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The Widow's Might

2 min read

I follow a widow on Twitter whom I have never met in real life but we're friends with all the same people online. I was there when she lost her husband and our community rallied around her. Recently she's been posting tender memories of her marriage as her anniversary approaches and it breaks my heart every time I see it.

Knowledge of life after death and the Plan of Salvation is comforting but never let it be said that we stop missing our loved ones. Watching a family quake with the loss of a father, husband, and best friend is sobering and I hope that this woman can find the peace she so dearly deserves.

Why would I feel the need to comment on all this? Because loss as an event, even when experienced in this digital age, is torturous yet cathartic, unsettling yet reassuring.

Sure I can say we really don't know each other but I do find myself caring unconditionally for her and her family. I guess I'm just gratefully that as I witness her strength and grace it gives me some confidence that I might be able to do the same. Or with more relevance, that I too might find love so strong. It is a loving God that would allow such tender mercies to accompany grief.

 

Always Take The Elevator

3 min read

Back in 2019 I interned at the United Nations as a rep for USU when they had their climate conference in Salt Lake City. After one of the days meetings all the attendees were invited to a multimedia performance at the nearby theater and I took an old friend who was in town as my date. The performance was really weird but definitely interesting to watch (and make fun of). At the end I asked my date if she wanted to check out the view from the top floor of the building (since both of us were originally from Seattle). We get into an elevator going up when we realize everyone was like $$$RICH$$$. Like they all smelled like money. Fancy hats for the ladies, custom suits, ties that cost more than my entire outfit. I whisper to my date, "just go along with whatever happens next." The elevator doors open up and there's two Russian-looking bodyguard types right there, clearly meant to block anyone from getting out. In thick accents they ask everyone, "Are you here for the party?" to which my date and I meekly respond in the affirmative like everyone else around us.

We get escorted into a room that's right next to the balconies that look over the city (our original destination). From the looks of it, it's one of those private reception rooms that they tuck away for VIPs which is confirmed by the massive spread of fancy meats and expensive cheeses (and to my date's delight, an open bar). We split up grab food and drinks and settle in at a table with a nice old family. We start talking, turns out they're old money. Oil money, from Iran. My date and I easily charm them and tell them I'm Pacific Island chief spending time with one his wives. We're joined by more of our new friends' family members: an dancer, a factory owner, an artist. The atmosphere REEKS of culture.

The cute Iranian couple keeps introducing to other people and despite all of our charm it feels like we're only moments away from getting unmasked as interlopers. A construction exec from Florida is asking a lot of questions about our fictional pacific tribal family and the other wives when everyone just starts clapping. In walks a 30 deep entourage, more bodyguards, publicists, agents, performers (still in costume), socialites and the man himself. He strides in, arm in arm with his wife, her blushing and expressing gratitude and him beaming so proudly. Turns out that the psychedelic light show that night was her production and that Robert had also lent his voice for narration. All the rich people in the room are just as starstruck as my date and I, with the exception of our Iranian couple. "We're close friends with Robert, we see him all the time," they laugh.

My date and I queue up behind others and get pictures with Robert while his wife plays hosts mingling with the various cliques in the room. I stutter as I tell him the people of my country enjoy his films and he just smiles, looking like he could be anyone's grandfather. We say our goodbyes to our new friends, check out the balcony that we originally wanted to see, and book it before anyone could bust us. And that's why I always take elevators.

 

 

International Cringe: How I went slightly viral on accident

3 min read

About eight years ago my BYU-Hawaii friends introduced me to a fairly benign Canadian humor site called Tickld. It was an addictive meme trap with an even balance of normie and edgy content, filling the void left by picking the losing team of the Digg vs Reddit war. I was quickly hooked and even altered the No Avatar default picture from the site to be my Steam account picture.

