More US 2016 tech lunacy: John McAfee for president?

John McAfee officially announced he will stand for US president yesterday. And one of the comments at the bottom of the “Official Campaign Announcement” YouTube video sums up the conundrum in all this very well:

“Damnit John,” wrote Samson Gold, “I was really expecting there to be some crazy shit on this video like on your how to remove McAfee antivirus video. Same music, same jacket, same library background. I really think you missed an excellent opportunity with this one.”

It is a compelling argument and hard to contend with because the How To Uninstall McAfee Antivirus number [YouTube video – worth a watch for the comedy] is particularly mad. And it does indeed feature exactly the same setting and music as this official pitch.

Yet instead of a sober injunction to reject government spying and drawn-out reminder of the spirit behind the declaration of independence and Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, the 2013 video shows an entirely different side to Mr McAfee. This includes the software founder chucking laptops behind his head, taking off his shirt so a host of ladies can massage his chest, snorting white powder (labelled smelling) salts and playing with guns. There is even some rogue toe sucking.  

And of course, this is what John McAfee is most known for: a lunatic lifestyle most famously culminating in his time on the run in 2012 following the murder of a neighbour. In fact, he was never announced a suspect in this crime but stated he believed he would be “silenced” if he was put in jail.

All in, he seems like a strange choice for anyone to vote for. Yet with such a ridiculous slew of high profile hacks recently you can certainly see the merits in a party which the BBC said will be calling itself the Cyber Party. As of the time of writing– about nine hours after it went up – the John McAfee official video had 2,651 views, 92 likes and three dislikes.

And tech is emerging across the 2016 presidential campaign, with other tech candidates in the race, including the transhumanist Zoltan Istvan, who believes science and tech could eliminate death by 2030. We interviewed him back in April where he shared his views on this in some depth. He is currently on a very strange bus doing a speaking tour round California…

So, who knows what all this will mean? Although I suspect TheTBagster may reflect the views of many when he wrote at the bottom of the official McAfee video: “2016 is shaping up to be one of the dankest presidential races of all time”.


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