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Murder by Acquisition
The art of the *truly* hostile takeover
There’s a scene in Mary Harron’s flawed but interesting adaptation of “American Psycho” where its evil protagonist Patrick Bateman tells a woman, “I’m in murders and executions” — a wordplay on the technical description of his job. The joke (I think) was that the nightclub was so loud, the woman would mishear the murderer’s stunning admission of guilt as something entirely more banal.
This was the scene that sprang to mind when I first heard of Elon Musk’s plans to buy Twitter.
I’ve always known that Twitter was an existential threat to mankind. That’s why I’ve never created an account there, and do not visit its fevered swamps. Without revealing too much, some work I did many years ago intersected with the progenitors of our current social media giants. Even in those primitive forms, I understood the kind of diabolical forces our tech companies were planning to unleash upon the world.
I hated Twitter, then and now. I hated what it was doing to people, and yearned for this monstrosity to be destroyed. But while generally true that it’s much easier to destroy than to create, the maxim gets a little shaky when it comes to slaying monsters. And in a short period of time, Twitter had grown into one hell of a powerful Hydra.
Nevertheless, I’d often find myself fantasizing about how to “banish” this particular demon from our midst. Most of these thoughts were geared toward technical solutions. For one example, I imagined some kind of massed assault by White Hat hackers that would trigger a global delete-action, erasing the histories of all accounts. Or, at the very least, a sustained DDOS attack that would prevent access to the platform for a week or two. In either case, I presumed the solution would not be permanent, but may afford sufficient time to get millions of junkies past their withdrawal symptoms and refocused on life in the real world.
Other times, my fantasies bordered on the comic-bookish. Perhaps some form of highly coordinated “Magnets, Bitches!” strike on the server farms that hosted the beast might do the trick. If done correctly, it would remove all hope of restoring from backups, a stone placed upon the stump of every neck. In this scenario the millstone of the sunk cost fallacy would simultaneously be removed from the necks of Twitter’s users. While some would go right back to posting from scratch — when and if the backbone was restored — I believed a great many would breathe a heavy sigh of relief, and look upon the world with new eyes.
But all of these imaginary solutions contained insurmountable obstacles:
They required criminal acts which I find morally abhorrent, and completely disavow.
They would cause a vast amount of collateral damage to innocent parties.
Even if performed with the highest degree of precision and skill, they were virtually impossible to accomplish.
A man can dream, I suppose. But the fact was clear: to all intents and purposes, Twitter has evolved into a morally and physically impregnable species of egregore. There is no chink in its armored scales, no way to attack it from without. But that doesn’t mean we should stop studying its form, because that is still growing and mutating, becoming more dangerous by the minute.
Over the past several years — and intensifying dramatically over the past eight months or so — a broad-based, multifaceted investigation has been conducted into what Twitter actually is, from a sociopolitical perspective. The primary findings have been been unearthed by a diverse group of fact-gatherers, including independent journalists and news agencies, research firms, prominent scientists and technologists and human rights advocacy groups.
These individuals and groups have amassed a growing stockpile of evidence via FOIA requests, the public statements of officials and executives and leaks from inside actors at the entities relevant to the case. And the pictures these facts are forming about the relationship between international state actors and so-called “private” social media platforms like Twitter is far from pretty:
Among the most damning of these pictures can be found in the research & consulting firm EDIFY’s series of reports on the interconnected players. Here’s an overview of their findings from part one, CRITICAL NEXUS: TWITTER, WSGR, MACGILLIVRAY & WHITE HOUSE:
The findings develop along six vectors to demonstrate how the entanglements, relationships and overlaps translate to an effective network. The network is positioned to impact important matters like COVID-19 and the Hunter Biden laptop story as just two examples and whereby Twitter's censorship of both makes Twitter the central node.
