In my last post A Unified Theory of Recent Political Strife I outlined how the rise of the internet empowered new groups and had a similar effect to the rise of printing that both led to witch trials as well as political, religious and scientific progress.
In this article I want to explore the mechanisms by which this works. The basic theory is that by giving a group a “voice” to express their views and to hear others – whether a printed books, or an internet blog, you empower this group. There is obviously a big assumption here – that a voice gives power – which I’m not entirely confident is easily argued. Indeed, the inference is the other way around. Certain groups were empowered – whether it was those obsessed with witches in the past, or e.g. those obsessed with climate today – and it seems that the change in information technology was what gave them the power.
It seems that people with a voice and a means to communicate have power merely through that communication. Which in terms appears to me to mean that “society” cannot help but listen and treat their opinions seriously – even if there is no compulsion to do so. For I cannot see any other way that the simple act of giving people a voice ends up in power. How else do we explain how the disenfranchised men and women got the vote? Why would those with power give it away – unless some human nature forced them to give it away to those without power, but with the means to have their views heard?
The next assumption, is that those who previously did not have a voice, may gain power to do things which can both be “good” and also “evil”.
The next assumption – given that the problems of the printing revolution did eventually sort themselves out with an end to witch trials and a new structure for the Christian church, that in some ways society must adapt in order to tackle the “evil” that comes with these changes. One way this may happen, is simply improving education. So, the very books that encourage witch trials, may eventually be the means by which the population are educated that witch trials are bogus. Likewise, the very internet that created the global warming scare, is now the means by which the scare is being exposed for the scam it is.
Perhaps a model for this kind of process is as follows: that prior to the information revolution, destructive ideas such as the idea that Witches exist and can harm people do exist, but they exist within groups who have no power to do anything. So, these ideas are effectively harmless. Similarly, there have always been anti-capitalists, anti-fossil-fuel idiots, but in the pas they had no power to influence public policy.
Then along comes the information revolution, these enable ideas to cob communicated, to have bells and whistles added and the means to communicate them gives those who formerly had not power, power. The result is that crazy ideas burst out of the insane box and for a while wreck havoc. But it also appears that eventually society adapts. Perhaps in the case of Climate, that will be a new social norm where sceptics have power – or perhaps there will be a push back against the politicisation of schools and universities which have been so much involved with the climate craziness. So, a change in information technology, could have fairly dramatic changes in society. Those already in power, may be compelled to bring into government groups who formerly were ignored in order to restabilise society. Or as happened in England – society may take the change into its own hands and literally chop off the king’s head.
One of the classic ways for those already in power to try to stop the changes caused by an information revolution is to start burning books, or in today’s parlance, censoring, blocking, removing from Google searches, etc.
My inclination is to think that such moves are in the end pointless as people will always find a way around them. If Google removes sceptic sites from its searches, people will just stop using Google. That can and will create a vicious cycle of decay for Google and empower those who do not block sceptics. Indeed, the more Google blocks sceptic sites, the faster the opposition grows.
The only question is this: is human ingenuity to find a way around things like Google’s block of sceptics faster and better than those tech giants like Google’s ability to force through those blocks? The answer I think is yes: there are an infinite number of ways to circumvent a block – but only a limited ways to do it. And as soon as anyone finds a way around – it will grow rapidly.
An interesting example case of a group who have hitherto had no power are those under 18, who used to be almost entirely denied a voice in society. I predict that the internet is giving them a voice, and there are signs that we’re seeing the same creeping power being given to them with calls to give votes to 16 year olds. And like the witches, we are seeing this group being used to push evil ideas through these climate “strikes”. However, I’m sure they will also use their new power for good.
The classic argument against giving youngsters power was that they were too young to understand politics. The truth is that they either were not interested – or if they were, they lacked necessary education as schools used to be largely politics free. However as the young gain a voice they previously did not have through the means of the internet, clearly extremist political groups have already worked out that these youngsters can be (ab)used to push their vile politics whether climate extremists or socialist workers.
How does society react? Clearly we could just laugh – but as I suggest above those without power seem to eventually get it when they get a voice. Another approach is to block them from access to the internet, but given kids are more savoy with technology than most parents, I doubt that will have any effect. Another approach is to kick back at the extremists who now seem to be operating in education. That seems a reasonable. But the best approach of all must be to improve the knowledge of kids so that they can make a GOOD contribution in some way, and not become the tool of extremist child (ab)users like the climate fanatics.