Flat White

Welcome to the Age of the Goldfish

14 January 2021

5:00 AM

14 January 2021

5:00 AM

I hope you all have a good memory, because you are going to need it. 

Modern political events are being re-written in real-time – dare we say it – ‘whitewashed’ by the unanimous vote of the unelected press. What began as a plague of anonymous fact-checkers attempting to elevate their preferred politics, has metastasised into a truth manufacturing line with the same quality control as a Wuhan mask factory. 

There is a danger that the only faithful record of our era will be the one decaying inside our memories. It is a shame that civilisation has fallen back into this bad habit of allowing the powerful to coerce the truth, seizing control on a scaffolding of lies. That said, there is never anything new regarding the squabbles of humanity. The dramatic events of the past few weeks are, in the proper historical context, a tired repeat of the poorly produced saga of our species. These episodes have different authors and a fresh cast, but their underlying story remains the same. 

Liberty creates prosperity. Prosperity creates power. Power creates tyranny. Tyranny creates civil upheaval. 

After this, the way forward is uncertain. More often than not, the battle for liberty is lost and the citizenry can do little more than lament the freedoms that were so easily and swiftly surrendered to the mob. 

If we are to successfully defend our democracy, preserving the historical record is essential. Failure to do so will leave us in the goldfish bowl of fortune, circling the water with Big Brother looking in – distorted and immense on the other side of the glass. 

In 2021, our history is guarded by Silicon Valley. We rent space on their cloud servers and entrust companies like Amazon and Google with our private information – usually without reading their terms of service. One accident at a hosting centre or arbitrary censorial act has the potential to erase businesses and memories. Most people place so much faith in these companies that they do not bother backing anything up for safekeeping. 

Our civilisation is awash with data hosted by corporate third parties. While most of us are old enough to remember an age before digital streaming, our youngest generations have lived their lives in the palm of Big Tech. They have entwined themselves with these companies in such a way that any attempt made by the wider community to threaten Silicon Valley’s empire will be resisted by devout technological serfs. 

When did Social Media’s control of the historical record begin? 

Wikipedia was a shiny new thing when I was in high school. Instead of traipsing to the library to locate a reference book that probably wasn’t even filed in the right place, we were gifted this crazy website out of nowhere. Wikipedia was essentially crack for the academic class, providing instant gratification for knowledge-seekers. Type in the question and voila! all the work was done for you. No more waiting in line at the photocopier with an idiot attacking a paper jam with a pair of scissors. 

It was like cheating, and that was certainly what our teachers called it. Despite having this glorious database of seemingly infinite knowledge, no one was allowed to use it for anything other than time-wasting ‘wiki-surfing’. (If you haven’t done it, don’t start.) 

Our teachers had two objections to the rise of Wikipedia. 

The first was a (perfectly reasonable) fear that it would make our inquiring minds lazy. With everyone receiving instant answers, there was no opportunity to stumble over the complexities of a topic. Wikipedia left classrooms in danger of forming monotonous opinions. 

Which brings us to the second concern. Wikipedia was given authority over the truth because of its usability, not quality. 

Conceived in an open-source environment, it invited thousands of users to post entries about topics which other users then edited – collaborating to create a vast network of information that quickly outstripped the dictionary cabal. With enough people interacting, it was assumed that the truth would win out. Generally speaking, that was the case. 

It later became obvious that absolute freedom over information in a publishing environment had a few flaws – namely – humans could be real little shits when they set their minds to it. A common muck-up day activity involved editing the school’s Wikipedia entry with the level of hormone-induced humour that you’d expect. 

As usual, politics ruined everything. 

The official pages of contentious public figures were the first to be vandalised by bad actors attempting to defame and damage their political opposition. These budding propaganda agents soon learned that subtle changes were the most effective because they went unnoticed for longer. Slight edits to history could be compounded over time, gradually altering the accepted truth until it became the only truth. 

As an intellectual product, Wikipedia was simply too good to die from its wounds. It fed off the accumulation and summation of vast quantities of knowledge. Dictionaries, encyclopedias, thesauruses – they all joined this digital abyss, leaving our language vulnerable to shifting definitions. As Wikipedia’s traditional market competition learned, information grows too fast to filter through layers of validation. If you can’t keep up, you die off. This is the exact same dynamic playing out between legacy media and social media. 

