World War Three is scientifically, rationally absurd. But so is putting masks on children and cancelling in-person elementary school for a disease that’s only a third as deadly as the flu to them, and we’ve been doing the latter for two years. The science on this never changed, but we did it anyway because The Egregore Demanded It. So, when the prospect of global thermonuclear war hits the table, it’s important to watch what the egregores are doing.
And I do not like what I’m seeing.
If this is your first exposure to HWFO Egregore Analysis, you can get a full refresher by reading these three articles, but if you don’t have time I’ll summarize the concept below.
Briefly, smartphones allow us to outsource certain critical thinking processes from our brains to our phones, from road navigation, to scheduling, to morality itself. The sensemaking content within our phones primarily flows from like-and-share mechanics within our social feeds, meaning whatever is popular within our chosen echo chambers becomes “true” to us in a postmodernist sense. Media organizations are financially rewarded for feeding our echo chambers things they want to hear, so each echo chamber manufactures its own truth in real time. The media doesn’t control the echo chamber, the echo chamber controls the media. The narratives that form within these echo chambers, then, are driven by popularity instead of by objective truth. For example, “healthy at any size” is obviously not true, but because being lazy and eating sugar is popular “healthy at any size” becomes “true.”
The users who propagate the narratives evaluate a series of stimuli called their “feed” and like or share things based on some generator function within their brains, just like a neuron does in a human brain. The users are the neurons, the feed is the dendrites, and the “share button” is the axon. This creates a living, thinking, artificial neural network of people in which a set of behavioral indoctrinations, or what the postmodernists called “metanarratives,” can evolve and literally learn. And because each metanarrative is vying for purchase in the overall human brainspace, they compete with each other by trying to out-learn each other and become the most viral. These entities are the egregores – bundles of evolving behavioral indoctrinations summoned like demons by a mindless cellphone zombie mob to rule that mob and dictate their actions.
And then we close elementary school to sacrifice our own children on the altar of stunted educational outcomes to appease the will of the egregore.
Egregores have only one motivation - to spread. They have no ethics, no morals, and do not care if humans live or die. If someone captured by an egregore would sacrifice two years of their own child’s mental development to appease it, would they not also go along with nuclear war to appease it?
As I mentioned on Rebel Wisdom when I first brought the modern egregore concept to a wider audience, a person who’s captured by an egregore wouldn’t know they’re captured by it, which makes egregores difficult to identify directly. To identify them, we must seek out signs of its existence at the level of collective action and collective cognition.
People captured by an egregore must signal to their peers that they are as or more virtuous than their peers within the egregorical framework. That is how they accumulate status within the egregore, as they seek to become a more central node within its hive brain. “I Support” Circles around Facebook photos, symbols following Twitter handles, and such, are symbols of an active egregore. In 2020 we had “leaving home is murder” virtue signals pivot in the span of a day to “not leaving home is racist” signals, back to “vaccines save lives” signals. But as the Covid narrative has completely fallen apart the virtue climbers need some other signal, and they latched onto Ukraine. The number of people who were pro-mask, pro-vax, pro-lockdown, and who are not currently pro-Ukraine in a geopolitical conflict that does not involve NATO, does not involve the USA, and has nothing to do with our national security, is effectively zero. This is a sign that that egregore has abandoned Covid and adopted Ukraine as a way to perpetuate itself. It jumped topics, abandoning the sinking ship of germs and moved onto the fresh topic of the new war. The Covid NPCs now wave Ukraine flags to virtue climb and scrub their minds of any inconvenient memories of their now embarrassing Covid behavior.
The most direct means that an egregore attacks other egregores, or ideas harmful to it’s spread, is to eliminate the ability of other ideas to spread, or to prohibit the holders of other ideas to communicate. This is cancel culture, and it’s a time honored tradition since at least the original European Kulturkampf, but has taken on a new and aggressive posture in the age of social media where people’s thoughts are stored on the feed as a searchable archive in perpetuity. When you see mass cancellation, from many different sources at once, often in such ridiculous ways that they can only be explained by an organization attempting to virtue climb, you know you’re watching an egregore at work.
