Grifts are undertheorized, and too often conflated with long cons, scams, frauds and other more blatant soft crimes. Lemme offer a definition.— Venkatesh Rao (@vgr) June 30, 2020
A grift is a scheme that profits from the existence of a real problem without actually addressing it.
Small grifts merely exploit the problem. Big grifts perpetuate it.— Venkatesh Rao (@vgr) June 30, 2020
A grift is particularly stable because unlike a true scam it doesn’t offer decisive solutions that claim to fully solve it and can therefore proved to not work. Theranos was a scam, not a grift.
Grifts feed what was called the politicians syllogism is Yes, Prime Minister:— Venkatesh Rao (@vgr) June 30, 2020
We must do something
This is something
We must do this
Usually the utter mismatch between problem and supposed solution is obvious to experienced people. It is obvious how it will fail on day 1.
Grifts often rely on narrative vacuums. When the real story is too complicated or boring or requires numbers and graphs to understand, people reach for the simpler story. Grifters supply it.— Venkatesh Rao (@vgr) June 30, 2020
Plastic straw ban bullshit narrative? Pure 100% sustainability grifter theater.
This is like one of those movies where con artists are doing a different con than the one you think they have been preparing for. pic.twitter.com/OOQm2u7uWF— Isaac Chotiner (@IChotiner) July 1, 2020
Police water canon maliciously targets reporter on Hennessy Road. pic.twitter.com/kxeEOqtaUj— Ryan Ho Kilpatrick 何松濤 (@rhokilpatrick) July 1, 2020
Video footage shared widely via Telegram shows journalists being struck with the #HongKong police water cannon. #china #july1 Full coverage: https://t.co/v14oZLwtbC pic.twitter.com/9sOXLpA9v7— Hong Kong Free Press HKFP (@HongKongFP) July 1, 2020
Another angle pic.twitter.com/Vm15OVLt7A— poon siu to潘小濤 (@siutopoon) July 1, 2020
AP: U.S. federal authorities seize 13-ton shipment of hair weaves and other products from Xinjiang on the suspicion that they were made from human hair taken from people locked inside an internment camp. China says there's no forced labor in the country.https://t.co/hAZHslmYUO— Jonathan Cheng (@JChengWSJ) July 1, 2020
Judge Les Hayes once sentenced a single mother to 496 days behind bars for failing to pay traffic tickets. The sentence was so stiff it exceeded the jail time Alabama allows for negligent homicide https://t.co/FUWE8CSyVG 1/7 pic.twitter.com/0YbGiXG1R3— Reuters Investigates (@specialreports) June 30, 2020
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone gathered a group of worshipers over the weekend at the site where Black Lives Matter protesters toppled a statue of Father Junipero Serra to conduct a exorcism because "evil is present here." https://t.co/NxNjhtgnTl— KPIX 5 (@KPIXtv) June 30, 2020
So... thinking more about this mall-ninja white house syndrome in the context of American gun culture overall... some more thoughts on the role of guns in situations like this. https://t.co/O4MgUyAi8C— Venkatesh Rao (@vgr) June 2, 2020