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The Internet is broadcasting, therefore let us regulate!

The new Broadcasting Act, Bill C10, may be stymied in the Senate of Canada, but the actual content of its policy objectives has just been released. Heritage Canada has published “Guiding Principles on Diversity of Content online”. The Guiding Principles have several advantages over the policy objectives of section 3 of the Broadcasting Act. They are not legislated, they can be revised and adapted according to the how the technologies or the societies that adopt them evolve, and they have no legally binding force. They have only the force of the large platforms to back them, if they sign on to the Guiding Principles.

It was Tim Wu in The Master Switch who pointed out that the structure of an industry mattered a lot more than any other factor in determining whether there could be censorship. Vertical integration of the movie-making business with distribution and movie theaters meant that the censors could govern the industry through the code of conduct, one that lasted from Mae West in the 1930s to Easy Rider in the 1960s.

The basic idea of the Guiding Principles is the achievement of diversity, equity and inclusion. It is a set of principles that its signatories are expected to work towards. The most important signatories will be the Internet platforms, because without their compliance, the Principles will be mere hot air.

The private sector companies to which the guiding principles are to apply particularly include “services operating online, whose primary purpose is to broadcast or distribute content or share user-generated content online.” Governments, media sector representatives, regulators and civil society organizations are likewise to be included as signatories.

The goal is to promote diversity on-line, understood as

  • Creation access and discoverability of diverse content online
  • Fair remuneration and economic viability of content creators
  • Promotion of diverse, pluralistic sources of news and information as well as resilience against disinformation and misinformation
  • Transparency of the impacts if algorithmic treatments of online content.

 

Signatories are to agree to implement these goals within the scope of their responsibilities and to develop specific commitments by December 2022 at the latest, to show concrete actions they will take to implement these guiding objectives”.

There follow a number of principles which assume, as a matter of fact, that

  1. There are “equity deserving groups” whose access is limited
  2. Hate, racial prejudice, disinformation and misinformation “can disproportionately affect indigenous people and equity deserving groups”.
  3. “Equity deserving individuals and groups” are defined as those facing significant barriers to participation in different facets of society, a marginalization that could be created by attitudinal, historic, social, economic, legal and environmental obstacles.

Having seen the cartoons of the kids of various heights standing on boxes of various heights to see the baseball game over a wooden fence, “equity” may reasonably be interpreted to mean active measures to overcome the consequences of inequalities, natural or artificial. The term ‘equity’ involves, in modern parlance, an ongoing governmental interference to achieve goals that might not otherwise be achieved in the absence of governmental actions.

The Principles are organized around themes:

  • Creation access and discoverability of content
  • Fair remuneration and economic viability of content creators
  • Promotion of diverse, pluralistic sources of news and information as well as resilience against disinformation and misinformation
  • Transparency of the impacts of algorithmic treatments of online content.

 

The last-mentioned goal says that “content recommendation algorithms and their developers should minimize potential systemic biases and discrimination in outcome, related to such things as race, sexual orientation, gender identity and ability.”

Content recommendation algorithms now seek to interest me in what is related to what I have previously expressed an interest in. If I have expressed interest in videos of Andrew Camarata fixing bulldozers, the algorithm is likely to recommend other machine-oriented males fixing tractors, chainsaws, and building log cabins. Inevitably the algorithms will direct me to things of interest to males, such as myself. I imagine the same happens with videos on golf, tastes in music, physics, flower gardens, or cooking, Japanese art or any taste whatever. How then, it may be asked, will an algorithm correct for systemic bias in male oriented videos if I am a male, and female oriented videos if I were female?

The Guiding Principles do not say, but they expect content recommendation systems to “respect freedom of expression in a way that allows for safe and diverse content.” In other words, safety and diversity, as defined by governments or the platforms, are to constrain freedom of expression.

The Guiding Principles are a kind of Broadcasting Act for the Internet, or a set of objectives that the platforms are expected to implement  By this I mean that the system it envisages is systemic, organized, comprehensive, global (as far as Canadians will see) and subject to government regulation, and that in Annex A to this document, the signatories are expected to develop by December 2022 at the latest “concrete actions they will take to complement the guiding principles.  These specific commitments will remain evergreen and continue to evolve”.

