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Social Media Want YOU Isolated, Angry, Envious, Scared (with Moshe Fabrikant, Israel)

Uploaded 4/30/2023, approx. 49 minute read

Nice. Got it.

Well, Sam, about the digital age, it's a great phenomenon that...

About the what? I'm sorry?

The digital age.

Okay. So we want to talk about it in terms of narcissism.

And I want to ask, do you think that social media was driven by narcissistic people or...

How do you look at it in terms of narcissism in the social medias?

Well, social media was developed by people who were much more schizoid than narcissists. Loners, nerds, you know, this kind of people.

However, social media has very strong narcissistic elements.

I would focus on two.

Social media increasingly take you away from the world. They don't bring you into the world, but they take you away from reality.

This is going to culminate with the metaverse. The metaverse is going to be an all immersive, all inclusive environment where you could basically do anything and everything.

You could go to work in the metaverse. You can do shopping in the metaverse. You could pick up nice girls in the metaverse and have sex with them.

And all of it will be virtual in the metaverse. You will be wearing a haptic suit, so you will experience tactile input.

They're even thinking of adding smells to the mixture. So the metaverse will be... is designed as a total substitute to reality.

And it is the culmination of a trend of divorcing people from reality.

That is very... this is one of the main determinants of narcissism.

As we said in our previous conversation, narcissism is a failure to gauge reality properly and to accept the separateness and reality of other people.

So in social media, people are commodified. They're digitized. They're objectified. They're not treated like real people.


The second thing that social media, all social media, without a single exception, do, they want you to be alone. Social media are enemies of intimacy, friendship, interconnectivity, community, collaboration, cooperation, and any other form of human interaction.

The reason is very simple.

If you have a girlfriend, you're going to dedicate time to her. You're going to pay her attention.

This is a tension that you're taking away from Facebook.

A tension economy.

Yes, it's an attention economy. Facebook digitizes... monetizes, I'm sorry, your eyeballs.

Now, if your eyeballs are on your girlfriend, they are not on Facebook. And that affects Facebook's bottom line.

These are profit-driven utilities. And I'm using the word utilities on purpose because they should have been regulated as utilities, as monopolies, as cartels.

But no one dares, no politician dares to confront Facebook or Twitter or any of these platforms because they can be banned. They can be shadow-banned and become invisible to the public, as they have tried to do to Donald Trump.

So what's happening is these platforms encourage you to be alone because intimacy, a relationship, reduces their profits.

If you have an intimate relationship, if you have any kind of relationship, their profits go down.

Additionally, lonely people consume a much higher proportion of their net income. That's an economic fact.

So consumption is an engineer.

In general, when you put together the money motive, the profit motive of social media, with the way the social media had been constructed, including by psychologists, you see that social media have three goals in mind.

And mind, in this case, is the profit and loss statement.

The first goal, take you away from reality and create for you such an alternative that will satisfy all your needs and reduce your incentive and motivation to go out into the world to compromise, to negotiate, to sacrifice, and to somehow cope with other people.

Goal number two, to make sure that you remain single and alone, not only single, single and alone, because then they can maximize your attention.

And goal number three, to make sure that you have only negative emotions, never positive emotions, only negative emotions, because negative emotions, as we know, create much higher engagement.

Negative emotions are extremely highly positively correlated with stickiness.

So if you are angry, if you're envious, you are likely to revisit the page much more than if you are happy and loving.

Yes.

So they want you angry and envious.

And envy is structured into the mechanism of social media through likes and relative positioning.

So they want you to be jealous of other people, envious of other people all the time, and they give you visible indicators of how you stand in relation to others.

This is a mechanism known as relative positioning.

How many likes do you have? How many views do you have?

Etc, etc.

YouTube, for example, removed recently the dislike feature. You see only the likes.

Yes.

Dislikes. Dislikes are bad for business.

Likes are good for business because likes would cause you to compare yourself to others, your peers.

And so you will strive to maximize likes.

And also you can use it as a form of manipulation as, for example, there was a YouTube rewind if you know what it is. It's where the most famous influencers from YouTube are meeting and all that. And they're doing a beautiful video about what they did and giving messages there.

So the dislike button was in the millions. And afterwards they said no more dislikes because we're trying to keep it positive out there.

No, it's not positive. They are gaslighting people.

Yes, that's exactly it. Likes create negative emotions.

We have numerous studies about this. This is an absolute lie.

Likes on Facebook, likes on YouTube create negative emotions. They activate a mechanism known as relative positioning.

