Loud Noise, Weak Signal

by Delusion Damage on March 15, 2011

“Every night I talk to God, but he don’t say nothing back”
-rap lyrics, “50 cent”

When you talk to people, they will likely say something back. When you talk to people on the internet, you’re almost guaranteed that most of the people who say something back will not be the ones your communication was intended for. Anything you say will be misinterpreted to suit the needs of a slew of respondents – and I use the word “respond” generously, since it implies actual consideration of the message that has been received – who really just want to yell their favorite delusions at other people in order to bolster their own sense of trust in them. These people aren’t having a conversation with you, they aren’t even arguing with you – the constant, loud repetition of a delusion-affirming mantra is a solipsistic activity. It requires another person only in the capacity of recipient – the flow of information is one-way: these people are only sending, they will not receive no matter how cleverly you respond to them. It’s a broadcast, not a discussion. Trying to have a conversation with such a person is like trying to have a conversation with your TV – it will say something back, but that doesn’t mean it understood or even heard what you said to it.

Like an echo chamber, the internet will send back noise for any noise you put out into it. Most of it will be just that – noise. Some of the noise will be cleverly disguised as words, but do not be fooled, that doesn’t mean communication is happening.

The signal put out by The Spearhead is starting to gain more power now, and the noise coming back from the various voice-activated loudspeakers of the great virtual echo chamber is growing louder in response. Like we’ve gotten used to the fact that most email is spam, we will have to get used to the fact that most responses to thoughtful writing are not thoughtful writing – they’re just the auto-responses of mechanistically operating entities which parsed your message, detected a close relationship between the words “feminism” and “bad” and automatically generated a pre-fabricated response for you. There was no higher thinking involved, it was just an instinctual reaction to noise, like a little girl who hears an animal bleating and bleats back.

The Spearhead readership like the audience of all media is comprised of two categories: those for whom the message is intended, and the rest. The people who are being written for – the ones who receive the communication, interpret the signal correctly and understand the message – are not likely to say anything back unless they have something to say. They are, by necessity, people who think, and that means they usually think before they talk. They try to make sure their communication is laden with value for those who receive it. If they have nothing of value to add, they will likely not respond. Some will take the time to write up a short thank you comment, but the signal coming back to The Spearhead from its intended audience will always be weak compared to the noise coming from the voice-activated auto-responders. For every signal that comes back from a reader who appreciated the message, there are more who appreciated the message and found nothing of value to add to it, thus remaining silent.

The much more vocal segment of the audience is those readers who are not being written for. They are the ones who will not think about the message – they will not decode the signal past a few words that will allow them to do what they want to do: relegate the message into their private “bad” category and yell their own never-changing mantra back at its source. Where they find their trigger words – a well-written article, an offhand comment to that article, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that these people are looking for an opportunity for self-affirmation by yelling their deluded beliefs at other people, and as soon as they see their trigger words, their brain registers such an opportunity and they start yelling.

The content of their yelling will not be a response to the content of your message. It will more than likely be a direct reflection of what happens in their head: relegating your message to the “offending” category. This will usually manifest itself in a response as some variation on the basic “offending message – must be yelled at and silenced” directive:

The Spearhead outputs a relatively controversial signal that will get caught in the “offending message – must be yelled at and silenced” filter of many, many people with a dire need to affirm their delusions through the yelling of mantras. It will also be received by many who appreciate the message but say nothing back. In what The Spearhead hears back from readers, the noise will likely always be much stronger than the signal.

Our editor in chief is burdened with a difficult balancing act: putting out an effective message for those who are its intended recipients while simultaneously exercising control over the most controversial articles in order to keep the reactionary noise at a manageable level where the weak signal sent back by those who appreciate the message can still be heard.

The fact is, if you aren’t being opposed, you aren’t saying anything new. You aren’t relevant. Right now, The Spearhead is very relevant: the sheer amount of noise coming back from the opposition is a testament to that. Everyone who was ever right about anything fought an uphill battle against the reactionary noise of the masses who always cling to the old for a sense of security, trying to bleat as loud as they can to drown out the offending truth. If ever a time comes where the signal from those who appreciate the message measures up to the noise from those who are offended by it, it’s a sign that it’s probably time to reevaluate how relevant the message being put out is.

And at times when the response seems overwhelmingly negative, we’ll do well to remember 50 Cent’s relationship with his God:

Every night we talk to men but they don’t say nothing back.
That doesn’t mean they don’t hear us.

Delusion Damage specializes in exploring the hidden causes of everything and figuring out how to make a lifetime as a man in the modern world the best it can possibly be.

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