 

On a whim I ended up purchasing some meme apparel and had the classic Jazzy 90s Men's T-Shirt shipped to me. After looking around stores for two weeks I was finally able to find the cups with the matching style and so in victory I posted the picture to Tickld with the caption “The stars have aligned to make this happen.” It quickly made the front page of the site and was apparently appealing enough for some enterprising individual to snag the image and cheesy caption. It was posted to Reddit three different times and eventually made it to the top of r/pics.

 

 

By the time it got to the front page of Reddit one of my friends had messaged me, asking why he was seeing a picture of me on the internet. When I finally saw it the Reddit account had already been deleted but the picture remained up. Assessing the damage with a couple of reverse image searches I saw the extent to which other opportunists had taken advantage of my cringey photo. Immediately after Reddit, it made its way to 9Gag then Facebook. Photo compilation sites like Uberhumor and Izispicy followed suite and soon it was everywhere, even internationally. My ugly mug ended up on Russian sites three different times; Polish, Greek, Spanish, even Chinese.

While I had made a Reddit account around the same time as Digg, my first and for a long time, only, interaction with the platform was commenting on the r/Pics picture- decrying the imposter as an attention whore. In the end it's both flattering and embarrassing. An innocent photo posted to a harmless Canadian site was my debut to the internet. I had lurked on the web long enough to know better than to expose myself to the degradation of that picture and that caption in a more public community like Reddit. But that’s just the nature of viral images. Digg survives but has fallen from its grand heights, Tickld is practically dead and the meme economy flourishes. I guess I’m lucky to have participated in it, even if inadvertently. And yet I’m still unwilling to sell out and start using Reddit actively.

 

Name Policy February 19, 2021

1 min read

My full name is Kabeia Rineaki Brock Sutton Allen. Those are the names I was born with and the names I was given when I was brought to the United States of America. Following my deplatforming on social media I've determined that most of you are undeserving of the intimacy of my easily pronounced English name. Only friends and family get to use that, the rest of you have honor of addressing me as Kabeia.

 

How to Cope With Getting Called Stateside

1 min read

Shut the fuck up and get to work bitch

 

 

Us vs Them Metrics

1 min read

Rhetoric is not a two sided blade, it does not cut both ways. It is a gun and it can be pointed at yourself or someone else but never both of you at the same time. As a political operative you are not a philosopher or rootless truth seeker. You are a samurai, a knight.

Your loyalty is to the fortress, the clan, your faction.

The enemy is monolithic.

You are subtle and nuanced.

 To forget that is to fail.

 

Brock Sutton Allen is dead. Long live Kabeia Rineaki.

3 min read

It’s all gone. The Facebook account Brock Sutton Allen (Kabeia Rineaki) that I made in middle school has vanished. And while I have received blocks and warnings in the past, this recent strike came out of nowhere as I had shifted most of my sh*tposting to Twitter. To the best of my recollection I can count on one hand the times when my account was notified of legal or community guideline issues on Facebook:

  1. When I was asked to admin a conservative page, which I never posted to. I’d tell you the name but that’s how neglectful my involvement was, I have forgotten it. When that page and the creator were deleted I was somehow guilty by association and received a notification that I wouldn't be able to post for a couple of days. I considered this a fluke and simply carried on. If Facebook is capable of deleting one’s entire existence it seems reasonable to assume they can properly trace who is to blame for what.

  2. When I posted a video of a star projector I had in my room and I was playing music from the Passengers soundtrack. The audio was flagged, muted, and I was notified. Technically justifiable, but a bit hamfisted. If it’s not being monetized background music probably shouldn’t pose a threat to any IP holders. But no ban, just the warning.

  3. When I jokingly called other minorities “darkies” on the page “The Antagon” that I created with libertarian and conservative minorities. The post was mocking an article bemoaning the recent spike in [censored disease] cases with people of color, when just prior to that footage had been released of that same demographic partying, packed elbow to elbow without masks. This came as a retroactive action as the post was months old and I got a 3 day ban, which I submitted for manual review.