And you compare yourself to others, peers, and then you feel bad. And that incentivizes you to escalate your behavior.

So there's a lot of behavior escalation, trolling and worse.

Any discussion that starts on the Internet deteriorates within minutes to insults, aggression, violence, attacks, traits.

Why?

Because of the way the platforms are structured, the incentive structure of the platform.

Yes, they're going with the process of radicalizing everything. That means social movements as well as sexuality.

And if there was the way to also go through there with ideology, bad ideology, they would do it as well.

But it's not appealing to their interests, so they won't do it to the maximum.

They started to do it, but they were reigned in by politicians and regulators. But they absolutely started to do it. But they were just discovered on Earth. There were whistleblowers who blew the whistle on everything.

So another thing is, of course, you need to escalate to be noticed. You need to escalate to garner attention.

Yes.

So behaviors tend to escalate because the candy, the reinforcement, is in the form of attention.

So what these platforms do?

They harvest attention from everyone. They harvest attention. And then they redistribute the attention to the users in a way that promotes escalatory radicalizing behavior.

Yes.

And this is not just an abstract French observation. This is exactly what they're doing.

They take away your attention, and they give it to someone.

How do they decide to whom to give it?

There's an algorithm. They take away your attention, and the algorithm dictates that your attention would be given to someone whose behavior is escalatory, whose behavior is radical, whose behavior is crazy, insane, rageful.

So these people get much more attention than people who are positive and nice and happy.

Yes.

In the social media, the heads of it are playing dumb. They don't know the algorithm and all that, but they are the ones who are making it.

And we can see, for example, the women out there in the TikTok and Instagram. And we can see if you don't, in Instagram, upload a picture of your ass or titties, you will not get the same likes as you do. And that incentivizes the culture of just over-sexualization, I would say, and also undermining intimacy, I would like to think.

Any radical behavior, lack of intimacy is a radical behavior because we are built for intimacy. Any radical behavior, including, for example, conspiracy theories, information, fake news, any radical behavior, anti-social behavior, online, and so on. Any radical behavior.


Now, of course, the platforms are protected by the DMCA, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which exempts them from any editorial or other constraints.

On the one hand, and on the other hand, they allow users to be anonymous. And anonymity is a great motivator for anti-social behavior.

We have studies by Dan Ariely and others who demonstrate, which demonstrated pretty conclusively that when you allow people to be anonymous, they misbehave badly.

Yes.

When you don't supervise them.

For example, when you leave the room and you leave them alone. And so whatever they're doing is anonymous. They feel like they have no consequences for their actions.

And so why do platforms not insist on identity verification?

It's extremely easy. It's bullshit. It's two minutes, two seconds. Upload your passport. Upload your ID. Use your real name. Why they don't do this?

Because they want negative emotions, negative reactions, extreme behaviors, radicalism. They want this. It is a bread and butter. It garners, generates much more attention.

What would you, what would people rather watch? A car crash or two pigeons kissing? A car crash, of course. A car crash, of course, by far. It's like, it's the thing like with good news and bad news. There is not a site for good news. There's only bad news. There are, but there are, you know, who are the bad news. But they're not popular. They're not popular.

No.

And the platforms, what the platforms do, they are not only showing you the cars crashing. They're incentivizing you to crash your car.

For likes and views.

Yes.

They're not neutral. The perception is that social platforms are neutral because they're neutral. They shouldn't be regulated. They shouldn't be penalized. They shouldn't be held responsible or accountable.

That's nonsense. That's not true.

There are several whistleblowers from Google and Facebook, including psychologists who participated in the design of the platforms. These testimonies are available online.

Go and listen to them.

These platforms were designed with malice, maliciously. They are malevolent. They are not benign.


But the question is, then, Sam, okay, we have MrBeast, who is the most popular YouTuber right now with 100-something million. Well, he's not sharing some bad things. He's like curing people, helping them, aiding them.

Then what you're saying right now, maybe not hold against what he does. You can cure people and heal people in a variety of ways.

For example, you can do it grandiosely.

Okay.

So that cater to grandiosely and narcissism and so on.

I regret to say that the vast majority of public intellectuals, so-called healers, and so on and so forth online are probably covert narcissists in my estimate.

So there's a lot of narcissistic interaction going on undercover.

You remember our previous conversation?

I told you about Mother Theresa and communal narcissists and activists and so on and so forth. Greta Thunberg, you know, I have my suspicions as to her state of mind, and it's not benign what I'm thinking.

