FaceBook Contains The Seeds For Its Own Destruction In Its “Community Standards”

As the yang contains the seeds of the yin that will eventually grow to overwhelm it, so does FaceBook contain the seeds for its own destruction in its totalitarian “Community Standards”

Social media is becoming an ever more difficult place to express oneself, with the list of things that you’re not allowed to say growing by the week. FaceBook (otherwise known as FaecesBook) is arguably the worst offender, and is getting worse all the time. Unfortunately for them, the seeds of their own destruction are sown by their aggression against free expression.

More and more people are finding themselves “zucked”. This means they are banned from FaceBook for a set length of time because of transgressions against the mysterious “Community Standards”: an ephemeral set of ever-shifting laws against saying certain things, on the grounds (presumably) that some might find the speech offensive.

In doing so, FaceBook has forgotten who made it popular in the first place. It wasn’t people who were worried about community standards – to the contrary, it was the sort of person who flocked to the Internet as a place to speak freely. It was the cool people who made FaceBook a fun place to talk about things that were hard to talk about in real life, for whatever reason.

These people are not going to tolerate being banned for 30 days for using words like ‘faggot’ or ‘nigger’: two things which ought to be punished by no more than mild social disapproval, without need for recourse to a higher authority. Cool people don’t put up with that sort of crap; cool people will simply find another platform (such as www.minds.com), upon which they can still express themselves freely, and without being encumbered by arbitrary restrictions imposed by some moralising, prudish control freaks.

The author was recently banned from FaecesBook for three days for writing the word ‘fags’. It wasn’t written as a slur, but as the opposite. It was part of the phrase “God Hates Fags”, in the context of mocking religious fundamentalists who hate homosexuals and who are boneheaded enough to protest homosexuality by holding up signs that presume to speak for God.

So it doesn’t even matter if you make a comment in support of homosexuals by mocking those who only are homophobic because they think God told them to be. Use of the word ‘fag’ or ‘fags’ is verboten, so utterly verboten that it is a crime for which there is no defence.

On another occasion I was zucked when a troll in a group I was in accused the group of being full of people who believed that Hitler did nothing wrong. I responded with “But Hitler didn’t do anything wrong” – a comment so clearly a joke that no-one except for the most socially retarded idiot sperglord could have thought otherwise. That’s no defence in the eyes of FaceBook, though, for who all thoughtcrime must be ruthlessly punished.

Perhaps I should have been banned for making such an obvious joke? It would have been much fairer.

It makes one wonder – has Zuckerberg ever been to a pub? Has he ever been out in public, and heard how people speak in real life when they’re trying to relax and make some light humour? ‘Fags’ is hardly a problem. What is a problem is the ever-increasing creep of intrusive advertisements on FaceBook, a platform where the vast majority of the content is created by users who could go anywhere else.

Or is the plan to make FaceBook a gigantic safe space, much in the same way that television currently is? Because the obvious problem with this approach is that FaceBook got its initial momentum from being the precise opposite to a safe space, and if it tries to be the United Nations of Internet forums it will end up just as despised and derided as the UN is.

FaceBook is already dying, but it might take several years for the obvious signs of its irreversible decline to become undeniable. It is, in effect, going through the inevitable life cycle of Internet forums, in which the fourth stage – Destruction – is marked by the controllers of the forum bringing in more and more and more rules in an attempt to recapture the glory days, without them being aware that it is the very application of all these rules which has driven the glory away.

The application of ridiculous Community Standards that not even the average grandmother can abide by without getting banned will be the death of FaceBook.

New Zealand Can Top The 2020 Olympics Medal Table With a Team Full of Transgenders

It’s now possible for men to compete in women’s sports if their feelings would be hurt by being excluded. New Zealanders can use this to our sporting advantage

The fashion of the zeitgeist is to ignore biology and to deny that it has any effect whatsoever on the patterns of conduct of human affairs. This has had a number of unforeseen consequences, all of which are taboo to speak about on account of going against that fashion. However, there are ways that astute observers can use these fashions to their advantage, and New Zealand could use it to beat both America and China in the next Olympics.

