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Precisely. One major reason this vaporware fraud example got more attention was because the stakes were higher than a buggy food delivery or movie booking app or some shit.
Another reason it got more traction was because, well...it's a compelling narrative. It's got it all: the meteoric rise and fall, hubris, deception, a cult of secrecy and paranoia, high stakes, and even some tragedy (the chief scientist at Theranos, Ian Gibbons, committed suicide due to the shit Theranos put him through — and when his widow called Holmes' office to inform her of his death she received nothing but an email from Theranos' lawyer demanding Gibbons' work laptop and any other confidential information he had).
Edited by M84 on Oct 9th 2018 at 8:11:44 PM
The laptop business makes sense...because it was a criminal fraud.
Thanks for informing me about this.
Sadly, this isn't that uncommon with a lot of businesses. Huge numbers of American businesses exist on vapor and promises.
So, what I find interesting is that the narrative I'd heard about Holmes uses the same facts to paint a very different picture.
One of a woman with a reasonable idea (one-drop blood test kits like the glucometer help millions of diabetes sufferers monitor and regulate their glucose, for instance) getting unreasonably rejected by the men who dominate her field and turning to investors who cared only for results and profits rather than medical advances and then turning down the dark path of manipulating her results to stay funded long enough to turn the theory she knew was solid into practice.
Which is... No doubt largely bullshit, but the actual truth of the situation is probably somewhere between that narrative and the narrative that she's a manipulative bitch who set out to profit from a complete scam from the start.
Ehhh, I'd argue that the Golden Mean Fallacy is in play here.
Allow me to explain my reasoning. It's very probable she did have an idea there that was perhaps treated shittily by Silicon Valley bro-culture. However, eventually she discovers that idea does not and never did work.
And she doubled down, tripled down, hired a bunch of people to obfuscate that it didn't, and lied about it being used in Afghanistan and other locations. Then she started charging people for the results, only to use competitors materials. You could argue she was trying to make it work but this company has been producing snake oil for a long time and it's snake oil that kills people.
Basically, the moment she started lying and faking results was the moment she lost all sympathy. 9 billion dollars is also a lot of fucking lies.
I hate to use this comparison but Elon Musk lies a shit ton but he doesn't pretend we have actual Mars colonies and sells tickets.
Edited by CharlesPhipps on Oct 9th 2018 at 6:31:42 AM
For what it's worth, the journalist who did a lot of the work exposing this house of cards, the author of Bad Blood, thinks it was in between too. At least, he doesn't think she started off planning to scam people.
He believed she was initially sincere about the idea. She really wanted to be the next Steve Jobs and revolutionize an industry. She wanted to be a tech billionaire who changed the world.
The problem was that she was willing to do anything, say anything, to do it. And she wouldn't let a little thing like her tech not working get in the way.
And the thing is...she was actually pretty good at getting people to believe in her vision. That's how she raised the money for her startup. The people who turned her down were Silicon Valley's big VC firms because they demanded actual info and results and saw her refusal to reveal any as a red flag.
Edited by M84 on Oct 9th 2018 at 10:07:58 PM
I'm wondering if my idea makes sense to Americans here.
Something that I've always wondered had being...the collapse of society due to external forces. Not just decay and civil war, but a external outsider event that just destroy civilization as we know it.
One topic that I like to show is that at the face of literal trans dimensional monarchist demons, your race, gender or sexual orientation are nothing. You're gonna be killed as everyone else.
...except that not and demons reveal themselves to be more human-like. Which is a bad new for any group that they target.
I've heard that Apocalyptic fantasies are a Right Wing fantasy and honestly? I really don't disagree, the idea of a outsider force destroying society is clearly appealing to their ideology.
Thought I actually like to use it to stress the importance of the state. The goverment is flawed and even they end up carrying horrors of their own (stuff as Armies/polices shooting at totally-not!buddhist churches to prevent the apparition of demons. Because they really don't know what's a demon and what isn't) but compared to the wilderness of the apocalypse? Is the only bastion of sanity.
Thought. They also were the reason why the demonic horror started in first place.
Edited by KazuyaProta on Oct 9th 2018 at 11:01:16 AM
I'd argue that apocalyptic fantasies very often are critical of nationalist sentiment and right wing ideology unless they're deliberately created BY right wing ideologues.
For example, it's the white nationalist Enclave that destroyed the universe of
Fallout and who represent the single worst threat to human survival post-apocalypse.
I also try and criticism Right Wing ideology in my Cthulhu Armageddon books. Cthulhu does not care about your race, creed, or color. At the end of the day, he was just a natural disaster.
I did insert a fascist state inside CA, though, because I wanted to establish the state can still be an evil controlling vile force even when humanity is reduced to almost nothing.
Edited by CharlesPhipps on Oct 10th 2018 at 5:43:18 AM
The State is evil is such a cliche (and ironically a Right Wing view as well)
Thought the "proper" Left don't like it either.
No matter what you do, is always the state fault. Not bad for something that really just exist for like, some centuries.
Said this. I always get criticism of Left Wing people that genuinely believe Armies Are Evil regardless of their government.
Like. Goverments don't just collapse, but do it ridiculously easy. At best. At worst? They become uber authoritarian shitholes from a libertarian and/or anarchist wet dream.
Edited by KazuyaProta on Oct 10th 2018 at 8:16:02 AM
The appeals of an post-apocalyptic fantasy appeal more to right libertarian then right authoritarian sentiments.
It’s the “preper” ideal of having been ready for the inevitable end of civilization and being able to stand at the top when it all comes tumbling down while all the sheeple that didn’t prepare just get eaten.