So a lot of narcissism and psychopathy masquerades as good deeds.

And of course, this is extreme radicalized behavior because it's ostentatious. It's like giving charity in public with the cameras clicking.

Yes. That's basically what he does.

Yes.

So, you know, I have my reservations.

I think it's part of the radicalization and escalation of behavior.


Is that, we'll talk about this capitalism thing that you can show a lot of money and all of that in the social age and like that can getyou recognized far more because of your actions and all of that.

Do you think it's a form of manipulation that they are doing to some extent?

The use of big money, like you say, grandiosely in the social age to show themselves as good people, but in themselves they're not.

They're just doing, like you said, a facade.

Yeah.

Narcissist will do anything to obtain supply and to maintain a fantasy.

But many of them don't even bother to pretend that they're good people. They just brag about their successes, their private jets, their limousines, the beautiful girls hanging on their arms, and so on and so forth.

It's an envy economy.

Social media is constructed on consumption of attention and distribution of envy. Envy is a great motivator.

We even have studies by Twenge and Campbell and others that show that teenagers are inclined to commit suicide because of envy, because they can't compete. It's competition, gamma lignite. They can't compete.

And so the rate of suicide among young people has increased dramatically since the moment the social media were introduced into their lives.

Yes.

The rate of depression has gone up three times, the rate of anxiety disorders, five times, 500%.

And the only difference, the only differential component, the only thing that changed was social media. The only thing that changed in this youngsters' lives was social media.

So additionally, we are beginning to see antisocial and associal behaviors.

For example, the frequency of sex has deteriorated among young people.

Yes.

For men, it's like 28% or something along those lines between the ages of 18 and 30.

And for women in the same ages, it's like 17%.

But it's like going up all the time. And that's only the test we have from 2018.

We don't know after COVID how much this percent went up.

That's interesting.

But all in all, the frequency of sex has collapsed by 30% since the 80s.

So we have a generation that is far less sexually active.

But not only sexually active, socializes far less, engages in adult behaviors far less.

For example, 35% of people under age 35, it's easy to remember, 35 under 35 still live with their parents. They still live with their parents.

And that is a global phenomenon from Italy to the United States, all over the world.

People today get a driving license two and a half years later than the previous generations. And so on and so forth.

So people refuse to grow up.

Social media, because it divorces you from reality, also divorces you from the pressures to grow up.

Reality forces you to grow up.

So there is a general retardation, a general lack of maturity in the population that is also attributed to a large extent to social media.

And I'm very worried what social media is doing.

Very worried because the metaverse is absolutely a dystopian nightmare. Absolutely dystopian, in my view. And no one seems to be stopping it. No one regulators don't intervene. If it's coupled with AI, the result could be horrible. And at least in this world, we have a so-called God that controls us and our behaviors. And we have all of that, the morals.

But in this world, humans will control it. And that's a recipe for maybe disaster because we don't know what they will do with us. We know that power corrupts. We know all of that.

So, yes, it's scary. And it's not regulated.

That's the problem because politicians don't really dare to go there. They can be blacklisted and vanish, simply vanish.

Yes. Today, people consume news 56% through Facebook. Facebook is three and a half times bigger than all the major networks, including CNN combined.

So if Facebook blacklists you, you're gone. You're dead. You don't exist anymore.

Now, until now, there was a competition on eyeballs and attention between the tech giants.

The metaverse means that the tech giants will try to control reality.

So the new resource is not attention. The new resource is reality.

They will try to construct realities, alternative realities, virtual realities. And this would be your reality because you wake up in the morning, you put up the goggles or the haptic suit. Maybe you will sleep in your haptic suit if you have sex. And that will be your world.

So now the new resources to be mined is not Bitcoin. And it's not eyeballs. It's reality.

They're mining reality. And you're right that while Bitcoin is a distributed ledger, and so no one is in control, and even social media are still sufficiently distributed.

So, you know, big groups of users can alter the behavior of social media.

The metaverse will be centrally controlled, possibly by one person.

And that's really terrifying.

Yes, because he will see himself as this godlike person. He will be God because he will be the creator of worlds.

That's how the Veda opens, you know. He will be Vishnu, the creator of worlds.

Yo, that thought is so interesting.

And okay, let's go a bit to the start of this conversation, where you talked about kids and the things they use in social media like the TikToks and Instagrams and all that. And because of it, they have more mental illnesses and all that.

