Listening to this, and much of the talk has been about the dynamics of television, television bookings, and the tendency of people to double down in partisan ways in the face of the mob. This matters, but it takes the position that information flow is preeminent; I’m not so sure.
One alternative view is that the growth of radical and fringe views and the rapid expansion of the audience for them is downstream of burgeoning awareness that things have gone wrong in many aspects of society in concrete ways, ways which are absent from prior narratives.
It’s a question of whether you regard “misinformation” as a supply or a demand problem, a message or a reality problem. Is the problem with media that it has too much emotive nonsense, or too little attention to issues which matter, and people notice?
Between the two there exists a large, loud, group of people who sense the breakdown of social structure in their hearts, but lack the conceptual language to articulate it; many of them press harder into preexisting narratives to try to make sense of things, which media services.
This produces a feedback loop: people sense things have gone wrong, they imagine media as a response (“hold power to account”), they embrace preexisting narratives to explain the dysfunction, and media thus leans as hard as possible into those narratives for business reasons.
But this pattern is inherently unsatisfactory, insofar as those narratives are themselves partial causes of social breakdown. And to the extent that this positions narrative as the path forward, it acts to reinforce the fundamental problem of inability to address that breakdown.
The grinding uselessness of the whole affair will throw sparks off with regularity, people who are finally thrown clear of seeking truth in media institutions by the obvious dysfunction, and end up seeking out fringe sources just to find *something* operating in reality.
The key point is that both media dysfunction and the growth of extremist outlets are downstream of the very real inability of long-standing partisan narratives to address, explain, or even recognize fundamental problems in western life. Fixing those is where the work begins.

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More from @TheAgeofShoddy

22 Feb
This is the result, and is frankly more or less where I am right now.

Read 4 tweets
22 Feb
I agree with the thrust of this, but this one is not strictly speaking HR’s fault I suspect. Rather, because divorce can only be conducted through the courts and the courts must have jargon and categories and classifications by which to know the world, this sort of thing results.
Bureaucracy is like a gun: in order to function reliably in its task of disposing of things, it must be kept strictly clean and provided with operating material kept to within strict tolerances. Deviations from expected norms will only produce malfunctions, and are thus rejected.
“Your honor, every night I damn the name of God for destroying the only thing which ever mattered to me. I drink constantly. My children are fading away in front of me.”

“Mr. Everyman, I’m going to ask you to control yourself and stick to the subject matter of this proceeding.”
Read 4 tweets

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