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The Epistemological UFO Meme Trail That Led To Right Wing Supremacy


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#1 Watershed

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 11:01 PM

Initial Caveats: I'm a long time lurker and have rarely posted. It's actually been quite a while since I've been on 'topia (so long in fact, that my account was placed in quiet time status). However, as the world has gotten...stranger...I'm inclined to be a bit more limber with my general navel gazing, if only for sanity's sake. That said, this post will contain a few political ad-homonym's and assumptions based on those ad-homonym positions, but I do not intend this post to be interpreted as "troll-ish". So if this post is at all perceived as offensive or uncalled for, all I can do is ask your forgiveness and beg a moderator to lock the thread entirely. Also, I'm certain that elements of this conversation have been had before, so please disregard any horse that may have already been beaten to death.


It is my general assertion that YouTube's saturation of UFO videos, beginning almost immediately at the inception of the video platform is one of the roots of the general popular dissatisfaction with the scientific, academic and scholarly institutions, a fomented distrust in the government, a spike in otherwise "fringe" conspiracy beliefs and the general saturation of right wing political culture and power, within the United States today.

---

I love a good UFO video. There are few pleasures that compare to stumbling across, what on the surface appears to be a truly unexplainable piece of video or photographic "evidence". The imagination reals at the enormity of the implications. Less often do I fear we are going to be invaded than I fear we are going to be ignored by off-world or off-temporal, sentient beings. So, the prospect of their presence being true does wonders for the ole' brain pan. It gets the juices flowing. The unknown coupled with our inherent curiosity is always an allure for people.

So when YouTube came into being, I did what any good pscychonaut would do and I dove straight into the puddles of weird that could be found there. Certainly, UFO mania existed on the internet and in books long before YouTube, but the creation of YouTube came at exactly the same time that more Americans than ever, particularly the Boomers were finally coming online in droves.

It was and is incredibly easy to fall down a UFO hole on YouTube. And like anything on the internet these days, if you want to take the pulse or the IQ of the general populace, all you have to do is read the comments....follow the threads and keep clicking.

Before I go any further, I should note that I was briefly discussing this topic privately with TVCasualty and his initial response was "Well Duh..", so take that for what it's worth. hahaha

Anyway, as I see it, when aggregators like StumbleUpon came into existence, it became easier and easier to fall off in the UFO holes, which inevitably leads one into the greater realm of conspiracy and government paranoia. Any number of minutes or hours watching UFO videos inevitably led you into the realm of David Icke, all the Rothschild conspiracies, etc etc etc...

The sudden interest in these conspiracies as well as the long popularity of Coast to Coast AM gave rise to the popularity of Info Wars along with the popularity of the Ancient Alien's series and the derp fall out of all that... Take into account that the History Channel was purchased by Rupert Murdoch's Fox along with Nat Geo, TLC etc...and all the programing was geared toward low IQ, right leaning boomers...it's not hard to see how these thoughts lead people directly into a super right wing philosophy. Breed in a fear and disdain of the government by convincing people they've been hiding aliens from them, lead them via clicks into either derpy right leaning prepper, conspiracy, Nibiru, flat Earth, moon hoaxing bullshit and you are either going to breed a purely cognitive dissonant right winger or if you happen to be a cynical X'er or an impressionable millennial, then it will lead you straight to Stefan Molineux and the Nazi chasm that is modern Anarcho Capitalism.

I think we've all seen this happen. Friend A B & C discovers UFO video and starts sending / posting links. Then friend A starts sending you pieces on the Rothschilds and he begins a quiet obsession with Sarah Palin, while friend B is busy freaking out about chemtrails and FEMA camps. Friend C is a bit more new age, so while she's worried about chemtrails too, she's also decided that vaccines are shit and that drinking her own urine is now the best practice for ridding her body of toxins. Friend A goes further and further right, eventually becoming a full blown Trump supporter. Friend B, scorned by his chronic virginity and his inability to create lasting friendships falls in love with Stefen Molineux and goes full An-Cap. Friend C votes for Stein and dies of cancer six months later after trying to cure it with colloidal silver and her own urine instead of going to a fucking doctor.