The six vectors are: 1-Twitter, its censorship policies and the application and enforcement thereof, 2-Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati [WSGR] an international law firm with over 1,000 attorneys representing many of the world's largest corporations, as a hub with spokes running to critically-positioned individuals that is suggestive of WSGR as an interface for political control and influence across a wide array of Big Tech and geopolitical domains, 3- Alexander Macgillivray as a WSGR product who serves in the critical position of Principal Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer for the Biden Administration and who served the Obama White House similarly, 4-Vijaya Gadde as a WSGR product who was installed by Macgillivray at Twitter when Macgillivray served as Twitter's General Counsel and where Gadde went on to suspend President Donald Trump, 5-Former FBI General Counsel James Baker as a common thread through Twitter to President Trump and the FBI/DOJ FISA abuse against Trump and 6-Alison Fauci, Dr. Anthony Fauci's daughter, as a Twitter engineer and Twitter's overlap to and potential communication and intelligence conduit for the COVID-19 enterprise fraud construct via Anthony Fauci and his NIH interface.
EDIFY has recently published a second report in the series, CRITICAL NEXUS II: VADDE, TWITTER, WSGR, BIDEN & DURBAN. Both reports are worth reading in their entirety. In fact, I wouldn’t bother engaging anyone in a serious conversation about Twitter (or a variety of related topics) unless they had already done so.
I find Macgillivray and his minion Gadde to be the most fascinating players here, given their shared villain origin stories. That a law firm like WSGR might wield so many tools of influence in the form of patentholder clients and embedded government and private industry personnel is frightening enough (and as you can see from this lovely press release, their ambitions and tentacles don’t stop there). They are part of a teleological movement that sees data-driven efficiency as a goal in itself, and the efficiency curve as limitless. But what’s even more frightening is their seeming involvement in the sociopolitical weaponization of Twitter, not just as an Uber Pravda for the technofascist state, but as a kind of Death Star-level surveillance threat.
The danger of the former weapon should be fairly obvious to anyone with eyes; placing an invisible finger (or palm, or iron fist) on the scale of a global communications platform might not constitute a One Ring level of power, but it’s pretty damned close. The ability to amplify certain voices and topics while diminishing — or outright silencing — others serves multiple purposes.
On the one hand, it gives you the power to blast out false signals about the actual state of the Overton window in political expression. When the technique is applied regularly, it convinces fence-sitters not only which side their bread is buttered on, but what kinds of stigmas and punishments await them if they don’t fall in line.
On the other hand, it puts dissenters in a near constant state of humiliation, depression, anxiety and/or alarm, any combination of which may inspire individual actions that will “prove” more state control is warranted over freedoms of speech and association. This approach to censorship and control is much more sophisticated and useful than its more visible cousin, the false flag operation; if you can persuade even one of your dissenting citizens to commit a rash crime that you’ve been constantly (and, up to that point, falsely) accusing all of them of, you gain a fig leaf of cover for seizing more power (especially in the eyes of those same fence-sitters, who weren’t paying much attention to begin with). You are effectively manufacturing consent on the cheap, and outsourcing most of the work to the people who are already under your spell.
It’s worth noting that the humiliation/anxiety engine is bi-directional. Imagine you are a Twitter user who has signed themselves on to the latest moral panic or crusade. For example, perhaps in the course of the last year you have decorated your posts with pro-Ukrainian icons and hashtags, made video statements wearing “I Stand with Ukraine” merchandise, promoted anti-Putin sentiments with aplomb and gotten into heated arguments with anyone who seemed anything less than 100% on board.
Now imagine that, in recent weeks, new evidence has come to light that suggests you may have been misguided on many counts, in your full-throated approvals and dissents. Maybe you now suspect that Ukraine is one of the most corrupt countries on Earth. Maybe you begin to think of Zelenski himself as an anti-democratic con-man, and perhaps the stooge of globalist plutocrats, the military-industrial complex and powerful local gangsters. Or perhaps you even start to think that he either always was or has become a crazed blood-and-soil species of villain, cheerleading for thermonuclear war. On the other hand, maybe your conclusions aren’t that extreme. You have simply come to the realization that the situation in Ukraine is far more complex than the Manichean fable that is being sold by Western governments and the press.
What do you do now?
