Thursday, March 27, 2014

How Should We Deal With The Worst Of The Internet?


"We’re bombarded with poorly written and braindead pieces of content that are engineered to go viral for the sake of virality, not to educate and improve the individual or society," wrote "Roosh V" on his blog the other day:
The internet has become a machine to fill gaps in your ego and self-esteem so that you receive the emotional benefits of validation…. The content you read now has moved from being primarily intellectual from the time of the Gutenberg press to primarily emotional. In the past, it was just too expensive to publish something with the intent to piss someone off or to gather lulz. Like with the first viral article in history (Martin Luther’s 95 Theses), you went through the hurdle and cost of publishing to educate or effect change. Only with the the beginnings of yellow journalism in the late 19th century did you start to see a shift towards more emotional offerings that would enrich publishers and advertisers at the expense of public discourse.
Roosh V—Daryush Valizadeh—is a pickup artist, author and kind of a philosopher too. His views on gender are radically conservative. His views on politics dovetail with his views on gender: He believes that "socialism, feminism, and cultural Marxism cause societies to decline because they destroy the family unit." Described by Jezebel as 'American-Woman Hater – Possibly the Worst Person We've Encountered,' he writes travel pickup guides. They are called the 'Bang' guides, because they are about how to "bang" women in various countries. His personal blog was originally called DC Bachelor, back when he was worried about losing his job over his writing. There is also Return of Kings, which he describes a "politically incorrect men's interest site." One of its featured stories this morning was headlined "Women Have No Sense Of Justice"; it opened with Schopenhauer and ended with Nietzsche. He is 34, and a graduate of the University of Maryland.

But his recent writing about the way we use the Internet was striking for not only being thoughtful but for also not being objectionable. Much of what he publishes I find horrific; compelling for its awfulness, its contrarian message. It makes for uncomfortable reading. To be a woman and to read his sites is to be the strangest kind of voyeur. 

And, in a pretty neat illustration of the problem of the "outrage Internet" and viral hate-reading, I actually had never heard of him before he appeared on Jezebel.

For the rest of the story:

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