The Esoteric Celebrity

Intellectualism, wealth, and the entanglement of the two has become the new nobility or religion in America today, with thousand – maybe millions – of disciples and acolytes following in the footsteps of our ennobled intellectual sainthood and priesthood. We aspire to be like them, to emulate their mannerisms because they are the new ‘ruling class’, in much same way the British fawn over the King and Queen, although our tech and intelligentsia nobility is much smarter and economically useful than Britain’s consanguineous nobility, who are figureheads that draw upon the commonwealth – literal welfare queens.[1]

This new nobility has given rise to affectations intended to signal intellectual-worth, which in our increasingly technological, winner-take-all economy has become inseparable from self-worth. We all want to be philosophers (or at least perceived as smart as one) as well as economists, scientists, and objectivists. I want to be a part of it, too. In post-2008 America, STEM and STEM-like subjects like philosophy and economics are more respected than ever in the marketplace (in terms of higher wages), online (as measured by shares, viralness, approbation), and in pop culture (as measured by appropriation), too.

The culture of intellectualism is evident and thriving in both the mainstream and esoteric. Complicated, esoteric articles by philosophers and scientists are always going viral whereas social justice articles can’t even get off the launchpad without the help of multi-million dollar media properties like Salon or The Atlantic.

For example, here is one such esoteric article that went viral, combining both philosophy and economics, and is further evidence we’re in a philosophy ‘boom’ both in the field of philosophy and on social media, where such articles readily go viral. Philosophy, as of 2008, has extended its tentacles over many fields as varied as economics, physics, exobiology, and computer science. I hereby nominate philosophy as a STEM field. While it may not pay as much or have as many immediate real-world applications as the hard sciences, it’s still intellectually demanding and has become an inseparable component of the STEM-patchwork.

And as further evidence of the rise of the esoteric celebrity, consider “The Duck” aka “@jokeocracy”, who infamously ‘martyred’ his account in protest of Twitter censorship and political correctness, sending reverberations throughout not only the ‘alt right’, but the far-reaches of the internet. He’s part NRx, part-STEM, part Red Pill…he embodies an aesthetic of coolness, erudition, and authenticity that few will ever achieve. In addition to the stock market, the marketplace of ideas is the only market that matters, and Duck, metaphorically speaking, is a ‘blue chip’ in that regard. His account is suspended indefinitely, but the memory and screenshots of his tweets will live on. [2]

Or consider Davis Aurini, a pioneer of neo masculinity, whose website Stares at the World, which covers philosophy, artificial intelligence, culture and men’s right’s, receives thousands of views, and although most people are not smart enough to appreciate his work, many do, and his Youtube channel has over 10,000 subscribers. Of course, he’s not a famous as Jenna Marbles, but he successfully carved out a niche of his own. And although makeup tutorials may seem low-brow, the women who make thousands of dollars with them typically are not.

For the mainstream, consider the rise of ‘selfie culture’ as a sign of intellectualism and individualism in rejection to pre-internet era leftist collectivism. Some call it narcissism, but it could also be about rejection, even if subconscious, of leftist ideals. Being a ‘rock star’ of yesteryear was a collective endeavor involving a multitude of parties – agents, managers, record labels, TV & radio stations, etc – but today’s ‘rock stars’ – internet celebrities, socialites, and other unconventional celebrities – are bucking the leftist pull of conformity and collectivism, striking ‘gold’ on their own terms and keeping almost all of the proceeds instead of splitting it up among dozens of middlemen that can be likened to tax collectors. As evidenced by the inexorable decline of union membership, for example, the economy more than ever is rewarding individualism over collectivism, and this shift is evident both in culture and economics.[3]

As part of how INTP/J people rule the world, this also ties in with employers, too, viewing ‘social skills’ and extraversion (collectivist traits) as crutches for the incompetent, instead deeming IQ, quantifiable results, and competence (individual traits) as more important, especially since 2008. Silicon Valley pioneered this results-orientated culture, with great success and prosperity, which has caught on to the rest of corporate America:

Silicon Valley is the center of the universe – a bastion of innovation, capital creation, risk taking, and an unassailable meritocracy where anyone, regardless of national origin, age, or professional status can become instantly rich through hard work and intellect. We’re witnessing a concentration of wealth for the top 1% of IQ, but stagnation for everyone else. This trend will continue. To be smart is a ticket to prosperity in today’s hyper-meritocracy; to be dull is to be condemned to a lifetime mediocrity.

In the great fragmentation, we’re all weirdos and nerds now, or at least many aspire to be, because those are the people who are getting most of the fame and fortune since the 2008 financial problem (we don’t call it a crisis) and the super-effective bailouts that followed, which set the stage for the rapture of the cognitive elite that, for years earlier had been encumbered by excessively high interest rates.

From The Daily View: We’re All Becoming Weirdos

When the 2008 financial problem struck, and in the years that followed, corporate America, in response to deteriorating balance sheets and falling share prices, culled millions of overpaid, unproductive employees – temping, outsourcing, automating, or simply eliminating many of those jobs. But incomes and job opportunities for coders, quants, mathematicians, and economists – people who produce quantifiable results – have fared much better.

The point is, it’s time to make yourself useful (intellectually) if you want to be relevant and a participant in today’s competitive economy, creative class, and knowledge-based economy and society. Or you can wondering why you’re getting nowhere in life waiting in vain for the crisis that will never come or the social cycle to turn its dial.

[1] Under a reactionary monarchy, only the demonstrably competent would rule, not figureheads. Not sure how succession would work in the event of incompetent heirs.

[2] He made a new twitter account but the page no longer exists. I think he made a promise to delete his new account, which he followed through on.

[3] A possible exception to this is the publishing industry, in which I support the ‘gatekeepers’ in filtering out the unending conveyor belt of crud while rewarding authors who do have demonstrable talent. Although some independent authors are very successful, these tend to be the smarter ones who already have established presences offline and or online. Authors who go the conventional route can make decent careers in writing, whereas most self-published authors make very little.