Chris Carter

For King and Country

Call Me A Luddite

August 23, 2023

Over the past couple of years, I have slowly been disconnecting myself from the technological matrix that has seemingly engulfed everything good, true, and beautiful in our world. A few years ago I completely disconnected from Instagram and Facebook. I had an anon Twitter account for short periods in the interim, but I’ve gotten rid of that too. I switched my phone from Apple to a non-Google OS called GrapheneOS which runs on Android. I paid off my only car and shredded my only credit card. I’ve never owned a TV, and never will. I’ve never owned a video game console. I’ve had a Reddit account for all of 5 minutes. And most recently, I’ve finally cut myself off from that nagging spectre, YouTube, which took some of the most drastic action yet to accomplish.

Each time I made one of these decisions to free another appendage of mine from the mangled wreckage of the technological matrix that many are beginning to confuse for society itself, it was scary, painful, and left me facing the future with a little uncertainty.

But let me tell you, my brother: I have exactly zero regrets. Each time I got rid of a piece of disgusting technocratic filth, it felt like I was being pulled out of a tarpit.

Let me quell some fears for you, since you might be thinking of doing the same thing. Here is me responding to some of the asinine questions I was asking myself during the process.

How will my family and friends keep in touch with me if I don’t have Facebook or Instagram?

Facebook is literally a dying social media platform that is overcrowded with boomers talking politics. Young people don’t use it. Instagram is basically an ecommerce service for businesses selling things and ideas that you shouldn’t be buying. And let’s be real, you don’t even go onto any of these platforms to look at what your friends and family are posting. You already know what’s going on in their lives, because they’re your real friends.

No, you go there for the feeds; the YouTube shorts, the Instagram reels, and all the other content catchers for TikTok, a propaganda deployment of the Chinese government. You go there for the feeds because you’re addicted to the feeds.

Here’s the truth about Facebook and Instagram: they aren’t “platforms” that you can freely share content on that Mark Zuckerberg maintains out of the goodness of his heart. They are all data farms, selling the data you freely give them in exchange for your interaction with an adversarial AI which hijacks your natural dopamine circuits in order to keep you generating clicks, watching ads, and staying engaged for hours. Did Facebook just, like, accidentally sell your data to Cambridge Analytica? Or did they do it to make fat stacks? Did all of these technologies start adding AI-generated feeds because they thought it would be good for their customers? Or just because it was fashionable? Or was it just good business?

You come onto the platform because your friends and family are all there. Or because you’re lonely. Or you want to follow such and such internet celeb. You stay on the platform because of the AI feeds. And you can’t leave the platform because then you’ll be missing out on everything that your friends and family are doing.

Or so it seems.

In reality, the people who matter are always going to find a way to get in touch with you. Facebook and Instagram are garbage. Get rid of them.

But what about private messaging?

Seriously? Have you heard of texting? Email? Signal chat? Literally anything else that doesn’t have an AI that exploits you because of the dopamine junkie you are?

But Snapchat is a fun way to stay in touch!

The third page of Snapchat is a flaming dumpster chock full of more Chinese propaganda and maggot-infested debased pornographic garbage. I can send anybody I know a picture of myself using almost any other means without having to endanger my soul by possibly stumbling upon the utter filth that is hosted on Snapchat.

It was the brainchild of people who wanted a better way to send porn of themselves to strangers. Remember when “sexting” was a thing? It still is. We just stopped talking about it. And your daughters, my average American friend, are still doing it.

Oh, and Snapchat owns the rights to every single photo you put on the platform. Just remember that.

Twitter is a great way to stay up to date on trending news. How am I going to know what’s going on in the world?

Twitter is a great way to stay up to date on what’s going on in your little bickering echo chamber corner of Twitter, which has now been rebranded to X. Why X? Because the end goal is to literally encompass every aspect of your digital life, from your banking and payments, to private messaging, to cryptocurrency, to who knows what else.

But it’s Elon! The technological bastion of conservatism!

Remember that creepy video the Zuck put out promoting the rebranding of Facebook to Meta, telling us how he wanted to create a virtual world for everyone to live in? Elon basically wants the same thing, he’s just not stupid enough to make creepy psychedelic demonic advertisements on YouTube. Oh, YouTube again.

Brother, you’re not listening to me. Twitter isn’t just, like, a nice free space for you to share your ideas and who you are. It’s an AI designed to feed you content that you’re more likely to read. It’s a data farm. It’s an ad platform. Doomscrolling isn’t a problem that social media needs to fix. Doomscrolling is social media. Doomscrolling is the entire goal.