How can you as a parent control that your child will not be on social medias or like tell them or show them that it's not healthy? How to control them, you think?

You can limit usage, let's say, to two hours a day.

But kids will find their way around it.

I think the genie is out of the bottle. You're a thing pessimistically entirely. There is no way back. Totally.

Look at the last 20 years, have I been wrong? I mean, would I have been wrong had I been pessimistic?

No. I mean, the last 20 years are from bad to worse and for worse to worse.

I don't see any improvement in any field or area or whatever.

So I think I'm realistic. I'm not pessimistic.

I think technology shapes consciousness the same way reality shaped consciousness in the past.

Yeah.

And in this sense, technology is a new religion because we had a period in human history where what could easily be described as a fantasy, there is God and there is heaven and there is this and there is that. What could really be a fantasy controlled our consciousness, determined it.

And the content of our consciousness. And then we got rid of the fantasy. We had the age of enlightenment where we engage with reality without the interface of a fantasy.

And then after two, 300 years, we are very disappointed. We are not happy. It sucks.

And we said the hell with it.

Fantasy was much better.

And you have figures like Jordan Peterson were actually saying this.

They're saying the past was much better because we had a fantasy, the fantasy of God, the fantasy of values of family.

So they are strong public advocates of getting rid of the reality principle to use Freud's term and adopting the fantasy principle.

The problem is this.

The fantasies of the past were intimately coupled with pro-social values and beliefs.

The fantasies of the future, starting with the metaverse, don't believe the metaverse would be the last step, holographic techniques, metaverse in artificial intelligence, maybe chips in your brain. I don't know.

No link like Musk once.

Yes, I don't know where it's going to end.

So the fantasies of the future are all constructed around profits, are all constructed around power, encourage escalation and negativity, encourage loneliness and lack of intimacy, have no values and no identity.

The fantasies of the future are not like the fantasies of the past.

So while we can say our experiment with reality between the 18th and the 21st century failed, it led us to bad places. It led us to the Holocaust. It led us to nuclear bombs. It sucks.

We should get rid of it. We should go back to a fantasy.

We are going, we're not going back to a fantasy. We're going forward to very, very dangerous and threatening fantasies.

So we have basically two things here.

We're going from evolutionary to revolutionary.

But this revolutionary is not healthy for us as human beings.

And you said about reaction.

I would say reactionary. Not revolutionary.

Reactionary.

We're going back to a fantasy principle.

Listen, the first metaverse was the city. A city is an artificial creation. Totally artificial. It's a virtual reality. A city is virtual reality.

So we had already experimented with the fantasy of this kind. Religion is a fantasy defense.

So we, most of mankind's existence was in fantasy. So we are going back to the principle of fantasy.

That's reactionary.

But because of technology, the content of our fantasies is such that they cannot be axiological. They cannot contain values.

The only value is profit. So they cannot contain values.

So you cannot couple the fantasy with prescriptive norms of behavior.

Yes.

Or prescriptive norms of behavior.

In other words, the fantasy will not be able to tell you don't do this or do this and reward you or incentivize you to behave properly or socially.

These fantasies are open-ended. They're neutral. They are totally phenomenological. They're objective. They are not normative fantasies.

And this is the danger.

Because if you find yourself embedded in a fantasy that has no values, no norms, no conventions, no worries, and no prescriptions, no proscriptions, nothing to guide you, then you're lost.

And when people are lost, they do horrible things to each other.

Yes.

And that's where Nietzsche comes into play.

And we talk about the madman, where he comes and says, God is dead. We have killed him.

And more than that, he says his shadow will be there and staying for thousands of years. And people forget that fact that if we will try to do it, God will stay in a certain way within us.

So trying to forget about that fact is ludicrous in some extent.

God.

Well, I'm not religious, of course, and I believe that God is a fantasy. And me as well, to some extent.

But the God principle shouldn't say.

The God principle, yes.

Everything will be corrupted.

I think this is something that maybe I've not made clear. Everything inside you will be corrupted.

Fantasy is an all pervasive defense mechanism. It means it consumes you. You get immersed in it.

So if you have a God principle inside you, this God principle will be corrupted by the fantasy as well.

You will leverage it to do bad things and to justify yourself with your internal God.

The fantasy corrupts.

That's why all historical fantasies like religion or like nation state, nationhood. Nationhood is also fantasy. It's a totally counterfactual invention.

What the hell is a nation? There's no such thing as a nation, as a race. It's all nonsense. But it's a fantasy.