New Zealand had never won a weightlifting world championship medal until transgender athlete Laurel Hubbard did so on Wednesday. Born a male named Gavin, and doing a lot of weightlifting training as an adult male, Gavin decided that he was Laurel and is now a she. Because the fashion of the zeitgeist is to ignore biology, no-one dared say anything about the colossal advantage Laurel was inevitably going to have in a strength-based sport on account of being a man, and he duly achieved something never before achieved by a Kiwi athlete.

No New Zealander had ever won a world championship medal in weightlifting before, unsurprising for such a small country in such a popular event. But no New Zealander had ever had the advantage of a man’s wrists, forearms, biceps, triceps, quadriceps, shoulders, abdominals and calves in the women’s division before either.

Comically, if Hubbard had lifted his personal best in the snatch event at these world championships, he would have won the gold medal, smashing his next opponent by 5kg.

Some might think it astonishing that this kind of thing is even allowed, because it clearly goes against the Corinthian ideal of fair play in sport. But in any case, it isn’t for us to set the direction of the social narrative. That is done by the major media enterprises, who spend millions where we spend hundreds; we can only watch, question, and share observations in the hope that those wise enough to listen will survive the coming catastrophe.

It’s enough to say this: New Zealand needs to invest some serious money into recruiting a contingent of transgender athletes to dominate the women’s events at the 2020 Olympics. We may never get a chance like this again.

If we invested in about 150 transgender athletes to compete in female Olympic events, New Zealand could realistically have a chance of topping the world medal count at the next Olympics if the example of Laurel Hubbard is anything to go by. America won 46 gold medals in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, and New Zealand won four, meaning that we need at least 43 men to compete as transgenders in women’s events and to win for us to top the Olympic rankings.

The obvious events to target are the ones where men have massive physiological advantages on account of the different selective pressures facing men and women in the evolutionary history of primates. Men have not been rewarded by nature for our nurturing abilities, but for our abilities to smash skulls and rip out throats and crush scrotums. So the Olympic events that share similarities with these things should be at the top of the hit list.

If Laurel Hubbard can win silver in this world championships, we can count on transgenders being able to smash foreign women in all events involving upper body strength. Probably we could get a transgender to win every weight division in the weightlifting, as well as all throwing events such as shotput, discus, hammer and javelin, and perhaps we could also dominate the swimming events. All of the fighting events should be easy wins for Kiwi men competing in international women’s divisions: certainly wrestling and boxing can be targeted.

Winning all of these events and divisions would give us 50 gold medals and an almost certain top spot on the next Olympic medal table. No doubt the rules on this will be tightened up after Hubbard’s win, so we ought to act now to seize this unprecedented opportunity to win an absolute swag of medals.

The Future of Empathy

Empathy has probably evolved to facilitate social interaction in the human species, which is why an absence of it tends to have antisocial consequences

By most measures, the world seems to have become a more empathetic place since the Stone Age. The average person’s chances of meeting a violent end are far lower today than back then, and one’s exposure to grossly traumatic events are also far lower. This has had some interesting effects for a species that may have adapted to a certain level of environmental violence.

In many ways, this increasing empathy is becoming standardised and expected. We are more empathetic than ever before by a number of measures: we share more of our wealth than ever, we commit fewer crimes against each other than ever, we have a much better understanding of mental illness than ever. We debate social issues – like bringing refugees into the country to be supported out of general taxation – that would have been unthinkable even a century ago.

The question arises: where does this process end? In my upcoming cyberpunk novel, The Man With A Thousand Fathers, I explore this point in some detail. It is set in the 2080s, when the science of psychology is much more advanced than what it is today and when the confluence of virtual reality and psychoactive research chemicals has meant that the world on the flipside is often realer than this one.

In the Thailand of the story world, children who are discovered to have defective levels of empathy are put into a virtual reality environment instead of being allowed to go into real life, and then raised with exposure to a set of stimuli specifically calculated to condition them to be more civil. One of the story’s characters, an orphan named Suwat, spends over a decade in such a virtual environment before being released.

