The fans of the desktop computer whirred into action as D.T. Msys prepared for another day of Internet arguments, Wikipedia research, and satirical writing. The writing in particular, while claimed to be "just for fun" and "admittedly amateurish", still leaves enough doubt about the author's self-importance that most readers find it embarrassing rather than funny or insightful.
It was May 28th, 2020, and the hot issues of the day were varied in nature, each requiring knowledge in highly specialized fields: the civil unrest in Minneapolis over the death of George Floyd at the hands of police (social justice), President Donald Trump's executive order that threatens social media platforms (politics, technology), and the continued global pandemic of SARS-CoV-2 (biology, epidemiology, geopolitics, medicine, electromagnetism, telecommunications, cellular networks, radiation, very harmful radiation).
Clearly, the times called for a modern "Renaissance man" to bring sense to the discourse. D.T. Msys had arrived to self-proclaim this title on the battlefield of the Internet, his weapon of argumentation sharpened on the stone of hobbyist pseudointellectualism.
Fingers positioned on the home row of his mechanical gaming keyboard (fitted with Cherry MX Brown switches "because they're versatile yet quiet," he explained), D.T. had intentions to drop a trademark "hot take."
However, he had not decided what to write about.
"I can't stand these idiots," D.T. said. In late 2019, as part of my research for this piece, I was visiting him at his office, asking questions and taking notes while he worked. Referring to users of anti-capitalist Internet community r/ChapoTrapHouse, he continued: "They want to institute their economic system without understanding even the basics of the system we have now."
I asked him about his education in economics. "It doesn't matter that I'm self-educated," he said, annoyed. It was obvious I'd hit a nerve. "These morons lack even the curiosity to read an Investopedia article."
He had been arguing under an alias on the Web site Reddit, notorious for heated Internet discourse. The subject was the ethics of the existence of billionaires, and the conversation turned to one billionare specifically: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. His opponent posted a scathing message decrying the claimed unethical treatment of Amazon workers. "Billionaire blood should be running in the streets, just like the blood of liberals like you," it read.
How could his opponent write what sounded like threats? "I mean," D.T. began, with a cadence that made it sound like he was making it up as he went along, "notice how he didn't name anyone in that sentence. He didn't say anything about Jeff Bezos' blood, or my blood. He talked about billionaires and liberals. Even though I'm not a fucking liberal."