Neural nets, funny memes and the speed of misinformation

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Neural nets, funny memes and the speed of misinformation

Post by subgard »

It seems that the speed of misinformation has been increasing. And, it seems it parallels the speed of a more innocuous form of information - funny memes.
Back in the nineties, it could take several years for both jokes and crazy conspiracy theories to saturate their respective audiences.

In the early days of YouTube, "Rickrolling" was funny for many months. I don't know what specific misinformation was circulating at that time, but I assume it would also have taken a similar amount of time to reach all of it's audience.

At the 2021 inauguration, Bernie Sanders became a funny meme literally overnight with traditional media mentioning it just a day or two later (at which point a meme is no longer cool or funny).
And various misinformation is spreading at about the same speed (I was thinking of some things associated with the Gamestop phenomena).

I don't know when this occurred, but it seems that misinformation is now traveling faster than traditional media. If 9/11 occurred now, would you hear it first directly from a traditional news source, or over social media connections? How fast would some form of Trutherism show up? The same day?

I wonder if both misinformation and funny memes are creating natural neural nets with people as the neurons. The more information with a positive feedback cascades over a neural net, the stronger and more efficient the pattern becomes.

The early internet would be like a baby's brain just learning to flail about, with an excess of similar synapses. The internet now is more like an athlete with unnecessary synapses pruned away, and the most efficient ones strengthened.

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Re: Neural nets, funny memes and the speed of misinformation

Post by Qazwer »

People are always the neurons in this model. This was true in the days of trains just crossing this country bringing stories until today. ‘Traditional media’ with a unified story has been a brief interlude in history.

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Dream of Freedom
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Re: Neural nets, funny memes and the speed of misinformation

Post by Dream of Freedom »

I don't understand. What is the difference between misinformation and traditional media? Spelling?