Science / Tech, Top Stories

The Trouble with Technocracy

Technocrats are the technical experts who help to lead industries. Considerable and constant success can launch a technocrat’s career into such lofty heights that they reach orbit (especially if said technocrat has ambitions which most of us share as kids). It creates an intelligent, wealthy, and powerful member of society who has the ideas, the money, and the means to direct technology, and therefore society, in the direction they want it to go. The label ‘technocrat’ has no moral connotations, so one can be a technocrat whether or not one’s intentions are pure. A technocrat is also usually an expert in just one specific area (increasingly in science and technology as their prominence continues to increase).

Elon Musk offers a good example of how technocrats don’t always get it right, and why trusting them with the world’s progress is risky. On 23 May, Musk sent a tweet declaring he will create a new website “where the public can rate the core truth of any article & track the credibility score over time of each journalist, editor & publication.” Sounds great, right? Maybe not so much. He has decided to call it Pravda, which means ‘truth’ in Russian. It is also, of course, the name of a Russian newspaper and former propaganda arm of the Soviet Union’s Communist Party. Two days later, Musk announced on Twitter that, since the domain name was already taken, that Pravduh.com was bought instead. Apparently, he is serious.

From the information presently available, Pravda sounds like a fundamentally flawed idea. But since Musk has yet to divulge the details, it is difficult to estimate the scope and form the website will take. Will everyone get to vote on every single publication and journalist? Will they have to prove that they have read anything by the writer in question? What will the rating system look like? These questions open Pravda up to potential criticism from multiple angles.

Pravda’s notion is essentially that of a consumer-run media. It is a reaction against the cries of fake news which have plagued the media for the last few years. The media simply isn’t trusted as it once was—and in many cases, rightly so. Mainstream outlets have obvious political affiliations and biases which have only become clearer during the Trump era, as various publications, networks, and journalists appeal to their established audiences at the expense of a more accurate, less partisan, and less speculative focus on reporting.

But is a consumer-run media the answer? Pravda will need to rely upon mass participation to weed out writers who routinely report fake news and publications whose political agenda has become too obvious. It is a utopian project in which everyone who rates a journalist is fair-minded and informed enough to judge what is and what is not ‘real’ news. The personal biases, at which the mainstream media directs its more provocative pieces, will apparently become a thing of the past as one man’s truth becomes every man’s truth. Everyone will be safe from the dangerous lies of the media and Musk will be the messiah protecting his flock from being led astray.

As a technocrat, Musk is building a cargo cult-like fan base which believes that he is the man to transform the world and give us all the things we ever wanted—from self-driving cars to brain-enhancing implants, from high speed travel to space travel. His word is becoming sacrosanct and any attempt to criticise some of his more radical ideas, including Pravda, is met with an indignant shout down from his followers. Even Sam Harris, a man made famous by his campaigns against religions and faith-based beliefs, has defended Musk from criticism.

It is important to remember that Elon Musk has contributed massive amounts to the world already, and I feel sure he will contribute much more in the future. To take the ultra-defensive position, which some journalists have already adopted, is probably a mistake because it diminishes Musk’s worthy achievements and ignores the failures of the media, underscoring the reason why Pravda has already struck a chord with so many. Nevertheless, it is vital that the idea behind Pravda is scrutinized.

For a consumer-run media to work, mass participation is necessary. This isn’t unfeasible with the internet being so widely available. However, the quality of that participation is also important. If just anyone—troublemaker or pure hearted—can rate the news and influence the opinions of other readers, the problem of fake news is only likely to be exacerbated. Truth is not defined through consensus. There is an abundance of examples of popular opinion being incorrect.

And personal biases will certainly decide how people rate what they read. Disagree with the conclusion of an article? Downvote. Didn’t read the whole article but were offended by a particular line? Downvote. Already hate Fox News? Downvote. A culture which decides truth by way of numbers is flawed. Not everyone, and perhaps no-one, is capable of setting aside their political prejudices to make an informed critical decision on a piece of political writing. Perhaps the more polarizing and obvious forms of fake media will be suppressed by Pravda, but at what cost?

