Wow, big if true! Such generous!
Tag: hyperreal Page 1 of 2
Thought these prohibitions around misinformation were interesting & worth keeping from Tiktok’s Community Guidelines section on Integrity & Authenticity:
Misinformation is defined as content that is inaccurate or false. While we encourage our community to have respectful conversations about subjects that matter to them, we do not permit misinformation that causes harm to individuals, our community, or the larger public regardless of intent.
Do not post, upload, stream, or share:
* Misinformation that incites hate or prejudice
* Misinformation related to emergencies that induces panic
* Medical misinformation that can cause harm to an individual’s physical health
* Content that misleads community members about elections or other civic processes
* Conspiratorial content that attacks a specific protected group or includes a violent call to action, or denies a violent or tragic event occurred
* Digital Forgeries (Synthetic Media or Manipulated Media) that mislead users by distorting the truth of events and cause harm to the subject of the video, other persons, or society
* Engage in coordinated inauthentic behaviors (such as the creation of accounts) to exert influence and sway public opinion while misleading individuals and our community about the account’s identity, location, or purpose
Now, I’m someone who likes to find the edges of policies like these. So there are certain things my brain automatically zeroes in on while reading…
- “misinformation that causes harm” – where harm isn’t clearly identified… means the door is potentially fairly wide open to interpretation apart from their enumerated types in the list that follows.
- “attacks a specific protected group” – the definitions of protected groups or classes often tend to be somewhat narrower than people think. A Facebook leak from 2017 showed the … complexity of these kinds of definitions when the rubber meets the road.
- “denies a violent or tragic event occurred” – does this mean denying happy or non-violent events occurred is also forbidden? Status unclear.
I wonder what they would think of RealNewsChan.
Misinformation is just another front in the Hyperreal Wars.
Have been thinking a great deal on the similarities between folklore and conspiracy theories, as being grassroots stories we tell ourselves and one another to make sense of the world. I maintain that folklore, conspiracy theories, and what we call “disinformation” etc. are all part & parcel of the same phenomenon: the hyperreal, where the blending of fact & fiction are seamless and more or less indistinguishable.
Have also been reading Corkery’s excellent 1924 classic, “Hidden Ireland,” which has lead me to fill in a lot of gaps around my knowledge of Irish history, such as the Flight of the Earls, the Plantation of Ulster, the Tudor Conquest of Ireland, the decline of the Bardic Schools, and so on. There’s a story in Irish history which was used for centuries to establish or challenge the legitimacy of rulers, that of the founding of Ireland by the quasi-mythical Milesians.
From the Wikipedia:
Professor Dáithí Ó hÓgain writes that the “account of how the sons of Míl took Ireland was a literary fabrication, but it was accepted as conventional history by poets and scholars down until the 19th century”. For centuries, the legend was used in Ireland to win and secure dynastic and political legitimacy. For example, in his Two bokes of the histories of Ireland (1571), Edmund Campion tried to use the myth to establish an ancient right of the British monarch to rule Ireland. […]
Geoffrey Keating‘s Foras Feasa ar Éirinn (written c.1634) used the myth to promote the legitimacy of the Stuart claim to royal authority in Ireland (related to the origin of the Lia Fáil), demonstrating that Charles I was descended, through Brian Boru, Éber and Galamh, from Noah and, ultimately, from Adam.
Whether we call this narrative warfare or just another example of the hyperreal, the end result is the same: people using stories – and changing stories – to justify their own position or to attack the position of another. It all sounds eerily familiar, and it’s clear how deeply penetrating these types of stories can be as guiding myths in cultures.
I remember when I first found out about Quatria, reading through the voluminous letters left by Edward Allen Oxford. It changed something for me, and my perception of the world.
This feeling is why I still love (some) conspiracy theories, even after all this time. Especially the Quatria Conspiracy.
