79 Comments

".....I’ve been working on a research-heavy story...." Yeah baby, that's why I signed up.

I know by the overinflated and constantly flogged Elon Acquisition that the world of journalism seems to think the world turns on Twitter, but every time I see "Elon" and "Acquisition" in a sentence, I pour myself another drink and go looking for something that matters. Research-heavy is one of my favorite words. Twitland is the Bizarro World of research-heavy...

Expand full comment

Hate speech and incitement are being pursued right now against Supreme Court justices. Haven’t seen any arrests.

Expand full comment

Twitter has tremendous influence and power. More than CNN or MSNBC

Expand full comment

CNN and MSNC have so few viewers - who cares what they say?! - even Twitter is dominated by the left-wing and rather far left...REAL PEOPLE are not listening to these people...

Expand full comment

Yup. It's show business.

Expand full comment

Agreed. And it's still dumbshit where a verified extremely small minority of voices prevail. It's not the world, and everyone acts like it is.

Expand full comment

"".....I’ve been working on a research-heavy story...." Yeah baby, that's why I signed up. "... Same here. Thanks Matt!

Expand full comment

40:20 Great, funny point about how they chose 8chan as their example rather than the United States. Also, you spoke to how "thumb on the scale" and suppression are every bit the tinder-box they consider "free speech" to be.

An amazing example is the situation of the violent attacks on Asians. The media/woke practice free speech by (falsely) ascribing the violence to "white supremacy," often linking this to Trump's "hateful rhetoric." This is also thumb on the scale because the reality is that Blacks are the primary group attacking Asians. This is clearly shown in the 2018 Department of Justice Criminal Victimization report in Table 14, "Percent of violent incidents, by victim and offender race or ethnicity." (In the following years, to the surprise of no one paying attention, that table -- and the listing of Asians as a separate entry -- have been disappeared from the Criminal Victimization report.)

Clearly in this example the media/woke consider lies to be free speech, but the truth something to be censored. And, yeah, as a white person, I'm not super thrilled that I'm being blamed for Black people attacking Asians just because it suits the "white supremacy" campaign slogan of the Democrats/media.

Expand full comment

Similar to the giant thumb on scale that Trump supporters and Trump are the primary purveyors of antisemitism.

Expand full comment
May 10, 2022·edited May 10, 2022

I don't think I'll ever forget how Trump saying, offhandedly, "Be careful, it's not always what you think," the day before it was announced that the person making a series of threats to synagogues was a Jewish citizen of Israel, led to the media savaging him. (And of course when Trump said that, he probably had already been told who the culprit was.)

Expand full comment

The 21st century has seen the death of principle.

Expand full comment

Indeed. Although always a rare quality, it is near extinct since the first gulf war

Expand full comment

Buhs drones bad!

Obama drones good!

Expand full comment
Comment deleted
Expand full comment
May 12, 2022·edited May 14, 2022

“Those who expect to be both ignorant and free, expect what never was and never will be.” — Thomas Jefferson, from his correspondence and letters

Our essential guerilla operational field-manuals:

https://www.worldcat.org/title/intelligent-persons-guide-to-modern-culture/oclc/56656896&referer=brief_results

https://www.worldcat.org/title/power-politics-and-people/oclc/65950713&referer=brief_results

https://www.worldcat.org/title/technopoly-the-surrender-of-culture-to-technology/oclc/1031966948&referer=brief_results

https://www.worldcat.org/title/talents-and-technicians-literary-chic-and-the-new-assembly-line-fiction/oclc/243733818&referer=brief_results

https://www.worldcat.org/title/theater-of-envy-william-shakespeare/oclc/694851090&referer=brief_results

https://www.worldcat.org/title/bob-dylan/oclc/1114269781&referer=brief_results

and

Douglas Murray's, “The War on the West: How to Prevail in the Age of Unreason”, (2022) , Harper Collins Publishers, London (pbk. I.s.b.n.: 978 0 00 849279 3; hardcover, I.s.b.n. 978 0 00 849249 6)

Daniel Kahneman's "Thinking: Fast and Slow" (2011) Random House, N.Y.

https://www.worldcat.org/title/thinking-fast-and-slow/oclc/1088569763&referer=brief_results

John Ralston Saul's "Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West" (1992) Vintage Pbks, Random House, N.Y. ( https://www.worldcat.org/title/voltaires-bastards-the-dictatorship-of-reason-in-the-west/oclc/881553044&referer=brief_results )

Karl Popper's "The Open Society and Its Enemies" (2 Vols.) (1945)

( https://www.worldcat.org/title/open-society-and-its-enemies/oclc/950891845?referer=br&ht=edition )

Expand full comment

Speech has always been free. There is no assault on free speech. If you doubt it just start talking. Preferably to yourself. In a closet would be best. See, no stormtroopers raided your home.

