Angry internet commenters have grown not only more numerous and angrier, but increasingly incoherent. YouTube comments in particular are so garbled that only an impressionistic haze of rage and sociopolitical obsession can be abstracted from the text.
I theorize that these comments are no longer mostly produced by humans. The mass of anonymous anger has in the last decade grown so heavy and compact that its own heat and pressure has begun to generate new comments in a kind of Chomskyan parthenogenesis, a volcanic language organ that spews semi-understandable confrontation. These almost unparseable chunks of language share key phrases and subject matter, and are uniformly infused with rage. However, they refer only to their own content and don’t appear to require any communication from the outside to fuel their growth.
We are dealing with a new and troubling Internet worm; a self-replicating mechanism that attacks ideas incoherently and grows at an increasing rate.
The legendary Jerkov Chain is finally here.