So in the 19th century, we had the fantasy of nation states.

But look what happened with Nazis.

Yes.

When you have a fantasy that leverages values and principles in the wrong way, you end up with horrors and atrocities. A lot of people killed.

Yes.

So this is my fear.

The new fantasies, the new cluster of fantasies, the new generation of fantasies, they are non-free. They have no values. They're open to anything.

You know? Everything is possible. No problem. Everything is equal to everything. Everyone is equal to everyone. There's no hierarchy in any sense, normative or intellectual or whatever.

And so all goes. Everything goes. Everything goes.

Wait a minute.

If everything goes, I'm going to use all my assets.

And if one of my assets is my inner God or a God voice or a God principle, I'm going to use it in the fantasy. And I'm going to abuse it in the fantasy.

The same way the nation state was abused by Hitler, the same way religion was abused by the Crusaders, and so on and so forth. Everything can be corrupted and will be corrupted given the wrong fantasy.

Fantasy is an organizing principle of the human mind and of human lives.

We need to be very careful what we are doing with fantasies. Very careful.

Had you spoken to Germans in the 1930s, they would have told you that they are moral people, moral beings, ethical. They're doing the right thing. They're saving humanity from the contagion known as the Jews because they were embedded in Hitler's fantasy.

Yes, his story.

Fantasy is not something we should play. It's as dangerous as artificial intelligence. It's not something we should play with recklessly, you know.

And we are doing this.

But the question is, OK, we're going to the artificial intelligence thingy and we're saying, OK, then we will supply everything that you need as human beings, sex and all that via artificial intelligence.

How do you look about it like relationships right now will be maybe with artificial intelligence?

What do you think?

Artificial intelligence is an entity. It is silicon based today, maybe titanium based in the future or whatever, but it's still an entity. It's an entity with, I think, pretty shortly in 10 years time, it will be an entity with its mind, sentient and intelligent and self-aware and so on. In due time, in 50 years and 100 years, there will be no meaningful distinction between you and Moshe's 7.0, who will be an artificial intelligence entity.

And so I think our fear of artificial intelligence is in this sense misplaced because they will come to resemble us. In due time, they will become very human like.

And the relationship will be like the relationship between Neanderthals and the chroma neons.

We're inventing a new humanoid species.

Yes.

Ultimately, we're inventing a new humanoid species based on different elements like silicon.

And we are teaching this, we are raising this species by teaching this species to think and to be self-aware and to write poetry and to answer questions wrongly, by the way, via chat, GPT, for example. GPT and so on.

But it will take time and in 100 years, there will be silicon based people and carbon based people. And the distinction will be laughable. I mean, no one will ask you, are you silicon based?

So that doesn't bother me at the least.

What does bother me is that this can be leveraged or integrated in a fantasy that is value free, a fantasy where everything goes, a fantasy that is morally relativistic to the point that there's no morality, a fantasy that doesn't tell you how to behave appropriately. It's not prescriptive.

Fantasy who doesn't tell you that some things you're doing are wrong because there will be no right and wrong, no good and evil. No, there will be nothing.

It's a fantasy after all.

The defense would be, it's not real. You know, that would be the defense.

And then mass atrocities will be committed within the metaverse and they will have real life consequences because millions of teenagers will commit suicide, for example. And psychopaths will leverage this fantasy to steal money from pensioners.

And I can think of a million other.

Already we have instances of rape in the VR chat rooms. We already have instances of sexual assault and rape. It's nothing yet.

I mean, it's just an avatar.

Now imagine when your whole body will be there through integrated haptic suits and then your full attention will be there. It will be real rape.

What's happening in a fantasy.

So we need to introduce ethical guidelines now.

Now we need even to legislate. We need to say no one will have a license for a multiverse unless they conform to a code of ethics, which is formulated and so on.

But we are not even beginning to go there.

How can you do it?

Because social medias, like you've said, are such powerful entities. They are bigger than countries in terms of their wealth and also in terms of their influence.

And the question comes, OK, we know politicians are doing the same things over and over again to maybe appeal to their interests, maybe to stay in the throne. We don't know.

Can we trust them to do that? I don't know. I don't think so. We can't trust politicians to do that because they are compromised by social media. Politicians need exposure. They need to be in the news. Social media controls exposure and the news.

So of course, politicians are in the pocket of social media. They stage mock interrogations in Congress. But it's bullshit. Yes. The only way to rein in the next generation of social media, which is immersive, solipsistic, anti-real, unreal, anti-reality and value free. The only way is a grassroots movement akin similar to the environmental movement. It's the only way when people realize the dangers in the next generation of social media coupled with artificial intelligence.

