Zero HP Lovecraft on the NPC meme

This is good. There are a number of memes like this one where the Alt-Right is gaslighting itself and these people need the piss taken out of them until they unlearn the behavior. I’m thinking of the “no internal dialogue” meme, the switchface-as-primate-submission meme (which is particularly stupid), and the Generation Zyklon meme.


I’m honestly pretty fatigued of the NPC meme, but twitter isn’t, and people getting banned out here, and the lefties are triggered; that’s what happens when you think parroting late night talk show talking points makes you intellectually rebellious. truth is pain

The npc meme isn’t about free will and it isn’t about inner monologues and it isn’t about seeing yourself as the hero of your own personal Campbellian journey.
It’s about the homogenization of inner life in the era of mass media

There’s a sort of implicit claim that is fundamental to humanistic thought, which is fundamental to this era of western thought, it’s the idea that Gaussian variance aside, everyone has petty much the same experiential topology. Let’s call it human neurological uniformity (HNU)

Ignoring such people as autists for the moment, and given HNU, which most people believe perhaps without ever having thought about it, what do we expect to happen when everyone watches the same small pool of tv shows and news broadcasts?

Suppose you have agency, inner life, &c. And you decide, using the marvelous brightness in your soul, to watch 60 hours of game of thrones. Because you are normal, you now have thoughts about John snow and Daenerys, thoughts which you share with millions of others

And there is nothing wrong with enjoying a TV show, but when millions of people watch the same TV show, and the same news commentators, and read the same articles, they think all the same thoughts, literally the same thoughts, with the same words, the same words we all heard

We all have looping behaviors because life is on average repetitive. People are predictable despite individual variation in the same way that thermodynamic systems are predictable without modeling every individual particle.

Industrialization is a process of mass repetition and homogenization. Industrial man is highly repetitive and homogenized, and the mechanism that repeats and homogenizes is broadcast media. Before that it was books and pamphlets and newspapers

The nature of our inner life in broadcast media vs. written media is different. The idea of the NPC refers to a kind of total conformity of being that is brought about by broadcast media.

Tocqueville described the NPC meme in 1895 “What is still more strange is that all these men, who kept themselves so apart from each other, had become so much alike that it would have been impossible to distinguish them if their places had been changed.”

He was talking about the effects of reading books mass-produced by the printing press. Cobbett in 1795: Every farmer is more or less of a reader. There is […] no class like that which the French call peasantry…They have all been readers from their youth up

Ironically avid readers are probably less NPC-ish than “illiterate” TV-primary people. In a highly literate society, visual and behavioural conformity frees the individual for inner deviation. Not so in an oral society where inner verbalization is effective social action

You can log in to netflix and see a hundred different shows, but they’re all very similar in their underlying themes and worldviews. Even the older stuff is carefully curated to mesh with contemporary sensibilities, mostly. The same characters in different shows, the same dramas

The effect of watching so much TV is you form a series of unilateral friendships. It feels like you personally know all the people you are watching, and you move into social alignment with them, just like you would with a group of in-person friends

This fits the Kaczynskian take that leftists are “oversocialized”. h/t @BeigeShiba “A person could be so thoroughly conditioned with society’s avalues as to compromise their own agency to make choices as independent individuals. (1/4)

We find ourselves in a pervasive system of cradle to grave social conditioning, starting with childhood to early adulthood and then continually reinforced through authority figures in media, entertainment, and politics. (2/4)

The cumulative effect of all this can result in tragic individuals who can think and feel just as any of us can, yet are compelled to to comply with their social conditioning in order to avoid unbearable psychological suffering. (3/4)

This is very different to a community or subculture with its own distinct aphorisms and in-jokes. The oversocialized never choe to be the way they are, it was imposed upon them.”
(4/4)

TV, movies, and pundits (newscasts, podcasts, bluechecks) are the medium of oversocialization. If you dig back into early memories of childhood cartoons and sitcoms you can almost remember the way it happened. It’s not indoctrination exactly, since that implies a baseline.

We are all oversocialized and the act of waking up is the act of bearing and confronting the pain of pushing back against our social programming. You only do this if you have a powerful incentive to do so, i.e., you are already in a circumstance of tremendous psychological pain

The common pathway to right-wing shitlordery is through the PUA/Redpill/manosphere pipeline. Gamers are rendered sterile by their oversocialization and the soul-crushing pain of TFW no GF causes them to confront their social programming in all arenas of the mind

In the evolving meaning of the NPC meme, we are realizing that it is most effective as a way to instantaneously convey that a person is in the grip of Kaczynskian oversocialization. Even naming the evil spirit is enough to cause tremendous psychic distress, as we have seen.