  4. Posting Kyle Rittenhouse memes on Facebook's first Otoya Yamaguchi page (which I also created and was the singular admin for. All them having been gleaned from Facebook. This was considered such a threat to Facebook that not only was I banned from posting for a week but my usage of Facebook Messenger was blocked.

Taken individually or even all together I contend --then and now-- that none of these things should constitute deplatforming. I would do it all again and defend it the same way. When I’m using social media, I’m a bit of a power user. I was starting to move on to 3K Friends. But all those connections, posts, and community contributions are gone. 

Additionally deleted are all the Groups, Pages, and Collections dedicated to

  • My homeland of Kiribati

  • Seasteading

  • Pacific Geopolitics

  • Tech News

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  • Artificial Intelligence

  • Chinese Imperialism

  • Conservative Interests

  • Libertarians Interests

  • Big Tech’s Growing Influence

  • The Journo-Academic Complex

  • And a slew of pop-culture topics

But while I am fairly sad at the loss of all these resources I am honestly more angry. Even now I feel mocked as Facebook kindly recommends the same people I was friends with on my old profile. Feel free to add my new profile and follow me on all other platforms which can be found at linktr.ee/tyltk. I’ll be adding more and more as time goes on. I refuse to be silenced.

Update: it appears that I was part of a larger purge https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10158582585787726&id=5978057725

 

From Georgia to Honduras: Privatized Cities

2 min read

Sometimes the generation divide bums me out, I wish I could be friends with Oliver Porter just because of his work with the Sandy Springs Public Private Partnership, but alas I can't seem to find him. 

If you haven't seen it, Reason has an oldie but goldie about Sandy Springs "The Town That Outsourced Everything" to CH2M Hill who was able to provide all the municipal services to the new town for half the price.

Currently, Mr. Porter's new project is a private city called Próspera in Honduras's Zones of Economic Development and Employment

"For now, Próspera is physically small, starting with 60 undeveloped and unpopulated acres, plus another small parcel nearby, though it is attempting to acquire much more land, including a nearby resort.

Investors will make money through the built-out of the mixed-use city. Porter said there are about 60 commitments for single-family homes, and highrise apartments and condominiums are planned as well. A university and a medical clinic have committed to joining the project, he said. The concept is to expand on the business side with “clean industries” like medical research, finance and technology, he said."

It sounds like there's serious interest and backing and I'm excited to see the development of a city-state under the experienced direction of a veteran.

Links:

https://reason.com/video/sandy-springs-georgia-the-city/

https://www.reporternewspapers.net/2020/08/01/sandy-springs-founder-joins-privatized-city-state-proj...

 

Movements vs Organizations

1 min read

Intentionally or not, almost all organizations shield themselves with movements. It is the goal of the political operative to deflect any crimes committed by their faction to the nebulous while attacking the corporeal center of the opposition. Few will admit this and the tactic cannot be confronted directly unless one is willing to do the tedious work of calculating the size of the movement, leadership, and their respective offenses. Until that happens those engaged in the culture battles must trust that their opponent still has boats to sink in this eternal game of Battleship.

 

 

Death to the Intelligentsia

1 min read

When you major in journalism your aren't taught more rigorous methods of research than your academic peers because you produce nothing of value as you report on the people who are actually doing things. All that you learn is how to better craft a narrative, how to remove context, inject agenda, and package it neatly with "content creation"; all the while claiming unassailable intellectual and moral superiority. And despite how transparently bereft the industry is of both we must all suffer the unholy union of Journalism and Academia- perpetuating an eternal feedback loop of soft science "experts" catering to journalist yes-men reinforcing the partisan predilections of hard science specialists. Their work can be interpreted properly by the experts and then processed again for breathless distribution by the yes-men; and so the cycle continues forever and ever ensnaring more and more academics by virtue of the self-referential nature of this intellectual incest and easily fooling the public who are reassured by the critical mass of collaboration that we reached long ago. This is the Journo-Academic Complex and this needs to die.