The marketplace of ideas won: how Duke Yik Yak cured cancer


Adam Smith once said “Talking is cool, because if you talk louder than someone else, you can’t hear them.” At least, that’s what I have in my notes.

But that’s also the problem with talking, especially in 2022 when really loud voices like Twitter, Facebook and the mods of r/PrequelMemes clog up the conversation. All of our voices need to be heard, especially the ones that are being silenced by corporate interests and Reddit mods who think they know more about the Clone Wars animated series than you (hint: they don’t).

Enter Yik Yak.

What’s a yik? Shut it nerd! What’s a yak? Who cares? It’s 2022 and the anonymous messaging board that brought personalized hate crimes and fat shaming onto every iPod Touch in your local middle school is back. This time, however, we are older, wiser and completely ignoring the fact that this is a ticking time bomb because middle schoolers are going to find it again and wreak havoc.

But for now, it is only us tragically gifted Duke students. Beautiful minds, once bogged down playing social games just to get a crumb of pussy, unleashed the raw potential that had been stifled all of these years. Legions of mostly upper-middle class, cishet white men whose brilliance had been curtailed for decades by the thought police emerged from the shadows of the Silicon Curtain. Their discussions were brash, sarcastic and notably un-PC. And they changed everything.

The stoner who had all of the ideas but no one ever listened? The Yik Yak community listened. When finally given a platform to meet like-minded misunderstood geniuses, the progress flowed faster than you can say “Milton Friedman is kinda the GOAT fr.” One of his ideas? Curing cancer. Funny how everyone wants to listen now that he’s swimming in all that cancer money from the Pfizer contract.

The guy in your Econ class who “knows more than the professor” and insists that he’s too insecure to call on him? He, alongside a herd of dutiful Yakkers, fixed capitalism. It wasn’t broken, but he proved it. And he made a billion dollars.

The FinTech bro who wouldn’t stop talking about blockchain monkeys and screenshots for some reason? He invented NFTs 2. You can hold them now. Screenshotting instantly reports you to the BlockCops, who take you out back and explain why screenshotting doesn’t mean you “own” it.

As you can see, it’s been a productive 48 hours back on the app, and the best is yet to come. There is much discussion around “Yak-Mandated Girlfriends,” although it is unlikely that something that extreme would come to pass.

Seriously, don’t worry about it. The herd has got you covered. The herd will fix us all.


Share and discuss “The marketplace of ideas won: how Duke Yik Yak cured cancer” on social media.