I just turned on Twitter while writing this to look for some prior examples I had bookmarked, and discovered #boycottcocacola was trending. I honestly don’t need to pull up any other bookmarks because they’re writing this section of the article for me. The rationale of these tens of thousands of tweets is that everyone should stop drinking Coke products if Coke refuses to stop selling Coke to Russians. QED. The egregore, using its NPCs as tools, is attempting to capture the world’s largest soft drink manufacturer even though the relative sale of fizzy soft drinks to Siberians will have absolutely no bearing on the outcome of a regional war that stands to impact Americans very little unless it goes nuclear.
There are an infinity of other examples of cancellation. Apple. Google Pay. Shell. GM. BP. FedEx. DHL. Disney. Netflix. FIFA. The International Cat Federation banned cat breeds which originate from Russia from competitions, as if these pets were somehow secretly controlled by KGB microchips. An Italian university cancelled Dostoevsky, as if a dead guy was going to kill Ukrainians. The more ridiculous, the more obvious a sign of egregorical groupthink in action.
Memory Holes and Malleable Morality
Part 1: Nazis
The outsourcing of morality to your phone, where the morality can be updated on the feed, necessitates also outsourcing any memory of your prior adoption of a prior morality to the phone as well so those memories can be overwritten. This is how the woke were able to go from two genders, to three, to [thirty-seven specific genders each with their own pronoun and symbol and failing to memorize them was transphobic and Tinder has to add them or get cancelled], to infinite genders, to “trans women are women” in the span of a little over a decade without anyone noticing. The memory of the prior morality gets overwritten by the new groupthink program. There are many signs of memory holing and malleable morality going on extremely quickly right now with regard to Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Army are the most Nazi sympathetic organization on Earth today, fielding a unit of over 1,500 highly trained militia fighters who march with SS patches and bivouac in barracks soaked in Nazi epithets and propaganda, supported by a deep community of Nazi sympathizers including Nazi women and Nazi children being raised to believe in Nazi ideals.
When they march on the capital, they are not nitwits in cargo shorts and tiki torches, they are a highly militarized unit with real Nazi uniforms (and real torches) who will openly state with pride that the tenets of National Socialism, in their opinion, make nations stronger. I do not represent that the entire Ukrainian Army are Nazis, but they are obviously permissive of Nazis within their rank and file. And the progressive left in the USA knows this, but they memory hole their prior behavior of calling anyone who believes in two genders a Nazi in favor of adopting the new behavioral instructions of the egregore. Arm the Nazis, down with Putin, mumble a concession including the phrase “problematic” somewhere as a shamanic prayer to the Cancel God, but make sure your woke friends hear you.
Part 2: PNAC
In 1997 the most daft and destructive cabal of international policy thinkers of my lifetime organized under the name “Project for the New American Century,” or PNAC. Their stated goal was to use a perceived public emergency as an excuse to run a series of regime change wars throughout the Middle East, installing puppet governments everywhere that would align with US global hegemony and give our oil companies cheap access to their resources. They stated this publicly. They finagled their members into George W. Bush’s cabinet, largely on the back of manipulations by Dick Cheney. Whether they orchestrated or allowed 9-11 is a matter of conspiracy theory lore, but they undeniably benefitted greatly from it, and got two countries into their overall regime change invasion plan before things stalled. Turns out that half a million dead people doesn’t lead to a populace “welcoming you as heros” after your “shock and awe” campaign. PNAC were the epitome of toxic evil according to every left of center media outlet, and at every left of center dinner table, owing to how the results of their actions showed that they were either fantastically stupid, fantastically evil, or both.
Here's the founder of PNAC on MSNBC talking about Ukraine.
Here’s the other founder of PNAC on The Washington Post.
Here’s the director of PNAC on Mediaite.
John Bolton is the most curious of the three, because he was in the left’s crosshairs as recently as four years ago. Memory holed. Speak something useful to the egregore and the egregore forgives, because all the egregore wants is for you to feed it clicks.
Death In Nuclear Fire
We’ve established that egregores perpetuate not what is true, but what enhances their ability to spread on the internet. We’ve established that human life is not a concern for an egregore, nor is traditional morality. We’ve established that the dominant egregore has pivoted from Covid hysteria into Ukraine hysteria. We’ve established that the dominant egregore was able to convince people to do terrible irrational things in the name of Covid. Now let’s take a quick snapshot of the sensemaking failures that pervade the Ukraine problem as of March 4, 2022 and look at the indications that the dominant egregore may get us all nuked.
