Tuesday, April 12, 2022


Bottoms up! 

I suppose I'll let Saletan's farewell from Slate piece tell the story. It's a fantastic mix of apparently genuine regret for screwing up a bunch of times with "oh no, the twitters, it is the cause of all of our problems. "
And that’s what worries me about the online world we’re living in. I don’t see people learning from, or even recognizing, their mistakes. I see them caricaturing and gloating over the mistakes of others. In the old days, there was a lot of hope that the information age would make us smarter. It didn’t. Instead, high-speed communication, combined with algorithms that discern our biases and feed us what we want, helped us sort ourselves into echo chambers. On Twitter, Facebook, Slack, and other platforms, we’ve formed like-minded battalions that quickly spot the other side’s sins and falsehoods but are largely blind to our own.
My man, I don't think the twitters existed when you supported killing Iraqis or pulled out your caliper set or wrote piece after piece advocating for some mythical compromise on abortion, the details of which you left unsaid. The world of the Slate Bro was peak circle jerk in the self-isolation phantom zone.

 I have no idea why people think the internet sorts us into echo chambers. They've been saying that from the beginning. I don't know what internet he's reading, but it's a nonstop firehose of bullshit from outside my "echo chamber." I can tell you what most conservatives ate for breakfast.

The idea that the algorithm is only feeding us "what we want" is totally made up. The algorithms feed us things to piss us off! That's engagement, baby! The people complaining about "echo chambers" are generally the people who are hearing something from the outside for first time.

When he said "we’ve formed like-minded battalions" he means a lot of people call him a shithead on twitter. I've been calling Will a shithead for a long time, and not because I wasn't exposed to his original ideas about caliper sets. Because I was!

Perhaps Will is the perfect example of my Grand Unified Theory Of The Takes Industry which is, basically, everyone who mattered was high on their own farts when they were at the peak of their own influence and fucked thing up royally. It's hard to look at the decline of their influence - individually and as a class - as a negative thing when what they gifted us were horrible wars and repeated field trips to the Center For Advanced Minority Brain Pan Studies.

Tearing down the influence of people who had no reason to have it in the first place, and abused the shit out of it when they had it, has been an immensely positive development. Slate helped convinced a generation of writers that a supposedly clever way to support the status quo was "contrarian" and "brave," that bong hit dorm conversations were "serious debate," that there was never a baby that couldn't be split on the altar of grand centrist compromise.  Clowns to our left, jokers to our right, nothing but wankers' wisdom in the middle.

I am very brave for supporting the wars of the US government, acknowledging  the never spoken truth that racism is good, and asserting that the failures of the Right can always be, somehow, blamed on the Left.  Why are pro-choice activists so extreeeeeme?

I understand you miss the days when you were paid a bunch of money to crank out destructive bullshit for a giggle without people calling you a dumb asshole on twitter, but I don't think those were obviously better days!

You had your shot, and you fucked up!

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