If social programming privileges one group over another, it is safe to say that the disprivileged group will tend to be the one that is in the most pain, and therefore the most likely to break free of their programming. This should raise some uncomfortable questions for everyone

(Emphases added.)


On the other hand, we need to keep in mind that this is still 100% true:

when-we-win-do-not-forget-that-these-people-want-34079006

About Aeoli Pera

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10 Responses to Zero HP Lovecraft on the NPC meme

  1. Arakawa says:

    “The cumulative effect of all this can result in tragic individuals who can think and feel just as any of us can, yet are compelled to to comply with their social conditioning in order to avoid unbearable psychological suffering.”

    This. I once reduced an individual of the Silicon Valley persuasion to tears by politely suggesting that old literature contains useful insights about the human condition that are not present in peer-reviewed psychology papers. This was not an antagonistic argument, the mere prospect of reading something worldview-altering was traumatic.

    That’s not exactly normie-media immersion, but it is groupthink.

  2. Aeoli Pera says:

    >This was not an antagonistic argument, the mere prospect of reading something worldview-altering was traumatic.

    People older than 25 don’t understand this will be the mainstream opinion for at least an entire generational cohort, and potentially more if we don’t start some kind of Manhattan project to deprogram what they’re learning for 12 hours per day during their most impressionable years of life.

  3. Schrödinger's Psych Evaluation says:

    The problem with the NPC meme is that NPCs keep using it to justify tribal conflicts. I fail to see how they’ve plausibly justified anything. Also, people keep associating the meme with the tendency to think in words rather than with self-awareness, meta-knowledge, and the tendency to introspect.

  4. bicebicebice says:

    “>This was not an antagonistic argument, the mere prospect of reading something worldview-altering was traumatic.”

    also means losing your job because the melons decided to change the truth to make money on a new angle thankfully this confusion all stops when they replace everyone with robots then sapes heads wont hurt anymore can’t have a hurting head if all your time is spent on rape cannibalism spears and loincloths, or you bring back the manufacturing industry bluntly

  5. kensuimo says:

    “The npc meme isn’t about free will and it isn’t about inner monologues and it isn’t about seeing yourself as the hero of your own personal Campbellian journey.
    It’s about the homogenization of inner life in the era of mass media
    There’s a sort of implicit claim that is fundamental to humanistic thought, which is fundamental to this era of western thought, it’s the idea that Gaussian variance aside, everyone has petty much the same experiential topology. Let’s call it human neurological uniformity (HNU)”

    This dovetails so nicely with Ophiuchus’ mohawk take that it’s practically suspicious. If societal scale mores corresponding to frontal parietal oscillation could be mapped onto your notion of the Pyrrhic Cycle it could elegantly encompass this. Of course, there could be gradients and layers to this, rather than simple harmonic behavior. Fits with my association of conepar with continuum mechanics.

  6. Aeoli Pera says:

    >The problem with the NPC meme is that NPCs keep using it to justify tribal conflicts.

    I don’t see that as a “problem” (implying a solution) so much as predictably executing an adaptation. It’s normal to take any change to dehumanize someone you’re working yourself into a frenzy to murder–in fact, at its core we find it’s motivated by horror at the idea of cold-blooded murder, which I think is not a bad thing. On the other hand, people who believe their own bullshit can’t win wars (they can only start them).

  7. Aeoli Pera says:

    >also means losing your job because the melons decided to change the truth to make money on a new angle

    It’s not the melons going after people’s jobs anymore. The machine could run itself at this point, and does, and will continue until catastrophic failure.

    >thankfully this confusion all stops when they replace everyone with robots

    “No man, no problem.”

  8. bicebicebice says:

    “It’s not the melons going after people’s jobs anymore. The machine could run itself at this point, and does, and will continue until catastrophic failure.”

    everybody gangstalked by A.I will make the internet, and the modern world, unusable. enjoy the time that remains that get your treestump in order

  9. SirHamster says:

    The effect of watching so much TV is you form a series of unilateral friendships.

    This explains the useful purpose behind my intuitive aversion to loving virtual characters (see also: video games, waifus). Faker than fake. Gay.

    The gut is telling the brain – you are losing your self to fantasy. Get out of the matrix and engage with reality.

  10. Pingback: Reblog: A tale of two nationalisms | Aeoli Pera

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