Tuesday, November 15, 2016

2016 Post-Mortem I

In the 2016 Election, the Alt-Right had the truth about the polls. Trump won the Electoral College bigly.

One possible explanation for why the Cathedral was wrong is information transmission broke down.

In the past, the media passively absorbed information and served as the central gatekeeping node in the network. It controlled information by deciding which information flowed out, or by reforming it into Narrative. It had all the information because it all flowed through its gates.

I submit that in 2016, the information stopped flowing. The Cathedral is no longer a central node in the network, it is a local node in the Left network.

New local nodes on the Right now serve as focal points for the Right.

If this is true, the Cathedral wasn't lying. The lugenpresse wasn't lying. It was blinded. They didn't know. They didn't know there was a large pool of Trump support because this information did not flow into the Cathedral central nodes. They didn't know there was an untapped pool of white voters for the GOP because the information didn't flow. This is the exact opposite case with the dissident Right, which allows information to fully flow from all other nodes. Or, a less optimistic model, the dissident Right can't yet shut off the flow from leftist nodes because their signals are way stronger. The dissident Right hears leftists arguments all the time. For the time being it is also more realistic though: it knows there is a large and growing pool of Democrat voters, that is one of the central organizing pieces of information, what pulls many people out of Cathedral-controlled Outer Party and into the dissident Right.

This failure of information collection is largely the fault of the Cathedral because it got lazy and assumed it was still functioning as a central node. (The Cathederal also went full Narrative, and believed it was shaping reality.) The information is out there, but it requires going out and getting it. They may or may not make the same mistake in 2020. The AI prediction bot correctly called the election based on social media data.

There also was some sabotage by the Right: Trump voters refused to talk to exit pollsters. Most media outlets could not call the races even on election night, but the Cathedral had the information it needed: the NYTimes website was very accurate once it had enough data (it was projecting final vote total based on what areas had yet to vote), it showed PA and MI for Trump around 9:30 or 10 PM if I recall correctly and Trump was already above 50% odds of winning earlier in the evening. They ignored it because exit polls told them the race was tighter. It's likely Trump voters were doing the same thing to pollsters throughout the campaign. (The Cathedral also sabotages itself with censorship and political correctness, they made the shy Trump voter into a thing. This is a bigger factor when looking beyond the 2016 campaign to the wider society.)

If that's the case, it's possible that the key "truth" in the election was the dissident Right itself and the fact that it effectively denied information to the enemy. The key piece of information we had on the Right was self-knowledge, that we existed. Second, we caused the Cathedral to believe it had an accurate picture of reality. Most importantly, the Right redirected information flow away from Cathedral nodes and through local nodes, for example Mr. Trump's Facebook and Twitter feeds. Information was (passively) denied to the Cathedral and more of the non-dissent Right started using alternative information sources.

Although Black Lives Matter and Univision are Cathedral, they are also local nodes and sometimes indirectly oppose the Cathedral's goals by soaking up attention. Keeping everyone on the same page becomes harder and harder for the Cathedral.

Technology is fracturing the polity. The Cathedral is fighting a losing battle against a force of Nature. More and more people, enemy and ally alike, will obtain information that is produced outside of Cathedral control. We don't want to see false narratives, but even the false narratives will increasingly come from non-Cathedral sources. The Cathedral cannot make a pareto-optimal move. It either has to become truthful, in which case it must push the Overton window far to the right. Or it doubles down on false narratives and tries to manage a declining empire. At least in the first week post-election, with a far-left black Muslim being proposed as DNC head, it is doubling down.

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