The great advantages for the government, in its efforts to regulate the Internet, are that the Principles utterly bypass legislation, need no Parliamentary approval, require the cooperation of the platforms but not of society, and subject large areas of private tastes to algorithmic manipulation.

The Guiding Principles are creepily totalitarian, and yet one imagines the authors of this document think of themselves as being great public benefactors. In order to explain what I mean, I ask you, as a thought experiment, to replace the content of the particular goals to be achieved by the guiding principles. Look at the whole thing, and ask yourself what the document, conceived as a whole, says. It says in short, that speech carried across the Internet is to serve particular purposes. All speech, everywhere, that is carried on the Internet.

Agreement or disagreement with the guiding principles as they are stated is less important than the whole purpose of the document. Take out the language about diversity, equity and inclusion (the new modern woke credo) and replace it, in this thought experiment, with any other set of goals to be achieved. These goals could be anything: the divinity of Christ, the supremacy of the Aryan race, the sanctity of the Roman Church, the triumph of scientific socialism, the grandeur of the Aztec Sky God Huitchilopotchtli, the preservation of the British Empire, or the values of the Enlightenment. So let [x] stand for the content of the Guiding Principles. Forget whether you agree with them or not. Just think of the Guiding Principles as a block of ideas that can be lifted out and replaced with some other set of desiderata. In effect, by calling the Principles an evergreen document, Heritage Canada virtually guarantees that they will be revised in time.

Then perhaps it becomes clearer that my point is not the DEI principles, though they are creepy enough. It is the idea that everything on-line should be aimed at any guiding principle at all.

Would you think it normal that the publishing industry in Canada be enjoined to publish books that exclusively promote a certain political agenda?

Would you think it right that speech across various telephone and voice applications be organized to conduce to the achievement of diversity, equity and inclusion?

To make the point even clearer, I recall the story of a Canadian diplomat who served in the Soviet Union, as it then was, in the Brezhnev era. I asked whether there was freedom of speech in the Soviet Union. He said ‘yes there was, absolute freedom of speech’. I was startled.

-What do you mean absolute freedom of speech?!!

– If you are out on the ice fishing in winter, and in your shelter, and out of range of prying microphones, and talking with people whom you have known all your life or from high school, and you have developed trust over decades, you can talk about anything. And they do. They talk about stuff no one talks about here, like whether Hitler was right to invade Stalin’s USSR, or whether Communism is a pile of crap, or whether the USA is actually imperialist. There is complete freedom of discussion. You just have to be careful with whom and where you share your ideas.

People need to look at the Guiding Principles from this perspective. Canada will have complete freedom of speech. Just not the kind we have been used to. Thank you, Peter Grant.

 

Sperm Counts, Indian Residential Schools, and other reversals of enlightened opinion

If you live long enough, you will be able to count the number of occasions on which enlightened and progressive opinion has reversed itself. In the most haphazard count – my own scattered recollections – we have gone through the following opinion changes in my lifetine alone.

Animal fats bad (because cholesterol) to vegetable fats doubtful.

Indian residential schools a progressive and enlightened response to Indian backwardness to residential schools were an act of cultural genocide

Homosexuality is sinful to gay is good and natural.

Coronavirus was a freak cross over from bats to humans to coronavirus was a lab leak covered up by Chinese authorities.

Modern society is reducing sperm counts to doubt that sperm counts are in fact dropping.

Black people are inferior to white people are inferior.

Race is a meaningless ideological contruct to biological differences matter.

CO2 engendered by fossil fuels will engender a climate catastrophe to who cares about global warming, let us use nuclear fission- note: this one has not yet happened, but wait.

Soviet Communism in Russia is a permament part of the European power balance to [poof!] the whole regime collapses within a year or two.

 

Of the changes mentioned above, perhaps Communism was the most important geopolitical event. People born after 1990 can have no conception of the extent to which the 20th century was held in thrall to the idea of planned happiness through the elimination of private property and the centralization of decision making in governments, and of all power in the Bolshevik revolutionary vanguard.