If you are deep enough under Twitter’s evil spell, the seemingly rational thing to do is nothing, or maybe even to continue to support the official narrative in public. After all, the psychological and social cost of admitting you were wrong in such an Orwellian cage could be astronomical. You may cause friends to block and disown you, lose followers and likes, get ratioed worse than an episode of Latest Disney Product. Maybe you will even be cast into the outer darkness of “right wing trolls” and “disinformation agents”, banned forever from snorting your favorite drug by invisible speech cops, with no hope of due process or reprieve.
It would take great strength of character to take such a big psychological — and in many cases, financial — risk. At the very least, the goal of shutting you up has been achieved. You will suffer the same humiliation you would have been subjected to by the social media mobs, only bitterly and quietly. Congratulations: you are the latest victim of menticide.
But that’s only half of the Twitter weapon’s emergent danger. The other half — the surveillance threat — is altogether more devious and terrifying.
Forget for the moment whether or not various social media accounts are “anonymous.” This presumed anonymity is for the most part a pretty fiction that helps us sleep at night. It may shield you from being doxxed or dragged by monstrous infants like this charming young lass (and even that meager protection isn’t a given). But the real monsters out there are equipped with the finest skeleton keys and burglar’s tools imaginable. Without dwelling on their methods, the short answer is this: If they really wanted to find a cat, they can and they will.
But first, they need to really want to find it. There’s just too many cats out there that may be deemed a problem, and not enough human eyes and brains to sort through them all. It’s not that they wouldn’t keep close tabs on every single cat in the world if they could. But that would require some form of Stasi-on-steroids approach to social organization. with half the nation spying on the other half. Who has the time, money or inclination for that?
That’s where Twitter comes into play.
Disregard what Twitter looks like on the outside — that endless rugby scrum of hyperventilating egos and ids. Instead, think of Twitter purely in data form: a vast nexus of demographic stats, political affinities, influence spheres, known associates, enemies lists, writing styles, personal photos/videos, interest groups, shopping habits, geolocation coordinates, time preferences and much, much more. Every time you use Twitter, a kind of digital portrait of you is gradually being drawn. It won’t look exactly like you, the human being, of course. At best it will be a cartoon or caricature, emphasizing those political, psychological and intellectual qualities that other Twitter users would most likely recognize and identify you by.
These data portraits constitute a highly granular and portable commodity — grist for a wide variety of real-world application mills. But the “genius” of Twitter lies in the way its granularity goes straight to its core unit of currency: the tweet itself. Each tweet enforces a hard limit of 280 characters, and is formatted in a plethora of other standardized ways. When it first hit the scene, some of us were describing Twitter as a “broken message board” or “LISTSERV for morons”. But if we look at Twitter strictly as a weapons platform, this so-called limitation is actually its key strength. It truly is “a feature, not a bug.”
The feature’s strength is twofold. One strength, of course, relates to storage and other infrastructural, cost-driven efficiencies. But the other strength is this: when a human mind is limited in the amount of spacetime it is given to communicate, it tends to use that opportunity much more economically.
An analog might be the clock-driven rules of formal debate, or the limited time one might be allotted to address a city council or school board meeting. The word choices made in such a time crunch tend to have sharper edges too, in order to more clearly demarcate one’s position on a matter of great importance to the writer or speaker. To integrate larger concepts into such limited space with maximum efficiency, a tweet composer will often incorporate icons, flags, slogans, shibboleths and other encapsulated symbols. The final product is a unit of mind that is easily stratified and digestible — not only by other human minds, but by non-human AIs as well.
Obviously, a big part of the application for tweets is analytic data for advertisers, including both “private” and “political” advertisements — though I see little difference between the two, within our current social arrangement. As an advertising model, the data portrait of you contains ongoing utility for large businesses and their state allies. It hardly matters whether or not you actually vote-for or buy whatever idea/product is being sold: all data you post is saleable across a variety of marketplaces. As long as you are feeding information into the system, you are doing your job. You are producing their product for them, free of charge.
