Some More Thoughts on the “Fappening”

Since my initial thoughts on this still unfolding event, I have made a few more observations.

# 1 The quality of nude photos of, and by, willing and frequently non-compensated amateurs is now indistinguishable from those of well-known actresses and models.

There was an era (upto the mid-1990s) when the models in amateur nudies and porn were indeed less attractive than well compensated professionals. However this distinction has steadily eroded since then and we are now firmly in an era where even non-famous photographers and models can produce work that rivals and frequently exceeds the output of highly compensated and famous professionals. Many factors,from the spread of inexpensive quality photographic equipment and photoshop to the ubiquity of gyms, yoga studios, plastic surgery, beauty salons etc, has contributed to this trend. However the end results are unmistakable and raise another question.

Why is the current system paying millions to pretty but otherwise mediocre women like Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton while ignoring more talented and attractive women? This question is closely linked to other supposed paradoxes like why the current system pays mediocre to incompetent CEOs millions while laying off the very people whose work created all that wealth. Or why mediocre liars (aka academics) from ivy-league universities make far more money and have far more power than their more competent versions from less “famous” universities. Or why white HBD morons who have never done anything that demonstrates their supposedly superior intellect keep on talking about race and intelligence.

# 2 The end of the brief era, when big-corporation (google, twitter, facebook, imgur, reddit) mediated centralization and control of the internet seemed feasible, has now started.

It is no secret that the last few years had seen an attempt by large corporations and the elite to corral the internet through centralization and providing “cloud” based storage services. To this end many of them tried to provide free services and appear tolerant of opinions that run contrary to their view of the world. However they could never really hide to desire for control and power and incidents such as tumblr’s unsuccessful attempts to get porn off its network and aggressive corporate-friendly moderating in reddit kept on reminding some people of their true intentions. I however believe that two recent incidents related to the “fappening” have accidentally kick-started their demise.

You might have heard that twitter recently suspended thousands of user accounts that tweeted links to the ISIL beheading videos and pictures from the “fappening”. Imgur also tried, if somewhat half-heatedly, to remove pictures from the “fappening” series as did reddit by closing down the subreddit that acted as one of the central clearing places for these pictures. It is no secret that google also did not help people find those pictures. Yet I can see that those pictures have effortlessly proliferated on multiple BBs, personal blogs, shared folders and a host of other locations that were supposedly passe, according to most “experts” and “trendologists”.

Do not, therefore, be surprised if you see the rapid spread of open-source and decentralized social media platforms in the next few months. In any case- the cost and difficulty of hosting content, either by yourself or as part of a group, have drastically gone down since the mid- to late-2000s.

# 3 A lot of new media has revealed itself to be old media.

It is telling that the most strident, and authority-based arguments, against leaking those photos came from the so-called “new” media rather than its half-dead older version. Many people, including myself, have long believed that “new” internet-based media was nothing more than an internet-native version of its old dead tree counterpart. Events subsequent to the “fappening” have shown us to be correct and also revealed the extent of its similarity to old media.

It is also very telling that supposedly hip and Gen-Y ish figures (Lena Dunham, Seth Rogen) promoted by new media are responding to this event in a manner indistinguishable from their counterparts from the pre-internet era. But it makes sense once you realize that neither of them would be successful in a world based on ability. Celebrity and wealth has always been based on nepotism, contacts and luck and the ability to scam others as opposed to competence and ability.

Will write more in an upcoming post.

What do you think? Comments?

This entry was posted in Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Philosophy sans Sophistry, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism, Technology. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Some More Thoughts on the “Fappening”

  1. what you are talking about is “consumer” technology such as cameras getting closer to what was pro at least 10 years ago…

    My music setup would’ve been close to what someone would’ve paid 10-20k for ten years back. I got it going for under a grand and someone really resourceful could’ve gotten it going for $500 or less…

    the same is happening with the advent of “self published books.”

    At some point, the “old media moguls” will disappear…

    However, most of the people producing “consumer” level art need a day job to subsist…

    See my Napster comments-most people think they are entitled to media for free. Presumably some creating this media want to “make it.” Others realize they may never see significant financial compensation.

  2. “Or why white HBD morons who have never done anything that demonstrates their supposedly superior intellect keep on talking about race and intelligence.”

    c’mon man do you really have to insult Chuck Rudd and Clarence in Baltimore in EVERY post?