I was reminded recently of how central Europeans, those whose countries had been occupied by the Soviet Union after WW2, were disbelieved when they insisted that the whole scheme was a construction of tyranny that would fall one day like Sauron’s tower of Barad Dur: instantly, into dust. The emigres insisted it was built on a lie, that nothing it said about itself was true, and that it was maintained by Soviet force and police terror. I can recall the  disbelief with which such views were entertained in polite discourse in the 1970s. But the Lubor Zinks and the anti-Soviets were exactly right.

You can arouse similar feelings of outrage and disbelief by posting pictures of snowfalls in April to social media and complain about the absence of sufficient global warming. The response of the Karens, male and female, is immediate.

In your opinion, what other major social beliefs are likely to be reversed in the next twenty years? Discuss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Professor Attaran

Trudeau calls for end to ‘Quebec bashing’ after Ottawa professor says province run by ‘white supremacist government’

 

Dear Professor Attaran:

I take exception to your characterization of the Quebec government as “white supremacist”. I think that is wide of the mark, and quite unfair to the Government of Quebec.  Quebec’s government is not white supremacist. It is French supremacist. The French speakers just happen to be white. Let us imagine for instance that the original founders of French Canada were not French but Tunisians. As the only Muslim majority and North African-origined ethnos in North America, the government of Quebec would believe it was its duty to protect the historic Tunisian and Muslim nature of the country. In this conjecture,  street signs and public advertizing would have to be in Tunisian Arabic with Latin letters distinctly smaller. There is an endless fret about whether the Tunisian nature of Quebec is being lost because the immigrants are assimilating to the English speaking majoriy of Canada. And so forth.

To call the government of Quebec “racist” is misleading. The only race they are concerned about is their own. Need I point out that English-speakers are not part of their “race”? Nor are any other peoples of any skin colour. Their axis of discrimination is entirely ethno-cultural.

And here is the irony. No place in North America is now safer for white people from the anti-white propaganda of the woke. If you attack Quebec for racism they will put on the armour of righteous indignation and the Prime Minister will come to their defence, as he ought to. The Quebecois are immune to “woke” because their politics are frankly about French supremacy. They just happen to be white.

Years ago some self-righteous Liberal apparatchik who normally lives in Westboro, a posh part of Ottawa, was in North Hatley, Quebec. He said how typical it was to find me in the whitest part of North America, or was it just the whitest part of Quebec that he referred to? I can’t quite recall, but he did not mean it in a complimentary or friendly way. Apart from his towering condescension and hypocrisy, of which he was completely unconscious, I find myself in agreement with him. [And what, pray tell, was he doing there?] It is nice living in a place where locking your doors is optional. It is nice living in a place where there is high social trust. Being a part of an English-speaking minority in a French language majority is sometimes aggravating because not all the Quebecois are worldly or accepting of outsiders of any description. But they do not suffer from doubt that the main point of politics is to keep themselves in existence and able to speak French. I like the protective umbrella this offers to fend off the anti-white cultural and racial attacks of the likes of yourself, and the self-loathing of my Liberal apparatchik.

And if we could have just five percent of that attitude in English North America, we would spare ourselves a great deal of grief.

Yours sincerely,

 

Dalwhinnie

 

 

 

 

 

Eric Weinstein talks to Glenn Beck

I can’t say it better, so I will let Eric Weinstein say it.

  • Kletopcrats have been in charge for decades
  • We are cannibalizing the people who are capable of generating growth
  • Magistan summons forth Wokistan, and Wokistan reinforces Magistan.
  • Nationalism is destroyed as the nation is destroyed.
  • Moral sentiments are the basis of social unity, and we are destroying it.

QAnon, Facebook and the Inquisition

Many years ago (in 2003) a man drove his truck up the steps of the main entrance of the Canadian Parliament buildings. CBC just happened to be there. He was wrestled to the ground as he shouted: “you are all a bunch of Satan worshippers!” . I heard him say this on CBC news, and I thought to myself, how did that slip through the censorship? How had he guessed? Who had told him?

So when I heard that the basic premise of the evolving doctrines of the QAnon conspiracy was that an elite of pederastic or hebephile Satan worshippers is running the United States, I thought – nothing new here. That it was being run out of some pizza joint somewhere just adds that piquant touch of pseudo-facticity that lends credence to nonsense on stilts. Do they not know it is being run out the Council on Foreign Relations?

There has always been wickedness in high places, to cite St Paul. Always will be.