But the utility of Twitter for tyrants and cartels doesn’t end there. That’s mainly due to the fact that something has gone quite rotten in the state of
Denmark Globalism. There is a good reason why demented puppets like “Scranton Joe” Biden are using more, shall we say, colorful language in describing his ruling faction’s domestic opposition, and why this language model is essentially being deployed worldwide.
In the wake of the COVID debacle, there’s more than a whiff in the air of a rising tide of actual dissent (meaning of the grassroots, apolitical kind). The problem is, the globalists and their puppets don’t quite know what to do about that. As I mentioned to a friend of mine on one of his comment threads:
They fucked up. They don't understand what the internet is, and never have. Like Khan in Star Trek 2, they can only perceive weaponry, and only from one stilted angle of perception. What we are seeing is panic motions, the spasms of a drowning swimmer who lost track of the shoreline.
Cool, yeah. Thanks for that, Two-Months-Ago-Mark. But given a string of recent events, I think maybe that’s a bit too sunny of an outlook. The dark version of that swimmer analogy looks more like cornered tigers, and starving bears.
For these kinds of creatures, Twitter (and similar platforms with powerful data-collection/curation capabilities) appears as more than just an advertising and propaganda supermarket. It looks like a tool of autonomous surveillance. When properly programmed, this digital spook can eliminate all of the drudgery, trust issues and costs associated with assembling formatted intelligence products for analysis. And the best part? The spook’s main asset for intel gathering is the target himself. You literally are your own worst enemy, in this situation, volunteering intel on yourself to those who seek to coerce and control you. Brilliant, no?
If fully weaponized by the MIMIC (Military-Industrial-Media-Intelligence Complex; try it on for size), the applications would be vast. The bad guys would surely continue to practice the usual shenanigans, seeding the environment with confusion and propaganda intended to humiliate and provoke. They would simply be doing a lot more of that, and with much greater cost-effectiveness. For instance, they probably wouldn’t have to waste money on shit like this anymore.
However, much darker options would also be on the table. I suspect they would use the platform as a way to hide the corpses of their victims. And the way things have been going, there may soon be an unimaginably horrific number of those.
But the folks at the helm of this social media Death Star are still pretty dumb, relatively speaking, more Dark Helmet than Lord Vader. They’re experiencing a self-inflicted crisis of competence, perhaps best epitomized by the final node of Gato’s Postulate.
a democratic government powerful enough to dictate that which is bought and sold will inevitably devolve into rule by rube
As a result, they think slow, move slow and are usually so caught up in their own narcissistic lives that even their top strategists are consistently caught with their pants down. The inmates may not be fully running the asylum yet. But it looks like the doctors are now required to negotiate with them, and that complicates their schemes.
Perhaps future historians and psychologists will diagnose these kinds of organizational pathologies as the inevitable consequence of Neo-Marxist projects like Critical Theory, DEI schemes, and the demolition of scientific and academic standards across the board. A simpler way of looking at it might be malign adaptation: by overleveraging a framework which consistently rewarded the most lazy, venal, vicious and stupid of actors, an Idiocracy was pretty much guaranteed.
That doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous. It’s just they are ill-staffed at the moment to unleash the power of this fully operational battle station.
Enter one Elon Reeve Musk.
It’s not just Elon; he’s the front-man, naturally, but a quick glance through some of the deal’s backers and legacy stakeholders gives a sense of what Twitter’s future may hold in store.
A subsidiary of Qatar's sovereign wealth fund is contributing $375 million to Elon Musk's buyout of Twitter, according to official US documents published on Thursday.
Qatar Holding LLC, the main investment subsidiary of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), is one of almost 20 companies that have pledged a total of $7.1 billion for the buyout, according to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, chairman of the board at the Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), said KHC would be rolling over its approximately $1.9 billion investment in Twitter - despite his criticism of Musk's takeover a few weeks ago.
Now, one might easily say, “So what? Trading one group of psychopathic state actors and investors for another is at worst a push.” Fair enough. But the point I’m making is that the image of Musk as some Galt-like superhero, poised to transform Twitter into a 24/7 free speech machine, is almost certainly an illusion. Even if his goals turned out to be noble, there’s only so much one man can do. He can’t plug his brain into the internet and just “fix it all” (although perhaps that’s the key to his creepy fascination with digital-brain interfaces, another mutant child of the man’s titanic hubris).