The nature of the media means that it cannot be governed by the consumer because its purpose is to inform. You cannot choose what is and isn’t informative; something is not true or false just because you say so. Of course, by choosing a certain publication to read, you decide who you are informed by. Your echo chamber can be made safe from penetration, if you so choose. But the Pravda experiment is different. It will allow the echo chamber to have an influence on those outside of it. Admittedly, I believe that the more serious cases of fake news are likely to be stamped out. Anyone who sees that Buzzfeed, for example, scores low on hit pieces about what Donald Trump does in hotel rooms, are more likely to begin an article with a different attitude: instead of disbelief over President Trump’s antics, they may be more inclined to distrust the article and read it more as entertainment.

On the other hand, because politics is so polarized at the moment, those with ideological convictions are unlikely to be deterred. Huffington Post will maintain the loyalty of the partisan Left and Breitbart will hold onto the Right. In the same way that brand loyalty can convince someone to buy a more expensive product, ideological loyalty will enable ignorance. Moreover, the disciples of radical politics are usually well aware that they are in the minority, so merely informing them of the unpopularity of their opinions is unlikely to make much difference.

However much we may want to believe otherwise, technocrats aren’t—and shouldn’t be—totally benevolent. People like Elon Musk are out to make money, and Musk is worth over $20 billion according to Forbes. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing—accumulating large amounts of money is difficult and those who succeed in doing so have a right to be applauded for their achievements. But vast wealth bestows great power and influence and this is certainly true in the case of Musk. Without his fortune, his craziest ideas would be as useless as the next man’s. All power has the potential to corrupt, and the power of Pravda risks corruption by the personal ideologies of its users. But, in addition, we ought to be concerned about the effect administrators of the website have on the direction the project takes.

Pravda assumes the role of government in the age of totalitarianism—control over the media. Those who administer the website will have to decide which ratings are worthwhile and which are useless. But who will these regulators be? We are already seeing a version of this dilemma at Facebook, as their regulators seek to identify and screen out fake news, thereby controlling what appears in users’ feeds. In the same way, Pravda would regulate consensus. The government’s relationship with the media will be replaced by Pravda. Where, historically, the media and politics have wrestled to effectively regulate each other, this will no longer be the case. And, as we have seen in technocratic governments of the past, technocrats aren’t always suited to the task of being government officials.

Italy’s technocratic government of 2011, led by Mario Monti, was both the result of a failure and a failure itself. It was formed in response to both the political Left and Right in Italy who had led the country in the aftermath of the financial crisis, and it made a negligible impact. Having little political experience themselves, the technocrats soon became widely unpopular and slumped to fourth in Italy’s next election. Technocrats have vested interests in government legislation, being top of their fields. Consequently, they are likely not only to run the country as they would their business, but to direct it in way which suits their industry and interests. As a result, Italians became disenchanted with technocracy. The populist backlash with which Italy is now confronted, in the form of the populist coalition of the Five Star Movement and the Northern League, is largely a result of the technocratic government’s failures to address the real needs of the country.

Elon Musk and Pravda may yet find themselves in a similarly precarious situation. In an attempt to fix the problem of an untrustworthy media, they risk creating an uncontrollable beast of consensus-based truth. As General Patton famously said: “if everyone’s thinking alike, then someone isn’t thinking.” Unfortunately, the cult following the charismatic leadership of Elon Musk has created breeds those who attempt to think as he does and defend his word as gospel, because he’s smarter than they are.

All of this matters because the role of technocrats in the decision-making of democratic societies is likely to increase. With more innovators able to communicate with those who support them more easily, their ideas will gain greater traction and wider support. While it is reasonable to allow the smartest in society to manage certain aspects, it is vital to remember that there are a lot of them out there and we should not limit ourselves to just one, very ambitious, technocrat. There is also a wealth of other kinds of experience that a well functioning world needs, and people lower down the ladder have equally as important experiences and ideas which should not be left ignored.

