ThoughtStorms Wiki

Context : NetocracyAndEpistemology , TheEndOfConsensus

In NetoCracy, the mode of information production moves on from science to become contrarianism and ConspiracyThinking because these are a fundamentally unstable ways of thinking.

Think about TheBorderBetweenTheRealAndTheUnreal in the context of what I said in FromNetocracyToNetworkShapedThinking

This fits the economic requirements of the netocrat who seeks a constant supply of novel information streams. Her position is more or less equivalent to the capitalist manufacturer who does not want to see the day when customers feel they have "enough". The netocrat needs there to be a general epistemic instability, where the only thing that other agents (both consumtariat and rival netocrats) can be sure of is that what they know today will be out-of-date tomorrow if they don't keep paying attention to her.

The value of contrarianism and conspiracy to the netocrat, then, is that they don't arrive at a fixed view of the world. Any static consensus around a particular model is ripe for disruption. The netocrat can gain attention by attacking it with more contrarian views or outrageous ConspiracyTheories. The very radical instability of these attacks creates its own energy and value for the netocrat.

Other netocrats then assess this rival view to see if adopting and promoting it can gain them some attention too.

If so, they'll jump on some version of the bandwagon. Some, then seeing the obvious direction of travel, follow along from FearOfMissingOut altogether, and falling into the ConsumTariat-like fate of being last to the party. Others, though, will attack it with a more intense counter view.

The earlier adopter of the contrarianism can reap rewards from the new disruption. They'll be perceived as an insightful thought-leader and important connection to follow.

But the overall cost is further destruction of consensus, further social fragmentation into camps who believe the rival and conflicting conspiracy theories, and less actionable knowledge as a basis for CollectiveAction

This is NOT a traditional epistemology of debate or CriticalRationalism, intended to find the truth. This is an entropic less-than ZeroSum game. The end goal is not agreement and a stable functional model of the world. The end goal is for the netocrat to have more followers hoping for an update on the epistemic "beef".

Obviously, as our political culture becomes more netocratic, increasingly extreme positions and outrageous levels of either radicalism or reaction play the same role.

But this is not, ultimately, about political power in the older, ProjectMan sense. This is about the netocratic power struggle. A struggle between fixed classes or camps is of no interest to it. Nor is a politics of mass organization. Instead mass disorganization is the goal. Power is about being "one step ahead" of the mass. Becoming a de facto "leader" by simple expedience of depriving others of any kind of fixed understanding of the world, so they are forced to stampede along behind you.

Guess this is a kind of Deterritorialization in the GillesDeleuze sense.

See also :