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The Phenomenon of QAnon w/Mike Trigg

todayApril 2, 2024 3

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Is economic disenfranchisement the main force fueling toxic Internet subcultures and online movements?

Sean’s Monologue: The Phenomenon of QAnon 

We are joined today by Mike Trigg, a former Silicon Valley start-up guru now turned accomplished writer. Mike’s first corporate thriller Bit Flip was lauded with 5-star reviews, and now he’s on our show to talk about his newest novel, Burner, available on April 16th, 2024. Billed as a “fascinating thriller in which an online movement swallows up the person who started it” by Foreword Clarion Reviews, the novel dives headfirst into political disinformation, toxic internet subcultures, and our need for belonging and purpose in an age of distorted online personas.

Sean and Mike discuss the creation of Burner, and how it is written from a centrist point of view (even though the author is left-leaning). The stock manipulation and kidnapping elements of the book were inspired by news headlines like GameStop and January 6th. Sean praises the likability of the lead character, Shane, who Mike has dubbed “the Forest Gump of the Internet generation.”

The rest of the conversation centers around how online movements take flight – the use of Internet algorithms to normalize beliefs, the self-reinforcement, and actions driven by the underlying idea of “I am a victim, now who do I blame?” Mike and Sean talk about their election concerns and how to deprogram someone once they have been sucked into a toxic movement. The end conclusion is that – both on the Internet and in politics – people behave much better when others know who they and there is some level of accountability.

Other topics include: Mike’s time on Capitol Hill, elected officials as Internet trolls, how the Democratic Party disenfranchised blue collar America, ID verifications online, the impossibility of the TV show The Last of Us, the looming threat of AI, and the fun of recording audio books. 

Find Mike on his website and all social media platforms:

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