This Article IsCreated at 2024-03-12Last Modified at 2024-03-31Referenced as ia.www.b40

Hype Scheme

Dear Internet traveller, have a seat. I have a short story for you.

Once upon a time, some number-go-ups came up with the following plan: They could buy some goods in low demand, increase their popularity, and sell them at a high price to make money. They executed the plan and got richer. Other number-go-ups saw the profiteering opportunity and joined it: buy in, hype up, wait for the price to increase, sell out. Some unknowing passersby heard of the new goods on the market and thought to themself, “Hm, I should buy one.” And they bought one. They don’t understand what they bought. “I don’t know what I expected,” they thought, and soon forgot about the thing they bought.

Another person, who happened to be sleeping nearby, witnessed the whole transaction and how the buyer got disillusioned. “That was pretty funny,” they thought. “I should write something about it later. For simplicity’s sake, I shall call this act a hype scheme.”

With the short story, I hope I have demonstrated the role of marketing as behavior control in a hype scheme. In the real world, however, things are much more complicated. Different groups make the scheme progress without close collaboration (aside from their shared belief to make number go up). The goods they buy are usually parts of a company. For their purpose, it doesn’t matter what the base goods are. With the same amount of hype generated, the more expensive the goods originally are, the more money there is for them to make from this type of scheme.

Legal Pro Tip: If the court can’t understand what you are selling, it’s not legally a scam. (Technically, a lawyer would tell you otherwise, but companies like Google do get away with scam, so…)

In a society, it is important to have a diverse set of goals in which each individual can find their own one to pursue. If too many individuals choose the same goal (let’s say, make a certain number go up), chaos ensues from them stepping on each other’s toes. If you have heard about “diversity good” but didn’t know why, now you know. It’s not the identities of people that need to be diverse. It’s their desires and goals in life.

How To Be Hype-Resistant

Naturally, being the second entry in my “Don’t Be Played By _ Like A Fiddle” series, I bring antidotes to this hype problem.

First, you can change your own behavior. If something is being hyped up but you do not understand it, pretend you have never heard of it whenever you are asked about the topic. This is better than being angry and saying bad things about the thing being hyped, which fuels the hype anyway.

Second, sanitize your sources of information. Avoid media (including people on social media) who joins in on the hype. You may also learn epistemology while you are at it, because why not?

You can also ask those around you to do the same, maybe by sharing this article, although it is more persuasive if you transmit the information contained herein to them directly instead of just quoting me.


The food-making industry seems to be minimally affected by recent hype trends. While attempting to learn something from this fact, I have imagined the following scenario between two factory workers, who have just heard of this thing called “AI”:

“Is AI edible?"
"No? Probably not."

and they continue their work.

In the end, I was unsure if I had learned anything from this conversation. I guess “is _ edible” can be used as a generic sanity test question. If the other side begin the sentence with anything other than “no”, run away as fast as you can.

My Thoughts On Hyped Technology

The hyped goods are often embarrassingly wasteful. This is good for a hype scheme, since being wasteful means higher base price.

On “AI Safety”: A paperclip maximizer is a number-go-up except the number is the number of paperclips instead of an investment portfolio. It is harder to criticize one’s own kind, I guess.

I have nothing else meaningful to say on this topic. Good night.

Footnotes and my other thoughts

I chose the word “number-go-up” over “capitalist” because the former’s meaning is clearer upon first inspection. The number-go-ups are people who are obsessed with making their number go up. Like incremental game players. I have played a handful of incremental games. They are fun and pointless. Mostly pointless. Still fun though.

My original intention was to differentiate between people who make money from provide goods and services, and people who make money from money, although increasingly, we see overlap between the two populations, and they are usually quite dangerous.

What interests me is in Islam, collecting interest from borrowing is forbidden. I am ignorant on this topic, and I feel like I should learn more.

I also had the following thought when my mind was wandering:

To profit from trading is to predict the future. If one cannot predict the future, they create it.

I think it’s in the general interest of number-go-ups to increase consumption. After all, someone has to be the sucker, ah, sorry, the end user of their products. If you ever see a number-go-up talk about the climate, run away as fast as you can.

With that said, I think I understand how the food industry is not hit much by hype marketing, since one person can only eat so much per day before they die from overeating. There is just not so much market potential here to worth the trouble of hyping.