There is only an assault on disinformation. That's it. Really. Ask Mary Poppins. Mary Poppins would never lie. Or leave the house without an umbrella.

When people complain about the "privatization of speech" all they really mean is that they want speech to be a more DIY effort rather than bothering crowds of people with your speech. They obviously have speech of their own so it's just common sense to regulate it.

Look at it this way, if everybody keeps talking, the arteries of civilization will clog up with all of that intellectual cholesterol. No one wants that. Especially the elite. Our mental, emotional & physical health have always been their top priority. Anyone who doubts that is spending far too much time thinking & too little time standing in a closet & talking.

If you doubt this thesis just look at free speech advocates versus the "ve must control ze lips & ze tongue & ze teeth & ze brain" crowd. In the first camp I offer Jimmy Breslin. Just examine any photo of Jimmy Breslin and you'll see a paunchy, slovenly man, addicted to alcohol & cigars, obviously collapsing under the weight of all of that "free speech."

In the other camp, I offer Rachel Maddow, a perfect example of joy through control & freedom through bondage. Just watch her show if you doubt me. She is always cackling madly over something as her joy infects the viewer, making them cackle madly also. I have never seen Mxyzptlk Maddow smoking a cigar or drinking hard liquor. She has no need for those crutches because she is free. Free of speech. Free of thought. Free of...well she's just damn free.

So I leave it to you. Would you rather be a slovenly addict weighed down with truth, whatever the hell that is? Or would you rather be a shiny happy Rachel Maddow cackling madly at life's joie de vivre, bouyantly turning frowns upside down wherever she goes?

Oh yes, and always remember:

Questions are a burden to others; answers are a prison for oneself.

And just keep repeating "I am not a free man, I am a number."

The future will be much much more palatable if you do.

Expand full comment

"There is only an assault on disinformation." LOL LOL LOL

..and who's to define 'disinformation' - the crux of the issue entirely...

Expand full comment

Given what I've heard out of Mistress Nina, Dominatrix of Disinfo, the Dems will be deciding that, thank you very much.

I saw a video where she explained, hypothetically, that if Trump got back on Tweeter and mentioned voter fraud or a stolen election, Mistress Nina & her Minions Of Pain would slather onto the Tweet what she described as "Context."

Of course Hillary and the Dems still yammer on about how the Russians stole the election in 2016. I recently heard Adam Schiff use the imaginary Russian election theft as partial justification for why they want regime change in Russia.

So I'm going to go out on a sturdy limb and say that all of the Dems non-partisan blather about the Ministry of Pain is, what my old man would have called, bullshit.

Expand full comment

I look forward to the availability of a manuscript of this podcast. I typically prefer reading to listening, and this looks to be a fascinating read

Expand full comment

Meanwhile at the asylum...

"President Biden on Tuesday blamed Russia's war in Ukraine, corporate greed, the pandemic and the policies of "ultra-MAGA Republicans" for causing record-high inflation, and insisted that Democrats' big spending didn't spur the highest price increases in 40 years."

Where is the disinformation department when you need them?...

Expand full comment

Twitter is a common carrier like your cell phone provider.

Discuss.

Expand full comment

Correct. How quickly would the leftists shift their opinion if the ideological power were reversed and a Republican Ministry of Truth listened to all phone conversations and canceled the service of those criticizing the Republican-run government?

Expand full comment

Quickly enough, but the right's opinion would change equally as quick if, say, Gab became as dominant as Twitter is now. They would quite quickly revert to their tried-and-true "It's a private business, it can regulate its content however it wants" dogmas.

That's because this is not about principles of free speech, but about winning the culture war, and gaining power over one's adversaries in the culture war. Once free speech principles get in the way of the latter, they are quickly dispensed with, and their abridgment is soon rationalized. Six out of ten of the same Republicans clutching their pearls about 'free speech' now supported the Patriot Act when it was first instituted.

That's because realpolitik gets the best of principles with most people, left or right. The minority who put their principles first have always been fighting a losing battle.

Expand full comment

Nobody gets banned, canceled, de-platformed on any media source that is really center or right-leaning. It is absolutely intellectually dishonest to try and make the moral equivalent argument here. The interest to cancel free speech is a left-owned tendency.

