for class (readings, links), speculative|compelling stuff, criticism, culture at large
reorg: moved from 479 (deleted)
links i can recall from the algo presentation
truly incredible to be more afraid of a potential AI superintelligence than of actually existing ExxonMobil
Jul 24, 2023, 5:02:26 PM
All the rest are gone. Dismantled for parts and sold off with zero understanding that the only thing of any value the site ever offered was the community, its content, its connection, its possibilities, its knowledge. And that can’t be sold with the office space and the codebase. These sites exist because of what we do there.
[Livejournal] was a small piece of what was to come. Like Gamergate and the Puppies, an experiment to practice taking apart a minor but culturally influential community and develop techniques to do it again, more efficiently, more quickly, with less attention. To lay out a reliable pathway to commit harm and lie about it for so long and in so many ways that by the time the truth is available, it doesn’t matter, because the harm is a foundational part of the system we’re living in. The harm is the new status quo.
This is just the shape of his soul, it’s not a feint for profit. It’s not just about making enough money to keep the servers going and buy everyone in the office a house, it’s not even about making shareholders rich, it’s fundamentally about the yawning, salivating need to control and hurt. To express power not by what you can give, but by what you can take away. And deeper still, this strange compulsion of conservatism to force other humans to be just like you.
(Black Mirror, Beyond the Sea)
Because that’s what fascists can’t do. They don’t love white people or straight people or silent women or binary enforced gender or forced birth or even really money. They want those things to be the only acceptable or even visible choices, but they don’t love them. They don’t even want to think about them. They want them to be automatically considered superior and universally mandated so they don’t have to think about them—or else what do you think the fury over other people wearing masks was ever about? The need to be right without thinking about it, and never have to see anything that wakens a spark of doubt in their own choices.
Don’t get cynical. Don’t lose joy. Be us. Because us is what keeps the light on when the night comes closing in. Us doesn’t have a web address. We are wherever we gather.
Attention is like cryptocurrency: a worthless token that is only valuable to the extent that you can trick or coerce someone into parting with "fiat" currency in exchange for it. You have to "monetize" it—that is, you have to exchange the fake money for real money.
After all, every time TikTok shows you a video you asked to see, it loses a chance to show you a video it wants you to see, because your attention is a giant teddy-bear it can give away to a performer it is wooing.
An enshittification strategy only succeeds if it is pursued in measured amounts. Even the most locked-in user eventually reaches a breaking point and walks away, or gets pushed.
The Netheads were right: Technological self-determination is at odds with the natural imperatives of tech businesses. They make more money when they take away our freedom—our freedom to speak, to leave, to connect.
I'm old enough to remember when the Internet wasn't a group of five websites, each consisting of screenshots of text from the other four.
7:28 PM · Dec 3, 2018
"do you think there's such a thing as algorithms being generous?"
viewership as a form of generosity
"the unreliability [of the TT algorithm] doesn't feel generous"
"i think its hard to construct an algorithm that feels generous without an element of randomness"