It’s entirely possible that such a thing may eventuate, for utilitarian reasons. It’s not difficult to predict the kinds of children who are going to grow up to be criminals. They’re simply the kids that lack empathy for other kids. Any schoolteacher could tell you with high accuracy which children in their class are likely to grow up to cause problems and which children are not.

It’s also not difficult to predict why these kids lack empathy. The vast majority of the time it’s because they themselves aren’t shown empathy at home. Children are not born knowing what’s what; they learn to base their behaviour and moral values on what is demonstrated to them as normal. If a child’s parents don’t show empathy to each other or to that child, that child might well grow up to learn that not showing empathy is normal.

A child who has been exposed to really bad things might even come to learn that empathy is weakness that makes a person vulnerable. They might learn that showing empathy is a signal that one is soft, and that one dare not show it in case it invites aggression and exploitation.

With advancing virtual reality technology, we’re almost at the point where using a virtual environment for therapeutic purposes becomes mainstream. Virtual reality therapy has already shown promise in treating soldiers suffering from PTSD.

Extrapolating from this, it might become possible, if a virtual environment was engineered accurately enough, to use VR therapy to cure a wide range of psychiatric illnesses and disorders.

On the darker side, advancing technology might also make it possible for psychotechnicians to use machines to measure aspects of brain activity that the owner of the brain might not themselves be aware of. It has been possible to detect homosexuality in a subject for decades by exposing them to graphic homosexual images and measuring whether certain parts of the brain spark into life or not, and who knows where this sort of technology might lead.

It might happen that young children are exposed, en masse, to virtual reality examinations in which their brains are tricked into thinking that they’re in situations where empathy is required, and then their levels of empathy are measured. Anyone with too low a level is shipped off to VR therapy in the hope that they can learn to become more co-operative.

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Vince McLeod is the author of ANZAC cyberpunk novel The Verity Key.

VJMP Reads: The Interregnum: Rethinking New Zealand I

The Interregnum: Rethinking New Zealand is a small book of essays that is for sale at the Volume bookstore in Nelson, by Bridget Williams Books. The blurb on the back asks the question of whether New Zealand’s political settlement is beginning to fray, and purports to “interrogate” the future from a youth perspective.

The first essay, by editor Morgan Godfery, is called “The Voices of A New Generation” and opens by relating an anti-TPPA demonstration in Auckland. It breathlessly describes the excitement of thousands of diverse people coming together to oppose the signing of the multilateral trade agreement.

Reading this piece, something about it speaks to the lack of purpose that the young generation now has. The fight against apartheid seemed meaningful at the time; it seemed a great evil was being fought. A law that says that a large section of the population are second-class humans, for no other reason than skin colour, seems like the sort of arbitrary and cruel treatment that everyone should be against.

But can the same be said of international trade? Who really understands it well enough to decide? And so what if “trade agreements are signed”?

By the fourth page of this essay there is already a Marx quote, which bodes poorly. The reader gets the sentiment that the new voice here is going to be an echo of the same social justice warriors seen overseas. If not, why oppose something as vague and nebulous as the TPPA, instead of protesting about poor wages, poor housing, poor mental health outcomes?

The essay finds its feet when it hones in on the real enemy: neoliberalism. Godfery mentions the damage done to the national psyche by the Mother of All Budgets, and it feels like he speaks for many when he says that the children condemned to poverty by Richardson’s Budget are now adults, some of us with our own children.

But again, this speaks to the confusion in the New Zealand Left. What to make of the fact that the signing of the TPPA was protested under a National Government, with many prominent Labour supporters in attendance, and then the Labour Government went and signed it anyway? No-one knows yet if Labour will get criticised for their evident support of neoliberalism, or whether people will let it pass.

This introductory essay declares that the book is for those who have “a fierce desire to radically reshape politics.” It proposes that instead of focusing on “returns on investment”, that we return to a politics of “higher principles and values”.

This is all very well, but the question that strikes one is: whose higher principles and values? Because usually when the working class votes for people promising to govern by higher principles, it turns out that those principles only apply to a chosen few groups, and if you’re not one of them then you’re “privileged” (“privileged” means “untermensch” in social justice speak”.

