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When you find out you have a hot dog: Why AI-generated memes make more sense than those produced by MRAs

TFW you’ve just posted an incomprehensible MRA meme

By David Futrelle

You may have noticed a strange explosion of highly surreal memes hitting your Twitter home page of late. Blame the Artificial Intelligence-powered meme generator that you can find here, which will happily generate as many weird and baffling memes as you could ever want.

Now, the meme generator is a fairly basic thing, in principle: it takes in hundreds (thousands?) of human-generated memes in a variety of formats before pooping out something it doesn’t understand, but that we humans might.

Given that the AI-meme-generator literally doesn’t know what it’s saying, most of the memes it puts out tend to be a bit puzzling:

And sometimes it doesn’t seem to understand the meme format at all:

But alongside the surreal memes, the AI-meme-generator somehow manages to spit out others that make perfect (or at least only slightly imperfect) sense. I’ve been fiddling around with it for awhile and have been surprised and intrigued by these memes, which seem very much like the memes an actual human might produce on their own.

Indeed, these memes make a lot more sense than many if not most of the Men’s Rights memes I’ve run across (and written about) over the years — despite the fact that the MRA memes were generated by actual human beings who, at least in theory, should know what they’re saying.

Let’s look at examples from both genres — contrasting some of my, er, favorite MRA memes with memes the AI-meme-generator made for me.

Let’s start with this authentic MRA meme:

Apparently the thought process behind this, er, hilarity is: “Women are stupid! And rape is funny! Sharks!”

This AI-generated meme makes a lot more sense:

I mean, who doesn’t enjoy a nice hot dog once in a while?

Here’s an MRA meme taking aim at women in the military:

Contrast that with this cheerful and wholesome AI-generated meme:

Again, the AI hits the nail on the head. Everyone loves to see people talking about their cool stuff.

Here’s a dark and bewildering MRA meme:

I suppose the message here is supposed to be “even if she says she’s not a feminist, she might secretly be one, and falsely accuse you of rape.” But I’m not sure anyone not steeped in MRA-talk could discern that.

Also, why is “radical/white” in ironic quotes?

By contrast, this next AI-generated meme, while admittedly rude and perhaps a bit sexist, is as clear as a (school) bell.

This MRA meme may leave you scratching at your head as you try to puzzle out its strange “logic.”

This AI meme, by contrast, makes so much sense it hurts.

In the world we live in today, who has the patience to wait until you get home to get sloshed?

So why are MRA memes so illogical and incomprehensible? Part of the problem is that reality is not on their side, and so many of their memes only make sense if you’re already living in the imaginary world of the Men’s Rights movement, where black is white and mean, bitchy women rule over all. I know enough about this world from the many years I’ve spent doing this blog that I can usually make some sort of sense of most of their memes, but I still struggle with some of them. It doesn’t help much that many MRAs are bitter bastards choking on their own aggrieved entitlement; their attempts at jokes are undercut by their meanness and their barely developed sense of humor.

The AI may not have a sense of humor, but it’s also unencumbered by all this baggage, so when it pops out with something that’s funny, it’s genuinely funny.

Congratulations, MRA; it’s official now: You’ve failed the Turing test.

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Makroth
Makroth
2 years ago

@MansVoice

So… you yourself are “mindkilled”.

MansVoice
MansVoice
2 years ago

So… you yourself are “mindkilled”.

Well, of course you would think that. You’re mindkilled.

Masse_Mysteria
Masse_Mysteria
2 years ago

@MansVoice
But you said it first! That means you’re more mindkilled!

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
2 years ago

@Masse_Mysteria:

I’m puzzled with his dismissal of WWTH, since the matter of men (and MansVoice himself) just being mad that women get to choose their partners has been brought up so many times already and he’s been consistent in nothing if not in not addressing it, so I just assumed he agreed with it. But now that he did address it, it’s just to say that WWTH is not a serious person?

What’s so puzzling about that? He’s just imitating his hero, that’s all. This is exactly how the Nectarine Nero responds when (especially female or non-white) reporters ask him difficult questions:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2020/mar/20/sensationalism-trump-lashes-out-at-journalist-during-coronavirus-briefing-video

https://www.newsbreak.com/news/0OgbgWLE/trump-dismisses-question-on-oil-prices-when-reporter-cant-name-price

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/11/coronavirus-trump-ends-press-conference-after-reporters-challenge-him-on-testing.html

https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-donald-trump-tells-chinese-american-reporter-to-ask-china-in-another-press-clash-11986846

@Mouse’sSqueak:

This is more or less the tell-tale sign of the mindkilled, in (yes) the Less Wrong sense

Hole-in-one!

