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Tag: medium

Understanding A.I. Virus (2021)

A.I. Virus (short for Artificial Intelligence Virus) is a fictional virus within what I am calling the “Conspiracy Dudiverse” as depicted in my most recent book, Conspiratopia.

But A.I. Virus did not begin there.

The Real A.I. Virus began almost four years ago, in early 2018, with this (linked) Medium article (archive). There is an accompanying Vimeo account (a couple of them actually, iirc), TruthAboutAIV, which contains some videos I commissioned from video actors on Fiverr during my early hyperreality experiments.

These videos are really weird, awkward, and funny to me all at once. You get what you get for $5. If nothing else, they are strangely timeless.

I find these scripts way too complicated for “now me” after having experimented with this a bit more. Simpler is almost always better in this kind of distributed or networked narrative.

These videos kind of directly informed my later experiments using AI-generated human avatars… which in the end are somewhat more cost-effective and perhaps easier than dealing with “real humans” though the quality differences between the two are, shall we say, inescapable. Humans are still humans…. for now…

That said, there are use cases where I think – for story-telling & aesthetic purposes – you might actually *want* a shitty, obviously wrong & fake-looking AI-generated avatar to deliver your message. I have to say with those videos, I kind of like flaunting the discomfort of the Uncanny Valley, as much as I like the flaunting of human discomfort can shine through at points in these videos (whether the discomfort is on the part of the actor, the viewer, or both).

There was a backstory here I explored in one other commissioned human actor video from Fiverr, below:

This is an allegedly promotional video attributed to a company called Neurolytics, Inc. The video description reads:

Research video from Neurolytics, Inc. Neurolytics, now defunct, was the brainchild of A.J. Nempner and Damon Long, whose spin-off gaming company, Influent AI, went on to gain notoriety for massively influencing global election outcomes with artificially-intelligent social media campaigns. This promotional video, never released, describes a prototype EEG headset (wrongly called “implants” here) which was able to measure, record and influence perception in conjunction with twice-daily capsules. The FDA denied permission for this product to come to market, and the company ultimately went bankrupt. (Recorded in Deerfield Beach, Florida 2015.)

Influent AI is its own tangent to this story-line, but suffice it to say that “some people think” today’s A.I. Virus has its roots in the questionable psychogenic driving technologies originally developed as part of Neuralytics’ banned product offering.

The below video expands on the Influent AI backstory a bit, in the form of a false news broadcast, also purchased via a video actor on Fiverr (bless all of their hearts!):

If I’m not mistaken, this video’s “Tom from Newschan” (and the accompanying Vimeo account) is either the first or one of the earliest incarnations of Newschan, a hypothetical news-channel that developed out of kind of post 4chan total collapse of all media… Newschan, of course, is now a major powerhouse on YouTube.

Anyway, so we see different strands of the A.I. Virus story told throughout all of these pieces, somewhat fractally, from many different multiversal perspectives at once. We hear that it is taking over people’s bodies, causing blackouts, and involuntary bodily actions. This basically conforms to what we see in Conspiratopia, with some differences.

Conspiratopia‘s use of the AI Virus and what I call “overwriting” is inherited from this older Medium story (Oct. 2015), entitled “Legal Fiction.” A relevant excerpt:

“I’m told I have a lot of physical autonomy for an Uber®. I guess it costs less for everyone in processing power that way — though I honestly don’t mind being over-written either. I find it relaxing, like watching a film. In fact, we’re allowed to watch films during over-write sessions, but I prefer to maintain perceptuals, at least peripherally, and pipe in classic rock selections, like Maroon 5 and One Direction.

My public blockchain indicates that I was originally cross-bonded as part of my obligatory outpatient rehabilitation for crimes against the Gestalt which I no longer remember, and the precise terms of which were expunged from Living Memory once my work as an Uber® earned me a rating of 15,000 points. I barely look at my stats anymore though, because I have everything I need now that I am able to re-sell a variable percentage of my public perceptions back to the Network to cover the costs of my sustenance and lodging. In a few more years, I will even be eligible to buy full voting rights.”

Speaking of scripts that are too long and wordy, here’s one made via one of those AI-generated Avatars (Synthesia) in June 2021 about the “Coming AI Takeover” that was written as a response to Grimes’ weird TikTok video about how communists ought to welcome AI overlords…

While I’m on a roll, there are also one or two videos in this recent AI-gen set that directly reference the re-incarnation for modern times of the AI Virus.

There are another set of weird, over-long videos exploring this AI mythology for the curious (or foolish) here.

Anyway, I’m telling this story in a round-about way because it is a round-about story, so you’ll have to forgive me for all the tangents and inset tales. The fall of civilization to AI Superpowers doesn’t just happen overnight; it happens bit by bit…

Forum Seeding & The Hyperreal, Part 6

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)

And a supporting invented dictionary definition of Hieruthian posted through another account (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:

Is the Hieruthian Hypothesis a plausible explanation for Kumari Kandam? (archived)

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 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!

Meet Cal

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!

Meet Jesse

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)

When did the continents of Arctica and Antarctica split apart? (archived)

This science enthusiast was none too “enthused” about the idea of there being a continent called Arctica. Except, in fact, that according to Wikipedia in my timeline, there totally was! (archived)

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.

Dictionary Definitions & The Hyperreal, Part 5

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: (archived)

I also set up a “publication” on Medium to further strengthen my SEO: (archived)

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.

You know, common everyday words most people use like Hieruthian (archived), Crypto-Civilization (archived), and Poesiarchy (archived).

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:

Example throughput:

What does the word “poesiarchy” mean? (archived)

Quora response:

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.


Speaking of free dictionaries online, this one of “cultural layer” (archived) is pretty interesting.

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?

Taobao Villages in China

Quartz article about Taobao Villages.

Quote from Medium article on same topic:

“Their [Alibaba] Taobao marketplace, which allows even micro businesses to reach customers across China, generated what we call now “Taobao Villages.”

Taobao Villages are precarious villages where the main activity is manufacturing products to be sold on the website. It has now become key to the development of China’s lower class and strengthened the relationship with the government.

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