We can see this now with Jacinda Ardern’s decision to give Manus Island “refugees” her highest priority, while saying nothing about the Kiwis suffering from the illegal status of medicinal cannabis. Unfortunately for medicinal cannabis users, official victim status has so far eluded them, and so they continue to be ignored.

Concluding with half a dozen mentions of the word “love”, this essay promises that the book will make for interesting reading for the sake of political philosophy. However, it’s not possible to believe that a book that opens by quoting several Marxists could be entirely trustworthy or honest, even if it is earnest.

It remains to see what these higher principles are.

Why New Zealand Should Make Cricket Our National Sport

Kane Williamson is ten times more famous on the world stage than any All Black realistically ever could be – and a hundred times less at risk for head injury

It’s over. The Scots have beaten us for the first time in rugby history. It didn’t turn out quite like that, of course, as Beauden Barrett’s covering tackle forced a knock on from the Scottish fullback, but when Stuart Hogg broke the line and then defeated TJ Perenara’s ankletap, it looked like the Scots were going to score, making it 22-22 with a kick to come.

If Finn Russell had slotted that, Scotland would have beaten the All Blacks for the first time in over a century of trying. It would be a dark day for New Zealand rugby, especially having conceded a first-ever loss to Ireland only a few years beforehand.

Considering that the Kiwis were bundled out of the RLWC at the quarterfinal stage, it would be an incredible dual blow to the country’s self image within 24 hours. Our aura of rugby invincibility would be shattered. It would be emasculating. Kiwi men wouldn’t be able to look their wives in the eye for weeks.

Hell, it was bad enough for the Kiwis to lose to Fiji and for Scotland to not get thrashed. We might do well to see the writing on the wall now and realise that our historical advantages have been eroded, and that there is every chance of us being just one of the pack from now on.

All these are just superficial reasons for questioning the primacy of rugby as the national sport, though. They are fashions, that come and go.

What will mark a permanent change is our ever-increasing awareness of the severity of brain trauma endured by constant heavy collisions. Fifty years from now, it’s possible that no-one will be playing rugby at all, whether league or union, for the same reasons that other extremely violent things don’t happen anymore. We became aware of the actual consequences.

Rugby is fun as all hell to play. Maybe it’s because of the danger inherent in the game. Tackling is dangerous, because if you go too low you can take a knee to the head, and if you go too high you can talk an elbow to the head, and the ruck is dangerous because someone might drop a knee or elbow on your head, and the high ball is dangerous because you might land on your head, and so on.

It’s hard to avoid playing rugby without head injuries. Richie McCaw said, shortly after his retirement, that “I don’t miss getting smashed,” and Kieran Read is on record as saying that he will raise his son to play cricket instead of rugby because of the risk of head injury makes rugby a poor choice.

This latter point regarding Read is something to think about. If a man as brave and mean and big and athletic as Kieran Read is going to steer his sons away from rugby because of the risk of head injury, what hope do the rest of us have?

The lifelong effects of repetitive brain trauma on NFL players are increasingly becoming known. Mounting evidence suggests that the brain trauma from tackling and being tackled is strongly correlated with future neural disorders, early dementia, strokes etc. There must be tens of thousands of young mothers who are now aware of this risk from playing collision sports and we shouldn’t be surprised if rugby went the way of bullrush and got banned in all schools on account of the risk to developing brains.

Already the international game is being affected by the head to send players off for head injury assessments, and the more this happens the more people realise that head injury is really an ever-present risk for rugby players.

From a cultural perspective, the risk here is that these mothers steer their children away from rugby and into a shit sport like soccer, thereby exposing them to moral and physical degeneration and teaching them to glorify cheating and disrespecting the referee.

For this reason, it’s imperative that cricket steps into the gap left by the impending withdrawal of children from the rugby paddocks and fills a national need for a sport that allows for competition in a high-trust environment. Furthermore, cricket will soon become a much more realistic career path than rugby for talented Kiwi athletes on account of the IPL and other international T20 cricket leagues.