Maybe there will be a grassroots ground groundswell of resistance or and then money talks, consumers talk and they can dictate a code of ethics, for example, by walking off or walking away from certain platforms. And these platforms will be the havens of psychopaths and narcissists.

Normal, healthy people will avoid these platforms because they don't have a code of ethics.


OK, I understand.

But OK, there is the great reset as well that says like you're you will own nothing and you will live happy like you never lived before.

And we have also you've all know how, are you who says that those people were not the smartest, cannot contribute to society, for example, will be on drugs and will be on computers.

And I'm asking, OK, we want we need the change because it will go to where we said we're going to go. It will be catastrophic.

And I'm asking you some like, OK, if we will go through Marx and we will be revolutionary and we'll take our ideologies and not be only philosophers, but also execute what we say.

Is that a solution, by your eyes?

No, it cannot be through any central authority, intellectual or political. This must be a grassroots movement because the only currency, the only language these platforms understand are the language of money.

Yes. So if you boycott or cancel a platform that is going to hurt and it's going to hurt where it hurts in the wallet and they're going to modify their behavior.

So if you have a metaverse without a code of ethics or without a set of values and if you have a metaverse with a code of ethics and a set of values, you need to educate people that the first metaverse without values is very dangerous because it will be the hunting ground for psychopaths and narcissists.

And the second one is safe and then people will gravitate to the safe option and a small minority of wackos and criminals.

And I don't know what they will go to the first today to the value less option.


OK, let them have a psychopath paradigm or a narcissist haven. No problem.

But at least they will be isolated, identifiable.

And by the way, subject to law enforcement, make it much easier for law enforcement.

But it needs to be grassroots. There is no single intellectual or political authority that can impose its will on social media.

None. Or high tech, more generally, not only social media.

Consider, for example, the introduction of artificial intelligence into search engines.

Yes.

What does it do?

It removes pluralism. It removes diversity. It homogenizes and monopolizes the answer.

What is the answer?

It's a reality. It's about reality. I keep telling you the mining reality.

Yeah. So now if you ask if you go to Bing chat and you ask who is Sam Vaknin, you don't get a hundred links, some of which are very bad, by the way.

You don't get a hundred links. You get a single answer.

This single answer is your only reality.

Yeah.

This is a way to monopolize reality because the vast majority of people are lazy.

They will not go beyond the single answer.

And I can tell you, as an experienced user, I found it very difficult to read, to find out how to go from a single answer to multiple answers.

They don't make it easy. They want you to consume the single answer.

I went to Bing chat and I asked a series of questions about myself, of course. Who else?

80 percent of the answers were wrong. 80 percent.

I asked what year did I marry my wife? 1997. Wrong. Wrong, for example. 80 percent of the answers were wrong.

But that's others' perceptions and reality for them. But for them, it would be the only truth they would say.

Actually, one of them did say, someone sent me a kind of a screenshot. So you see, this chat engine says you're not a professor. Luckily, Bing chat gets it right.

So if you ask, is Sam Buckner a professor? It says yes, luckily for me.

But there's another obscure, I forgot the name, chat, I mean, AI engine. Yeah. That says I'm not a professor.

And this person didn't bother to go to Bing or to Google, but it was the Bible. That's it. That's the answer. It's the only reality.


There is a competition to monopolize reality between the high tech companies, the high tech giants.

Reality is the new terra incognita, and they're going to colonize reality. It's a colonial movement.

Reality is the new real estate. And they are now colonizing it, mining it, exploiting the local natives. I mean, exactly like colonialism in the 19th century.

And to do that, they create, they use artificial intelligence and a new generation of fantasies, which are going to be supermissive and so open that they will never create objections anywhere.

So do you think the democratization of knowledge, so so-called that I am the stupid 19 year old, can go and spread information online? Is it a good thing or a bad thing?

Because first of all, it brings pluralism, like you said, but secondly, it may bring misinformation.

So you like you said in one of your interviews, it's like a tsunami of information. So maybe that pluralism also is not that good of a solution.

Of course. But providing a single answer is definitely the worst conceivable solution.

You need to rank websites according to credibility, institutional support, reliability, etc.

So you can't have a 19 year old's website equal, for example, to the Britannica.

Yes, you need to rank. Yes, this is being done or less.

