Social Dilemma Dilemma Review

Posted: October 23, 2020 in Culture Wars, History, Movies, Politics, Products, TV
Tags: , , , , ,

First off – I loved Chasing Ice the first documentary made by Jeff Orlowski. One of the few documentaries I have watched twice. After watching it I gave the CD copy I had to a family for use in their local school in Guatemala. It was truly an Ice Opening experience (see what I did there). So I was excited to watch the trailer for Jeff’s new documentary The Social Dilemma.

The Social Dilemma flows great – its entertaining, well thought out and produced, has a clear point of view and executes it wonderfully. Its almost as if Netflix put it through an algorithm to optimize it for its choosen audience.

But the premise of the film is both shopworn and troubling.

Wildly popular new media is destroying our society. This new technology is duping people and changing society for the worst. People are so dumb they don’t even realize they are being manipulated. Of course I refer to television.

Satan’s Triangle – Intellectuals Right and Left and Mad Men on top.

On the Right television was attacked for any number of pet causes – Elvis swiveling his hips on Ed Sullivan would cause your teenage daughter to fuck some greaser down the street on the first date. If that didn’t happen she’d soon be a card carrying member of the Communist Party because of all the commies in Hollywood inserting subliminal Red messages into episodes of Gunsmoke.

On the Left television was the new opiate for masses. Instead of working to overthrow capitalism people would come from their hum drum 9 to 5s at the factory and space out to I Dream of Jeannie. This is how the Establishment would preserve order – keep people dumb, numb and unquestioning.

T.V., it

Satellite links

Our United States of Unconsciousness

Apathetic therapeutic and extremely addictive

The methadone metronome pumping out

150 channels 24 hours a day

— Television, the Drug of a Nation

The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy

The top of Satan’s triangle

But it wasn’t just attacks from the Left and Right that made people wring their hands and give credence to their fears about television. Television executives and the flim flam men (Mad Men) of their day feed this narrative as well. Thinking very highly of themselves the people producing all this television bought this narrative as well – ‘Due to the latest in behavorial sciences and knowing what people watch and what they like if we want them to buy Palmolive and Budweiser they’ll buy it. Viewers are the product and the schmucks don’t even know it.’

Of course somehow we survived this apocalypse. Elvis became a national treasure. Television helped defeat Communism. Disposable Hero Michael Franti and his generation embraced capitalism and was embraced by Whole Foods and seems to be doing kinda ok. Covid aside, we are all richer, more educated, healthier, more informed and more empowered thanks in some small part to the global dispersion of low brow mass culture through television.

The Noble Lie

We are told this Platonic lie all over again in The Social Dilemma. This time the boogieman threatening, at a minimum, societal collapse is social media (multiple elites literally call Facebook an existential threat to continued human existence on the planet with a straight, well groomed face) Facebook and Twitter in particular. The wrong people are now being elected to office, Instagram made being young and going through puberty super tough, workaholic CEOs are bad fathers because of algorithms, Burma was a nice place before Facebook and lots of data is being collected on us plebs and used against us.

I’m a workaholic CEO but Pinterest made me a bad father

And to lecture us about this and make the poor viewer feel outraged, confused and depressed so they click on the next ‘world turns to shit’ documentary Netflix recomends is an exclusive mono-culture club of the very rich 1% of the 1%’ers all of whom are collegues and most of them serve on the board of a ideological pressure group called Center for Humane Technology that dominates 80% of the lecture we are given.

Common People are Invisible

Where are all the common people being hurt by these technologies and making bad choices at the ballot box? They are never shown. Such is the revulsion that these 1% of 1% elites have for the poor filthy fucks living in fly over country that we are instead shown a fictionalized upper middle class family. Vince Kartheiser even makes a cameo as a wink and a nod Easter Egg to the show Mad Men – a show loved by critics and the silicon valley, coastal elite types but watched by very few actual people. Apparently before social media upper middle class American families weren’t vacuous and hollow inside and all was right with the family unit.

A personal story
My Aunt and her son. Neither graduated from high school. My Aunt works as a cashier at Dollar General. My nephew has been in and out of jail and prison – most recently an 8 month stint for petty crime and drug stuff.  They are the most apolitical people you will ever meet. They are the ignorant lower classes the talking heads in The Social Dilemma concern troll over and over.  Last time I saw my aunt and nephew in person a little over a year ago my nephew had just gotten out of 3 month jail term.  I was talking to him about what it’s like not to have a smartphone/social media for 3 months. He said something along the lines of ‘I just got a phone again and damn if you have to watch what you say and type, google and facebook know I was in lock up and keep pushing rehab ads and shit like that at me, fucking annoying as shit.’  My Aunt responded along the lines of ‘yeah Facebook knows what I’m going to do before I do, jesus…’


My point is – at this point who the fuck doesn’t know they are being targeted with ads and having their data collected?  If my aunt and nephew know, everyone knows.


Why is so much shade being thrown at Facebook and Twitter by the legacy media and the cultural/economic elites since roughly 2015 but before 2015 they were mainly viewed as positive or neutral.

A few guesses:
a) Economics first. This is competition for dollars and cents. At some point the New York Times, Washington Post, etc. and the journalists themselves realized their pockets were being picked by these new upstarts and since then its been one negative story after another. 


b) The wrong candidates won. Go back and read coverage of Obama’s use of Facebook and social media in 2008.  They loved it and praised him and his campaign for it as a masterstroke. Let’s indulge a bit in a counterfactual and say that Fernando Hadad and Hillary Clinton had both won in 2018 and 2016 respectively, both center left candidates – would we see Hadad’s ugly mug shown on the screen as proof the world is going to hell in a handbasket?


c) Class war. In 2008 Facebook was a nice gated community of 100 million (a bit more than 1% of the population, i.e. the 1%) people who mainly looked and thought like the cultural/technological elite talking heads in the Social Dilemma. Now it’s 2.6 billion people, a truly global community and now the line from the these elites and the legacy press is:  all these poor lower class and black and brown people doing things and saying things we don’t like, can’t control and don’t agree with – we can’t really say we don’t like them and their opinions. Instead we say: they are so stupid and oppressed – they are being manipulated and controlled and they don’t even know it,  the poor sons a bitches. We need to fix this and pronto or we are toast.  Again like with television in the 20th century, this line of arguement comes from the Right and Left and the flim flam Mad Men. Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Tim Kendall and their intellectual enablers in a vomit inducing polyamourous circle jerk.

I won’t even get into the shocking, irresponsible and ahistorical treatment the people of Burma get. Never mind the legacy of colonialism, extreme poverty and 40 years of a brutal military dictatorship; its all Facebooks fault.


Leave social media alone.  It’s fine.* Leave the people alone, they know what they are doing. You know who that is bad for? It’s bad for the legitimacy of the Establishment. They don’t need to be coddled and protected from themselves. Or worse, manipulated in different ways to ensure ‘our four year national mightmare finally comes to an end.’ We aren’t on the verge of civil war or a Year Zero societal meltdown. And if we are, it sure as hell isn’t because of Facebook.

Please click ‘Like’ at the bottom of this article. Thank you.

*Twitter is an abomination and should be banned immediately. 

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