A switch to cricket as our national sport might be a wise move now, because it may be forced on us in the future by an increasing appreciation of the risk of brain damage.

VJMP Reads: Anders Breivik’s Manifesto XVI

This reading carries on from here.

In this section (pages 1294-1413), Breivik describes what he predicts will happen when a European civil war kicks off, sometime around 2070 A.D. Chillingly, he is clear about his belief that democracy has already failed. He points out that if Europe is to remain a democracy then it is already lost, because demography has already gone so far as to shift the power into Muslim hands.

After all, if Muslims become a numerical majority anywhere then it is no longer a matter of fighting – they will be able to simply vote any aspect of Islamic culture into law. It is a curious fact of the modern public discourse that few commentators are willing to speak about what will happen if current demographic trends continue, even though the historical example of Lebanon has been clearly described by many, not just Breivik.

A particularly odd paranoid streak, common in European nationalists, comes through in this section when Breivik lists the crimes of the American Empire. This list is not as exhaustive as his list of the crimes of Islam, but it emphasises a point that is not easy for people in the New World to understand: namely, that the idea of “The West” is a New World concept and European nationalists are quite happy thinking of Europe by itself as a self-sufficient system.

Interestingly, here Breivik puts a precise monetary value on his willingness to get rid of Muslims. He states that, when the inevitable deportations begin, every Muslim will be offered 1kg of solid gold to voluntarily go away. $15 billion Euros to get rid of a population of 1 million is a fine exchange in his mind.

The plans for a cultural conservative revolution here are comprehensive. Breivik writes about the need to reform education so that children are taught that Islam is a hate ideology on par with Nazism. Re-educated is the preferred method for dealing with Marxists, unless of course they are “Category A, B or C traitors”.

Again underlining Breivik’s inability to understand irony, he writes “Crusading is not just a right, but a duty according to Canon Law,” which is precisely the mentality that he is accusing Islam of and which he uses to justify his action. Much like the jihadists he excoriates, Breivik claims that “in the context” of the Islamic invasion of Europe, any action could be considered self-defence, echoing Osama Bin Laden’s justification for the 9/11 bombings.

This section then takes a rather bizarre turn, with a series of cut-and-pastes on religious themes such as the ability of the Christian cross to act as a unifying symbol for all Europeans, how the Lord demands that his followers be warriors, and a fire and brimstone laden spiel about the hell that awaits atheists after death.

Here Breivik mentions explicitly that he considers himself a warrior of Christ and that if he is killed in action he expects to get into the Christian heaven as a martyr.

This section finishes with a c.50 page “interview” with himself, in which Breivik responds to anticipated criticism. Here he again expresses his disdain for Nazism, calling it a “hate ideology” and saying that he could expect the Nazis to turn on conservatives like him as soon as the Marxists were dealt with.

Breivik makes a very compelling argument here. The Marxists claim to oppose Nazism on the grounds that declaring a person to be subhuman and then treating them as such is grossly immoral, yet anyone who doesn’t agree with the Marxist doctrine on every point, no matter how evidently ludicrous and self-defeating, is themselves treated as subhuman. Already the Austrian Government is putting elderly ladies in prison for the utterly preposterous non-crime of “Holocaust denial”.

It’s hard not to appreciate the accuracy of this criticism of the Left’s behaviour.

What Does it Mean For The Left That Muslims Hate Homosexuals?

The Australian same-sex marriage referendum demonstrated something unpalatable to the left – Muslims, even more than other Abrahamists, hate homosexuals

A horrific realisation is slowly dawning on Western leftists; something that, after the results of the Australian same-sex marriage referendum, can no longer be denied. The anti-conservative alliance that the Left has become claims to represent both homosexuals and Third World immigrants – but the problem is that most of those Third World immigrants despise homosexuals.

This column has previously raised the question of whether homosexuals can still be considered part of the victim class owing to the vast increase in their fortunes over the last four decades. Homosexuals are now over-represented in the New Zealand Parliament by a factor of 250%, and their average income is considerably higher than that of the average citizen in most Western countries.

