Chinese Invasion: The Future of Fake News
A friend sent me a link to a web site called “Dave Hodges: The Common Sense Show (Freeing America, One Enslaved Mind at a Time ®)”, which I honestly hesitate to link because I actually opened it in a private tab in a browser I never use—the equivalent of putting on two pairs of rubber gloves before picking it up.
I’ll include the title of the article, “Mounting Reports of a Simultaneous Coming Civil War and World War III Will Be Unleashed With An Unfavorable Election Result for Harris/Biden”, which is even longer than the name of the web site in what seems to be a sort of anti-marketing, anti-usability, and nearly deliberately SEO-unfriendly pattern followed by many of these sites.
The article is a word salad of run-on sentences, bad grammar and spelling, and missing punctuation. It boasts a pretty big font, which bespeaks the audience’s diminishing—or already diminished—ability to read smaller text. I.e. the target audience is most likely 50 and older.
The comments are even more poorly written, but some are actually hostile to the writer in a way that is refreshing. For example, the first comment was,
“nothing is past the fallen pedophile government loan wolf left us with? its clear when a society removes God and his moral will destruction is soon to follow. i think it would be the acme of foolishness not ask you to percent any kind of evidence other then the term, “ sources”? i cell phone camera a video maybe a US military report? something that tell us there is concern or this is another chicken little scream looking for attention due to what amounts to a failed life!”
That’s verbatim. Unaltered. If you can get through it—and extract sense from it—it’s actually heaping opprobrium on the author for having written a completely unsubstantiated propaganda piece. He apparently has a few readers like, as you’ll see below.
I wonder idly whether the entire site has been constructed by warring AIs machine-learning their way to parity with real-life human commentators. Parity isn’t honestly that hard to achieve, as pretty much anything goes, no-one sticks to any writing rules, and no-one really reads things before responding to them. The sins of AIs standing on unsteady legs like a newborn colt will not only be ignored, but will likely never be noticed at all.
That might be our saving grace: without correction, the AI’s machine-learning algorithm will consider its mission achieved too soon, finding a local maximum that satisfies people with poor—or no—reading comprehension, while still being detectable to some of us. On the other hand, if they can camouflage as the content above, then I already can’t tell the difference between a poorly trained AI and a person who’s banged their head on porcelain one too many times.
I wonder how much of the Internet is just that already: fake news is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You can no longer tell the reliable (e.g. Wikileaks) from the purportedly reliable, but increasingly biased (e.g. NY Times) from the deliberately fake (e.g. The Onion) from the deliberately misleading (e.g. FOX, CNN, MSNBC) from the unhinged (e.g. Dave Hodges) to deep fakes and Twitter bots and so on.
The tricky pair behind South Park recently put together a 15-minute episode of Sassy Justice, a TV show filled with deep fakes that discuss the scourge of deep fakes. It’s a typically meta- and filth-filled performance from them that is funny and hammers the point home that you’re probably already watching deep fakes or reading “articles” written by AIs.
Response to the Article
After having read/skimmed the article, I wrote the following back to my friend (with a little bit of light editing for clarity and de-personalization). In it, I reference various points from the article (e.g. China invading Taiwan).
I read the article and will include my thoughts below.
Of all of the horrible things that might happen to America—or are already happening to America—being invaded by Chinese troops through Canada is not one of them. Nor is there any reason for China to invade Taiwan since it already has de-facto control over it. It’s as if Hodges was saying the U.S. might invade Puerto Rico — what’s the point?
And from which FOBs would China be “rolling over the northern and southern borders”? What are the logistics here? For a country that has garrisoned the whole planet itself, it sure is good at making up stories about other countries. That’s called “projection”.
The more I read, the crazier that invasion plan gets. The U.S. is going to nuke itself to get rid of the Chinese?
Wait, … they’re coming from Canada and Mexico?!?
I thought the e-mail that Hodges cited that called him a “lying sack of s___” was a bit harsh and over-the-top, but it was probably the only accurate thing in the whole article.
