Internet Culture

Day 234 and Information Poisoning

Do you ever read a tweet and check the person’s mutuals to make sure you understand the context?

Because I follow a number of extremely different communities with wildly different priors, it’s actually quite a challenge to see if someone is black pilled, red pilled, tankie or neo reactionary.

I consider it crucial to keep a balance of crazies in my timeline lest I accidentally get pilled by one group simply by mere exposure bias.

That’s a good argument for following as diverse a group as possible. A full timeline is one with a thousand biases blooming. This is good for keeping an open mind but it is also a protective technique known as flooding the zone. It is much harder to determine where one’s sensibilities lay if they consider counsel from all.

The downside is that we call people out for following “wrong think” in some corners. The only way to inoculate against that risk is heavily telegraphing that you follow all kinds. Impossible to show purity so to protect from any charges you muddy the waters.

I’ve noticed that progressive tech & red pillers are especially gnarly about policing for thought purity. It is relatively easy to fight back against, but then you have to be committed to seeing ALL zeitgeist which is exhausting.

I had to stop consumption for 48 hours last week. Floating above the discourse generally stokes my creativity. I live on the energy of the zeitgeist. But a few issues (vaccines & Kabul) are so upsetting that I just had to stop and recenter.

I think I have what might be labeled natural immunity to discourse. It doesn’t usually hurt my emotional state. For me, discourse functions more as a barometer of positions I follow to indicate long term movements.

Very rarely does it overcome my long term stakes. When it does it’s usually because I have information poisoning. It doesn’t happen too often. And I can shake it fast. But it’s not easy to cultivate for most people. I think it might be innate. That natural immunity I mentioned. Some people just have a higher tolerance for information toxicity and flow rates. Best to find out what yours is and to sense in others their informational environment as well. It’s edge.