But here’s where it gets interesting.
When I first heard of the planned Twitter takeover, a thought sprang to mind of the Xanatos gambit; a form of strategic ploy via which every conceivable outcome favors the person who played it. Could Musk’s move to acquire Twitter possibly be an example of this? I immediately set about trying to map the potential short and long-term results:
In my previous post, I named this speculative figure “Elon Musket”, with the assumption that expanding ordered liberty was his actual goal.
Musket’s version of nobility can be roughly defined as “to free humanity from the claws of the technofascists and their minions.” Suffice it to say that our enemies are his enemies. When it comes to the unholy marriage of world governments to Big Tech, they are mutually recognizable by essentially the same set of heuristics.
Let’s further stipulate that Musket is one sneaky little fuck, who plays his cards even closer to his chest than he appears to. In this model, his lies are extraordinarily ornate, so that what sometimes appears to be a savvy financial move may in actuality be a form of secret philanthropy. Musket is essentially the hero who has risen up to slay the Hydra, at great personal and financial cost.
Let’s review the possible methods of destruction, set into motion by a single play:
1. Mass “Blue Check” Sepukku
The histrionic meltdowns of various left-wing celebrities, woke crybullies, special snowflakes, crypto-fascists and sundry unpaid influencers would ultimately lead to a mass exodus, of the sort that alternative platforms like Truth Social and Rumble have tried (and have thus far, mostly failed) to trigger.
In this scenario, it wouldn’t even matter if the outrage of individual users was performative or not; the memetic infection of “Twitter is for Nazis” would spread like wildfire. The pro-censorship personality type is driven by herd mentality and group status; while they might not bolt at the first whiff of smoke, they’ll certainly be paying attention to what the alphas are saying and doing. All it would take is for a critical mass of those to migrate elsewhere, abandoning the platform for Instagram or (God forbid) TikTok. Whomever promises to restore their status as a protected class and to wield the banhammer against their political foes.
Maybe you’re thinking, “No way, Mark! They may be cattle, but they’re also addicts. And the substance they’re addicted to makes crystal meth look like Flintstones vitamins.”
It’s a fair point. To which I would retort that Musket has spent much of the previous year-and-a-half absolutely shredding his reputation among the Blue Check Twitterati and their masters. In a stunning wave of recent public statements, he recast himself as the right-wing Heel who would unleash Free Speech Hell upon them (and I also might remind you that Musket has a certain trump card stashed up his sleeve, if all else fails).
Interesting how suddenly this transformation occurred, and how well it dovetailed with his announced intention to buy Twitter. Also interesting was how well it played in the media (i.e. not very). Musket had to know what the reaction would be like, don’t you think?
2. The Bot-pocalypse
This is a bit of a variant on the scenario above. It begins with the Musket regime fumigating the platform of farm critters, ad zombies, signal boosters, harm assistants and the wild assortment of other digital goblins and gremlins that haunt the current ecosystem. None of us — including Musket — truly know what percentage of Twitter users are robots-in-disguise. Suppose it’s as high as thirty-percent? Or even higher?
What’s clear to me is that the fallout from such a fumigation effort would be instantaneous and massive. Imagine the horror of the blue check crowd as they watch their once-massive follower counts evaporate overnight. For those who didn’t knowingly purchase those followers from bot-farms, the default psychological defense will be to blame Musket and Twitter for deleting real accounts, in an attempt to covertly and artificially diminish his or her influence (heavens forfend). The rest will play along.
Rather than quitting immediately, many will yammer and hashtag about this conspiracy all day long. The problem is that Musket has already flung open the doors to the jail cells, as some act of general amnesty to those who were previously banned. The users who persist in the conspiracy theory will be trolled to death, day and night, hammered with evidence of their duplicity or naiveite gathered from Social Blade and similar tracking sites. They won’t be able to stomach this constant barrage of ridicule and revenge. And now that Twitter’s repugnant “Trust and Safety Council” has been fumigated as well, there will be no one to protect them from the fact of their own irrelevance.
