Monday, January 25, 2021

Red And Black Ants: Americans Will Be "Investigating" Americans

summit |  An academic study carried out by researchers in the US and Germany has concluded that big-tech elites are completely different to all other people on the planet, and can be placed in their own class.

“Our research contributes to closing a research gap in societies with rising inequalities,” note the authors of the study from two German universities and the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies in New York. 

The research centres around analysing language used in close to 50,000 tweets and other online statements by 100 of the richest tech-elites as listed by Forbes.

The researchers conclude that big-tech elites such as Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates display a ‘meritocratic’ worldview, meaning they do not see wealth as a source of their influence or success, but rather believe their innate abilities and more altruistic beliefs have enabled them to achieve power.

“We find that the 100 richest members of the tech world reveal distinctive attitudes that set them apart both from the general population and from other wealthy elites,” the study states.

The researchers noted that the study had limitations, ironically owing to the fact that they were not able to access language used by all the top 100 tech-elites because Twitter is banned in China.

The Twitter accounts they were able to access could also be managed by PR professionals and are obviously public projections of how the tech elites want to be thought of by the public at large, therefore the language used may be ‘strategic’.

Nevertheless, the findings go some way to explaining why big-tech elites are so inclined to censor and de-platform those who hold world views at odds with their own.

Abstract

The emergence of a new tech elite in Silicon Valley and beyond raises questions about the economic reach, political influence, and social importance of this group. How do these inordinately influential people think about the world and about our common future? In this paper, we test a) whether members of the tech elite share a common, meritocratic view of the world, b) whether they have a “mission” for the future, and c) how they view democracy as a political system. Our data set consists of information about the 100 richest people in the tech world, according to Forbes, and rests on their published pronouncements on Twitter, as well as on their statements on the websites of their philanthropic endeavors. Automated “bag-of-words” text and sentiment analyses reveal that the tech elite has a more meritocratic view of the world than the general US Twitter-using population. The tech elite also frequently promise to “make the world a better place,” but they do not differ from other extremely wealthy people in this respect. However, their relationship to democracy is contradictory. Based on these results, we conclude that the tech elite may be thought of as a “class for itself” in Marx’s sense—a social group that shares particular views of the world, which in this case means meritocratic, missionary, and inconsistent democratic ideology.