Not everyone who joined a bowling league (when people did such things) loved bowling. Many loved being with other people first and bowling came second or not at all. Being together is what mattered. The venue did not.

And those of us building dark forests risk underestimating how powerful the mainstream channels will continue to be, and how minor our havens are compared to their immensity.

The meaning and tone of these platforms changes with who uses them. What kind of bowling alley it is depends on who goes there.

(continued, part 2)

I first connected the dark forest theory with the internet when I had a strange realization earlier this year: that I knew how to be myself in real life, but I didn’t know how to be myself online.

A black domain stops everything from getting in or out. It’s security through cosmic self-imprisonment.

The dark forest theory struck a chord. And it’s no wonder: many of us struggle to be ourselves online. We’re wary of showing who we are outside our private channels. But at the same time, we recognize that there are trade-offs to our isolation. Our dark forests can become black domains, with little connection to or influence on the outside world.

What’s the in-between? That’s what my experiments have been trying to find. That process is ongoing, but my more-complicated-in-practice-than-theory answer is to strive to be your true self in every context and vow to be present wherever you are. We can’t lurk in the dark forests and expect anything to change for the better. To improve and positively contribute to the communities and cultures we’re a part of, we have to actively engage.

internet, bubbles as dark forest