The end result? The same cascade of dramatic exits as in outcome #1.
3. Woke Attrition
While I think this is the least likely outcome, it is possible that the Twittersphere more or less adapts to Musket’s new regime — at least at first. Many unbanned users will reignite the same old flame wars from the platform’s early days. But if Musket sticks to his guns on expanding the Overton window of permissible speech, one side of that war will be rather quickly demoralized.
The not-so-secret weakness of the woke is that they have never been properly socialized to handle conflicts on their own. They are essentially a breed of maladapted tattle-tales, trained to run crying to the authorities since the day they were born. While they may not jump ship en masse, the realization that Mommy and Daddy won’t be around to fight their battles anymore will gradually deplete their interest in the platform. They’ll use it less and less, for fear of being “triggered” by trolls every time they open it. These exits won’t be so sudden and dramatic, as in the first two examples; that would seem too much like surrendering to the “Nazis.” But they will gradually fade from the battlefield nonetheless, taking their performative outrage to greener pastures.
3. Government Demolition
This one’s funny: What if, in reaction to Musket’s changes, the USG decides to get real about both “cracking down on disinformation” and “trust busting”? I can see it now: Big Uncle Sammy to the rescue! Hearings will be held, lawsuits will be waged, sweeping legislation will be passed, etc, etc.
Even if the end result isn’t Twitter being broken up, its probable that a blizzard of new regulations would emerge that essentially re-route the old “Trust & Safety Council” to D.C. bureaucrats (Not that there was much difference before the sale; chances are Twitter’s old guard will already have found new gigs inside those same bureaucracies). In fact, I assume that by the time this desperate tactic is deployed the democratic mask will have been completely ripped off, and the Overton window for speech squeezed almost shut.
Because Ol’ Sammy doesn’t particularly care about the costs of any enterprise, and since by now they consider Musket an open enemy of the state, they will wield the banhammer indiscriminately, including those mouthier districts of the Left alongside the Right as their targets. There will be exit cascades in reply, the stock price will nosedive and Musket will sell off the monster’s shattered corpse to Qatar, or the Chinese, or some other sucker.
See? Sometimes Big Government really does work!
It’s worth noting that the above outcomes aren’t mutually exclusive; they can and likely will happen as simultaneous effects. It’s also worth noting that in all of these outcomes, Musk does not actually break any laws. He doesn’t need to. In fact, he doesn’t even need to lie. All he needs to do is clean house at Trust & Safety and a few other gatekeepers floating around the organization, then swing open the jail cells. The trolls and memers (and perhaps even the bureaucrats) will do the rest.
One problem that needs to be addressed is this: apart from outcome #4, wouldn’t the platform simply turn into a “right wing” echo chamber? And if that was the case, it sounds like the Right would be falling into the perfect trap, given what Twitter actually is. And I agree that’s a danger. Which is why I propose the following strategy:
Get the hell off Twitter. Now.
Do not engage. Don’t even bother deleting your account; they already have that data, and you’re not going to be able to wish it into the cornfield, Anthony. What’s done is done.
The exception to this rule is for those beautiful people currently locked up in Twitter jail; if and when those bars slide open, unleash Hell. Bombard the enemy with memes and jokes and censored data. Give them no quarter, no mercy, especially if you begin to see one or more of the Xanatos prophecies coming to fruition. However, DO NOT give away any identity or financial data as a condition of your release. If that’s the price, then it means we are dealing with Darth Musk, not Musket..
Once the enemy has been driven from the field, join the rest in silent protest. Watch with quiet amusement as the last gasps of breath are strangled from the beast. Let your unused accounts stand forever as war memorials.
And don’t worry about Mr. Musket’s losses. He can afford them.
That’s all for now. In keeping with my promise to include more posts about concrete tactics, I am working on a piece that describes how the same results might be obtained, even without a secretly heroic billionaire on the team. God bless.
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