Thursday, October 18, 2018

Today's liberals are NPCs

Psychology Today reported several years ago that most people are pre-programmed robots:
But Bernard Baars, one of the leading researchers in consciousness science, says:

Human beings talk to themselves every moment of the waking day. ...

I'm pretty sure that Baars and McWhorter are entirely mistaken. Maybe Baars talks to himself all the time, and maybe McWhorter himself sees images of written words while he talks (there's reason to be skeptical of both claims), but I've investigated such things as carefully as I know how and become convinced that most people (let alone all people) do not do such things.
Kevin Roose reports in the NY Times:
Several months ago, users on 4chan and Reddit, the online message forums, started using the term NPC to refer to liberals. These people, they said, join the anti-Trump crowd not because they are led by independent thought or conscience to oppose President Trump’s policies, but because they’re brainwashed sheep who have been conditioned to parrot left-wing orthodoxy, in the manner of a scripted character.

As a Reddit user, BasedMedicalDoctor, explains in a thread about the appeal of the meme, NPCs are “completely dependent on their programming, and can’t do or think on their own.”
Twitter has now banned these memes, on the theory that they might influence the election.

This is pretty funny. If you read right-wingers, you find lots of different opinions, and reasoning behind those opinions. If you read leftists in the mainstream news media, you just get mindless recitation of stupid pre-programmed talking points. And now the leftists at Twitter are trying to control the election commentary so that more people will vote leftist.

Update: This NPC meme is really taking off. It is a linguistic kill shot.
The term NPC is borrowed from the digital games industry. It refers to characters managed by artificial intelligence whose behavior is limited to certain scripted responses and actions.

The NPC meme began as a satirical attempt to ridicule the New Left’s sound-bite, cliched culture. The BBC quoted one poster saying, "If you get in a discussion with them it's always the same buzzwords and hackneyed arguments…It's like in a [video game] when you accidentally talk to somebody twice and they give you the exact lines word for word once more."

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