 

Lyle Broom studies English and History at the University of Leeds. He is a freelance journalist with an interest in politics. You can follow him on Twitter @llbrm3

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25 Comments

  1. Matthew Mckenzie says

    The key to understand this idea is Musk’s belief that technology opens up the possibility for direct democracy. He’s been on the record multiple times stating that it is his preferred form of government for a future mars colony. With this in mind Pravduh is Musk’s pitch to bring direct democracy to the world of media (This is the off colour joke, a famously authoritarian institutions name used for an experiment with direct democracy).
    From this all arguments for and against are ultimately ones recycled before a million times on the subject of direct democracy. This article of course ultimately follows the pattern of those which argue that we just can’t trust the benighted average joe to be as well informed and objective as those of us with journalism degrees. It’ll be plagued by polarization and unfactual consensus.

    All this ignores of course the fact that average journalist is just as ignorant and bias prone as the average joe. Or are the problems of the Medias independent assortment into two ideological camps, and fake news just magic, or rather as your article suggests the fault of those pesky consumers.
    You suggest that we cannot trust everyone, and perhaps no-one to be able to set aside their political prejudices in order to make an informed critical decision on the truth of an article. But the esteemed profession of journalism is sole force in the world capable of not only making a decision on the truth of an article but writing it down as well. I suppose readers should just turn their brain off and swallow whatever drivel they read?

    At the end of the day this idea is not perfect and will not result in some utopian 100% truth future. But it is a step in the right direction as it proceeds along the path of decentralizing the power of consensus building and truth verifying out of the hands of sclerotic and corrupt institutions and into to the hands of the mad and ignorant public (who even for all their faults I’d still trust more).

  2. Xchixm says

    This article doesn’t define technocracy correctly. A technocrat doesn’t give MORE voice to the masses. He or she makes decisions for the masses with the assumption that a few highly educated experts can make a more effective society.

  3. Pingback: The Trouble with Technocracy | Unhinged Group

  4. Chester Draws says

    But Matthew, democracy is when everyone has an unhindered and equal vote. And when the losers respect their loss.

    Pravda will be filtered through an opaque mechanism, preventing everyone from having an equal say. Some people will have greater say — any bets that journalists will decide that journalists should have the biggest say?

    And in modern life the losers are increasingly not respecting their losses. Any bets that any “wrong” decisions by Pravda — say that the whole Trump’s victory was bought by Russians — will be the focus of screeching until the “right” decision is made? Musk is too fond of his public persona to allow himself to be the target of that sort. So his view will be the most important view. Not democracy.

    Democracy is more than having a vote. In the end it must be about having control too.

    • Matthew Mckenzie says

      You assert a few things here that I find the public evidence rather lacking.

      First that ‘Pravduh’ will be filtered through an opaque mechanism, preventing people having their say. This idea was tweeted so details are still forthcoming, but the proposed mechanism was a database by direct public vote. So I’ll file this down as to be seen. Though it is worth noting that the current system is already filtered through an opaque mechanism (that of whatever journalists deem is important and the right angle).

      Second is that Musk is fond enough of his public persona to intervene to weight the data, presumably opaquely, to either better represent himself or towards “polite opinion”. I’ll confess I may have positive bias towards the man. But I believe his personal integrity is more than you give him credit for. The mans early media attention was by no means positive where he was portrayed as a naive and eccentric fool who was probably going to lose all his money because of his idiotic belief in building electric cars and rockets of all things. He was regarded as a joke. During the years of the great recession he but his last penny into those companies because of his belief in them. I wouldn’t exactly expect a fraud and a showboat to put that much skin in the game. It was only years after this tremendous personal bet began to pay off that media attention began to take a more positive tilt, though that has not lasted long (partly the result of the liberal media realizing he’s not one of them just because he makes electric cars, partly legitimate skepticism- though I think mistaken).
      In the end I’d rather not make this argument a referendum about Musk the man and more about this concept.