  3. as far as the beheading, well on of the things that turned public perception against the Vietnam War was the graphic 6 o’clock news. The government is now more controlling about what we see. They will say censorship of the beheading is just to respect the fallen man, but is that really the case?

  4. narmno says:

    I’d like to disagree with “The end of the brief era, when big-corporation (google, twitter, facebook, imgur, reddit) mediated centralization and control of the internet seemed feasible, has now started.”

    You say that these corporations “could never really hide to desire for control and power and incidents.” I think that’s a dramatization of the truth. Actually, many corporations did not at all have the desire to control incidents (indeed, that would hurt their business by angering their customer base). Instead, their actions were forced as a natural consequence of the current legal system.

    For, instance, you cite imgur. Images from imgur were only removed once they got a DMCA takedown notice (afaict). What would you do in imgur’s spot? Keep the images and be liable for copyright infringement? Or delete them?

    That is my point! A centralized setup with few external backups is easier to control than a diffused setup with multiple smaller overlapping backups.

    Then there’s reddit. They got DMCA takedown notices for pretty much everything on thefappening, including thumbnails. What would you do in reddit’s spot? Hire another expensive employee to respond to all the DMCA takedown notices? Be in legal trouble due to having a subreddit purely made up of illegal content? Think like a business. Don’t ignore legal costs. They are very real.

    Perhaps you should have asked yourself- Why do we have laws like DMCA in the first place?

    I had a stint working at Dropbox. They know lots of people put illegal stuff on their Dropbox. And the company tries as hard as they can to turn a blind eye, because their business model is based on trust. They’ve kicked police out of the office if they don’t have a warrant. But on some level, they’re helpless: if the court tells them they’re required to do XYZ and that they have to keep it confidential, Dropbox is forced to do it. Dropbox also has to market themselves as being “a place for legal content,” to decrease future legal costs. This is analogous to what reddit had to do with the wimpy wording of their blog post. It’s not based on a desire to control the customer. It’s based on a desire to reduce legal costs.

    And I understand that. That is why I said that only a semi-decentralized and highly redundant setup can withstand power hungry morons. You can kill an elephant with one shot, but killing rats with guns or even poison is ineffective in the long run.

    You also suggest a “rapid spread of open-source and decentralized social media platforms in the next few months.” I don’t think you understand the business well enough to predict this. Customers take the least path of resistance to get their social media needs met. Where’s the convenient decentralized social media platform? Nowhere. Change “months” to “decades” and maybe. But probably not.

    It is delusional to believe that anybody can accurately predict the future. But it is also clear that horizontal diffuse modes of data transmission will attract more interest from open source developers.

    Your prediction is like saying 10 – 20 years ago “Linux has is $100 cheaper, free from viruses, faster, free speech, etc. so it’ll overtake Windows.” Linux is still only an OS for hard core users. Saying that this is the beginning of the end for Google is BS, too.

    Actually, I was one of those who said that desktop linux had no future. It was too cumbersome, too poorly documented and too fragmented for non-technical types to use as a desktop OS. Having said that, look at Android and OS X now.

    It’s not corporations controlling people. Laws and the legal system also control companies. And current social media platforms have more staying power than you think. And that’s my angry comment for the month.

    Corporations and the state are two sides of the same coin. Therefore you cannot decrease the power of one side without doing the same to the other side. The trick, then, is to identify and use their systemic shortcomings against them.

    BTW- Who uses theglobe, ICQ, tripod, friendster, orkut, myspace and a host of now forgotten (but once hot) platforms now? Times change and even the mighty can fall.

    • narmno says:

      Fair points and I appreciate your replies.

      The point remains that finding the “power hungry morons” is more complicated than just pointing at google, twitter, reddit, etc. These corporations work under the legal system and generally try to serve their customers. They’re not necessarily evil or particularly stupid.

      Yes, and have you read this blog? It is relevant to what we are talking about.

      http://michaelochurch.wordpress.com/

      • narmno says:

        Thanks for the link. I like:
        – Concise writing from risk-takers in their domain of expertise (e.g. Thiel)
        – Texts that have lasted a long time (e.g. ancient Greek texts; translated books)
        – Texts that are well regarded by rigorous people (e.g. Keynesianism)
        – Texts that develop a couple, important thematic elements (e.g. “fragility” by Taleb)

        Michael O Church doesn’t quite fit the bill. Indeed, I’ve heard you have to take his writing with a grain of salt, as sometimes it’s more “talk” than “content.” Still, it makes for interesting, fun reading.