I have heard from no other sources that China is invading anywhere. It is, instead, the U.S. that has—and has had for over 6 years now, since Obama declared the “Asian pivot”—a large part of its Navy parked in the South China Sea, right on China’s maritime border. Don’t take my word for it: perhaps you’d be more interested in hearing it from Pat Buchanan, who writes about these topics regularly (see his author page (Antiwar.com)).
He’s joined there by another guy you might know, Andrew Napolitano—see his author page (Antiwar.com)—who writes more about freedom on domestic issues, discussing actual attacks on freedom like the constantly renewed Patriot Act.
If you want news from someone a little closer to home—and from someone who has recently taken a decidedly anti-Democrat turn after having been one for his entire life—there’s James Howard Kunstler, from out near Saratoga Springs. I read his book The Long Emergency this year (and I even read the follow-up Living in the Long Emergency). He blogs regularly at Clusterfuck Nation and, with his newfound decision to support Trump just to keep the Democrats out of power, you’ll like what he’s saying (he’s gotten a bit too erratic for my tastes lately, but your mileage may vary).
As a sample, he ends his latest post Last Round-up at the Wokester Corral with,
“I’m under no illusions that Donald Trump will Make America Great Again in the way that many of his supporters understand that slogan. The USA is headed into a terrible ordeal of economic disorder that I call the long emergency. Mr. Trump won’t stop it, and it may yet make a fool out of him. But the Democratic Party’s agenda would add an extra layer of tyrannical and sadistic insanity to the process that will only bring more suffering to more people, and I don’t want that to happen. I believe that Mr. Trump will probably win the election, but we’ll have to see what kind of nefarious dodges his opponents will employ to prevent any resolution of that outcome.”
Again, I don’t agree with everything he writes—less lately—but he offers an interesting viewpoint and it’s good to keep a finger on the pulse of other opinions.
Getting back to Chinese invasion: I think instead of looking for enemies outside of America, you’d be better served at looking for the enemies within. There are more than enough of those to deal with. Nearly everyone in power in the U.S. over the last 40 years has been more than happy to continue squeezing blood from the stone of the poorest 90% in America just to keep the roulette wheel spinning.
Even besides COVID-19, there is plenty of dire news about America’s situation today without making stuff up about invasions. The real-life stuff is more depressing, though, I have to admit.
China is not coming for us. Neither is Russia. Why bother? We’re doing a great job of tearing ourselves apart all on our own. The Federal government shoveling trillions into Wall Street can’t last forever — and those spinning plates are going to come crashing down at some point, as the “fake” economy of Wall Street re-aligns in a “short, sharp shock” with the “real” economy where unemployment is insanely high and small businesses are dying out like the dinosaurs.
Trump’s just trying to keep those plates in the air long enough to get re-elected, but he has absolutely no plan for what to do after that. It’s hard to see what the plan is now, to be honest. The plan so far seems to be “protect the rich”, then we’ll see. Biden thinks he has a plan, but that team can’t plan its way out of a paper bag, either. It reminds me of that wise old man Mike Tyson’s words: “Everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the mouth.”
Check out some of the links. I tried to choose stuff that I read that’s a bit closer to what you’re used to—no radical leftist propaganda, I promise.
Was I Wrong about China?
Since I sent the response to my friend, I have since learned that his opinions and those of Dave Hodges are actually mainstream in America. No less
auspicious and mainstream a source than Newsweek published the following cover very recently:
They probably don’t go so far as to hypothesize about a Chinese ground invasion, but give it time. We saw the heights of fancy to which the press could lift itself using only prevarication and bile when building the immense pipe dream of RussiaGate, so don’t bet against their sinophobia. Blaming the other always prevails—especially when you have America-sized problems to solve.
Update: I recently say the following snippet in the NY Times as well:
The NY Times continues its plummet into the sewer of conspiracy theory and clickbait headlines.