Battling the Matrix and Freeing Oneself from the Roger Rabbit Mental World


Originally published at:

In 1999, a big hit movie was The Matrix. I went and saw it but I don’t recall it making much of an impression on me. At the time, my understanding of the world was pretty conventional. I believed the things I was told — for example, that a lone nut by the name of…


I can hardly believe that it’s been three years since I wrote this piece.


It’s unique, entertaining, intelligent, and I think it touches on something profound about human nature, and perceptional tendencies. I think it might not be possible for anything to improve beyond the current paradigm until it gets widely noted and acted on, in fact (I’m sure it’s already narrowly noted and acted at places like the Rand Corp. and within intelligence agencies).


I can’t either. Yikes.


As the post still exists over at Unz where RR was first published, and there are over 400 comments there, a pretty lively thread befitting the excellent essay, I thought I’d post a link to those comments here:


Well, thanks for the kind words, James. Actually, in the three years since I wrote that piece, my thinking has crystallized a bit further. In that article, I made up the term HIQI, the High IQ idiot, the person who, for all his formal education, however high he scores on an IQ sort of test, is simply helpless against all the propaganda, can’t see through any of it.

It finally occurred to me that the primary problem of the HIQI is this sort of inability to distinguish between real facts and storytelling. You know, a real fact is something that is verifiable and that no reasonable person would really dispute. “Paris is the capital of France.” That sort of thing.

And then, storytelling is just storytelling… narrative… something that is not factual --things that are either just unverifiable, so they might or might be true, or totally improbably, but not absolutely impossible, and then things that are just impossible…

It finally occurs to me that a lot of the way the propaganda machinery works is via a sort of Alchemy of Narrative. Somehow storytelling gets transformed into “fact”. Of course, with alchemy in its original sense, transforming base materials into gold, the result cannot be real gold, just some sort of fool’s gold and the “facts” that you get out of the Alchemy of Narrative are not real facts either. They are the fool’s facts, or the HIQI’s facts…

One of my realizations over the last few years has been the extent to which people who are “public intellectuals” out there, whether Ron Unz or Paul Craig Roberts or people like that, they have a very weak grasp of the difference between real facts and storytelling.

Anyway, those are the kinds of concepts that my ongoing writing revolves around, I guess. Say, did you ever listen to my Deep Truth talk?

It’s a funny story because the organizers of that event just hated the talk, or at least some of them did and I was cut off in mid-sentence almost at about the 25 minute mark. The final 9 minutes in the talk linked above were recorded separately.