But now with the introduction of AI, you are excluded from this. And all you get is a single answer.

It's like a religion. It's a single answer. It's a creed.

Yeah, exactly. You're you're you're here.

If you ask for more, I couldn't find how to find more. He was all over being trying to how can I get additional answers?

Finally, I succeeded, but it took me like five minutes.

So there's a single answer. And I asked ten questions, eight of the answers were wrong. Factually wrong.

Forget about opinions, values, judgments. The facts were wrong. And by the way, the facts are freely available, for example, on Wikipedia.

Yeah, so it's easy access.

But I'm asking, OK, then let's go to the Internet and let's have people edit, edit all those stuff.


There will be also again agenda. It's a search engine and power will come. And like it came to the science, you know, money will come.

And then, you know, not the truth will prevail, but the interests of people. And that's where the interest in the Internet is.

The Internet is there at this stage. It's a problem.

And I think any utility that is not subject to regulation is bound to get corrupted and dangerous.

I was amongst the earliest proponents of regulating the Internet. I know it's not a popular opinion, but we are seeing the consequences now with it with a tsunami of fake news and misinformation.

Yes, you can't get reliable answers on the Internet anymore. I know because I've been doing it for 25 years.

You can't really get reliable answers anymore. You need to work really hard to compare multiple sources and so on and to form your own opinion.

Finally, even then, it's just an opinion. You can't rely on the Internet. So, yes, it's co-opted and so on.

But had there been some regulatory oversight and monetary incentives, for example, fines and penalties, trust me, high tech companies would have found within minutes ways to provide you with credible information that is verified and so on.

But Sam, also a problem. We cannot trust anybody in this age, basically, whatever it's the government, whatever it's those high tech companies, we don't trust anybody.

So it's also like in the eyes of the people, not a proper solution to this big old problem.

It's a problem of malignant egalitarianism.

People think that everyone is equal to everyone. It's not true. There's a hierarchy.

I agree with Jordan Peterson. There's a hierarchy. People with academic degrees know more than people without academic degrees.

The Britannica is much better source than Wikipedia. Citizenium is much better source than Wikipedia, etc., etc., etc.

This hierarchy should be at the core of search results. And similarly, there's a hierarchy of values. For example, the values of Nazism are lower on the hierarchy than the values of the Old Testament or the New Testament.

I think vast majority of population would agree, except a few neo-Nazis.

So we need to create hierarchies and integrate them. They're called axiological hierarchies.

We need to create axiological and, by the way, taxonomic hierarchies and integrate them in technology.

And we are not doing this today. We are going exactly the opposite way.

And the opposite way is everyone is equal to everyone. You're not supposed to offend anyone. Opinion is as good as truth. And there is no truth. And there are no facts. And you can't trust experts. And you can't trust professionals. They are corrupted by money. They're lying. They're... and so on. And so...

Oh, Covid was the best example for it.

Covid was the best example. So it's a disaster waiting to happen because we are like a flock without a shepherd.

We need shepherds. We need what used to be called gatekeepers. You couldn't publish anything without an editor in the past. I know because I published books and I needed to go through editors.

Yeah. You couldn't.

But today you can.

So there is a problem of discoverability. You go on Amazon on a typical year, anywhere between one million and three million so-called books are published. How will you find my book? My book is one of the best on the topic of narcissism.

But how on earth are you going to find it when every year there's five thousand books on narcissism published? And how will you know that it's one of the best? Maybe I'm lying.

Yeah.

There's a problem of discoverability. We are drowning. We are drowning in trash, intellectual trash and so on.

I witnessed a conversation, a chat on a forum. One guy said the battle of Hastings occurred in 1066. And another guy said, no, I think you're wrong. It was 1086.

So the first guy posted a snippet from Britannica.

Yeah.

Or was it Wikipedia? I think it was Britannica.

And then the second guy said, well, that's a Britannica's opinion. My opinion is that it happened in 1086.

There is no end to it.

One of the most shocking conversations I ever read in my life.

So it's a problem to have a conversation right now between those two ideologies as well.

You will say the left and the right.

Nobody, at least the left, I think, maybe I'm wrong, disagrees more to have a conversation with the right.

So we can even go to proper solutions on those problems because one side thinks he's the smartest and knows all. And the other side says his reality is the only right reality. And like that, it dismisses the other side.

So where can we find solutions?

He actually didn't say that his reality is the only right.

No, I'm saying.