Wikipedia’s influence over society became so acute that it suffered censorial attacks by the European Union when the commission launched Articles 11 and 13 in 2019. This caused a crisis of intellectual freedom across the world that went largely unreported by the mainstream press. In response, Wikipedia blacked out swathes of the European continent until amendments were made. Extraordinary, considering the inflexibility of the EU. 

Things declined rapidly with the rise of Cultural Marxism. Wikipedia became the choking canary, wiggling its legs at the bottom of a mine shaft while a cuckoo took up residence. Its articles have since been heavily edited to bring them in line with the prison cell of social justice. Instead of recording knowledge, Wikipedia’s primary goal is to avoid causing offence, leaving the site rife with contradictions and politically correct fiction. It capitulated to these censorial demands and maintained its position as caretaker of (revised) information. 

For all the power Wikipedia has, it pales in comparison to social media – a conglomerate in charge of the real-time recording of history. Forget editing the facts; they aren’t even making it to print. 

With the US election over, the next information scandal will revolve around medical tyranny. When China’s Covid-19 became a Catch 22 for the global political class (who are terrified that private citizens will sue them for incompetence), discussion surrounding vaccines became intrinsically linked with the survival of those in power. 

Medical advances have always created conflict between healthcare, politics and corporate – especially with the global vaccination market worth almost $US60 billion in 2020. 

‘Trust the experts’ simply isn’t a good enough mantra for social media to invoke during its censorial binges when we have hard evidence that experts often make horrific mistakes. Thalidomide was available over the counter for years before it was found to cause birth defects. Despite mounting complaints in the public sphere, it was deemed safe across the medical spectrum. In the end, it killed two thousand children and left ten thousand with serious physical abnormalities. Without public pressure, it would have killed more. 

Vaccines carry similar risks. While they save millions of lives, they can be wildly unpredictable in their medical infancy. It is imperative that the government maintains public choice and consumer transparency across social media platforms to ensure that alarm bells ring when something goes wrong. 

Silicon Valley has inserted itself into the pandemic, no doubt due to political pressure, by announcing plans to ban users from reporting or discussing side effects related to Covid19 vaccines. They claim that these measures are in the interest of public safety, but Big Tech is not a medical institution, nor should it be allowed to silence the necessary feedback to protect its political and corporate friends. 

Under their heading ‘Our Expanded Approach’, Twitter detail their intent: 

Twitter has an important role to play as a place for good faith public debate and discussion around these critical public health matters. […] Using a combination of technology and human review, we will begin enforcing this updated policy on December 21, and expanding our actions during the following weeks. We will enforce this policy in close consultation with local, national and global public health authorities around the world, and will strive to be iterative and transparent in our approach. We remain focused on helping people find credible health information, verifying public health experts, and updating our policies in an iterative and transparent approach.

If anything goes wrong with a Covid-19 vaccine, don’t expect to hear about it. 

Who are these public health experts allowed to dominate the market of information? Absolute authority demands intense scrutiny. Let us run one example. 

The World Health Organisation is one of Twitter’s verified sources. They are a medical bureaucracy that has conducted itself appallingly during the Covid-19 health crisis. When Covid-19 emerged, the WHO helped the Chinese Communist Party suppress reports about the severity of the virus circulating inside Wuhan. It released incorrect information about Covid19’s transmission and deliberately ignored Taiwan’s dissenting medical evidence because of regional politics. The WHO then looked the other way when China bullied nations with accusations of racism if they tried to close their borders. When it became clear that a pandemic was underway, the WHO assisted China in concealing the (previously acknowledged) origin of the virus while allowing the Chinese Communist Party to avoid a mandatory independent investigation into ground zero of the pandemic. 

This is the same ‘trusted’ WHO that has been caught editing medical advice to keep up with propaganda circulated on social media. Two prominent examples come to mind. The first is their flip-flopping over mandatory mask-wearing after various world leaders put their careers on the line by interfering with constitutional rights. To justify medical mandates, the ‘science’ behind mask-wearing was altered by the WHO after the political decision to enforce them had been made. Warnings printed on the boxes of these masks still contradict the WHO’s advice. 