Also, that’d be flounce #3 not stuck …

@various:

1. Get inoculated for smallpox.
2. Get typical traveller’s inoculations: hep A and B, yellow fever, etc.
3. Get a few engineering manuals: dynamos and engines, mostly.
4. Get a viable culture of penicillium mold in agar.
5. Go to Renaissance Italy
6. Use penicillium to make and market a miracle cure-all that actually works (well, except against measles and smallpox and a couple other things). Get rich. You’re also protected against nearly every endemic disease there — just don’t travel anywhere malarial. You can also introduce the deliberate use of the cowpox virus to protect against smallpox.
7. Now you have some capital, it’s time to use those engineering manuals, starting with dynamos. They’ve got windmills and metallurgy. By the 1500s they’ll have electricity.
8. Next: the steam engine. Sell penicillin to those backward Britons for that worthless black rock they’ve got.
9. Get a sizable steam-powered fleet. Conquer that festering sore known as the Middle East. Now you’ve got oil.
10. Soon after you’ve also got a much larger navy, one that nobody else will be able to challenge for about 300 years. Pax Romana II! By now you should of course be either their President or their Henry Ford, Elon Musk, etc.
11. Wherever you go, introduce technologies like the printing press, penicillin, and electricity, and reforms such as gender equality, secularism, and universal healthcare and education. You’re also positioned to deflect the trajectory of mercantilism away from morphing into modern, highly exploitative capitalism and into something more benign; e.g. make cooperative worker ownership of business firms the norm. You might be able to mitigate the native American genocide as well, by quickly wresting the New World away from the Brits, French, and Spanish.
12. If you time it right the CO2 emissions from industrialization will offset the Little Ice Age, and with any luck (you’ll be dead by then) they’ll develop renewable energy infrastructure by the time it would be necessary to worry about global warming, too. World might end up better off.

Naglfar
Naglfar
2 years ago

@MansVoice
You came here to find us, that makes you the mindkilledest.

@Surplus

By now you should of course be either their President or their Henry Ford, Elon Musk, etc.

If you’re their Elon Musk does that mean you invest billions in things that never materialize, tank your company’s stock price repeatedly by talking about going private but not doing it, and name your kid X Æ A-12?

Makroth
Makroth
2 years ago

MansVoice
MansVoice
2 years ago

So, basically, you win?

Nah. I’ve been directly responding to the substance of what you guys are saying. Even if you think I’m wildly off-base – even delusional – that doesn’t make me mindkilled.

And that’s because being “mindkilled” isn’t just about being wrong. It’s about an inability to engage in honest conversation at all. The original essay is titled “Politics is the Mind-Killer” because it is political topics that generally bring this out.

Anyway, you can read the original essay – Naglfar linked to the Less Wrong wiki a while back – if you’re interested. Less Wrong represents one of the great intellectual movements of the past decade.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
2 years ago

BQS,

We also have to remember that manospherians are also only interested in the dating preferences of women in the age category they like. Typically 18-25. That is, the age when a lot of women are not ready to marry yet and may prioritize looks more than a woman who is in her 30’s, 40’s or 50’s. My dad is not wealthy and as far as I can tell, not a Chad, but he’s never had much trouble finding dates online. But the dating priorities of older women do not interest them, because they don’t want to fuck them. So, there pronouncements about women really only apply to narrow group of women and declared universal.

Man’s Whine,

I know you’re mad at me and not talking to me right now, but you do know that we can go back and look at your other posts, right? You replied to a post about a dude angry that women have preferences and agreed with him that this makes women “indecent.” You backed up your argument with an article about how women are shallow. You’re clearly mad that women have preferences. Own it.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
2 years ago

Man’s Whine is definitely the Seagull guy, who is possibly MRAL. I’m sure of it.

Naglfar
Naglfar
2 years ago

https://youtube.com/watch?v=d8ZT0wBNYiM

@MansVoice

Less Wrong represents one of the great intellectual movements of the past decade.

comment image

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
2 years ago

I’ve been directly responding to the substance of what you guys are saying.

Except me. You’re ignoring my takedown of your pet article. Truly the mark of the intellectually superior.

Masse_Mysteria
Masse_Mysteria
2 years ago

@Surplus
I don’t know, it just seemed a weird way to non-acknowledge the issue when he’d been pretending it didn’t exist for all that time. I don’t understand why he bothered, when he didn’t even have what he would have though to be a snappy comeback.

@MansVoice
I feel like you’re just giving me more reasons to crown you the most mindkilled.

And that’s because being “mindkilled” isn’t just about being wrong. It’s about an inability to engage in honest conversation at all.

You’re both wrong and haven’t been engaging in honest conversation (since you seem to ignore everything you don’t like). So, yeah, you win.

ETA: Yeah, what about PoM’s comments on the article you love so much you linked to it three (3!) times?

MansVoice
MansVoice
2 years ago

You replied to a post about a dude angry that women have preferences and agreed with him that this makes women “indecent.”

Again with this thing where you dishonestly put words in people’s mouths by using quotation marks.

a) I’ve never used the word “indecent” in this context, nor did the author of the article.

b) Your characterization of both the article itself (women are shallow) and the author’s views (that he’s angry women have preferences) are both imaginary.