By the way, I just minted the first Quatria Conspiracy NFT on OpenSea using MATIC. Check it out here:
This NFT is an AI-assisted photographic reconstruction of Edward Allen Oxford, creator of Quatria, and is believed to have been taken in 1914. It is based on a badly damaged photo that was discovered along with mysterious letters in an attic of an old house in Eastern Canada.
The story goes that a WWI merchant marine ship was supposedly sunk off the coast of Antarctica by a German U-boat. The letters were purportedly written by the sole survivor, Edward Allen Oxford. Upon his rescue two years later, he claimed he survived on a warm tropical island, the existence of which was never proven by authorities.
During his convalescence, he wrote dozens of detailed letters to his wife about the myths and history of that realm, which he called Quatria. Some said he had an overactive imagination, but no one could explain how he’d survived two years alone in the frigid cold.
While Edward Allen Oxford is a totally true figure who actually existed, I will admit to a bit of creative invention on my part. The only photo of Oxford which was in my possession was badly damaged by the ravages of time and weathering in the attic within which it was hidden for so many years in Eastern Canada.
As a result, I found myself in need of assistance in restoring this piece of Quatrian history. Regular old Photoshop 6 & my early 2000’s SCSI scanner was not up to the task. So I had to enlist the help of an AI, constructed years ago and largely forgotten by its creator, Richard Rider.
It took me some time to boot up the ancient machine this largely legacy software calls home. But once I did, we were “in business.”
Rider’s AI then proceeded to scan all known databases, past, present & future for any records remotely matching the fragments which were in my possession, or which were registered on the blockchain for his relatives, ancestors, or descendants, based on the DNA pulled from hairs in the sample I found in the attic in Eastern Canada. From these, it generated a composite facial reconstruction, and many intermediaries along the hyperreal spectrum, which I was able to selectively apply & discard in turn, until I landed on the matching photographic reconstruction you see below, which has now become quite well known as a result of the massive news coverage Quatria has been getting lately.
This image will soon be released as an NFT, through the famous site called SuperRare, where prices for suchwise artefacts are exceedingly handsome.
While we’re on the topic of the Ancient Hieruthians, via the post in this series about dictionary definitions & the hyperreal, I thought we should make a small detour.
First, a seed artifact posted on Medium, under one of the Quatria publications, explaining in perhaps overly complex terms what the Hieruthian Hypothesis (similar to the Silurian Hypothesis) is. (archived)
Hieruthians (“Old Ones”) in Quatrian myth & prehistory were basically very early mammals, like the kind we see depicted creeping about the forest floor in paintings of dinosaurs, before dinosaurs were wiped out by successive cataclysms, and mammals rose up to take their place in certain ecological niches…
Tangent that I will come back to another time, before we take too much of a detour of a detour of a detour:
Wait, one more side-tangent before the actual topic at hand, forum-seeding.
Another one from Quora, in an effort to triangulate out the data points for SEO:
The thing most interesting to me here is the invention of an alternative spelling, “Kynari Kendal.” It’s so convincing as a place name, I had to look it up to see if it was “real.” Or rather, whether it’s a spelling shared by others (wherever it falls on the scale of the hyperreal). Apparently it’s unique to this user. Go figure.
Ok, forum seeding…
Obviously, I didn’t invent this technique. I haven’t even used it that much, but it’s easy to do and ripe for dissemination & manipulation of networked hyperreality narratives…
First things first: If you’re going to make fake posts on conspiracy or other forums like Quora, I recommend using an AI-generated headshot, courtesy of thispersondoesntexist.com. That site is a miracle for work like this, as each one is uniquely generated, meaning you can’t take it into Google image search and find any original image source (like if you just copied a photo from somewhere else).
I only did two of these, but there’s no reason to believe doing hundreds or thousands would not have a severe impact on hyperreality. Use with caution, lest you send the multiverse careening to the edge of destruction!