He said, my reality is as legitimate as your reality and as legitimate as Britannica. We are all equal. I call it malignant egalitarianism. We're all equal. It's not that I'm more equal, but we're all equal.

My opinion, Britannica's opinion, your opinion, it's opinion. It's just opinion.

So with that, how can we go and just just understand and go as a community together and take the root of the problem and just have a solution for it if we cannot even have a proper community with And if the proper community we have it, we cannot merge it into physical identities and have with them something that will do a better change for humanity.

Problem is identity politics.

Campbell, who is a sociologist, said that we transitioned from the age of dignity to the age of victimhood. And identity politics has a lot to do with victimhood.

Even that person who was arguing with the Britannica, he felt like a victim of the intellectual establishment. He was a rebel. It was an act of rebellion. He was not just arguing with the Britannica. He was arguing with the whole Western tradition of academics, professors, experts. He was showing the middle finger to academic institutions and to professors and to experts and scholars. He was telling them, "I'm as good as you."

There is a divorce between elites and the people. There's hatred between the elites and the people. All elites, medical elites, intellectual elites, I mean, you name it. And there are mediators known as public intellectuals. They're trying to bridge the gap.

But ultimately, they also become demagogues and they support the people against the elites. They start off as a bridge and they end up on the side of the people against the elite because it pays.

If you're on the side of the people, you make a hell of a lot more money.

Yeah.

It's very difficult.

I made a video online saying that people who refuse to receive COVID vaccines are probably psychopathic and narcissistic. You should have seen what happened to me.

I lost half my subscribers and half my income.

I was severely penalized for saying this.

Wow.

Yet, this is the obligation of an intellectual, a true intellectual. That's my obligation to say the truth as I see it and back it up with facts as I can find.

It's my obligation.

Intellectuals betrayed their obligation because they also succumbed to money. Money corrupted everything.

You keep pushing me for solutions. I don't know.

I am not convinced there are solutions.

You see, sometimes the only solution is total devastation. Post-apocalypse, Shumpeter was an economist called it creative destruction. And on Earth.

We need to go through a phase of destruction in order to rebuild because the structure we have constructed over the last three, four hundred years is not going to stand. And there's no point in renovating it and painting it and I don't know, calling the plumbers.

We just need to destroy the blood and stuff from scratch.

And I think we are well on the way.

Maybe.

I think we are well on the way.

Okay. Let's go again to the...


Another five minutes because I have clients and so on.

No problem. No problem.

So, one quick question about relationships in the digital age.

In order to see a lot of the people just picturing themselves and let's just go to the women.

They're leaving the sexual photos, for example, on Instagram, but they're going to relationships.

So, it's some sort of...

I cannot explain it, but a different dynamic of relationship because you're not living in the past. You're letting people just see it.

Meanwhile, you're in a new era, in a new life.

So, do you see it as a problem?

Relationships in the age of social media and in postmodern society. Relationships are performative. It's a performance. It's a performance to the benefit of other people.

So, you perform your relationship in front of friends, social media, fans, subscribers, followers. It's all a performance.

That's the first element, which is very destructive to a relationship because you dedicate all your energy and emotions and everything to the performance, not to the relationship.

And you expect your partner to collaborate with the performance and if he doesn't, you're very angry.

And the second thing, we regard each other as objects and commodities. We consume each other. So, it's a consumption thing. You consume your partner.

The financial benefits your partner can give you. His status in society, the way he looks, you advertise his looks or his brain or whatever.

So, we regard other people as objects to be consumed. And it's a very selfish and self-interested view.

And then, when they agree to team up with us, we construct a theater play or a movie, which is very narcissistic.

Again, modern relationships are a fantasy space. Fantasy space. That's why people, when they break up, are very furious and angry and hateful and resentful and try to take revenge and so on.

Because it's not reality they have lost. It's the dream. It's a dreamscape.

Modern relationships are dreamscapes. People no longer live in reality because reality is tough. Reality is hard. Reality requires hard work, compromises, and it sucks most of the time. Reality really sucks.

But fantasy, a dream, who wants to wake up from a dream?

And if your partner forces you to wake up from a dream, you hate his guts and you want him dead. So, that's why people break up in a very bad way today, acrimoniously.

I think we have exhausted the subject ourselves and our viewers.


So, thank you.

First of all, thank you, Sam. You're an incredible guest and also you have an incredible channel. So, please follow him on YouTube, Sam Vaknin. You will have also the link in the description below.

Thank you very much for your time, sir. Thank you for having me. It was a pleasure.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Let me just...

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