culture by algorithm in the 21st century
There is a non-obvious relationship to bitcoin here.
Money that is created with credit, and thus expands elastically with commercial activity, should trend towards pulling human beings in all the directions their natural drives dictate. Anything that can produce an emotional stimulus can be monetized. Markets and prices act like an externalized reward map. Credit based money places no limits on how much activity can be devoted to stimulating a specific drive. So, for each of the naturally occurring drives, there should be massive industries doing their best to pull human beings along the direction of that one drive, especially if it can be done in tandem with others.
The videos mister beast creates, where people have to sit and wait for long periods of time, create this natural tension between satisfying any drive, and just sitting still to get lots of money. I think this is why they work. Sitting still and enduring nonsense and depredation in exchange for a payout is an exaggeration of what many people do day in and day out, like a cartoon rendering of what many people already experience.
The end result of all drives pulling you in all directions at once is either a kind of anguished motionlessness, or a frantic disorganized scramble for rewards. Both of these situations sound, to me, like descriptions of modern life: some of us frantically scrambling for rewards, others just exhausted and paralyzed by the stress of life.
A fixed money supply, on the other hand, wouldn’t ever have so much money being leaked through mister beast because all dives would be constantly weighed against others. When capital is scarce, it isn’t going to flow as easily to people who are great at getting kids to stare at screens. There’s only so much capital in existence and so it’ll only flow where total rewards to all drives are maximized, rather than pulling separately along each drive to the max. It’s much easier to move peacefully through life when you know your needs will be met in the future so long as you love diligently and within your means today. No need to worry about markets or portfolios; holding bitcoin in the future wil be a replacement for 401k’s a diversified portfolios and financial advisors and watching the fed. With the end result that we’ll have more people just living their lives naturally because the reward distribution shifts from, “some people, well connected to the algorithm, traversing the deepest niches of desire, have infinite money, while everyone else has very little,” towards, “the economy explores a broad frontier of options more or less equally because large scale money creation is impossible, but consistent small scale earnings that appreciate over time are readily available”.”
I don't get the distinction that Mr Beast videos are wasteful ("recurring waste of human time"). Hollywood movies cost hundreds of years of man hours and $200m+ merely for entertainment. Is that also wasteful?
Brilliant essay, thank you for writing. I have a very hard time imagining what the inside of Mr. Beast’s head looks like, and this post doesn’t exactly help with that, but you do help reveal the shape of the algorithm here, in a rather disturbing/intriguing way.
Excellent analysis of Mr beast. Thanks 🙏
Good shit, here from Gio
Interesting piece, thank you.
Reminds me of Nasubi, the Japanese man who spent 15 months alone in various apartments for a reality show
Coldhealing, check out "Most Evil Livestream Ever" by penguinz0 and let me know what you think about that :)
That was extremely poignant
You don’t think he is doing this for money? Yet you’ve explained all of these that videos revolve around money. It seems like your analysis is missing something.
“Mr. Beast” says it all.
I stopped reading when you said Squid game sounded boring ... :)
I stopped reading when you admitted to not watching Squid Game, but then tried to educate us on the themes and tone of the show.
That was extremely poigant