      Finally your comment that democracy is ultimately about control. While you may believe that our democracy is ultimately a sham and just a front for whatever decision elites wanted to make from the start. A hypothetical system of direct democracy will reduce centralized control by divesting that power into the hands of the mob. Whether this actually occurs rests with the outcome of assertion no. 1

      • Bill says

        I’m sorry, I was with you until para 3 where your statements about “our democracy” (which we don’t have, we’re a republic). If you really want direct democracy, then I assume you felt the losers should have just STFU when the direct democracy majority in California voted and the majority decided NOT allow same-sex marriages to be recognized (Prop 8)? All this drive for “direct democracy” is because of the sham of “HRC won the popular vote!” Yes, HRC may have won the popular vote; however, that discounts the truth which is that elections are run on the electoral college and not the popular vote. Campaigns focus on those electoral votes. If our elections were to switch to pure popular vote then campaigns would be run far different and voter behavior would as well. It would likely create a dissolution of the US since immense sections of the country would be utterly ignored by all candidates.

        It is a cost-benefit equation. Spend x to travel to 10-12 major population centers where 51% of voters reside and get enough to win, or spend 4-5x to travel to the remainder of the country to court those voters? Look at the county map from the 2016 election. Look at the Rust Belt in 2016. One reason I hypothesize that DJT was elected is because HRC failed to campaign there. The vote “counts” weren’t as high there for popular, and “oh, that’s a (D) lock!”

  5. Morgan says

    I believe Musk was ranting earlier about how the people don’t actually respect journalists, or believe that they’re telling the truth. Some reporter/personality (CNN, MSNBC?) essentially replied that any polls suggesting that journalists weren’t trusted were somehow being tampered with by anti-government actors, or rich oligarchs, or something like that. Musk said he was wrong, of course.

    Couldn’t this Pravda just be a was for him to show what people think of certain journalists, to serve as a wake up call for the “mainstream media” who still lives in a kind of bubble?

    This whole article is kind of a weird exaggeration from little information.

    • A study conducted by The Washington Post and USA Today found that readers who viewed articles with comments sections were more likely to develop a negative opinion of the news media. Curiously, this effect was seen even when commenters praised the article in question. In other words, when the opinions of journalists and the opinions or ordinary members of the public are placed close together, it leads readers to question the competence of the mainstream media. What horror!

      I can’t count the number of articles I’ve read who are contradicted immediately in the first comment. The best ones point out the journalist’s bias that she never realized she had. I myself got top comment on a recent article about Quitaly when I pointed out the journalist had not even stopped to consider the interests of the people but wailed that the EU was under threat.

      We don’t need the NY Times, Washington Post, cable news… we don’t need movie and music critics and Rolling Stone. None of it. They are nothing but glorified bloggers. We the people will create the news. We will drive the stories that concern us the most. We will decide what shows and movies get made and which ones don’t. We will decide what we want in our government, not the other way around. We need to continue driving the narratives they don’t want exposed.

      Why shouldn’t we have a tripadvisor.com for journalists?

  6. Adam says

    I presumed he was just winding people up and not serious?

    He called it Pravda, which was the USSR’s propaganda arm. Is it not obvious he is just poking US journalists? He then doubled it down and called it Prav DUH. You’ve just written an article making the argument that he managed to convey in one tweet?

    The fact that so many people take him dead seriously just shows how susceptible we are to fake news and propaganda and how we can’t be left to vote on the reliability on anyone.

    • Michiel says

      He also called his tunnel business “The Boring Company”. It’s a real company that drills real tunnels… and sold “flame-throwers” recently. Joke and reality are often intertwined with Musk. Whether he’s actually going to use Pravda or Pravduh remains to be seen of course but that doesn’t mean the entire idea is just a joke.

  7. Perhaps DUH would be more appropriate. People, in general, don’t want to make day to day political decisions, they’d rather delegate the responsibility to someone they can hold responsible.

    Musk made his fortune from PayPal and yet spruiks himself as a great engineer. Is Musk a genius, a conman, or both? Time will tell, but right now the smart money is on shorting Tesla.