Thus I was interested to read on Unherd that “Facebook is radicalising your parents“. As the avergae age of users of Facebook rises, the kinds of concerns expressed naturally reflect the concerns of middle-aged and older people. (This usage pattern reflects the gradual ageing of the population, as births have crashed since the 1970s)

I quote: “The most shared news pieces on the site are increasingly on the Right. On 20 July of this year, for instance, the top-performing Facebook link posts by US pages were:

1. Fox News
2. Fox News
3. Occupy Democrats
4. Fox News
5. Ben Shapiro
6. Ben Shapiro
7. Ben Shapiro
8. An0maly
9. Blue Lives Matter
10. Dan Bongino”.

 

In possible accordance with this concern for radicalization of the elderly and the stated concern for spread of the dangerous ideology of QAnon, FaceBook announced the following:

“On October 6, we announced that we will begin removing any Facebook Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts representing QAnon, even if they contain no violent content, in line with our expanded Dangerous Individuals and Organizations Policy.”

Naturally I was interested in what the policy said. Under the “Dangerous Individuals and Organizations Policy’, Facebook has announced the following on its webpages:

 

Policy Rationale

In an effort to prevent and disrupt real-world harm, we do not allow any organizations or individuals that proclaim a violent mission or are engaged in violence to have a presence on Facebook. This includes organizations or individuals involved in the following:

  • Terrorist activity
  • Organized hate
  • Mass murder (including attempts) or multiple murder
  • Human trafficking
  • Organized violence or criminal activity

 

We also remove content that expresses support or praise for groups, leaders, or individuals involved in these activities. Learn more about our work to fight terrorism online here.

 

We do not allow the following people (living or deceased) or groups to maintain a presence (for example, have an account, Page, Group) on our platform:

Terrorist organizations and terrorists, which include:

Any non-state actor that:

  • Engages in, advocates, or lends substantial support to purposive and planned acts of violence,
  • Which causes or attempts to cause death, injury or serious harm to civilians, or any other person not taking direct part in the hostilities in a situation of armed conflict, and/or significant damage to property linked to death, serious injury or serious harm to civilians
  • With the intent to coerce, intimidate and/or influence a civilian population, government, or international organization
  • In order to achieve a political, religious, or ideological aim.

 

Hate organizations and their leaders and prominent members

A hate organization is defined as:

Any association of three or more people that is organized under a name, sign, or symbol and that has an ideology, statements, or physical actions that attack individuals based on characteristics, including race, religious affiliation, nationality, ethnicity, gender, sex, sexual orientation, serious disease or disability.

 

Mass and multiple murderers (including attempts)

We consider a homicide to be a mass murder if it results in three or more deaths in one incident
We consider an attempted mass murder to be one where an individual uses a weapon or vehicle to attempt mass harm in a public space or against more than one person
We consider any individual who has committed two or more murders over multiple incidents or locations a multiple murderer

 

Human trafficking groups and their leaders

Human trafficking groups are organizations responsible for any of the following:

Prostitution of others, forced/bonded labor, slavery, or the removal of organs
Recruiting, transporting, transferring, detaining, providing, harboring, or receiving a minor, or an adult against their will

 

Criminal organizations and their leaders and prominent members

A criminal organization is defined as:

Any association of three or more people that is united under a name, color(s), hand gesture(s) or recognized indicia, that has engaged in or threatens to engage in criminal activity, including (but not limited to)

  • Homicide
  • Drug trafficking
  • Arms trafficking
  • Identity theft
  • Money laundering
  • Extortion or trafficking
  • Assault
  • Kidnapping
  • Sexual exploitation (covered in section 7 and section 8)

We do not allow symbols that represent any of the above organizations or individuals to be shared on our platform without context that condemns or neutrally discusses the content.

We do not allow content that praises any of the above organizations or individuals or any acts committed by them.

We do not allow coordination of support for any of the above organizations or individuals or any acts committed by them.

We do not allow content that praises, supports, or represents events that Facebook designates as terrorist attacks, hate events, mass murders or attempted mass murders, serial murders, hate crimes and violating events.

End quote

__________________________

There you have it. Without appeal or means of address to the decision makers, your collection of 3 friends may be designated supporters of ‘hate events’,  without any actual event having taken place.

