Inside Doug's Head

I am not a number, I am… What's that stuff they make glue out of? I'm that. Forever swirling, forwards and upwards, but always sticky. Sometimes, a little sad.


It’s mostly like YouTube, except it is a herd of sheep all doing the same thing, and following the same carrot. Do sheep eat carrots? Let’s just assume they do, and also skip over the locomotion problems arising with carrots needing to be followed. Imagine that world: while the sheep are struggling to solve basic algebra problems, the carrots have already nailed bipedal motion.

OK, now I am mentally picturing a classroom full of sheep, all sitting awkwardly at their desks, brows furrowed as they try to solve long division problems with pencil and paper. Their stern teacher, obviously a giraffe, looks on while pacing between the rows of desks, carrying a riding crop that he menacingly taps on the students’ papers as he passes each one in turn. I don’t know why, but I imagine the teacher is German, but don’t make too much of that; he might be Austrian. Oh, and yes, I do know yew is a tree and ewe is a sheep, but EweTube looked weird, wether or not it makes any difference. Sheep puns.

Sadly, having run out of fresh content on Netflix a long time ago, I have taken to watching YouTube videos whenever I feel the need for some mindless entertainment. If you have not heard of YouTube, it is a piece of technology that allows any dummy with a video camera (DWVC) to create and share informational videos. There was also something called World War One that was in all of the newspapers a few years back; you should try to keep up with current events. I know it is difficult, things go by so quickly.

There exists a wide range of content type and quality on YouTube. [When I read that sentence out loud, it seems kind of awkward. What I was really going for is that there is a lot of crappy content down that hole, but some of it is pretty mediocre.] Now, I am not a believer in free-speech. While I do believe in fee-speech, where I get paid in buttons and colorful dryer lint, largely I think that the government should license anyone who wants to put their personal beliefs and opinions out there just to make sure they are getting the message right.

In the olden days, which represents a time period regarded generally as pre-1990, if someone had an idea that they wanted to share with the world, they had to find some sort of physical medium to communicate it widely, and there were barriers to doing that. Editorial departments would have to review manuscripts for elusive facts, argue the validity of any crazy claims, and basically sanitize the message to make it safe for the general public. It was a good system, and everything was great, except for typhus and malaria. People could read stuff and know that the government and their boffins guaranteed that it was all true and proper.

Then, along came public access to the internet, and everything changed. Any random weirdo can now write and publish whatever bat-shit crazy thoughts they have, from the comfort of their own living room, even while wearing pajamas. Hypothetically, they could even be drinking coffee, too. Or, possibly whiskey. Hippo-thetically. So now, individual consumers have to make conscious decisions about the validity and veracity of the plethora of opinions and metafacts that they encounter each day, and people suck at doing that. The government already tells us what to eat, what to wear, and where to park, so they should also be in control of what we read, write, and say. Why not? Who else would have our collective best interests in their hearts if not soulless power-hungry politicians and the feckless civil servants who do their bidding?

Since its inception, YouTube ran counter to the grain of social and political normalization and conformity, and permitted their content creators (who could be anyone, by the way) the freedom to decide what they wanted, what they needed, to say or demonstrate, and they were not just limited to controversial arts and crafts, no! Anyone, regardless of their complete lack of understanding of economics or the fundamental political process could make a video explaining how money is bad, or good, and how trees are contributing to pollution. It was never a question of whether they could make a video, and they certainly never considered whether they should make a video. But, uh, idiots, uh, (dramatic pause) find a way.

When Google purchased YouTube, they ambitiously crammed in more minutes of advertising per second of content than any other form of communication, and paid their creators micro-pennies per view in compensation. Obviously, this practice was going on before the acquisition, but Google really amped it up after giving a few billion dollars to someone else in exchange for the intellectual property of others. In an effort to keep their advertisers happy, Google began steadfastly enforcing and entrenching community guidelines for acceptable content standards. Not quality standards, no, standards of message. Anything controversial, or counter to the business interests of Google, would be relegated to the last page of search results, at best, or entirely banned from YouTube, at most. So, any content that contains an anti-free-speech sentiment can be censored, and that’s good, right? If you do not agree, just think of the children.

Don’t worry, though. It isn’t a bad thing because Google’s corporate slogan of don’t be evil implies that they won’t be evil, and their colorful child-like logo and Dr. Seuss inspired work environment mean that they are entirely benevolent, so we can trust them. Just like a doctor’s oath of do no harm, or a plumber’s vow to get everything wet doesn’t mean that medical complications are the second leading cause of death in the US, or that some things are always very dry.