    • Michiel says

      I think he’s above all a great “ideas man” and motivator of people. Obviously he has better engineers working for him than he is himself. But as far as I can tell he does go pretty deep with his knowledge of the things he builds. There is really no evidence whatsoever to claim he’s a “conman”. It seems rather ridiculous to suggest that that is still a question in 2018 with the knowledge of the actual achievements by Space X and Tesla.

  8. Mark says

    [quote]And personal biases will certainly decide how people rate what they read. Disagree with the conclusion of an article? Downvote. Didn’t read the whole article but were offended by a particular line? Downvote. Already hate Fox News? Downvote.[/quote]

    This is exactly how reddit has ended up working rather than highest quality posts rising to the top. It now even stops rating being shown for a new posts due to the hive-mind mentality of users mass downvoting.

  9. valleevue says

    The real issue seems to be that *consensus doesn’t determine truth* (at least on matters of empirical fact). In fact, that’s by and large the problem that Musk identified: the media reports as true that which accords with their audience’s beliefs, and the audience labels as true that which accords with their beliefs. But just as beliefs don’t determine the truth of a claim, a group of people’s beliefs about a journalist don’t determine the truth of the claims that journalist makes. So Musk’s solution plays into the same faulty logic of the problem he’s trying to solve.

    Truth should inform belief, not the other way round. The practice of allowing belief to inform truth, then, will only be reinforced an online platform that institutionalizes it.

  10. SoDakDan says

    Allsides.com is already doing something very similar. As this article states, this will only work if people are honest about rating. I feel it provides a good guideline for evaluating articles, but most responsible people have already evaluated the press and have found their trusted sources.

  11. I would imagine it shouldn’t be too hard to determine weights of user opinions based on their total evaluation history. If someone’s voting up Breitbart and voting down The Guardian, you can determine bias. If someone’s voting for one paper deviates radically for a particular journalist at that paper then that evaluation gathers more weight. Etc.

  12. ga gamba says

    All power has the potential to corrupt, and the power of Pravda risks corruption by the personal ideologies of its users.

    Yes, this is true. Yet, the power of the media is also potentially corruptible (and I think many here would declare it is corrupt already) at risk by the personal corruption of its editors, reporters, and pundits. It’s rare for them to blatantly lie, but the lie by omission is common and is cherry picking quotes and recontextualisation. I have no opposition to a free media and even the existence of legacy media, but I recognise the latter is fighting a battle against independent and social media because it not only lost its monopoly on sense making to the public, it lost the adverts to pay the bills.

    In 1996 the Society of Professional Journalist revised its code of ethics. Objectivity was removed – I suspect most news readers still believe journalists have a ethical responsibility to be objective. Further, seeking the truth was changed to seeking truth, which accounts for a lot of “my truth” nonsense. In this it embraced post modernism. These revisions more than green lit activist journalism, it was akin to removing many rules of the road, to put it metaphotically.

    On the surface “speaking truth to power” appears to be admirable goal for journalism, yet the tricky bit is how the journalist and editor defines “power”. A journalist or editor who’s ideologically possessed and adheres to the progressive stack has his/her way of seeing power that allows them to overlook, downplay, or omit abuse when perpetrated by an out-group member. Further, journalists fret over how the public at large will react to reports of misdeeds committed by the marginalsied – more on this below. Be assured a marginalised person can be just as abusive as anyone else. Rather the establish the goal of speaking truth to power, a better goal is to speak the truth to abuse.

    Some here may recall the sexual assaults perpetrated against hundreds of women in Cologne, Germany on New Year’s Eve 2016. The progressive legacy media went into panic, limiting reports to brief accounts of the event and hoping that it would fade in the news cycle. One of the left’s leading newspapers, the Guardian, fell silent for a week on the issue, refusing to provide any punditry

    The silence was broken on 8 Jan by Gaby Hinsliff’s Let’s not shy away from asking hard questions about the Cologne attacks Calling it shying away from was far too generous. The progressive left was paralysed.