Before the referendum, the Australian Left made a lot of noise about stopping white Christian bigots from spreading their homophobia and hate. So they got a lot of egg on their faces when it turned out that their beloved Muslims and Third World immigrants turned out to be the most strongly opposed to same-sex marriage.

This could eventually mean that homosexuals start to move their allegiances to the right.

Already it’s known that white people support conservative parties in much greater numbers than they do leftist/liberal parties, and since it’s really only white culture that accepts homosexuals, and considering that the average Western homosexual is wealthier than the average Western non-homosexual, the next logical step for the homosexual bloc is to shift allegiances to the right wing.

After all, it doesn’t really make sense for homosexuals in the West to facilitate the mass importation of people who consider them animals and who will vote to take homosexual rights away. Gay white men are already finding themselves increasingly more welcome in right-wing circles of employed middle-class people and increasingly less welcome in left-wing circles of brown-skinned religious fundamentalists.

No-one should be surprised to see a wholesale shift in gay loyalties in the West over the next few decades, from liberal to conservative. One could argue that it already has started to happen.

What this will mean for the Left is increased tension between factions, up until a point where that tension becomes insurmountable. You simply cannot have an alliance where one party wants to throw the other party off a rooftop by command of God, and so leftists will have to choose between homosexuals on the one hand and Muslims and Africans on the other.

What this will mean for the Right is also increased tension, but also an opportunity. The tension will arise from the fact that religious conservatives do not like homosexuals, but at the same time can see an opportunity to gain their support on account of having so much in common, and therefore will get a sniff of power.

What this should mean for the Left is a coming together under the banner of a shared value, such as universal compassion. Some would argue that this has been done already or at least has been intended to happen but it’s simply impossible when one faction wants to eradicate another one. Muslims and homosexuals cannot co-exist in one political movement, that is now clear.

If the Left is to survive the 21st century and provide a realistic alternative to globalist hypercapitalism, which is currently rampant, it has to stop being so soft and recognise that some boundaries are necessary to prevent total chaos. One of those boundaries might well be the blanket exclusion of people from cultures that do not place a high moral value on tolerance and compassion.

Technology Has Changed The Nature of Human Intelligence

Kraftwerk sang about the fusion of man and machine in the 1980s, but even they couldn’t anticipate how the Internet would change our brains

People used to have a reasonably clear idea of what intelligence is. As measured by school examinations, intelligence is primarily a matter of remembering and recalling disparate pieces of information and, for bonus points, knitting as many of these pieces as information as possible together into a pattern that can be communicated. This was the approach taken by the Chinese Mandarin schools, and it made perfect sense – until now.

It used to be that having a good memory was the most important thing. This is natural if you lived in a time of informational scarcity, as we did for most of our history. Nature didn’t offer a lot of second chances to remember things; if you didn’t remember that crocodiles were often seen in this river, or what your grandmother said about not sticking your hand in empty logs where snakes could be, you probably weren’t long for this world.

Most of the time none of us had any idea what the fuck was going on. Only during the last 5% of the human experience has anyone managed to get anything written down, and even then mass literacy has only been a thing for a hundred years or so, and even then only in wealthy industrialised countries. The concept of being overwhelmed by knowledge was impossible outside of the most rigorous monastic setting.

The Internet has turned this entire equation on its head. It is like a gigantic non-corporeal memory comprising the sum total of human knowledge, never further than a few clicks away. No-one really needs to memorise everything anymore, when they could spend that same precious study time learning to understand the fundamentals of their discipline better.

During most of the time that people have been students, it used to be that you could open your skull and allow it to be filled. Anyone taking the time to speak to you probably had your best interests in mind, and so an atmosphere of high trust existed, and students could be more receptive.

Now, the most important thing is being able to discern truth from bullshit. On the Internet, people are lining up to shovel shit into your head. Not only are there the advertisers who have been a plague on mass media since the 1950s, but there are government propagandists – both foreign and “your own” government, religionists with a new audience, corporate intelligence agents, social justice warriors and anyone else with a drum to beat.

So you have to be more discriminating. After all, there’s no point in being open minded when you’re continually exposed to things like Flat Earth, which really only makes a person more stupid the more they think about it.