Everything you see on social media is fake. It’s a lie. It’s an exaggeration of the truth. Everything you see is backed by a ton of money and myriads of teams of very intelligent developers, designers, machine learning algorithms, databases, and AI technology. You are not smart enough to figure out what’s really going on on Twitter.

Every one in ten people on Twitter isn’t even a real person, and I think that’s actually a lowball estimate. Are there some good people on there? Sure, but they also have blogs, and write books, and make podcasts. Twitter’s character limit and the fact that you can reply to literally anything and anyone on the platform just brings out the worst in everyone on there.

Seriously, what diehard twitter user hasn’t walked away from the platform at some point a bit ashamed of how they handled themselves? I’ve seen brothers eat each other on Twitter over stupid issues. If it’s just me that isn’t strong enough to use it well, then fine, but I bet it isn’t.

But it’s how I monetize my business/promote my content!

Then have a business account managed by a professional social media expert. You can hire them for minimum wage on Upwork and write it off as an expense on your taxes. Keep your personal life out of it.

But how am I going to be an influencer without these platforms?

If by “influencer” you mean one who lies about the true nature of their life, I’d just ask why you have such a strong desire to lie. If you mean an internet celebrity theobro posting his latest theological take on some edgy matter, there are better ways. Start a blog or write a book. Writing long-form actually forces you to think about what you’re saying, and flesh out an idea in its completeness to see if it actually holds water.

Or, better yet, be a real influencer and focus on having a positive influence in the lives of your real friends in real life. The most influence you are going to have over other people is when you are actively engaged in their life as a friend who can encourage them and speak the truth to them frequently. You are not the next Matt Walsh or Doug Wilson. Stop trying.

Social media and platforms like Reddit and Discord provide valuable online communities.

I’ve literally never read anything by anyone on Reddit or Discord and thought, “you know, I like this guy; I wish I could read his stuff all the time”.

Let’s be very, very clear: there are no “based communities” online. You aren’t going to find a group of “solid men” who are going to give you the fellowship you crave in a Facebook group or a Discord server or a Subreddit. Please. Everyone on the internet is a loser. Everyone you actually want to be friends with is out in the real world, living life, doing real-world stuff.

Wait, you don’t own a TV either? How are you going to watch movies and shows if you don’t own a TV?

My wife and I watch movies on a computer monitor propped up on our coffee table. We don’t feel the need to permanantly install an electronic appliance in our home that is connected with a wire to the empty, gay, Godless, pornographic degeneracy that flows out of Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Netflix is a vice that I have not had, thank God.

Are there good movies out there? Yes, and you can watch them. But most contemporary film is really just a bland substrate utterly devoid of any meaning, whose only purpose is to be a vehicle for leftism and pornography. Looking at you, Oppenheimer.

Television has been a tool for social engineering and manipulation since the beginning. It is a means of programming certain thought patterns into the minds of the masses by normalizing the behavior acted out on the screen. Hollywood has been pushing homosexuality, abortion, divorce, fornication, adultery, pornography, and transgenderism for way longer than they have been fashionable among the American populace. Pedophilia is next. (remember “Cuties” by Netflix?)

Even “conservative” shows like Yellowstone are full of leftist degeneracy. TV is poison and lies. An utter waste of time. Avoid it.

Ok…well, back to phones. YouTube has a ton of very informative and useful content on it. We shouldn’t throw all that away!

Ah yes. YouTube. The worst of them all.

I struggled with YouTube for a long time. It had such a grip on my soul. Under my own power, I cut away from social media entirely by deleting my accounts. But YouTube doesn’t care if you don’t have an account with them. As soon as you set foot on their website, logged in or not, their AI watches you like a hawk and starts feeding you content. A short visit to YouTube can turn into guilt-laden hours of doomscrolling utter garbage content.

It’s for research you console yourself. I needed the break after work, I was tired. Sometimes a little entertainment is nice to unwind. I had to catch up on what my favorite YouTuber posted today.

Listen to me brother. Listen to me.

YouTube is evil. It is the biggest trap on the internet. It’s a terrible and masterfully engineered system, designed to rope you in for as long as it can. It’s a mind parasite that steals your ability to think critically and atrophies your attention span to that of a goldfish. It’s not a tool; it’s a primitive mind, an AI adversary that hijacks your dopamine receptors and farms your clicks for ad revenue. You are not a customer, on YouTube, you’re cattle.

The best YouTubers know this. They know the best way to craft their content so that you stay engaged, entertained, and thoughtless. A good YouTube video isn’t a meal that nourishes you, like a plate of steak and potatoes; no, a good video, one that generates that sweet, sweet YouTube money is the content equivalent of a bottomless flourescent Red-40 colored slushie. All fill, zero nutrutional value.

