How it started.
DRAFT Chapter One
Hello friends, as promised, I’m going to start drafting a book and I’m giving my paid subscribers an early look as I write. If you haven’t upgraded, please consider it. Regardless, thanks to all for your support. I also have a DonorBox, if you prefer. Thanks again!
In Summer 2020, I was like hundreds of millions of others, spending essentially 24 hours a day at home as a refugee from COVID. I spent a lot of time watching the George Floyd protests with a mixture of hope and horror. The hope came from the protests, the horror came from the violence.
I followed along especially closely with the protests in Portland and got caught up in the drama that had been created for me: Antifa vs. Cops. For months, this show was on every day—but there were some flaws in the program.
While I fully supported the people being abused by racist law enforcement and protesting the murder of an innocent Black man, the drama and violence seemed manufactured to some extent. This very much echoed the Ferguson protests, which were weaponized far beyond the overt purpose—protesting the death of another murdered Black man.
On the periphery of my interest was a weird cult-like phenomenon called QAnon that seemed to have organically spilled from the bowels of extremist website 4chan. To that point, I was fairly convinced it was just a troll gone wrong, a random Trump prankster that was seized upon by thousands of people and metastasized into a sort of malicious club to troll liberals like Chrissy Teigen.
Then an old colleague wrote an article explaining how QAnon resembled an “alternate reality game” (ARG). To say the least, this caught my interest—because I helped invent ARGs.