Despite being libertarian the society such people would build in the wake of the end of the world would likely be a kind of Neo-Feudalism if not just outright Facistic if enough of them get together.
Its kind of hard for an institution with that much concentrated power to not get itself into some nasty business. But at the same time it is diffucult to coordinate the actions of lots of people without some kind of “state” (however you define that) to help coordinate and organize things.
While I have a lot solidarity with Anarchists, I’ve never been fully convinced that the “Free Frederation of Autonomous Communes” ideal would actually work out.
Edited by Mio on Oct 10th 2018 at 9:21:43 AM
One criticism to Far-Libertarianism is that is basically Neo Feudalism. So you're not that far.
Hey. If we brainwash everyone to be more "sociable" (at lack of a better term), then the anarcho-communist dream could be realized.
Still a more realistic goal than Marxism Leninism
Edited by KazuyaProta on Oct 10th 2018 at 8:26:14 AM
Well with Post-Apocalyptia I'd argue that it can exist most places in the political spectrum-and indeed, the rightist fantasy narrative is something of a Dead Horse Trope (or some variant thereof).
For example, it's pretty common in these sorts of stories for any sort of contingency to backfire. IE, the doomsday prepper militias are usually evil, as is any remnant of the government.
A fantastic example of this would actually be the Fallout series, wherein the US became a far-right dystopia so evil that there's a good argument the nuclear war was a good thing. The US became controlled by one of the most evil megacorps in fiction, one which got the US into a nuclear war and created bunkers that were actually sadistic experiments. Any remnant of the US government is very, very Nazi-esque.
Though the game does have non-evil organizations that strike me as "conservative". Speaking as a conservative, the NCR strikes me as a pretty even-handed portrayal of conservatism. The Minutemen also give off vaguely conservative vibes to me and are basically cartoonishly good.
Fallout really doesn’t express many if any ideas to the left of maybe social-liberalism so it shouldn’t be surprising that even its “good” factions lean conservative.
Post-apocalypse stories are always easy to be used as a way to give cheap shot. Just tailor the pre-apocalypse world and the reason behind the apocalypse properly and you can give cheap shot to anyone and anything. You can even continue the barrage with what happen after the apocalypse, the heroes, and especially the villains. With enough imagination and in-universe justifications, anything can cause the apocalypse.
It's understandable, though. It's "kinda" hard to try to do anything other than to survive in the world of Fallout.
What I can say? I like aiming at easy stuff.
Thought I'm actually Pro Goverments. A well organizated goverment could survive to two apocalyptic events.
Is just that a lot of people dies. A lot of dead people.
Yeah the state is evil is easy as pro individualist creed of reling of yourself, it have the apealing of you and your own and all that stuff.
In a way is dificult to portray the state as something good, which it said something in how we see today.
It’s worth noting there’s both “statist” conservatism and “libertarian” conservatism. Both enjoy tales about the state being destroyed, but for different reasons.
The Followers of the Apocalypse are the Big Good of the setting and they're anarchist communists. The big idea behind Fallout, if such an idea exists, is that it is good to rebuild society but the question of how to do so is always debatable.
Caesar's Legion remains a fascist embodiment of Right Wing Luddite and Libterarian fears, though. It is a Far Right misogynist hyper-religious slave-owning state.
Edited by CharlesPhipps on Oct 10th 2018 at 9:20:21 AM
The Witcher has it's female leads now.
I take inspiration in Real Life ideologies while also putting some fantastical spins to kept them different.
Like. Society is roughly recognizable as Capitalist, with big bussiness and a Mega-Corp.
The modern democratic state as we know it exist. But the Left and Right division don't exist anymore and political parties are based more in individual ideologies and figures rather than trying to fit in a scale.
Like. The uber-traditionalists is actually using rethoric similar to the Far-Left IRL. The revolutionaries pseudo socialist/anarchist think more as proto fascists than as anarchists IRL.
Is basically something that the audience can recognize but put in a totally different context.
Edited by KazuyaProta on Oct 10th 2018 at 4:53:49 AM
It's a bit of a stretch to call the Followers Fallout's Big Good IMO. They only appear in one game IIRC and even in that one they're a minor faction.
They appear in New Vegas as well.
Isn't New Vegas the only game they appear in? Do they appear in another one?
They're the people who rebuilt Los Angeles ("The Boneyard") in Fallout 1. They're an anarchist cult that, nevertheless, preserved the Los Angeles Library and uses its knowledge to teach people sustainable living.
NCR is inherently pissed off by them.
Edited by CharlesPhipps on Oct 10th 2018 at 7:06:09 AM
Still bit of stretch to call them big good since they are minor faction of humanitarians/pacifists/punks
So recently, Youtuber, Lily Peet, released a video on her problems with the Steven Universe t.v. show. It's two hours long for those interested but there is one particular area Lily Peet talks about that I want to address: redemptive arcs for monstrous villains (at 1:38:50).
According to LP, the issue with redemption arcs and sympathetic villains, is that writers don't get that they only work in certain situations. And I find that I agree with her on this. If you're going to give a redemptive arc to a villain, they shouldn't have too many moral even horizons under their belt.
And honestly, I find I agree with this. Redemption is a good idea in theory but there are lines you can't come back from. Not everyone believes in forgive and forget and you don't have to. And some crimes leave too many scars. This isn't just an issue with Steven Universe, I've found it very common with villains in other media particularly the X-Men where murderers, terrorists and even rapists are given redemption arcs.
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