation and a true accusation of rape is (A) not going to fix anything regarding actual rape, and (B) something most men cannot and will not stand for. There are some men, as well as some wives of good men, who might vote against the Democrats purely on this issue.
Many people in the country would agree that if Hunter Biden’s name was “Hunter Yang,” or “Hunter Gabbard,” or even “Hunter Sanders,” the Democrats would have thrown that kid under the bus for accepting bribes from Ukrainian oil companies to peddle influence in DC. And if you believe that, you probably believe that the entire impeachment was nothing more than performance art, a distraction tactic to protect someone they had already decided was going to win their primary. That realization might cause a lot of ordinary Democrat voters to sit at home.
Yes, Covid. When the University of Washington discovered our first Covid case on January 16th, the FDA and CDC told them they were prohibited from contact tracing because they didn’t have a permit, and they couldn’t use the data pool they already had, of tens of thousands of people with respiratory symptoms, because of HIPAA. Then the FDA refused to issue permits to develop a test to any private company, putting all the responsibility for test development on the CDC. South Korea, who identified their first case the same day as us, issued test development permits to the whole country within a week. By the time the CDC pushed out their first batch of tests, SK was already producing tests on an industrial scale, and the CDC tests didn’t work because they were literally contaminated with Covid. The only thing that stripped the incompetent FDA and incompetent CDC out of the pipeline was Mike Pence. Those are basic facts.
Some people in the country probably figure if the Democrats were in charge we’d still be on lockdown, the economy would be completely wrecked, unemployment would be double what it is now, we’d have run out of meat, and every Covid test would have to get shipped to Decatur Georgia to get processed by the CDC.
If Hillary were elected, it is likely the US would have troops in not only Afghanistan, but also Syria fighting Russian proxies and Yemen fighting a proxy war for Saudi Arabia. She as much said so during the debates themselves. The foreign policy of the last Democrat administration was so god awful that it led to an actual return of the black African slave trade in Libya, the refugee crisis in Europe, and by extension, Brexit.
Trump is viewed by some Americans as the first president this century to heavily reduce our military engagements. The group most likely to engage this view, I think, are the grunts in the military, and more especially the ex-grunts.
Joe Biden is a chief architect of the United State’s War on Drugs, which is the most important and most powerful cornerstone of all of our “systems of racial oppression” in this country. And when Biden went on record saying any black person who votes for Trump isn’t actually black, black people did not like that one bit, regardless of who they were thinking about voting for. This one won’t hit many white demographics, but it might hit some others I can think of. He got roasted big time on black Twitter.
Liberals in every country other than the USA championed opening public schools first and foremost among all other priorities, and liberals in the USA did exactly the opposite of that, quite possibly because Trump said to open them. This is about to start doing tremendous damage to single parent homes, two income households, marginalized communities, and children in need of special educational services, for what appears to some people to be nothing more than a political stunt. And if Trump keeps saying to open schools, causing the Social Justice tribe to keep doubling down on closing them, this has the potential to get very hot over the next two months.
Social Justice Pillar Beliefs
Everybody wants a just society, but the underlying teachings behind Critical Race Theory look very much like “racism with extra steps” to anyone who’s never been shuttled through a university level CRT program. “Intersectionality,” which holds at an operational level that societal outcomes are not due to merit, and instead are due to relative levels of privilege and marginalization, is provably wrong in the case of Asians, Jews, and black men. Black men are less marginalized than black women according to “theory,” but have measurably worse outcomes in every possible metric, and even they are starting to get sick of this “male privilege” stuff. Asians aren’t pleased that California is trying to wipe the anti-discrimination language from their constitution in November, because it will kill their university acceptance rates. And normally Democrat voting Jews are looking over their shoulder at the weird turn Social Justice has made against them.
The People’s Republic of China are modern Nazis. They intern the males of marginalized Muslim populations in concentration camps and move Chinese men into their homes to perform institutionalized rape on their wives. Covid flows from Chinese incompetence. A plurality of people strongly believe both of those, but nobody is allowed to say it conversationally because media accusations of “racism” are being misapplied to protect foreign Naziesque governments. The only mathematical solution that can lead to “contact tracing” in a post-Covid world involves strict border control. Trump has been consistently anti-China and consistently pro-border control, and while his positions had nothing to do with Covid, Covid proved these positions not only correct but essential. Rust belters are especially likely to buy this one.
Everybody likes peaceful protests, everybody hates violent ones, and every day the riots continue is a day with more Trump voters. Especially when local Democrat political figures support them, as we have seen multiple times so far this year. People who live in cities, also normally Democrat voters, only have so much threshold for anarchy.
Gun control is done. If you took a random sample of gun owners, 1 out of 20 bought their first gun the first half of this year. The reason they bought it was because of Covid stockpiling, police distrust, and the ongoing riots, which speak to a lack of trust in the government’s ability to basically do anything right. “Defund the police” means “buy a gun.” This one applies to lots of people everywhere.
Cancel Culture wraps all these opinions up in a neat package, and binds them together in favor of voting for a three-day-old unrefrigerated dead fish instead of a Democrat. If you hold one of these opinions, you’re not allowed to share it, unless you go behind closed doors and talk with someone else who holds that opinion. And they might also have one of the other opinions on the list, so they share that with you, and so on, so these opinions tend to build a network under the surface, that’s not exposed by polling. And if you hold enough of these opinions at the same time, you might absolutely hate Trump and still vote for him.
I don’t know who will win on November 3rd, but I have a strong feeling that Trump is definitely going to out-perform the polls.
If Trump wins, nationwide violence on the scale of Portland seems nigh inevitable to me, and I think we will probably also see targeted political assassinations of Republican leaders like the congressional baseball field fiasco, only more effective. If Biden wins, then the QAnon crowd may take that as a signal that a coalition of anarcho-communists and deep state pedophiles manipulated the school systems and the Covid-19 response to sow fear and chaos and regain control of the government. Some of them are presumably armed as well. A Biden win probably produces less general anarchy, but possibly more assassination. Part of me wishes PredictIt would put up a futures market for assassination attempts at the end of the year so I can bet the over.
Polls in 2017 had Republicans and Democrats clocking in at almost 10% support for political violence, with a projected rise of almost double if they lost in 2020. And that was before all this other stuff happened. And it only takes about 1% of the population participating in a violent revolt to turn a country into Syria.
For someone who is prepper minded, I hate preaching doomsday. I think it’s trite and over-used and doomsday talk is largely synonymous with cult talk. And my own cognitive biases are likely to leak into my predictions and prognostications, so everything here is probably wrong.
Not only that, the entire HWFO analysis framework is about exposing the media incentives to sow panic and fear. And this article is almost explicitly sowing panic and fear about the media sowing panic and fear, which is inherently contradictory.
Just pretend you didn’t read this, and definitely don’t share it.