    On New Year’s Eve, something happened that I don’t really want to talk about. . . . whether it’s because the attackers are widely described as looking Arab or north African. Which is why, of course, liberals like me are reluctant to talk about it. For xenophobes and racists, or merely anyone opposed to immigration, this story is Christmas come a week late. . . . So no wonder liberals would do anything to avoid fanning these flames, since we see in all this righteous indignation a blatantly racist old trope about barbarians at the gates. . . . the risk is that we end up miserably self-censoring. . . . Journalism isn’t really journalism when it avoids stories for fear of how some might react. (Bold text my emphasis.)

    “Journalism isn’t really journalism when it avoids stories for fear of how some might react.” Think about that. It’s an astounding confession. Ms Hinsliff is a staff journalist who worked at several of Britain’s top newspapers for 22 years before she wrote that statement. You would think someone so experienced, who also benefited from a top-calibre Cambridge education, would have had the fundamentals of journalism sorted when she was a cub reporter in 1994. Appears she learnt things much more devious. What else has she obscured and concealed during her career?

    The Guardian proudly trumpets its “fearless journalism”. Yet the entire newspaper went dark on this story, one of the largest public scandals perpetrated in recent memory, for a week because the fearless journalists and editors couldn’t find a way to spin it off of Muslim immigrants to blame someone else.

    The following day The Guardian’s Deborah Orr (on staff since 1990) weighed in with The left must admit the truth about the assaults on women in Cologne. Look at that! The truth was resurrected for a special guest appearance. Sub headline: When the rights of women and a warm reception for migrants come into conflict, it’s understandable if the left panics – but we have to salvage nuance. The courageous journalist and editors were panicked too.

    [T]he perpetrators seem to have been absolutely correct in their certainty that they would get away with their crimes but Orr fails to mention who was responsible for creating the environment where these men gained such certainty. Worries about stirring up racial bigotry were surely a factor, too. Quite obviously, such concerns were not unfounded. But trying to ignore or suppress politically unwelcome news is always a bad idea. Trust her, they tried for a week and the bleedin’ story just wouldn’t fade away. Plus, it’s possible that the perpetrators understood, too, that a febrile, populist political climate could be exploited to their own advantage.

    She doesn’t explain how “populism”, which most often is against mass immigration, could be exploited by the immigrants. But heck, I struggle to even imagine as Orr does the perps actually thought such a thought before launching their attacks. “Hey Mo, a lot of Germans are displeased we’re here. You think we can work this to our advantage by sexually attacking the women?” My ability to nuance (yes, nonstandard) nonsense like this isn’t as adroit as Orr’s.

    In Europe, the leader who both champions and embodies such efforts [of consistent intellectual effort] far better than anyone else is Angela Merkel. It’s sad that folk are willing to seize on the tawdry, cowardly actions of a bunch of destructive, selfish, dangerous sexual abusers to disparage and traduce her bravery, optimism and humanity. Merkel is the one to take guidance and inspiration from, not them.

    How dare people seize on the outrage. It’s only permissible when progressives do so. Then it’s “punching up”.

    Had I the ability to rate the two journalists for those essays I would’ve skewered Hinsliff 0/10 and marked Orr 2/10. Pravduh is okie dokie by me. I look forward to its establishment and intend to contribute reviews. It’s our way to report the fourth estate’s abuses. If we’re lucky journalism my reform itself as a result.

  13. Author, how can you sh*t all over an idea before you even know how it will be implemented? We should wait till Mr. Musk presents more detail.

  14. No one would ever rate an article or news site negatively for political reasons would they now or rate without reading the content in question. Of course they would. Those two things make the value of things like this extremely dubious.

  15. Athanasius Gabardinus says

    “Technocracy” as it’s referred to here, in the context of the Mario Monti administration in Italy, has nothing to do with Elon Musk, or earlier visions of “technocracy” from the ’30s.

    “Technocrat” governments are usually put in after the established process has encountered a collapse or roadblock and to keep things under control, people who just play by the rulebooks are installed.

