Thursday, October 14, 2021

On Medium: Why Only a Few Content Creators can be Superstars

Here's an article about how the dominant, most successful creators need herds of sheeple, and sheeple want to be ruled.


  1. Awakening may be real, but it may also be for the few. It's uplifting to think there will be comeuppance in the case of social media, with the masses rising up to protest how they were fooled into wasting so much time. I have no crystal ball, of course, but such comeuppance would be poetically just, and that justice is rare. More likely is that the victims will save face by changing the subject or by falling for the next fad.

    Moreover, social media aren't all bad. They're very convenient in certain respects. I'm old enough to sympathize with Arcade Fire's song, "We Used to Wait." There are advantages and disadvantages of all technologies.

  2. Except for Jordan Peterson, this is the first time I've heard of these online celebrities you mention.

    You might console yourself with the thought that fame is fickle towards the living, but has been known to dote on the dead. Mozart was a superstar in his day, but who ever heard of Nietzsche, Gödel, or H.P. Lovecraft when they were alive? Some might deride posthumous fame as worth less than posthumous sex, but as far as I'm concerned it's best kind of fame there is. No paparazzi, no worries over reputation or being eclipsed; and best of all: you get the last word.

    1. It seems like the audience has the last word after the artist dies, no? The best kind of fame is that which can't be enjoyed or suffered? It's a paradoxical kind of immortality, to be sure.

      Lost of failing artists may hope they'll be recognized as great at least sometime after they've passed on, but of course most won't. Obscurity is the destiny for most of us. By creating art in any case, we're participating in a larger absurdity. But the same existential lesson applies to the act of getting out of bed every morning.

    2. The dead can't be so easily vanquished as the living. Dying before your critics have a chance to read your work is like walking out of a chess match: forfeit is not the same as defeat; it robs your antagonist of his glory.

      Still, I admit the odds are against any one person achieving fame. Like most of the aims people pursue in life, there are no fast rules or strategies that will significantly increase one's odds of achieving fame.


    Here's an antinatalist video I found suggesting that procreation is bad due to "uncompensated" harms. I left my thoughts in the comments (username is cosmic lifeist). I thought that you would find it interesting.

    Also, have you seen Blithering Genius' videos on YouTube. I think you would find his perspective to be an intriguing one, since he doesn't believe in morality and covers various topics from a somewhat unique viewpoint. He's also made a few critiques of efilism.

    1. Your comment went through. I think the first premise in the argument, that it's wrong to create a condition that harms someone with no compensation is much too strong. It's essentially a decadent premise, fit for narcissistic, pampered folks who can't handle even the least disappointment.

      The argument requires everything to be perfect to be moral. It's hard to imagine doing some good that doesn't indirectly disadvantage someone else too or that doesn't somewhere create an uncompensated harm. You'd have to be all-powerful and all-knowing to act without indirectly harming someone somewhere.

      The argument thus assumes a moral standard that's fit for supernatural Heaven, but not for natural reality. Yes, nature falls short of Heavenly standards. But morality that's based on such standards is irrelevant to reality.


    2. You have quite unique responses, that's for sure! Thanks for sharing your insightful thoughts!

      I am currently having a discussion with the creator of the video. We're 70 comments in and yet it's still the same repetitive rhetoric about harms and alleviation. I also did point out that it's strange to say that a harm that ceased to exist an "uncompensated" one, since the harm doesn't disappear until it's reduced by some sort of satisfaction. As for potential suffering, I don't see (as you also said) why perfect epistemic certainty is necessary for creating somebody. If creating potential harm is bad, creating potential value is good. And this doesn't mean that we can harm existing people for the sake of a valuable experience, since harming them would require reducing their existing valuable state, which cannot be easily counterbalanced.

      Btw, here's what Blithering Genius (he also has a youtube channel) had to say about the argument:
      "You begin with an appeal to moral intuitions, and you claim that these intuitions are generally accepted and uncontroversial. So, you presuppose that generally accepted, uncontroversial intuitions are correct. However, it is a generally accepted and uncontroversial intuition that life is good, and that life is a gift. You use an appeal to intuition to argue against intuition. It's a performative contradiction, and a type of cherry-picking fallacy.

      Yes, it is a "common practice" to appeal to intuition. Having children is also a common practice. Do you accept everything that is a common practice? Moral intuitions are an incoherent mess. Here you simply choose the moral intuitions that give you the answer you want, and ignore others.  Like I said, it's cherry-picking and a performative contradiction. It's just post hoc rationalization (which is also a "common practice"). "It is forbidden to impose harm that is not compensated by good." I doubt that anyone really has that moral intuition, as stated. But setting that aside, it is an assumption that can be questioned. Who forbids it? God? The morality fairy? Where does this moral obligation come from? Why should anyone follow it? What is harm? What is good? You ignore those questions when you simply assume it. It's only uncontroversial if you don't think about it.

      You can't choose your intuitions. You can choose axioms, but not intuitions. If you argue against one intuition by assuming another, then it's cherry-picking and a performative contradiction, as I said. Okay, so you admit that the essay is irrational. You admit that you're appealing to intuition (not rationality). You also admit that you are doing so to argue against another intuition (performative contradiction, cherry-picking fallacy). "He sees that ethicists publish papers and books"

      More irrationality. That is an appeal to authority. Sure, ethicists publish papers and books. So do Christian apologists, Marxists, and many other deluded fools/liars. I clearly articulated the reasons to reject the argument. It is a cherry-picking fallacy and a performative contradiction. I explained precisely how it is both of those things.
      "such arguments are frequently being made and have been shown to work" What do you mean by "shown to work"? Shown to comfort people who already believe in the conclusion? Shown to persuade some people? Fallacious arguments can be effective, especially if people are motivated to accept the conclusion for other reasons, but that doesn't make them valid.

      "The good thing about appeals to intuition is that we don't need to get dirty at the meta-ethical level." Right, you don't have to do actual philosophy. You can just assume whatever you want, and claim that it is intuitive. It's not rational or honest, but it is easy."

      What would you make of this response? You might also be interested in some of his other works on his channel:

    3. The objection seems to strawman the argument. The argument works by a transitive relation. He uses moral intuition to support one of the premises, but the premise could have unintuitive support too. I also don't see a contradiction in appealing to some intuition but not to others. Why does it have to be all or none? Mind you, appealing just to any intuition would be weak since philosophical naturalism tends to leave our adapted intuitions in the dust.

      There's also some vagueness in the video argument's talk of what's "wrong." Presumably, the issue is moral wrongness, but there are different kinds of morality, and some systems might be more or less harsh or forgiving. The antinatalist wants to prohibit procreation, but not every kind of morality would warrant such a draconian outcome. Perhaps none would.

    4. Your insightful reply contains something deeply pertinent: is it necessary to believe in absolute good/bad? In my opinion, it could still be said that procreation is bad due to the bad outcomes (suffering) it leads to. However, it's also good for the person if it leads for more valuable experiences. If one were to look at the action in totality, one could reasonably say that the a act of creating a person is "more good than it's bad".