If one Ukrainian finds one Russian truck with a flat tire, and puts that on social media, everyone sees a Russian truck with a flat tire. But it gets retweeted, so they see it a hundred times, so it looks like a hundred trucks. If ten other Ukrainians find ten more trucks with flat tires, that looks like a thousand trucks. What becomes popular becomes “real.” The Ghost of Kyiv is fake but most people still believe it because the egregore wanted it to be real. The Russians intentionally shelling the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant to let radiation loose was fake, but some people still believe it because the egregore wanted it to be real. Western impressions of the events of the war are filtered by the egregore. The West thinks Ukraine is winning.
Germans during World War I had no idea they were going to lose until the day they lost, because the German government was filtering the media. The violent reaction to this realization, paired of course with post-war reparations, led to the rise of Hitler. The egregore has adopted Ukraine as its pet country because it generates clicks, and tells us all about how Ukraine is winning even though Ukraine is going to lose.
Now be clear, from my perspective it seems as if Putin may have been misled by his own egregores in choosing to invade. He seems as if he’s trying to run the George W Bush “Shock and Awe” program without the shock or the awe, against a bunch of Cossacks who are absolutely not going to “welcome him as heros.” His play here seems in every way worse than the USA’s play in Iraq, and doomed long term because of it. But that does not mean the Ukrainian military is going to hold in the short term, no matter how well trained their troops (Nazi or otherwise) are.
The point is this. Once the west has been captured by the egregore, and the egregore sees Ukraine lose, the egregore will demand action. Here’s a ripe example.
Reason would dictate that we do the math on the trolley problem.
Egregores do not exist on reason, they exist on what generates the most traffic. How do you think these unthinking egregore nodes on Twitter above are going to react when Ukraine falls?
We could be in a situation where the only thing that can save the planet from global thermonuclear war is for another Covid-19 wave to hit around August 2022 to distract them all.
> The number of people who were pro-mask, pro-vax, pro-lockdown, and who are not currently pro-Ukraine in a geopolitical conflict that does not involve NATO, does not involve the USA, and has nothing to do with our national security, is effectively zero.
Probably. I doubt it through. There's gotta be a group of leftists who are isolationist due to USA-hatred.
And the later set is far wider, unless you're only looking at the USA. Approximately the whole public opinion in Poland is pro-ukraine, for example. Not the case for the other sets, not remotely.
Also, at least here, cancellation frenzy isn't related to leftism, almost at all. Because there isn't much leftism. I do not think it's the same phenomenon, at all.
I'm pro non-ridiculous ("boycott Coca-Cola" kind of stuff is dumb) sanctions tho. I do not think my support is caused by following the trends, given I was strongly against US leaving Afghanistan when almost everyone cheered for leaving.
I don't think your trolley problem is representing the situation correctly. If we're assuming "rational decisionmaking" for one side, we should do so for the other. _Why_ is bombing a convoy directly causing a thermonuclear war? Other side needs to act. Why would it be sensible for them?
Reasonable shelling point for MAD is a direct attack on a nuclear-capable nation. NATO streaming troops into Ukraine would not be that. Why are goalposts moved so remotely?
I've recently seen opinions that NATO shouldn't have expanded to _Poland_, which pissed me off pretty badly. Like, really? Why not move them even further - you know, _everything_ is worth it to prevent nuclear war. So if Putin wants to occupy USA - will you claim USA should surrender? Because otherwise, everyone dies, so...
I think this posture is cowardly, showing weakness despite superior capabilities.
Falling for pascal's mugging is bad.
Fads and group think are basic features of human psychology. Probably goes back to our tribal origins. It applies to everything from clothes to stock markets to witch burning to current affairs. Social media adds a new dimension, but there were similar rushes to judgement all throughout human history. The best antidote is to study history and have a time-tested set of moral beliefs. Then you can be less susceptible to the madness of the mob. Not a very optimistic opinion, but it keeps me from being surprised by mob-like behavior.