It is really much more pernicious than it appears.

Suppose for instance I became convinced that cousin marriages should not be allowed. (The case is made in Joseph Henrich’s “The WEIRDest people in the world” that the abolition of cousin marriage has marked the character of the people of western Europe profoundly, and in a positive direction for the emergence of modernity). Then I pointed out that in many societies of the world, mainly though not exclusively Muslim, cousin marriages are encouraged. If I pointed out that the suppression of cousin marriages was a necessary condition for the emergence of broadly based non-kinship societies, as Henrich’s book does, and that the secret of success of Western European societies was the suppression of cousin marriages, would I be banned from FaceBook as a hate group, if three of us decided it was an important idea to agree upon and promote?

Now a lawyer might quibble, but you know the answer. You betcha. Some social justice warrior kid would ban you in a flash if he or she thought that a discussion of the negative effects of cousin marriages was aimed at Muslims. Or even if it was not aimed at Muslims but Muslims complained.

We are inventing the new Office of the Inquisition. It is being done before our eyes. It is being done for all the right reasons, as long as you believe harm results from speech.

The least that could be done was what they did about the Inquisition in Portugal in the 1750s. No penalty imposed by the Inquisition was effective unless ratified by the state. That sharply reduced its power. If we cannot avoid the creation of these new Offices of the Inquisition, we should limit their jurisdiction and effectiveness.

 

Controlling the Human Spirit The Inquisition and Slavery 1250–1800 | by I POWER ALLAH | Medium

 

A calm inquiry  into the nature of beliefs about time, space, law and God is conducted in the 1700s. Are we there again?

Television versus Joe Rogan, and other topics

Spotify's dilemma: Censor Joe Rogan or call his podcast free speech? | National Post

 

This past week I spent a few days with friends at their cottage. They have a complete spectrum of broadcast television available, whereas I have not subscribed to cable for at least five years. During that time, I have cultivated my news and opinion sources by selecting twitter feeds, facebook friends, and youtube videos. I am not living in an outrage bubble. I see more of Joe Rogan and Douglas Murray, for instance, than talking heads. Even my favourite broadcaster, Tucker Carlson, is watched solely through the Intertubes. I have become accustomed to conversations on Triggernometry and other interview shows where questions are asked sincerely and answered comprehensively, where issues are engaged, and answers are open to debate rather than assumed to be false or true according to the Narrative – the tale the media are making up today for our consumption.

It was thus something of a shock to the system to watch reaction to the Speech From the Throne on CTV this week. I simply could not believe the rudeness of the chief Talking Head, Lisa Laflamme. Every question was a gotcha or a “when did you stop beating your wife?”. She made the current Finance Minister look good in that Chrystia Freeland answered hysterical questions with factual responses, and kept her cool throughout.

So naturally as Joe Rogan enters the world of broadcasting, he becomes the target of the hysterics and witch hunters of the MSM. The case in point this morning was a hit piece by Sadaf Ahsan, “Spotify’s dilemma: Censor Joe Rogan or call his podcast free speech?”

She writes:

“But here’s the thing: Rogan has long had a habit of spreading misinformation, sharing his own personal feelings and thoughts as facts, and he’s also a very big fan of conspiracy theories. It’s partly why he’s so popular for a very specific brand of fanboy, which Slate once generously described as “freethinkers who hate the left.”

Oh my goodness, how shocking! An opinion journalist who is sometimes wrong! And add to this the phony dilemma of whether Spotify’s staff has some role in censoring Joe Rogan, or Douglas Murray, or amy of the other thinkers who appear in Youtube. Apart from factual errors he is also accused of “transphobia” – the thought crime of insufficiently accepting that biological males are fmals when they declare themselves to be so.

Joe Rogan now draws viewership that competes seriously with entire cable TV networks.

This is from the article hyperlinked above.

  • “Joe probably gets 5-7 million views of full podcasts a day, which makes him far larger than any TV host.

  • Joe gets 200 million podcast views a month. CNN gets 330 million views a month, NBC and Fox are way bigger.

  • Factoring in Rogan clips, and media website views. Joe gets 400 million views a month. CNN 800 million, Fox 1.2 billion, 700 million for NBC. So Rogan is gigantic, but not bigger than the big media corporations. 1/2 of CNN though, and 2/3 of NBC. That’s insane.”