Basically, once you separate all the chaff, what you find is that the same people buying the UFO books and going to the conferences and angry at the government for failing to provide disclosure, are exactly the same people who currently believe that they are "draining the swamp". They believe they've elected an outsider who thinks like they do...and HE DOES! It's almost become a self feeding infinity loop of derp. But then...every now and then, something like this happens. And you see that competent people (politician still, sure, but competent) like Harry Reed actually dedicated a couple dozen million dollars to monitor unidentified objects in order to assess the actual threat level. It's a reasonable thing. It's not even that outlandish consider the full umbrella of military threat assessment. However, the way it is presented to the public, as something that money is either being wasted on or something that should have been made public long ago etc, only serves to breed in more of that same cognitive dissonance. Even rationally, if you just assume that we are or have been visited by sentient aliens and knowing as much about them can only prove to be helpful to us presently or in the future, this kind of admission is worth paying attention to even if it does cause us to take our eyes off the bigger balls in play momentarily. When you run out of other things to tweet about, rolling out the whole disclosure thing could seem like a pretty tasty distraction. Personally, I think the UFO phenomenon comes down to the limits placed on perceivable reality by language, but I digress.

In any case, I firmly believe that the prevalence of UFO conspiracy videos, coupled with the monetary incentive to post them has done a great deal to condition the minds of a great many people to believe whatever they are told, yet do so thinking full well that they are in total control of their faculties and in good faith with those peddling bad information. Clearly, this kind of behavior transcended fringe areas like UFO's and is not a mainstream phenomenon.

Thoughts? Are UFO videos to blame for the 'rightification' and general 'derpification' of present day America? If not "UFO videos" then what specifically. How do you name this phenomenon? Is this just one facet of the this "bloodless" information civil war we seem to be engaged in? How many alien's are posting online right now as we speak? Can an alien levitate a burrito so well that even they cannot catch it to eat it?

Edited by coorsmikey, 19 December 2017 - 11:56 PM.
I was never here.

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#2 Alder Logs

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 11:54 PM

I never thought of it as a right/left thing.    What I suspect is a muddying of the waters wherever it is in the interest of the powerful to obfuscate any fact that can have a dollar or power gain or loss meaning to them.    Just like when the Joint Committee on Assassinations said there was more than one shooter, the media ramped up enough bullshit to make the finding be more like: "There were two lone nuts in Dealey Plaza that day."


Edited by Alder Logs, 20 December 2017 - 01:15 AM.

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#3 August West

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 12:28 AM

Before and after

competent people like Harry Reed [sic]

it all just became...

 

 

[Direct Link]

 

Having said that, I've always found the UFO "conspiracy theories" to be some of the least compelling/interesting. I can honestly say I've never come close to anything resembling a UFO rabbit hole. If anything, I feel like they're used, borrowing from Alder, to muddy the waters of real "conspiracies".


Edited by August West, 20 December 2017 - 12:34 AM.


#4 Watershed

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 07:40 AM

Before and after

competent people like Harry Reed [sic]

it all just became...

 

 

[Direct Link]

 

Having said that, I've always found the UFO "conspiracy theories" to be some of the least compelling/interesting. I can honestly say I've never come close to anything resembling a UFO rabbit hole. If anything, I feel like they're used, borrowing from Alder, to muddy the waters of real "conspiracies".

 

 

I think there should have been some implied air quotes there to indicate irony in my original statement. Sorry that didn't come through well enough. My bad.  Still, I would argue that in comparison to many others on the Hill (like say Ted Cruz), Reed is far more competent. 


Edited by Watershed, 20 December 2017 - 07:41 AM.


#5 Watershed

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 02:14 PM

I never thought of it as a right/left thing.    What I suspect is a muddying of the waters wherever it is in the interest of the powerful to obfuscate any fact that can have a dollar or power gain or loss meaning to them.    Just like when the Joint Committee on Assassinations said there was more than one shooter, the media ramped up enough bullshit to make the finding be more like: "There were two lone nuts in Dealey Plaza that day."

 

 

Yeah. I don't think it's necessarily a right or left thing in particular, I just feel that based on demographics, those on the right tend to fall for untruth quicker than those on the left. Of course, I don't have any specific metrics on this beyond the data collected demonstrating that the right wing remains in a very solid echo chamber. 

 

TwitterData1-01.png

 



#6 DonShadow

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 02:26 PM

Carl Jung's thoughts on the subject still ring true: https://en.m.wikiped...rn_Myth_of_Jung

#7 Watershed

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 02:53 PM

Carl Jung's thoughts on the subject still ring true: https://en.m.wikiped...rn_Myth_of_Jung

 

 

I'm with you. 

 

I guess, what I'm aiming at though is less about the reality of UFO's and more about how the culture of fringe conspiracy works in conjunction with intentional algorithms to steer certain people towards particular political assumptions. 



