Is not the internet like a huge city? The obvious analogy here would be to the ways that “closed garden” platforms like Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter have severely delimited the psychogeography of the internet. Are our daily routines not as pathetic, if not moreso, than those of Debord’s Parisian student? We log on to the same two or three websites, we scroll down, and in the same light blue columns we watch the world pass us by in a confined and monotonous procession. Where is the wonder, the exploration? The internet is larger than any one metropolis, but browsing it today feels like walking down a narrow circular hallway. It is high time we develop a dérive for the internet.
“Today’s society is no longer Foucault’s disciplinary world of hospitals, madhouses, prisons, barracks, and factories. It has long been replaced by another regime, namely a society of fitness studios, office towers, banks, airports, shopping malls, and genetic laboratories. Twenty-first-century society is no longer a disciplinary society, but rather an achievement society [Leistungsgesellschaft]. Also, its inhabitants are no longer “obedience-subjects” but “achievement-subjects.” They are entrepreneurs of themselves.”
― Byung-Chul Han, The Burnout Society
The irony is that even as digitization is making an increasing amount of information available, it is diminishing the space required for deep, concentrated thought. Today’s near-constant stream of media increases the cost, and thus decreases the frequency, of contemplation.
Kissinger, Henry A; Schmidt, Eric; Huttenlocher, Daniel. The Age of AI (p. 160). Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition.