Rome Viharo

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Rome Viharo is a social media strategist and Internet troll known for his support for the pseudoscientific ideas of Rupert Sheldrake and belief in conspiracy theories regarding the activities of skeptics on Wikipedia. He has worked as the director of operations for Deepak Chopra's Integrative Studies Historical Archive and Repository (ISHAR).[1] He also advances a bizarre mishmash of philosophical ideas he calls OS/AL 0 1 2, the promotion of which has at times been indistinguishable from internet trolling.

Contents

OS 0 1 2/AL 0 12/Aiki Wiki

Sometime prior to 2003, Viharo originated the original version of what he calls "OS 0 1 2." His early promotion of it included some bizarre claims:

OS 012 is a memetic and language technology that resolves all conflict and war. It creates synergy and syncronocity [sic]. It allows the user to increase thier [sic] own intelligence.[2]

Apparently, the key to OS 0 1 2 is this bit of tri-positional logic:

All ideas conflict or have the potential for conflict. ALL IDEAS ARE TRUE(1), FALSE(2), and/or MYSTERY(0). ALL the time. In ALL environments.[3]

Viharo's self-described "global dialectic for personal interaction on the Internet" consists of vague claims and contradictory statements seemingly designed to confound arguments within a kaleidoscope of confused rhetoric.[4] Some have speculated that OS 0 1 2 may be an outburst of inspired crank-ishness comparable to Time Cube.[5][6] While no one is quite sure what OS 0 1 2 exactly is, a commenter on the Bad Science Forum may have described it best: "It looks as if someone took a philosophy text book, cut it into lots of tiny little pieces, and then stuck them back together at random."[7]

Viharo has also promoted OS 0 1 2 as a meme, claiming "The exact number of online users spreading [it] is impossible to determine, however online records suggest a figure no less than 50,000." Despite his boasts about its popularity, not many people have ever heard of it, and he's not above asking for money to help spread the idea.[8]

Early on, Viharo decided he could best try to spread his OS 0 1 2 "meme" virally. In practice, that meant picking fights on internet forums then trying to convince people their views were simultaneously right, wrong, and neutral,[9] an activity otherwise known as trolling.[10] Using a thought process much like the infamous Mary Whitehouse, he insists that anyone who talks about it is using it, regardless of their attitude toward it.

In 2014, Viharo re-branded OS 0 1 2 as "AL 0 1 2", supposedly symbolizing its mysterious algorithmic property. Sometime later, he again re-branded it as "Aiki Wiki".[11]

Google. Conscious?

In 2011 Viharo and business partner Maf Lewis delivered a talk at TEDx speculating that the popular search engine Google may be sentient. In the 18-minute talk, Viharo speculated that Internet memes are the equivalent of spirits and Francis Heylighen's concept of a global brain is being realized via Google and social media. Admitting that he didn't know what consciousness is, Viharo cited philosopher Daniel Dennett's musings that consciousness involves parallel processes which compete... and concluded that since Google sorts and ranks competing websites, Google itself is conscious.[12][13][14] Naturally, Viharo's method of promoting his grand revelations was to stir up conflict on the JREF forum (posting as "Bubblefish").[15]

Conspiracy theories

In 2013, Viharo became an online activist in support of Rupert Sheldrake's claims that a conspiracy of "ideologue" skeptics were targeting him for abuse.[16] Viharo's anti-skeptic crusade has attracted the support of paranormal, quantum woo and fringe science promoters Deepak Chopra, Craig Weiler, Alex Tsakiris, and others. In an interview with parapsychology advocate Tsakiras, Viharo said there was "definitely a conspiracy" of skeptics who were personally targeting him. He characterized the struggle as "a war of ideas", and compared it to "Americans and Nazis" fighting against each other in World War II.[17]

Viharo promoted his rant-filled website called Wikipedia We Have A Problem (in which he blames everyone but himself for getting booted off Wikipedia) in a Talk at the 2014 Electric Universe conference (apparently he likes this kind of pseudoscience too)[18], but decided not to identify himself, instead choosing to go by "Anonymous" (though his image and choice for talk title clearly identifies him). [19]

ISHAR

In 2014, Viharo became the director of operations for Deepak Chopra's Integrative Studies Historical Archive and Repository. This involved Viharo using a sockpuppet account on Wikipedia "SAS81" in an attempt to get other users to remove skeptical sources from Chopra's Wikipedia article. However, Viharo was discovered and perm banned.[20]

Viharo on his website later claimed he was fired from his director position at ISHAR but still seems to be associated with Chopra and the project.[21]

Bullshit

Whether insisting that his OS/AL 0 1 2 is too complex to be explained by mere words,[22] proclaiming that Google itself may be conscious,[23] or arguing that morphic resonance isn't pseudoscience,[24][25] his talent as a bullshit artist is fairly well honed.

Footnotes

  1. Maureen Seaberg Let's Raise ISHAR! Huffington Post
  2. Viharo as "Bubblefish" spamming "creativity.net"
  3. OS 0 1 2 BASIC
  4. Viharo's huge "Global Dialectic for Internet Communication" tract
  5. UFO's, Terence McKenna, and some other shit os012.blogspot.com
  6. Viharo goes all poetic about OS 0 1 2 os012.blogspot.com
  7. Bad Science
  8. About OS 0 1 2 "This project needs intellectual and financial resource, if you are interested in this, please contact OS012 AT zeitghostmedia.com"
  9. Viharo trolling as "Tumbleman" introduces himself to a forum: "This dialectic is unique, in that is quantifies the irrational, and the feelings, art, and humor, object and subject, into her axiom and proposition. THis confuses many at first, most likely including you...you will soon see how silly some of your ideas have been...Just a warning...I am always winning in every discussion that I have. I am completly undefeated."
  10. Viharo as "Bubblefish" even kept a log of his trolling activity
  11. Aiki Wiki
  12. By Rome Viharo for Google Consciousness GoogleConsciousness.com
  13. Google Consciousness Youtube
  14. About Viharo's TEDx presentation The most incoherent presentation ever made supposedly "rocketed to the top" of the TEDx “most popular” ranking.
  15. JREF thread about "Google Consciousness"
  16. Pseudoscientist Rupert Sheldrake Is Not Being Persecuted, And Is Not Like Galileo - New Republic Farley concludes, "the central claim, that Guerrilla Skeptics are controlling Sheldrake’s bio, is demonstrably false. It is a classic conspiracy theory."
  17. Rome Viharo, Wikipedia, We Have a Problem Skeptiko.com
  18. https://www.thunderbolts.info/wp/2013/09/10/eu2014-speakers/
  19. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pV0LIN0AfHo#t=727
  20. Wikipedia, ISHAR update
  21. Update: The ISHAR project
  22. Viharo avoids being pinned down about AL 0 1 2
  23. Google Consciousness GoogleConsciousness.com
  24. Viharo as Tumbleman argues that Sheldrake's morphic resonance isn't pseudoscience
  25. Viharo as Viharo argues that Sheldrake's critique of "the scientific materialistic philosophy" is "an idea worth spreading"
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