The elitism memory hole effect

Monday, 14 April, Year 6 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

Let's start with the following exchange :

    Me : (about the +m on #bitcoin-assets) : As far as I know, nothing quite like this has ever been tried.

    Pankkake : Perhaps not that exact way, but invite only communities are older than the Internet, and quite common on said Internet. Actually, I’m now realizing that the places where I spend most of my time are like that!

    Me : This is the strangeness of the world we live in. You know the newspaper memory hole effect ? (Wherein a person with competency in a field reads a item on that field, and finds it full of holes and altogether nonsensical, then flips the page and treats some other item on some other field he has no competency in as if it were sensible and meaningful, somehow magically forgetting his experience minutes ago and somehow magically failing to infer that a broken pipe is probably broken in all lights) I would say the exact same happens with elitism : everyone of any value whatsoever participates almost exclusively in selected venues, and any value of any value whatsoever is always selective, yet somehow many people suddenly forget this and pretend like equality is somehow a value, and socialist democracy good or desirable. It boggles.

    Pankkake : Eh, the newspaper thing is what I tell absolutely everyone when they tell me they found a journalist or politician didn’t know at all a subject they know about. Of course it’s like that for all the other subjects! Somehow geeks usually think those people are only ignorant about technology… But I’m not sure how it’s really relevant to the discussion here.

Elitism is the idea that only some, a selected group, may participate in whatever activity or ought to be allowed in whatever space. Om nu te nasti, om deviii is the quintessential elitist construction of humanityii, in stark contrast with the populist view, wherein everyone's born a person : even the animals.iii

Elitism is very much a fact of life, in any and all cases where your life works, and your experiences are satisfactory or enjoyable ; it's as much a requisite of happy living as clean air.iv For instance : you meet a girl. Do you take her to a soup kitchen ? No, you do not.v You take her to Pomodoro's. Why ? Oh, because you wish to project this air of elitism about you, like saying "Honey, as long as you're hanging on my arm, no doors in this city are closed to you" ? Well done you elitist democrat you.

Then later, you buy wedding invitations. Do you, like George, buy the cheapest there are ? After all, it's a slip of paper, as long as the time and place is legible any wedding invitation is exactly as good as any other. Right ?

And even later, she has a kid. It's the community college for him, right ? What Stanford, what Ivy League, these are for those elitist bastards, you're a man of the people, correct ?

And then you get sick and they take you to Rhonda down the street, who's delivered Adoree's twins (you know, one girl survived) and otherwise makes a buck cooking meth and injecting the willing with raw industrial silicone subcutaneously, for that chunky "bubble butt" look. She's as good as any hospital, right ? Plus, so much lighter on the purse.

You're an elitist at every twist and turn, whenever you can get away with it, whenever you can afford it, you wouldn't trade your front-and-center sport event tickets with some random guy you just met in the subway for his out-and-away crummy tickets. You would, however, trade your crummy tickets for his front-and-center. 'Cause it's all the same, right ?

Just examine your past month, and then riddle me this : what do we call someone who takes a right every time there's a right to take, and then claims, nay, even gets himself to actually believe that he's a leftist, that taking the left is good, right and proper, that everyone always and everywhere takes the left and so on ?

Do we perhaps call him a democrat ? So congratulations : you're a democrat! In my circle, we use different words, but what the fuck do we stinkin' elitists know about words, or anything else.

  1. You are not born a person, you become a person. Wherein to become, devenirea is an important term of art in philosophy and used as such. []
  2. Oddly, it clearly favours nurture over nature, something the opposing view quite hollowly claims for itself. It's in fact a fundamental characteristic of the opposing view, this : to always and everywhere pretend for itself, and baselessly claim for itself, the characteristics and substance of elitism, minus any of its actual substance. Just the empty glitter, the shine and feathers. []
  3. The other fundamental characteristic of this view is its tendency to co-opt words that are then abusively applied. For instance, populism tends to call itself "democracy" and "democratic", perhaps on the flimsy basis that ignorant masses tend to naturally subscribe to populist views, and (especially in "democratic", ie populist regimes) those same masses have all conceivable incentive to stay ignorant. Sort of a circular thing.

    Amusingly, immature brains make the same exact mistake, a testament to the fact that only the clueless could possibly hold these views. Consider the case of this girl. She says

    It was my friend not me, take her IP address, not mine!

    Does this sound familiar at all ? Does it remind you of anything in particular ? Does it sound at all like

    Do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not me! Julia! I don't care what you do to her. Tear her face off, strip her to the bones. Not me! Julia! Not me!

    What does this despicable flick of perambulating scum mean, when she says "my friend" ? Clearly, she's not using the term in the way you or I might use it, but then again she doesn't have to : she's a person by virtue of existing, and she lives in a democracy. And she has friends. Figures, dunnit ? []

  4. Speaking of clean air : the absence of noise is also a factor, as people who've spent any amount of time under heavy artillery shelling can attest. The absence of spurious lights is also a factor, as anyone who's spent any amount of time on a Las Vegas slot machine floor can idem attest. []
  5. Yes, I do. Think about it, you kill two birds with one stone. On one hand, if the soup kitchen serves you decent food, you know where to drop that cheque when the time comes. On the other hand, if they give you any lip, say for instance on account of your expensive suit, it's quite clear that they're not in the business of feeding people, but moreover trying to satisfy their hobby of feeling better about themselves by putting down the less fortunate. If you ever wondered why the poor feel trapped, and in actuality often enough are trapped in their lowly circumstance, you probably have the answer right there : because of the people pretending like they want to help them, a minority is actually interacting with them as people, and a majority - indeed often a supermajority - is merely trying to make sure they stay that way.

    And as to the girl... the exact same applies. You'll know if you're dealing with a human being or a conceited hag in about thirty seconds. At least if you're me, or even superficially paying attention. Either one, really. []

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12 Responses

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