You think you’re being entertained and informed, but you’re not. Everything on these platforms gives you the illusion of control. YouTube subscriptions are not “subscriptions” in the true sense. A true subscription algorithm will push every piece of new content to you. It has no concept of what you like and don’t like. A YouTube “subscription” is more like an upvote. It tells YouTube “I’m kinda interested in this”. It gives them a cue as to what gives you a dopamine hit. And once they know that, they hunt you like a lion until the day you die.

It is evil. These AIs exist to exploit you, steal from you, and destroy you.

Don’t believe me? Close your phone. See how long you can go without watching another video, you junkie. You’re not a mere “enjoyer” of good entertainment. You’re an addict.

Want to walk away? You can’t. Whether you have an app on your phone or not, your web browser is always waiting there for you to simply type that URL that you know so well, and have typed so many times before. I’m taking a break, you’ll say, but we all know you have a tab open in your browser, beconing you to come back and watch just a little more. In fact, your phone probably autocompletes the address for you.

Want to be free? Good. But you have to take drastic action.

Barring destroying your phone and computer, the next best thing is to get a DNS service and block everything. I’m using Or block it on your router. Have your friend set up the DNS so you don’t know the password. Do something that will keep you, in a moment of weakness, from slipping back into the void. And no cheating either: no reddit videos, no invidious instances, no Gab TV, no Rumble, nothing. Don’t be a wuss anymore. Do you really want this? Do you really want it? Then for once, do something under your own volition to take control of your digital life.

I did this, brother, and let me tell you: my eyes are open.

I worked a long day today. Long, mind-numbing work, writing code, reading documentation. Dat software engineer hustle. I don’t even have access to YouTube anymore, but I lay down on the couch after work and opened my phone to scroll mindlessly through who-knows-what on my phone.

And for once, I looked down at this little black brick that I carry in my pocket, radiating shiny temptations of eternal entertainment.

And I had a moment of clarity.

What the hell am I doing?

Has no one thought about the fact that for thousands of years, human beings lived full, productive lives without these things? And now, after only 16 years of them existing on the face of the planet, everyone has one? We all carry these little tiny computers loaded with all sorts of sensors, microphones, and who knows what else, in our pockets 24/7, which connect us to a hugely complex abstracted network of servers and algorithms and other computers owned by people you’ve never met before running code written by people getting paid by them, which vacuum terabytes of intimate personal data off of them all the time to be repackaged, analyzed, and sold on the open market. No no, it’s worse than that. Unless you buy an unlocked phone, your phone is locked to the software you purchased it with. Even the hardware is locked; you can’t even service the battery on most phones today. If you can’t learn how to fix it or change it, is it really yours? And despite this, we think they are so good that we are willing not to enslave ourselves to the siren call of Big Tech, but also to to banks, by buying them on worthless fiat currency debt, which flows overseas to factories in China, where your shiny new $1000 iPhone is built using precious metals mined out of the earth using conscripted third-world slave labor.

These little devices have so conditioned us to their use that we do it habitually, sucking on the content that streams forth from all the apps and services and other garbage we put on our phones like a bunch of sordid digital crackheads just looking for another dopamine hit.

You really still don’t believe me on that part?

Tell me how it feels when you lose your phone.

The mini heart attack. The building anxiety. The retracing of your steps. The dropping of everything in your life at that moment to go and look for your phone, like Gollum scrambling through the caves at the base of the Misty Mountains looking for the One Ring.

And all of this is to say nothing, nothing, of our sick and foolish practice of giving these things to our young boys while they are in the early stages of developing their moral constitution. The average age of first exposure to pornography is nearly in the single digits. For me, it was when I was 10 years old, when a friend of mine showed me a pornographic image on an iPod touch. I thank God that He spared me from falling into it further. Others aren’t so lucky. The internet porn industry, like all these other systems, runs on clicks; the earlier you can get them, the better.

Porn affects a man for a lifetime. Regular use can emasculate him for life. Fathers, are you protecting your sons from this evil? Or are you just going along with what everyone else is doing?

Why is no one talking about this? Seriously, this phenomenon of technological maximalism in every aspect of our lives has swept the globe and fundamentally changed human life within the last decade, and no one is stepping back and asking if this whole cell phone/social media/web2.0/matrix thingy is really a good thing? Did we talk about this as a species for more than, like, a few years? What the heck is going on here? Am I insane?

Is this really what God wants our lives to be like? How does He want me to use this thing?

Well, social media and this kind of technology is a tool, you just have to learn to use it right.

