Brin talks about the typical mentality of Trump voters.He argues that those with ‘routine jobs’ were more likely to vote for Trump than those with ‘non-routine’ jobs – and said ‘boredom’ might explain the President’s popularity.
‘There’s actually a lot of historical precedent for boredom being a huge factor in vote choice,’ Brin told the crowd.
‘And actually in building extremism. We’ve done a lot of work on extremism that shows a high correlation with boredom.’
‘Data suggests that boredom led to the rise of fascism and communism. It sort of sneaks up sometimes, really bad things.’
“The search engine, codenamed Dragonfly, was designed for Android devices, and would remove content deemed sensitive by China’s ruling Communist Party regime, such as information about political dissidents, free speech, democracy, human rights, and peaceful protest.”
I guess the difference between the US and China is the Chinese leaders are bored. They’re certainly deplorable, and the routine of operating their totalitarian social credit apparatus must get boring. Especially if you have the mentality of a typical Chinese Communist. Brin’s going to help them with that, but won’t automating the surveillance state make running it even more boring? Where’s the fun in having a computer assign people to re-education camps based on a search term they use?
One must wonder about Brin. On one hand, perhaps we should heed this aphorism from F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” On the other hand, he seems to lack self-awareness.
IAC, Brin does not appear subject to the possibility of cognitive dissonance.
Perhaps George Orwell can explain it for us:
The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them… To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies—all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth
-Orwell, George (1949). Nineteen Eighty-Four. Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd, London, part 2, chapter 9, pp 220