        He has an amazing 20+ post series on workplace culture, with a summary of the first 20 posts here:
        http://michaelochurch.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/gervais-macleod-21-why-does-work-suck/

      • narmno says:

        Sorry for the double post–
        At Google, one of his ex-employers, Michael O Church has a bad reputation as a jerk, etc. (I had a stint at Google). So, although a prolific writer, Mr Church seems to have had problems in the past.

        Your belief in the long-term vision, basic decency, meritocratic tendencies and administrative competence of large impersonal corporations is touching.

  5. Yusef says:

    Why is the current system paying millions to pretty but otherwise mediocre women like Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton while ignoring more talented and attractive women?

    It may be because “Jennifer Lawrence” and “Kate Upton” are branded– corporations have invested in them, promoted them, and made Lawrence and Upton brand names. Another example of this, not so far away from this though involving inanimate objects rather than animate, is Levi jeans. People buy Levi jeans, which are no longer a quality jean because they are Levi jeans. If so, they are willing to pay more for less–why? High quality or lower price are not the criteria their decision is based upon. They are cued in on the product’s brand. The brand Levi is identified and recognized as a good blue jean… This identification and recognition– the associated images, the branding — the images the product conjures–are more real and valuable than the product itself.

    People “consent” Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton are most beautiful because the consent has been instilled, manufactured. Some unknown woman who is more beautiful you might, with effort on your part, and thoughtfulness on the part of the person you are convincing, get consent this woman is more beautiful. Maybe not, though. There’s an aspect of mass obedience in this that is hard to get at. Anyway, who has enough time and effort to counteract the mass media? How many people are willingly thoughtful to judge for themselves, to trust their own taste?

    It’s an interesting question and I hope others will take a stab at it.

    It’s especially interesting when we’re talking about anuses and genitalia. We’re not so different down there, any of us, so what kind of madness we’re especially interested in Upton downt’on, Lawrencelowruanch? Complete bamboozlement, the complete triumph of hype and dictated tastes.

  6. anonymus says:

    offtopic:why dont you post about escorts anymore ? do you got a girlfriend 😉

    Nope, I still use escorts- like I always have. I simply don’t write about them as much as I used to for the following reasons.

    1] My old posts on those subjects still get tons of hits. Most of my escort posts have had over 40k hits to date- each one of them.

    2] Over the years, I have been with tons of escorts (was over 400 when I started this blog) and have done pretty much everything I had ever desired.

    3] To me, sex is like good food and drink. I enjoy it a lot but have no interest in continuously telling the rest of the world how much I enjoy it. I do it for my satisfaction rather than to impress others with constant tales of my adventures.

    • kneehowguys says:

      Darn.

      You totally should reconsider.

      Why don’t cops just track people on forums then monitor their actions and catch them there? What kind of people is this more likely to happen to? Why haven’t you gone to jail or been in a sting operation instead of an escort?

    • Isaac says:

      AD: Is shortterm-prostitution legal in your country? How do you deal with that? And the imminent treat that they will criminalize shortterm-prostitution?

      For all practical purposes, it is legal. The government cannot enact laws that violate the constitution and Canada’s judiciary is not conservative- to put it mildly.

      Also I would like to hear more about your other hobbies and how you incorporate it in your life and the worldview you write here about. You’re involved in astronomy, right? Do you have telescope?

  7. P Ray says:

    Highlights from the first fappening:
    Jennifer Lawrence’s cumbeard, Kate Upton getting her back jizzed, McKayla Maroney’s beestings and M-ala-McDonald’s-cleavage.

    Highlights of the second:
    Jennifer Lawrence’s chocolate starfish, Kaley Cuoco in motion, domestic abuser Hope Solo … going solo!