The more lies and propaganda there are around, the more intelligence becomes about being able to quickly and cleanly distinguish lies from truth, and to avoid logical errors like the balance fallacy, in which a person gives credence to a false position merely because a lot of people are bleating about it.

Intelligence is now about figuring out when you’re being lied to. Can you tell truth from bullshit when it comes to vaccine claims, for example? How do you know? How do you really know?

Now more than ever, what distinguishes the smart from the slow is how to accurately grade the reliability of the information that comes into their awareness and not simply accept it because the television says so and not simply dismiss it because the Government says so. Now it’s all about the metainformation – the information about the information – which gives us a second dimension by which to measure knowledge.

This will lead to an evolutionary process in which people who adapt to the new paradigm of information being abundant and unreliable, instead of rare and reliable, will outcompete those in the old paradigm of mindlessly memorising things.

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Vince McLeod is the author of the cyberpunk novel The Verity Key, a story based on his psychological research into whether it’s possible for devices to control people’s thoughts and actions by satellite.

Blade Runner 2049 Shows That Cyberpunk Will Live Forever

A Blade Runner for a new generation poses a set of moral dilemmas for a new generation – as cyberpunk always will

Film pundits are divided over whether or not Blade Runner 2049 can be counted as a successful film. On the one hand, it lost $80,000,000 at the box office; on the other, it has an 8.4/10 rating on the IMDB. This essay argues that not only is Blade Runner 2049 a great film, but it is evidence that the cyberpunk genre will live forever.

Cyberpunk, like Satanism and Test match cricket, is never going to find mass appeal among a Western population that hates thinking. All of these genres are acquired tastes that only a particular sort of person finds interesting – and then, they usually find it fascinating. So it’s entirely appropriate that Blade Runner 2049 did poorly at the box office but extremely well among cyberpunk fans who have a sophisticated appreciation for the genre.

Cyberpunk will always have a place in popular culture, as long as advancing technology continues to pose us moral dilemmas that bring with them the possibility of horror. New technologies will keep putting people in novel and unique situations without any previous example of how to conduct oneself, and they will continue to provide new methods to control, exploit, dominate and destroy.

Even though most new technological advances will be for peaceful and wholesome purposes, we can predict, to paraphrase William Gibson, that the street will continue to find its own uses for things, and therefore there will always be expression for people using technology to get any edge on each other.

Which means that advancing technology will continue to produce moral dilemmas that make for fascinating fiction.

The moral dilemma at the heart of Blade Runner was whether or not artificial humans could ever be considered real people, and so whether or not there was ever a moral obligation to treat them as equals, in the way that most people feel a moral obligation to treat other people as equals. Roy Batty was outraged that humans might have engineered him to have such an artificially short life span, and viewers were likely to concede that he had a point.

For whatever reason, the collective consciousness appears to have concluded that replicants are not, and can never be, conscious. Fair enough, but the moral dilemma at the heart of Blade Runner 2049 is whether or not the offspring of replicants that can breed are conscious. The characters in the film seem to glibly assume that any creature that is born must have a soul, but the question is never discussed at length by them, leaving such ruminations for the viewer.

Blade Runner 2049 poses this question in a believable and terrifying manner, and forces the reader to consider Philip K Dick’s fundamental question of science fiction: not “What if…”, but “My God, what if…” My God, what if artificial creatures that managed to replicate were actually conscious in the same way that we are conscious? What if acting to reduce the suffering of all sentient beings in the universe meant that we had to consider the offspring of replicants?

Cyberpunk is always going to raise questions like this, because it will always be true that somewhere there is a megacorporation with pockets deep enough to finance bleeding-edge technological research and application away from the watchful eyes of the government or the public, for whatever dark and twisted motives the world can surmise.

Because it did such an excellent job of posing such deep questions in a way that chills the spine of the viewer, it can be argued that Blade Runner 2049 is an excellent piece of cinema for the sort of viewer who appreciates a subtler and more cerebral tale than the usual Hollywood fare, even if it did not find mass market appeal.