The second and most concerning manipulation of information by the WHO relates to the long-held definition of herd immunity. Our medical understanding of herd immunity has not changed since the arrival of Covid19. What has changed is the effectiveness of the vaccine in relation to the grand promises made about it by politicians who used its existence to initiate financially devastating lockdowns. 

Both of these releases are by the same department at the WHO (the emphasis in red is mine for clarity):

9th June, 2020: Herd Immunity is the indirect protection from an infectious disease that happens when a population is immune either through vaccination or immunity developed through previous infection. This means that even people who haven’t been infected or in whom an infection hasn’t triggered an immune response, they are protected because people around them who are immune can act as buffers between them and an infected person. The threshold for establishing herd immunity for Covid19 is not yet clear.’

13th November, 2020: ‘Herd Immunity’, also known as ‘population immunity’, is a concept used for vaccination, in which a population can be protected from a certain virus if a threshold of vaccination is reached. Herd immunity is achieved by protecting people from a virus, not exposing them to it. Read the Director-General’s 12 October media briefing speech for more detail.

The second statement from the WHO erased the natural phenomena of herd immunity – which remains the dominant method by which human populations overcome disease – and replaced it with an absolute mandate to vaccinate. The true definition of herd immunity survives with people who remember studying it prior to the edit and anyone in possession of medical books that cannot be so easily manipulated. 

It doesn’t help that these institutions in charge of reality are headed up by some of the world’s shonkiest people. 

When asking questions about why the WHO has acted inconsistently and bizarrely concerning China’s role in the pandemic, it is worth noting that China played an instrumental role in putting its Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, into power. His ascent was vocally opposed due to positions held within the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) – an ethnically-based party that has been the dominant force in Ethiopian politics for nearly thirty years. Tedros served as Health Minister despite the regime being recognised as a serial offender against human rights. 

In an open letter against Tedros, it was noted that inside an eight-month period, eighty thousand Ethiopians were imprisoned in gulags run by the TPLF where they were tortured for holding a different political opinion. Party officials stole billions from public and state-run projects. Dr. Abiy Ahmed, the current Prime Minister as of 2018, later admitted that the regime Tedros served under was essentially a terrorist state. 

Tedros’ own actions were called into question regarding his handling of a Cholera epidemic – which he incorrectly renamed as ‘Acute Watery Diarrhoea’ even after Cholera was confirmed. A letter signed by the Amhara Professionals Union suspected this inaccuracy related to Tedros covering up a public health crisis to protect the tourist industry – an action which prevented aid organisations from intervening. The open letter further accused Tedros of actively marginalising health care treatment based on ethnicity, resulting in a disproportionate mortality rate among the Amhara people. 

This is the man Silicon Valley allows to fact-check your opinion. In addition, Big Tech is heavily invested in the pharmaceutical industry and does not disclose its financial interest in the silencing of information regarding side effects that could harm its profits. 

The control that these corporations exert over our access to information has gone far enough that it may never be unpicked. 

We are now at the point where the facts of history are so distorted that activists can claim, without contest, that the months of Antifa and Black Lives Matter riots were entirely peaceful, then use this false claim to validate their censorious reaction to the ‘unprecedented’ Capitol Hill riots. 

Fearing that their despicable actions would be covered up, I kept a sample of the direct incitement to violence propagated on Twitter by activist groups it publicly endorsed. You can view the archive here – including images of burning public buildings and captions that read: ‘this is what justice looks like’, ‘all pigs burn’ and ‘riot 2020 – burn this motherfucker down – eat the rich’.

The manipulation of truth within our civilisation is nearly impossible to believe. We already know that you can convince people of fabricated facts if you bombard them with enough marketing material from certified sources – especially if it supports their preferred world view. 

The twenty-four hour news cycle that created a heightened sense of drama to pull ratings, has transformed into a full-time propaganda house. The media are over-feeding the goldfish as they swim around in stagnant water. 

Why would anyone, including Silicon Valley, seek to corrupt the story of humanity? 

Simply put, it is to install a political party into government who will not punish them for breaking antitrust legislation or the Communications Decency Act – both of which carry serious penalties if convicted. Big Tech corporations are free to continue making money in their lofty oligarchy while a political party has solidified its position in the absence of opposition. 

In truth, politics has become the law, with information as its accomplice. 

Alexandra Marshall is an independent writer. If you would like to support her work, shout her a coffee over at Ko-Fi.

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