    • P Ray says:

      For all you compulsive image completionists out there, here is the full list
      (I know I will be checking to see which ones I’ve seen) 😛
      From http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3494081/Pennsylvania-man-admit-stealing-stars-nude-images.html

      THE 101 ‘VICTIMS’: WHO THE HACKER CLAIMS TO HAVE HACKED
      AJ Michalka, American actress, singer-songwriter, and musician
      Alyson ‘Aly’ Michalka, AJ’s sister, also an American actress
      Allegra Carpenter, actress, best known for The Fault In Our Stars
      Abigail Spencer, American actress
      Alana Blanchard, American professional surfer and bikini model
      Alexa Jane, model
      Angelina McCoy, actress, best known for Enchanted
      Anna O’Neill
      Ashley Blankenship, actress, appeared in The Wolf Of Wall Street
      Aubrey Plaza, American actress and comedian
      Abigail ‘Abby’ Elliott, American actress, voice actress and comedian
      AnnaLynne McCord, actress and model
      Avril Lavigne, Canadian singer-songwriter
      Amber Heard, American actress and model
      Rebecca ‘Becca’ Tobin, actress, singer, and dancer
      Brie Larson, American actress, screenwriter, director and singer
      Brittany Booker
      Candace Smith, American lawyer, actress, model, and beauty queen
      Candice Swanepoel, South African fashion model, best known for her work with Victoria’s Secret
      Cara Delevingne, English fashion model
      Carley Pope, Canadian actress
      Carmella Carcia
      Carrie Michalka
      Cat Deeley, English television presenter, actress, singer and model
      Carly Foulkes, Canadian model and actress
      Chloe Dykstra, actress and model
      Clare Bowen, Australian actress and singer
      Dove Cameron, 18-year-old U.S. actress and singer
      Elena Satine, Georgian-American actress and singer
      Elle Evans, American model and actress
      Ellenore Scott
      Emily Browning, Australian film actress and singer
      Emily DiDonato, model from New York
      Emily Ratajkowski, British-born model and actress
      Erin Cummings, American actress
      Erin Heatherton, American fashion model and actress
      Farrah Abraham, TV personality, author and pornographic actress
      Gabrielle Union, American actress and former model
      Gabi Grecko
      Hayden Panettiere, U.S. actress, model and singer
      Hope Solo, American goalkeeper and two-time Olympic gold medalist
      Heather Marks, Canadian model
      Hilary Duff, American actress and singer-songwriter
      Jacqueline Dunford
      Janelle Ginestra
      Jennifer Lawrence, American actress
      Jessiqa Pace
      Jessica Dunford
      Jessica Riccardi, model
      Jesse Golden
      JoJo, American singer, songwriter and actress
      Joanna Krupa, Polish American model and actress
      Jennifer ‘Jenny’ McCarthy, American model and actress
      Josie Loren, U.S. actress
      Joy Corrigan
      Kaley Cuoco, American actress
      Kaime O’Teter
      Kate Upton, American model and actress
      Kate Bosworth, American actress
      Kelly Brook, English model, actress and TV presenter
      Lauren ‘Keke’ Palmer, American actress and singer-songwriter
      Kim West, American TV personality socialite
      Kirsten Dunst, American actress, singer, model and director
      Krysten Ritter, U.S. actress, musician, and former model
      Lake Bell, American actress
      Laura Ramsey, film and television actress
      Lea Michele, actress and singer, best known for her performance as Rachel Berry on the Fox TV series Glee
      Leelee Sobieski, actress
      Leven Rambin, American actress
      Lisa Kelly, American trucker who appeared in Ice Road Truckers
      Lisalla Montenegro, Brazilian model
      Lindsay Clubine
      Lizzy Caplan, American actress
      Mary-Kate Olsen, American actress and fashion designer
      Mary Elizabeth Winstead, actress and recording artist
      McKayla Maroney, artistic gymnast
      Melissa Benoist, American actress and singer
      Meagan Good, actress
      Megan Boone, actress
      Michelle Keegan, British actress
      Mikayla Pierce
      Misty Treanor, retired American beach volleyball player
      Nina Stavris
      Rachel Nichols, American actress and model
      Rihanna, singer
      Sarah Shahi, American actress
      Sahara Ray
      Sarah Schneider, American writer, actress, and comedian
      ScarJo (possibly Scarlett Johansson, actress)
      Selena Gomez, American actress and singer
      Shannon McNally, singer-songwriter
      Tameka Jacobs
      Teresa Palmer, Australian actress and model
      Uldouz
      Vanessa Hudgens, American actress and singer
      Victoria Justice, Nickelodeon actress
      Wailana Geisen
      Winona Ryder, American actress
      Yvonne Strahovski, Australian actress
      Alison Brie (U.S. actress) and Dave Franco (U.S. actor)

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