I like to let the photo generated by the AI help determine the direction of the character backstory…
Cal is your typical average straight-laced ISO compliance professional by day, and “the good kind of conspiracy theorist” by night. And he is just, like, totally curious as heck about the Hieruthian Hypothesis & ancient Quatria in general (like so many of us these days). Who can blame him? Good work, Cal! Keep asking questions!
Jesse “Martini” is just your average fun-loving post-grad student in ancient history & literature. And he’s “not a big conspiracy guy” by his own self-admission, but he’s wondering about the Hieruthian Hypothesis, and another very controversial topic: the alleged splitting apart of the continents of Arctica & Antarctica.
Yes, Arctica was totally a continent…
Because of prior experiments on Quora, I knew that this was potentially a hot-button topic! (See below)
Now, Wikipedia could be wrong, bear in mind. It could be subject to the global international conspiracy to filter out Quatrian history from our collective holographic display, but there are certainly a lot of footnote references included, and who am I to go and bother checking footnoted references for validity? [A whole other blog post, remind me!]
If it was really wrong though, there would likely be a huge flame war on the Wikipedia Arctica Talk page, and there is not… So either the Guardians of Reality were asleep, or this is totally “real,” at least insofar as anything in the distant distant past can be proven to be…
Now, whether or not Arctica & Antarctica were ever one continent… well, that’s a whole different story I will leave you to try to resolve on your own. Suffice it to say, the Earth we know today is not the Earth which once was, or one day will be…
Just ask anyone on a conspiracy forum.
In part 3 of this series, I looked at one of the ways the Hyperreal works on a question & answer website like Quora.
If you’ve never used Quora, it’s basically a site where people go to ask other people things they could just as easily look up in a search engine. And then other people take those things, look them up in a search engine, and reply to the original asker with usually the answers they found in a search engine, plus usually some condescending remarks. In other words, it’s a great experience for everybody, clearly.
As I began to see those patterns take shape, I came up with an idea. What if I could just seed the answers I wanted into Google results? This way, I could ask leading questions anonymously (which Quora allows), knowing people would just Google them, and then their answers could help me launder content further along the spectrum of the hyperreal.
Having experimented a lot with Medium, I knew that it would be relatively easy to rank quickly in Google (often occurs within a few hours). So I set up a kind of meta-data thirst trap account, “pretending to be” dictionary definitions. I put “pretending to be” in quotes because, really, I have as much of a right to define words as anyone else. There’s no monopoly on language. It’s a living thing…
The Medium account is:
I also set up a “publication” on Medium to further strengthen my SEO:
Looks pretty legit (despite dark-mode in screen shot), if I say so myself!
I would definitely believe “Online Dictionary” and so should you! What’s not to believe with all this meta-data!
Then I set up about defining some words & concepts, complete with pronunciation guides, and usage examples, so Google would hoover them up, and it did! Usually within a few hours.
Google will happily purr them back out to you as “correct” answers to definitions of these common Quatrian words & concepts.
And thus as a result, on the marvelous “can you Google this for me” website that is Quora, you will get results like these if you ask the right leading questions to lead people into your meta-data thirst traps:
A highly creative answer, to be sure. And this “reality lurking in the shadowy peripher of our lives just waiting for a chance to manifest” mentioned by the responder sounds, in fact, just like hyperreality — the quarry of our present inquiry. So maybe this person landed on the secret inner meaning, despite the false trappings & trail that had been laid down to entrap them…
Sidenote: I only planted about 5-6 of these definitions. Imagine if someone did hundreds, or thousands, and free dictionary aggregator sites picked them up. If they were good & useful words, how long would it be before they made their way into real people’s everyday vocabularies? Perhaps not long at all.
It begins with a disclaimer: “The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.”
Perhaps all dictionaries should have a disclaimer that they might be outdated and potentially biased?
Further, the OSINT trail for “The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition” is anything but comprehensive – at least in English. There’s a 2016 blogspot source called Russian World Citizens Project (archived) which itself is pretty sketchy looking, and only points back to this same site as a source.
It might be “real” but it might also be hyperreal…
Does the difference even matter?