#8 DonShadow

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 04:16 PM

It does seem to have that effect, however, like Jung I attribute this more toward an evolutionarily ingrained fear of the unknown, coupled with a desire for "otherness" (cosmic "daddy issues"), rather than a coordinated agenda.

Edited by DonShadow, 20 December 2017 - 04:17 PM.

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#9 Watershed

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 04:32 PM

It does seem to have that effect, however, like Jung I attribute this more toward an evolutionarily ingrained fear of the unknown, coupled with a desire for "otherness" (cosmic "daddy issues"), rather than a coordinated agenda.

 

Totally agree. 

 

There's also this human tendency to place blame on seemingly elaborate systems and conspiracies to justify one's own powerlessness and insecurity. "Why is life not working out for me? Of course, it's the government! And Reptilians! And area 51!" The unfortunate thing is that this assumption is at least in part, factual. The government does make things harder for certain demographics and tax brackets. So that truth lends credence to otherwise irrational blame or misunderstanding. 



#10 DonShadow

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 06:15 PM

In my mind the most immediate danger is literally in front of us, on our various screens. The fear of screens would be perfectly rational if one could only understand the danger. The screens offer two paths: on one path is the psyche extracted, manipulated, and made unconscious; collective assimilation a-la Borg, on the other is the psyche graphically visualized, acknowledged, transcended and integrated. One path leads to paranoia and loss of personal autonomy, the other to empowerment and destiny. Social media is the battlefield of the gods, but they need not be our warlords.
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#11 Watershed

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 09:14 PM

In my mind the most immediate danger is literally in front of us, on our various screens. The fear of screens would be perfectly rational if one could only understand the danger. The screens offer two paths: on one path is the psyche extracted, manipulated, and made unconscious; collective assimilation a-la Borg, on the other is the psyche graphically visualized, acknowledged, transcended and integrated. One path leads to paranoia and loss of personal autonomy, the other to empowerment and destiny. Social media is the battlefield of the gods, but they need not be our warlords.

 

 

Right on! That's good shit right there. It's funny how we willingly give in to the additional paranoia and loss of personal autonomy despite political origination. 

 

Tell me what you think of this... I have a good friend who is currently writing a rather good book about the concept of utopia. He and I were speaking a few weeks ago about what modern civil war in a first world nation looks like. I first proposed that it looked like Russia in the late 90's i.e. high unemployment, general diaspora, rampant addiction etc, and then insisted that we were already there. Then in a later conversation he insisted that the more likely case is that we are in a purely informational war, which I whole heartedly agreed with. I've been saying vehemently that at least the last five years have constituted a full fledged propaganda war. But then, I suggested this to him. I insisted that perhaps, this is what civil war is meant to look like in a utopia and that perhaps, we'd been living in a utopia (best of all possible worlds) for the past 70 years or so. This purely informational civil war constitutes a bloodless civil war, where we fight out our battles in inane social media fallacy pits, then get up and walk friendly (more or less) amongst out sworn enemies. Certainly there are moments of real violence that spill over, but they are a storm in a teacup compared to an actual, bloody civil war. 

 

If this is the case, it makes one wonder a few things. 1. How much more utopian can utopian get? 2. Does a utopian civil war result in dystopia, inevitably? 3. If this is the best of all possible worlds, when do other best worlds become possible? Does that happen after our computers get better, or after we purge them from our lives in a nuclear fire altogether?  4. If things remain relatively as they are, but the "bloodless civil war" subsides eventually, what does reconstruction look like? 

 

~shrugs shoulders~


Edited by Watershed, 20 December 2017 - 09:20 PM.

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#12 Spooner

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 09:33 PM

Just waiting for my quantum computer to arrive so I can have things be there and not there at the same time.

Real and unreal is all the same in our current environment.


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#13 Skywatcher

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 11:01 PM

Just waiting for my quantum computer to arrive so I can have things be there and not there at the same time.

Real and unreal is all the same in our current environment.

I'm saving this written jewel for future usage, (and repeated appreciation in the never ending "Now")


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#14 DonShadow

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 12:47 AM

I agree that civil war is psychological, but then you have to define psychological. Psychology is the study of the soul. This means the soul is at war with itself, in an effort to achieve equilibrium always. Therefor all war is civil war.

The soul is a reflection of the so-called material substrate in which it manifests; the central nervous system. The same could be stated in reverse. The theatre of the world directly correlates with the psychology of the individual mind, the action of a nation or political body is simply the collective activity of a grouping of individuals with a shared agenda. What this means is that the present state of neurological development is projected onto the sociological stage.

