Post Post Truth

Finally we have democratized access to propaganda so we can end the white male patriarchy

Another Monday, Another Naive Weekly - Curated stories on Technology and Internet Culture.

I don’t watch much TV and generally suck at recognizing celebrities. Therefore I had to watch the YouTube clip above a few times before I noticed what actually went on. Once I started to see how Bill Hader seamlessly transformed into Tom Cruise I got why the Internet had a post truth moment last week.

There is no doubt that deepfakes are going to become the thing of 2020. We’ll see an endless stream of fake videos of US President candidates because the technology to change the voice and face of people in videos is now so good that soon anyone can do it.

Obviously it is scary to think this scenario to its ends. How will you know when to rely on a video clip? What happens when distrust to all videos becomes default? What happens to society when it no longer can agree on established truths?

These are important questions, but the question the video left me with was: what happens to our society when propaganda technologies are democratized?

We are constantly told that fake-news and the post-truth society is a result of the Internet. This is as false as it is true. In reality people in power have always used technology to control public perception. In the Middle Age the royalties and churches controlled the books. Later the technologies became the printing press and broadcasting.

There is nothing new in technology being used to change the perception of people. There is nothing new in society not having one universal truth. What is new is that an increasing amount of people have the knowledge, skills and networks to define what is truth.

Highlights from the Internet Black Hole

  • True Fans Nightmare - “Get yourself 1000 true fans and you are good”. If you have ever heard or repeated this statement by Kevin Kelly, you might want to read this tale of Robert Rich. It is published on Kevin’s blog and offers a cautionary counter-picture to the rosy dreams.

  • Data is CO2 - For the better part of a decade people have repeated that data is the new oil. It is true, but in more ways than you realize. Just like oil, data is only valuable when refined and what’s more, the data actions of other people leaches and pollutes your life and social relationships no matter how much you protect yourself.

  • 33,000 Gun Deaths - More than 33,000 people are fatally shot in the U.S. each year. FiveThirtyEight makes your heart hurt with this visual breakdown of the deaths. Ps. can we please stop blaming video-games? It honestly feels like the sugar industry lobbying against fat. Instead of blaming video games, why not just remove weapons, period.

  • $12,000 Speed Tickets - One nerd decided to get “Null” as his personal numberplate. One year later he had tickets for more than $12,000. When you get hit by the algorithms things can escalate quickly.

  • Racial Dynamics - This photo series by Chris Buck fits today’s theme of post-truth quite nicely. Futures are written in plural.

  • Youth Meme Culture - What Nirvana was for kids in the 90s, Playboi Carti is for the youth today. Carti represents the copy-paste culture of exploring personal boundaries that is characteristic for TikTok. Or at least this was what the writer of this post made me believe.

Naive Weekly

Hi, I’m Kristoffer and you have just read Naive Weekly - Curated stories on Technology and Internet Culture.

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