Yes, some conservatives (libertarians) hold onto the principle that private corporations can do what they want. I ask them if then they would be good if their private phone service carrier or their private energy utility company decided to cut their service over their voiced political views... they of course curl up into a fetal position and refuse to respond.

Expand full comment

Chomsky's influence on Matt Taibbi is palpable.

https://youtu.be/N11tcnPBwf4

Expand full comment

"The United States is unusual among the industrial democracies in the rigidity of the system of ideological control - 'indoctrination,' we might say - exercised through the mass media."

“If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all."

“It’s ridiculous to talk about freedom in a society dominated by huge corporations. What kind of freedom is there inside a corporation? They’re totalitarian institutions - you take orders from above and maybe give them to people below you. There’s about as much freedom as under Stalinism.”

Noam Chomsky

Expand full comment
May 10, 2022·edited May 10, 2022

This is just juvenile nonsense.

We've had corporations for over 100 years in every industrial society, and yes obviously they can be malevolent actors and need govt oversight, but for most of that time their interests were far from 'totalitarian'. It's only in the past few years that they've decided they need to sell us morals instead of widgets, and even that doesn't quite rise to the level of 'totalitarian.'

For Chomsky corporations in a free society are 'totalitarian' but the Khmer Rouge were just misguided peasants with their hearts in the right place. People like Noam who are true believers in the Marxist religion will call everything 'totalitarian' except for the actual totalitarian societies they supported, and they are always trying to make every other form of govt sound evil, as it makes all the evils they've defended seem maybe not so bad in comparison.

Chomsky has lived his whole life in a country filled with large corporations and has never been censored and has lived a wealthy safe & productive life yet he's never uttered a single syllable of gratitude for all these gifts, instead he's pimped for every leftist totalitarian for the past 50 years.

Expand full comment

Reminds me of the slogan printed on a t-shirt I used to own:

“Communism has only killed 50 million people. Let’s give it another chance!”

Expand full comment

but but but it's never been tried! my imaginary utopia will always be purer and more perfect than your messy evil world! /s

Expand full comment

In Chomsky's life he only recently has lived in the second gilded age. It is disingenuous to describe the historical corporate environment as being recognizable today with the massive consolidation that has taken place and it being corporatism and not capitalism.

Expand full comment
Comment deleted
Expand full comment

That is an impractical, disingenuous argument. Population alone dictates the need for corps, at least for the foreseeable future. Probably satire?

Expand full comment

This is funny. So consumer Atlas Shrugged. How does that work when the corporatists own all the production and distribution of food and energy? And they prevent you from farming your own food and making your own energy?

Expand full comment
Comment deleted
Expand full comment

That is doomsday thinking and does not take into account future technological and scientific advances. Don’t discount human innovation to solve problems, even seemingly impossible ones. It seems counterintuitive, considering human nature and politics but the will to survive is hard-wired. Look on the bright side, maybe we’re still in the dark ages, relatively speaking, that is.

Expand full comment

Why would anyone do any of that? And what good would it do?

Expand full comment

There's that "safety" word again.

Humanity is simultaneously teetering on several brinks, but hey, let's spend our time on "feelings".

We worry about nothings, we focus on minutiae.

And meanwhile the oceans boil!

Expand full comment

How long before they come for what we say on our phones?

{checks watch}

Expand full comment

The power grid too. They will just shut off your power if you criticize them. That one reason they don't want you to have any gas you can run in your generator. And your solar panels by law HAVE to be connected to the grid.

Expand full comment

Please LORD Musk! May I have some more?

*freeish speech

Expand full comment

If the law is not enforced, or enforced unequally it is worse then useless; it is unjust.

Expand full comment

It's crazy talk, literally crazy talk, when the liberals are so fearful of ideas they deem "wrong" think infecting people and don't understand the thumb on the scales is the REAL scary thought that "they" just don't see!! Wow!

Expand full comment

Algorithms that favor one voice over another are themselves censorious.

Expand full comment

Dear podcasters. We are not impressed with your bookcases.

Do better. cf "Richard Medhurst"

Expand full comment

The two most surprising development in my recent world experiences are: the deeply felt racism in the West and the overtly nastiness of some social media (as well as its opposite)... it has a lot to do with unquestioned "rightness" of one's arguments. "Of course I'm right! I'm well intentioned , so how could I possible be wrong?"

Our powerful conscious perspective leads one up to this precipice, and w/o some necessary humility we simply fall off into grievous error, unfortunately.

Expand full comment