The Aliens Are Among Us
Plus: Game Over for Gamers :: Censorship Catch-22 :: FDA Joins the Censorship Brigade
Censorship Karens Don’t Play
Gamers, be warned. The Censorship Karens are coming for you.
Yesterday the New York Times published a story that’s a perfect case study of how the Censorship Industrial Complex operates.
Step 1: an authoritative-sounding report from a famous think tank or a prestigious academic institution.
In this case, that institution is the oxymoronically named NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights.
“Extremists are exploiting online gaming and gaming-adjacent sites to promote hatred and violence,” NYU’s report darkly warns. “The industry’s reckoning with extremism is long overdue.”
But fear not, fair readers: the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights has the solution…and you’ll never guess what it is.
Just kidding, you’ll absolutely guess what it is: censorship.
Gaming platforms should employ “proactive moderation, including both automated detection systems and human investigators using state-of-the-art tools like large, multilingual pre-trained datasets of extremist vocabulary,” the report pleads. Surveillance, in short, and preferably of the AI-turbocharged variety. They should also “provide independent researchers with access to in-game communication data” — independent researchers like the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights, for instance.
Step 2: a big, scary story from a brand name legacy media outlet laundering the report into “news.”
The New York Times, for instance. “Extremism Finds Fertile Ground in Chat Rooms for Gamers,” the Times’ haunting headline reads. The Times explains:
Among those surveyed in the report, between 15 and 20 percent who were under the age of 18 said they had seen statements supporting the idea that “the white race is superior to other races,” that “a particular race or ethnicity should be expelled or eliminated” or that “women are inferior.”
Another telltale tactic of the Censorship Industrial Complex: conflating seeing “hate speech” with becoming radicalized by “hate speech.” The Times assumes that people, and especially teenagers, are idiots, who, when they see a Nazi Pepe troll meme, will immediately throw on a white polo and a pair of chinos and grab the nearest tiki torch.
The Times frames up the problem thusly:
Experts like Mr. Haynes say the fast, real-time nature of games creates enormous challenges to policing unlawful or inappropriate behavior. Nefarious actors have also been adept at evading technological obstacles as quickly as they can be erected.
And there you have it: the “challenge” of “policing unlawful or inappropriate behavior” on video games is now officially a Social Problem. It may be a daunting one, but with an all-of-society effort, surely we can stamp out gamers’ right to free speech.
Step 3: the Democrats threaten legislation to address this ominous crisis being reported in Credible Media Outlets.
This hasn’t happened yet, but give it a day or two. It’s coming.
Recapping recent events: the Censorship Industrial Complex has already erected a massive surveillance apparatus on social media platforms. Then it turned its attention to your encrypted text messages. And now it wants to spy on your kids as they play Roblox.
What’s next? Can’t say for sure, but have you considered your poop? Ha ha ha!
No, but really.
Stanford Prof. Says The UFOs Are Already Here
Nobody thinks Garry P. Nolan is an idiot or crazy. The Stanford immunologist and entreprener holds the Rachford and Carlota A. Harris Professor Endowed Chair in the Department of Pathology at Stanford, and is known as a pioneer of gene therapy.
And yet yesterday Nolan said some things that you might think makes him sound either idiotic or crazy, while being interviewed by Alex Kloukas, a tech VC, on stage.
Kloukas: I'm curious. Do you believe that extraterrestrial intelligence has visited planet Earth?
Gary Nolan: I think you can go a step further. It hasn't just visited. It's been here a long time and it's still here. People talk about the “wow signal” in looking for extra terrestrial intelligence. The wow signal is that people see it on an almost regular basis. That's the communication that's already here.
Kloukas: And, and that statement seems so incredible that it is tough to believe, right? Like people hear that and maybe a lot of people here hear that and they don't believe it. And so I'm curious, if you had to assign a probability to that statement that you believe extraterrestrial intelligence has visited, visited this planet, what probability would you assign?
Nolan: A hundred percent. And that's not just my opinion. Look, the National Defense Appropriation Act passed last year, signed by Biden in December, that established an aerial phenomenon office. The establishments of looking into the harm that's happened to any, a number of the individuals going back to 1945.
That’s wild enough, but Noland continues:
Nolan: What's their goal? … Reverse engineering of objects…
Kloukas: What do you believe to be the most compelling evidence to support that statement?
Nolan: I think the most compelling evidence is you just need to look at what your government is doing right now about it. I mean, just go and look at the number of politicians — and this is interesting on both sides of the aisle — who have come together and signed off on this statement… They're basing their opinions on the dozens of individuals who, in one manner or another have come forward and talked to them in classified settings.
So that's the first thing. Then, my personal experiences with the individuals — well, the one person who actually was involved with collecting a lot of that original information — and my experience with people who, frankly, I know have worked, or are working on, the reverse engineering programs.
Kloukas: Okay. Let's, let's take one step back. Reverse engineering programs?
Nolan: Of downed craft. Now the first question that people will ask is, well, if they're so frigging advanced, why are they crashing? Because what's crashing is not actual living things…. mostly what you're seeing here are either drones or some sort of advanced AI or whatever it is.
Quoted without comment.
Did the hit preschool children’s animated TV show, Blue's Clues,” really feature a trans character with scars showing where her breasts were removed?
It sounds like “disinformation.” But it turns out to be true.
“One particular moment in this Blue's Clues pride parade drew special attention from members of the transgender community who saw the inclusion of a beaver with ‘top scars’ (the scars from a surgical procedure known as top surgery or Masculinizing Chest Reconstruction in which transgender men remove breast tissue) as heartwarming,” wrote fact-checking web site Snopes.
But a survivor of gender ideology named Laura Funk tweeted her disagreement. “I’ll never be able to breastfeed or have a normal womanly body because I was sold this lie as a teenager.”
It turns out that the episode was two years ago.
Blue’s Clues is aimed at children 3 to 5 years old.