Tabs of the Future Police
Waifu warriors vs. Charybdis dot ai.
I guess we have to deal with these Bauhaus Macht Frei-ass super-breeder brony eugenicists again, thanks to the credulousness of Silicon Valley reporter Io Dodds and The Telegraph.
Entrepreneur covered the Redditor übermenschen last May, and then Business Insider did it again in November. Nothing about them has changed in the meantime except the birth of child number three on their quest to breed a new, “genetically superior” race of humans with dumb Warhammer 40K mech names.
It’s difficult for me to craft coherent sentences about these nitwits so here’s a word cloud: Advice Animals marriage proposal, self-portrait body pillow, Equestria post-doc, secret society managing director, “the Religion of the Future Police”—that one’s via Jules Evans who actually read the Collins’s self-published self-help books and summarized what this pair of rancid caliper jockeys euphemistically call “secular Calvinism” last December:
They believe the ultimate good in the universe is ‘sapience’. More humans = more sapience. More educated and more free-thinking humans = even more sapience. Intelligent, free-thinking humans are better, according to this theology, than conformist dull-witted herd-humans, or what the Collinses call ‘husks’:
we call them a “husk” because when someone halts the process of creative destruction — refusing to explore, weigh, and sometimes to accept new ideas — they stop being meaningfully human (in our House’s view, at least).
When eugenicists say that people who think differently to them are ‘husks’ who have ‘stopped being meaningfully human’, that’s a red flag folks!
But what are the “Future Police?”
Instead of God, for example, they have the ‘Future Police’. When he faced hardships, Malcolm coped by imagining all his actions being viewed by his god-like descendants, who he nicknamed ‘the Future Police’…
Like the God of Calvinism, the Future Police have their Elect, their Abrahams and Sarahs, and their Canaanites, their Passed-Over. The Collinses are not sure if the Future Police really exist, but they act as if they do: ‘We have built some holidays for our kids around the concept of Future Police and these portray them in simple terms, like they might appear in futuristic armor because it is easy for kids to understand.’ Just as Santa won’t give presents to kids who are naughty, so the Future Police might exterminate those humans who fail to further the long-term good of the species…
“Our religion is based on genetically engineered armored super-cops from the future who come back to exterminate the subhumans.” Extremely normal stuff from the Sturmbannführer Toht family. All of this is Nazi-adjacent the same way that Leni Riefenstahl was Nazi-adjacent, and it should go without saying that they’re Peter Thiel funded and Elon Musk / Bari Weiss aligned.
All of which leaves me with the question: why are the major media profiles of these freaks titled things like “Meet the ‘elite’ couples breeding to save mankind” and “Billionaires like Elon Musk want to save civilization by having tons of genetically superior kids,” while you have to seek out Katie Notopoulos’s Twitter feed and Dave Karpf’s newsletter to find any actual journalism about who these people are and what they really believe? It seems like there’s a very obvious viral sensation of a feature story just begging to be written here. Will anyone do it?
Anyway here’s another weird guy:
Are AI music generators super-breeding illegal content? Here’s Senior Siren Correspondent Allegra Rosenberg with:
Now is the time of monsters, and the latest media kaiju battle pits AI-generated Drake covering Ice Spice and collabing with a fake The Weeknd against Universal Music Group and the RIAA, who are issuing takedown notices and demanding music distribution platforms “crack down on companies that scrape songs in bulk” as fast as their army of copyright lawyers can type.
Now, under no circumstances do you gotta hand it to the labels, who have made artists’ lives hell for a century and who continue to squeeze billions of what should be artists’ revenue out of the same streaming services. Mia Sato and Richard Lawler think “Heart on my Sleeve” might even be a big attention-grabbing conspiracy by the labels to begin with. But perhaps a Scylla of shark-toothed music industry suits is better than letting Charybdis dot ai consume all of humanity’s creative output and belch it back out at us a little dumber and uglier.
Maybe I’ve chosen the wrong monster to represent AI—the comments on Hey There Delilah by “Kanye West” (h/t Garbage Ryan) are for the most part saccharine, amazed, genuinely affected. Are the generators actually Sirens, creating cheap and easy entertainment that people are helpless not to enjoy?
If we have to deal with the enshittification of Spotify’s desperate flailing toward profitability, its flood of mediocre music should at least come from real people, not spammy generators of the “digital equivalent of roaches, bed bugs, fruit flies, and mold.” Is there anyone out there who will tie us to the mast? (That link doesn’t go to an AI cover, I just really like Steely Dan).
—Allegra Rosenberg is reelin’ in the years
Ellis Hamburger left tech journalism seven years ago to go work for Snap, and yesterday The Verge published his retrospective on what he sees as the advertising funded social media death spiral, which reads like the work of someone who stopped paying attention to social media about a year and a half ago:
“We want the chronological feed back!” Instagram users scream into the void. “Here, have Reels and Shopping,” said Instagram’s CEO, on the hunt for new revenue streams.
“We want freedom of speech!” tweet the denizens of Twitter. “But then our sponsored hashtags won’t be brand safe,” said Twitter’s CEO (whoever that is this week).
“We want to show our kinky side!” Tumblr users blogged to the heavens. “Sorry, can’t do it,” said the overlords at Yahoo. “It’s scaring the advertisers!”
I’m not sure brand safety is actually top of mind at T itter right now, but ok?
This has really been a journey for a Wednesday so let’s just lightning round the rest: Fox settled with Dominion voting machines for $787.5 million and no on-air apology. Feinstein’s absence is also preventing the Senate Judiciary Committee from issuing subpoenas to investigate Clarence Thomas’s flagrant and ongoing corruption. Mike Isaac reports that Reddit would like AI-training content harvesters to pay it for access to the enormous trove of content that Reddit users have created for free, and Kevin Schaul, Szu Yu Chen and Nitasha Tiku “analyzed Google’s C4 data set, a massive snapshot of the contents of 15 million websites that have been used to instruct some high-profile English-language AIs” and made a tool to search for included domains. Ernie Smith’s Tedium is in the top 10,000. Tabs is not included, thankfully. New Neal dot fun: Space Elevator.
And Finally: If you haven’t cried yet today but you want to, here’s Amy Silverstein’s Times guessay “My Transplanted Heart and I Will Die Soon.”
Today’s Song: Be Your Own Pet, “The Kelly Affair”
Sam Gavin LA is the Song of the Day Intern. Allegra Rosenberg is a monster of Dad rock. Today in Tabs is registered at the post office as “I saw your subtweet.” Please subscribe to join the secret society.