False. That is the most foolish and idiotic thing you could about any of these systems. The internet is a tool. Facebook, Twitter/X/whatever, Netflix, Snapchat, are not tools. You are wrong.

A tool is something that is under your control for its whole use. Facebook is an AI. Twitter is an AI. YouTube is an AI. They’re all AIs, and you’re not the one using them. You’re the one who’s being used.

Let me share an actual tool I discovered recently. It’s an ancient technology invented during the time of the Babylonian King Cyrus called an RSS feed. You go to your favorite blog, like, and you look around on the webpage for a link that says Subscribe via RSS, and you take that link and paste it into an RSS feed reader, and then bam! All of the content from that blog is aggregated in one place on your computer for you to just…read. That’s it. Once you read an article, it’s marked as “read” and disappears. When new content comes out, it’ll show up in your reader. Simple as.

Here’s what you do. You get rid of Microsoft Windows, which is basically just another advertising platform at this point, owned by a man who wants to make you eat bugs and live in a biodegradable cubicle for the rest of your life. You purge the filth. Then you install Linux. You open up a terminal and you install an RSS reader called newsboat. And you use that program. No flashy interface, no demonic AI algorithm shoving content down your gullet; just beautiful, simple, text.

And let me tell you something very curious, my brother in Christ:

The internet is interesting again.

There is some really legitimately beautiful, creative, wonderful stuff out there to read and look at! When it isn’t all just shoved into a social media site where it can be pre-screened by the thought police, or lost amongst all the other dead-internet AI generated template websites that are cranked out for the sole purpose of ad revenue clicks, the internet is actually a really cool place to explore! The problem with our current system isn’t that we see too much of the internet, it’s that we see too little. There are legitimate artists of the internet running static sites on linux boxes from the 90s. Forget all these clone websites just running the latest theme from Shopify or Wordpress; the real craftsmen of the internet are self-hosting homebrew custom HTML on apache servers, and filling it up with really insightful, helpful, entertaining content, just because they want to put something beautiful out there.

Goodness, truth, and beauty do exist on the internet.

So…what are you doing now?

No social media. No YouTube. No TV. No debt. No news. No dopamine hits from AI algorithms. No stupid, bloated Microsoft Windows. No data farming.

Disconnect from the big, abstracted, monolithic, vampiric, parasitic network. Cancel, block, shred, destroy, gauge, cut, tear, seperate.

Be mastered by nothing, even if it means you lose an eye or a hand.

Reconnect to real networks. Friends, family, church, business. Campfires. Grab late night beer and cigars with your buddy. Roughouse. Laugh. Tell stories. Read old books. Learn new languages. Pray. Sit and be bored. Sleep.

I still have a cell phone, but it’s a tool. It looks like a tool. Most apps are useless and stupid. Get rid of them. Get rid of fantasy football, games, etc. Remove any excuse to “check your phone” unless necessary. Email may not be necessary; I don’t have it on my phone. No flashy wallpapers: go for pitch black. Make your color scheme as utilitarian and bland as you can. No flashy themes, no widgets, no little dashboards. All you really need is a phone, an SMS client for text, a camera, and a web browser. Little utilities like a budget app and a calculator are fine.

No smart watches. Get an analog watch and learn how to read it.

Learn to navigate with landmarks and the sense of direction that Google Maps has taken from you. Use paper maps. Use open source maps like Organic Maps if you must use your phone.

I still have a compyter too. Like phones, minimal is better. Use Linux. Seriously, use Linux; if you don’t know how, find a friend who can install Linux on your compyter for you. Get rid of all the bloatware on your machine, those stupid programs you never use. Go with a dark, minimal theme. Eliminate distractions. Get rid of browser search autocomplete and bookmarks. Don’t pay for stupid proprietary software; there are plenty of free and open source versions that do just as well. Design your space so that you must remain focused on whatever task you intended to do when you opened your computer in order to complete it. Install privacy-focused software like Brave web browser or Librewolf. Turn off all the little widgets that make everything shiny and flashy. Don’t get a VPN; they’re all scams. Use old computers. Strive for beauty and elegant simplicity. Read more blogs, listen to fewer podcasts. Avoid Google, Apple, and Microsoft products like the plague. Make your computer a tool for elegant execution, not a flashy little portal to a digital world.

Build an online presence the creative way. Start a blog. Build a website. Make good content. Take your time on it, like an artisan. Enjoy the iterative process of development. Strive to dignify and enrich human life with computing, not exploit it.

Go for a walk. Seek the ancient paths.

Avoid AI. Call me a Luddite.

You get the point.

“I have the right to do anything,” you say - but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything” - but I will not be mastered by anything. (1 Corinthians 6:12)