Other sources show cable networks drawing about 2-3 million viewers a month.( https://www.statista.com/statistics/373814/cable-news-network-viewership-usa/)

Our busy little thought controller Sadaf Ahsan writes:

“Relatively politically liberal, Rogan has supported Bernie Sanders (though recently shifted his support to President Donald Trump), is pro-choice and believes in more social spending for the working class, but he also regularly gives right-wing commentators the space to share their ideas and often questions issues of LGBT equality. So it’s not all that surprising Rogan is loved by so many and that, as a figure who perpetuates a kind of toxic masculinity – what with his penchant for hunting, MMA fighting, and heteronormative views – he has become a beloved figure particularly in conservative circles that largely thrive online.”

 

Joe Rogan is a centrist Democrat, a male, a focused martial arts combattant, and a political liberal who likes Trump (sort of). He sounds like a quite typical American male of his generation, and he and millions more like him will secure Trump’s next term as President.

Rebel Yell rightly chides me for my naivety, in that I still think there might be some truth occasionally permitted in the MSM. Maybe there is, but the economics of slime hurling obviously provide more eyeballs than sobriety. The economic incentives of the MSM are skewed towards lies and outrage. Stay away from them.

 

 

confessions of a student marxist

Tobias Fibbs, a Cambridge graduate, dissects expertly the emotional and moral atmosphere of the modern university. 

 

Social theorist Mark Fisher described from first-hand experience the manipulation of this scene as a Vampire Castle which “feeds on the energy and anxieties and vulnerabilities of young students, but most of all it lives by converting the suffering of particular groups — the more marginal, the better — into academic capital. The most lauded figures in the Vampire Castle are those who have spotted a new market in suffering — those who can find a group more oppressed and subjugated than any previously exploited will find themselves promoted through the ranks very quickly.” The Vampire Castle recruits on the promise of community and self-healing. The reality is an ouroboros of emotional manipulation, stripped of the political and of all that makes life interesting and worthwhile…..

We would have laughed at the idea we formed an elite and we certainly didn’t act like one. But we were the vanguard for a movement that has swept the English-speaking world in the subsequent decade. We still professed to be fighting the old powers — patriarchy, white supremacism, the nuclear family, colonialism, the university itself. But in truth we represented what Christopher Lasch called psychological man, “the final product of bourgeois individualism,” and were being trained in elite formation for the therapeutic age just as surely as our forerunners had been for the previous, paternal age….

The material genesis of the radical cultural politics that has shown its strength in the last few months lies in the overexpansion of higher education, which produced a new middle class that is materially discontented and uncomfortable in its own skin. The globalisation of American pathologies has given this new urban class, present across the Western world, a politics that is carving through our institutions….

 

Bari Weiss Resigns from the New York Times

Her resignation letter is fascinating, and what we suspected is happening, is. Calling it American Pravda is not an exaggeration.

 

“….a new consensus has emerged in the press, but perhaps especially at this paper: that truth isn’t a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else.

“Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor. As the ethics and mores of that platform have become those of the paper, the paper itself has increasingly become a kind of performance space. Stories are chosen and told in a way to satisfy the narrowest of audiences, rather than to allow a curious public to read about the world and then draw their own conclusions. I was always taught that journalists were charged with writing the first rough draft of history. Now, history itself is one more ephemeral thing molded to fit the needs of a predetermined narrative.\…”

“Part of me wishes I could say that my experience was unique. But the truth is that intellectual curiosity—let alone risk-taking—is now a liability at The Times. Why edit something challenging to our readers, or write something bold only to go through the numbing process of making it ideologically kosher, when we can assure ourselves of job security (and clicks) by publishing our 4000th op-ed arguing that Donald Trump is a unique danger to the country and the world? And so self-censorship has become the norm.

“All this bodes ill, especially for independent-minded young writers and editors paying close attention to what they’ll have to do to advance in their careers. Rule One: Speak your mind at your own peril. Rule Two: Never risk commissioning a story that goes against the narrative. Rule Three: Never believe an editor or publisher who urges you to go against the grain. Eventually, the publisher will cave to the mob, the editor will get fired or reassigned, and you’ll be hung out to dry.”