Also now, with the preference prediction of Google’s DeepMind AI, if you watch a video with a polarizing opinion, they can suggest you watch another one that re-enforces the exact same point of view; never mind balance or counterpoint. You know, the same technology that suggests ads for things that you bought two weeks earlier. Since you just bought a new barbecue, you might be interested in purchasing a barbecue. Not barbecue accessories, no, that would be a connection, an inference, and it can’t do that. It needs more money in order to advance, so in the meantime it will just keep spitting back what you just did, the same way a therapist regurgitates your last answer in the form of a new question as if they are being insightful and deserve $300/hour. With discrete systems you can overcome non-causal effects by shifting the time axis, but predicting that I might want to buy the same thing tomorrow that I bought 10 days earlier is going a bit too far. Never mind artificial intelligence, I am still waiting to see some real intelligence out of this civilization of ours.

Okay, so now that we have outsourced government censorship responsibility to a private corporation, and I can’t see how that could possibly go wrong, we can move forward confidently sure that the message is correct. But what about the qualitative metrics of the content? Who is responsible for ensuring that the videos live up to someone’s expectations of production quality? Yes, I have some suggestions for all the YouTube creators. Please keep the following quality guidelines in mind as you make your videos.

When you speak, flap and wave your hands more. Gesticulate wildly, always. We like it when you do that. No, it doesn’t distract from your central thesis. As the old saying goes, when you see an epileptic in a bathtub, throw in your laundry. Never mind what these assholes say. What do they know about speaking to an audience, besides everything?

Start and end each video with an explanation, once again, how like and subscribe work. I am never really clear on the concepts, so it bears endless repeating. If I like something, what is it that I do? Is it, subs cribe, or su bscribe? I am confused on the up-thumb hieroglyphic. Is it for hitchhiking? Is that how I call for an Uber? Don’t ask me how technology works. It is all done with mirrors, as far as I can tell.

Make your channel’s video introductions longer. Graphics with lots of fire, star-wipes, and lightning bolts let me know that you are a pro with at least one of the Adobe douchebag tools. All 500 million of you are unique, unless you define unique as one of a kind, and your introductions should let the viewer know how much more unique you are than all the rest. I know your video is only two minutes long, but at least 1:50 of it should be an introduction about you, and if it explains like and subscribe to me, that would be super. I need that, because me Thog and me not know bang rock together.

Please, please, for the love of whatever gods you may, must, or may not, or must not believe in, please, I beg of you, please, really, ramble more. Do not immediately get to your point, and certainly don’t plan or rehearse what you want to say. If you are doing a video on how to not fall down, make sure you include a lengthy, anecdotal filled explanation on why falling down is not so good and why people would want to avoid falling down. If it’s about the moon, explain what a moon is and how I might go about seeing one. Do not assume that I have any practical knowledge or frame of reference. It is not like I chose to watch your video based on my interest of what it was supposed to be about. How to avoid getting murdered. What is murdered? Why do I not want to get murdered? Non-sequiturs all around!

As a follow along to the previous point, make sure that the tile and title for your video have nothing to do with what your video is really about. Surprises are good, and I don’t want to choose a video titled “How to keep rocks from attacking you as you walk in the park”, only to find out that it has no pornography or animal husbandry in it. I mean, that’s just obvious, but still, it requires stating.

Don’t support your odd social and political opinions with any rationality or research. Just like Jon Stewart-Oliver (they got married and gave birth to Trevor Noah), if anyone calls you on your bullshit, just say you are not a social or political commentator, and anyone who takes your opinions seriously is a knuckle-dragging asshole, probably from Texas, or some other place you have never been, because everyone from there is a KDA. God! People! Right?

Can you read more web pages to me? Printed words have more meaning when someone else is (mis)reading them to me. Skip the parts that provide context, and only read the words that emphasize your point, especially if the original source is just someone else’s blog or an opinion piece from a HillaryDuff supporter. If you can do that thing where you display only the highlighted text that you are reading, you would be like a CNN or one of those guys, and I like that.

This one is really important: display pages of words, the smaller the typeface the better, but don’t give us enough time to read them. Make us rewind and pause often. That rule-of-thumb, give people enough time to read the text twice out loud, that’s for dummies who read words and try to understand them. Make them rewind and pause to figure out that the “Trump revelation by the MSM and FBI” was really lorem ipsum.

Speak very, very slowly. When people talk at a normal rhythm, especially about really boring background junk, I get a might sorely confused. Speak real slow so that I can follow along with the subtitling for the emotionally impaired. If you are unable to speak slowly enough, use one of those robot speech synthesizers that don’t know about diction or em-phas-isis. It’s not like humans pay any attention to verbal rhythm or intonation while we try to make sense of the world around us. I’m looking at you, Captain Kirk.

Be sure to use lots of copyrighted material that you have stolen from other sources. Don’t worry about the legality of it since the fair use rule applies to everything you borrow. Except when someone else does it to you. No one is fair to use your stuff because it’s copyrighted. Complain to Google, and make them take the content down. That’s fair, because of youse.

Always remember, you are social media megastars doing the Lord’s work. It’s the Dark Lord you are working for, but still, it makes you special. Behave and virtue signal accordingly. As it has always been, the formula for success is 9.


2 thoughts on “YewTube

  1. malanielovesfiction says:

    The last paragraph forever! It’s my new favorite 🙂

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