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Vince McLeod is the author of the cyberpunk novel The Verity Key, a story of ANZAC mateship in a dystopic future world where it’s possible for devices to control people’s thoughts and actions by satellite.

Why Christianity Will Destroy The West (Again)

Christianity caused the 4th century Roman Empire to rot from within, until they were unable to secure their borders against invaders and collapsed. A similar fate is befalling 21st century Europe

Christian culture is defined by many things; virtue signalling, slave morality, resentment, passive aggression and self hatred are the foremost of these. This Abrahamic disease of the collective consciousness was fatal for the Roman Empire before us, and, unfortunately, the Western world hasn’t been able to shake it off for nearly 2,000 years. It’s going to be fatal for us too.

Mass immigration destroyed the Roman Empire – this is a matter of historical record. Fat, lazy and decadent, the Romans no longer had the will to defend their own Northern borders against Germanic barbarians, and that led to those barbarians having their will with the place. Free plunder resulted.

The Gothic War started in 376 when a huge number of Goths turned up on the border of the Roman Empire seeking refuge from the Huns. At first, Emperor Valens was pleased at the prospect of cheap labour for his workforce and willing soldiers (heard this story before?), but the unwillingness of the local population to support this foreign multitude of hungry mouths (what about now?) led to insurrection, and aided by traitors within the local Roman population (what about now?) the Goths were able to sack the place, leading to the eventual collapse of the Roman Empire.

All of this was made possible by the conversion of the Empire to Christianity, which turned the minds of the Romans away from reality and replaced their natural morality with the slave morality that we see expressed today in the legions of social justice warriors and cultural Marxists.

Angela Merkel is the daughter of a Lutheran minister, and her Christian morality was instrumental in her decision to open the borders of Germany to the hordes of Syrian migrants seeking refuge from people exactly like themselves.

Thinking like a Christian and striving to make a show of piety, and supported by wealthy, fashionable virtue signallers, Merkel decided to allow a million Syrians to have their way with the country she ruled, on the basis that they were claiming to need help and that submitting to this invasion would be charitable.

The same catastrophe is going to happen to us, for the same reasons, and the same people will be cheerleading for it.

The immensely privileged Alison Mau used her platform in the mainstream media to let us know yesterday that we were all racists for not wanting to take hundreds of refugees, despite acknowledging that these refugees were severely mentally ill, which would require that the mentally ill New Zealanders already present go to the back of the healthcare queue to accommodate them.

Her logic is that, if you are one of the tens of thousands of Kiwis who are desperate for mental health care from a system that you have paid taxes into and which your grandparents built, you’re going to have to get to the back of the queue behind a horde of people who have not inherited a birthright to the wealth of the nation.

As Dan McGlashan points out at several points in Understanding New Zealand, this is the major division on the left, between the privileged, usually Green supporters and the unprivileged, usually Labour and New Zealand First supporters. The privileged, like Alison Mau, having enough money to protect her from the cruel vagaries of life, are happy to support whatever cause is trendy this week without care for the consequences, because the consequences of mass “refugee” resettlement will fall upon the unprivileged. The unprivileged, like the working class of New Zealand, will see the community bonds of the neighbourhoods destroyed, and the queues in front of them for getting mental health care become longer, and the security of their women and elderly start to become jeopardised.

The self-righteous Christian sentiment that expresses itself as a desire to be seen to be virtuous and compassionate will destroy the West, and it isn’t the Muslims that necessarily do all the damage. They just do enough damage to make people lose their minds, as the Jews once did in Germany. And then, all Hell breaks loose.

The real danger is not Muslims, because they are a century from being a real threat to the West. The real danger is what we ourselves might get tempted to do when the hordes of Muslim “refugees” fail to integrate, and start to achieve territorial dominance in certain areas.

A Holocaust of Muslims in Europe this century is entirely plausible – not because such a genocide is itself plausible but because all the stupid shit that leads up to one is apparently in the process of being repeated. Like the yin and the yang, the excesses of one ideology lead to the excesses of its counter, and the excess of a narcissistic desire to virtue signal one’s likeness to the ideal of tolerance and compassion as embodied in Jesus Christ will be violence.