Weirwoodtreehugger, I think I made the right decision in dismissing you.

Snowberry
Snowberry
2 years ago

Less Wrong represents one of the great intellectual movements of the past decade.

Pffft. While it’s been some years since I read the site, my impression was that while they did have some good stuff here and there, it was unoriginal and buried under piles of pretentious pseudo-intellectual puffery, as if they had unknowingly reinvented the wheel and were too busy being “I M So Smrt” to actually present it in a clear, understandable way. And then the rest of it was either not so much “LessWrong” as “NotEvenWrong” or made the mistake that engaging on a topic on a level far removed from how normal humans engage with it somehow makes their ideas “superior” and not uselessly impractical for any real-world purposes.

And then there’s that Roko’s Basilisk thing, which to take seriously you’d pretty much have to believe in Pattern Theory of Identity (which most people don’t, and for good reasons) while also not properly understanding it.

They’re not as dumb as, say, Flat Earthers or Sovereign Citizens, but that’s damning them with faint praise.

Masse_Mysteria
Masse_Mysteria
2 years ago

@MansVoice
You were asked if you had considered being a decent human being, to which you replied,

Have women considered behaving decently? Have they considered abandoning Hypergamy and settling with their looksmatch? Or do they continue to be a narcissistic garbage fire?

Of course, it’s the latter. Why should Men pretend women are decent if they are not?

So I don’t think it’s a stretch to say you’ve called women indecent (or not decent, if you prefer), but do clarify the context.

Lainy
Lainy
2 years ago

@boyvoice

Shouldn’t you be at your totally important job that totally exists or doing some of your totally real responsibilities?

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
2 years ago

Still waiting.

Lainy
Lainy
2 years ago

@masse mysteria

He also had a rant about how womeb need to settle for their looks match. Their aren’t allowed to be happy. They have to settle for what they think is less then what they actually want becahse obviously women are just narsastic and don’t actually know what’s good for them or what they want in a partner

Naglfar
Naglfar
2 years ago

@PoM
You’re not alone in waiting. I’m still waiting to learn the answer to my very important question about looksmatching.

Gaebolga
Gaebolga
2 years ago

Holy crap, tell me BoysWhine isn’t actually dumb enough to buy into the Basilisk.

I mean, I know he’s pretty fucking stupid, but the Basilisk is some next-level dumbfuckery….

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
2 years ago

Oh, is a Man’s Whine talking to me again?

Okay. Now please provide some examples of looksmatched couples. Or at least a guide on how we should proceed in finding a looksmatched mate.

Are short people allowed to date tall people? Are people only allowed to date those with similar body types? Or does looksmatching refer mostly to how proportionate facial features are? Does race enter into this at all? How about scars? How is looksmatching similar or different for same sex dating?

I’d really like to know how looks are rated. Is it a numeric system? Greek alphabet?

Naglfar
Naglfar
2 years ago

@Gaebolga
Don’t mention the basilisk, it scares the poor things! /s

@WWTH
I’m especially interested in this one, though I imagine he may have some less than progressive views on LGBT people.

Gaebolga
Gaebolga
2 years ago

Oh, I think we all know there are Greek letters involved, WWTH….

Alan Robertshaw
2 years ago

@ POM

Except me.

At the risk of jumping on a bandwagon, he didn’t address those papers I linked to either. Nor Redlilkphoenix’ points.

That’s irrelevant of course. First rule of advocacy “You’re not trying to persuade the witness; you’re trying to persuade the jury”. Of course, I doubt if any of the lurkers are even vaguely swayed by what he has to say. But it’s great when people evade questions and prevaricate. The cases try themselves.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
2 years ago

Ahhh, LessWrong.

I know I’ve mentioned a few times that I consider Yudkowsky ‘Exhibit A that engineers and other STEM folks should be taught more philosophy so they stop trying to reinvent it badly.’

That said, I never considered Yudkowsky a bad fellow so much as someone not smart enough to realize that his ideas could rather easily be turned into proto-fascism. He had useful goals, too much ego to learn any lessons from centuries of people who had already been researching many of those goals because he didn’t consider them to be ‘sufficiently rational’ (i.e., STEM-lord) types, and not enough historical background to realize just how easily movements like that get co-opted. As a result, most of his work ended up significantly setting back his own goal by going through all the same mistakes others had run into, while creating enough obfuscating jargon at the same time to make it hard for anybody inside or outside the movement to notice.

A movie about him would make it really easy to play up the Hubris angle as things fall apart. He just never actually achieved the sort of fame outside his limited field that some of his less-morally-constrained fellow travellers did.

(Elizabeth Sandifer wrote a book called ‘Neoreaction a Basilisk’ that included a chunk on Yudkowsky and LessWrong as one of the precursors to the modern ‘Intellectual Dark Web’. I will admit that I haven’t read it yet, but should at some point. Alan, this is the same person who wrote the ‘Last War in Albion’ I mentioned before about Alan Moore vs. Grant Morrison.)

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