What happens when neurogenesis is inhibited in adulthood? Habitual behaviour, laziness, routine, stagnation. What happens when neurogenesis is encouraged through modification of diet and behaviour (epigenetic evolution/horizontal gene transfer)? Inspiration, learning, novel experiences, sometimes even seemingly impossible scenarios. This is because reality IS the mind. Change the mind and reality instantly follows suit. Physical pathways are neurological pathways.

What are the limits of utopia? What is the best possible world? Maybe the real question is "what are the limits of neurodevelopment?". Will the earth sustain us long enough for us to explore the potential of rapid neurodevelopment on a massive scale? An earth devoid of nutrients will lead to unprecedented neurological decay.

Learning, listening and eating a complex diet may be the recipe for the highest form of rebellion. Poor diet and ignorance (not UFOs) leads to fascism.

Edited by DonShadow, 22 December 2017 - 01:34 AM.

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#15 Watershed

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 07:27 AM

I agree that civil war is psychological, but then you have to define psychological. Psychology is the study of the soul. 

 

 

Eeeeeeeee Ok. I see where you were going with all this and I'm not going to object....but I think this might be a bit too reductionist and/or riddled with assumptions I'm not ready to accept in order to accept your premise. However, I ultimately agree with your points, especially the parts about neurogenesis. 

 

To your point though, look at this jack hole's take on it all. I ran across this this morning and I genuinely wanted to put my head through the top of my desk. Not only does he conflate ALL interest in "space" with UFO conspiraderp, but he genuinely sounds like a fella that has no idea of the shape of his own navel. I think he proves your point quite well, as he clearly has some inhibited neurogenesis. LOL 

http://theweek.com/a...-alien-freakout


Edited by Watershed, 22 December 2017 - 08:13 AM.


#16 Spooner

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 08:36 AM

...reality IS the mind. Change the mind and reality instantly follows suit. 

 

That certainly seems to be the perspective of the current political operatives in Washington DC.  If I do not admit to thinking something, then it never happened.  I am the whole source of reality, and there is no reality outside of what I say is real,  You are all fake news, not real at all.  I am King, and God, creator of all reality.

 

Bovine Scatology.  Reality is that which exists beyond an individual observer.


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#17 DonShadow

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 10:27 AM

 
That certainly seems to be the perspective of the current political operatives in Washington DC.  If I do not admit to thinking something, then it never happened.  I am the whole source of reality, and there is no reality outside of what I say is real,  You are all fake news, not real at all.  I am King, and God, creator of all reality.
 
Bovine Scatology.  Reality is that which exists beyond an individual observer.


Hmm, that's a pretty drastic misinterpretation of the point I was trying to make. Of course reality exists beyond the observer, but we also know that reality is dependant on the observer. All I'm really trying to say here is "be the change". By choosing to nourish the body with wholesome and complex foods along with stimulating learning activity we catalyze change in our own slice of reality and subsequently our modified behaviour will catalyze change in our community, whether that be our families, sports teams, classrooms, online forum, etc.
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#18 Spooner

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 11:55 PM

No offence DonShadow, I basically agree with your premise, I'm just looking at the other side of the story to try to avoid the potential pitfalls.

 

Perspective makes all the difference, so I try not to get too hung up on just looking out from inside my own small mind, even though it is all I have to work with.


Edited by Spooner, 23 December 2017 - 12:03 AM.

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#19 DonShadow

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 02:04 AM

No offence DonShadow, I basically agree with your premise, I'm just looking at the other side of the story to try to avoid the potential pitfalls.

Perspective makes all the difference, so I try not to get too hung up on just looking out from inside my own small mind, even though it is all I have to work with.

None taken! I enjoyed the poem you posted originally. To me solipsism is an emotional state, not a world-model. Solipsism is the experience of perpetual isolation, the feeling of watching the drama unfold and choosing not to participate, for fear of being torn limb from limb by those churning, gnashing, vicious teeth.

Edited by DonShadow, 23 December 2017 - 02:11 AM.


#20 Spooner

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 02:27 AM

I thought the Housman poem might be too dark, but it does highlight that perspective is critical in assessing a situation.

Guess I may as well post the poem.

 

Good creatures, do you love your lives
And have you ears for sense?
Here is a knife like other knives,
That cost me eighteen pence.

 

I need but stick it in my heart
And down will come the sky,
And earth's foundations will depart
And all you folk will die.

 

​Who dies?  You or Me?  


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