    So when an ailing European country that’s riven between populist left and right wing movements eating away at the center installs a “technocrat interim government” the idea is ….. let’s not get too creative, let’s just play by the rules – in that case, by the rules of EU, IMF etc.

    Sometimes after a military coup there’s also the notion of handing responsibility to a “technocrat” government until “the time is right again for a general election”.

    The idea being that technocrats supposedly are neutral and just look at the numbers and rules and keep the ship of state afloat until “the public is in its right mind again” (i.e.will vote for the correct crop of parties) or the political system can once more emulate functionality to a satisfactory degree, in order to pacify the population.

    The definition of technocrat turns out to be a bit circular and self-referential, obviously you need establishment credentials (usually from finance) but if someone installed as a technocrat decided to diverge from the established wisdom (e.g. go Keynesian when austerity is en vogue or vice versa) then they lose their technocrat recognition and get redefined as populists.

    Elon Musk is an entirely different animal, as his breed thinks they can enter pretty much any field of human endeavor and turn it on its head. Elon Musk is not so much interested in playing by the established rulebook.

    The truth is, that in many areas, established wisdoms have continued long past their due date. No human area of activity is ever 100% efficient. As knowledge, experience and technology change, sometimes a lot can indeed be gained by cutting off old braids and starting anew.

    For instance when it comes to space launch, Musk has been quite successful at revolutionizing it. When it comes to cars … not so much once you consider the actual economics.

    Elon Musk is not a technocrat, but basically a “Triumph of the Will” character.

    A guy like him, he will literally look at any area of his day to day experience and if it pisses him off, he’ll ponder in an idle moment whether he can disrupt the entire industry responsible for it with a new paradigm. He has the luxury of being able to try often and fail often, because in the instances where he’s gotten it right, he’s made a lot of profit – and he’s superconnected.

    As such, Musk is not a technocrat, he is a TECHNOCLAST.

    A breaker-and-replacer of estalished technology.

    His mission is much more to destroy the other guys’ technology and replace it with his, rather than followiing the established rules of what are the academy-approved techniques to handle scenario X, Y and Z (which is the EU technocrat approach).

    Personally, I think he should go right ahead with Prav-DUH. This is basically him giving an established technocracy (the old media) the finger.

    Why not have Prav-DUH as an alternative evaluation to the “truth” as established, by, say, Wikipedia’s ideology bias, or the Mark Zuckerberg universe (another Will To Power guy with literal Emperor Augustus fantasies).

    We’ve gone past the “End of History” as defined by Fukuyama, and the “World after the End” which we live today – that is a world in which there exists neither has a unipolar superpower of full-spectrum dominance, nor does it have a single economic or cultural center, and the concept of Truth has already been killed by postmodernism. Alt-right meme warriors are basically just blowing up balloons with the gases of the decomposing corpse.

    A new approach to Truth will have to be worked out after generations of deculturization, it’s back to the very basics, “does this help us understand the world, predict events, connect one thing to another … and thus help us survive … or doesn’t it”..

    Why shouldn’t a guy like Musk make his attempt?

    What’s worse about him than about Mark Zuckerberg or Jean Claude Juncker?

  16. mike smiddy says

    “The nature of the media means that it cannot be governed by the consumer because its purpose is to inform.” And when was the last time it’s purpose was actually served, or took priority over propagandizing? Do you false premise much? Even heard of open-source intelligence? Please tell us more about this fairy tale you live in.

    “Pravda assumes the role of government in the age of totalitarianism—control over the media.” No Western media outlets are all but entirely CORPORATE controlled now, and this has been the prevailing trend since the 19th century. Seriously how out of touch is this author? This is ABC-level stuff.

  17. hamr says

    Interesting article. I wonder what the editors’ of” The Epoch Times” would think…

  18. Pingback: The trouble with technocracy | Philosophies of a Disenchanted Scholar

  19. Fardin Ahsan says

    The thing is the article talks about the many obvious flaws of pravda. However I think the author should have focused more on why being a technocracy is bad in the sense that being good at one thing does not guarantee one is good at something else.

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